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Introduction
My name's Lassie and I'm named after my owner's main account screenname, as you might guess. LassieTheEvilOnes name is Landa, don't confuse us! She's allowed me to make this little page explaining the ins and outs of pet adoption as it seems a lot of people get very confused about the whole process, especially with applications. She decided that someone needed to write up the "unwritten rules" but makes it very clear that these are a combination of the rules of TNT and plain Neopets etiquette. For more examples of Neo-netiquette, try this classy Lupess's guide on how to avoid being called a n00b.
Anyway, adopting pets is quite a complicated topic so pull up a chair (not that one, it's broken!) and relax while I explain.

Applying For Pets
So, you've seen a pet up for adoption. Some owners will ask for petpage apps, others for NM apps. Let's start with the simplest.

Neomail Apps
You want to apply but you don't know what to say. Well, tell them a bit about yourself, about your current pets, what you'd like to do with the pet you'd like to adopt, if you have any Neogoals... You get the idea. Please note that it'll help you a lot if you take note of what gender the pet you're applying for is and use their name. Landa really doesn't approve of NMs like "hey i want to adopt your *insert pet species here* it is sooo cute!!11!!". Chatspeak won't earn you any points at all. Most owners would like you to consider the pet as more than pixels; after all, to us you're more just flesh and bone!

Petpage Applications
Take a look at myself, Leapup, Haerishi and Al. We don't have elaborate petpages or lookups. Landa isn't amazing at HTML, but we're all well cared for, right? That just goes to show that demanding petpages are no sign of how good an owner is. A very wise Moehog called Sagewood has some very good arguments about why petpage apps are unecessary for pets that are the result of the lab. Take some time to read over his page and you'll see why tifa_squall feels this way too. If you really are bad at HTML or the pet is one that the owner has hand-painted and is attatched to, NM the pet owner and ask nicely if they'll accept a well written NM app instead. Sometimes the person will agree if you explain that your HTML skills are far from 1337. Personally, I'd only consider making a petpage application if I wanted have someone's much loved pet join the family. They might be leaving Neo or have less time to spend on the site; there's many reasons why people decide to give up their beloved pets. I don't always hold with the reasoning that if you love a pet that much, you won't give it up for adoption in the first place. As much as Landa says that Leapup, Al and myself won't be up for adoption, one day she might have to leave Neo for whatever reason and would rather we went to loving homes rather than sat on a frozen account. If the owner insists that you have to make a petpage and you want the pet enough, here are some tips:
  • If you really really REALLY can't make a page from scratch (even after looking over this page or using the NeoHTML guide, use a premade template for your application and add your own custom images. Try to theme it for the pet you're applying for.
  • Don't excessively bug the owner. This is a standard rule for both petpage and NM apps. Don't think you're the only one applying for the pet; they've probably got 10 other people NMing them so stand out by not being someone that bugs. They won't think that you want the pet any less and no-one likes having to clear out their inbox every 5 minutes because they're getting the same mesages from the same person over and over again!
  • Get a plan in your head of what you want to include in the application. It's a more indepth method than a simple NM (bigger character limit) so it has to be more impressive. It might be best to draft it out first with an idea of what you plan to include.
  • Use your personality! That's the key thing about writing. Write as you talk or write as one of your pets would talk. Maybe the application is from them because they want a brother/sister.
  • Go by basic guidelines and don't use chat/leetspeak. It hurts the eyes, takes time to mentally 'decode' and makes you look like a moron, not a responsible pet owner!
  • Respect the rules. If the owner asks you to draw a picture yourself there's many ways to do it aside from pencil and paper. MS Paint, Paintshop or handpainted. If they ask for a poem, try using song lyrics that you think are apt to the pet.


