Paws New England / Unprofessionalism, lack of tact, and insulting adoption coordinator

Barrington, United States Review updated:

I e-mailed Paws New England in regards to the adoption fees of some of the dogs we were interested in adopting. I specified that one of the dogs we liked had a fee that would fit more in our budget. The woman who e-mailed me back was condescending in regards to our financial status because I mentioned a budget. Her questioning my financial status at this stage was off-putting and my opinion rude. I had NEVER spoken to her before!! Their adoption fees are exorbitant; "Fees" are what they call donations.
A donation is:
1. An act or instance of presenting something as a gift, grant, or contribution.
2. A gift, as to a fund; contribution
The $450 "donation" is for a mongrel. Granted, the money goes toward a good cause; the caring and rescue of the dog. I completely understand this. However, this fee..excuse me...donation... is inflexible.
She did give what I would call a half-apology when I called her on this. She stated that the fee/donation was required to keep the organization running. Which again, I a point.
Finally in her last e-mail to me she stated that we had been engaging in "banter" regarding my budget (I spoke of it only once initially), she accused me of picking one dog over another because of the cheapness. I NEVER STATED OR IMPLIED ANY SUCH THING!!! We asked about several dogs (4). We asked about meeting the dog. They all had different fees. And because of her misinterpretation of what I had stated to her, she told me that I wouldn't get a dog from them. Which after dealing with this woman, I am glad about. What would be next? My bank statements? DNA?
So I learned a few things. People can twist what you say any way they want. Especially if they don't like what you are inquiring about. Paws New England needs to revisit who is doing any communications with potential "forever homes". Maybe if they scaled down on some expenses they could offer dogs that aren't so expensive initially. Just because someone doesn't want to spend a small fortune on a mongrel doesn’t' mean they are incapable of having/giving a loving home to a dog.

Feb 3, 2015
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  • Rb
      9th of Apr, 2015

    Hi there,

    I'm sorry you had a bad interaction with a PNE volunteer. Being one of their volunteers I can assure you PNE can provide a breakdown of their fees down to the penny.
    I def don't approve of the interaction but based on some of your comments I wouldn't be so quick to judge the adoption coordinator. The pure breed dogs you can buy cost much more and are not fully vetted, microchipped, spayed or neutered and transported.
    From personal experience I can tell that there is no way PNE can scale down expenses and provide cheaper dogs. PNE is a legitimate rescue organization and just like every legitimate rescue money is a problem but it doesn't mean they will accept haggling of the price or adopt the dogs to anyone. These "mongrels" have suffered enough.
    If you'd like to receive a breakdown of their fees please let me know. You can email me at
    [protected] and I'm sorry about the interaction since it is not common but I understand having a budget in life but just like with humans you can't predict how much a living creature will cost you, you can prepare for it, have an emergency fund, health insurance and pray for the best.

    0 Votes
  • Pa
      9th of Apr, 2015

    As the Co-Founder of Paws New England, I'm very disturbed to read this complaint for several reasons.

    First, PNE offers reduced donations consistently to those in need, waiving them when needed for veterans, big families who can provide love but maybe not dollars up front etc.

    My biggest comment however is a question - what expenses do you suggest we cut down on - .99 cents of every dollar goes to animal care; we are an all volunteer organization with vet and boarding bills alone that approach $200, 000 per year? How should we cut back? Not taking as many heartworm positive dogs, or senior dogs, or dogs abused or hit by cars and instead maybe take cute puppies because we can "make" money on them?

    The fact that you referred to the dogs as "mongrels' alone would prevent you from adopting from our organization and it's obvious your attitude going in was one of "why do I have to pay so much for a rescue dog (mongrel)." Rescue doesn't mean cheap, it doesn't mean easy. To further the comments of one of the responders, rescues investigate their prospective homes much more diligently than breeders do - these dogs have already been thrown away once and we are damn sure we are going to do our best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

    I'd be happy to discuss your interactions with one of our unpaid volunteers if you would like to email me directly: [protected] however I have a feeling you find it much more fun to complain about something you know very little about.

    Joanne Hutchinson
    Paws New England

    +2 Votes
  • Pa
      10th of Apr, 2015

    As a follow up, I've had a chance to review all the interactions via email and your description of how this was presented to you is totally inaccurate. In addition, please don't forget - we check references upon receiving an application - you may want to reconsider why you weren't allowed to adopt from Paws New England.

    +1 Votes
  • Jt
      18th of May, 2015

    My husband and I grew up with dogs. And I used to work for a vet. We now live in a single home with a fenced in yard. We both have high paying careers. I even donated $1000 to the shelter where my husband adopted our last dog. But our adoption application was denied because you were not able to obtain verifiable vet check. You claimed that our vet check did not meet your minimum standard for vet care. The first vet kept manual records and could not find our dog’s record. The second vet saw our dog when we moved and when our dog became sick and eventually died of cancer. I asked the coordinator to call the 2nd vet back and they will explain that it was recommended not to vaccinate the dog because he was to old and sick. He received just the rabies vaccine because it was the law. But the coordinator never did that and never showed us compassion. We were denied even before anyone spoke one word to us to find out who we are as dog lovers. We were deemed bad people for something beyond our control because of a vet’s clerical error in misplacing our records. I have never felt so insulted. We wanted to adopt a dog so that our children can grow to love and care for dogs like my husband and I did. Thank godness there are organizations out there more understand. We adopted a perfect dog (smart, handsome, happy and healthy) and just spent over $200 at the vet to continue his puppy shots, rabies, deworming program, flea and tick preventative and heartworm preventative. He is going back in 2 weeks for “lifestyle” vaccines such as the Lyme vaccine. He is eating Orijen puppy food, which people have told me that is better food than most people eat.
    You can’t sit behind your computer and judge people. I think in your future you should learn more abut your candidates and depend less of some record that a clerk can’t find to determine an animal’s fate because this I know with every fiber in my being, there could be no better care taker of a new family member dog or child than my husband and I. The entire process was very disheartening.

    +2 Votes

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