About Adopting

Are Shelters Too Picky With Potential Adopters?

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It is estimated that between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year. As a result, euthanization by shelters is the leading cause of death for healthy dogs. In addition to spaying and neutering pets to keep the population of unwanted animals down, making adoption an easy option for future dog owners is important.

But, some say shelters are too picky with potential adopters, making it difficult for perfectly suitable families to rescue a dog that might otherwise be euthanized or live out it’s life in a kennel.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of the Manatee County Animal Services in Manatee County, FL wrote this article for the Bradenton Herald. Kris suggests that shelters are too picky with potential adopters and, as a result, the animals suffer.

Are Shelters Too Picky With Potential Adopters?

I am familiar with the “old school” thinking when it came to animal adoptions. One organization could never find the perfect match for its animals. That left cats and dogs in the shelter for months and even years, waiting for that “perfect match.” So one would wonder what was wrong with the animals. Why didn’t anyone want to adopt them?

It wasn’t a question as to their adoptability, it was more the staff’s opinion that no one was good enough to adopt them. They deserved better than “those people.” Aren’t they being a bit too hard on the potential adopters? You want a dog and don’t have a fenced yard? Sorry, not for you. What? You are going to be at work all day? That won’t do. This pet needs human interaction. Too many excuses were found to not adopt any of the dogs or cats. Come to find out, staff had become attached to the dogs and cats so much that no one would be good enough. During the day, the staff had their pets at work — those waiting for adoption. Eventually, as sad as this is, a couple of the dogs and cats lived their full life in the shelter while others became too ill to continue in life without suffering. The question was not what was wrong with the animals. The question really should have been, “What is wrong with the staff?”

Having specific requirements of the adopter is one thing, but because they may not be your “perfect match” doesn’t mean they are not good for the dog or cat. Some groups also claim that if you have children, you should wait until the children are old enough to be responsible. But families with children are generally more stable and give more of a chance for the dog or cat to be adopted. Pets need the stimulation children would be able to provide. Children and pets are a match. People with children should not automatically be shunned from adoption. If people with children shouldn’t adopt, people who don’t have fenced yards shouldn’t adopt or those people who work shouldn’t adopt, who does that leave? That leaves two groups: unemployed people and millionaires — and I bet the former would be ruled out, too. If you eliminate the most important groups of adopters, those who work and families with children, the easy-going, cuddly, playful and gentle dog or cat will be in the shelter for years, maybe forever.Shelter animals immediately face many obstacles to getting out alive. Shelters can limit the days they are held or they may become sick. Since these impounded dogs and cats already face these obvious problems, shelters and rescue groups shouldn’t add to the roadblocks.

There are plenty of kind-hearted people in this community who are willing and able to adopt. When people decide to adopt from a shelter, they should be rewarded. We are a nation of animal lovers, and should be treated with gratitude, not suspicion. Most important, though, is that the dogs and cats facing death deserve the second chance that many well-intentioned people are eager to give them. Don’t senselessly prevent them from doing so. If you never have to look into the eyes of a dog or cat and make a choice, you are lucky. One day, we all would like to be lucky, too.

Do you think shelters and rescue organizations are too picky with potential adopters? Please, share your thoughts with us below.

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  1. Avatar Of Christiane Schwartz

    Christiane Schwartz


    Yes, I feel totally discriminated. I have contacted a shelter in Florida and we have two wonderful dogs, we also have the same breed and have the money and time for them. We have literally everything a dog could want and we treat them with so much love. The dog would be a perfect fit and I was open to send them videos, pictures, gave them my vet I have. Our dogs are all up to date with all shots and get heartworm and nexgard.
    They told me I live too far and they are not interested. I have to say, I am very upset because they did not even ask me ANY questions, or even wanted to call maybe some friends of mine. Nothing. I am very hurt by that and I am still intersted in
    adopting this wonderful female dog. Just because we live out of State does not mean we are bad people. The distance should not matter. We are willing to drive 1500 miles because we truly believe she is a perfect match.
    That should tell them something, we are willing to go the distance for a dog who is in need of a home.

  2. Avatar Of Christiane Schwartz

    Christiane Schwartz


    Yes, I feel totally discriminated. I have contacted a shelter in Florida and we have two wonderful dogs, we also have the same breed and have the money and time for them. We have literally everything a dog could want and we treat them with so much love. The dog would be a perfect fit and I was open to send them videos, pictures, gave them my vet I have. Our dogs are all up to date with all shots and get heartworm and nexgard.
    They told me I live too far and they are not interested. I have to say, I am very upset because they did not even ask me ANY questions, or even wanted to call maybe some friends of mine. Nothing. I am very hurt by that and I am still intersted in
    adopting this wonderful female dog. Just because we live out of State does not mean we are bad people. The distance should not matter. We are willing to drive 1500 miles because we truly believe she is a perfect match.

  3. Avatar Of Terry



    They didn’t like the fact I have a doggie door. They could get hurt. Well unfortunately we can’t keep them in a box. It hurts me to think so many dogs and cats never get adopted because of such rigidity.

  4. Avatar Of Sarah



    I WHOLEHEARTEDLY DISAGREE with this entire article and I can tell whoever wrote it has never volunteered for a rescue or shelter. This article comes from the perspective of someone who has never seen dozens upon dozens of animals returned to shelters or rescues because adoption requirements were TOO RELAXED!!! Until you have seen the pain in an animals eyes of being returned, sometimes numerous times you will never understand. I have seen this pain and the damage it causes. I wish more shelters were more strict on who they adopt to.

  5. Avatar Of Dara



    Agreed. My 20 year old Chihuahua just passed about last week and I am looking to adopt another small dog. It’s my husband and I, no other pets, no kids, we aren’t social, leaving the dog by itself often, and I work and study from home. We do travel but we always take our dog with us. We have a balcony for sunbathing and I go for daily 2-3 mile walks along with long hikes during the warmer weather, where my passed Chihuahua loved but got tired, so I would wear her in a little bag, which she also absolutely loved. Anyway, there are soooo many perfectly matched dogs for me but they don’t adopt to renters. Why not?

  6. Avatar Of Jessie



    I am in total agreement that a lot of rescues and shelters turn down applicants for the dumbest reasons. The first time I ever tried to adopt it was two female rats. They told me I needed a bigger cage(had a 3 story ferret cage already) and certain food they use at the rescue(I was just planning on giving them fresh veggies, different cooked meats, noodles, etc for a balanced diet). I told them I had no problem doing any of this and then they turned me down and told me I was being uncooperative. My sister is a semi truck driver and the first time my sister tried to adopt a dog to bring on her truck with her, she was turned down for the first dog because they were having trouble getting ahold of previous vet records for an iguana my sister had years ago and because she had never owned a dog before(we specified that she had actually taken my dog on her truck quite a few times). There was a second elderly dog she tried to adopt from the same rescue and they turned her down because the dog would need help getting in and out of the truck. I mean, honestly, no wonder these rescues become overwhelmed and end up needing to put down animals to make room. They rarely approve anyone to adopt because hardly anyone meets their ridiculous criteria.

  7. Avatar Of Go Ear Go Ear says:

    Shelters aren’t the only ones making you jumps thru hoops to adopt. Rescues say that they are trying to do what is best for the animals but that is not always true. My mother tried to get a kitten from a rescue and she had to go for an interview. At the interview the woman that was fostering the kitten told her that in order to get that kitten she had to take another one of their choosing. My mother took neither. She could have easily taken them both and then gotten rid of the one she didn’t want but my mother is an animal lover and wouldn’t be that cruel. But other people would have done just that! It’s not like they were giving these kittens away. Rescues in my area are taking animals out of shelters that are charging minimal fees and then charging at least double for people to adopt from them.

  8. Avatar Of Lonnie



    According to the article small children and dogs are ok together. Well not from my ACO experience. Most children bit by a dog are bit by their own pets in their home. I know of many many dogs having had to be PTS because of the bite to the child. Children are generally not very good with dogs unless parents are constantly observing. Some jump on sleeping pets, or run toys into them, or take bones from their mouths when the dog is NOT trained to release food.
    I know a Dane/Lab mix PTS due to a child falling on the sleeping dog. Wife called AC, PD, FD, Ambulance for a red mark on the child’s cheek.
    Another family with young children went out and spent a fortune on dog gear, leash, matching collar, her name was Missy at the shelter I volunteered at, and since the family didn’t choose to obedience train her one of the children opened the car door and Missy ran out and was hit by a car. Died. See I don’t believe children under 10 should be left alone for ONE SECOND with any dog.
    I think the shelters understand most of these dogs have had a very tough life before the shelter and they don’t want to hand over the dog to another really rough stressful life. They want the dog to be appreciated and treated well for this next part of life. I was there when some family turned in a dog over 6 only to march around looking at another dog to adopt. What is that??? Good family?
    I have seen too many dogs and cats abandoned when the family moved and left it. I had a German shepherd female tied to a tree alone with no food or water for a week. I was finally called by someone interested in the house (Realtor never called me) and the dog was growling and snapping at everyone, no one could approach her. I was permitted by her to approach and wasn’t bit. How is this dog let go to a family? Do you think she may have food aggression after spending a week without food? Do you think Mr. & Mrs Public can handle that dog? NO they can’t. I worked with her for weeks before the person who reported her wanted to adopt her. I drew up paperwork about her with DO’s and DON’Ts. She didn’t do as told and someone got bit.
    I told another couple who were obviously infatuated with the idea of having a “guard dog” when the husband worked nights. I gave them the name of a breeder but told that breeder these people WOULD NOT WALK it, NOT TRAIN it, NOT PLAY with it, NOT NEUTER it so I said only sell them a female they are less aggressive in most cases vs an intact male. Since they insisted on a male she passed them to another less discriminating breeder. They got their male shepherd, fenced in the yard and that dog never left the property. He was never trained nor neutered and bit someone entering the home. They wanted me to take the dog. I said you have a contract, the breeder will take back her dog. So they called her, she came out to get him and HE BIT HER. People DO NOT UNDERSTAND: either you want a pet or a guard dog. If you want a guard dog TRAIN IT AND control it. If you do nothing you are not choosing between a PET who won’t bite strangers coming in to a GUARD DOG who will without provocation. You are allowing the dog to react on it’s own.
    So who the hell decides who gets a pet and who doesn’t? I say: No child under 10, training required for dogs over 40lbs.,spay/neuter FOR SURE. Fenced yard is ok but walks are fine as well. Not saying ‘need a fence’but one is a good idea for when you do not feel up to walking the dog.
    I picked up a dead lab (lots of dead dogs if you must know HBC). No one came to claim him in the middle of the highway at 6pm even tho owner knew their dog was missing, blue flashing lights in the road, red/yellow ones as well. Later they want the body. Dog was always let out the door to pee or whatever, no fence and usually came right in-cept THIS TIME–the day he DIED..
    Another dead dog owner said “I have 100 acres for the dogs” I said, “They do NOT understand you have 100 acres and run down your frickin driveway to the road where your dog was killed”.
    I am sadly more pro dog than people and I think you can see why. A nearby neighbor takes evening walks with people walking their dogs every night and she has 2 dogs SHE NEVER WALKS. NEVER. Yeah I think she should have a dog–she’s “just anybody”.

    • Avatar Of Cc



      There is something the psychology world calls hostile attribution and you’re guilty of it. Working in a shelter, you are exposed to a larger portion of human idiocy than what is the actual percentage of mistreatment of animals in the overall population. As a result, you create rules based on your experiences with say 2% of the population and end up ruling out 98% of the population who would not be guilty of what you are so afraid of happening. And to make matters worse, you make those rules black and white without first even talking to people to assess people as individuals. People working in shelters are often volunteers and it’s a tough job and they do wonderful work, but take a moment to step back. I can personally easily find 1000 positive stories of dog and cat owners who won’t meet your qualifications to every one of your pet owner went wrong stories. In particular the lack of fenced yard rule and no children under 10 rules are ridiculous. I can understand having concerns about adopting high energy large dogs to families with toddlers due to the dog having the potential to accidentally knock over the child, etc. but ruling out families with kids under 10??? Really??? You don’t think an 8 year old could be educated to handle a dog? I’ve run dog obedience classes and in every class see kids from age 5 and up with their parents in class learning how to properly train and handle the dog. No fenced in yard? So what. My sister has no fenced in yard, lives on a very quiet street with almost no traffic and lives on a lake where the dogs swim virtually every day in the spring, summer and fall. The dogs live a great life – she has 3 border collies. But guess what, one of her dogs died when he was 1 year old when visiting a friend. The dog died when out in the friends fenced back yard. How – because the dog was running with his brother (they were litter mates) and didn’t pay attention to where he was running – he was looking at his brother – and ran into a tree, snapped his neck and died instantly. The point is, accidents happen. My sister by the way, is the director of one of the top vet schools in the country, gives her dogs the best medical care and all the love they could ever want. She is frankly more qualified to raise dogs than you on any objective measure (she is a life long animal lover and advocate) but she wouldn’t meet your rules and couldn’t adopt from you. You think you are doing what’s best for the dogs but what you are really doing is assuming the worst about people with nothing but arbitrary aberrations/statistical outliers to back you up. I believe the work you do is fantastic and wish you nothing but the best with it. I just respectfully suggest you take time to talk to potential owners as part of your evaluation process and not just arbitrarily reject people due to black and white strict rules. It’s what’s best for the dogs and cats in your care.

  9. Avatar Of Shana Hendrickson

    Shana Hendrickson


    I would never want to see an animal adopted by someone who will mistreat him, but when you can more easily adopt a child than an animal there is something wrong with this picture. My kid doesn’t need a fenced yard, but my dog does, hmm. I know quite a few people who treat their pets better than they treat friends but would not make the cut. And the in home inspection–am I really supposed to be comfortable with a stranger crawling around my floor? And quite frankly there isn’t a vet in this state who would give me a positive reference after I forked out over 20k to them only to be told far too late that my frail furrbutt’s body was riddled with cancer and have since been let’s just say demanding in my expectation of adequate care. There really has to be a better way.

  10. Avatar Of Lindsey



    I think it depends, if you’ve given away multiple dogs before then yes that’s a red flag. I’ve been filling out apps like crazy to find a large adult male dog for my large adult female dog and I find it a bit weird that they want the phone number to my boss and yes, the fence thing is weird. That requirement should go by the personality of the dog. My saint Bernard does just fine without a fenced in yard but I don’t know if I would say the same for a dog who likes to jump around and is very playful. You may have a saint that would rather lay under a tree and chill and then have a saint that likes to run, jump and sniff their heart out. I think people are a little too picky when it comes to big breeds….

  11. Avatar Of Don W. Don W. says:

    YES, YES, YES I do think rescue places for dogs and cats are simply CRAZY, why buy when you can adopt they say, but ya they all seem to have the same excuse,
    OH we need this, OH well we need that, but then now in todays world, what is one to expect,
    well this is what to expect, but the story above is perhaps the most truthful thing I ever read in a long, long, long time,
    sorry we don’t adopt out of state, sorry you need to come in, sorry we don’t do it like that, sorry but what hell kind of pet do you think I need but if I can’t pick a pet I like then what the hell and with your rescue as you’d sooner kill em then see them adopted and also you see were only here after the money too, in other words just as bad as the puppy mills, so ya but if your not rich you might as well just forget it, cause there just as dumb & stupid as the people in Washington DC, what more can I say,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  12. Avatar Of Pam



    I just came home 4 days ago with a Cavapoo puppy I ended up buying from a breeder after several months of trying to adopt a rescue dog. So many of them I didn't even fill out an application for because I knew I could never sign their adoption agreement. Two dogs I filled out an application for I never even heard from the rescue group, and both dogs are STILL up for adoption on Petfinder. They won't respond to you, or they ask silly questions like "Have you ever watched Cesar Milan?" They state that they can come any time at their discretion and remove the dog from your home, or they want letters from your neighbors, your employer, and your veterinarian, or they want copies of your W-2's and a background check…the list goes on. Neither of them even called my listed references. All in all it was a heartbreaking experience and all I could think of was the 4-6 million animals that are euthanized every year and me sitting here with a home to give.

  13. Avatar Of Rhoda



    Curious that this post was published in 2015, but the comments go back to 2012.
    Anyway. Years ago I had a neighbour who had a fenced backyard, and a Labrador Retreiver. The SPCA eventually took the poor dog away because he basically just left it out there in the weeds for two years, chained up, and tossed some food at it once in a while. Meanwhile, I've known many people over the years who've lived in townhouse complexes or apartments who had no fenced yard but took wonderful care of their dogs. Smaller dogs, admittedly.
    So, it seems many American shelters are still living in the 1950s when it comes to assessing the potential of dog owners. I think Canadian shelters and rescues are possibly more flexible about dog owners, because I don't know of any that have huge numbers of dogs staying there for months on end, unadopted. Well, maybe the pit bull mixes, those are hard to find homes for.
    When it comes to cats they are possibly a bit too fussy. One of my relatives lives on an farm and wanted to adopt two older already-desexed kittens, both as house pets and to keep down the mice in the house, barn, and yard. The SPCA clerk got sniffy and tried to refuse the adoption when the relative made the mistake of mentioning that they'd be good mousers – she just automatically assumed that anyone who'd want a cat to keep the rodent population down was going to neglect it and leave out in a barn. Her vision of the ideal home was a city apartment where the cat never set foot outside. My relative complained above this clerk's head and got the cats, who lived to fairly advance ages and caught mice right up to the end of their days.

    • Avatar Of Amit Jaswal

      Amit Jaswal


      i qork at a dog rescue and we arent that picky. If you cant give the animal enough exercise, but are willing to pay someone to walk the dog, that's fine. also, we already have fosters.that take in the dogs so they are able to not be stuck in a crate all day. this article was probably written by someone who was angry about the fact they had been turned down to adopt a dog because they was completely unprepared to have one, and saw it on the spot and wanted it within 2 minutes, and when they were turned down they blamed the shelters and rescues. we adopt out 40 dogs a month, and all of them go to a good home. if youre not willing to wait a week to make sure you really want a dog, you shouldnt get one.

      • Avatar Of Dar dar says:

        You are a damn fool!, who are you? to make decision who fits to take care of a dog. One when people to find a the pet they want they have the right to own one! You are not god nor will never be! These dogs sit for years in shelter waiting to be a adopted and never get adopt because of ass holes like you! who makes decision who can have a dog and can't have one.

        • Avatar Of Susan K L

          Susan K L


          Amen! I was turned down a kitty shortly after loosing my last best friend to lung cancer.
          Turned down because I would take my buddy out in my gardens with me… Then back in for the rest of the time.
          even thought I promised to keep my new kitties in the house from here on due to heavy street traffic and predators moving into the back yards do to dwindling wild areas, they flat out said NO!
          Asking about, I found 3 other scenarios for rejection: One, the lady took her kitty out and posted a video. The shelter sued her. Another, the shelter was not happy because the adopter planned to feed the cat Blue Wilderness! What? And a third was just like mine.
          I emailed them my thoughts!

      • Avatar Of Pam



        That is not true. I went to shelters here with a list of the personalities of our family and cats. I requested a dog to match the personalities. I never said “cute dog, me want.” I said show me who matches. Only extra request I had on the list was it cannot be a tiny dog…I can’t stand those dogs. Nope, rejected. I even bought a home specifically with a large yard for the dog and I was just about to get a doggie door. You are the problem with your assumptions that these pets don’t find good homes. These people assumed I was just nesting. Another shelter lied about two of their dogs being friendly to cats. My cats where here first and their safety is my top priority not your stupid numbers. So yeah, thanks for forcing me to live without a dog in my life when I have always had a dog since the day of my birth. All 7 dogs we had died of old age or cancer during the 28 years I lived at home. We also had 6 cats while growing too that also died of old age. I know the work needed to put into it but people like you love to assume like you’re some kind of god. I’m going to a breeder. Forget you people.

      • Avatar Of Elizabeth Percy

        Elizabeth Percy


        It is not anger or bitterness it is a fact. Many people want a dog and would love the dog are short of cash, time or the ability to walk far would totally compensate by their love and care of a dog but are not allowed one. Rescues should think that those same people they reject can easily buy a puppy or for that matter have a child and do very well by them. Goodness if all potential parents were vetted like dog adopters there would be few children born. I am not biased as I have two dogs adopted from RSPCA and a local rescue, but I see animals die in shelters who could have been loved and it breaks my heart. Love is worth more than resources.

  14. Avatar Of Denyse L Wright

    Denyse L Wright


    I know we are not the perfect pet owners but we love our pets. Last year we lost a Rot to old age and a Lab to cancer. We also had my son living with us who has a Boxer. He has since moved out 2 weeks ago and took his dog. Right now we have a Malti- Pom that has NEVER been by himself. We decided it was time to start looking for a medium sized dog and we are having no luck. No fenced in yard. Buttons just got his booster shots today. He was due last week. We buy heartworm meds from Petco but because we do not get it from the vet it is not considered effective. Not really sure what they want. Its a shame because our pets are treated like family. Vacations are scheduled so that we never have to use a kennel. Our pets are house pets only and are never out by themselves. Might not be perfect but if we could adopt a good life would be had. Its a shame

  15. Avatar Of Rinnie



    Shelter workers should be trained to match pets with people. If you're sedentary, a lab mix may not be for you, if you're looking for an active dog a pug mix may not be right. But, unless there's evidence that someone can not take care of their cat or dog denying these animals a loving home is nothing but irresponsible

  16. Avatar Of Ginger Hill

    Ginger Hill


    I was turned down by multiple shelters, because I didn't have a fenced yard. It didn't matter to them that I was working from home and had a very flexible schedule. I had the time to walk the dog as much as he wanted, not to mention daily trips to the dog park. Because I had so much flexibility and time, I thought I was the perfect candidate to adopt. Nope. Just wasn't good enough. Ended up purchasing a dog from a responsible breeder, but I felt so guilty because I really wanted to "save" a dog…but I feel like I didn't have a choice.

    • Avatar Of Jess Burgen

      Jess Burgen


      This has been my same experience.

    • Avatar Of Cyn



      I have just started looking into getting another dog. My sweet dog of 13 years died of cancer about 18 mos. ago. Very painful, but, dogs are so wonderful to have in your life – how much richer they make your life IMO. I was looking at the rescues for pets in my area, so very many cute dogs and cats need homes. I was looking at the ‘Application’ forms, requirements and $$$ cost, and thought how incredibly intrusive and ‘controlling’ these rescue organizations are? And, I am naive thinking I want to help ‘house, help and love’ a rescue pet. I am very glad I decided to see if anyone else was experiencing this. No wonder people go to breeders or even ‘pet stores’, God forbid? I can’t believe the hoops you have to jump through to have a dog or cat. Your intention is to find a companion, help to rescue dog or cat, and instead end up feeling abused ‘inquisitioned’ and then rejected–. Thank you for the informative article and thanks to for all posting and educating me.

      • Avatar Of Lisa Godin

        Lisa Godin


        Go to pet stores god forbid? Excuse me! My beloved Chihuahua who died 10/25/18 was from a pet shop and no doubt a puppy mill. It was love at first sight! She was amazingly smart, devoted, loving, saved my life from robbers, two cars by pulling me out of the way as I’m hearing impaired and didn’t hear the cars coming from behind and when I had heat stroke she ran upstais found me collapsed and pounded me with her paws until I got up and got water! She had a slipped disk in her back that only went out 3 times in 16 years! A couole days of carrying she was back to normal! Her heart was a strong beating drum, when I got her she had kennel cough but didn’t care and in a week was cured, she was an amzing girl and I cry every day over her loss! Did I care that she had crooked front legs? No because she ran and pranced like any other dog! Did I feel guilty that she was from a pupoy mill? NO! She needed a home and love which I gave and puppy mills existed long before me and will long after me and if people spayed and neutered no need for puppy mills! My girl was a puppy mill girl and I loved her dearly! And she loved me! Pet shop dogs or puppy mill dogs need homes too, need love to and are NOT overly defective! 16 years of experience with a petshop dog was a JOY! Pet shop dogs are NOT bad dogs! Stop telling people pet shop dogs are a bad last minute thing! Not all backyard breeders are bad either! Cat #2 passed at 12, and my back yard breeder cat now? He’s 18 years old and healthier than me!

        Please people stop acting like petshop or backyard bred animals are terrible and you had to go that route because shelters and adopters make owning non existent to hoop jumping! They deserve love and they don’t need to be apologized for where they’re from!!!!

  17. Avatar Of Trace



    I tried to adopt a dog from a rescue organization and was denied because I am not at home all day (I have stable family where I work a 8-4pm federal government job in a professional capacity). We ended up getting a puppy off of kijiji from a family I throughly interviewed. Bella goes to doggie daycare, backcountry hikes and canoe trips, I had her certified as a therapy dog and volunteered weekly with her in a seniors residence, at colleges and universities during exams, and a good friend of mine would take her out 2x a week to work with autistic children to supplement their learning. It's frustrating that a dog adoption organization found that I wasn't suitable. I think Bella (and any other subsequent dog) has a pretty good life with us.

  18. Avatar Of Anon



    After our last dog died of old age, my family and I went to the various shelters in the area looking for a dog. I thought it would be a simple matter of paying a fee for the shots and spaying/neutering, but there was an entire ridiculous application process including an interview, a requirement that we had 'dominant breeds' covered on our homeowners insurance, and a behavioral test. Two days later we got a call saying the dog failed the behavioral. We gave up on the whole thing and found a puppy on Craigslist instead. People scold against buying from backyard breeders, but sometimes that's the only feasible option.

  19. Avatar Of Paula



    I tried to adopt a kitten in Ft Lauderdale Fl they were having adoption day at a pet store, I really though I could go in fill out application and take home kitten or at worst wait for kitten to be spayed and pick it up in 3 days. I was put through first a extensive application that had to disclose all previous pets and the vet that cared for them and the reason they were no longer with you, seemed fair enough but in my case I had not had a pet since childhood and had no idea what if any vet care it had had so I lost that vet as a reference which you needed 3 references as well if you didn't own your home had to have a permission form filled out by landlord and proof that you had paid any fees to apartment complex, they required proof of employment and would do a minimum of 2 home inspections and had to interveiw everyone who lived in the home and there was a significant fee charged for the care and spaying of the kitten. My daughter who wanted a kitten so bad was in tears as they said this process would take month or more and that the kitten would not be permitted to leave until it was 5 months old!!!! I got angry that this process was insane, they told me about all the animal abuse that goes on, I told them unwanted pets may be abused but the ones that are wanted are typically not abused and that this process would was counter productive. I left there picked up a news paper and went and got a kitten for free

  20. Avatar Of Cheri Williams-Mcbride

    Cheri Williams-McBride


    Tried to adopt a kitty from a shelter in IL (50 miles from us) but they said we were too far away. Not only that but said we didn't need more than one cat that we already had.

  21. Avatar Of Tw



    Yeah they are way too picky. To a fault. We just tried to adopt from a place(which we learned after the fact has a long history of discrimination if you dont make 6 figures and own your own home). We have a gorgeous 7 years old lab beagle mix, and live in an apartment that welcomes dogs. We walk her daily, she gets to run around the next-block-over dog park every day to compensate for not having a yard. I raised her to ignore other dogs on walks(outside the normal 'hey how are ya' sniff of the butt), I taught her hand signals, so my neighbour's speechless child could play with her and give her commands. I come home from work on my lunch every day and let her out, my wife is usually home before I am so the longest she is kept in is maybe 90 minutes. She sleeps on hte bed with us, gets tons of love, tons of treats, hell for her birthday I made a dog friendly peanut butter crepe two days ago for breakfast.
    Sorry to rant…but we sound like fair and loving owners right? Well not so…literally within an hour of our application, we get a simple, non personal email from the sole proprietor. "we do not accept applicants who live in apartments". That's it. No reasoning as to why they dont, just NO. And when I found an article that factually disputed her claim of "fact" that dogs are better off in houses and not apartments, and messaged her on facebook with it, her response? She blocked me from the Shelter's FB page. Sounds real reputable doesnt it? I will post the link here if anyone is interested. We fell victim to "class discrimination", despite having a loving home, ample funds to feed the dog, care for the dog, buy the dog new toys every week!. Due to her bias and stereotype that people in apartments are too poor to own and care for animals. As I mentioned we later found things out that she has a nice long history of doing this. Most shelters now, sadly, are like my experience…more in it for the money than the well being of the dog.
    here is the article I sent her


    • Wow. It sounds like you've got the perfect home to provide and any dog would be thrilled to have such devoted humans. Sadly, your story is similar to a shocking number of people also trying to adopt and being denied – including the owner of this site, a man whose life and work is devoted to improving the lives of dogs and teaching people to be the best dog parents they can be. Shelters put out desperate pleas for adopters, and then turn them away. We've reached out to rescuers and shelters for a response and not one has replied, we only get the standard "we review adopters using very strict criteria to ensure our rescues end up in only homes where they'll be loved and cared for the remainder of their lives." We have been unsuccessful in getting a different answer.

      I, too, have been turned away. Five years ago I tried to adopt a special needs dog from the shelter. He had been at the shelter for a few weeks without any applications and I'd adopted from the shelter before – the dog I'd adopted 13 years earlier had recently passed away so I returned to the same shelter to adopt again. I have a fenced yard, I'm a former adopter, I'm the editor of The Dogington Post and have studied dog cognition from Duke University (to say I have experience with dogs is an understatement), I had 13 years of vet records – being approved should have been a no-brainer. BUT, although Oliver had been in the shelter for weeks without interest in him, and I was ready to give him a wonderful home that day (having spent the last few years with my senior that suffered from an untreatable cancer, I was ready for and accustomed to vet bills, extra care, doing whatever was necessary to give him a great life. The shelter took my application and said they wouldn't adopt him out until he had several applications in hand that they could choose from. (OK, that's odd when a perfect home is right in front of you and ready to take him out of the shelter and into a warm bed today) So I waited. I visited him at the shelter almost every day, I bought him a new collar/leash, a bed, toys, food and was ready for him. Shelter staff knew me at this point and said they'd have an answer any day now… 3 weeks more went by – this entire time, Oliver is sitting in a cold concrete kennel listening to dogs barking day in and day out. Finally the shelter tells me, Ok we got another application on Oliver and we want both families to come to the shelter and see who he seems to like best.