Dos and Don'ts
Just to re-cap:
* Don't brag.
* Don't be rude to the owner.
* Don't try to bribe the owner (this is reportable!)
* Don't say that you should get the pet over everyone else. That just stinks of arrogance. Be modest.
* Don't refer to the pet as an it and their species and colour, but by their gender and name.
* Don't harrass the owner while you're waiting/if you're rejected (again, reportable!)
* If the owner has made a board, don't spam it. Your chances will go out of the -blocked-
* Be original with your application and let your personality come through! I know you have one.
* Always read the requirements for the pet and respect what the owner wants.
* Don't make the application too long. Less than two pages, more than two paragraphs (not including art work).
* Don't repound the pet straight afterwards. If you want him/her to be on a side account, adopt on that account from the beginning.
* Don't lie in your application about things like labbing your pet. Sounds common sense, yes? If you do lie, word will get around and your chances of adopting a pet again will massively decrease.
* Check over the application BEFORE you submit it. Ask a friend to proof read it for you and make sure all the links and images work.
* DO NOT put any contact details for MSN etc on your petpage. It's against Neo's T&Cs and is NOT safe for you to do. Seriously. You never know who might get hold of them.


Content
Best done in form of a list for easy reference:
  • Introduction: Give an overview of what your application is about (maybe best left written until the end!)
  • About You: A short section about youself in RL (real life) and a section about youself on Neo. Include any details about side accounts here. Most owners like an account tour so they can see all your pets.
  • About Your Current Pets:What do your other pets like to do? Have you got any goals for them? What sort of personalities do they have? Do they read a lot of books? Have they entered the Beauty Contest before? What little stories do you have about them? Include details of any Pet Adventures you've written, spiffy lookups, petpages that any of them have written (or host on your behalf!) and awards.
  • Why Do You Want to Adopt *insert petname here*?: In plain Lupeish, why do you want the pet? What makes him/her stand out? What would you like to do with him/her if you get her? How did you find out about the pet being up for adoption? What sets you apart from the other candidates as an owner? What petpet/petpetpet would you give them (if they aren't being pounded with one) and why? What sort of personality do you think *petname* has? Do they have any special features (scars, wings etc)? What are their likes/dislikes? Do they have any friends/enemies?
  • Freestyle: In this section, you go absolutely nuts. Pictures, RP, poems, stories, history... You name it!
  • And Finally...: Anything you've dedicated to the pet (shopkeeper, userlookup, Neodeck...), links that make you look the best you can (screenies, examples of your art/writing), links to anyone who will vouch for you as an owner, how to contact you and finally a little thank you to the owner for taking the time to read your application and you hope they'll consider you etc. etc.


Disclaimer
Before you go dashing off to write an application, take a couple of minutes to read over these important facts.
Since 19th of December, some new changes and restrictions have been added to the pound. The pound now states the following:

WARNING!!! Pets that are above level 2, are limited-edition species, or that have been painted with certain rare or expensive paintbrushes, CANNOT be adopted by any account younger than four months. So be careful when abandoning a pet, if you're planning on trying to re-adopt it!

This change was implemented to "prevent these pets from ending up in accounts that are abandoned shortly after creation, and instead help them find homes in established accounts.

This is NOT Landa's decision, or that or any pet owner, this is from TNT themselves. So please don't get upset when told that your account is too young to adopt a certain pet. The rule works well to stop pets being adopted by younger accounts who may lose interest quickly. It's a problem for Landa herself as most of her side accounts are too young to be able to transfer pets easily. Any NMs she receives along the lines "OMG!!1! Your so mean im going to cry!!11!" are reported as harrassment as she's made it clear that this is out of her hands. Other pet owners will most probably do the same.

So what CAN you adopt if your account is 4 months or lower?

Species
A young account cannot adopt a limited edition Neopet species regardless of the colour or level of the pet. These species that cannot be adopted are as follows:
  • Chomby
  • Cybunny
  • Draik
  • Hissi
  • Jetsam
  • Kiko
  • Koi
  • Krawk
  • Poogle
  • Tonu

You can get one of these pets with a young account by creating one on the specific pet day, morphing or labbing. Although I've yet to see anyone get a Draik from the lab, but I have been told that you CAN get Krawk pets as well as petpets. If anyone knows of a Draik species zap, by all means NM me and let me know!

