County to Consider Making it Tougher to Adopt a Pet

Bay County commissioners are being asked to support a plan which would make the process of adopting a pet more difficult.

Thousands of animals are taken off the streets around here each year. Those that are not adopted face death.

Next Tuesday the Bay County Commission will be asked to consider a proposal requiring you to sign a contract if you want to adopt and animal. The contract would require you and your family to undergo a background check, making the process even harder.

Some people are leery of the background checks fearing a more rigorous adoption process will only deter people from adopting.

Veterinary Technician Karen Stallings says the background check is necessary to ensure pets go to safe homes.

"So, for background checks I think they are really necessary. People don’t need to get offended by that. You need to look at this in a different light as if this is a child. We are not going to adopt an animal out to an unstable situation, just as you wouldn't adopt a child into an unsafe family."

Dr. Byron Ford of the Parkway Animal Hospital says it is intended to be a deterrent for some people who "have adopted animal after animal after animal and they keep coming back because they can not be responsible pet owners."

Presently, less than 20 percent of the animals at the shelter are adopted and about 150 are put down each week.