      SERIOUSLY!? He'd been there for months now just so the shelter could pit two families against each other to adopt him, when, instead, they could have adopted out two separate dogs and free'd up two more kennels to save more dogs. It makes no sense. I wasn't interested in facing off with another family so I gave up, heartbroken, and adopted a dog I found on Craigslist instead, who's turned out to be a wonderful family member that I couldn't imagine my life without. Still, what the shelter put me, and more importantly, what they put Oliver through, under the guise of "finding the right home for him" still bothers me to this day.

  22. Avatar Of Tracey



    I do think they are way too picky. I understand they are trying to make sure they go home to good homes and not be abused or returned to shelters for any reason, but I work from home, no children, fenced yard and have plenty of experience with dogs. Never abused, neglected or turned one in to a shelter but I can not get approved. I choose a dog that fits my life style as they describe them so what's the problem. I can not even get a clear answer as to why I was denied. I believe a lot of these shelters decline adoptions is to get more money from donations and grants. Its unreal. So now we have decided to buy from a breeder and I will no longer be donating to these shelters as I do often. Since I am not good enough to adopt one of those babies I will not contribute in their payroll or what ever they do with the money. They get plenty since they are holding on tight.

  23. Avatar Of Rachel



    yes! I think they are picky. I just went to adopt a dog that I thought would be a perfect female playmate for our current dog and because my current dog wasn't spayed, I am not able to go through with the adoption process. They said even if I did get my dog spayed it would be a couple months after until I an get a dog. We are thinking of buying from a seller. I understand you want your dog to go to a good home, but I don't understand why we were denied because we have chosen to not spay our dog…is some way does that make us bad owners? Because our current dog is spoiled rotten and loving loving life. It is frustrating…

  24. Avatar Of Dewayne



    My family has attempted to adopt a couple times…..the process pretty much forced us to go to a breeder. We've raised two dogs in a very stable home from 8 weeks old until theyou passed at 15 years old. We had one shelter dog that was adopted back in 1996 but the process of adoption was much different. I recently went to our local shelter to talk about adoption ocean again and these people treated me as if I wasn't good enough to be adopting their animals. I understand vetting people but I'm not for being talked to as if I'm an incapable and undeserving pet owner.

  25. Avatar Of April Mcdonald

    April McDonald


    I completely agree with your article. I was willing to rescue 2 middle-aged Scotties. After filling out the questionnaire that made we wonder if I had accidentally started the adoption process for a child, I received an email from a worker at the rescue group asking if I used heart work medicine because my vet did not have that information. First, I had never authorized this group to interview my vet. Then I told her I was done. I went and BOUGHT (gasp) a beautiful Scottie puppy from a pet store. She's wonderful! These rescue groups are actually increasing the need for breeders and causing the increase of puppy mills. I am still in shock how a non-profit can discriminate. This application stated they would not adopt to seniors which they stated included those as young as 60. These rescue groups need to be regulated and evaluated to see if they really qualify for non-profit status.

    • Avatar Of Jessica



      I'm going to preface this with the fact that I very much do agree that dog rescue/adoption groups are waaaay too picky. Not all dogs need a fenced in yard, and the unwashed people who typically run them ask their questions as though they're doing an interrogation.

      However. You could have adopted a mutt from elsewhere or found a reputable breeder if you really wanted a Scottie. Buying from a pet store only helps puppy mills, you're right; and you are now part of the problem.

      • Avatar Of Lisa



        Oh stop your puppy mill crap! My Montana just passed away at age 16. She was from a pet shop and yes a puppy mill. She had a rigjt to a good home and she got it! She saved my life physically three times! Age ravaged her and I had to put my girl down.

        Puppy mills existed before I ever came on the scene and they’ll continue. I was NOT supporting pouppy mills! I gave a puppy mill girl a home. She had a wonderful temperament and she taught me so many things!

        My girl had kennel cough but insisted and the pet shop made me get garbage to get her. She never coughed once and was treated within a week she was baxk to health! The pet shop TOLD me! In 1978 I asopted a German Shepherd from the Animal Protective League. They DIDN’T tell me he had end stasge heart woem and he died a month later! Parvo is slso a big thing in Shelters no one will admit to there!

        Don’t go trashing pet shops! Yes my girl was from a puppy mill that was around out of stare LONG before me! I’m not respinsible for their actions. Montana wouldn’t have been good enough for you. She loved her cat brother whose 18 years old.

        Puppy mills sell to shelters who’ll never admit it and they deserve a home NOT an Inquisition!

        • Avatar Of Lisa



          I miss my Montana who was a pet shop puppy mill girl. She was a Chihuahua with an amazing personality, splayed feet which didn’t prevent her walking and running. Only three times her back and neck got sick but a couple days of rest she was fine.

          I’m tired of people saying you’re supporting puppy mills by buying from a store. Those puppy mill dogs were there long before you and will be long after. Puppy mill dogs have some issues but nothing that can’t be helped. People write them off! Shelter dogs aren’t superior. If any dog needs a home they need it puppy mill included. They shouldn’t be excluded as worthless. My girl wasn’t!

          I was looking into rescue. The animals had countdowns. Wherer did they go? A shelter to languish or be euthanized. You don’t do a rescue and then give up the dog to a shelter. You keep until adopted!

          Nervous many dogs were listed in addition to the ‘good’ stuff. Sorry a nervous dog sounds like an unpredictable one. One rescurescue person on the site said the dog in his care bit him so bad he needed surgery. Sorry a biter shouldn’t be listed as an adoptee! They should’ve hired a trainer. Others you had to crated while away but didn’t say why. My girl was never crated! She slept or sun bathed with her cat brother at the window. If the dog is destructive or not housebroken for that not one word! Not one in this rescue had dogs familiar with cats. My cat and I are a package deal. The biggest red flag? Let’s meet at some nearby park. Too far for me to walk hsving no car. It’s “neutral”. The animal would be more relaxed. No! If the dog can’t be in my place to see if they can tolerate my cat, get toto know me in my place, no way will they decide where to meet. They wanted their animals checked out by THEIR Vet! If my Vet isn’t good enough, no! They wanted to push on you more of their crap to adopt. Their Vet and products I don’t want. With rescuers and shelters demanding intrusive questions, home visits it seems equally fraudy to say meet us here not where you feel safe. $99 dollars only being able to see their Vet who can say anything, pushing their products, saying you must meet somewhere they call
          “neutral” not your own place where you feel safe, turning in animals to the Shelter instead of keeping, wanting to ‘adopt’ out dogs who are nervois, a biter, and not conditioned around cats, don’t think so. They never answered questions any more than a shelter did! They want to interrogate you from what I’ve read here bit you can’t them? When I’m recovered enough from my grieving the loss of my girl, if I have to csb it to a pet shop or newspaper ad as I have no car, so be it! My last cat was from a mewspaper ad as my present one and I didn’t pay a lot. One rescue online wanted 2 grand for Chihuahuas! Idiotic price even if I had it! Should that dog be from a puppy mill, as I’ve said, they need homes and they’ve been around long before me, and having a puppy mill girl for 16 years who was an amazing girl it’s nothing I can’t handle. You get sick animals from rescues and shelters you don’t find out until later because they want money!

        • Avatar Of Lisa Godin

          Lisa Godin


          I was writing about my groef on a pet bereavement site and was given this sob story about a domestic abuse vitim who wanted to give up herPug Chihuahua mix. Of course for a rehoming fee! I refused and told her the dog should be free if you can’t tske your dog with you. I think the domestic abuse story was a scam and why would I have tp pay a rehoming fee so this supposed abuse victim profits on a dog that probsbly doesn’t exist!

          I was mad and now extremely sad that people will try to rip you off!

          I have no money to buy a dog but am so sad without my girl of 16 years and angry that people want to cruelly take advantage! Why can’t people just give their dogs for free whom they say need homes! Why do shelters and rescuers have to mske you jump through hoops to get a dog they never had any intention of giving only concerned with donations!

          My heart is broken having lost my Chihuahua girl to age sickness. I want a new baby to take care of and love and there are so many scams out there!

  26. Avatar Of Adam



    My wife and I can be added to this list with the reoccurring theme resonating. For the past 1/2 year putting in for adoption either leaves us without a response or an incomplete process. We both work, are fortunate to do some of it from home, have a fenced yard in a stable neighborhood, have a small furry companion already together for years (her first, my 7th since childhood), and present the laundry list of qualifications on the adoption forms, but without any success. I am considering going through a reputable breeder at this point, but have been reluctant because I would rather adopt, save 2 or 3 more pooches, and enjoy the time together with them. Rescues do have a special glow about them once they are adopted. I understand a somewhat prudent assessment for potential owners, even some reservations if basic needs aren't met, but my more recent experience at attempting to adopt reveals quite the contrary. It is very disappointing and I am sad for those animals that get held up from being adopted for the reasons already listed (i.e. hoarding). They've had enough obstacles in their lives, this shouldn't be one.

  27. Avatar Of Lawrence



    Many shelter workers are martyrs and animal hoarders. You aren’t adopting from these people; the dogs already have a home with them and that’s why they are so hesitant to give them up. No one is good enough for dogs they have. You are applying for an animal that they don’t truly have to find a new home for. They love telling everyone their bleeding heart stories and all about the type of work they do, but at the end of the day they’ve already adopted the animal themself.

  28. Avatar Of Bob



    Most dog rescue groups are absurdly picky and a detriment to their own cause. I have more experience with training dogs than half of those loons. The author hit the nail on the head. Many of the people working at these rescue groups formulate unrealistic expectations and become too attached to the dog, shooting down application after application from perfectly sound candidates. They are a waste of your time and exist in a warped reality.

    The alternative is simple- buy yourself a puppy from a reputable breeder and let these shelter loons continue to horde animals.

  29. Avatar Of Sara



    I’ve been to the acct Philly quite a few times in the last month and their rules are outrageous. You work? Who will be with the dog all day? Don’t work? How will you take care of the dog? You can’t adopt without other adult’s that live in the being present! It’s ridiculous!! If giving the chance I couldn’t adopted 3 dogs already this month. (Not all at once) but with time. I just wanted a companion. To save/rescue a dog and give it a forever loving home. Something needs to change.

    • Avatar Of Bob



      Most of these people don’t have real jobs; they live with the animals all day at the rescue or at home with an external source of income (spouse, etc). The other 98% of the US population leaves their dog alone for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and they are perfectly fine.

  30. Avatar Of Kmm



    I have 25+ years dog experience, am married, child free, extremely financially capable and have a big house with a big, high fenced back yard. I’m home all day. Our dogs always have the best of everything, as indicated by the glowing reccomend from our well respected vet and our references. I even let them call the fancy dog boarding place we use on vacations. I let them contact another (much more rare and much less psychotic) rescue group we had adopted from in the past so they’d have another, less partial reference about what good pet parents we are.

    I did all that for 14 different rescues in the state. Several times we found a girl that would’ve fit right into our family. Other times an animal was forced at us with a “take it or leave it” attitude totally not considering the dogs we were actually interested in, or that we need a female so we wouldn’t have the tension between two male dogs. Sometimes the foster obviously didn’t want to give up the dog but couldn’t legally take ownership because they already had several on top of all the fosters they had. One said I was obviously not active enough to own a border collie mix because I was “pudgy” even though hearing dog mutts are all I’ve ever had.

    When we managed to get through all that crap, and find a dog we’d suddenly not get our calls or emails returned. Meanwhile, the poor dog is still up on Petfinder six months later like they’d actually let anybody give her a loving home. With very few exceptions over the years I’m dead convinced that most “rescue” groups are just a front for animal hoarders.

    • Avatar Of Patricia



      Your comments resonate with my recent attempts to adopt a cat from local shelters/ foster groups.
      I’ve had shelters ”make mistakes” and give away the animal I arranged to adopt.The staff was
      unbelievably rude,incompetent and unfriendly.I jumped through numerous hoops to adopt a young
      male cat who was placed by a foster at a local feed store.After I expressed an interest the foster pulled
      the cat,took him home and told me I could meet and interact with him on adoption day a week later.When
      i showed up for adoption day it was very clear that the foster had decided that I wasn’t ”the one”in spite
      of very positive references from vet, etc, because I worked all day and the car was ”very social”.She
      had all my information from the start and could have informed me of her feelings via phone/email rather
      than wasting my time. She also tried to coerce/guilt trip me into taking a quasi feral, high needs kitten
      in place of he cat I was interested in…..sounds like bad judgement and hoarding to me.Both of my cats
      now gone, came to me as strays. I had no idea that going out and finding a cat when so many desperately
      need homes would be so difficult.

  31. Avatar Of Muffin



    After my rescued dog passed in October from cancer I looked at some rescue sites and thought about purchasing a puppy. I did not want the tail docked so I was turned down by 3 breeders. I turned back to rescue groups. Two I have contacted have never sent info about the dog or even called me or my references but they have had time to email requests for donations. Another has two people as go betweens so I have not talked to the actual foster, one of which seems nice and wants what is best for the dog. The other doesn’t seem to want to put the dog first. Neither does the foster because there has been some excuse for over a week now why I could not meet and/or pick up the dog.

  32. Avatar Of Rischele Rischele says:

    My husband and I had a horrible experience adopting our pyreneese mix puppy through a rescue that Petsmart supports. Our 1 1/2 month old healthy puppy with all shots had parvo when we adopted him we found out he had parvo 2 days after we got him and lovingly fought thi horribe virus only for him to loose his fight for his life..His death was horribly painful and it caused my husband and I countless tears and I actually came down with shingles from the stress. We loved him so much in such a short time and hies left huge pawprints that can never be replaced on our hearts

  33. Avatar Of Nan



    I was just thinking this exact same thing this very week. One shelter doesn’t adopt animals past a certain date in December because “pets are not presents…they are a lifetime commitment…”. I too understand the need to make sure the animals do not go to abusive homes and/or ones where they would be outside 24/7, but I live in an apt. complex and do not have a fenced in yard so there many places that would not let me adopt, not even a small, sr. dog. I am a senior and work FT, but I would take the dog with me to work as I need a support animal. It seems every time I go to look for a dog from a shelter, that the rules have gotten more and more strict. Something really needs to be done about this issue or else people like me will be forced to ‘shop’ and I love dogs more than life itself and the thought of doing so, makes me sick. Rules about having to live within a certain radius of the shelter from which one wants to adopt, are also prohibitive. I know that if there is one person like me, that there are thousands of others as well. PLEASE LOOK INTO THIS MATTER so more good and qualified people can save lives too.

  34. Avatar Of Donna



    Yes they are, I had 2 goldens from a rescue here in Colorado, but when I moved to a new area that did not allow fences, I was no longer good enough to adopt from them again.

  35. Avatar Of Mikel



    I so agree with Harry’s post. I trained therapy and service dogs for nearly 30 yrs, having 3 of my own at the time I tried to adopt from one of our local organizations. I wasn’t “fit” because they thought my fencing was not right (determined by phone, no physical inspection). Come on! I had it specifically altered to secure all my pets and visiting ones as well. I finally met a rescue group in Phoenix and got my Sally. She is so adorable and fit right in with my Aussies — ALL SAFE AND SOUND ! The rescue groups need to rethink their adoption rules and save more dogs. Thank you.

    • Avatar Of Bill



      I’m moving to Scottsdale in March and have emailed a few places expressing my interest in a dog. In one case the shelter decided it was best to keep the dog because it stopped looking at the door when someone entered the facility. In the second case, I was told the dog fence fights with other male dogs. I responded by asking if I could have the dog tested for aggression by a professional trainer because the dog I had in the past “fence fought” with other dogs who passed my home, but was perfectly fine at the park on and off leash…no follow up response from that guy even though the dog’s profile states the dog has been at the rescue for too long. In the third case, I got no response at all to my initial inquiry. What’s the rescue group in Phoenix that you used? Sounds like they actually want to place dogs in a home instead of keeping them.

  36. Avatar Of Harry Schultze

    Harry Schultze


    It has become impossible to adopt a pet these days. These adoption agencies are crazy there is no other way to put it.
    If you work you can’t spend enough time with the dog if you don’t work you can’t afford to have the dog. If you are disabled and have a guaranteed income and your disability does not prevent you from having a dog but alas your disabled and a disabled person can’t have a dog. Tell that to a blind person! I’m starting to think that’s the only way you can get a dog anymore from these agencies.
    Seriously it is absolutely crazy it makes no sense whatsoever. Logic has no place in these places.
    I’m starting to believe it’s all a scam. No one is good enough for these people. If these places charge non-refundable fees and then you end up without a pet what else are we to think?! People donate tons of money to these places and on top of that they charge outrageous fees now hundreds of dollars. It’s crazy!!
    It did not used to be this way. My last dog now gone, 20 years ago I adopted with no problem whatsoever and it was a very small fee. It’s a shame these dogs are not going to good people and instead must live out their lives in a dreary shelter.

  37. Avatar Of Mouse



    People are still posting here a year after this is published. This is still a problem. And has been for several years now. I am having trouble adopting a dog. I own two dogs that are high energy, well trained, medium sized dogs in perfect health. They have their shots and are fixed. I have a 6,000 squarefoot back yard (that’s 1/8th of an acre, btw), with a 6′ privacy fence that’s perfectly secure. We own our own home, outright at that, not even a mortgage. Steady income with savings. Trainer lined up. Dog park in walking distance and a nicer one an hour away. Lots of good references from friends and neighbors whose dogs we care for. One member of the household works from home and is home almost all day every day. We do dog agility too. And we both grew up with dogs. We are not requesting specific dogs, nor are we requesting a specific color or gender. No kids (nor plans to have any) and no other pets. We’ve moved with our dogs not once, but three times and they have come with us every time. We’ve got a great record of being a great home.

    We’re being turned down because we run an urban farm on our property. We own a SMALL number of chickens and rabbits that are livestock. A big farm may have hundreds, even thousands, of each. We have about a dozen of each and they’re well cared for. We were looking into rescuing a herding breed, an Aussie or a border collie, breeds whose reason for being is to herd livestock. These dogs are often too much for a normal household to handle due to high energy and unrequited need to herd things… But we have livestock for them to herd, live a very active, outdoors lifestyle and have two high energy dogs of our own that we manage just fine. They’re in such good shape that the older dog (nearly 9 years old) can still jump a 3.5′ hurdle from a standstill.

    The one place that was maybe willing to adopt to us wanted, get this, $650 for a nine week old mixed breed puppy. What!? I could literally buy a dog from a good breeder for that price!!! Seriously, WHAT?

    It’s getting old. A breeder will talk to me for 20 minutes (or a few emails) to try to make sure I’m not a psycho and then take my money and hand me a dog with a health certificate, genetic testing, puppy shots, and a lifetime guarantee of support with the dog.

    I’m probably going to go with that. Five rescues being unreasonable in a row… It takes an hour to fill out the applications, which would be fine… If they didn’t deny me for stupid reasons repeatedly. I’m going to keep trying the rescue route for a while, we’re in no hurry, but Idon’t have high expectations any more.

  38. Avatar Of Gus



    I was in a petstore and decided I could give a home to a rabbit that was in there for months and it was an older rabbit so asked and got yelled at told they don’t sell pets! Than told they adopt them and it’s really hard to adopt I asked how’d I would go about it she said I probably won’t be chosen but go ask for the app so I did it was invasive wants personal info home ownership papers enough that they could fraud you if they wanted than the dumb irrelevant questions plus refs, I filled in most of it asked when I would find out and was told so many people applied so don’t get my hopes up but maybe 3 days they would call so no one called I called they said they would call back and they ignored me. I’m not doing this adoption thing again these people act way to weird when you show interest in a pet and you know they are thinking no way they won’t be adopting it. They act like you are up to no good and are incapable of having pets I don’t need to be treated like a child and answer childish questions that are just plain dumb. So I went straight to a petstore that sells pets and found a different pet that I was thinking about and got it and was treated nicely and now I have a happy healthy petstore kitten so there stupid people running rescues just drive people to pet stores and the poor rescue pet is left to age in a cage instead when it could have had a loving home. They really help the animals huh, places that act like this really ruin it for the animals and good rescues that don’t treat people this way a good rescue want to find a good home asap instead of declining everyone cause of their attachment issues and the no body is good enough attitude, these people who scream adopt not buy are liars anyways like when they review a petstore they admit they shop at and complain about people buying pets there but they are shopping there and it’s okay for them to shop there for whatever but insult anyone who buys a pet there

  39. Avatar Of Cyra



    Shelters continue to decline potential people who are willing to adopt, and due to the rejection people loose faith in the fact that they might never be allowed to adopt. Hence they will rather find a breeder and buy a puppy. Therefor there will always be breeders if the shelters are not willing to give the potential people a chance.

  40. Avatar Of Alan Folsom

    Alan Folsom


    I was turned down recently. I own a home, have two other dogs, impeccable vet references, and approximately a 15,000 square foot fenced yard. Why? My 3 year old female is not spayed. She is a failed show dog, because she is shy. (She won BoB in the only show she was in).

    After several estrous cycles, the medical benefits of spaying go way down, and there is solid evidence that potential health concerns go way up. Because I want the best health for one dog, I’m denied another.

  41. Avatar Of Mrs. B

    Mrs. B


    I have been working in animal care professionally for over 15 years. I am experienced in vet care,including first aide and doggy CPR, behavioral training, etc… Currently I am a Stay at Home Mom in a home we own with a fenced in yard and no other dogs. We have been denied from adopting a dog at 4 rescues now. I am absolutely flabbergasted as to why. Yes, we have small children but I am a responsible mother and pet owner, and know how to teach my children to properly interact with a dog. My oldest can already identify warning vehaviors! It seems there is no pleasing these rescues. Its very sad.

  42. Avatar Of Terence



    It seems to be getting (or always has been?) out of control. I just got rejected from one. I’m employed, I work from home, I have had three dogs that lived full lives with me ie: experienced and yet for some reason was rejected. I would be and have been a great dog owner so it erks me to have been rejected.

    What’s more, after spending 30 minutes answering more personal questions than my doctor asks I got some crappy form letter rejection without any reason behind it. The forms are another irritant I wish had been mentioned in this article (love the article in case that sounded like I didn’t), I’ve filled out two of these forms for adoption so far. The first one didn’t work out because I just didn’t click with any of the animals. The second was the rejection form letter and I was just about to fill out another but decided against it. They were asking for pictures of my rooms, lease agreement photocopies and tax receipts (WTF?). A centralized form that I fill out once and is accessible by an adoption site would be a more reasonable approach.
    Anyway, I’m fed up with the process. I’m just going to go get a puppy from some mill instead of providing a loving home to some poor foster animal.
    Bah humbug 🙂

    • Avatar Of Lisa



      From “some mill”? Oh gee don’t overwork yourself! I had a puppy mill Chihuahua for 16 and a half years. She had minor issues that didn’t interfer and she was smart, house broken and litter box trained in four weeks flat, a great watch dog, a companion to my cat who helped raise her. Puppy mill dogs need homes too! My girl had a fantastic temperament. It was love at first sight. So tired of people thinking puppy mill dogs don’t need homes! They were there long before you and will be there long after. If you find the right dog from “some mill” you’ll know it. I did and dealing with her passing is tough because she was a great girl.

  43. Avatar Of Hm



    I adopted my puppy from 1 shelter that was terrific. We wanted 2 dogs & found one through another shelter. Filled out the application & I got a call. They wanted to do home inspection & meet & greet with my other pup. I filled out the application honestly, e-mailed them photos, & send all vaccination papers. It was already known I have a 7 month old puppy & no fence. I was declined because I do not have a fence & they are afraid she would get hurt. Seriously… What is up with that. We are experienced dog owners & a lot of people have 2 dogs with one being smaller. Out hearts were broken. You try to do something good a save a pet but some of these rescue groups need to be looked at.

  44. Avatar Of Krystal



    I’ve become discouraged with trying to rescue a dog. I found a 4 year old lab that I had my heart set on, but was contacted by her foster today only to find out that I work too long of hours and since I live alone, she doesn’t know how the dog will react to being alone while I’m at work. She also mentioned that she works from home and is there all the time, so I’m guessing anyone who needs to leave the home will not be deemed appropriate for any dog she fosters. Another thing was her commenting that she has had the dog for a month and “she has already fallen in love with my family.” That struck a chord in me that she either wants to adopt her for herself or has grown so attached that nobody will ever be good enough. It truly is sad that these animals are being denied great homes and companions because the organizations have an unrealistic standard and/or find excuses not to allow adoption because they’ve grown too attached to let them go.

  45. Avatar Of Krystal



    I’ve become discouraged with trying to rescue a dog. I found a 4 year old lab that I had my heart set on, but was contacted by her foster today only to find out that I work too long of hours and since I live alone, she doesn’t know how the dog will react to being alone while I’m at work. She also mentioned that she works from home and is there all the time, so I’m guessing anyone who needs to leave there home will not be deemed appropriate for any dog she fosters. Another thing was her commenting that she has had the dog for a month and “she has already fallen in love with my family.” That struck a chord in me that she either wants to adopt her for herself or has grown so attached that nobody will ever be good enough. It truly is sad that these animals are being denied great homes and companions because the organizations have an unrealistic standard and/or find excuses not to allow adoption because they’ve grown to attached to let them go.

  46. Avatar Of Jasmine



    I recently tried to adopt from a shelter but get denied every time because my dog ran away while we were not at home but down the street from my home. I reported her missing immediately to the shelter but somehow, they never got that call?? Yeah right, I called the police everyday to see if they spotted her. Then when I go to adopt their excuse is “my yard isn’t fenced.I need to have a fenced yard.” Um why? I had my dog for seven years without incident and the one time she does get loose is away from home. It has nothing to do with my yard so that excuse it bull.

    I will be going to a petshop or a breeder.

  47. Avatar Of Ki Sim Oh

    Ki Sim Oh


    We are having an incredibly hard time as well. We live in a loft in the city but there are plenty of parks, including a couple dog parks in the area. Not having a yard has limited us and whatever else we have said to be turned down. I also don’t understand why some just don’t reply at all, it’s very discouraging.

  48. Avatar Of Bob



    I tried to adopt a cat last summer. I even found a 8yo short hair who seemed more than willing to go home with me. I was happy. The cat was happy. Everyone but the shelter manager was happy. Apparently believing that cats should be indoor/outdoor animals is a sin. After 15 min of being interrogated I just left. I eventually broke down and got a little black kitten from petco. Would have preferd an older cat but Shadow has turned out quite well so far.

  49. Avatar Of Ellen



    this is all BS. all these lazy people have no idea what rescue is like. Why dont you spend every waking monent and every dime you have saving animals and then judge others. They are doign their best. If one rescue turned you down go to another. You are irresonsibly judging those when you are clueless what it is like. How about adopters who murder a dog for nipping their child ? I mean who knows what the child did when the parent wasn’t looking. Even so, just cause a dog can’t live with that child maybe it can w another child or rehome it without children but when adopters do crazy and horrid things you can’t blame them for being careful.

    • Avatar Of Seriously?



      No, it’s not BS, and calling potential adopters and commenters you don’t know “lazy people” is, as you put it, “irresponsibly judging,” and that’s EXACTLY the kind of attitude that is driving people to go through breeders. Potential adopters like being treated like human beings, not potential dog abusers who have to fill out 3 to 4 page questionnaires (with references!).

      Shelters and rescues have become absolutely ridiculous and that’s a fact. I’m a 40 year old child-free writer in a stable relationship who works from home, and one shelter told me they required photos of my home and a “home inspection” to make sure I had a large enough (fenced) yard and don’t have anything in the house that could kill a dog. The local SPCA requires adopters to take a $300 obedience course – run by them, of course, and that’s on top of the $300-$400 fee to adopt a dog. After 6 months of frustration and feeling like I was being judged by 20-somethings who assume you are a dog abuser until you prove you are not, I went through a breeder. My two dogs (we were only going to get one dog but couldn’t bear to separate a bonded pair – yeah, we’re horrible people!) are now happy, healthy, well trained and spoiled members of our family – not pets, by the way, family members.

      After the immature, over-protective BS I had to deal with at the hands of shelter and rescue staff, I don’t feel one bit guilty for going through our breeder – a responsible, ethical woman who has been helpful and kind and supportive (and rescues dogs as a side project, I might add). Perhaps if shelter and rescue staff took on those traits with people as well as animals, they wouldn’t have animals languishing away in kennels for months at a time because we, the potential adopters, just aren’t good enough. Instead of getting defensive and calling the article and other people’s experiences “BS,” perhaps it’s time to instead take a look at your policies.

      Signed, a former veterinary clinic volunteer (yep – and I still wasn’t good enough to adopt from a rescue).

    • Avatar Of Rochelle Simon

      Rochelle Simon


      The sad part is how you assume the worst in people. What made you so pessimistic? Yes some mistreat animals but that is not the majority. And treating everyone as if they were potential dog abusers will just hurt the dogs. It also pushes us to go to breeders, exactly what you say you don’t want.

  50. Avatar Of Bj



    Same here, I give up trying to rescue a dog. After seeing my wife go through the emotional beatdown when we did numerous visits, the people at the shelter said that we are a good fit, we got denied after the home visit because my yard is not tall and big enough and we live in a semi busy street because we’re by the beach entrance. We already told all of them that and they said it should be ok. After bonding with the dog to the point that the dog don’t even want to leave our house they had to carry him to their car. Even though they knew I have experience with the breed, they denied us.