Colours
The vaguest statement of the new rule claims that "rare and expensive" paintbrush colours cannot be adopted. Here's what that means.
The following colours can be adopted by a young account if the pet has a level 2 or 1 and is not a limited edition. (see above)
  • Checkered
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Glowing
  • Green
  • Invisible
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Shadow
  • Silver
  • Skunk
  • Speckled
  • Split
  • White
  • Yellow


Adopting
So, you're eligible to adopt the pet according to the rules, you've sent off your application and it's been accepted! That's great! You're guaranteed to get your dream pet.
Or are you?
Sadly, there's no safe way to transfer pets in the pound or to make sure that pets go to their chosen new homes. Transferring between accounts is a bit easier as it's one person in complete control over the whole system: two browsers and the Quick Adopt Link. Luckily, this link can also help you when adopting a pet as well.
Make sure you have 1k on hand (just to be on the safe side) for the adoption fee and use the following link:


http://www.neopets.com/process_adopt.phtml?pet_name=PETSNAME


Of course, make sure you put the pet's name at the end. Hit the link once before the adoption goes through to make sure that it's all set up. You should get a message saying taht the pet is happy with it's current owner. Landa likes to start refreshing this link a good minute or two before the pounding time and carries on for a good 3/4 minutes after wards; we all know what lag's like!
If you haven't got the pet after 5 minutes of refreshing, search for the pet in the search bar and see what's going on. If it's been adopted by someone else, then your prospective pet was either Auto-Adopted (this is very rare) or someone pound sitting got your pet.

Pound Sitters and AAers
It can be terrible when you've spent ages refreshing for a pet of your dreams only to find someone else has adopted him/her. Unfortunately, because the pound is a risky place, the pets are up for anyone's grabs once they enter. This cardinal rule is often forgotten by many Neopians when they don't get the pet they were after. So what can you do?
Best thing to do is for the previous owner of the pet and the prospective owner to both NM the new owner and explain politely that they interrupted a transfer. Sometimes that person will repound the pet out of goodwill, but remember this: THEY DON'T HAVE TO. Technically they got the pet fair and square. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Pound Sitter
  • Refreshes in the pound until they see a pet they like
  • Adopt the pet by clicking on the link in the pound
  • Perfectly legal and non-rule breaking, even according to TNT

Auto-Adopter
  • Has an illegal program which they type in species/colour/pet name etc.
  • Program snatches pets as they hit the pound
  • Reportable


I'm not saying that every pet that gets "stolen" is caught by an AAer, according to TNT, they're quite rare now the new rule has come into force. There are occasionally cases of it, but don't go making boards accusing people of being AAers just because they sniped a pet. It is possible to be just that little bit faster and grab a pet. You don't know what speed connection they have, what PC they have etc. Also, making boards accusing someone of AAing without proof is classed as harrassment. Ditto getting 20 people to NM a new owner to get them to repound the pet.
Don't get me wrong, Landa and I hate AAers and feel sad when a pet doesn't go to the home it should or someone interrupts a transfer between our accounts (which doesn't happen that often), but we also feel it's unfair to accuse someone without proof. After all, you wouldn't like it if someone did it to you! Landa was lucky enough to adopt a Grey Kougra out of the pound once. She didn't recieve any NMs to say that the pet was being transferred or she had interrupted an adoption, so she kept her for a while but re-homed as it wasn't one of her dream pets and felt someone else would love her more.


