What We do (& therefore don't)

How we operate- and why

 

It is imperative that when looking to adopt a pet, you understand the fundamental differences between foster-based rescues and animal shelters because each serve both you and the animals, differently.

 

Neither is better than the other, rather it is how they complement each other and collaborate together, that allows for greater support of both pets and people.

 

By understanding the benefits and potential downsides of each model, you can choose the organization- and subsequent adoption process- that fits your needs best. Please see the tables below for the most common/ main differences.

 

Motley Zoo provides individualized care for animals and people.

As a foster based organization, at Motley Zoo, we work with you as individuals, just as we do our animals. Our process is, therefore, a relatively personal one, because we're building a relationship with you- not simply performing a transaction.

 

We want to get to know you- just as we have our animals- to ensure compatibility. We want you to be prepared to meet an animal's needs as thoroughly as we have, so you can live happily ever after!

Check out some of our adoption testimonials to see how we work and why we're so thorough in our matching.

 

We're here to help you find your soulmate when you're ready!

 

Rock on-

The Motley Zoo Crew

 
 
What is A Foster-Based Rescue?
 
 
- - - Foster-Based Rescues are Not Animal Shelters! - - - 
(Click here to find out more about the differences)

Shelters and rescues have different fundamental structures

 

Shelters and rescues operate very differently, complimenting each other, working collaboratively to save the greatest number of animals from euthanization- each in the ways they are capable, based on their fundamental structure.

 

Shelters contact us for help- and we step in to do what they cannot.

Rescues are a second wave of defense for at-risk animals

 

Not all animals can, or should be in rescue. Rescue is typically reserved for animals who would otherwise be euthanized at a shelter.

 

This is because shelters cannot always address each animals' individual needs like we can in the private foster homes of rescue.

 

Often, we need to work to make the animals more "adoptable". Their needs may be very fixable, though often times, are very expensive too. 

 

Rescues live with the animals and get to know them intimately,
providing a wealth of information for potential adopters.

 

We provide in-home care, basic training, socialization and structure while getting to know the animal very well- which translates to being able to provide adopters first-hand, real-time information about the animal at hand.

 

Rescues focus on compatibility as the first priority.

 

Rather than space and time, we focus on compatibility- working hard to ensure animals are matched with families that will create lasting bonds and successful unions, where the animals will never again be in need of rescue.

 

To do so, we must also get to know applicants well- and begin to build a relationship with them through this process. Our adoption process is not a simple transaction- we're finding suitable guardians for the precious animals we have grown to love.

 

You can't hurry love.

 

Adopting with us takes some time, as assessing compatibility requires great effort and skill. We are not the place to get a pet "today"- that is the role of a shelter. Rather, we are the answer to getting the matched "right" pet.

​ ​

 

our Animals- Origination and care
- DOGS -
- CATS -
- OTHER ANIMALS -

 

 

Our Adoptable Dogs

 

Where do they come from?

  • Our dogs come from (typically) overflowing shelters- most commonly within Washington state; however, even so, they may originate from other places states or countries. As well, we occasionally directly take dogs from other states or countries.

  • We also take owner-surrendered dogs, who come to us from the local community, when their people can no longer keep them.

 

Why do dogs come to MZAR? 

  • Dogs typically come from shelters when they are overflowing, or the animal has a specific need that cannot be addressed in that environment.

    • Medical issues: bad teeth, hair loss, eye/ ear problems, heart murmurs or broken limbs, etc

    • Medically susceptible: pregnant dogs, nursing moms, puppies, senior dogs, already ill dogs

    • Emotional needs: those experiencing stress (hiding, barking/ panting, escaping)

    • Behavioral needs: those who require additional training and socialization, minor behavior mod 

  • Dogs come to us from owner-surrenders for a variety of reasons such as:

    • Unwanted litter

    • Moving

    • New baby

    • Medical issues in human

    • Medical issues in dog

    • Financial issues

    • Allergies

    • Not getting along with other pets or family

    • Other minor behavioral matters / lack of training

 

How do the dogs become "adoptable?"

  • Whatever the reason dogs have come to us, we immediately work on how to fix and/ or improve everything that we can, so the animal is again considered adoptable and desirable. This includes:

    • Extensive veterinary care

    • Training and socialization

  • In regards to dogs with initial behavior issues: We only accept dogs that have a reasonable likelihood of future adoption. 

    • We believe the dog can be trained and/ or rehabilitated to the point of being adoptable and safe for society

    • We do not place for adoption, unless and until we are confident in dog's ability/ capacity

    • We find a home that has experience and capability to continue working with the dog for continued improvement

  • No matter what a dog's former issues, we are 100% transparent about their past and progress- as well as future prognosis and potential.

  • We do not place dogs in homes where the family is unaware or unprepared to meet the dog's current and future needs- and we relay this information repeatedly throughout the process, to ensure the adopter is also confident before taking a dog home.

 

Where are your dogs housed?

  • Our adoptable dogs can be viewed here and our adoption application is available here.