  51. Avatar Of Carmen Quirk

    Carmen Quirk


    This is why I don’t adopt rescue animals anymore. My mom wanted a cat. We drove over an hour out of our way to a shelter to adopt a cat that she had fallen in love with during an adoption drive at a pet store. After filling out all of the forms, my mom’s application was rejected because the staff member couldn’t reach my mom’s landlady on a Sunday to verify that she was allowed to have the animal. My mother told the staff member that the rental office was closed on Sunday. So the staff member suggested that my mom get a LETTER from the rental office and come back later on during the week. I just stood there stunned that the shelter would rather put down that beautiful cat than take a chance on a renter. The cat was adopted by someone else later on that week so it all turned out okay for the cat, but it was a complete waste of my mom’s time. The bias against renters is unfair as homeowners can be just as irresponsible and abandon animals when their circumstances change. Why jump through all of those hoops to take a chance on a rescue animal when you can just buy a pet from a breeder?

  52. Avatar Of Siobhan Lee

    Siobhan Lee


    I agree that the shelters should have some hurdles potential adopters have to get over. Things like can you afford the cost of food etc,vet bills/insurance. Are you in a stable home that allows animals. Have your children had contact with animals. Do you have an enclosed garden or if not a safe place the dog/cat can exercise ?

  53. Avatar Of Tina



    We just recently were denied adoption of a cat my entire family had fallen in love with and couldn’t wait to make a part of our family. We happily went through all the applications, interviews, references, etc because we knew we would love this cat dearly. Come to find out they denied us because we have too young of kids (8 and 6!)…and the kicker, the email stated they denied ALL applicants and are still looking for the right owners. WHAT?! I thought the point was to find loving homes for these dear animals and open space to save others. I’m so sick about it.

  54. Avatar Of Tired



    I am tired of Animal Rescue. They ask to many invasive questions. Example, how old you are, driver’s license number a face time of your home even money upfront!. I have put in over 20 applications for a small dog. Some tell me I am not suitable because I am not home all day. What??? I have a job!. Some rescue never reply.
    They are not only creating suffering of innocent animals BUT making the pet breeder industry even stronger.

    Animal Rescue are the worst! I am fed up and I give up I will go to a breeder.

  55. Avatar Of Ann-Marie Humphries

    Ann-Marie Humphries


    I do agree that they are way too picky. One reason I say this is my digs trainer lost her rescue Greyhound (due to old age & cancer) and then lost her little disabled Pomeranian.She is a well known dog trainer in my area has written 3 books.The Pom rescue told her because they didn’t feel she mourned long enough that she wasn’t a “good fit”.I find that way to picky ,snooty, and sad for a innocent dog being cheated out of a wonderful home where he/she would have been spoiled beyond belief.It’s sad but true that shelters and rescues are very self righteous and it’s the innocent animals that suffer for it.

  56. Avatar Of Anonymous



    Same here, I give up! I’m tired of being judged and having people check up on me. It all seems like a breech in privacy. My boyfriend was commenting that he had to go through less to get his high-security government contracting job! These people who claim to love animals so much are indirectly causing them suffering and eventually death, because animals taking up space while the “perfect human” is found and chosen for them, are stealing chances from animals who need a safe place to stay! I went to an in-store adoption day, and was almost looked up and down at. “Are you good enough for my foster dog? I think not.” Bunch of idiots.

    • Avatar Of Lisa C.

      Lisa C.


      I agree totally! I’m ready to give up too! After several months and many applications, I’m tired of the process and the results being the same! No call backs, no returned emails, nothing to show for my 4-5 page applications (some were longer). I gave out information about how much my home was valued on the current market, how many square feet it is, what my annual salary is, the type of fencing, (and my house has 4ft chain link in front and 6ft stockade on the other three sides), how big my yard is and my husband is a Mental Health Clinician and only works part time from HOME, and we still weren’t good enough! I have excellent dog references and from his groomer, previously adopted from a shelter before, and our loving dog was a member of our family until his death a couple years ago. I’m beginning to believe that they don’t want to adopt their dogs, they just want to continue to collect non-profit status revenue!

  57. Avatar Of Jackie



    Wow!!! Very sad. I am trying to adopt a dog right now for myself an family but from wht I have read I won’t be having high hopes sad truly sad.

  58. Avatar Of Carol



    So true, also in our area the initial cost is prohibitive for a senior on fixed income who would eagerly adopt an older gentler dog or cat. Some shelters here are having special adoption events with $20.00 fees and having much success.

  59. Avatar Of Chau



    Those good-intentioned people have done more harm than good to the dogs and my experience with them makes me never want to deal with them ever again. I received a message from a neighbor that HART foundation URGENTLY needed some short-term (1 or 2 week) foster homes for the dogs during their floor replacement, otherwise some dogs would have to be killed. I contacted them and they made me fill out a multiple page long foster application with questions that only apply for permanent fostering, and then I would have to go through the interviewing process. I just wanted to help offering my home to those dogs so they won’t get killed during their innovation and they are treating me with suspicion like I’m going to commit a crime with their dogs. I will go to a breeder instead if I have the need to adopt in the future.

  60. Avatar Of Sue



    Been trying and trying to adopt from a shelter with no luck. We lost our older dog and we now are dogless. I am perplexed at how hard they make it. Our driver’s license, copy of our deed to our home and names and ages of all people that ever visit our home-really! Another rescue we did not get accepted to adopt dog A (who we had to put in a lot of paperwork but never met) but dog B would be available. Who is dog B? We did not put in an application on him and you acted very surprised when I told you not interested. So far three different rescues with similar/same practices. Heart broken will not be working with a rescue to adopt our next dog.

  61. Avatar Of Candice



    I had to fill out an application that was pages and pages in length and needed three references to adopt a senior dog (10+ years). The dog was barely mobile, had no teeth and rescued from ‘Death Row’ in California and yet I was being grilled like I was a criminal (I half expected a criminal background check!!). Then after all of this was said and done, I did not receive approval. I meet all criteria and more to adopt and would provide a fantastic home to a dog to live out its final years and found this extremely insulting. I am not going to write about what an upstanding citizen I am on here but the funny thing is, is that I volunteered for years at a shelter myself!

  62. Avatar Of Deb



    It is so very hard to adopt from a rescue that I am now doing what I scolded all of my friends about-going to adopt from a breeder. My elderly dog died and was 15 so I have been out of the adoption market for a very long time. I am astonished at how hard they make it to adopt a dog. Also how they change the rules on what this dog needs (like another animal in the home etc.) for friends. I have to apologize to many friends for scolding them when I found that they purchased a dog instead of adopting. They all said the same thing. They don’t get called back, it would be easier to adopt a child from China than to adopt a dog from a rescue etc. I didn’t believe them now I do!

  63. Avatar Of Carrie Rowekamp

    Carrie Rowekamp


    I recently inquired about a dog from an organization that I had adopted from before (about a year and a half ago) and was turned down because I leave my dogs in the backyard while I’m at work… with a secure above ground fence, a covered patio, and doghouses available to them. I live in a VERY rural area, so they are in virtually no danger of being stolen. I could not believe it! My dogs’ (2 of them) living situation has not changed since I adopted my puppy from the same organization! My pets stay inside at night, I make a good living and can pay for expensive vet care if needed, they are well fed, always have fresh water, have an 80 acre farm to play on, and get plenty of love and attention from both myself and my husband… Yet my home is not suitable?!?! That’s insane.

  64. Avatar Of Chloe



    Not at the Humane Society that I volunteer at. I have been there coming up 3 years and have seen the extreme lengths our adoption co-ordinator, shelter manager and all the staff go to to get our animals in to their forever homes. I have also seen, despite best efforts at communicating, dogs and cats being returned because the new owners become overwhelmed (usually because they do the exact opposite to what the staff has recommended). For example, if a dog needs to be gently introduced to other dogs and the new owners thrust it into a public dog park and then get frustrated and angry at its behaviour and they return it to us.

  65. Avatar Of Carla Brown

    Carla Brown


    yes, I think the rescue organizations have gone over to the extreme side. I understand that they (perhaps) see the worst in humans and now don’t trust anyone but it doesn’t mean that we’re all bad. I don’t have a fence but I walk my dog 3x daily in forest and go swimming everyday in summer. My dog is one happy dog and doesn’t give a sh** about not having a fence. Or that I work and am out of house for 7 hours daily. Or that dog has to share me with other animals. My next dog will be coming in from Aruba or Greece or….. if I can’t save one in my own country (Canada) then I’ll save one overseas.

  66. Avatar Of Michelle



    I agree. I have been trying to adopt a dog for close to 2 years now and have filled out so many applications that I’ve lost count. The extreme restrictions they place on the adoption one of which is fencing. I don’t have a fence on my 1 acre lot which is the biggest hurdle to overcome as most agencies won’t even consider adopting without one. I want to help by taking in an adult dog in need, but I’m seriously considering getting a puppy to stop this disappointing process.

    • Avatar Of Debj



      I couldn’t agree more. And I’m sorry but there’s a certain sanctimony to it. I have adopted rescue horses for 25 years. Horses with COPD, cancer, moonblindness and more. And each one of them cost me a fortune in vet bills and special feed. But they all lived happy lives and the fullest lives they could under the circumstances. Then I try to “adopt” a dog and I felt like the Spanish Inquisition. We wanted to give a dog a loving home and my dog run area was slightly too short and not EVERY family member could be home for every interview and the list of demands continued. So I went and simply bought a dog. And I will be responsible. Some won’t and they’ll turn into rescue dogs that I won’t be good enough to adopt.

  67. Avatar Of Richard



    I agree…

    I happen to have mild allergies to dogs and cats. However I know many people who live with their allergies because of their love for animals. I have learned I cannot even MENTION the word allergy to any form of shelter, or they run away from me as fast as they can, as though I have an incurable disease. Me adopting a dog/cat in spite of my allergies is a personal decision; I understand some people may not think it through, make a rash decision, and then surrender the pet back to the shelter because of their reckless thinking. However, I wish it wasn’t so impossible to adopt if you are open about having mild allergies.

  68. Avatar Of Dis Gruntled

    Dis Gruntled


    I absolutely agree with the article. I’m a really easy-going, empathetic person, and I have felt very sad and disheartened and frustrated by the experiences I had this weekend while visiting several shelters to find a cat. I found staff to be unwelcoming and suspicious. Instead of keeping quarantined cats quarantined, they offered to show them IF you filled out an application and were ‘serious’ about adopting them. Basically, if you touch it, you must adopt it. Since when is that a good strategy for preventing the spread of disease? OR for finding a good personality match? This shelter also has a reputation of placing holds on animals with a $10 non-refundable fee, and then adopting the animal out to someone else. This didn’t happen to me, but I read reviews about this facility. I decided to go anyway. And believe it or not, while I was there, a hapless family was embroiled in the same situation. I’ve also been told “You can’t pet the animal, it’s sleeping. You’ll have to come back.” Ok, in a perfect world, the stars would have aligned and I would have visited the shelter when the cat wasn’t napping. Unfortunately, Saturday is the only time I could visit. So, I left.

    I adopted a kitten 16 years ago, who passed away recently and I dearly loved, from a large shelter in Portland. I didn’t feel like I was under a microscope, or a criminal, or inconveniencing the staff or the animals. The staff was happy to give me the time to be alone with the cat to see how we interacted. I have moved to a town 1.5 hours away, and would have loved to support a local shelter, but after the reviews I read (and now believe they weren’t just sour grapes) and my own experience, I am willing to drive the distance to see if the Portland shelter is still as helpful as they were before. I hope so. Because if not, I’m going to find a cat on Craigslist, and I will never donate to a shelter again.

  69. Avatar Of Devynn



    I agree. I have been looking for a dog for months at shelters. I’ve filled out dozens of applications. I’ve been turned down for many reasons. I live with my grandmother and father and am not a homeowner, even though this is a family decision and my grandmother would be home all day with the dog. We also don’t have a fenced in yard because we have never needed one for our current dog. We have 2 acres, plus are surrounded by emptt wooded lots. I have a cat that just wandered into our yard one day and because we took her to the vet, she’s pregnant and that’s on our records, I’m not eligible for a dog. It doesn’t matter that we just took her in and that she came to us pregnant. It doesn’t matter that we have records of all other pets being vetted and spayed/neutered. Finally, although my family is in agreement to get a dog, my grandma doesn’t want to go meet the shelter staff nor is she open to a home visit. This has been a horribly depressing experience. I feel like a bad pet owner by these standards, and that shelters would deem me unfit for my current healthy pets (10 yr old springer spaniel,2 11 year old cats). Unfortunately, despite the fact that dogs are being put down at shelters all of the time, I found my dog through a friend who had puppies.

  70. Avatar Of Cornelia Pierce

    cornelia pierce


    my advice is to look around for different shelters, we have one shelter with hundreds of animals because no one is ever good enough, and yet, my vet is the animal control dumping ground for several townships, he keeps the animals after their allotted time is up and adopts them out to his clients, easy to get a cat or dog from him, when ever I have needed a cat or kitten I call him up and ask if he has any. He usually asks how many I want. [I have a large farm, so I can take feral cats as well as house cats, ] the same with dogs. you need to look, if they are crazy judgmental look further afield

  71. Avatar Of Me



    I own my home and rent out rooms in it. I also own other homes and am self-employed renting them. I filled out an application saying I am a homeowner and self-employed home most of the day. I said the dog would need to get along with a rotating cast of roommate’s pets as well, I was considering adults at this time. She told me I was lying saying I owned my house because I have roommates. She was not interested in seeing a public link to a city website showing I own the house, she just said you are a lying liar and you cannot have a dog from us. I showed vet records that my previous dog, who I had from 7-19 years old, got annual checkups and shots as recommended and appointments for things like rashes when needed. One shelter declined me because I didn’t take my dog in for shots when I was told that he had just a few months left and didn’t even want to leave the house. A fourth place didn’t like hearing self employed despite me doing very well at it since 2002.

    I am home all day with frequent walks, I have an excellent history with my previous dog and the cat that I’ve had for almost 20 years and I’m financially stable. I think another place judged me for not being married to my partner of 10 years. I just want a pitbull puppy, not to be judged. One place asked me why I don’t have kids. That’s a very personal question, but I don’t want them basically. This is just rediculous. I want to do the right thing, but a year after my dog died I’m about to pay a backyard breeder.

  72. Avatar Of Brittany



    We are having the same problem here we have two young children and we are military family. We have been told multiple times no to adopting a dog it makes me so sad. Beyond frustrated it’s starting to look like we may have to reach out to a breeder. It’s sad they are on there high horse when there are plenty of wonderful loving families like ours that want to adopt a dog.

  73. Avatar Of Kanda



    Wow, I thought we were the only ones! We rescued a Whippet when we were full time RVers and it was pretty simple. Then we rescued an Italian Greyhound while we were in So. Dakota. She had a hernia and the breeder gave her up. Well, now we have a home and are retired but have lost the Whippet to old age, 17yrs., but our fence isn’t good enough. Even though it is fine for the IG we still have and was fine for the Whippet. And we don’t go to the vet enough and we don’t get every freaking vaccination coming down the pike. We live a healthy lifestyle in the country and try to give our dogs the same benefit. We love them dearly and would NEVER jeopardize their well being! But I do a lot of research before I give my dogs what could be detrimental to their health. For these reasons, I won’t be able to rescue a dog. I just don’t get it.

  74. Avatar Of Meme



    I have to agree with this article wholeheartedly. Despite only having just begun our search, I can already see the outrageous hoops that these adoption agencies make people go through. I get it – they don’t want just anyone walking up and getting a dog and then turning around and tossing the dog on the street or selling them or whatever. So, I can understand rescues wanting references, wanting to meet the family, wanting to see existing pets interact with the new pet, etc. That makes perfect sense. However, I came across the adoption contract for one rescue and it really turned my wife and I off to the point where we would never consider adopting from them (despite the fact that there are several dogs they have right now that we were really interested in). This contract asked for the usual stuff (promise to give the dog time, promise not to sell it, promise to be willing to pay for training, no refunds, etc. etc.) – that was all fine and good and are things that any adopter should be willing to do and accept. However, this contract went on to specifically not allow you to give the pet to a relative, or to another adoption agency, or to a friend. You could ONLY return the pet to this rescue, and you had to agree to pay a $2000 (!!!) fine, in addition to surrendering the dog if you were found to have rehomed the dog. It also gave the rescue permission for UNANNOUNCED visits and the ability to, essentially, repo the dog if they find you are not living up to their standards. The contract was absolutely preposterous and no one in their right mind should consider signing it. I wanted (and am still tempted to) write them a letter about how ridiculous their standards are. I fully understand wanting to protect the animals and not having them constantly cycling owners or being taken advantage of. But at the same time, if they want to get more pets out of the rescues and into homes, they have to be more reasonable and just accept returns or rehoming as a fact of life.

    Another thing that gets me is the general non-responsiveness of these rescues. You can apply and wait days or weeks without any kind of acknowledgement or response. Meanwhile, the pets you may have had your eye on may have gone in this time. If you’re trying to get people to ‘Adopt, Not Shop’, you really have to work on the customer service aspect of the adoption. It’s understandable to have certain requirements and checks and balances. But you should also treat these adopters as human beings and not string them along. The frustration I’ve felt so far in our search makes me just want to go out and get a puppy off of Craigslist. And that should strike fear and regret into the heart of any good rescuer.

    • Avatar Of Sher



      I completely agree. It is heartbreaking that these cavalier people want to be so judgemental while all along gather information about you, your relatives and your friends, and then play GOD with nothing to gain for the pets or the heartbroken family. It is cruel and should be legally looked into.

    • Avatar Of George



      We just had a rescue organization tell us to go to a breeder to avoid disappointment with the adoption process!

    • Avatar Of Lisa



      From what I’ve read here it’s pitiful. Rescues resrin ownership and have an excuse to take your baby. I got a puppy a long time afo from the shelter who had incurable heart worm and didn’t bother to tell me! It was 40 uears ago and no hoop jumping! At least my pet shop girl who just passed at 16 I was told she had kennel cough which was easily treated though I never heard her coufh once. You should be buying a dog NOT renting them that tjese phony rescuers seem to think should be done! It’s NOT a job interview! Assuming all are potential abusers when shelters euthanize without batting an eye and they’re sick? I’ll go for an ad in the paper. Did it for two cats and no hassles, hoop jumping, contracts, no references!just told him about the cat before Manny who was almost 13. Treated him darn good too! My 18 year old Siamese was from an ad and he’s great! Healthy! His breeder wasn’t a hoarder and I didn’t need to see their house’s other rooms. No checking up for 18 years as I bought him NOT rented. Manny is fully mine! I tried rescues before I came here and not one reply. They didn’t like being queationed! Same with a shelter. We can’t queation but you want everything but a blood sample and eye teeth? Herumph!

  75. Avatar Of Donovan



    I absolutely agree that some shelters are too picky when choosing who can and who cannot adopt an animal that needs a home. Just recently i was volunteering at a local animal shelter with the cats and a volunteer brought a puppy into the cat room in her arms to help get him comfortable woth cats early in his life, he was the sweetest, quietest puppy id ever seen and she let me hold him. I instantly loved the little thing and asked if i could be shown the other dogs. I am a dog person and have always had a spot in my heart for them. As i was shown the dogs who needed a home and were begging me just to stick a finger into their cages to pet them, i tried desperately to hide the tears welling up in my eyes from my girlfriend, but she understood, knowing that i had lost my dog scampers earlier that year. I played with many of the dogs and was given an adoption application for the puppy that i held by one of the volunteers when she realized i didnt want to put him down. I brought my dad a few days later to meet the puppy and he instantly loved it and submitted the application, ready to pay the $100 for my new canine best friend to enter our home. I showed my little sister pictures of the puppy and she loved it and we told her we would be getting it. A couple of days later, i went back to the shelter to volunteer and ask of they had looked at the application. The receptionist told me i was denied because we would be keeping the dog in our fenced, highly shaded back yard during the day, and letting him in when my dad and i got home. I asked simply to see the puppy because i had grown attached to it, and the receptionist just ignored my girlfriend and i after saying “youre not getting that dog” blatantly. I then went to my girlfriend’s car and shown her one of the first times i was hurt enough to cry in front of her, and cry i did. This is a shelter that has volunteers throw the dead bodies of dogs they euthanize into the dumpster in the back because theyre just too full, and me being at school might have been the difference between this dog living and dying. Needless to say, i blamed myself. Just my 0.02

    • Avatar Of Anna



      That is heartbreaking! I am so sorry. Dogs love being outside, they are animals. If someone said you would have to spend several hours a day in a safe, shady backyard with toys and water you’d probably be happy to! And you’re a human! I hope you get a dog soon.

  76. Avatar Of Kt



    I was denied a dog adoption at several shelters because I do not have a fenced in yard and I had at the time a daughter that was 6 years old. I found several shelters and several dogs that I was interested in, even one that had a pair that were raised together where I would have taken both, but one by one I was turned down, for the same reasons. That is not really the thing someone wants to hear after loosing their dog. My poor Lilly had succumbed to the Con-genitive Heart failure that she fought for almost 5 years with the help of a great Vet and medication. She was in no pain, went into her bed and fell asleep for the last time at a little over 15 years old. my Labrador before her made it to 17. So I was really starting to get a little annoyed at the people telling me that if I put a fence around my almost 2 acre yard and when my daughter gets older I would be considered. also, I have always walked my dogs and my wife is a stay home mom but that did not matter. Well, I wondered who was doing who the favor. I wanted with all of my heart to give an unwanted dog a loving home. Instead, I did not go out and buy a dog, I bought two and for the past 4 years Zee and Zen are doing very well.

    I guess I am writing because i just came back from a shelter looking for a dog for my mom and she is starting to have a problem where she feels she is being considered too old. come on people her 16 year old dog died only 4 days ago. her heart is broken and she was in tears looking at all the unwanted animals. She left empty hearted. I will continue to look for her but will probably buy her one. By the way, she is a retired Registered Nurse, social worker and teacher and has a fenced yard.

    I am starting to think these shelters are a scam. A money machine that prays on the hearts of unaware very very kind people who want to do the right thing. the article was great.

    • Avatar Of Helen &Amp; David Cook

      Helen & David Cook


      I agree with your article. Rescue organizations are too picky about adoptive homes for their pets. Just yesterday we were informed that while we had a great adoption application we wouldn’t be a good fit for a JRT because we didn’t have a fenced yard. I think because we are senior citizens also had some baring in their decision. We had a JRT for 12 years until her passing. Prior to that we owned a cocker mix dog for probably 15 years. We previously took care of a JRT for 3 months while its owner was relocating and more recently we fostered a 15 year old JRT for a rescue organization in Florida. I think we probably would be more experienced with pets than any of the people who are running these organizations. We also tried to adopt a JRT mix from All Paws in Kentucky but were told they thought the dog(a puppy) would be too active for us.

  77. Avatar Of Cathy Hulme

    Cathy Hulme


    Yes, I believe they are way too picky. I’ve recently tried to adopt a dog on Long Island, NY. I was rejected. I have 3 dogs already. In Sept I lost one of my dogs. She is the same breed as the dog in NY. I am also a retired professional pet groomer. Trained in animal cpr. I am at home, not away at work. We have a 1/2 acre yard all fenced in, six feet all the way around. I even cook for my dogs and have a good track record with my pets living into a ripe old age. When my shih tzu had back problems I brought her to a chiropractor. By the way, she is doing well now. I don’t know what else I can do to qualify. Sometimes I think they are just collecting your infomation. Maybe to sell it. I don’t know something is not right. Also why don’t these rescues offer a review section. I’m sure a lot of us would like to post a review on our experiences.

  78. Avatar Of Antoinette



    I am an avid and lifelong dog owner and lover…the process is ridiculous. They want everyone’s work schedule,want to know how much you will spend at the vet… Really?!
    Dogs, like people, are flexible and resilient. They adapt to their surroundings and schedules. Just like having kids, there is no perfect time,home or amount of money… Feed them, exercise them, love them… Simple.

  79. Avatar Of Deb Rose

    Deb Rose


    I have adopted all my pets, either strays that I found, through friends, or from municipal shelters. Until my last adoption, I never had a problem adopting, even though I worked FT and I’ve never had a fenced-in yard. In fact, for 3 of my adoptions, I lived in an apt or a condo! Still, the shelter staff or owners were anxious for me to adopt & grateful that the animals had found a forever home.

    However, when I tried to adopt ~18 mos ago, it was a very different story. Not long after my beloved lab mix, who I had had since she was 8 weeks old, died at 16 y.o., I started looking for a dog to adopt. I thought that since I am home FT now & have a ~1/2 acre lot with a small outside kennel (~14 X ~14), in addition to a long adoption history, adopting would be easy.

    However, I soon realized that all the rescues and most shelters were not looking for good homes; they were looking for “ideal” homes. I quickly eliminated all rescue groups for two reasons: 1) their requirements & their adoption processes were ridiculous; & 2) their fees were much too high. Even some of the shelters, required a fenced-in yard and hundreds in fees.

    As a result, finding a dog to adopt was very frustrating & time consuming. I set up searches on Petfinder, checked FB pages & websites for the shelters that had reasonable requirements & fees, visited nearby shelters, & went to pet adoption events. I applied but lost out for a few dogs.

    Finally, after over 4 months of searching every day, I found my wonderful baby boy. It was an instant connection that was obvious to me & the shelter staff. He was a stray that was adopted by the couple who found him but they returned him a few months later. I couldn’t be happier and the way he follows me around & is upset when I leave him for a few hours to go shopping or other errands, I think he is happy as well!

    However, I still feel that with the thousands of dogs in need of homes, it should not have been as difficult as it was. Just because someone cannot provide the “ideal” home, doesn’t mean that they can’t provide good, loving homes, which are certainly significantly better than a life in a shelter or even worse, being killed for a lack of a home. People should not be eliminated from adopting because they can’t afford hundreds in adoption fees, don’t have fenced-in yards, and/or work outside their homes.

    With thousands of dogs needing homes, the criteria for adopting should be to provide a good home, not an ideal home.

    • Avatar Of Carol Anderson

      Carol Anderson


      I absolutely agree. Shame on Humane Society for making adoption so difficult. Also, taking your pet to vet is way too expensive. No wonder these poor things end up euthanized. No one can afford them.

    • Avatar Of Robert



      I have been trying to deal with rescues and I agree. I also think its about “clout” who you know. You know the right person at the shelter , you will have no problem getting the dog you want.

  80. Avatar Of L Fulker

    L Fulker


    That is why I am in favor of home visits before and one month after adoption. I have 2 adopted dogs….no fenced yard but take them ‘out’ to do their thing or sit outside with them, etc. I had a dog bought in 1998 and faithfully took that dog out….even at below zero weather…it is called being committed to taking care of my furr babies. The shelter dogs do not need to be adopted by potentially the same situation that they had before being rescued.

  81. Avatar Of Lonnie



    Oh yes I’ve seen some adopters boy. One came with a family with 3 children under 10. They posted their “new dog” Missy a young hound/pit mix on FB of the shelter in her new pink collar and leash. Next day Missy “ran off”. Rather at a store one of the children opened the car door, Missy got out (no adult supervision in the car) and what do you know…..she was HBC and died ASAP. So I would NEVER in my life adopt to children under 10. What is a better death Ms Writer…humanely PTS or hit by a car in bloody pieces in the street? What? It would have happened sooner or later that’s why they have an age requirement.
    Ok so you don’t have a fence but the dog has bolted out doors before, some can even open a door that has a push handle. Well there ya go another hit by car, picked up in the street by someone who’ll test his pit bulls on it or worse. My favorite “Day” is pretty much “If you cannot afford a dog they are free toDAY” because if they can’t afford the 60 bucks for a dog how will they afford vet care? HUH? Tell me that? Supposedly 100% of owners should take them to a vet within 3-10 days. Betcha that doesn’t happen.
    About half the dogs up for adoption are STRAYS. Do you know what the past history of a STRAY is? Probably bit several people in a house and the owners opened their UNFENCED door and shoved it out, or tossed it out of a car and little children and mommy and daddy are going to adopt this dog. You have NO KNOWLEDGE of where it’s been or what it’s done clean slate of it’s past history. Little Johnny runs across the room smacks into the dog and he needs a new face. THEN the dog gets PTS. So is that more humane for everyone involved?
    Let shelters make their own decisions, they are a hell of alot smarter than you for one thing.

    • Avatar Of Lonnie



      I would like to amend that to almost 90% of shelter dogs are strays, never picked up by owner. Shelters’ if run by a town’ are obligated to accept drop offs by owners but Rescue orgs DO NOT. They save dogs about to be PTS. These dogs are generally strays.
      One guy recently in FL adopted a stray Rottie that killed him within 12 hours. Some dogs have a past history of “protection” training which means the dogs are free to attack without a command if the person seems threatening. Not manny shelter dogs are tested for physical impairments, mental impairments, previous training, illness, cat/dog aggression, children aggression, house manners (having been kept outside by previous owners), and I could go on forever. AND according to you “There are plenty of kind-hearted people in this community who are willing and able to adopt.” Yeah and there are plenty of animal hoarders, dog fighting rings, people who get dogs off CL to beat to death, hang or outright kill. So how do you know who is who? Most shelters don’t do home checks. Most shelters dogs are “out of sight out of mind.” while they could be slowly tortured. I’ve had many years experience rescuing, fostering, volunteering at shelters, being an ACO. So RULES whether YOU think they’re necessary or not are there for good reasons.

    • Avatar Of Jo



      Lonnie that would be great if these adoption fees were 60 -100 Most of the rescues in my area want 400 – 600 for a fee. I’ve owned over 8 dogs in my lifetime since they were puppies and I’ve never had a fenced in yard. I’ve walked them, I’ve worked full time jobs and my dogs were NEVER neglected they went on road trips with me camping, etc. I even went down to a kill shelter and adopted a dog slated for euthanasia merely days later. I feel that yes I should be able to afford vets bills however when the cost is so high that takes away from the care of the animal.

