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Policies and Procedures

Nonstandard Adoption

Policies and Procedures

TCAS staff is committed to the continuous improvement of shelter operations. This procedure was last revised in January 2024 to add the public notification step.


TCAS considers all animals, unless they have significant, non-repairable medical injuries, as adoptable upon intake, which includes any medical care, spay/neuter, shots, and microchip. The hope for the shelter and staff is to place all animals in an appropriate home or setting they can thrive.


However, sometimes an animal may either initially present, or develop over time, traits, triggers, or actions which put staff, volunteers, or potential adopters at a higher risk.  When this happens, the animal is identified as a potential non-standard adoption, and is placed into a process TCAS implemented mid-2023 to help reduce risk to staff, volunteers, or community adopters, and find the animal placement at an organization that is equipped to manage or rehabilitate risky traits or actions. Euthanasia is a last resort.


This process includes:

  •  Concerns or incidents involving an animal are brought to the attention of the TCAS Manager. Based on concern, incident, or history TCAS manager may request an assessment of the animal by an Animal Behavior Consultant. 

  • Animal Behavior Consultant performs assessment and determines if animal displays traits which would put staff, volunteers, or community adopter at risk.  If no, then behaviorist may recommend changes to help improve traits or triggers or schedule follow up.  If yes, then assessment information is forwarded to TCAS Manager for further review. 

  • After TCAS Manager reviews the animal case history, and if in agreeance, the animal is considered a non-standard adoption.

  • Once identified as a nonstandard adoption, TCAS staff will notify the public, offering the public an opportunity to provide recommendations of organizations who should be included in the notification to rescues. After 72 hours of public notification, staff combines all information into the animal case file, and notifies all TCAS partner\rescue groups via email, that we have a higher risk nonstandard adoption animal that needs placement. We include information regarding the animal for transparency to the organizations. This starts a 10 day period for those organizations to respond about the ability to transfer the animal. 

  • If an agency can accept, we start the transfer process.

  • If no agencies respond, the animal case history is reviewed by on-staff vet. If in agreeance with case history and potential euthanasia, case is forwarded to TCAS Manager and TCAS Director  for review.

  • TCAS Manager and TCAS Director will review the file and ensure all steps were completed as identified in the process. If in agreeance, the animal case history is submitted to an external vet for review and euthanasia. If not, the last step may be reperformed.

  • Upon external vet review of case, if in agreeance, the animal is euthanized by external vet.


This process in total takes several weeks to month(s) based on shelter schedule, consultant availability, staff availability, and vet availability. Any of the steps could result in a fallback or restart of the process to ensure the animal has the highest chance for placement while still balancing risk placed on staff or volunteers which handle the animal daily. 


If an animal is euthanized by this process, a Euthanasia Action Report is presented at the next following Animal Control Authority Meeting, which outlines the case history, and is recorded and reported as a behavior euthanasia for the year.


This is the least desirable outcome, however as a municipal shelter, TCAS has to balance the general needs of all intake animals, is not equipped to rescue or rehabilitate all animals, and therefore must balance the risk to staff, volunteers, community adopters, and the partnering cities, which sometimes results in application of the non-standard adoption process including euthanasia as a last resort. We're grateful for our community's understanding and support as we navigate these challenging situations.

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