  • Our dogs are housed in private foster homes where they live like one of the family until an adoptive home is found.

  • Due to the private nature of our volunteer foster structure, we must be sensitive to the demands we place on our families.

    • We must maximize the efficiency of the efforts they make

    • We cannot ask them to do "extra" work beyond the extensive effort they already put in

    • We cannot allow the public to contact or visit fosters directly

    • We cannot entertain casual inquiries and requests from the public

  • In order to meet one of our dogs, we must have an approved application because: 

    • It takes a lot of coordination behind the scenes to make an adoption meeting happen

    • We cannot ask fosters to meet applicants that are not actually eligible to adopt (ie. not screened)

    • We must have a reasonable belief in the compatibility of the match 

  • You can "drop in" and meet dogs casually (without obligation of applying first) at our many community events- though you still cannot adopt then/ there without an approved application.

  • Adoption meetings require the entire family to be present- including any other dogs in the home.

    • It is important that all members of the family be on the same page- and that we can see this for ourselves as well.

    • We do not want our animals returned for preventable and obvious disagreements between family members

 

 

Our adoptable Cats

 

Where do they come from?

  • Our cats come from (typically) overflowing shelters- most commonly within Washington state, however, even so, they may originate from other places states or countries. As well, we occasionally take cats from other states or countries. 

  • We also take owner-surrendered cats, who come to us from the local community, when their people can no longer keep them.

 

Why do cats come to MZAR? 

  • Cats typically come from shelters when they are overflowing, or the animal has a specific need that cannot be addressed in that environment.

    • Medical issues: bad teeth, hair loss, eye/ ear problems, heart murmurs or broken limbs, etc

    • Medically susceptible: pregnant cats, nursing moms, kittens, senior cats, already ill cats

    • Emotional needs: those experiencing stress (hiding, scratching, growling)

    • Behavioral needs: those who require additional training and socialization, minor behavior mod 

  • Cats come to us from owner-surrenders for a variety of reasons such as:

    • Unwanted litter

    • Moving

    • New baby

    • Medical issues in human

    • Medical issues in cats

    • Financial issues

    • Allergies

    • Not getting along with other pets or family

    • Other minor behavioral matters / lack of training

 

How do the cats become "adoptable"?

  • Whatever the reason cats have come to us, we immediately work on how to fix and/ or improve everything that we can, so the animal is again considered adoptable and desirable. This includes:

    • Extensive veterinary care

    • Training and socialization

  • In regards to cats with initial behavior issues: We only accept cats that have a reasonable likelihood of future adoption. 

    • We believe the cat can be trained and/ or rehabilitated to the point of being adoptable and safe for society

    • We do not place for adoption, unless and until we are confident in cats's ability/ capacity

    • We find a home that has experience and capability to continue working with the cat for continued improvement

  • No matter what a cat's former issues, we are 100% transparent about their past and progress- as well as future prognosis and potential.

  • We do not place cats in homes where the family is unaware or unprepared to meet the cat's current and future needs- and we relay this information repeatedly throughout the process, to ensure the adopter is also confident before taking a cat home.

Where are your cats housed?

  • Our adoptable cats can be viewed online here and our adoption application is available here.

  • Our cats are housed in a variety of locations including:

    • Private foster homes 

    • Partnering pet stores (that act like foster homes)

    • Cat Lounge at Motley Zoo's Studio

  • Cats in stores and our Cat Lounge are available for viewing during (each locations') business hours

    • Cats cannot be adopted directly from partnering pet stores or the Cat Lounge without an approved application and scheduled meeting with a Motley Zoo Adoption Coordinator.

    • The Cat Lounge is occasionally closed when new cats are under quarantine or the cat(s) are ill. You can e-mail us to ask if it is open for you to visit.

    • Please do not go to stores or the Cat Lounge and expect to walk out with a cat, same-day.

  • Cats stay in foster homes until they are ready for public viewing and then move to a partnering pet store or the Cat Lounge

    • Cats do not get adopted from online photos/ bios alone.

    • They must be seen publicly, so people can fall in love with their personalities

    • There are too many adoptable cats available and they tend to "look the same"- they are more similar than dogs (who have a wider range of shapes and sizes)

  • In order to meet one of our cats, we must have an approved application in-hand before the meeting can be scheduled- as it takes coordination of the foster family, applicant and a trained MZ Adoption Coordinator.  

  • In contrast, there is no obligation to apply first if you want to casually meet one of the dogs at our many community events, though you cannot adopt them casually. Animals can only go home with an approved applicant, so whether meeting casually, or pre-approved for a private meeting, the same process is followed for all adoptions.

  • We only perform adoption meetings that have a likely chance of yielding an adoption- which means the approved application to start and then a likely match agreed upon, with the entire family present- including any other dogs in the home.

  • It is important that all members of the family be on the same page- and that we can see this for ourselves as well. We do not want our animals returned for preventable and obvious disagreements between couples and/ or kids and parents.

 

 

Adoptable animals of Other Species

 

  • Our adoptable animals of other species can be viewed here.