    • Avatar Of Fiona



      You’re talking about the minority, which you presumably use to bolster your insane position. Shelters are refusing to do what they’re there for – rehoming dogs. Have you READ the comments? Where people have had happy, healthy dogs for over a decade? Or are you just too full of yourself to see that you’re basically proving the decent peoples’ points about shelters. To the nth degree … And you’re too dumb to realise your last comment just proved your narcissistic personality disorder, and how you’re using shelters for your own aggrandisement, nothing more. Because if you had any inkling of the suffering so many dogs go through while waiting for homes and being rejected, you’d be campaigning to make it easier for decent people with decent homes to adopt dogs. Instead, you’re behaving EXACTLY like the insane social workers we have in the UK. You’ll choke on a gnat and swallow a camel in order to promote insane policies. Try some common sense, instead. Don’t rehome a pit bull to a family with kids, sure. But shelters are refusing to rehome small, gentle dogs to people without kids (to use this as an example) on the most ludicrous of reasons. And so on and so on. READ THE COMMENTS. Think of the dogs, instead of your own egos …

    • Avatar Of Fiona



      Your post sounds hysterical and PTSD as well. Accidents happen. Life sucks sometimes. But you have to take chances, otherwise no dog would be adopted ever, and that seems to be where some shelters are heading.

      And Lonnie – stop projecting! I’d guess it’s the majority of people posting here who are: “a hell of a lot smarter than you for one thing”

      They can tell that a dog needs a good home, as opposed to being used as pawns in the game of self-righteousness by some kennel staff. And that the majority of decent dogs and decent people who genuinely want then would be fine together if some COMMON SENSE was used, instead of the narcissistic personality disorders a lot of the staff (inc. you) seem to suffering from. And it’s the dogs who suffer, at the hands of your self-righteousness, when you go home at the end of every day and they’re stuck in kennels, away from the many people who wanted to rehome them but were turned away by the staff from hell.

  82. Avatar Of Carla Brown

    Carla Brown


    I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I absolutely agree with this article. As a matter of fact, I have stopped all funding to local rescue groups around here because of this fact and have now starting funding out of country rescues ie: Save a Puppy Aruba, Animal Aid India, etc.

  83. Avatar Of Tracey



    I agree completely. Because someone doesn’t have a fence doesn’t mean they aren’t dedicated. We have 1-4 acre properties. An invisible fence helps contain most trained dogs. But it isn’t considered a fence. It’s really annoying when true dog people with many years of experience raising amazing dogs are immediately dismissed because they don’t have a fence.

  84. Avatar Of Gg



    This article is correct!!!!! Shelters are just too picky and who suffers…the cats and dogs that are supposed to be helped!!! Terrible!

  85. Avatar Of Missie



    If good animals didn’t end up in shelters and on the streets because of bad/irresponsible people the shelters and rescues wouldn’t have to have such high standards for placement. .The standards exist to try to rule out those people who aren’t truly committed to an animal for the rest if its life. Unfortunately, the shelters and rescues do not have the resources to fully vet every potential adopter to see if they are worthy of being given an exemption to the standard policies so good people are often disqualified. If one is truly committed to adopting and caring for a pet for life, he/she should make the extra effort to prove that they are an exception. Many organizations will reconsider; they just don’t have the time and manpower to look extensively at every single case. There are so many animals in need of homes and plenty of organizations with less stringent adoption policies. If you are truly committed to having a pet, committing to finding the perfect companion shouldn’t be a huge burden. Adopt don’t shop!

  86. Avatar Of Erin



    This is the problem I had when looking for both of my dogs. The rescues would not consider me because I did not have a fenced yard. The shelters around my area did not have the breeds I was looking for. I tried also to get a dog from down south but lost my patience after a few tries. Unfortunately that meant going to a breeder. And as I was not rich I went to what I am sure would be considered back yard breeders. My dogs were still what I consider expensive at $750 and $850. I did not know better. All I wanted was an animal to love in my new home. I grew up having g a dog my entire life. Never did we have a fence. My dogs are 9 and 4 1/2 now. I think know I have done ok. Sad I could not save a lonely dog in need and ended up supporting the root of the problem. I hope rescues can loosen their guild lines so we can stop the never ending cycle of over population, and death of these animals.

  87. Avatar Of Susan



    Our application wasn’t even considered as our current dog wasn’t spayed. Current dog wasn’t able to be spayed due to several genetic defects, one which caused her to be a bleeder. There wasn’t a vet who would risk it. Including our local University.
    So I have a dog that needs constant supervision,a special diet, a kajillion dollars, tons of cuddles and care, massage, you name it. FYI; all is freely given. She IS our youngest child for goodness sake. We were told our application will be put on “hold” until she is spayed.
    Here. Allow me to kill current best friend so we can “qualify”.
    Naw. Makes a person want to go back to an irresponsible breeder to “save” another genetically defected pup. Lord knows her litter mates have been destroyed as you can’t knowingly/legally sell genetically flawed purebreds. Ugh.

  88. Avatar Of Donna Amasa

    Donna Amasa


    I work and I don’t have a fenced in yard. Rescue groups won’t even consider me. Seriously, what percentage of people have someone at home most of the day, a fenced in yard (with no pool), no young kids, not unemployed and not elderly looking for a lab, boxer or Golden? How does anyone adopt these dogs? I’ve given up and am looking at breeders. I can afford a $3000 dog. But for many families, backyard breeders and puppy mills will be where they turn for a pet. Is that what these rescue groups want?

  89. Avatar Of Confused And Frustrated Already

    Confused and Frustrated Already


    I have recently began the process of researching rescues and shelters for a companion animal and am finding that this is probably not the path I will take. In the last few days I have viewed approximately 30 potential animals that seem as though they would make a good fit from what the fosters or sites list but the applications for adoption are just a bit ridiculous. I’m curious as to why a foster would list “needs to be the only animal in the house, does not like kids, does not like dogs, does not like cats” but describes the same animal that is currently living with them as “absolutely adores interacting with his/her 6, (yes 6) foster fur siblings, loves to play fetch with our children in the backyard”. What the…..soooo including this precious dog that really needs a forever home, you have SEVEN dogs? And your allowing a dog who “does not like children” to play with your children? There have been so many contradictions as to what these alleged fosters/rescuers claim are requirements for the dog and then contradict themselves in the personality section that it leaves one to scratch their head and ask, “so does he like cats or doesn’t he? does he like kids or not?”. Then you look at the application and wonder how a hospital ever allowed you to bring home your newborn child from the hospital? While I understand the importance of insuring to the best of their ability that these precious furbabies will go to a FOREVER loving home and being especially cautious due to the horror stories they have had to witness, I’m rethinking whether or not I want to subject myself to the possible rejection, frustration, and dead end of trying to adopt this way. And on a side note, during my research which included this particular subject thread, I feel that there are more pet hoarders out there disguising themselves as rescuers/fosters than anyone would care to admit. They may not have intended to end up that way, but end up that way they did. And the bonus…depending on the way the “non-profit” is set up and ran? They may be using donations to care for their own animals…I mean fosters. Always research the 50C3 before you donate. Doesn’t like dogs but he’s one of SEVEN in your home? Goodness gracious.

  90. Avatar Of John Searcher

    John Searcher


    My fiancee and I applied for a dog. We are very familiar with positive reinforcement and clicker training. I’ve had experience with training multiple dogs. We have 12 acres of totally fenced in property. An additional 2 acres directly attached to the house that is fenced in. We always have people home, we have a big family. We have a 5000sqft house. Everything about our application was perfect.

    Why were we denied? They said “if you break up some places dont accept german shepherds” WHAT?????

  91. Avatar Of Evan



    We’ve been applying to adopt on a regular basis for THREE YEARS with no success. We’re interested in retrievers (for the personality and trainability), and we know they’re in high demand, but we’re perfectly fine with mixes and … seriously, three years is a lot. We’re a stable professional couple with a high income, a great house and yard in a good neighborhood. I’m a humane society volunteer in the dog behavior department, so I have a ton of training and practical practice with dogs. I know a ton about positive reinforcement training, and it’s the only technique I will use. I work from home so the dog(s) won’t even be alone. I’ve owned or lived with seven large breed dogs in my life.

    Over and over, we send in applications and don’t hear anything back. Nothing.

    When we ask, we get reassured that our application is perfect. Zero issues with it, “you guys have a perfect application”. And yet, we’ve only even been invited to meet one dog in three years — and that one had been cooped up in a tiny kennel for four years and was seriously psychologically damaged with the worst attachment/anxiety combination I’ve ever seen.

    This week we finally got a call — we were second on the list for a pair of labs. Spent quite a bit of time on the phone with the foster getting to know them and talk about the dogs. The dogs were outside the age range we preferred, but at this point we’re getting less picky. Yesterday we learned the first family didn’t take them … only because we saw the dogs relisted on the website without a call to us. When I asked they said they’d decided we weren’t the right family for the dogs but no, they wouldn’t tell us why. Again the reassurance that our application is great and we’ll make fantastic parents for a dog some day.

    I don’t get it. “Save a life – adopt a rescue” except they don’t ever seem interested in actually letting us DO that…

    I’m finally giving up and starting to look at breeder websites.

  92. Avatar Of L



    Yes exactly my frustration. We’ve been looking at older rescue cats for several weeks yet not been able to satisfy their criteria. We are a professional couple with no kids or pets, with a good sized flat but no garden and away during the working day. This automatically rules us out of most charities who require a garden – this in London, where property prices mean you’d need to be earning in the top 0.5% or so to afford a garden anywhere within the inner few zones!
    And there’s a bigger problem – I can go on Gumtree (like Craiglist) and pick up a kitten from a backyard breeder instead, no questions asked. Why are we being penalised for being well-intentioned?

  93. Avatar Of T



    Yes!!!! I was soooo happy to adopt my first dog since our marriage and new child. When I looked at the application I was shocked! Not every dog owner has a fence, most potential owners have small kids, and work. That alone immediately disqualifies a load of people. They even wanted to know if you live in a mobile home or slab built home. Why? My inlaws stay in a very very nice double-wide that looks better than homes i see in the suburbs. There’s also a question of how many hours the animal will be home alone. Most families work 8-12HR days, and not everyone has money for dog sitters. The fee is understandable, but I dislike that the prices deviate from one shelter to another.

  94. Avatar Of Kevin P

    Kevin P


    I actually think alot of rescues are crazy… However local pounds on the other hand do not give a hoot about you or the dog– they just want them gone.

    I actually have been applying to a lot of rescues(over 20 from different sorrounding states, and some farther away that I could just drive to), but because I am disabled and live with my parents(my parents/family agree to owning a dog too!) I actually not just get denied but I got rude responses too like “someone like you shouldn’t be allowed to own a dog at all”…. Some don’t even respond e-mails after weeks(I even remind them weekly of the said emails and applications I have sent)…

    My disability isn’t that bad that I cannot own a dog… I actually live in a home with a fenced in yard in a great neighborhood where NOTHING has EVER happened here(been here for 10+ years) and then they won’t even do a home visit!

    Then some actually say that EVERYONE in the family has to agree to me owning a dog and HAS to be there when the dog comes in(including my brother who works nightshifts every single day from 9pm to 6ish am)… I understand my parents being there, but my brother? He doesn’t even have anything to do with it…

    Then when I mentioned my mom has a dog that her SON(brother) got from a breeder(good breeder too!) they just talked down to me.. Asked if she was spayed/neutered and her age and medical records which was overboard since it’s not even my dog and they wont even ever meet since I am protective of whatever I own(used to own fish and toads).

    I actually heard about one of the rescues I applied to were just a front for hoarders(this lady from a place called poshpets– she’s some british lady) has had the dog up on the site for adoption yet doesn’t even respond? What the heck? Turns out she keeps 30+ cats and 10 dogs in one small NYC apartment heard it from many reviews on her rescue and other sources…

    Many actually ask you if you’re going to have kids…

    AND even if you’re someone whose unemployed, living with their parents, dog-savvy, already found a vet to take him/her to, feeding the highest quality food available they turn you down because you’re mentally(for me it’s actually just a social disability)disabled and don’t get to know you– all on the basis that they think all mentally disabled people are “unstable”, “Dangerous”, etc. Which is far from the truth! I have NEVER EVER hurt anyone or anything! I actually have psychological records from my psychologist AND psychiatrists– from different sources(not just 1-2 psychologists!)

    Even if you have a lot of references that aren’t even your friends! Even if the parents agree to supervise! Then they just make up a lie saying– oh but you’re 24 and that’s really an unstable stage of your life! You might get married or go to college in the next few years and leave the dog on the streets.

    AS IF! I would rather drink cyanide than EVER hurt an animal ESPECIALLY a dog! I don’t even like cats and I am NICE to them! I actually feed my friends cat treats I buy at the petstore!

    Dogs actually LOVE me! I have NEVER EVER met a dog that has hated me or bit me! Even the so called aggressive pitbulls, rottweilers, doberman pinschers, german shepherds(though I strongly disbelieve that dogs like that are violent!).

    I actually used to help my brother out when he worked at a rescue and he actually said a lot of these places are filled with drama and the workers are highly unkempt and unprofessional(Some actually hit on him!).

    I actually support adopting a dog but how the hell are you supposed to adopt when these people are just bat-shit crazy(and most are hoarders to boot!)?!

    • How tragic that you’ve had such a traumatic experience trying to give a great life to a deserving dog. Though my own experiences aren’t quite as horrific as yours, I gave up after 3 different rescues turned me down. I’m the editor of a dog site, very stable life, great history of both veterinary care and certified training for past dogs, work from home, and have a fenced in backyard… problem is, my fence is only 4-feet high. On the other hand, I agree with you completely that shelters/pounds are way too easy to adopt from and do little, if any, background checks. Fortunately, people like you and I, that will do any and everything to give our dogs a wonderful life can still rescue from shelters.

      Note – if there’s a specific breed you’re looking for, one that your local shelters don’t typically have available, call around and see about being put on a waitlist. Roughly 30% of dogs in shelters are purebreed. I adopted my Golden Retriever that way. Good luck and I know you’ll make a great dog dad some day!

      • Avatar Of Kevin P

        Kevin P


        I am actually hoping to adopt a bassador that a rescue actually said might be good for me. But then they wont even let me see her before I adopt her because apparently she’s being fostered in North Carolina? Which I am not sure as to why she would make a post on petfinder saying it was a state away from me… (basically an hour from me).. Which means I’d have to wing it– or go to a breeder which I honestly can’t even find some decent breeders around.. All of the places around me are puppy mills. Im from nj so in PA there’s a ton of puppy mills from the amish folk who use their dogs like cattle.

        Then there’s this one shelter in NYC with a dog I actually wanted to meet(even though he had hair loss– which means he was probably or is sick but I didnt really care that much), however the lady hasnt even read any of my emails so I don’t even know why she bothers to post anything up there…

        That lady who pretty much judged me unfit to own a dog I actually felt like suing her for it(but I don’t really think it’d go well and I dont want to ruin a shelter just because of my feelings).

        That being said I am not going to ever donate to that shelter or even look at it.

        I am actually in the market for either a female: bassador, yorkie(morkie as well), chihuahua(or mix), dachshund(or mix), boston terrier, cavalier king charles spaniel, shih tzu(would prefer purebred though), or similar sized dogs– preferably dogs that are highly affectionate and overall friendly dispositioned. I have tried the AKC website but there’s so many breeders to contact and a lot of them don’t even update their profiles.

        As for purebreeds being in shelters– I actually believe it. My brother used to work in a shelter(or rescue) and he actually saw a lot of purebreds… But this was long ago.

        I actually told my psychologist today about the whole process of adopting a dog and he said it’s actually highly intrusive, demeaning, childish, and just overall an insult as well as a joke. He said not to bother with it(he actually is well known in the medicine world as well) and he said most of these people probably have some deep psychological issues of their own waiting to be uncovered.

        That being said.. I really do hope I can find a dog of my own… But with all my specifics(has to be a puppy– 2-6months, female, and well any of those breeds or similar) it’s going to be a lot harder… I am actually trying to think about my future as well– such as if I was to move I want to make sure that I can take her with me and she’s able to live in an apartment without bothering the neighbors so I dont get kicked out.

        Anyways I hope you get the dog you wanted.

  95. Avatar Of David Moore

    David Moore


    Yes, shelters are too picky about who they adopt to at the detriment of the animals they are trying to help. We have been trying to adopt a cat and the process is ridiculous. The questions asked are very intrusive and it seems they force people to lie if they want to qualify for adoption. In the meantime the animals age and become antisocial and are eventually unadoptable. I am really tired of hearing about all the animals that desperately need homes when there are plenty of people willing to adopt.

  96. Avatar Of Leila Demian

    leila demian


    Some are definitly too picky. Some require you to keep the dog indoors ALL THE TIME, others require not just one home visit, but follow up visits as well. Some ridiculous questions i’ve been asked on applications, “what will you feed the dog? If feeding kibble, WHICH BRAND?” “How do you feel about crate training?” So according to this, if you feed your dog Purina and dont beleive in crate training, they’d rather see a dog euthanized at the pound. Then they want the NAMES and ages of your children. I understand the ages, to some extent, but why do they need my kids names? I need a BACKGROUND CHECK ON THEM before i give them my kids info (remember one of the first questions is your address). In my opinion, *some* of these independent Rescue organizations have just found a tricky way to get community donations and tax deductions for their own pets. One org I looked at has had some of the “highly adoptable dogs” in “foster care” for 4 yrs! Meanwhile out of 20 some dogs, only a spare few could go to homes with kids. I’m guessing they are the “dogs are better than people/kids” types and are hoarding good dogs.

  97. Avatar Of Leila Demian

    leila demian


    Ridiculous. They drive families to the breeders because they are discriminating against families.

  98. Avatar Of Courtney



    I had started looking for a dog to add to my family a few months ago. We went to many shelters, and adoption events. However, many shelters refused to allow us to adopt a dog simply because I worked. I tried multiple times to adopt but the shelters did not cooperate. We eventually got a dog from a breeder. If the shelters had decided to allow us to adopt, then they could have opened up another space for other dogs that need rescuing. Don’t get me wrong here, I love animal shelters and what they do for animals but I believe that rescuing dogs would become more efficient if they were more flexible with their applicators.

  99. Avatar Of Nell St.pierre

    Nell St.Pierre


    I am in a position to see both sides of this issue,I volunteer at a cat rescue,but in many ways it’s not so different.
    We also have a list of “rules” to follow to adopt and the majority of our interested families pass with little or no problems.Being a small organization we probably meet 10% of what someone at a state run shelter sees,so we don’t run into as many fibbers as they do,but we have our share.
    One lady came in with her children to meet some of our 4 month old kittens.While she filled out the application her 6 & 9 yr old daughters had to be repeatedly asked to be gentle with the kittens,no,you can’t pick one up by the leg,if the kitten wants down from your lap you should let it go…etc etc…and Mom paid little to no attention while sitting and chatting with the rescue volunteer(the meet&greet room is 5ft by 7 ft in area) If she lets them get away here what will it be like at home?? Needless to say,they didn’t pass muster.
    We had another young lady who applied,but her landlord said no (what use is adopting an animal to someone who’s going to have to rehome it when the landlord gives the choice of the pet goes or you move?),so she gets her mother to come apply and say it’s for herself,but mom lets it slip it’s for her daughter…
    The point is,we do make it a bit invasive to make sure the adoption isn’t just an impulse and that the cat is going to be loved and cared for it’s entire life…which can be as long as 20 years.
    On the flip side I’m sure some shelters/rescues are overboard in their demands..but remember they’ve probably come across many,many instances of people dumping the animals,lying about their ability to care properly for them as in making sure they’re fed,vetted and properly housed,lying about their past history with other pets.
    Please don’t stop thinking of adopting,we rescue volunteers are only human and often err on the side of caution.

  100. Avatar Of Deborah K

    Deborah K


    I agree with this post. I tried to adopt from a couple of local rescue orgs, but kept being turned down because I had a 5 year old kid and they did not have any dogs that had been fostered in a home with kids, so they didn’t know how the dog will be with children. They didn’t even consider letting us meet the dog with our son to see how the dog would take to him and just denied. They said they’d let me know if they got any dogs that are kid friendly, but it’s been 2 years and I haven’t heard from them. I’m certain they should have had dogs that are kid friendly. Since then, I adopted a dog from the Berkeley Humane Society that did ask us to fill out the questions about family, home and work, but otherwise was able to walk out with our new family member on a leash.

  101. Avatar Of Maria



    I am afraid I’m not going to adopt from any rescue organization because of their humiliating, interrogation-like questionnaires and practices. I had not found one sane adoption processes in my now second year of search. I have a five year old beagle whom I wanted to find a sister or a brother but I will not submit myself to a scrutiny of a bunch of emotionally disturbed individuals with a thirst for power. They should be scrutinized and produce a certificate of mental health and intellectual ability to make logical decisions. The rescue workers I’ve met in one shelter were overweight, greasy and unkempt. I cannot imagine having them on my property, going through our house and then telling me no, I’m not fit to have one of ‘their’ dogs. Or popping in for an unannounced visit – isn’t that invasion of privacy? This has to change! Does anyone know of shelters that are humane towards humans?

    • Avatar Of Sharon Sharon says:

      Maria, this sounds like exactly what I’m going through. This is actually my second try adopting a rescue. The first time, I gave up and got a fabulous dog from a well-respected, one-litter-a-year show/sports breeder. That dog is now 5, and I’m interested in adopting a buddy for him. But in my search so far, I can see I’ll end up having to go to a breeder again.

      I’m an amateur dog sports competitor of 38+ years, all-positive trainer, and occasional circus dog act performer (2-4 times a year, mainly for charity). I have a home with a half-acre fenced yard by a forest. My dogs have always gone to the most expensive vets and boarding kennels, eat ultra-premium food, come with me on vacations, sleep on the bed, have lived with me abroad, and routinely make it to 14-16 years of age. I spend hours a day training, playing with and exercising my dogs. I work from home, and my elderly mother is also home all day, and there are no kids in our tidy, well-kept house. In other words, the hundreds of dog competitors I know would consider me a “DREAM home” for any dog.

      But when I contact any shelter beyond 70 miles, they refuse to even take my application because I’m too far away. They won’t even consider letting me drive to meet the dog, or doing a video tour of my house, etc.

      When I contact shelters or rescues closer than that, I am instantly nixed because my existing male is not neutered. (For health reasons; I’ve never bred a litter in my life). And because my vet doesn’t give DHLP shots to my dogs (I do, at home). And because I don’t heartworm test annually. (Because it’s not medically necessary since my dogs get preventative year-round).

      I have also been rejected because I mention that I’ll be competing with my future pup in agility. Since they know NOTHING about dog sports, they assume I’m going to force the dog through flaming hoops, while shocking him with an e-collar or something, all so I can win thousands of dollars at a competition. They don’t seem to realize that agility is a respected international sport where you don’t win ANY prizes or money (just a ribbon), and which 50,000 American’s regularly compete in year-round. Mentioning my dogs have performed on TV and at charity events is–to me–a wonderful thing. To them, it’s just another sign that I’m an “evil dog abusing scumwad.”

      Frankly, if I can’t get a callback from a rescue… and I’ve never once had an application approved even to the point of MEETING an adoptable puppy… I don’t know how ANYBODY successfully adopts from a rescue.

    • Avatar Of Leila Demian

      leila demian


      Right! It’s one thing to ask some basic queations, I could even *somewhat* understand one home visit to make sure you aren’t a crazy animal hoarder, but some even require follow up visits. Ridiculous !

    • Avatar Of Leila Demian

      leila demian


      Neil- not having been there I can’t speak to the extreme of the kids behavior, but I can say, being in that situation with kids is hard. She may have wanted to discipline her kids, but also wanted to give the shelter worker her full attention.if she listens to the info, she can get through the info quicker, then fix the situation with ger kids sooner, rather than struggle with the kids the whole time, then miss what the worker was trying to tell her. Kids have a way of knowing when their parents are busy, and act out when they think they can get away with it. Much like when your dog gets into the trash when you’re at work. Once home, I bet the kids are much better, and the cat would possibly be able to have a her own space even.

  102. Avatar Of Dexter



    I would have long since provided a home for one or more rescue dogs had it not been for the invasive process described in these comments. Many shelters have taken the process too far and have become the problem. I take my friend’s dog for a walk once a week and when her roommate adopted a small dog, the shelter wanted to know where I live and work, whether I had pets of my own or any children, whether any pets had ever passed away while in my care (including from old age), my marital status, and more. (To be clear, I do not live there, nor was I seeking to adopt … I merely take and return the existing dog in the household from the backyard for occasional trips to the park or beach.) Anyone else who had access to the house was expected to undergo the same scrutiny. Further, for the life of the dog, the roommate had to agree to report to the shelter anyone who subsequently gained access to the house, including temporary workers, maids, the cable guy, etc., who would then be “required” to undergo similar screening. What started as a movement with good intentions has in many cases turned into fanatics playing God, sending me and probably thousands like me to breeders or the classifieds. If you don’t intend to let go of the rescues, then call yourself a sanctuary and stop passing judgment and making people feel like criminals for wanting to adopt. Put a tail (no pun intended) on anyone for long enough and you’ll find something wrong. One has to wonder if those making the decisions are above reproach — would they even pass their own test?

  103. Avatar Of Bettina



    i have experienced the same hassle in trying to adopt a rescue/shelter dog! I can’t believe all the invasive questions and requirements the rescue organizations have in order to adopt a homeless dog! It’s really disheartening. I’ve owned a dog for 15 years, from the time he was 8 weeks old. I have all the vet records showing that I was up to date on my dog’s health, yet they want to know what type of fence I have, how tall it is, what is it made of, what is the square footage of my yard, what does my yard look like, then they want to call three friends to question them about my ability to own a dog, then they want to come by my house to see where the dog will sleep and to see if I have screen in my windows. Then they want to know if I die what will happen to the dog. I must have filled out thirty applications in the past few months and I STILL don’t have a dog. There are thousands and thousands of homeless dogs sitting in foster homes, kennels and shelters just BEGGING TO BE ADOPTED. I know the organizations want to be careful not to give the dog to some hoarder person or to someone who is going to abuse it, but seriously….the hoops they make people jump through are causing more healthy dogs to be euthanized because the dogs available for adoption are backlogged due to the ridiculous requirements.

  104. Avatar Of Chim Cim

    Chim Cim


    For the last 6 months I’ve been looking for a dog to adopt. I’ve filled out and submitted over 20 ridiculously long and invasive applications, pretty soon I’m sure you will have to submit a DNA sample as well, and so far I’ve only received 1 reply, which was a denial because I didn’t live in their state, but at least they had the common courtesy to answer, unlike all the rest. It seems like the volunteers at these shelters have written off humans as suitable candidates for THEIR animals. How audacious of me to think I was competent enough to take care of a dog.

    I now have no other option other than a puppy mill if I want a dog. It breaks my heart to not adopt/rescue but they have left me no choice.

    It seems that their philosophy is to place 3 of 100 animals in the perfect home, euthanizing the remaining 97, rather than placing the 100 animals in acceptable homes and getting 10 back due to various reasons.

  105. Avatar Of Besb



    I am so upset. We found a dog we really liked, and I called a shelter about it and they still had it. The Dog is a medium size Dog and approximately a year and a half old. I filled out an application and faxed it to them. My husband and I drove 45 miles to the shelter to see the dog and immediately fell in love with it. I viewed the Dog in the Pen and it was Love at First Site. No Barking and Jumping like the other dogs – he just sat there looking at me. We went into a room and they brought the dog in and we visited with the Dog for quite some time. The Dog was so Laid Back and Mellow and a Pleasure to be with. I was told after the visit with the Dog that the Lady who went over applications was not there, and they said she would review it next day. I called the next day to see if we could get the Dog, and the Lady said although our application was Fine, they felt that the Dog was NOT SUITABLE FOR US. We are an ederly couple, live in a rural community with a population of 152 and they were afraid that if the door was open, the Dog would take off. She said that they had a program where you could try a Dog for a couple of days to see if they would work out, but beings I didn’t live in the same town as the shelter, we couldn’t do it because they had no way to get the dog back. I asked if I could pay the $120 fee for the Dog, try him out, and if he didn’t work out for us, I would bring him back to the shelter and they could keep the Fee. I knew the Dog was for us. Even then, they wouldn’t consider it. What hurt even more, she said that they had a couple of other Dogs they felt would be suitable for us. I ask her what kind – she said a Pittbull and a German Sheperd Mix. i am still in disbelief to get turned down at an animal shelter on a Darling Gentle Dog and offered a Pittbull Mix.

    • Avatar Of Me



      Pitbulls are actually one of the sweetest most gentle and patient and loving dogs and were known as nanny dogs for being so good with children and the elderly. You should never assume. Sorry about the rest though.

  106. Avatar Of Coco2



    I was so disgusted with my search to find a dog. I was turned down because I was too old, (55), I worked (part time), Couldn’t find my vet records from 13 years previous, live too close to a highway ( 1 mile away), couldn’t give the exact dimensions of my fenced in yard when asked the first time, therefore I must not have one, I wasn’t a good fit, the (older ) dogs I tried to adopt needed young families. However, one was ever so happy to let me adopt a 12 year old blind dog with a host of neurological issues. I think she was flabbergasted when I said I would take him. The dog was half starved, in horrible health. He still has many problems and the vet has suggested we put him down every time we go in there, but he is happy here. It will be 2 years next month. I think rescues literally force people to buy from breeders and amish. What choices are they left with. I tried 5 places! And the worst thing was some of these dogs were still up for adoption months later!

  107. Avatar Of Jamie



    I’ve recently been turned down from two agencies because I said the dog would be outside during the day while I was at work. The second dog was clearly labeled as not being house trained and needing obedience training. I wanted to adopt that retriever/husky but was told that it could not live outside while I was at work, even though I have a dog house with a pet heating pad and straw. I’m sorry, since when was it bad for a husky to be outside? But yet they think the dog is better off in a kennel every day. The dog peed on the wall while I was visiting with it, but they wanted me to leave it in the house. And people on their facebook page are wondering why the last people brought it back. I don’t see that they are helping these animals at all.

