We have amended our sales policy. Due to potential adoptive homes** taking forever to get back to me, and then not getting back to me until I sent them an email asking if they're still interested, and dragging everything out, our sales policy regarding communications has been changed to state this:
(this is not verbatim from the website, this is cliff-notes version
If you have contacted us regarding adopting a pet and we have emailed you back -- you have five calendar days to get back to us. If we don't hear from you in five days, we will send an email saying you have an additional two days to get back to us. If you do not get back to us in those two days, the animal goes back up for adoption.
**I want to note that this does not apply to the several homes that we currently have that are waiting to pick-up or trying to coordinate pick-ups. This applies to the people who email us asking if a pet is available, we email back... and they don't email back until 3 weeks later, and then are upset that we have adopted out the pet (even though we sent them emails asking if they were still interested, which they never responded to).
This is the result of the fact that I often have several people interested in each adoptable pet, and by the time home #1 decides that they "really don't have time for the pet," four weeks later, homes #2-5 have already found themselves new family members.
Our old policy was 7 days +2... it's been shortened because my patience level is shortening with the longer I do this.
I want to note that I do understand people have lives outside of pets. I have two jobs, graduate school, and the rescue to run, so I understand the concept of having to manage time. However... I feel that if someone emails a rescue and says they are interested in a pet, they should at least be able to remember to follow up within the next few days. I understand not checking email every single day, but I feel like once you inquire about an animal -- you simply cannot expect that that animal will be held for you while you wibble and wobble over whether you really want to fill out the adoption form or while you take 3 weeks to get back to me.
Most rescues aren't even this lenient. I know several which won't even put a pet on hold without an adoption form -- as more time goes on, this is seeming like a better and better option. I won't do that yet, but right now every stinkin rabbit is on hold, with people in line waiting for other people to back out... yet NO ONE except the most recent home (who has emailed me several times in the last hour, in response to my emails, kudos to her) has gotten back to me since Friday. I understand it's the weekend, but people... consider MY time too.