The most frequently asked questions with clear and concise answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you ship animals?
No, we do not ship animals. We serve the Tampa Bay area and surrounding counties. If you are outside of those surrounding counties, we may not be able to adopt one of our animals to you.
Where is your shelter located?
We don't have a shelter. All of our animals are located in loving foster homes, where they sleep on couches, in beds, and have constant interaction with people. We do have a few kennels at a local Petsmart (Store #0317, 3993 Tyrone Blvd. St. Petersburg, FL 33709) but you may visit cats at that location by appointment only. If you show up without an appointment, you will not be able to visit with the cats, only see them through the glass of the adoption room.
I want to meet one of your animals. Do I have to fill out the application first?
Yes, an approved application is required to visit with any of our animals. We do this for many reasons: it isn't fair to a potential adopter to fall in love with an animal, then find that their application is not approved. Also, doing meet and greets with our animals takes 1-3 hours per meeting, including driving time, and we must be considerate of our volunteers' time. If an application isn't approved, there's no reason to spend the time doing the meet and greet. Plus, if the application is approved, the animal you wish to meet may not be appropriate for your home. We don't usually adopt out single kittens, so if you meet a kitten that cannot be an only cat, you've just met a cat that can't be adopted to you. After reading your application, we will be able to better match you with a pet that will fit your lifestyle. Moreover, doing meet and greets only after applications are filled out is for the safety of the animal. Believe it or not, there are people out there who have attempted to steal animals during meet and greets. Having an application on hand (with driver's license) prevents this from being an issue.
Do you really deny applications?
Yes, we absolutely do! In fact, we deny about 25% of the applications submitted to us. Lying is the number one reason an application is denied. Usually, people lie about how many pets they have in the house, the location they live in, or which vet they use for their animals, thinking that we will not check in on the vet, but we do! So if you're going to lie on your application, please don't waste our time or yours. We will find out and we will deny you. Be honest. Things happen, lives get in the way, explain your situation and we're likely to understand your plight. But if you lie, you will be automatically rejected.
What sort of things will get my application denied?
Lying. And not giving us all of the information requested. If you skip questions, we won't just move on, we'll have to contact you to get the answers. The longer it takes us to approve your application, the more likely it is that someone else who filled the application out correctly is going to adopt your animal first. Beyond those two things, we don't discuss why applications are denied or approved. It is up to the rescue to determine what is a suitable home for our animals and what is not. Just because your application has been declined doesn't mean you're a bad pet owner, it just means our rescue is not the right rescue for you. But it does mean that you cannot adopt an animal from us. It doesn't just mean the animal you requested, but any animal. If we approve your application but don't think the animal you chose is appropriate, we'll let you know and encourage you towards another animal. We understand that some people want the "pretty" cat just because it's pretty, but we live 24/7 with these animals and know their personalities. We will not adopt a cat to you because it matches your curtains or you have always wanted that particular color, we have to believe that you and that animal are a good fit for one another. You don't judge people on the color of their skin, you shouldn't judge an animal on the color of its fur.
Is it first come, first served?
Yes and no. We may collect several applications for a certain pet, but we do not wait long before making a choice. Once we get the first application, we start the process of approval. If another application comes in while approving the first, and it's a better match, we would certainly go with the best choice for the animal. However, we will not hold up approved applications from suitable homes, hoping for something better.
Do you hold pets?
No, we do not hold any of our animals. If you haven't paid your adoption fee for the animal, you should not consider the animal to be yours. If you want to adopt a certain animal but can't come to do the meet and greet for a week or two, or for some reason can't take the animal home for a long period of time, we may adopt the animal out in the meantime. If you want to adopt an animal that isn't yet ready for adoption (ie: kittens that haven't been fixed yet), you may meet them early and pre-adopt them so that when they're ready to be adopted, you can take them home. In order to adopt an animal, you must pay the adoption fee. If you have not paid the adoption fee, the animal can still be adopted to anyone who applies and is approved.
How does pre-Adoption work?