  108. Avatar Of Regina



    I have applied with rescues offering to both foster and adopt. Usually I get no response at all. I went to a shelter run by a rescue called Bobbi & the Strays and not only was I ignored – the receptionist did not even offer a hello – but then she and 2 other staffers ran to a back room and were never seen again! Very bizarre behaviour. After a home check with yet another rescue I was turned down for my home being “too small”. I have 5 rooms plus a fenced in yard plus my dog goes on 5 walks per day, two 30 minute walks and three 15-20 minute walks. The dog I have I now I purchased off CraigsList after I gave up adopting. I get so tired of being rejected. I am a devoted dog owner and any homeless dog would be happy and grateful to share its life with me.

  109. Avatar Of Exasperation



    Going through the same thing. I’ve applied to 4 different shelters in the last 2 months, all of whom have quite the adoption process. And you know, I happily filled out the 3 page applications, gave numerous references, submitted myself to interrogation and let a stranger into my home to inspect it. They asked my friends how I interact with animals, what my routines are, what my financial situation is like; this is when I began to feel bothered, not only because of the invasive nature of the questions, but because they’re more than a little awkward for my friends. Now they are telling me that my place is too small, that my unfenced yard is not acceptable, and the fact that I’m in the navy is a total deal breaker. Even though I will not be going to sea for three years, and I even provided the shelter with half a dozen names AND numbers of people who will care for the dog if and when I go away in THREE YEARS. Even though the dog will be running AND walking with me DAILY. But oh no, I need a fence, and to work from home apparently.

    I’m trying to adopt a pit bull too; some of whom have been in the shelter, in a steel kennel most of their lives. Because that’s better than with me, right? I’ve been dumped and felt less rejected than throughout this process.

  110. Avatar Of Karen



    I have had similar issues with Help The Animals in Richmond Indiana. It took me awhile to mourn the loss of my last two fur babies. There was a period of time that my heart just couldn’t think of loving and losing again. I missed the snuggles and the little antics of my babies. I’m alone now and they always made me smile. I don’t smile much anymore. I filled out adoption papers, got approved. Was told that they were sorry but not for the dog I had chosen, someone else had filled out before me and they went with them. Second time same. This time I filled out adoption papers on a small boxer, I fell in love with that they just got in that day. I called back today like the lady said. I’m sorry there is four people wanting her and we have to go through all applications. Why???? I’ve been thinking about this baby for days, so excited telling friends and my daughter was with me at the shelter. My daughter had adopted my grand puppy from this shelter!! I am very upset. Why would I be passed over again when I really love doggies with my whole heart!? It is so upsetting and seems so unfair. If I am passed over this time, I am never putting myself through this again. I’m 50 years old. I own my home. I’ve had the same job going on 30 years!!!

  111. Avatar Of Maggie



    Yes they are. Here In Lake City,Fl. I went to the shelter to check out the dogs because we really wanted to adopt a dog. I met a beautiful dog name Ralph. I feel in love with him. But I needed to know how Ralph and my Sassy would get along. So they told me to bring my Sassy in. Well I did yesterday. But as soon as my fiance and I got there there with our Sassy. The Lady had asked if our Sassy was fixed. Well we told her she was not fixed. Then the lady instantly started saying that we are to irresponsible to adopt a dog. And we never got to realy even see Ralph. But here is the thing. Our furbabys always go to the vet for regular check ups and are up to date on all their shots, and are on flea tick and worm prevenitives . We make emergency trips when needed such as,if they get hurt outside or, like one day my Sassy got into something she was alergic to out side. Anyways. We do have Four acres of land that is completely fenced in. A nice clean home and we keep our fur baby’s clean and well fed. Anyways we do not breed our dogs. And the one coming from the shelter has already been neutered so I do not see what the problem would have been,because they could not breed anyways. Is that even a real thing? Can a shelter denie a loving family a pet because one of the family’s pets is not spayed or neutered? (We only neuter our boys just not our girl because the procedure for the female pets is to evasive and we do not wish to put her through having all if her reproductive organs taken out. We do not wish to put her through pain, she hasn’t started bleeding but if she ever does we will get doggie diapers)

  112. Avatar Of Jillian



    Yes!!!!! It’s December in buffalo, and winters can get nasty here! They’ve even already waived the fee for cats and it’s not even cold out yet! I went to adopt and was told no, bc the entire family has to meet the cat. Why? Why do I need To drag 3 kids and my boyfriend to the shelter? How will I get to evaluate the cat in their crammed little rooms with that much going on? I ended up getting a barn cat…. And she’s a purrrrrfect fit 😉

  113. Avatar Of Eli



    My family and I spent two hours playing with and cuddling an adorable Lab/Dachshund mix, only to be turned down because our 4-year-old is high energy and they were worried that the dog would be over-stimulated. Having to break the news to my kids was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve had to do in a long time. I don’t get it. My husband and I have been married for six years, have more than 10 years each at the same job, own a home with a beautiful fenced 1/2 acre yard, and have two awesome boys to play with and love a dog. But the adoption committee felt that having a rambunctious energetic dog locked in an apartment with two cats in his foster situation was a better environment than living with two rambunctious and energetic boys who have a big back yard to play fetch in and burn off some playtime. Now we’re waiting four days for word on an application for another dog at another shelter. I just wanted to bring a homeless dog into our home and make it a part of our family. I feel like screaming “We’re good people! Really!!!” If we get rejected again, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

  114. Avatar Of Pat



    I have just recently started looking for a puppy. I have already come to the conclusion the hoops they want people to jump through are insane. I understand rescue groups wanting to be cautious where they place a pet, so getting past the 300$ price tag that a lot of “volunteer” groups ask for. Yes I know they are vet checked, spay/neutered etc, however I also know the majority of vets are also volunteer, and the cost of shots are minimal compared to what we pay when we take them in. Anyway, getting past all that, I started to fill out the application, OH MY GOD, are you kidding me, I thought I had somehow been transported to adopt a child website. As Im answering these ridiculous questions ” where will the puppy spend his time? and I swear they ask for almost every hour of the day. How will I play with him/her? What will they do when outside? Okay getting past the obvious, and not so obvious, my employers name and phone…am I applying for a job here?… then I get to, WE NEED 3 references…. WHAT, I need references to adopt a stray or unwanted puppy now? How in the world would that tell them anything? Are these friends or coworkers in my home 24/7, do they know how I treat pets behind closed doors, does anyone? If references meant people didnt abuse animals, would we have all of these unwanted pets do begin with??? At that point, I just went on reading the rest of the questions expecting to see a place for my credit score!
    I have since decided to check other options of finding a new puppy. These people that think they are doing unwanted animals a favor are really hurting more than helping.
    As I sit here typing this, reaching around my sleeping cat to do so. Looking at my snoring dog sleeping on the couch. I question the do-gooders….of the rescue world. Are you” rescuing” animals for the good of the animals, or trying to fill a gap that you have inside of you….

  115. Avatar Of Mommakeys



    I have been trying to adopt for weeks now, but have decided to go the breeder route instead as well. I cannot believe that 11 dogs/7 shelters and 7 applications later we have not heard back for two weeks. I now know why people with rescue dogs are so proud! Probably just because they were able to make it through the process !!

  116. Avatar Of Don B

    Don B


    I’ve had nothing but a bunch of bs reasons why im not a canidate and been turned down several times I already have a dog with over 2 acres of land I currently bring my dog to my office with me and she hangs out on my couch most of the day I’m sick of the adoption process I would rather just go to a breeder now and I use to tell everyone to adopt now I’m directing them towards breeders and let them know the nightmare that is adoption

  117. Avatar Of Julia



    Our experience with several dog rescue groups in the SF Bay Area has been nothing but horrific. What an eye-opener.

    The reality is many of these groups are run and “staffed” by people who are, to put it kindly, more than a little mentally “off”. Others are run by scammers who are looking to solicit donations and flip SPCA/Humane Society dogs.

    It’s great to adopt a dog, but go straight to your local SPCA or Humane Society. Bypass these sketchy “shelter” and “rescue” people who expect to have unfettered access to your home and financial data, who ask for ridiculously high “rehoming fees” and who give you a song and dance about every potential pet, leading you up to the point of adoption, dropping you, luring you in again with another pet, etc.

    We ended up going to a breeder and buying a puppy. So another dog, most likely put on hold at an SPCA somewhere by a “rescue” group, is still sitting out there as a result of rescue group lunatics who use and abuse dogs to line their pockets and/or fill some sicko need to control animals and people.

  118. Avatar Of Jh



    This is all so true. I’ve finally decided to buy from a breeder. Shelters just make it too difficult. The first shelter I looked at only adopted to people who already had a dog in their home, so the adopted animal would have a companion. Others have turned me down for living in an apartment (and not having a yard) and for being a musician (because the noise might bother the dog.) The last straw, though, was a shelter that turned me down because they can’t be sure I won’t have children in the future. I found that offensive, and probably sexist. I’m sure they don’t turn down young single men for that reason.

    It’s sad. I can provide a great home for a dog in need. I work from home everyday. I have a lot of free time and energy. I’m financially stable. My building is right next to a dog park, and not far from other nice parks. But, I’ve found a reputable breeder, and they’re happy to sell me a Pomeranian puppy. I wish I could have adopted, and I did try. Oh well. My puppy is coming home next month and I can’t wait to have her.

  119. Avatar Of Tay Tay says:

    Ive ben looking for a fur child for 4 months now and is welling to adopt from 3 different states but constantly the dog i want is already adopted but they keep them on the site or they dont communicate back. I live in a home of 3 were everyone is home before 4, sounds great? but alot shelters wont let me get any dog because my brother is 8 and we never had a vet (becase we never had a dog). When i ge a do ill get a vet but i cant have a reference if i never had a dog. We have dog exsperiene etc but there so picky and rude it makesme wanna go to a breeder, a responsible one.

  120. Avatar Of Shaune



    I agree the adoption process is quite over-the-top. I don’t work outside the home, my husband works from his shop (mechanic) on our 80 acre farm. The last time we adopted we had to fill out a lengthy application, build a dog run, and wait 72 hours to get our dog. That was in 2003, and that dog is now gone. Now the process is even worse because many shelters even insist on home visits and background checks, not just on adopters but on all family members! It’s sad that I can remember a time when you went to get a pet, they asked a few questions about why you wanted it, watched you interact with a few, and after accepting a relatively low fee (I can remember shelter adoption fees as low as 15-25 dollars in Chicago back in the day), they sent you home with your new furbaby. I know of just one rescue center in Illinois that still uses the ‘interview’ process. Really, can you get a better ‘read’ on a person face-to-face, or reading a piece of paper? We all just want to love animals, and shelters make it way too difficult. I am currently looking to get a new dog or puppy after losing my ‘baby’ last month. I have a feeling I’ll be waiting for a while, while my heart remains aching for the love of a new family member.

  121. Avatar Of Edward



    The Pottsville PA. SPCA is way to picky as to (WHO) they will allow to adopt a dog or cat ! I will no longer give a dime to this SPCA after finding out how they turn good people away from wanting to adopt a sheltered animal. Now so many people are resulting to breeders to obtain a dog or cat. This is really a shame.

  122. Avatar Of Maria



    What the shelters are causing because they make it so difficult to adopt is making us go to breeders even when we prefer to save an animal. While they may think they are doing the best for that animal, they are not. They quickly disqualify you based on their own agenda and do that without even speaking with you. I honestly believe all these shelters are over capacity due to their own ignorance’s. Unfortunately it is the animal that suffers when they are sadly put down.

  123. Avatar Of Ilovepoodles



    I agree with Alisa. I wish this article could be published in newspapers across the country. I recently tried to adopt a 4 year dog with heart worms, along with some other health concerns. I was willing to take all that on for the dogs sake. The cost would have been well over what I could pay for a full breed to bring this animal back to health, yet I was rejected. i didn’t even get a reason why after several attempts at contacting the shelter. I won’t go back to that shelter.

  124. Avatar Of Elisa T

    Elisa T


    I wish this artitical could be published in newspapers across the country. My husband and I have been trying to adopt for one year. We fill out these lengthy applications, and we get so excited about a potential new furry child, but it’s all in vain because we either never hear back or we are denied because we work full time. That’s why we want a second dog, so our little lady has a buddy to keep her company in the day. She has full range of the house and we leave potty pads for her, she has access to food and water all day. I’m scratching my head with how easy it is to buy a puppy from a petshop but when you want to do the right thing and adopt you are punished.

  125. Avatar Of Laura



    I just had a frustrating and difficult experience attempting to adopt front MN shelter. My husband and I live on a 2 acre property in a double cul de sac small neighborhood. We have 1 dog and 1 car. We are looking to expand our family by adding another dog to the mix. Our Leeroy is a 7 year old yellow lab and we’d like a female lab mix companion for him(and us too!)
    I found what seemed to be the perfect little female lab mix and drove 70 miles with Leeroy to meet her. The meeting did not go perfectly for Leeroy and the female dog(Val) but it didn’t go terrible either. Val was very playful and was jumping all over Leeroy. He didn’t like that much and gave her a bit of a growl but did not try to bite her or anything. She backed off and maybe 10-15 minutes later the two were just laying in the grass calmly.
    We wanted very much to go forward with the adoption but we were rejected due to their energy levels “not matching up”. I expressed my disappointment and requested to talk with the shelter to discuss Val and/or maybe other dog options. I have not gotten a reply back at all in over 2 days. Their communication with me prior to the rejection was very fast.

    The people fostering Val did mention to us they had rejected another applicant because they live in an apartment. They also expressed that they would love to keep her but both work full time and cat give her the attention she would need. I work from home and give my pets love and exercise all throughout the day. Perhaps they are being super picky to delay her adoption so they can hold onto her longer?? I don’t know but if all shelters are going to be super picky, why would I put myself through the disappointment trying to find another dog that gets along perfectly with Leeroy right off the bat?

    I was so heartbroken because we absolutely loved Val and Leeroy would have just need a bit of time to adjust to her(or any dog we would bring home!).

    Advice on moving forward if we decide to continue looking at shelters?

  126. Avatar Of Savedbysato



    It is terribly sad for me to say this, and a shame to all of us Americans, but my dog has led a better life than many youngsters in the USA today, where 15.3 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2014 (Source: FeedingAmerica.org). I found my pup on a Caribbean island (USA territory) when he was seven weeks old, and within an hour he was at the local vet for de-worming, a full medical assessment, and vaccines. By dusk that day he had a kennel of his own, stonewear water and food bowls, assorted harnesses and collars, and more toys than many kids ever get to enjoy. A few weeks later he was in his new home with me in NJ. For two years prior to finding him, I had trained myself on dog-training, using various highly-regarded videos, books and magazines. To this day many folks presume that my dog was trained by a professional. He is now going on 14, and, despite our high-action lifestyle, he’s made it all those years with nothing worse than a bee sting and two skunkings as injuries. He recently developed Cushing’s Disease; I administer his daily medication in close collaboration with his vet, and his blood work numbers all look great again. Though I’m slowing him down now, my dog has been allowed his independence, and the full enjoyment of many fun things in safe ways, including running, swimming, hiking, riding around in “his” truck, and being a handsome mutt celebrity around town. Not to mention he owns the house and “our” jobsite. But guess what’s happening as I look for a companion dog for us in my local, cramped shelters here in the USA? I am not being welcomed by the stateside shelters because I rent (a large, four bedroom apartment all to myself and my dog, with the blessings of the landlord), and because I don’t have a fence around the yard (my dog is let out on leash four times a day, including two long walks, and gets a few opportunities to run on any week). I’m sure that stateside shelters would try to nail me on other nonsense, too, as they keep lining up “their” wards for euthanasia.

    I do acknowledge, respect and salute the unsung heroes who work for low-wage salaries and/or volunteer at animal shelters. Words can’t begin to describe their heroism. But they have to organize and fix the system, and the rest of us will help and follow. Our current animal shelter system is broken because it is wagging from the wrong end. The current up-front screening system of potential new homes for pets is ineffective and inefficient. But a technology-based monitoring/management system, as opposed to the mere advertising of available pets that we do today– would be highly efficient, effective, and affordable. The animal’s welfare would not be addressed at only one point in time with all the wrong ends and means, but across a discreet, manageable and cost-effective span of time.

    Animal shelters currently use the Internet in a very poor way, and that’s because they doesn’t use digital technology to help solve the overcrowding problem; shelters only advertise the pets while bearing with crisis conditions and an over-taxed fostering system run by exhausted volunteers.

    Let’s instead use our computer, cell phone and social media technology to fix the wag. Picture an overhaul like this: municipal governments all over the USA have opened their meeting rooms and recreational facilities to animal shelter volunteers several days a week, who in turn use the facilities during times when they are otherwise under-utilized. These volunteers come in with their own laptops and phones, and hook up to the correct channel on the municipal server in a way that keeps the online municipal system secure. Each volunteer is now trained to properly review and assess the contractual accounts of select adoptive families. These are not caseloads, as you don’t want the same volunteers working with the same families in ways that create too great a familiarity between them. Nor would you let volunteers work unsupervised from home. In any case, the municipality’s electronic service providers would manage these accounts on electronic clouds and/or custom-built servers, which the adopting family, back at home, accesses through social media accounts and other log-in venues.

    Animal shelter volunteers would love the free coffee and tea at the municipal complex, and the joy of seeing an animal being cared over time, rather than having to hose down cages stinking of urine and seeing the animal taken to be euthanized. Any large number of adopted pets would be monitored remotely in a single week by just a handful of trained volunteers working part-time. You’d then gain even more volunteers, thanks to the better working conditions and the chance to actually ensure an animal’s welfare across time. The one, or two, shelter workers that the municipality barely affords to payroll would now spend their limited time, energy and money dealing with the organizational management of the shelter’s services, rather than slogging through a never-ending crisis response.

    The front-end screening of adoptive households would not be eliminated; it would be made leaner and designed to get the animals to new homes in a very quick fashion. Meanwhile, the adoptive families would have agreed, by a simple but powerful contract, to send in the weekly report complete with photos and videos. With so many millions of Americans online on FaceBook and other online venues so many hours a day, surely this can be done. The shelter system would have in place a means of ensuring that an animal is reclaimed and brought back to the shelter if the adopting household just can’t make the grade. But now you aren’t bringing a re-claimed pet back to an overcrowded shelter, as all those dogs and cats would have been released to demonstrably good homes in a much quicker fashion. The costs of the state-sanctioned destruction of unwanted animals would drop significantly, as would the costs of keeping so many animals fed and clean while warehoused. In fact, your municipal shelter would no longer be a warehouse of human and quadruped misery, but a brief point of transit that serves to QUICKLY get the homeless animal a proper home where they can then be monitored. After a given period, an account in good standing would only need to be checked at longer intervals, and then closed to further assessment altogether. Meanwhile, the shelter could continue communicating electronically with all adoptive households to increase the breadth and impact of public education efforts centered on the joys and burdens of keeping pets. Whistleblowers, rescuers and the general public could also plug in, to readily help identify the smaller number of truly incapable households in the fray, to donate, and so much more.

    This is just an illustration of one of the possible solutions we have at hand if we stop letting the municipal animal shelter system wag from its front end. The marriage of technological and managerial systems that I’ve merely sketched is immediately possible. Get both hardware and software providers to donate and partner with the new animal shelter system, and it’ll be a thousand times better than the medieval mess we have today.

  127. Avatar Of Marcia



    I think now days they have to be picky due to increasing animal abuse! Also, if the dog
    is going to be home alone all day its not being fair to the animal. They need quality time
    for love, walks and playtime. So many people adopt and don’t have the time for the animal or
    they buy or adopt and when the dog becomes a senior they take it to a shelter! Is that fair after
    that animal gave them unconditional love all those years? You would’nt do that to a human! So I think shelters need to be picky!

  128. Avatar Of Max



    I am sure to get flamed for this but not all breeders are puppy mills. I have 2 beautiful schipperkes from a breeder n Missouri, both are very healthy & smart. You just need to check things out before you buy. & yes they are spoiled but deserve to be because they are such great guys!

  129. Avatar Of Melodie



    Don’t buy from people or pet stores they say, cause it possibly comes from a puppy mill. Adopt a pet they say, cause you’re saving the life of an animal who is destined to be put down. Yeah. I tried to adopt a beautiful dog same mixed breed as my last one whom I lost at the age of 17 to cancer. A week long process with forms, pictures of home and yard, even a phone interview. Just to get an email three days after I inquired about things cause I was anxiously awaiting to bring her home. Their response in return was this dog is passive and has seperation anxiety therefore is not suited to live with me on an acreage they also said their dogs are intended to indoors with the family or outside supervised. Why didn’t they say that she is not suited to live on an acreage at the beginning of the whole process. When on the adoption form it clearly states I live on an acreage, or when I sent them the pictures it shows my house and yard, I stated on that email with the pictures the dog would sleep in one of the bedrooms whichever she chooses. (Kinda states that she would be in the house), or how about saying something during the phone interview as they asked me about my acreage. Never once asking what we as a family could offer this wonderful dog in life. The third day after the phone interview I sent an email to inquire about the process of the adoption so I could bring her home. Denied because I live on an acreage. I sent them one last email 4 days ago explaining the kind of life and love we could offer this dog. Still no response. What a joke, adopt a pet – how in hell can anyone adopt a pet when they are just gonna turn everyone (who could offer so much) down. I know they won’t change their arrogant minds but I was hoping. Not all dogs have to live a life in a small house with a tiny fenced yard and 24 hour supervision to be happy. Nor should the dog ever have to be tied up or put in a cage while unsupervised.

  130. Avatar Of Allie



    Honestly, so relieved to find I’m not the only one! I’ve been trying to adopt a shelter pet for the past five months – we have a stay-at-home parent, we own our home, and we’ve been approved by a few of them, but NO ONE EVER GETS BACK TO ME! How is it possible that so many animals need homes? We have a home, we’re willing to open it up, and no one even freaking calls/emails us back to tell us about what’s going on. It’s seriously driving me nuts.

  131. Avatar Of Kristin



    I found out about 6 months ago just how difficult these rescues can be. Up until around 6 months ago my cousin and I had been renting an apartment together, I have a little Shih-Tzu and she had a miniature poodle that were very close, and when she moved in with her boyfriend and I got an apartment on my on. Which was great, my own space….except I was used to having more than one animal around and Ollivander (my dog) was not used to being the only dog in the house and wandered around looking for his buddy, and so after about a month when I was settled in I decided to adopt another small dog. I went to a local rescue and found this adorable little female Shih-Tzu and I thought great, she’s the same size as Ollivander, I already know about the breed, and since the dog was female there was less likely a chance that any aggression would occur (not that my dog is aggressive anyway) and so I went the workers and told them I was interested in adopting her. Then came the questions: Do you have a fenced in yard? Well no, but I take my dog out on daily walks and that’s the primary reason I get small dogs anyway, Shih-Tzus are fairly well suited for apartment life. Will you be at work during the day? Yes, I have a job, but I come home on my lunch break to check on my dog and I’m usually home by 4:00. Oh, I’m sorry but we’re really looking for someone with a fenced in yard and we’d prefer it if someone was home with the dog during the day. They really shouldn’t be left alone for so long. Okay, how the hell am I supposed to afford a dog and their vet bills if I don’t work?! Oh, and the Shih-Tzu is all of 11 pounds, if I take it out for daily walks why does it need a yard?!

    So I didn’t get that dog, no problem. I went to a different rescue, got the application form saw the same exact same questions, along with a request for four personal references and periodic home inspections, put down the application form and walked out.

    Now I’m sure I’ll get a lot of grief about this, but I wasn’t dealing with those people, so I fired up my computer, looked on Craigslist and saw a little Pomeranian Shih-Tzu mix that someone was trying to find a home for, contacted them and I had Kenobi the next day. My two babies get along great, they are spoiled rotten, they go to the vet, they flea and heartworm medication, go on daily walks and neither of them think they can sit anywhere but on top of me when I’m home.

    I’m glad thing turned out like they did, because I love Kenobi dearly, but these rescues need to understand that there are plenty of other options for someone to get a dog if they it too difficult to adopt from them. They need to stop looking for the “perfect” home and find them a “good” home.

  132. Avatar Of Lucy



    The only thing I disagree with in this article is the comments about people with children- some animals have violent tendencies and would only be safe around adults, some animals are timid and to place them with loud, pushy children constantly demanding playtime would be an act of cruelty. My cat, for example, will run through the house and hide on top of my wardrobe the moment a toddler pokes their head through the door- he just doesn’t like them. A friend of mine who has kids adopted a very timid cat and had to put it back in a shelter- it just hid in drawers all the time to escape the grasp of their toddlers. Additionally, far too many parents don’t teach their kids how to be respectful of animals and recognise when an animal just wants to be left alone. Cats and dogs don’t have to be somewhere perfect, but they should be somewhere where they feel completely safe.

  133. Avatar Of Brandi



    I was trying to adopt a large dog a couple years ago. I hate small dogs and I will never get one. Now keep in mind that I have owned 2 Great Danes, an Irish wolf hound and a St. Bernard/Tibetan mastiff mix in the past and I work at a boarding kennel so I work with bigs dogs on a daily basis. So I applied to a good couple rescues and looking to adopt a large dog. I’m only 4’10” and I weigh less than 100 pounds. The rescues turned me down saying “we can only allow you to adopt a dog under 20 pounds” “we can’t let you adopt adopt such a large dog because the dog will pull you and then get away”. So I bought myself a St. Bernard and took him into a couple of the rescues that turned me down just to say I can control and train a large dog. Well one of the rescues tried to tell me that the Great Dane that I tried to adopt got put down because I bought my dog, I turned right around and told that lady “No, it’s not my fault. It’s YOUR fault the the dog got put down because you wouldn’t approve anyone to adopt her!” Me and my dog left without saying another word and left the workers with stunned faces.

  134. Avatar Of Aurora



    This is my opinion.
    I’ve been looking for a dog and NBC had their clear the shelter event giving away dogs for $5.00 at the shelter. I thought I was ready enough to get a dog, I’ve been going to that shelter looking for dogs, and checking it out. I was like the 30th person to look for a dog, it was very crowded. I came somewhat early and looked in the small dogs section. The dog was cute and a chihuahua and quiet, I thought this was a match made in heaven. So I went to the desk and was told I was the 1st applicant to get the dog. Being very excited we then interacted with the dog the same day. The volunteer that was outside with us was a probably late 40’s woman, brown hair and she looked subtle and calm (Caucasian). I thought okay, we went outside and the dog we interacted, the dog was shy and after about 10 minutes of us exchanging questions, my father and my cousins came outside. My 2 cousins don’t live with us, but they were eager to pet the dog. So my dad told them to CALM DOWN. Because they’re hard headed and don’t listen on the first call, he had to tell at them. I am African American by the way. But after we went back to the desk and heard that the lady had a list of complaints, my dad was too demanding at the kids. thinking to myself I was like what, you don’t know them! They’re hard headed and it takes a while for them to listen. She the wrote the kids were too hyper. I thought to myself what in the world is wrong with her? Does she not know of discipline! The dog is small, not a TOY! WE HAD TO LET THEM KNOW. I honestly thought that lady wanted that dog for herself. She had complaints that made no sense whatsoever. But thankfully I had known someone with a higher position to get the dog. I can’t believe her, I don’t know if she was racist or what! She is ridiculous what a pain in the ass.

    • Avatar Of Jesse



      Give me a break with the racism already. Always gotta pull that card out. 😉

      • Avatar Of Sara sara says:

        Yeah, cause racism never happens *rolls eyes.* The guy just mentioned it because he couldn’t figure out why the lady was making so many complaints.

  135. Avatar Of Adele



    I am so tired of the questions from the rescue groups and shelters. They should be happy to have a home for the “unwanted” dogs they are fostering. I think these foster dogs are their pets an they are not ever going to place them. What a scam they are running, 501 c 3 status allows them to run their pet business on a tax free basis. After having two dogs that lived happy health lives for 17 and 14 years until cancer took them, I think I should be showing them how to care or dogs. I am just about to buy a puppy from a breeder and say screw you rescue nazi’s

    • Avatar Of Emily



      These are so sad but true. I was deemed unfit to adopt because my 8 year old female dog was not spayed. I ran across a pregnant stray about a month ago and now have 8 dogs. All very happy and healthy. On that second note, there are a lot of people out there who find themselves in my situation. I only wanted two dogs because I live in a condo. I have to find good homes for all the new pups and refuse to use a shelter for the mentioned reasons. It’s tough.

  136. Avatar Of Jerry



    I have always had a difficult time with rescue organizations over the years as they act like they are doing you a favor or something by LETTING you give a home to a dog in need. In the past I actually had one organization come back to my home after I received a dog from them and try to buy it off me to give it to another family for reasons undisclosed. But recently I had the worst experience of my life with one. I will not name names or the organization because I would like the dogs to actually be put into homes if at all possible (unlikely). I have a fenced in yard and a great home for dogs with someone home almost all day. I have had dogs of all breeds for years without issue. I was denied because they said ALL of THEIR dogs in that breed would attack my other dogs. They never did a home visit or even tried to have the dogs meet one another. So now to adopt from them you must be home all the time, have a fenced in yard, and no other dogs. I understand if one dog has been aggressive in the past but to assume that all of your dogs based simply on BREED alone could be labelled as aggressive is horrible. After expressing my disappointment toward their decision, I was attacked over email by them for questioning them. I was called names and had to decipher their illiterate hurtful words as they clearly angrily typed them to me in a hurry. The process is so stressful I’m done with it, their attitudes suck and they are impossible to deal with.

  137. Avatar Of Distant Smoke

    Distant Smoke


    I’ve tried adopting dogs from three different local rescue groups. I own my own home. I have an 8 foot high fence around my back yard. I also have four cats. My last attempt at adoption, I thought went well. I chose a dog that no one else was interested in and the website said it was good with cats. The rescue group brought that specific dog to my house for the home check. The dog was fine. Honestly it looked as if it didn’t realize the cats were there. The cats were fine. A little stand offish, but they were out and about and showing interest in the dog. The rescue group told me they were giving that dog to a different family. The following week that same dog was relisted as available on their site. I’m done with rescue groups. I now plan on getting a dog from a local breeder.

