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A Pet Is For Life, Not Four Minutes

| MI, USA | Pets & Animals, Time

(An older man and his daughter come into the animal shelter. His daughter is wearing slippers in public.)

Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you with?”

Man: “Yeah, I want a kitten.”

Me: “Okay, well we only have one really young kitten right now. She is about four months old an—”

Man: *interrupts me* “Yeah, I’ll take that one.”

Me: “Well, you have to spend some time with her and make sure that she has the personality you’re looking for.”

(We take the kitten into the adoption room so he can spend time with her and so I can further counsel the adoption. The man spends about four minutes with the kitten and comes back out holding her. I go up and take the kitten.)

Me: “Is everything okay?”

Man: “Yeah, I want that kitten.”

Me: “Well, I need you to spend at least fifteen minutes with her. The time you spent with her isn’t enough to get to know her, and I’ll have to ask some questions.”

Man: *getting annoyed* “I just want this kitten.”

Me: “You have to spend more time with her so we can make sure she is going to the right home.”

Man: “I’m a good pet owner! I just want the kitten!”

Me: “I’m not saying you aren’t. You just have to spend more time with her.”

Man: “Well, I have stuff to do! I can’t spend all day here!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you are required to spend more time with her if you want to adopt from us.”

(The man stares at me blankly for a minute, throws his arms up and starts to walk out. At this point his daughter chimes in.)

Daughter: “You people are ridiculous!”

(She promptly followed her dad out and left.)

A Little Bird Told Me That This Customer Is An A**

| USA | Bad Behavior, Pets & Animals

(I work at an animal shelter that only takes dogs and cats. Despite this, a man walks in with a scarlet macaw in what looks like one of those old-fashioned hanging canary cages that is obviously much too small for it.)

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Man: “I don’t want this parrot anymore.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but this shelter only takes cats and dogs. We don’t have the necessary provisions to care for exotic birds.”

Man: “What do you mean you don’t take birds? You’ve always taken birds here!”

Me: “No, sir, I’m pretty sure we haven’t. Only cats and dogs.”

Man: “What am I supposed to do with this thing then? I bought it for my daughter’s sixth birthday two months ago but she got bored with it already because it doesn’t talk! All it does is scream!”

(Almost as if by command, the parrot starts screaming. I have to start talking loudly to be heard over it.)

Me: “Well, sir, I actually have a list here of other shelters and rescues in the immediate area, and I can give you the address of a bird rescue that’s a few blocks from here, or if you’d prefer, I know of a vet clinic that accepts animals that their owners can no longer care for. I’m pretty sure they accept birds.”

Man: “I don’t have time for this! I have things to do! I’ll just leave it here and you can take the bird there yourself!”

Me: “I can’t do that for you, sir. You’re going to have to take the bird.”

Man: “So are you saying you aren’t going to take the parrot for me?”

Me: “Yes sir, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

Man: “This is unbelievable!”

(He storms out with the screaming parrot and makes sure to slam the door on the way out. A coworker who was in the back comes out to check on me.)

Coworker: “Did that man just say he bought a parrot for his daughter’s sixth birthday and now they don’t want it just because it doesn’t talk?”

Me: “Yes, he really did.”

Coworker: “Wow. They really need to make it mandatory to take a test to prove you actually know what you’re doing to weed out the idiots before you can get pets.”

Me: “You should have seen the cage it was in, too. There weren’t any toys and it was really small and something tells me that it wasn’t just a travel cage.”

(Nothing much happened after that until about an hour later when an elderly woman came in.)

Me: “How can I help you, ma’am?”

Woman: “Oh, I would just like to adopt another cat, preferably one that’s a little older.”

Me: “Certainly, ma’am. I’ll gladly help you find the right cat for you.”

Woman: “Also did you know there’s a parrot sitting in a cage outside?”

Me: “There’s what?”

(Sure enough, the man left the parrot sitting outside on the sidewalk, exposed to the cold November air. We brought the bird in and warmed him up and despite having sat out in the cold for an hour, he was perfectly okay. The man had the audacity to come in a week later with his daughter, who acted like a spoiled brat the entire time, and demanded to adopt a puppy, but thankfully when I told my boss who he was, she let us refuse to give them an animal. The story had a happy ending, though. One of my coworkers stopped in to pick up her paycheck and saw us with the parrot and immediately fell in love with him and decided to take him home with her. He got along well with her other parrot and now has a happy home with someone who doesn’t care that he doesn’t talk. She named him Screechy.)

A Very Purr-sonable Cat

| Dearborn, OH, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

(I work at a shelter that has a big Maine Coon cat that has the run of the place. He never goes outside and likes to sit on the lap of whoever is at the computer working. Even though he’s huge, about 28 pounds, most of it is muscle. He’s a very docile cat and loves people. For the most part, our customers love him.)

Coworker: “[My Name], we got some people pulling in. Can you grab Corky?”

(I grab the Maine Coon and set him on the counter in a crouched position, holding his flank lightly to keep him still. He’s already trilling excitedly at the thought of guests.)

Coworker: “Hi, welcome to [Shelter]. Can we help you?”

(A woman, man, and two kids wander in.)

Woman: “Yes, we’d like to take a look at your kittens.”

Coworker: “Sure. [My Name], can you take them to the cat room?”

Me: “Sure. Here, take Corky.”

(I go to hand her Corky and the woman suddenly screams.)

Woman: “That’s a Lynx! You have a LYNX here!”

(She grabs her kids and yanks them back.)

Me: “Oh, no, ma’am, this is Corky, our resident Maine Coon. He’s not a Lynx; he’s just a very large breed of cat.”

Man: “What the h*** kind of place is this?! Those animals are dangerous! Why do you have one running around where children are?!”

Me: “Uh, sir? Maine Coons are extremely friendly. The biggest danger to your kids is he’d just knock them over by accident.”

Woman: “How DARE you threaten my babies! I’m reporting this awful place and have you arrested for harboring that vicious thing!”

(They storm out, leaving us to stare after them in bafflement. We got a visit later from a local police officer.)

Officer: “Hey, I got a call about a ‘vicious rabid animal’ on the loose in this building.”

(I pick Corky up off the counter. Corky is a happy combination of purring and trilling at the sight of him.)

Officer: “Uh huh, that’s what I thought.”

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