If you wish to pre-adopt a cat or kitten that isn't ready for adoption, first you fill out the adoption paperwork. Once you're pre-approved, you come and meet the animal. If you decide that you want to adopt, you can pay the non-refundable adoption fee for the animal. When the animal is ready for adoption (after all vetting and once the animal is healthy), we do the full adoption and turn the animal over. If you should decide that you wish to adopt a different animal from another rescue, your adoption fee becomes a donation to our rescue. If you should decide that you wish to adopt a different animal from our rescue, your adoption fee becomes the adoption fee for the new animal (even if your fee for the pre-adoption was more than the fee for the newly chosen animal). We do not give refunds for the donations to our rescue. We also do not guarantee an adoption date. If you have a pre-adoption, we can give you our best guess. But if the animal gets ill, or takes longer to gain weight, etc, we will not give the animal over until it is 100% healthy and vetted.
Why are some cats 'Required' to go to a home with other cats? Or be adopted with another cat?
Cats are often social creatures who prefer to be with other cats, if we have social cats, we place them in homes with other cats. And if a pair of cats have lived together their whole lives and love one another, we consider them to be 'bonded' and will not break them up. Or, if they're best friends and enjoy the company of one another and no other cats in the foster home, we will also adopt them together.
If there's a cat or kitten that is 'Required' to go to a home with another cat, will you make an exception? Or split up a bonded pair?
Absolutely not. Furthermore, good pet parents would never ask us to split up a bonded pair, or make an exception to put a social cat into a single cat home.
Why do the adoption fees vary? What do I get for my adoption fee?
The adoption fees vary because the demand for the cats vary. Tiny kittens are the most expensive, older kittens are less in order to encourage people to adopt the older kittens who are otherwise overlooked because of their age. And senior cats are the least expensive because they take the longest to adopt, and people who are willing to take older cats and love them for the rest of their own should definitely get a break on the adoption fee because of how amazing they are! We love our older-cat adopters!! For your adoption fee, you get: Spay/neuter, microchip, deworming, fe-fleaing, an FIV/FelV test, FVRCP, Rabies (age appropriate), a healthy animal, and expert advice from our rescue. Once the cat is adopted, all future bills become the responsibility of the new owner. In addition to everything you get while the animal is in our care, you also get a lifetime return policy. If you ever need to rehome the cat for any reason, we will take it back, no questions asked.
How can I pay the adoption fee?
The non-refundable adoption fee is payable via personal check (with driver's license), cash, PayPal (friends/family), CashApp, or through our website. Once paid, it is non-refundable.
I want a baby kitten, can't you just adopt it to me early if I promise to spay/neuter it?
No, absolutely not. Responsible rescues will never adopt out animals that aren't fixed and healthy, for the safety of the animal.
How does Foster-To-Adopt work?
If you become a foster parent and fall in love with your foster animal, you have the first chance to adopt them! All fosters are also pre-approved for adoption, so if you fall in love, you can be reassured that you're able to adopt the animal. We call this a foster-fail and they're our most favorite success stories! All you need to do is fill out the final adoption paperwork and pay the adoption fee and you become a proud new mommy or daddy!
What if I have to rehome the pet I adopted from CJPaws?
If you have to rehome the pet, we require you to return it to us, unless it is going to a direct family member (brother, sister, mother, father, son or daughter). We require this as a condition of adoption. Why? Because we have seen what happens to animals that people rehome to "a good home". We have seen dogs used as bait dogs, we have seen cats used as bait for dog fighting, we have seen them run over by cars because the new owners threw them outside when they were no longer wanted, and we have seen starving and mutilated animals who were given to "good homes". You do not have the ability to do background checks, home studies, checks on the Do Not Adopt list, checks to the local shelters, vet checks, and financial checks to ensure that the "good home" is really a good home, instead of someone who is good at acting and then sells the pets for $1 to someone who runs a dog fighting ring. Dog fights are HUGE in Tampa and those people are always, always looking for "free to good home" pets. They have hundreds of people out there posing as "good homes" so they can get the hundreds and hundreds of animals they need in order to teach their dogs to kill reliably. We refuse to allow that to happen to our animals, the animals that we raise and love and entrust into your care. Animals MUST BE RETURNED TO CJPAWS if you can no longer care for them. Period. We can and will take legal action against you if you do not. Rescues have been awarded up to $5,000 for these sorts of lawsuits, it's better for everyone if the animal is returned to CJPaws for appropriate and responsible rehoming by a dedicated and thorough rescue.
What if I break a condition of the adoption contract?
If you break the adoption contract, we will come to your home with the local police and we will take the animal from you. If there is cause for further legal action, we will also take legal action against you for breach of contract. These are living, breathing animals with souls and emotions, we will not allow them to be harmed, mistreated, or tossed aside. Good homes will never have to worry about this issue with us.
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