Adoption Agencies for First Time Adopters
Adoption Agencies For First Time Adopters (What a Mouthful!)
So, you've decided you'd like to adopt a pet but there's too many boards with silly OTT petpage requests? Well, this list of adoption agencies here will help! Whether you have little to no experience of apps, these guys will be understanding:
The opinion on this is divided. However, one thing is very clear. DO NOT USE THE BOARDS TO ASK FOR PETS! At least, not unless you want to incur the wrath of most of the HC ¬_¬ Although TNT have acknowledged that the HC can be used to advertise pets Up For Adoption (UFA), you can NOT use it (or any other chat board) to ask if anyone's pounding a certain type of pet.
This also includes if you're just wondering if anyone's going to be pounding a well named pet, a specific colour, species... Doesn't matter, this is NOT allowed and will only cause you to be flamed and reported by those who love to pounce on beggars. Because that's what it looks like. To TNT as well. Even if you think you're asking nicely. YOu can NOT ask about pets UFA unless you're asking for adoption agencies or discussing pets already advertised as UFA. Another subject where opinion is split. Personally, I don't much like them, but I can see why they're doing what they do. For the most part. You've got some who are just plain sadists, and some who just want to stop the beggars and encourage people to earn their own pets. Personally, I like to paint my own pets, but if the chance comes along for me to adopt an dream pet because someone's disowning it, then I'll take that opportunity, just as I adopt lab rats from the pound to give them a second chance. I'm sure owners would rather see them go to a good home rather than a newbie who will get frozen, along with the pet!

GUPers will lurk on the HC, wait for someone to post aabout painted/LE pet that they're going to pound and try to snag the pet to morph it into a Green Uni. Why a green uni? It's the cheapest Morphing Potion.

This petpage started the controversy this year

This page is the best showing both sides.

And that's quite enough about those guys! They raise my hackles no end, you know! My personal opinion is that even though pets are best created from scratch, there's nothing wrong with adopting if you're a responsible owner and not a n00b.

My owner, Landa, loves Leapup, Alvaro, Haerishi and myself but feels sorry for all those pets out there that don't have loving homes because their owners don't like their colour. It's a shame as some of these pets have lovely names and personalities. Although Landa and I don't really go in massively for roleplaying, she knows that we all have our own little quirks. I'm incredibly vain, Leapup is a bit of a know-it-all and Al has a secret love of squishy petpets, even though he acts tough but ssh, don't tell him that!
So, what Landa does is adopt a pet from the pound and make them all pretty and more appealing to a new home. Pets that wouldn't usually get a second glance. When they leave us, they're stronger, more confident and often smarter than what they were. Landa sees herself as a halfway house for these pets and loves them getting a second chance at happiness and a chance at a loving permanent home.

So, enough with the backstory, how does it work, I hear you ask! Well, Landa picks a pet from the pound with a nice name, zaps them with the lab ray until they're strong and beautiful, then offers them up for adoption with a zapped petpet. No matter how much she asks people, they DO remove the petpets which then turn back into their original form (usually Tennas) which serves people right for being greedy!

The new owners are chosen by Landa by simple NM applications showing their side accounts so she can check on their other pets and get an idea of what sort of home the foster pets will be going to. As she has paid very little into the pets that have been labbed, she doesn't ask for massive petpage applications.
Previous siblings include the following pets:

Please don't contact the owners of these pets via NM as they are NOT for adoption! They are examples of Landa's past work!
Hope you've learned something from reading this page, sorry if it's been a bit of a task, but there's lots to know about adopting and pounding pets, as well as the etiquette behind it all. Feel free to NM Landa if you have any questions. Landa is currently using the ;ab ray to zap Soti, so no pets being fostered at the moment. Good luck adopting and hope you find the pets of your dreams! Thanks to the various petpages (and owners!) that have helped me compile this guide: AmiyasPrincess, Cultured, Sagewood This guide was compiled to help reduce the number of questions about adoption and provide an easy reference point for all potential adopters, as well as giving a short synopsis as to what Landa's own adoption ethics are.
Feel free to link back to this guide with one of the snazzy buttons below.


Thank you Pippy! ^_^
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