  138. Avatar Of Susan



    I’ve been trying to adopt a rescue dog and can’t even get someone to respond to my application (whoch of course states that you have to pay a $20-50 “donation) for them to even process your application. I did this twice with one rescue group and still have not heard back nor do they reply to emails. Friends even applied and they did not receive a response either. We are a family of six, own our own home which is 2500 sq ft and have a fenced large yard. We have vet referrences, personal referrences, even work referrences, and would actually welcome a home visit if need be. We currently have an older dog who loves the world and everything in it. Quite frankly, she is spoiled rotten and we would love to do the same with another dog but no one responds, they just ask for money. Its frustrating and heartbreaking for the animals. I feel like they should be called out on it.

  139. Avatar Of Gary



    We learned to play the game early on. In 2004 our beloved Golden Retriever who was 12 had cancer and had to be put down. I went to a bunch of shelters and Rescues in the Denver area and learned to tell them what they wanted to hear and not tell them things that keep them from getting you a dog. Learned some don’t like you have young kids in the house, oh, of course we only feed raw food, no, we both work from home so the dog is never alone, no we don’t have any other animals but used to have a dog that lived to age 20 and died in it’s sleep, yes we have a fenced yard etc etc. They discussed a home visit but since we are in a rural area, no one ever came out. We have 2 loving labs, one from the Western Suburbs and another from the city who was almost 9 when we adopted her. Both are loved and spoiled to death, couldn’t be healthier or happier and are buds with our 2 cats. Had we played by the rules they would be somewhere else, maybe better or maybe worse. I do think some of the rescues and even shelters are completely out of line but if you find one that is somewhat reasonable and play the game right you can get a pet without too much intrusion and brain damage.

  140. Avatar Of Ryan Ryan says:

    I could not agree more! For three weeks now i have been trying to adopt a mutt through our local county and city shelters for my family. It has been beyond frustrating! But yesterday was the straw that broke the camels back! The numbers we hear for our area is that 20,000 dogs and cats are euthanized annually in our county, but you would never know it considering how difficult they make it to adopt.

    After THREE unsuccessful visits to our county shelter to adopt a mutt I decided to try our city shelter. I walked in and said I’m here looking to adopt one of your dogs, but I need to be able to walk out with a dog today. I had everything needed to make this happen. They said great! Go ahead and take a look and let us know the number of the dog you like. So, I took a long look and found a suitable dog for my family. The front desk looked at my choice and said sorry that dog isn’t available. Why? Well that dog is scheduled to be flown from our shelter in Bakersfield (Ca.) to a Seattle rescue group. What!! I said, great! Look, I’m standing right here and can give the dog a home right now. You don’t have to fly this dog 1500 miles to Seattle just to end up in another shelter. They said, sorry, but it’s already taken. I could not believe the absurdity of the situation, and even more so, how the staff didn’t understand why I thought the better solution FOR THE DOG would be to come home with me! In this case it is painfully obvious that it is NOT about the dogs. You see, sometimes it’s about these private rescues and their narcissistic need to plaster how they are such animal lovers all over facebook that they FLY in dogs from 1500 miles away just to save them! Oh what wonderful and caring animal lovers they are! I mean, then they get to post 100’s posts showing just how much they do for these dogs!

    Still, no big deal I say. I go back in and pick another from the hundred dogs on death row that day. I return to the desk with another choice determined to rescue a dog. They take a look to make sure she is available and I start to fill out the application. As I’m dong this one of them asks if we have dogs at home. Yes, I respond. Well she says, you will need to bring your two dogs in to the shelter to make sure they get along. What? The shelter closes in less than an hour and isn’t open on Sundays. I tell them I simply don’t have time to go through that in the next week and won’t they please make an exception. I explain how I am picking a female to make sure, as best I can, that there won’t be issues and furthermore, if there is a problem the worse case is I won’t be returning the dog and will find a more suitable home for her myself. They looked at me like i was crazy! I even said, oh sorry, I didn’t mean I had dogs, i thought you meant do I have experience with dogs so as to give them an out if regulations stated they could not give me the dog without bringing in mine. The answer was still a firm no.

    The dog I was attempting to adopt was older, shy, not overly attractive and had been at the shelter for three weeks. As our shelters are “kill” shelters, this dog in other words, will be put down in the next week or two. So I explain to these ladies that they quite literally are responsible for KILLING that poor dog that they care so much about!! But, hey, at least she didn’t have to suffer through not getting along with my two dogs before they murdered her!

    Does anyone else see the absurdity that has taken control of our shelters? What is wrong with these people? Do they care so much they are blind to logic? I have had numerous friends and family tell me how they too have had a horrible time trying to adopt a dog. This seems to be a big and growing problem. Take your personal issues about these dogs out of the equation people and remember it’s about THE DOGS not you!! If someone walk in your door and says “I’m here to rescue and give one of your dogs on death row here a home today” then get off your ass and make sure they walk out that door with a dog. Ridiculous!

    • Avatar Of Andrew



      You must understand that rescues and foster groups must deal with many types of applicants in addition to honest, loving and positive homes for the dogs they are housing. As you stated yourself, they are trying to do what is best for *the dog* and that doesn’t always mean adopting it to the first person willing to take it out of the facility.

      There are plenty of cases of people looking for animals to use for dog fighting, for experimentation, for cruelty. There are also well-intentioned people who simply don’t have a home that would be safe or beneficial for the dog. A home with another dog can be a prime example – dogs are territorial and although one may get along fine with a new dog, another might just as easily exhibit severe or even dangerous behavior. This is why it is so important to introduce any potential adoptee to the existing dogs in the home.

      Adopting a dog is a big decision and despite what some people seem to think, it is not like stopping by the store and picking up a new appliance on a whim. It is not something to be done impulsively and the type of person who expects to walk out with a dog the same day is often the same type who decides several months or years later that they don’t want a dog after all and the poor animal ends up back in the shelter or worse.

      Granted, most shelters are overworked, overfilled, underfunded and understaffed, but with few exceptions, they are trying their best. Sometimes the volunteers go overboard and unfortunately these can push potential adopters to instead purchase from a breeder or puppy mill, which only worsens the problem, but it’s my hope that these incidents are the exception and not the rule.

  141. Avatar Of Chris Chris says:

    I do think shelters ask too many personal questions, I do not think I need to let them come and look at my home to see if I have a suitable property. I prefer to purchase my dog from someone who does not assume the worst about me. I tried to adopt a kitten that was found alongside the road. By page 3 of the application I walked away in disgust. They wanted me to agree that I would spend any money needed to keep the kitten alive if it needed medical attention. I picked up a newspaper and 1 hour later we had 2 beautiful white kittens for $20 . One is deaf so we got the two brothers for company for each other. Our boys are very happy along with our our 2 dogs. And yes we seek veterinary care for them as needed!!!
    So, I believe it is partly the fault of shelters and rescues that people do not go there to find a family dog. I find the process is frequently ridiculous and insulting. Sometimes I wonder if it is a money making scheme designed to play on our emotions.

  142. Avatar Of Angela Han Angela Han says:

    I’m in the same predicament. I’ve been rejected b/c both my SO and I work full-time, or the yard’s fence isn’t high enough, or I wouldn’t let the dog sleep in the bed or bedroom with me, or some other ridiculous reason.

    All of them also require a “home interview” with a volunteer, which basically means I’d have to let a stranger into my home to scrutinize and judge me. Some of them even asked for a copy of my HOA. Why would I get a dog if my HOA didn’t allow it? That’d be more trouble for me than a dog! If I was that irresponsible, I’d just go to a pet store and buy a cute puppy from a puppy mill.

  143. Avatar Of Michele S.

    Michele S.


    My husband and I have been baffled why we are not considered suitable parents for a rescue dog. We have a large fenced yard. We have a well adjusted dog who we have had since 8 weeks old. He is socialized, healthy, good with other dogs and people. We have both had dogs since childhood. We have always trained our dogs and brought them to obedience school. We even dog sit our friends dogs. We are looking for a companion for our five year old Boston Terrier. We thought we would try a rescue and get a dog who needs a home, about the same age as our dog. We have been rejected five times already. I’m beginning to think it’s because we both work. We have a pen set up for our current dog who has food, water, toys and bedding. The pen is so large that there is an area for his toys, his bed and an area in case he messes. When the volunteer from the rescue came to our home for a home visit, before our application as a potential adopter was approved, she told us we had the perfect home. We even have bought all the supplies for the new dog including another pen next to our current dog’s pen with the same accommodations. What is the problem? My sister-in-law is a foster in another part of the country and she is always actively pursuing potential adopters. She said she has never had a dog brought back nor has she had a foster for longer than 6 months. We have tried two different rescue associations. I’m beginning to think they don’t really want to adopt their dogs out and want to keep them in their foster homes. There is NO perfect household. I understand they don’t want the dogs to come back but give someone a chance. The rescue says they have plenty of potential adopters. Now I know why. There will never be a perfect situation. Those of us who work have the means to provide. The fosters seem to want people who stay home all day, are rich and have no outside responsibility

  144. Avatar Of Kathy



    I agree that shelters are way too strict with who can adopt. I have a two year old and when I was looking at rescue dogs they would only let us play with larger dogs and my friendly lab would have to meet the dog. I just decided to buy from a breeder who didn’t ask invasive questions. I think as long as someone has no history of animal abuse let them adopt. It’s better than the dog spending its life in a cage.

  145. Avatar Of Mike



    I found this out 13 years ago. I own my own house, have a big fenced in yard and had to put my dog of 12 years to sleep. I swore I would never get another dog. After listening to my cat howl for 4 months, I decided I would go to the shelter a few miles away from my house. I look after my mother who at the time was in her 60’s and retired so the dog would never be left alone. To condense this the first thing the shelter wanted was for me to fill out an application. Rent/own, fenced yard, how long would the dog be alone but as I got further down the application they wanted my place of employment, my SALARY, my supervisors phone number, simply ridiculous stuff. I went up to the desk and said “Why don’t you just call my vet”? I mean I think wanting to see my house is a bit much but as I have said I ended up looking after my mother after she retired. If I saw I dog that I and my mom bonded with, it would NEVER be alone. I mean I never made it past the application. It seemed to me that they didn’t want to adopt out dogs. I took the application with me and said I would be back. Any shelter with a lick of common sense would have just called my vet. I had racked up over 20K in two surgeries for two blown out ACLs on my last dog plus had a small tumor on her elbow removed that did turn out to be cancerous. Then her final battle with Cushing’s. I’m not adding in the normal vet costs with owning a dog. Basically if I own a $500,000 house I think I make enough money to take care of a dog. Call my vet, they will tell you but the hell if I’m giving you all the information on my job and my take home pay. That’s a bit too much information over trying to adopt a dog.
    I had found the application invasive to the point of being offensive.
    I never even saw a dog at that shelter and it was the closest one to my house.
    A mile down the street is a PUPPY store. I know why they chose that location to open their store.
    Before you think I went down there in a huff, rest assured I did not. I have always had a rescue or shelter dog or cat, I never have had a purebred in my life and wasn’t going to start now with some “business” that sold Amish puppy mill puppies. Look that one up, the Amish are a HUGE part of puppy mills.
    The thing was is now I understood the mentality of their customers. This would be the third dog I would have in my life since I was a child. Really, you want to talk to my boss? How much money do I make a year? Are you kidding me?
    More time passed and I talked to a woman at work. She told me of shelters in impoverished areas that had a 80-90% kill rate. Basically any animal that went in had a 1 in 10 or 1 in 5 chance of leaving alive. I looked into it and called them. They called my vet before I took a 20 mile trek south to a pretty scary neighborhood with my mom.
    On 6/23/2002 I adopted a mutt. A Shepard mixed puppy that I named Schatzi.
    I know this because last Wednesday I had to put het to sleep and went through her vet folder. I found her her adoption papers. She was a great dog. She was old and sick and it was time. I am just beginning to grieve. I forgot how badly it hurts, part of your soul dies with them. Enough of that, I will feel a bit better every day.
    I swear I will never get another dog, I was just looking at things on the internet and found this to be interesting.
    Interesting because that shelter in a “upscale” area is still there. Interesting because instead of playing nice with other shelters and finding homes for animals that are going to be euthanized they just act like they don’t care. Interesting because the PUPPY store is still doing booming business.
    Basically there are a lot of “shelters” that are as much of the problem as irresponsible people, the Amish, puppy mills, pet stores that sell puppies and people who think they are breeders because they bought a dog with papers and want to breed it. No, have it altered and help stop the problem and don’t become part of the problem.
    I understand that shelters want to place animals with people who understand that it is a lifelong commitment. I understand they want to make sure if you rent that it’s going to be OK with your landlord. There are a lot of irresponsible people out there who get a pet on impulse. I will NEVER understand a shelter that would rather keep a animal in a cage instead of adopting it out to a loving family.
    On the other hand I have said twice, “I swear I will never get another dog”.
    I suspect in time that will turn out to be a lie. Again.

  146. Avatar Of Becky



    Pheww I don’t feel so bad now 3 weeks now I have been looking for a gad puppy or young adult . Talk about the cold shoulder!! doesn’t make any sense.

  147. Avatar Of Tracy



    I was turned down by a rescue last month for a dog. I already have one and was looking for a companion for him. It was said it was due to the fact that I worked all day. I have my own home, with a fenced yard as well as a dog door. My dog is NEVER locked in, except at night, because, I’m not heating the outside. Oh and one more thing, she requires 4 hours of exercise a day, 2 in the morning and 2 at night.

    And this was AFTER I had made plans to meet with the foster mom and the dog on a Sunday and got completely blown off. Zero contact. I had to email the rescue and find out why. Those were the reasons I was given.

    This morning as I have been watching the foster mom’s facebook page, I see that she has been placed with a woman who WORKS FULL TIME, does NOT have a fenced yard AND does NOT have another dog!

    I emailed the founder (again) and again called them and her fosters hypocrites. Which is exactly what they are.

    I shall continue to keep looking at shelters. I’m done with rescues.

  148. Avatar Of Dog Wanted

    Dog Wanted


    Absolutely agree w/ you all! I have a one bedroom apt w/ backyard in Brooklyn (out of city shelters mostly will NOT adopt to you if you live in the city). I also have a country weekend home (ahh, but not a fenced 2 acre yard).
    I also have owned multiple pets in my life and volunteer at a dog shelter doing training and walking. I make over $100K / yr. I live alone and work next to a doggie daycare where the dog can go. I STILL CANNOT get a DOG from an adoption agency! I have references. I’ve had home visits. I have vet records. WHat’s the problem? Well, if you cannot jump through EVERY SINGLE HOOP they move you to the bottom and find another adopter. One thing that surprised me most …. they find them. They don’t NEED us! They seem to find people that, yes, have EVERY SINGLE QUALIFICATION MET. Maybe because they are unemployed and home all the time. IDK. But I am beyond frustrated and now am looking to buy a dog from a breeder.

    • i found a dog living in the city and was smitten. they wouldn’t let me have him because i wasn’t living in the city. i’m a SAHM and we had a fenced in yard! geesh.

      • Avatar Of Evelyn



        We were just rejected this week by Rescue Dogs Rock NYC for a 6 months old puppy. We live in NJ with a nice big back yard. Just lost our big 120 lb dog of 11 years about a month ago and missed her so much we wanted to bring another dog into the family.
        The foster mom who also was the one to do the home visit, gave the recommendation to Rescue Dogs Rock NYC that although our home was ok, she determined that this dog absolutely had to have a fence, despite it only being 6 months old and her only knowing the dog for a couple days. They approved us, but not for THIS dog, apparently other dogs would be ok, but not this dog due to the opinion of the foster mom who apparently has a crystal ball and can see the baby dog’s future.
        So, we had the large dog experience, means, and property to care for this dog but were rejected anyway. I am glad I found out about these rescue nut jobs for the first application. I won’t be wasting my time trying to get a dog from a rescue group ever again.
        It is my opinion that the rescue groups are pushing people to the pet stores and puppy mills because they reject perfectly qualified people. Regular people who are perfectly qualified to care for dogs are being rejected by these zealots and the ones who suffer are the dogs, and apparently cats too from what I have been reading.

        • Avatar Of Tom



          Sorry to hear of your experience. I foster for a wonderful rescue here in Jersey if I could be of help I would be glad to do so. We do get in puppies each month if that is what your looking for. You sound like wonderful adopters. My email is [email protected]

  149. Avatar Of Jfb



    I came across this article and I have to agree, I think they do become attached to the pets they care for and are forgetting the purpose of what they are suppose to do as I found out when I tried to adopt and cat (instead of buying one). The cat I chose was very friendly and had been living there already for 5 months in a cage, he was several years old and found abandoned outside.

    I had the application prefilled and ready when I visited the shelter, but was originally interested in a different cat but was told that that particular cat was not good with a small child (my grandchild would be over occasionally) So after being there we were told this one grey cat would be perfect, was good with kids and was a lap cat and could go indoors and out. After not hearing back for 3 days I called and left messages, after a week of no calls back I went back in person and not one volunteer knew anything not even that I was interested in adopting this cat and I had to only deal with the volunteer who took my paperwork. All the volunteers were very nice and caring but they all looked lost and almost bored just standing around and knew nothing about the status of the cat. (One volunteer said to me they tell us nothing) I was led to the head of the rescue place who was clearly overwhelmed and stressed, talking on the phone the whole time I was there waiting for over 30 minutes, even then she just put the phone against her body and stopped a few minutes to tell me I had to talk to the volunteer who took the paperwork but finally said “I have not had time to look over his medical records” she then said she would the next day and let me know. This woman was definitely a control person and clearly was not utilizing the volunteers to help and make this place more organized. Again another week goes by with no contact.

    After almost 3 weeks, after leaving another voice mail , the very next morning, I received an email from a generic user name that I was denied adopting any pet from that place. My references were not called nor was my vet. They said the cat I chose was timid and having medical issues, a totally different thing then when we were at the shelter. I have had cats for over 34 years. I have a large house and over 3 acres of land, no dogs or children. They were concerned about my last cat from 2 years ago, but if they had called the vet or even myself things would have been cleared up. With all my calls I never had a return call. I noticed later some other bad reviews online about this place. I suppose they felt it was better for this cat to live in their cage or they are just looking for donations.

  150. Avatar Of Lyndy



    I too had a similar experience when I tried to adopt a kitten for my parents. It was a cat rescue that I had read about and seemed to have a good reputation, saving cats and seeming to have no problem giving them new homes. As soon as I started to inquire about the kitten, the first thing I was aked was if the cat was going to be declawed. I said no (seemed like an odd question) then she asked if the cat was going to be indoor or out door, and I told her well probly indoor at first, but maybe eventually an outdoor cat. And she said nope, that wont work. All my cats are in door. I was like are you serious…. Then She asked if we had a doggie door and I said yes. She said that wont work either. I told her we have a cover that slides over the door and apparently that makes no difference. Whats so aggrivating is that none of this informtion is on their website. I called her later to apologize because I did not think the conversation went as well as it could have and I wanted to inquire the cat for myself. She then started to ask me a bunch of questions like am I a student, am I planning on moving, do I have my own place, would my land lord approve another cat. When I told her yes, she insisted she see a copy of a lease agreement saying I could have 3 cats. At that point, I was done. It was not worth it anymore. If they are trying to do a good thing, why are they making it such a difficult process? What is so aggrivating is I understand they are trying to weed out bad people, but they are weeding out good people too. This type of questioning is so unnecessary. Not only that, a lot of people were heart broken in the process. I think I am just going to stick to craigslist.

  151. Avatar Of Sherilynn



    I set out to adopt a year ago and found a dog on petfinder website. He was listed as a cockapoo but was probably more of a terrier of some sort. As soon as I sent an email inquiring I got an email back right away (it was about midnight). I agreed to go meet the dog but had to pay the 450 fee before hand. I got a hard sell saying he was only in my area for a vet appointment and would be going back to AK so if I wanted the dog I had to act fast. I went to a shady part of town to meet the dog. The foster family lived in a three family home on the third floor with 7 dogs! We decided to take the dog and the woman I worked with over the phone promised me his papers. It is illegal to bring animals into my state without papers. The little guy settled into my home nicely and I took him to his first few appointments. The vet wanted to know what vaccines he had and since I didn’t get the papers we had no idea. The vet explained it wasn’t a big deal we could give them again. However, I was a bit irritated that I payed 450 plus transport as an adoption fee to pay for the animals medical expenses while in foster but no proof he actually had medical expenses. After 3 weeks of her avoiding the issue and then acting like my vet does not know what she is talking about I told the woman I felt like I purchased a dog rather than rescued one. I felt like this dog was picked up on the side of the road and sold to me for the sake of making a profit. After I told her that I was disappointed with the process she demanded the dog back so I gave him back. I ended up getting a dog from a breeder and it was a great experience – except the guilt I had about all the dogs in shelters who needed a home. I was talking to my vet about it that I was ashamed that I went to a breeder and she explained that many of the rescues online do not rescue anything. They purchase dogs at auctions and say they “saved them” and make up some sob story and then “adopt” them out. Do you ever wonder why all of these dogs are coming out of Arkansas and Pennsylvania? I hear there are tons of puppy mills out there but why is it such big business to ship them up north? So much so RI, MA, and CT have strict laws about transporting animals. Every single listing on petfinder lists them local only to find out they are in TX, AK, or PA. It makes me wonder. I’ll never know what the deal was with the “rescue” I worked with but it put a bad taste in my mouth for the whole process. I am currently looking to add a second dog and I am finding all of these crazy rules that take any chance away from a dog of finding a happy home. Yes I live in apartment, yes I have a 5 year old, yes I go to work so my dog is alone during the day….it is called life and there is no reason why a dog cannot adapt to “life” with a patient family willing to put the work in. I just got turned down by a rescue because I said I visit my parents and would bring the dog along. They felt because he is timid when meeting people the dog would not like going to my parents house…I felt like giving her a peace of my mind but just said ‘Thanks for your consideration and good luck placing him”. There is an awesome campaign out for foster parents (for human kids) and the motto is ‘You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent’. As long as a family can financially support the animal and put the effort into making him/her a part of their home then there is no reason to be so snobby about the whole adoption process!

  152. Avatar Of Jenni



    We recently found out about a rescue near us which has lots of great dogs, went to fill in the application and found they even wanted 3 personal references. Like, are you kidding me? They wanted a home visit, vet info, family info, all of which is fine, but then asking references? I don’t even ask my kid’s babysitters for that much info. We have a fenced yard, stay at home mother, older kids, great vet for adult dog that gets walked every day and even gets her teeth scaled regularly. I am not providing references so I guess we will not adopt from them. We want an adult dog but I think it’s not going to happen unless we find a pure breed breeder that has one.

    • Avatar Of Joanne



      I’ve experienced this over and over for the past 2 months while searching for a dog to add to our family (consisting of 2 adults). I’ve adopted 8 pets total over the past 20 years, 5 lived way beyond their expected lifespan and the other 3 we still have. Other “qualifiers” are:3 years AKC show obedience experience with an adopted, beat up, backyard GSD, 20 years of vet records proving I take care of my animals, my own free standing home with a 6 foot stockade fence and no children. I am in full agreement to a home visit but now I’m told to just send pictures of my house by a rescue staff. I am repeatedly required to drag my current GSD-x (and some rescues require I bring along MY 2 CATS AS WELL) all over the state of Maryland to do a sniff test with the desired dog. Did it once and will not subject my animals to this ever. I have 20 years of integrating all sizes of animals into my household and never gave up on any of them, including the beautiful but crazy, sometimes unstable chow mix that tried to bite the eyeballs out of my GSD. I worked through it. They both lived harmoniously until 15 years of age. Now all of a sudden, I am not qualified to adopt the animal of my choice into my household. It’s rather depressing. I’ve stopped all donations to all rescue orgs that I used to support until they change their discriminatory adoption requirements.

  153. Avatar Of Karen



    Perhaps some rescues need to reevaluate the language they use on their sites and apps. Their main mission is to rescue these animals, but a large part of that requires that they match those animals with the right family. Rather then marketing on rescuing animals, if they want the families to jump through hoops, they may do better changing the language they use to focus on their “service” to match the right pet with the right family. In that case, a person may be more willing to answer the questions, more understanding of why a certain dog may not be a good match, even if they think that breed would be a good match, etc…

    I personally had a great experience dealing with a local rescue group for our Sussex spaniel. He’s a pure bred, 1 yr old dog, and he’s fitting in perfectly here. Still puppy enough not to be bothered by my 3 yr old daughter’s movements (he takes it as an invitation to play) but well trained enough to be able to be walked easily by my 9 yr old and my aging father in law without pulling them down the street. Perfect size as well. Not so small that my daughter may hurt him, but not so large that he can drag my 9 yr old out into a street. I can not imagine a better matched dog for us, and the rescue organization saw it as well.

    Granted, we didn’t get a reply to our app, but after submitting it we went to an adoption event they hold every weekend at a nearby pet shop. We took the kids with us, and met his foster parents. They saw it was a good fit, and they expedited the adoption. A week long process became a 48 hour process, and this was a pure bred dog I’m sure had a good number of applicants. They did the home check the same night we met them, and we had the dog the next day.

    It’s about finding the right match, and it should be about that. It’s best for the animal, and for the family that way. Rather then go through the expense and time of a dog that simply doesn’t fit, only to return that dog to a shelter, you eliminate that headache and heartache by going through a rescue. The process may take longer, and it may be more difficult then going to a breeder or puppy mill, but in the end, at least for us, it ended with a much better result. It’s like our dog was made for this family.

  154. Avatar Of Ashley



    This is spot on for our animal shelter. We tried to adopt a dog about two months ago and we were denied. Their reason was because we have a 12 year old dog that isn’t spayed and we work during the day. We really wanted another dog so we bought a puppy instead.

  155. Avatar Of Kat Kat says:

    I just wanted to share my story and frustration with the adoption process. First off, I am located in the Los Angeles area. This article & the commentators are spot on. After much discussion, our family (2 adults, two children) decided to adopt a dog. We are a stable household with a fenced backyard and an immense love for furry friends. We have been denied at multiple shelters for various reasons such as having to work and having children. We have the means to provide and the love to support a rescue dog, but shelters are setting unrealistic standards for potential adopters. As a previous commentator said all too well, “you either have to be unemployed or a millionaire.” As cruel as this may sound, these shelters are contributing as much to high kill rates as breeders. Don’t complain about overcrowded shelters and kill rates if you ‘re not allowing the animals to be adopted.

  156. Avatar Of Pete



    Amen! We are in the process of trying to get a dog after our beloved German Shepherd died at 11 years of age. Our great sin? Our dogs are outdoor dogs since we live on a farm. No matter that they have four different shelter spaces including two that are air-conditioned and heated, they’re outside and that’s forbidden. My personal opinion is that a well taken care of dog that is allowed to run free to explore and be free is the best of all worlds. Again, no matter. All dogs must be indoor dogs or you’re not good enough to own one. I”m getting very fed up with rescue organizations and will probably end up buying from a breeder though it’s the last thing I want to do. By all means, check out the adopters, but be a little realistic.

  157. Avatar Of Mia mia says:

    I would like to clear something up and correct your article starting with your Title. You say ” are shelters too picky” . No , city and county run animal service and shelter are not too picky if anything they are to lax. Your error comes from not knowing the difference between a city shelter and an animal rescue group. The city shelters such as the one I volunteer for in Los Angeles under the Los Angeles Animal care and control require adopters bring an ID and $75-$122. There are no questions asked and your handed a pet. An animal rescue group is not city run and does ask certain questions to best place a pet with an adopter. Like i mentioned I am shelter volunteer .. i also am the founder of a non profit animal rescue. I do ask some questions but mainly i go on the possible adopters interactions with said pet. I dont care if u work or live in an apartment .. just that yur the best pet owners for the pet. there are some strict rescue groups but there are thousands of them to choose from. Please consider changing your wording from shelter to rescue … your confusion could cause people to not even consider a shelter adoption.

    • Avatar Of Gigi



      I wish what you said is true. I’m a first time adoptee and I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. I am a stay-at-home mother who owns her home. I have a husband and two kids. A beautiful big backyard for a dog to love and grow into. We are financially stable enough to adopt three dogs. We want to welcome a puppy so that our kids can grow with him/her but for some reason we don’t meet the criteria. It’s a shame because we are good people and have the ability to be good dog owners. Yet rescue agencies are not interested in the good people who take the time to fill out the application and come to the meet and greet. They are told “no” with no explanation. It’s a shame because I’m new to all of this and I don’t think a rescue dog is the right path for me which is such a shame because I truly believe in the whole idea of adoption. But if organizations continue to make it so hard for people to rescue a dog based on their “intuition” and not based on three solid criteria: 1. Can you provide shelter for a rescue 2. Can you take care of it’s basic needs (i.e. food, health, provide a safe environment) 3. Can you love your rescue… then many of us are just donating funds just to make sure that these dog rescuers have money to run their own personal kennel. They are not in the business of trying to place dogs with a proper home.

  158. Avatar Of Joann



    I tried for 18 months to adopt a dog when I moved to New Jersey. I already had a dog, who was happy and healthy who I’ve had for 11 years, but I wanted a companion for him while I worked all day. Every single agency said they couldn’t let me have a dog because the dog would be home alone all day. I tried to explain that no, they wouldn’t be alone…they would have a companion there in my dog. When I told them I had to work to support myself AND my dog, they just denied the applications. So I bought a dog from a private seller. If people want you to “adopt don’t shop” then they actually need to LET people adopt these animals.

