About Adopting

Woman’s Dog Adoption Application Denied Because of Her Age

A potential adopter hoping to rescue a 1-year old Yorkie-mix from Wisconsin-based Fluffy Dog Rescue says her application was denied because of her age.

age

Illinois dog lover, Mary, is 70 years old. Three years after her husband passed away, she turned to Fluffy Dog Rescue in hopes of adopting a dog in need and finding a companion.

“I planned to get a young dog so that it will fly with me and be able to go under my seat and go wherever I go,” she told TMJ4.

Mary had her heart set on a 1-year old Yorkie-mix being fostered near her home and sent in the required application. In response, however, the rescue cited her age as reason for denying the adoption.

In an emailed response to her application, Fluffy Dog Rescue said it has “a philosophy of ‘adoption for life'” and that “there are other dogs that may be more suitable for you.  In your case it would be a dog aged three or older.”

“I think they made a very poor judgment, in the fact they don’t know me,” said Mary. Upset by the decision, Mary’s daughter emailed the rescue for more information and was told the rescue has a mission to place dogs in lifelong homes and that they “have established a formula for our older applicants to do our best to accomplish this. With that said, your mother fits into a category of only being able to adopt a dog that is three years or older.”

“I think they made a very poor judgment, in the fact they don’t know me,” said Mary. “I just feel like I’m a good loving person and I could give a lot of love to a little dog, any dog.”

What’s your opinion? Should the age of a potential adopter be a sole deciding factor in whether they can adopt a young dog? Weigh in with a comment below!

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Louise Basgall

    Jan 21, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I am a rescuer and I hear stories like this often. I feel it’s important to look at each individual situation separately and NOT make blanket rules about the family and the dog. I have adopted dogs and even puppies out to elderly people because I made sure that they had a plan and a way to sure the dog was cared for properly. I’ve even heard of rescues that won’t adopt out a puppy to a family unless someone was home all day! How many families do you know that don’t have two working parents? Not many, these days. However, if they can come home at lunch to give the puppy a break or have someone come home during the day to give the pup a break, it can work out perfectly. How about the rescue that won’t adopt out a dog unless you have a fenced yard? Too many rules and not enough common sense. The only rule I keep is what is your dog’s needs and personality? What is the family’s personality and needs? Are they compatible? Will that family do whatever it takes to make sure the pet is happy and healthy? If so, it’s a match made in heaven. There no such thing as the perfect home, but there’s a way to make sure that everyone is happy, safe and secure for life.

    • Sandra Trummer

      Jan 22, 2018 at 8:27 pm

      I will be 75 in September, my two little fur baby’s are 8 this year in June. When they are gone and if I still have my health I will adopt a old dog and make us both so happy.

  2. Jean

    Jan 20, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Why does Mary think that only a “young dog … will fly with ‘her’ and be able to go under ‘her’ seat and go wherever ‘she’ ‘goes,”? Does she think a young Great Dane would fit? Is she not planning to take the dog anywhere after it is no longer young?

    Why does the rescue think that whenever Mary dies it will be at least three years too soon?

  3. Linda Douglas

    Jan 20, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    The problem as I see it is that it is the older dogs that are often overlooked at rescue places. They may take longer to adopt because they are not “puppy cute”. Therefore, they are the dogs that are put down first in many humane societies. Sad but true. She could be saving the life of a loving dog that has a gray muzzle and really doesn’t understand why their families left them. These dogs are so worth saving. I think they generally get it, that they will have a second start. Please consider older dogs…they are usually house broken and can be just as loving and fun as a puppy. OLDER DOGS ROCK!!!

  4. Betsy

    Jan 20, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    That is absolutely ridiculous. People are living longer these days, and why deny this little dog the pleasure of a forever home.

  5. Harris

    Jan 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    I had a small litter of puppies that I had to find homes for. A 70 year old man wanted to adopt one. We had a discussion about what his options might be if he became ill, or died, and he had it all lined up that his son and family would help him with the dog on an ongoing basis, and take the dog over if it needed a new home. I thought this sounded like a good arrangement, and verified it with the son when they came to pick up the puppy. I think having this discussion makes more sense than applying a formula based on age. And really, anyone with animals– at any age– needs to consider this, and make sure it is specified in will or with those that will handle your estate.

  6. Barbara

    Jan 20, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    There are no guarantees on any being’s life span. However, we hear nothing about arrangements this woman offered to make in the event she predeceased her dog. That would seal the deal for me: she can adopt any dog she wants as long as she has made arrangements for the dog to have funding for the rest of its life no matter where it has to go after her death.

  7. Lesley Clark

    Jan 20, 2018 at 10:27 am

    As a rescuer we also do not adopt dogs under 4yrs old to people 70 or older and even then have to have a co-adopter sign the adoption contract. I deal with many situations where people do NOT make provision for their dogs should any thing unforeseen happen to them or their circumstances change. As a rescue we have to do our best to protect that dog from ever being homeless again. There are far too many dogs in shelters being euthanized for that very reason. Most people dont realize that dogs that are owner surrendered to a sheltet are the first to be put down if the shelter is full.
    We also insist on a basic obedience training course being done with our very young dogs, something which older people are sometimes reluctant to do. They forget that a 1yr is still a puppy and a older person is better suited to a more mature dog.

  8. Eileen Smyth

    Jan 20, 2018 at 10:06 am

    How about having a “younger” family member adopt the dog and then gift it to her. Age discrimination is totally wrong.

