There are not too may perks associated with working at an animal shelter; but the one perk that employees have will come back to bite you over and over again. Animal Control Officers and animal shelter employees are the first people to see the highly desirable animals when they come in to the shelter. The notion of “first come, first serve” on adoptions give your employees an advantage over the public. You will have to decide if it is worth the aggravation in dealing with public complaints when employees are allowed first adoption rights.
Many animal shelters establish policies that always give the public first rights to the animals for adoptions; after all, they will constantly remind you that they pay your salary. You have to decide if that is fair treatment of your employees. However, you should keep in mind that the gene that makes for hoarders exists in many of your employees and you will have to limit the number of animals that employees can adopt. It is not fair to the public if you have an employee who gets first adoption rights on a dozen animals each year.
The best way to balance first adoption rights is to limit the number of animals that a employee can adopt. You will have to constantly monitor your employees to make sure that you never adopt to them when they are in excess of the number of animals allow by zoning laws.
The same issues that you have with your employees will also play out with your rescue groups although many rescue groups claim their purpose is to “rescue” animals, they will demand to be given the most highly adoptable animals that don’t need rescued. Since they don’t have a steady donor base, they need the highly adoptable animals to help fund their operation. If they are helping you with moving pitbulls, then I usually offer them some of these animals as a perk.
As with every aspect of animal welfare, you have to monitor your policies so that they are in the best interest of your animals. If you are notice a high rate of adoptions by one of your employees, you have to consider the possibility that he or she has become a hoarder or are selling animals on the side. Limiting staff adoptions will help prevent both of those problems.