  159. Avatar Of Karina



    I gave up on adoption after a year of several attempts.
    I am single, i am not rich but have enough money to give a good care to a dog. I owned few ,and whomever know me ,can tell that my dogs where like my children to me.
    I tried to adopt 3 dogs tjet wherea t foster homes out of state…all enden up saying that they prefer someone that live near them so they can check on the dog.
    One left me with new bed,dog food and toys I bought ..she changed her mind …..florida is too far from california..I had to cancel my flight.
    I call shleters 3 times to inquire for a dog I saw online……they were on hold after minutes of been posted…I went tothe shelter to sign in the waiting list for a dog I saw…..i was told I cannot be on the waiting list because a rescue group was on the waiting list…..and they have an agreement..rescue groups have priority…it does not matter if u already want to adopt the dog. Also I wanted to 3 more dogs in different ocassions and it was the same problem…rescue group already put a hold on that dog.
    so after a year of dissapontments I conclude it is all a business and good potential adopters like me will eventually give up.
    And there will be more dogs killed.
    Some..I am not saying all foster moms are Horders.
    Some ..I am not saying all rescue groups are only looking for money.
    I think there is a business running betwen some people in the shelters and some rescue groups.
    I am tired and ready to buy a $1000 dog. And proudly say ,YES ,I did not adopt ,because their is so much BS going on with the adoptions places.

    • Avatar Of Jimmy Jimmy says:

      exactly! if someone wants a puppy denying their application to adoption wouldn’t stop them, especially without telling them why or how to satisfy them so they can adopt one

    • Avatar Of Evelyn



      I agree there is something going on between shelters and rescue groups. If you go to Petfinder and look for dogs on town or city shelter pages, basically all you see are pitt bull terriers, some other types of terrier and cats. No puppies or other mixture of dogs. Those dogs are either being given to the rescues or sold to the rescues so they can make money on them. The puppy that I was rejected for from a rescue was going to cost $375. Rescue groups are hording the the market so people are forced to go them instead of the shelters who typically don’t seem to have the impossible rules. Like if you adopt from a shelter you actually own the dog instead of the rescue organization who with many, they actually retain ownership.

  160. Avatar Of Susan



    I haven’t had a pet in over ten years. I am trying to buy a condo which has a backyard. I am home most of time, I am on disability. I would like to adopt a dog and cat starting first with the cat. I agree with the other posters, contacting the landlord goes too far. Most applicants would know or would check with their landlord first. Next they are going to request income verification. When I am moved in a few months I would rather adopt a shelter pet but I feel that the fact I haven’t owner a pet in many years would disqualify me. The rules and some shelters the cost is twice the amount of other shelters. Both of these facts combined if the shelters loosen up on their rules maybe more animals will be adopted and less sent to the killing factory.

  161. Avatar Of Debra



    I really wanted to adopt/rescue a new friend for my 7 year old . . . he has always had brothers (not by blood) since a puppy and are last oldest (18 yrs old) passed away. We have been looking for a sweet female boxer instead of going to a pet store we we thought it would be great to adopt. We have found several places begging for help forever homes and/or fostering and we want to help. I have a huge fenced in large yard, love going for walks, have an adult home all day, but apparently we have a large red X on us because my 7 year old male boxer is not neutered. Its not that we don’t believe in it and no I’m not trying to have puppies, actually the only females that I have asked about and/or applied for have been spayed . . . I know it is such a big deal and as a family we have agreed to make sure all our new pups are spay/neutered but to put my 7 year old through that now – its really something I’m not sure about. I just don’t get it, all these pups need help, they need a home, we are a great family and take great care and give so much love to our dogs they are my children. I have talked to my vet and understand the dos and I have also been explained the don’ts for getting my boy neutered. Its just so heart breaking that I can’t rescue or adopt and will need to probably go another route to get Dudley a friend.

  162. Avatar Of Keith



    Adopted two dogs the same day i went into the “Animal Friends of the Valley” here in Wildomar California. I was greeted by a helpful man who gave told me the process in 15 seconds while he guided my wife and i towards the kennels. We fell in love with tow abandoned mutts who were surrendered the day before and hadn’t even been bathed yet. We asked one of the many roaming staff members if we could go into the room with them and she opened the door and came in with us and told us their story as we were falling in love. We were in and out with in less than 2 hours. No interrogation, only needed a copy of our drivers licenses and a few basic questions. ANIMAL FRIENDS OF THE VALLEY is a great organization, doing what they can to get the pets adopted to people of all walks of life. The couple next to us at the paperwork counter lived in a condo but were adopting a dog without interrogation. My wife and i work 5-6 days a week, and we’re gone 13 hours a day. Lady and Lucy are fine, they get two walks a day, get along great with the neighbors shepherds and the other neighbors boxer. We chose them because we know dogs and we could tell they would fit our lifestyle. They are our 3rd and 4th we’ve had in 24 years.

  163. Avatar Of Eileen



    Although rescue organizations don’t like unfenced yards or familes with younger children, the ones they despise the most are dog lovers who live in apartments. There is no such thing as a suitable apartment dweller who would make a “good” dog owner. Doesn’t matter if the potential adopter is an outdoors person who hunts, fishes, hikes or does dog walking for a living; all are unsuitable.

    Rescue organizations ought to see how the dog reacts to the adopter instead of blanketly saying “Dogs don’t do well in apartments.” Some of the most well behaved, best mannered and healthy dogs live in apartments!

    • Avatar Of Joann



      I agree with this 100%. I’ve always lived in apartments and have a Chihuahua and wanted to adopt another one when I moved to NJ. Nope, had to have a house. Even though I already HAD a dog, who was happy and healthy, they kept denying my applications. They also didn’t like the fact that I worked all day. Well how am I supposed to save up money to buy a house to qualify to adopt a dog if I don’t have a job. So after 1-1/2 years I gave up and bought my second dog from a private seller. She is, believe it or not, exactly as healthy and happy as my older dog!

      • Avatar Of Jimmy Jimmy says:

        it looks like so many people having trouble adopting too, they can keep all the dogs to themselves, i will get a purebred puppy instead

  164. Avatar Of Kakeshik



    All those rescuers is just waste of time. We were looking through numerous Petcos and finally found kitten that we like (after spending about a month and about 12 Petco stores and 40 miles away). Submitted application to njcattitude.org (in person and via email). And now for over a week I keep trying to get update from them but they never respond my emails or when i call they never call me back.

    And it is really hard for us since when you choose a kitten you would love to have and expect it to be yours withing a week – those “rescuers” do not care. Looks like this is a non-profit scam to collect donations. No explanation, no call back, no communication whatsoever. And we already picked the name for this kitten. I do not want to go through this sh***t again thanks to those “animal lovers”.

    I rather buy a kitten than deal with those “rescuers volunteers”. I though they want to find a home for poor kittens – but looks like they just what to have your donations. We are very well financially secure and for us spending all this time cost a lot more than just buy a kitten and be sure that the kitten we like will be ours.
    And this specific kitten we applied for is looking for new home with his sad eyes on their website for over a month now. And now they have application and they don’t even bother call back and say whats going on.

    If they do not have money, staff or willingness to properly process adoption application – just stay home and watch TV. Do not waste our time and money and pretend to be someone you are not. If your interest is collect donation and not find a new home for animals – just do not do it. If you have no finances or anything else stops you from doing your job right (even if it is volunteering) – do NOT do it, sit home and watch Animal Planet on TV and pretend to be a good person.

    So “animal rescuers” stopped us from “saving life”

    • Avatar Of Kakeshik



      And then from American Humane Society: “The reality is that an estimated 3.7 million unwanted pets must be euthanized at animal shelters every year — many because they could not find families to adopt them.”
      right, like they care…

  165. Avatar Of Jonathan Dupuis

    Jonathan Dupuis


    I find it not only very difficult to adopt a dog, but quite insulting when I have to go through the expensive interrogation process to do so, which is all too common and familiar. I just want to say that the last three dogs I have had came from shelters… by proxy! People have gone through the hoops and paid the fees and adopted dogs. Then one of these blessed individuals noted that when her dog wouldn’t come home at night and she was sleeping under my camper in the back yard waiting for me to get up in the morning, she decided that I should have the dog, so I took her. No application fee, no background check, and the only home visit came from the dog. Another blessed individual who had gone through the same process as the first decided that I should take her dog too. Her dog would escape from her fenced in back yard and come over to my house, so the owner decided I should have that dog too. When I agreed, she said, “Oh good, because I would only want you to be the owner and if you had said no, I would have had the dog put down”. Anther owner of a dog decided that the one he adopted was getting too big… how inconvenient. So when this dog came over to me, rolled on her back and exposed her underside in submission, the owner was shocked because she had never done that before. She then followed me to my car and got in. Yes, those three dogs chose me and I had them until they died from cancer and strokes, not lethal injections. The last one just passed away after 10 years with me and I am now dogless, so I decided to go on Petfinder and rescue a dog for $425 which includes an investigation that includes everything short of a colonoscopy. I am still dogless because I do not qualify for one reason or another. So I guess I should simply wait for a dog to wander away from someone who is qualified? Instead, this time I am on a waiting list from a breeder. Instead of $425 and the harassment that all too often leads to disappointment, I’ll fork over $650 for a dog that may come with a recipe. Dogs that are bred need homes too, and if it’s easier to give them one rather than dogs from places like Petfinder, dog adoption shelters can hoard dogs in kennels with their noses up in the air while I and my dog have a better life. In the mean time, my home is available to both.

  166. Avatar Of Jody



    I’ve helped and adopted from a few different rescue groups over the years. The one I’ve fostered for is pretty easy going. Yes, they have an application process, but most people get to take their animal home that day and very few are turned down.

    However, I did work with one rescue that was so restrictive, I did not wind up adopting from them because after a six week drawn out process including a home visit, they ultimately wouldn’t let me bring home the new dog from the adoption event. Claimed they wanted to ease her into her new home. That was the last straw after home visits, application checks and driving a 40 mile round trip three weekends in a row to adopt my Chihuahua’s new companion. We stopped at another Petsmart on the way home, met Pedro who had apparently just been sprung from the shelter and was HW+ and went home with him that day after filling out a couple page application and writing a check. The only follow-up was to make sure I’d had him neutered. That was it. I now have four dogs, the last of whom is a foster failure. While four small dogs for one human isn’t exactly ideal, all of my dogs are loved and cared for as they should be. I do work full time, but they keep each other company and have a dog door to a fenced back yard. They’re really living the good life.

    All this said, I think there’s a happy medium. It’s good to do some diligence like making sure the person has a vet in mind, if there are other pets or small children in the house, and a plan for the dog if they don’t have a yard. Other than that, the rest really isn’t anyone’s business.

    • Avatar Of Mary



      While I have adopted on the past I would not again
      The paperwork required references its daunting
      I have been a responsible pet owners who works all day and do not have a fenced yard
      I resent the looks from shelter staff that because of this I not responsible
      My dogs come when called
      I! Am sad when I see shelter pets I would have adopted had shelters been less restrictive

  167. Avatar Of Carla Brown Carla Brown says:

    It is bitter sweet but I do agree that shelters and rescue organizations can sometimes be too picky. I wanted to adopt a cat from a shelter and they would not let me because the cat was going to be let outside – I live in the country. I wanted to adopt a dog from a rescue but was denied because I did not have a fenced in property. Even though I was able to supply witnesses that I walk my dogs daily and swim with them everyday (weather permitting) in the Ottawa River across the street from my home – I wasn’t good enough. So, I went on Kijiji and got my animals there. Sad but true. Every person should be judged for whom they are and what they can supply as opposed to strict, unforgiving rules.

  168. It depresses me to see so many bad experiences with rescues. I help run a nonprofit rescue and we don’t have many set expectations. We require current pets to be UTD on vetting (per your personal vet) and won’t place unfixed males and females together (all rescues are fixed before adoption). Some animals have special requirements like no tie outs because they can escape. I hope everyone will give rescue a chance because we always need adopters.

    • Avatar Of Frances



      Why would you place an unaltered animal in the first place?

    • Avatar Of Evelyn



      I gave them a chance. I am a responsible pet owner with a job, house and big yard, and dog owner experience as well as lots of love. They rejected me because I didn’t have a fence. That was after a home visit, getting our references checked, and unbearable silence as we waited and waited for an answer. I am not putting my family through that again. I am finished with rescue organizations.

  169. Avatar Of Deb



    I have had rescue pets for >30 years and have loved them all. In June I lost my 16 y.o. lab mix. I got her from the sister of a former coworker whose lab mix rescue got pregnant from another rescue. My dog prior to her was a shepherd-husky who was abandoned at a gas station during a snow storm. My shepherd-husky loved a stray neighborhood cat, so I also took her in.

    I lived in an apartment when I took in my shepherd-husky and my cat. I have a house with a big yard & a kennel, but it’s not fenced in. Other than when I was laid off, I worked full time. I would never have been considered as an “acceptable” pet owner and my shepherd-husky & lab mix would likely have been euthanized and my cat would likely have met an early demise on the street.

    I still don’t have a fenced yard, but can walk a dog and take it to a nearby dog run for exercise & socialization since I am now home all day. But that is not good enough for most shelters. Plus, most of the adoption fees are $250-$450 and some even more, which for a rescue dog that will otherwise be put to death! Their theory is that having high fees prevents people from getting the dogs & selling them to labs or using them for dog fighting. Perhaps it does but it also stops people who could provide a loving home to a dog in need as well.

    Even though I have a proven track record providing a loving home for a pet in need, it appears that home will remain empty until I happen to find a stray or hear of a dog in need of a loving home through friends/family.

    • Not all rescues are that picky. I don’t know where you live but I have a rescue in Ohio and we only require fences for certain dogs and it’s rare. We look at each dog and adopter as an individual. We do transport our rescues to approved homes. Check out our adoptables at stormsangelsrescue.org/adoption-services

    • Avatar Of Adriana



      If dogs were simply given away for a very low price, that IS where dog fighting operations and individuals would get their bait dogs. There does need to be a high enough price tag to prevent this from happening.

      Someone who can’t pay $250 to $450 for a dog certainly won’t be able to afford having a dog. If this small amount is a hardship for someone – they shouldn’t even consider getting a dog. Someone in that situation would be very foolish to spend the little money they have on a dog or any other pet.

      $250 – $450, good grief, that’s just a tiny amount compared to what will be paid to keep a dog for the next 10 years or more. Just one visit to the vet will likely cost that amount. Then there will be many more visits to the vet over the dog’s life that will cost that amount or more. Then you have the food costs and many other associated costs over the lifetime of the dog.

      All good dog breeders will ask many of the same questions that the rescues do. They will ask about your lifestyle, if you have a safely fenced yard, which other pets you have, and so on. So don’t think that buying a quality dog from a good breeder is going to spare anyone all the questions. They WILL be asked and you might get turned down in that situation as well. Also some breeders will ask to inspect your home.

      At the same time, I have seen MANY situations where the shelters and rescues were right – those people shouldn’t even get a dog. Rather than just react and get mad, people should take a good look at themselves and their situations, perhaps the shelters are right. Maybe someone really isn’t a good match for a particular dog or maybe they shouldn’t have a dog at all.

      This is partly why there are so many dogs in shelters and rescues to begin with. There are far too many people who shouldn’t have a dog that are getting them anyways. Dogs are very time consuming, high maintenance animals. They are not a good choice for many, if not most, people.

    • Avatar Of Pauline



      I’m sorry you have not been able to find another pet, and hope you find one soon.
      When we adopted our dog Daisy from the Humane society, we were asked a lot of questions about where she would be living and our other pets, children etc. She had been badly abused and was in a foster for weeks. She cost $250, but if you take into account the cost of fostering her, all her vaccinations, and neutering it probably isn’t that expensive.
      Our other dog, a rough collie, was adopted from a local animal shelter, no questions, cost $75 with a voucher for $50 towards neutering. I think it just depends where you go.

  170. Avatar Of Rodney



    What got me denied from an overcrowded adoption agency—-my roommate and his cat (the new dog would be confused over my roommate’s preference/affection for the cat), my roommate speaking another language (dog was not bilingual), my previous dog dying at home at age 14 of cancer (no explanation for that one) and my LGBT friends (dog would get confused over human gender roles). Interestingly, all the adoption workers were butch lesbians.

  171. Avatar Of John Carl

    John Carl


    Ive been trying to adopt for 4 months now with no avail. I work from home and my girlfriend is a teacher so has summers off. I have lived with Dogs my entire life and raised gun dogs with a family friend when I was a child. I don’t believe in dominance theory or positive punishment and am familiar with multiple training approaches such as luring and free shaping, yet I can’t adopt a dog. So Im going to a breeder or maybe a backyard breeder on craigslist. Stringent adoption requirements perpetuate the problem they don’t help solve it. I guess when you’re charging a 450 dollar adoption fee, I guess you wouldn’t consider the constant influx of dogs to be a problem.

  172. Avatar Of Sharon



    After trying to accomodate the increasingly looney and intrusive requirements of the various “rescue” operations in our area, we gave up and bought a puppy from a breeder. We didn’t even really want to do the puppy thing all over again, but puppy-training was ultimately easier than dealing with those whackadoos.

    They’re glorified animal hoarders and all belong on the Discovery Channel. They do more harm than they do good. They’ve runined the purpose of the SPCA by insinuating themselves between local SPCA shelters and the communities they serve. It’s shameful. I will never, ever go to one of those nutty rescue organizations again, nor will I recommend it to anyone else.

  173. Avatar Of Nomadi



    I never pay more than $50 for a pet, don’t care what the shelters think about it. Buying a shelter dog is no different than buying one at the store. Shelters are worst than breeders. I get mine off Craigslist for cheap or free. It’s not that I can’t afford to pay more, it’s a matter of principle. Initial pet purchase should be no more than $50 and they certainly are not merchandise to make profit off of. Pet sellers are making money are more interesting in making money than finding a good home for the animal.

  174. I applied to rehome a beautiful german shepherd after losing my beloved
    rough collie after 13/half yrs from National animal welfare trust,I made no
    secret of the fact I worked 12 hour shifts and to alley their fears of the dog being left alone I arranged with my upstairs neighbour
    to take the dog for a walk several times whilst I was working they appeared satisfief with this arrangement, and I made 3 visits to allow the dog to bond with me which she did very well she was speyed in preperation
    for my adoption then finally I had the home visit during which he advised me that my fence was too low, so barely 20 mins later I went down to homebase & purchased some of the fencing posts & wire then as I arrived at B&Q 20 MINS later I recieved a phone call from the home manager advising me that she had turned me down for rehoming after all my efforts, consequently I will never use or nor make any further donations to any dogs home as I am sick & tired of their ‘cherry picking’ of people I’ve had dogs all my life so I’m no beginner and well qualified to give a dog a new life. so I’ll be getting my new dog elsewhere to themisfortune of my refused dog.
    Watford, Herts

    • Avatar Of Allison Jacobs

      Allison Jacobs


      I had the same experience with the same breed of dog. It’s so sad, because I’ve always been the one to preach to adopt from a shelter. When I actually went to adopt myself I was turned down for using the wrong “terminology” apparently. I’m not sure how saying I wanted a running/hiking companion can ever come across wrong terminology. I’m an educated, responsible pet owner with a yard/fence and home. I went through all their hoops and came out feeling like it was a total waste of time. They were actually really rude to me in the process as well like I wasn’t worthy of even getting a response from them. I will be getting a dog and I’m going to be sad to say I wasn’t able to adopt a rescue dog:( That was my whole intent. I’m not sure what they are looking for exactly, but I work in a school district so I’d like to adopt when I’m off to care for the new arrival and I can’t take all summer to go through the process with multiple dogs in order to be told I can’t have a pet. I know it’s not about my schedule, but I think when it takes a month maybe more that’s pretty intense. It’s ridiculous!!!!!!

  175. Avatar Of M C

    M C


    I just want to add my two cents about pet stores…

    Once I had fallen in love with a puppy at a store, asked for breeder info, and got some mysterious phone number for several states away. No name, no address. Huge red flag. I have driven on the main road and seen about a dozen different puppy stores, one in particular that sends shivers down my back.

    March: 25% off puppies!
    May: 30% off puppies!
    August: 50% off puppies!
    October:70% off puppies!
    November: 75% off puppies!!! My fiance keeps joking “I’m going to wait until it says Free Dogs.”

    But the store I got my dog from, I could not have found this dog anywhere else. This store is first of all, extremely expensive so right away that keeps impulsive purchasers away. Second of all, they specialize in one breed and only take in a few toy or small breeds (or mixes). They actually specialize in a lot of mixes because they feel it makes their dogs healthier while maintaining the overall look and personality buyers want. It’s difficult to find a breeder willing to do mixes because they cannot compete. This store visits and interviews every breeder they work with, and provide full information as well as photographs to their clients. They have an onsite vet and great connections with the local animal hospital. The dogs sell fast so no dog is stuck there for more than a week or two.
    When you want to buy a dog, generally you need to pick them out within the first two days they get them in, because they really do get snatched up quick. We waited about six months to finally get the dog we wanted. Then we placed a deposit and had to wait a week because they wanted the vet to observe them for a while before letting them go. We signed a lot of papers but we had a personal conversation, not an annoying application with yes or no only answers. They were concerned about the apartment but mentioned the heat was an issue for this breed, also that there are thriving dog parks, and they insisted we bring the dog to the vet within the first week we owned him. They were never rude, intrusive, judgey or preachy. They were a business, but they are an honest business who cares very much not only about the health of their dogs but their quality. Whenever we walk by, my dog lunges to get inside because he had a great experience there as well.

    What I described is what I feel the process for acquiring a pet should be (minus the expense), regardless of adoption or store. (I feel if you are a breeder, you should be MORE picky since you had much more of an investment in the “creative” process). You are treated with respect, you aren’t interrogated, and you aren’t judged, you aren’t screened; you are merely assessed and given the realities of what you are taking on. If you want a particular dog, it may take months but if the dog is available, a week. My puppy turned out to have a cold and the store said they would pay vet bills either way but also offered to take care of him until he was better. When I adopted an animal who only turned out to be sick, died a month later, and after having spent around $1000 dollars (on a “healthy” animal) was only told “well, did you try this $500 procedure too?” no, but I had to learn how to give injections and had force feed for hours every day! Rotten, smug little…

    I also have volunteered at shelters, and frankly, so much money is wasted trying to save sick, suffering animals who cannot hope to have a good quality of life. Not only could you use that money to help a starving sick human being, but you could be using it to save all the healthy animals that have a much better chance of being good family members, let alone finding a family. Such a martyr complex for the shelter runners! Even if your first priority is to rescue animals, you are still providing a service to humans and need to function accordingly. And if your first priority really is the animals, don’t force them to suffer to make yourself feel better.

    I know not every shelter has its priorities out of whack like these two did but it does give them all a bad reputation.

    The idea that a shelter has the nerve to want to place you with your pet instead of allowing you to choose is gross to me. There is nothing at all wrong with wanting to know where your new family member came from, and wanting a particular personality, athletic ability, etc. which is the whole advantage of buying. People who buy are not doing anything wrong, in fact often they are making an educated decision. The morally superior choice is to adopt, especially when the history of the dog is obscure. So these people, who are morally superior, do not need to be chastised.

    On that note, what is up with some owners of rescues thinking they are gods among men? I didn’t think twice when I adopted, and I certainly didn’t rub it in everyone’s face and I didn’t put down anyone who didn’t.

  176. Avatar Of Billie Hoskins

    Billie Hoskins


    I think the strict requirements are absolutely ridiculous! I had no idea, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. As long as the people wanting to adopt will make sure the animal has food and water everyday, adequate shelter, and yearly shots, and are not abusive to the animal, that is all that matters. Why leave them sitting in a shelter to end up euthanized?? Any shelter employee who claims that no one is good enough to adopt, or turns anyone away for no good reason, needs to either adopt it themselves or go home because they are obviously too crazy to work there.

    • Avatar Of Kitty



      I agree. But I’d replace “and yearly shots” with “adequate vet care”.

      FYI: check the most recent vaccines guidelines. Not all vaccines are recommended every year these days. I don’t know about dogs, but for cats the most recent recommendations are FVRCP – no more often than every 3 years; Rabies – subject to local laws, but depends on vaccine you use, Purevax – every year, older adjuvanted vaccine – every 3 years. FELV – every year for cats that go outdoors. The reason I mention it is that some shelters give people problems for “vaccines not up-to-date” when this should depend on pet’s lifestyle and are between the owner and the vet.

  177. Avatar Of Sarah



    Some of these rescues are something else! You are expected to fill out an application which is fine but they want to know details about your income and the income of all adults in the home and they had the nerve to ask my friend for financial statements! They want to do unscheduled home checks before and after adoption and God forbid you don’t have a yard for a yorkie because you know a 6lb dog just can’t live without a yard. Your other dog had a bad reaction to vaccines so you no longer give that vaccine? Well no dog for you! Your vet sees nothing wrong with it but hey what does he know, he’s just a vet!
    The cat rescues around here are just as bad, if you want a kitten you have to take two or none at all, one rescue said I would have to agree to feed the cat a raw diet. Oh and of course some insist on choosing the animal that is best for your lifestyle because apparently potential adopters haven’t a clue as to what is best for them and are complete idiots when it comes to pets, give me a break!

    • Avatar Of Patrish



      Wow sound like the group I adopted from. I adopted a senior dog they wanted her on grain free food, no rabies vaccine as her age, give input on type of harness, etc. I spend $300 for all her tests (she is a senior dog), etc. Not one comment about how great that was of me. Instead were upset because vet wants her off grain free food. I told them if you don’t think I’m a fit dog parent and want her back let me know before I become attached or spend more money on her.

  178. Avatar Of Sally Wallis

    sally wallis


    I think that they certainly can be. I know of people who’ve been refused the chance of adopting cats because they live too near a road for the shelter’s liking, and when one woman i know said that the cat would be an indoor companion cat with a litter box, she was told that that was unfair as it stifled a cat’s natural instinct to establish and roam in it’s territory, this despite my friend previously having had a cat that was wuite happily kept the same way. My own experience with trying to adopt a young Jack Russell was equally frustrating. The rescue centre that had this pup, Millie, asked me if I had any other animals and I said yes, a male staffie cross who was missing my cairn terrier who had recently died. I was asked if he had been neutered – which he hadn’t – and was told that they would’t allow me to adopt Millie unless he was neutered, despite the fact that she had been spayed while in their care. I found out that she had been re-homed to a couple with a young son, and hoped that she would be happy there, but a week later she was unceremoniously brought back, as she didn’t get on with their cat! What infuriated me was they had been told, as I had, that she didn’t get on with cats, but this couple chose to lie and said they didn’t have a cat. I used to visit her regularly and she was a darling, but eventually she went to someone else, even though in the mean time my dog was neutered, as I had told them I intended to do. I felt that “my face didn’t fit” as I did everything that was asked of me, and had bonded with her and she with me.

  179. Avatar Of Carla Brown

    carla brown


    I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We have a humane centre in the town of Arnprior. Country surrounds Arnprior. They have over 150 cats/kittens and they’re always crying for more money or supplies, etc. However one is denied adoption if you are planning to allow the cat to go outside. Seriously? I used to financially donate to this centre but no more. The centre needs to come into the 21st century – we are country folk on dirt roads with minimum traffic. Oh, by the way, I just went to a local farmer to get my cat (for free) and then had her spayed at a low cost spay clinic.

  180. Avatar Of Mary



    Our local shelter is so expensive at almost $200 per dog.(it is a no kill shelter). Perhaps they think if you can’t afford the fee then you can’t afford to adopt anyway.

    • Avatar Of Sharon



      Consider yourself lucky — a few rescue organizations in the SF Bay Area are charging upwards of $500 for adoption fees. It’s crazy, and some of these organizations are just fraudsters and/or lunatics with FB pages, nothing more, nothing less. Any rescue organization that charges $500 for puppies is basically a puppy mill itself.

  181. Avatar Of Patty



    Craigslist is an alternative. I wanted a dog. Didn’t want to spend the $$$ to buy a designer dog. The local shelters insisted on a home visit. I got my boxer on craigslist and she’s my very best friend. She’s almost 3 now!

  182. Avatar Of Kayla



    To All you people saying the application process is too intrusive so you decided to go to a breeder. That is the worst excuse I have ever heard. I only work part time, I rent a tiny house that is old and I’m not by any means rich. Well I have two rescue dogs. I adopted one from the shelter, and the other one I fostered for a rescue which I later ended up adopting. There are reasons they ask you all those questions. They want to make sure you aren’t just getting an animal that you will later decide you can’t take care of it and then bring it back to the shelter. It happens all the time. If you can’t “pass” an application process then you probably shouldn’t own a pet. Of course a breeder isn’t going to do a house check or an application process because they don’t care about where their animals end up. It’s just a product to them and it’s a way to make money. If a shelter denies you because you have children it’s because that certain dog might be aggressive towards children but they would find you a dog that would be a good match. Stop making excuses and stop adding to the problem

    • Avatar Of Dee



      I love people like you. Tell me almighty goddess what was i supposed to do when my white spouse and i (woman of color) went to 4 different rescues and being rejected because they did not feel our interracial relationship was in the animal’s best interest. No offense but i’m tired of these old white women who run these crooked ass organizations try to tell me that I’m not good enough to be a pet parent because of skin color. I had a close friend of mine who is in a loving same sex relationship go through the same pain as we did. At the end of the day we ended up going to a local breeder who we still maintain a relationship with and he checks on our fur babies well being frequently.


    • Avatar Of Christoph



      You are right, Kayla, better to euthanize the animal than risk that someone adopts the animal and then returns it (note the heavy sarcasm). There are a lot of good people, who could give a dog or cat a really good home, but who don’t want to go through all the red tape to get their animal. I have 3 dogs and I still find it very irritating that these shelters would put dogs to sleep, rather than give them a chance at a home. Our shelter just told us that to adopt a “pit bull” we would have to fill out an application, go through an interview, the dog would have to have a temperament test, and then see if we can be allowed to adopt. Meanwhile, they are killing hundreds of dogs per year.

      • Avatar Of Adriana



        You don’t think you should have to fill out an application of any kind? They should just hand you a pit bull? Don’t you want to have the dog’s temperament assessed before you bring it to your house? And, you don’t think anyone should even talk to you?