  • We do on occasion take in animals of other species such as:

    • Guinea Pigs

    • Rabbits

    • Ferrets

    • Other "small furry" (rarely)

    • Birds (rarely)

    • Livestock (rarely)

  • These animals come to us from shelters and owner-surrenders

  • These animals are typically healthy (vet care is limited for other species) and are simply no longer wanted

  • These animals live in foster homes- though very rarely they may be seen at the Studio.

  • These animals are available to meet casually at events; however, otherwise are only view-able with an approved application.

  • We do not consider these animals any less "valuable" or important as cats or dogs, as no animal is "less than" or disposable, so please take this into consideration when applying.

 

 

 

 

 

We try our best to keep you informed of the latest information, as we’re working through approvals. 

 

We certainly don’t want to keep you - or our pets- waiting…but with all the work we do behind the scenes, sometimes the days are long and time flies!

 

Please be patient and know we are here to serve you and our animals as best we can!

A side-by-side comparison of typical differences between shelters and foster-based rescues:

 

Note: These are general observations, not absolutes-

some shelters and foster-based rescues' operations and structure may differ.

Shelters

  • Physical, centralized locations 

  • Usually comprised of paid staff supplemented with volunteers 

  • Can be gov't run, or private org/ "humane society"

  • Often longer standing orgs, >10 years

  • Relatively significant budgets, >1 million 

  • Often have long-term, "big-ticket" donor support; legacy giving

  • May take in strays (especially when gov't run)

  • Typically "open-admission"= must take all animals that come in, whether full or not

  • Often not "No kill" (unless occasionally, when "managed admission"= intake by appt if/ when space is available)

  • Manage larger numbers of animals

  • Function/ operations constrained by time and space

  • May euthanize animals for time/ space 

  • Focused heavily on moving animals through 

  • "Herd" management a priority over individual animal needs

  • Budgets for animals are fixed/ limited

  • Vet care limited to basic needs due to budget and animal qty

  • Adopters may be responsible for additional vet care 

  • Care limited to animals whose needs are "normal"

  • Animals exposed to illnesses in the group setting

  • Animals may have limited time and attention from caretakers

  • Animals may have limited training opportunities

  • Animals may have limited behavior assessment

  • Animals may be stressed- therefore behave differently than "their usual"

  • Animal history may be limited or unknown 

  • Often perform same-day adoptions

  • Relatively simple adoption application

  • Adoption meetings may not be performed by those who know/ work with the animals

  • Adoption meetings likely to be brief, paperwork focused

  • Adoption fee/ donation is typically "inexpensive" due to in-house vet staff and subsidization from donors 

  • Adopters assess true compatibility at home

  • Rate of adoption return is relatively high

  • Post-adoption support may be limited

 

Foster Based Rescue

  • No central structure- foster network infinitely expandable

  • Primarily (if not solely) volunteer-run

  • Private organizations

  • Not often long-standing organizations, <10 years

  • Rely on community/ "small ticket" donor funding

  • Budgets usually smaller, <1 million

  • Do not usually take in strays

  • No time and space limitations

  • Often able to be No-Kill due to "managed admission" nature

  • Animals only considered for euthanized for extreme quality of life issues or dangerous behavior 

  • Manage smaller numbers of animals

  • Individual animal needs are the mission  

  • Budgets for animals flexible/ significant due to fewer animals in care

  • Vet care is extensive- often providing "everything" the animals needs before adoption

  • Adopters not typically required to provide additional vet care

  • Care can be expanded to animals with atypical/ special needs (avoiding euthanization at shelter) 

  • Animals not as susceptible to illness, due to private home life

  • Animals have extensive time and attention from families

  • Animals can interact with kids and other pets

  • Animals have increased potential for training opportunities

  • Animals have increased potential opportunities for behavior observation

  • Animals behave more typically/ their usual

  • Animal history likely to be more extensive (due to daily life with foster family)

  • Rarely (if ever?) perform same-day adoptions

  • Relatively extensive adoption application designed to get to know you as much as the animals

  • Adoption meetings often performed by those who know animals well

  • Adoption meetings typically an "orientation"; 30-60 mins 

  • Adoption donation is typically "more expensive" due to extent of vet care & reliance on retail vet prices 

  • Compatibility is heavily weighed in matching process before adoption

  • Rate of adoption return is typically very low

  • Post-adoption support often more robust

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

Adoptions are by appointment only with approved applicants!

General Inquiries: info@motleyzoo.org

Adoption: adopt@motleyzoo.org

Foster: foster@motleyzoo.org

Volunteer: volunteer@motleyzoo.org
Cat Adoption / Foster / Volunteer: cats@motleyzoo.org

Event Inquiries: events@motleyzoo.org

Rock Star Treatment Dog Daycare Studio:

16725 Cleveland Street, Redmond, WA 98052

Main Entrance is around back- NOT on Cleveland St.

Hours: 7a to 7p Monday - Friday

Dog Daycare: info@rockstartreatment.org

Voicemail: (206) 453-8480

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