  9. Melissa Finn

    Jan 19, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Ok so i’m going to inject a bit of realism here. This older lady may be a great woman, be active and be able to look after herself AND a dog really well. However, the general life expectancy for a human is around 75 years old. Obviously many die younger, and many die older. However 75 is the average. The reason this shelter would have rejected her application is because the dog is only 1 year old, and she is already in her 70’s. It’s highly unlikely she herself would live til she’s 90 or so, when the dog is nearing death. So it makes PERFECT sense to disallow this woman the young dog. The rescue centre is trying to prevent the cycle of dogs ending up in the shelter!!

    THAT BEING SAID… if you are fit and healthy, and you have a living will, you can request that your pets either go to a specific person, or a specific shelter. Many shelters now have bequesting programs. So I don’t necessarily think there’s any reason an older person can’t have this sort of arrangement in place, should they choose to adopt a younger pet.

    • K

      Jan 22, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Except it makes no sense to allow her to adopt a three year old dog, but not a one year old dog based on the average lifespan. If they think she has, let’s say 10 years at the most, then at the end of her life, her dog is 13 instead of 11? So she still has a dog that needs to be rehomed, either way. If you increase the age of the dog she can adopt to 5 or 6, then you have a possibly declining senior trying to take care of a senior dog. That makes no sense either. They need to make sure adopters have a back up plan, and that’s all. Anyone could die tomorrow, at any age, but they still adopt pets with no back up plan.

  10. Kathy

    Jan 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I think if she wants a dog to fly with her and sit under her seat, it would be best to adopt a dog slightly older. It appears the rescue was willing to match her with a dog a few years older, which would be a much better fit. If the goal of the woman is to save a dog, go for one a few years old, puppies easily find homes, it is the dogs slightly older that remain in rescues longer. I never understand why senior citizens want to adopt a puppy with all that energy and training required, would be like adopting a newborn at that age. I applaud a rescue that wants to find the best possible fit, and not just adopt out dogs to anyone that applies. People get so easily upset these days, let a rescue, who knows these dogs as they are in foster homes, match you with a dog that will best fit with your lifestyle. I do not like seeing negative press over a rescue that has placed so many dogs in loving, forever homes, mine being one of them. People that have no idea about animal rescue and what it entails, are always the first to be outraged when they can’t get a dog whose photo they liked. If you want to understand why certain policies are in place for rescues, volunteer, educate yourself, make a difference, before you are so quick to judge and criticize. Unlike a Humane Society, no one is earning a salary.

  11. Joan

    Jan 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Well anyone of any age, could die! I personally adopted a beautiful little Shih Tzu almost 2 years ago when I was 73 yo. I worked full time until I was 73. And, I am still active with community work since retirement. That little dog would have had a great home and lots of attention! Are we going to request a physical in the future to adopt a pet? And my baby was 1-1 1/2 years old when she was adopted!

  12. Tammy

    Jan 19, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    What a kroc… will never fund or help that place ever. Poor judgement anf sharing world wide

  13. Vicki

    Jan 19, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I understand rescues want the best for each animal. But denying a dog that could have a great home is ridiculous.

  14. Teresa

    Jan 19, 2018 at 11:50 am

    My heart breaks for Mary & for the little dog that lost out. I have no doubt Mary would have been a fantastic dog Mom. It was so unfair to discriminate against her due to age. The future is not promised to anyone. When you love your dog, if there ever comes a time you can’t care for them (no matter the reason, no matter your age) your love is the incentive to find them another home. My husband & I were similarly discriminated against a few years ago when trying to adopt a dog. We were told we weren’t what they had in mind for the dog. The adoption service said they wanted to place the dog with a kid, so they could run & play & grow up together. Forget the fact we were home all day & could lavish so much love on the little guy. I think some of these agencies have lost their minds. There are too many dogs needing good homes for them to make judgement calls based on their own preconceived ideas of what a perfect home is. This agency & those like it should be ashamed of themselves. Whatever dog Mary ends up will be one lucky dog.

  15. Meg

    Jan 19, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Yorkies can live to be 16 years old. As a rescuer, I usually try to make sure a close family member would be willing to take the dog if something should happen, such as illness or having to enter a nursing home. One purpose of a rescue is to try to ensure that the dog is never homeless again. I also recommend an older dog for an older person, they forget what it is like to raise a puppy.

    • Marianne

      Jan 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      I agree Meg.

      • Pam

        Jan 19, 2018 at 2:46 pm

        I understand it. I am 67 and have a 7 year old Lab thayt I have had since he was a puppy. I know I could not handle a puppy at my age. It would not be fair to an active puppy. Sad but true for me. I miss having puppies.

  16. Debra Kernan

    Jan 19, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Age discrimination pure and simple!

    • Pat wessel

      Jan 19, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      I am of this age. I would never adopt a young dog at this stage. They have already lost at least 1 home and a family I am sure they loved. I would never have it fall in love with me knowing it would go thru another loss when I pass way to soon. Too stressful and so unnecessary. An older more mature dog could handle the my loss better, and rehome easilier.

  17. Meghan

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:47 am

    this rescue seems to believe that this woman will die soon! how DARE they make such a stupid assumption! they can’t predict the future! this is unbelievable!

    • Lisa Kennedy

      Jan 19, 2018 at 11:42 am

      I had a breeder be like this because I was buying the dog for my mum’s 70th. Nothing like hearing the insinuation of “well she might die”! As it is he has a wonderful home is spoilt rotten and has daily walks and is fantastic company for my mum.

      • Gina

        Jan 19, 2018 at 2:17 pm

        It’s really stupid. Hate to tell them, but there are no guarantees on anyone’s life. Even if she did die, I am sure she would make prior arrangements for the dog. Even if she didn’t, he would end up no worse than he is now…..in a shelter!

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