October 14, 2013

Blog the Change: A Cool Shelter Policy

It's time again for Blog the Change for Animals!

I think I've mentioned before that we got Rita from Baja Animal Sanctuary.
Rita, the day we brought her home.
If you've ever traveled in Mexico, you know homeless dogs sometimes have it pretty bad down there. That's why BAS is so important! 

BAS is located in Rosarito, about 20 miles south of the border. In 2012 the shelter took in almost 500 dogs and over 50 cats; and they placed 276 dogs and 49 cats in their furever homes! They are the only no-kill shelter in northern Mexico.

Here's what they have to say about BAS got started:
"The sanctuary was founded by Sunny Benedict, a native New Yorker who was working in Real Estate in Rosarito. From her office window, Sunny would see the local animals, mangy and starving roaming the streets in search of anyone who might toss them a morsel of food, or give them a kind pat on the head. She knew she had to do something. With a mere $180.00 she gathered from friends, she turned her dream into reality and started the Baja Animal Sanctuary."

I wanted to highlight BAS not just because we got our sweet girl there, and because they're doing great work, but also because they have a policy that I think is pretty cool: when we adopted Rita, we took her home as fosters. 

After two weeks, someone from BAS came to our house to make sure Rita was happy and we were happy (we all were!), and that's when we signed the adoption papers. I know that's probably not realistic for a lot of shelters as it requires more time and effort, but I'd be interested to see what the BAS return rate is versus other shelters. I think it's great that families have 2 weeks to see if their new furry friend is going to fit well and become a full-fledged family member.

There was never any doubt in my mind that Rita was going to be our girl, but sometimes folks don't realize they haven't made the best pick (maybe choosing a dog based on its looks rather than personality/energy level), and in that case I think it's great that BAS makes it easy for the pup to come back to the shelter where they'll be safe and cared for until the perfect home is found.


  1. BAS sounds like a great shelter! I can't believe they came to your house. that's awesome. that would be interesting to find out their return rate. something else for me to look into. :)

  2. What a great policy! Good for the dogs; good for the peeps.

  3. I LOVE that they did a check on your dog. That truly shows commitment and I'm impressed.

  4. They sound like a wonderful shelter. I too love that they checked on all of you to make sure it was a good fit. Thank you for sharing! -Jess @ Life with Duke

  5. Yes we agree...a win/win all round. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. What a great rescue organization! Sometimes it's really difficult to tell what a dog is like when you meet in the shelter, so Baja Animal Sanctuary's two-week foster policy is very sensible. Rita hit the love jackpot when she ended up with you. :-)

    We were so lucky that the couple that originally adopted Wrigs from our shelter returned him a few days later because he wasn't a good fit for them. Their loss was our wonderful gain.

    Susan and Wrigs

  7. That's a great policy! The rescue organization I volunteer with does get some returned dogs (we require that they come back to us rather than a kill shelter), so this policy could definitely help with that.

  8. Rita is gorgeous! There is no way she'd be going back to the shelter but it is really good that they checked she had settled in OK.

  9. Great post Jackie! (And what a cutie that Rita is!) There are so many animals that need the chance that BAS offers, I wish more shelters operated this way.

    The rescue we adopted from also did a Foster to Adopt program, which is how Delilah came to us. Our bigger concern was Sampson and how he would react to her, since she came up on transport and they didn't have the opportunity to meet before hand. Of course her first day was horrific and I was certain she was going back, but then I realized I couldn't be just another person in a long line that would fail her.

    I would never get another dog from that rescue again, only because they did not check back in to see how she was doing, I think that shows real caring on the part of BAS.

  10. I've never heard of that but what a great idea. Our shelter makes phone contact to follow up on adoptions but it isn't the same as the personal contact. The people we call seem to appreciate the attention.

  11. Great post, so glad you found Rita.

  12. What a wonderful rescue. I remember feeding a dog with mange on the island of Cozumel and wishing I could have done more than just feed her. She was a nice dog. If only she had been near BAS.

    I actually love that they do a foster-to-adopt option. I think people are more likely to have a better sense of whether the dog they chose suits them and I love that BAS does a follow up home visit for the adoption. I wish more shelters could do this.I know that it would be hard for a dog that was returned over and over, but I am hoping that is not the case with BAS.

    Great shelter to highlight Jackie. Rita is a lucky girl. :)

    Mel Freer
    No Dog About It
    BtC4A Team

  13. That's a great policy, where you get to have a trial run with dogs. A lot less dogs would end up back at the shelter if more shelters had some kind of policy like that in place. Good on BAS for travelling to you and making sure everything was going swimmingly.

  14. Love! This is so fantastic. I'm really happy to hear that you and Rita are happy. Thanks for such a wonderful post!

  15. Great policy. Wish all shelters had the resources to do taht.

  16. That's such a great policy, and something I wish every shelter/rescue could (and would) do. Everyone really needs a trial period to see if their home is right for a certain pet or not For me, it's all about the happiness of the adopted animal... every home is not going to be right for every pet; and sometimes you don't know that until after you've brought a sweetie home and had them for a bit.
    But in Rita's case, I bet you guys were in love with her from day one! Not even a chance she was getting returned!

  17. I think that is just the greatest idea. That would be a great thing for more shelters and rescues to do if it was possible. It sounds like you went to a wonderful place to find Rita, that they are totally committed to being sure each pet is happy in their new home.

  18. It is wonderful the Baja Animal Sanctuary takes the time to follow up on adoptions!

  19. I absolutely ADORE this policy. I am very much in favor of these sorts of trial periods - I think it helps lessen the stress on prospective adopters and it helps to ensure that the pup ends up in somewhere that's a good fit.


We love comments - even just a smiley face or a LOL will make my day. (Yes, my days are pretty easily made.)

PLEASE NOTE: Comment moderation is turned on for posts over 2 weeks old, so if you comment on an older post and don't see it show up right away, that's why.