        I suppose you could find someone to just hand you a free Pit Bull, no questions asked, and you’ll know absolutely nothing about the Pit Bull you bring into your home. Good luck with that.

    • Avatar Of Kitty



      “. They want to make sure you aren’t just getting an animal that you will later decide you can’t take care of it and then bring it back to the shelter.”
      This can happen regarldless of shelter’s interview process. None in the arbitrary criteria mentioned here would ensure a lifelong home. You cannot predict how people will react,, no matter which answers they give you. Did you even read the reasons people mention here?

      And in the meantime the cat or dog is languishing in the shelter… in a cage, or worse is getting killed. Even if you are no-kill, allowing someone to adopt a pet from you frees up place.

    • Avatar Of Reader



      And what is exactly wrong about making profits, as long as breeders provide a good, reputable and functioning services to customers? Just like any other governmental functions, these so called not-for-profit organization seem to be very inept and corrupt. Often they start out with a good intention you speak of and wind up to be something else.
      I am so sick of them. I spoke with someone like you here, and I decided I would never adopt from another rescue/shelter. The first thing came into my mind when interacting with them was that “Boy they’re just like a bunch of evil social workers that I see on prime-time TV dramas!”
      Their excuse for me was that “Oh you’re cat is too old, we need to match our kitten with another kitten for her development!” What a B.S. My cat is a senior cat but she is in perfect health (because we took very good care of her!) and out-going and so spunky. And she was only pet we had, she sure did not have any “kitten companion” to grow up with. She turned out to be an extremely affectionate & lovable cat. They were looking for the cat that “compliments” her shyness. Duhhhh? What did I say about my cat? She is the most social cat I’ve ever seen! And then they say oh, we’re looking for the candidates who can adopt with her sisters!! Really? Adopt three cats all together or else?? What kind of nonsense is that? Good luck. I’m a very responsible pet owner, who will make sure that I have enough financial means to support our pets in emergencies, so we will not have any more than two cats in our home.
      Any way…I hope they find a real job.

  183. Avatar Of Merri



    I think it depends. I have never had any problem adopting. A local shelter in NC works to encourage apt owners to allow pets. I have seen some rescue groups a little too concerned with their philosophy over the animal but then again I have seen some “adopters” with issues like the woman who felt the shelter was looking down on her by asking questions.. well, it turns down that she also won’t shop at this bookstore because she thinks people look down on there or at this store because people look down on her there– she is the one with the issues it seems..

    Some shelters are snobs. Others work to educate and help.

    I would not want to let someone who adopt who cannot give their address– too much dogfighting and selling of animals to medical places.

  184. Avatar Of Sarah



    We run a small independent rescue and sometimes work with the local shelter to place animals in a loving and safe home, I’ve been told that we require too much of adopters but do you know what we require? An address and phone number, and that you fill out a form stating that you recognize that the animal is now your responsibility and if its required that the animal is rehomed that you will bring it back to us instead of a shelter. Our adoption fees are different depending on the animal, but we ask about the same fee as the shelter does, or in order to forgo the fee a home check is required. I haven’t been to a shelter that requires things like someone being home for most of the day or a fenced in yard except in extreme circumstances such as a rescue who works with large and energetic dogs that would need that space to run, but I would say that people who are so hard on adopters have probably seen too many animals tortured and abused. No one wants to see an animal not being adopted, sometimes you just cant help but worry what kind of situation they are going into and if the animal would be better off where it was. As an example, recently I was contacted about a cat by someone who was too uncomfortable giving an address or phone number and instead decided to look elsewhere. In that kind of situation you have to worry if the animal could be going to a hoarder or a dog fighter considering they don’t want to be on record as having that animal. When your heart is in what you do its hard to find a balance between being hard on people who won’t take care of the animal and making it easy to find the animal a home.

  185. Avatar Of Oliver



    This is ridiculous. Yes, shelter applications frequently ask questions like who your landlord is (so they can confirm that you are allowed to have pets and will not end up getting caught and having to get rid of your animal who would at best in that situation end up back at the shelter). They ask who your veterinarian is so they can be assured that all your animals are taken to check ups yearly and are up to day on their vaccinations. All my animals are shelter rescues from different shelters and I’ve never been offended by or received poor treatment from the employees there. These animals have suffered so much and deserve to have a home where there needs will be met. Extensive applications are a method of keeping these animals safe and healthy, out of the hands of abusers, fighters, and their ilk. I think we should all grow up a little and appreciate the sacrifices that shelter employees (many of whom are volunteers and are paid nothing for all they do) make.

  186. Avatar Of Kerri



    I know there are shelters out there with high expectations. I just recently adopted a medium sized lab mix from a county shelter, and i had to jump through a few hoops to do so. The lady wasn’t concerned with where I lived, just that my landlord was ok with having pets. I live in an apartment with no yard, go to school full-time, and work as well. I think it is stupid that there are shelters who won’t adopt based on living situation or how long the dog might be alone because that eliminates so many prospective families from the picture.

  187. Avatar Of Victoria



    There are several shelters around where I live, I had my heart set on one dog via a picture but knowing it may not be a match in person I wanted to meet the dog first. I called the shelter and they cramed a 2 page paper down my throat and knowing i didnt have a fenced in yard i knew i wouldnt qualify from the questions. That being a typical requirement for adoption I’d like to remind everyone that dogs can jump a fense easier than getting away from me on a leash. The dog was a husky and they also said bc i have a cat they couldn’t let me have a husky bc their prey drive is too high. Which is not true bc i own a husky mix n.ow ans he would necer hurt the cat. I also looked into getting a great dane from a rescue and they said none of theor dogs will be adopted out to people with kids. My parents who’d always had a great dane know just like any other dane lover that they’re so gentile with kids, some aren’t but the majority of them are. These places make ot so difficult to adopt…let me add that i work at a pet resort where we pamper dogs have daycare and i can take my dog to work with me. I also help rehabilitate dogs with behavior issues and have over and over again helped dogs be dog friendly and people friendly when they never were and those adoption places didn’t want to hear that…they didn’t care what my dog qualifications were they just said no bc i dont have a fense and no bc i have a 10 yr old kid! There are a few adoption places around me that have a one page paper to fill out. Typical rent or own? How many pets do you have now? Why are you adopting and the agreement to have them spayed or neutered if they’re not already. Their adoption fee as of two years ago was $35to fpr a dog and $25 for a cat

    • Avatar Of Victoria



      There are other options for a better nicer more acceptable shelter to adopt from. Dont give up on your desire to help a shelter dog just look at other options! Maybe the harsher judging shelters will realize what’s going on and start doing the same! By the way the shelters that are great in my area of PA are venango county humane society and willow run santuary(mostly cats) great places to adopt from!

  188. Avatar Of Susan



    I found my purebred cocker on petfinder in 2004. He was at the town’s pound (in NJ) and all I had to do was, meet him in person, fill out a two page application, pay the $75 and he was mine. I lived in a townhouse, at the time, didn’t have a relationship with a local vet, and hadn’t owned a dog on my own though grew up with mixed breeds. Gratefully he was already neutered which I was planning on doing anyway. I live in SC now where there is a dog fighting problem. I’d hate to see any dog be adopted out so easily and end up as a bait dog kept outside and/or chained to a tree. My dog is never unsupervised, even in my fenced in yard. I do believe there needs to be a criteria met in order to adopt but rescues need to be realistic about fences and whether people work or not.

  189. Avatar Of Barbara



    WOW! I never knew just how tough some of the shelters were on people. I did check out Petfinder years ago, and like some of you, didn’t feel the invasion of my privacy would determine whether or not I would make a good adopter. My first dog, Rudy, came from a breeder, at nine weeks old and lived to be 11 before he went to puppy heaven. My second dog, Molly, came from an ad on Craigslist, as the elderly couple were moving to a retirement home and just could not afford the surcharge to take Molly with them. It just broke their heart to part with her, but I assured them I would take good care of her, as I had already melted when I met her. They were asking $60.00 to help with their moving expenses, which I happily paid. I was going out that night, so I asked if I could pick her up early in the morning because it wouldn’t be right to bring her home and then just leave her. Molly was 6 when she came home with me and lived to be 12. She had many health problems at that time and because I loved her like I did, I did what was right for HER and sent her on her journey to puppy heaven, no longer in pain. Rigby, my third dog, came from a friend of a friend of my sister. They had two dogs and a baby and were getting ready to have another baby and had decided to part with one of their dogs. I also melted when I met Rigby, and I took him home a week later. Rigby was 3 when he came home with me and only lived to be 8 because of cancer. 🙁 My current baby, Shadoe, was a shelter rescue and was going to be euthanized the next day because he was a stray. He was about 5 months old when he came home with me. The lady who brought him to me worked with rescues. She went to Virginia to get him and brought him to my office. I just had to have $60.00, a leash and a tag for him. I’ve been lucky to have not gone through all the obstacles many of you have gone through, but I would go through some of them. If I couldn’t rescue a dog from one place, I would go to another,and not give up. I do believe some of them are wayyy to picky, but I do also understand why the good ones are picky – they want to know that you are going to commit to the dog come hell or high water. Between Rigby and Shadoe (three weeks time) I went to the Humane Society to adopt a dog. I brought home a boxer puppy, but only for a week because he was a little too aggressive. I returned him to the Humane Society because I believed he would be good for someone else, just not me. (I had to convince myself). I was wrong to take him in the first place because I did not have any experience with that breed… all my babies had been labs or lab mix. It still broke my heart to return him though. I even went back the following week to try again with him, but had to admit I just wasn’t right for him. That’s when I connected with the lady who ultimately brought me Shadoe. I connected with her through an ad on Craigslist, but it turned out we had met previously, through our jobs. Shadoe has been with me now for almost three years, and when his time comes for puppy heaven (which I’m hoping will not be for a long time) I will cry another ocean, just as I have for all my babies, but I will search for another furry four legged kid until I find/connect with the right one. Please don’t let the rules keep you from giving a sweet baby who needs you all the love that you have. Just keep looking until you find the place that meets YOUR requirements. Rudy came from a breeder for $375.00, and I loved him more than life, but I will not “buy” another dog when so very many need rescuing. I will pay adoption fees, neutering fees, etc. because it is best for the dog that I want to bring home and love.

  190. Avatar Of Mary Ann Williamson

    Mary Ann Williamson


    My husband and I are quite fortunate, our shelter checked to make sure we didn’t have an animal abuse arrest history, and asked us if we owned our own home or lived where pets were allowed and asked if we understood the needs of our dog’s primary breed then handed us our puppy! We don’t have a back yard but I walk several miles each morning and took up dog agility to make sure our girl gets the stimulation she needs. If someone gets serious about doing what the dog needs and intends to train their dog well, it will work out fine. I can see how intrusive and over the top application processes can send someone right to a breeder, or far worse, a pet shop/puppy mill dog.

  191. Avatar Of Tprice



    I do not mind the application, the idea of home visits, or even the interviews of my references. It would be nice to just get a response. Tell me why I have not been approved so that I may fix the problem or move on with my life. I have applied to several rescue shelters in the area and I really desire to adopt a rescue dog. But it does not seem that it is in the cards for me. No one is willing to respond to my emails and trying to call and talk to someone is hard!!

    • Avatar Of Sarah



      I don’t know where you are trying to adopt from so I don’t know their polices but my advice would be to call them or to go in, emails get lost or overlooked too easily (or that can be the excuse for not responding sometimes) and as someone who rescues and has to talk to potential adopters who sometimes get irate when we tell them why they aren’t fit for this particular animal or what they might need to change I can say that those emails are pretty intimidating to answer. If you just call or go in with a good attitude I’m sure someone will be happy to talk to you, and they can’t blow you off to your face when you go in. If you are fine with applications and home visits it already shows you are willing to go the extra mile for the animal 🙂

    • Avatar Of Sharon



      I too never get a response from them..this is my second attempt. I own a home and have a fully fenced large yard. The only reason that I can think of is I dont have a vet as its been 4 years since my last dog. I have just decided to sit back and rethink..all of my previous animals have been rescues and I was always one to tell anyone that would listen that its the way to go. I have had many offers of puppies but I really wanted to rescue an older dog. Guess I will just wait and see what happens! Just glad Im not the only one.

  192. Avatar Of Mark



    Just throwing in my 2 cents on the frustrations of trying to adopt. I work full time as a dog attendant at a well respected doggy day care and I take a lot of pride in my work. Recently a foster dog came to stay and I immediately formed a connection. I own one dog that comes to work with me everyday and she very much enjoys playing with the new puppy. I called the foster home so that I could rescue this adorable little girl and the first question was “How much do you make?” I answered and was immediately turned down because I do not make enough money. It seems that I am good enough to care for this little puppy 40 hours a week, feeding her, grooming/training her (including cleaning up accidents,) and playing with her but I am not a suitable owner because I don’t get paid enough!

  193. Avatar Of Renzie



    My husband and I gave up breeding Labrador Retrievers after 10 years because the expense of doing it right became prohibitive. We then started a long career of rescuing dogs (the first one given to us by our vet who said that this dog “needed” us.) We have rescued a Corgi, a paraplegic dachshund, a one-eyed miniature pinscher and another min-pin who hates people, a geriatric labrador and various cats along the way, but apparently, with a Min-Pin to Labrador safe back yard and a 100K plus income, we are not worthy to adopt another dog. We ended up buying a dog from a breeder, but were not at all happy about being “dissed.”

  194. Avatar Of Darren



    My wife and daughter went to an animal adoption event held by a radio station. We are not looking to adopt a dog but my wife and this particular dog instantly made a connection. We currently have 2 dogs and 2 college students and a teenager and our home is always active. We discussed adopting this 6 year old dog which has been in the shelter for 3 months. My daughter went to the shelter with our 2 dogs to meet the dog we wanted to adopt and was told that because there were no veterinary papers as to when the dogs were at the vet they couldn’t meet. It was then decided that the dogs could be on opposite sides of the fence. The dogs meet and as soon as the dog we wanted to adopted bent forward and her tail curled the shelter people said that the dogs weren’t a good match and suggested another dog. This dog has bee in the shelter for 3 months and someone who is more than willing to adopt this dog who currently owns 2 dogs has a large yard for the dogs to play in is told instantly that its not a good match. WE are devastated knowing this animal that made a connection with my wife and daughter are to leave this animal in a shelter where the dogs never interact with each other,go outside one at a time. HOW IS THAT GOOD FOR THESE ANIMALS. These shelters are not looking out for these animals they will probably be passed on to another shelter or be left to live a life of confinement or be euthanized. HOW IS ANYONE TO ADOPT. WAKE UP SHELTERS.

  195. Avatar Of Darren



    My wife and daughter went to an animal adoption event held by a radio station. We are not looking to adopt a dog but my wife and this particular dog instantly made a connection. We currently have 2 dogs and 2 college students and a teenager and our home is always active. We discussed adopting this 6 year old dog which has been in the shelter for 3 months. My daughter went to the shelter with our 2 dogs to meet the dog we wanted to adopt and was told that because there were no veterinary papers as to when the dogs were at the vet they couldn’t meet. It was then decided that the dogs could be on opposite sides of the fence. The dogs meet and as soon as the dog we wanted to adopted bent forward and her tail curled the shelter people said that the dogs weren’t a good match and suggested another dog. This dog has bee in the shelter for 3 months and someone who is more than willing to adopt this dog who currently owns 2 dogs has a large yard for the dogs to play in is told instantly that its not a good match. WE are devasted knowing this animal that made a connection with my wife and daughter are to leave this animal in a shelter where the dogs never interact with each other,go outside one at a time. HOW IS THAT GOOD FOR THESE ANIMALS. These shelters are not looking out for these animals they will probably be passed on to another shelter or be left to live a life of cofinement or be Euthanized. HOW IS ANYONE TO ADOPT. WAKE UP SHELTERS.

  196. Avatar Of Tj



    The root to all this nonesense is that shelters are run by policies that are made up by opinions. There are no solid laws to back the rules enforced onto potential pet owners, and so lawless policies are formed to reflect the ideas, opinions, and restrictions a small group of people thought were important. The sick part is that those opinions, ideas, and restrictions are then used to judge good people as unfit while dogs sit in cages racking up bills for the shelters, and increasing adoption fees.

    I was judged as a great candidate to adopt a dog, but my other pet was deemed to be a problem… My indoor cat is not spayed. I trained her so well that she will sit in the open doorway, sniff the air, and then come back inside. She knows what I expect from her, and loves her home. I don’t need to spay her, because last I checked, she cannot reproduce by herself. If she ever did leave, and get pregnant, I would be responsible for her and her kittens. She is my cat, and my choices are my responsibility. I have been responsible in the past, and I remain responsible.

    So I was passively agressively being coerced to get my cat spayed, because they do not tolerate any animals in the residence to be unsterilized. So I asked if I actually got the cat spayed if I could adopt the dog. They said I couldn’t, because I work 7 hours a day 5 days a week. I could choose another dog though…

    These tactics are nothing but abuse of power and control. There is no law in my state that states I must spay my cat. There also is no law that states that I cannot work and own a dog. These policies are lawless, and enforced by people whose common sense has been distorted by how many nasty people there are in the world. They think these rules will protect the animals, but they are only taking necessary money and placing it in the hands of puppy mills, and home breeders.

    So if I don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for the tea cup poodle I saw at the shelter, I must go to a home breeder or puppy mill. I don’t have many options, because the policies in place are not meant to place dogs in good homes. They are made to passively control the actions of others who disagree with the shelter about how they should live their lives. If I want a dog for an affordable price, I cannot rescue a dog. I must find people willing to trust me enough to sell me a dog rather than make rules that discount me from eligibility based on lawless opinions. The rules meant to protect the dogs, only keep them in shelters longer and discredit good people for the wrong reasons.

    Sorry. I choose freedom over legalistic hoop jumping. I will take my chances with the puppy mill.

    • Avatar Of Adriana



      Anyone who buys from a puppy mill, who knows the conditions the dogs live in at the puppy mills, does not care about dogs. I’m sorry, but there’s no excuse for that.

      You can buy a dog from one of the many good breeders out there. You can also buy a nice mixed breed or cross breed from someone in your city who has a litter of puppies at their house.

      There are a lot of ways to purchase good dogs other than puppy mills.

      • Avatar Of Evelyn



        What should happen to the puppy mill dogs? Shouldn’t they be rescued too? Don’t they deserve a forever home? Or would the rescue organization prefer that they be the only ones who profit from the puppy mill dogs if/when they make their way into the rescue dog system? Puppy Mills are competition for rescue organizations, lets face it. Look on Petfinder at all of the city run pet shelters in and around your own town, they are filled with nothing but pit bulls. The rescue organizations go in and take all of the more desirable dogs out so they can profit from them but leave the poor pit bulls behind to fend for themselves because they are less desirable. Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.

      • Avatar Of Lisa



        My Chi was a pet shop via puppy mill. She was amazing! She saved my life physically 3 times! Her few issues I dealt with. She was NOT broken! I’m in mourning after she passed of old age of 16 years a week ago! Sick of people judging puppy mill dogs! They deserve love and a home! Supporting them? They existed before me and will after! Stop writing them off! My girl was amazing, a puppy mill girl and the best darned dog raised by my cat whose now 18 years old from a newspaper ad. It was love at first sight. My first dog 24 years previously was from a shelter who had incurable heart worm they didn’t tell me about and he passed. My girl had kennel cough from the store that was cured within a week. They at least told me and had to buy all this garbage I didn’t need to get her! Puppy mill dogs aren’t all broken. They need love too! If people want to think puppy mill dogs are worthless and don’t deserve good homes you’re no better than overly picky shelters and false rescues! With or without you, puppy mills exist! I miss my Montana so much! She was my puppy girl now and forever!

      • Avatar Of Lisa



        Adriana you’re pretty ignorant when it comes to pupoy mill dogs and I’m sick of people like you!

        In 2002 I went to a pet shop to get a dog. Why? Because in 1978 I adopted a German Shepherd from a shelter who was in the end stag of heart worm and didn’t bother to tell me. The Vet did! Three months later my boy died! My gorl from the pet shop via puppy mill that mever heard of before thst had kennel cough. At least they told me! I had to buy extra garbage to get my girl who was a Chihuahua. She started oit white then gradually had a toasty tan on her back. She had a slipped disk, crooked front legs. How many times did her back go out? Twioce in 16 years I had her! Rest and she was back in fighting form. Did her crooked front legs imterfere with walking or running? Not in the least! She ran in the yard like the wind, bounded up and down stairs, and loved doing laps around my dining room table.

        Montana had to hsve treats mixed into her food to get her to eat amd for 16 years I:d say “go on!” And she gobbled up her food then tried to eat my cat’s food! She loved dog biscuits as long as I broke them up and any other dog treat.

        I don’t know how Montana knew I don’t hear well but she’d bark when the phone rang. Told her I could hear the phone no bark, and she stopped. The mailman I couldn’t hear and she’d bark.

        My puppy mill girl saved my life several times. Twice from cars who tried to run us down from behinf she pulled me out of their path, twice she chased burglers out of my house, and when I collapsed from heat exhaustion she punded and prodded me to get up. I was upstairs, she was downstairs, I whispered help me and she heard me and got me on my feet for water.

        That puppy mill dog SAVED my life! Sje was so attuned to me that she would jump out of her bed next to the couch, check me then go back to sleep in her bed.

        My girl lived for 16 years before age made life miserable! She knew it was time! The night before, I talked to her, cuddled her, fed her honey the only thing she could eat. I’m heart broken that she’s gone! I miss her SO much!

        She had a nice personality. We took care of each other the bond was so close! Puppy mill dog bad? Her heart was a strong as a drum! Never had a flea! She was amazing!

        You’ve neve had a puppy mill dog have you so willing like other to write them off! They deserve homes and love too! They can’t help where they came from. I had 16 years with a puppy mill dog and they’re NOT as defective as people think!

        Yes, I shopped! My Montana was my beloved puppy girl! You think shelters don’t buy from puppy mills think again they do but won’t admit it!

        Sick of people like you lecturing how awful puppy mill dogs are acting like they don’t deserve love and a home! I had one and she was the beat darn little lady EVER!

        I cry often missing my girl so much! NO dog is perfect! Puppy mill dogs deserve love, compassion, NOT judgement from ignorance!

        I’m not saying all puppy mill dogs would be like my Montana was, but my girl was lovimg, protective, tuned into me like I never expected that I raised from a puppy, house broke and litter box trsined in 8 weeks flat, smart, talkative. She understood everything ai said which scared the bejesus outta me but it made her special!

        To those who write off puppy mill dogs have never raised one! My girl never gave me trouble! It’s bad enough that people judge all Chihuahuas as bad because of untrained ones and hate them, it’s another to judge puppy mill dogs by what you think you know but won’t give a chance to!

        Sad how you discriminate because of sheer ignorance!

  197. Avatar Of Laura



    I don’t think I am taking it personally because I object to being subjected to home visits and overly long applications. I even had one rescue reject me because I planned to take the dog to work (I own my own business)They also subtly condescended and judged me saying” We are looking for someone who makes a lot of money because this dog may need knee surgery someday” Guess I don’t look rich enough for you. Lesson learned. I found a friend who owns a house and I’m going to use his credentials, get the dog and not worry about these crazy people. I’ve owned a dog from a puppy to the end of the dogs life. I don’t need to be judged by rescue organizations.

  198. Avatar Of Diana



    YES. A lot of time!
    Just look at the form that SPCA ask people to fill when they want to adopt a pet. So many questions!
    Not everyone is rich/working from home/ unemployed and therefore can stay home all day with their pet.
    So what if the pet is left at home for a long period? We have no choice! but we love our pet. We feed, walk and take care of them. I think the dog would still prefer that then getting euthanized! If they see potential serious adopter they should let them have it. They can’t expect ‘The perfect’ adopter all the time.

  199. Avatar Of Cathie



    Here is the thing – I am a single woman who works. But many of the adoption agencies will not let me adopt a puppy.

    Currently I have a Jack Russel Terrier who just turned 16. She did fine – I adopted her from a breeder – and 16 years ago the rescues were not as abundant as they are today. Now they will want to check my background for keeping her healthy – there were times when I waited to see the Vet for annual check ups because I was unemployed – Now I pay a monthly fee to Banfield at Petsmart so there is not a problem trying to find 400-500 dollars every time I need to have her at the yearly check up.

    But I fear filling out that application – and then if it’s a good dog or a pure breed you have to compete with other people. So yes – I do think they make it hard.

    On the other hand most of these Animals have been through the ringer – they have had owners who tossed them to the curb. I understand the need to make sure that you are providing a good home – but seriously – I do think they can get a bit judge mental. To be a perfect person for a puppy – you have to be a stay at home Mom – or someone that works from home.

    I would have never enjoyed the 16 years with my dog if I had been turned away because I am a single woman who works.

  200. Avatar Of Sharon



    While I agree that there are many rescues and shelters whose requirements are too strict, some of these requirements are necessary. I work for a shelter whose adoption process is way too simple. Very often pets are returned because the adoptive parents live in a rented property that does not allow pets. Usually, if it is a puppy or kitten, by the time the animal is returned, it is of an age that makes it hard to place in a home. Too many of you want only a young puppy or kitten and are VERY particular about the “looks” of the animal. How about giving an older animal a chance. Or one that is not “pretty”. And if you jump from home to home, don’t even consider a pet as it is very likely you will be faced with having to give up that pet when you move to a rental that does not allow it. The poor animal will then have to rely on the chance that it will be adopted for a second time. As for having a fence, if you live in an area where there is high traffic, it is idiotic to think you should let your animal roam free or to place it on a chain or zip-line. There are two sides to every argument. I can say that sometimes it is better for an animal to remain in a shelter than to go to a bad home. And small children (under 6 years) are very likely to be injured by a family pet if they are not taught how to properly handle the animal. Not to mention the torture the poor animal goes through. That does not mean that I think no small child should have a pet. It just means that if you bring a wild, unruly child into the shelter and want to adopt a pet, it is unlikely to happen. And it shouldn’t.

    • Avatar Of Sarah



      Thank you! You really described my fears when adopting out an animal and why we always ask some questions that adopters think are just a hassle.

      • Avatar Of Evelyn



        You two are missing the point and obviously haven’t read many of these posts. These are stable people with plenty of successful pet ownership experience that are being rejected for the most arbitrary reasons. These people would provide forever homes, as I would, to these shelter animals but are being rejected for stupid reasons such as having to actually have a job to support the animal, or not having a fence, or having a child in the house. Get real. I am realizing the rescue groups are a non-profit scam. They get to collect tax free donations to support their own private kennels. All they have to do is pretend to want to allow people to adopt the dogs and go through the motions and then reject them for arbitrary reasons. They don’t want to let the dogs go because they are sick in the head and have God complexes. We all know not to buy from disreputable breeders and puppy mills but are forced to because when we try to do the right thing, the thing we have been beaten over the head to do, rescue an animal…we are rejected just because some a**h*** said so.

  201. Yes, definitely, they’re on a power trip and act as if they’re doing you a big favor by putting you through the hoops to adopt… sometimes I think they’d rather see them euthanized… it’s easier for a Tea Party group to get a 501-C permit than to adopt an animal from some groups!

    • Avatar Of Jamieb



      if the dog is a nice healthy cute dog, and young when he got there, and he lingers for years, yes they are too picky. If the dog is special needs, sorta wild, sorta nutty, well its not so clear cut.

      I by the way have filled out multi page forms to volunteer. I have filled out job applications for jobs anyone could do, that were multi pages.

      People on here and in general are taking this way to personal. No one knows you, this is not small town 1920s american and everyone in town knows you. You do not know 2/3 of the people that live on your block and two blocks away NO ONE KNOWS YOU.

      Peoples high opinion of themselves does not transfer to a clerk/receptionist at a rescue. They have no clue what you are about. Are dog supposed to be just given out to anyone who does not look crazed, homeless, or comes in with out blood on themselves?

      This stuff is not hassle free, but its a small hassle to get a dog that you will love for maybe as much as 15-18 years!

      • Avatar Of Adriana



        Very well said. Thank you!

        It seems like a few people just march into the shelters wanting their chosen pet handed to them on a silver platter. When it doesn’t happen that way, they’re indignant and crying, “Don’t you know who I am?”

        Obviously some rescues organizations aren’t doing a good job of screening potential adopters – that’s clear from reading some of these posts. On the other hand, some people just need to get over themselves.

  202. Avatar Of Valerie



    So, not one person on here addresses the reasons that shelters, some of them, have become pickier about potential adopters. They are the ones who are there to pick up some people’s castoffs/aka the pets, when some, not all, of these same people bring the dogs back or try to resell them on CL for the kinds of reasons. These same “reasons” are easy to avoid using a little common sense questioning “Do I have time to commit to this animal?” Will it get along with my kids” “Is my living situation stable?”

    • Avatar Of Lisa



      If I go to a shelter and you asked my nsme and address, fine! If you asked my social security number it’s none of your business. If you asked whst dogs I’ve had I’d tell you. Cats I’d tell you. If you asked if my cat has been declawed none of your business! If you asked for my Vet as a reference fine! If you asked for other references you’d get none! I keep to myself, raised a 16 year old dog until she passed have an 18 year old cat whose happy and healthy. I get paid quarterly that xhsnges. I’m NOT homeless and try to pay bills. That’s all a shelter needs to know! If you asked for my home deed I’d say show me yours, shelter worker! I want to see your tax papers adopter. Show me YOURS! Home inspection? Let ME a stranger invade every nook and cranny of YOUR home! You have a fence adopter? No doors to it. Don’t need them. I took my dog out for potty and that was the end of the backyard unless we raked up leafes and my girl now deceased never rsn way with no fence doors. When they were on she squeezed through them. She hated cages and fence doors. Got her back from across the street.

      Tjere are dogs who dig under fences or jump over them if they’re big enough. Ealking is enoigh, or in the case of small dogs running around the home as my girl did she got her exercize.

      Oh you don’t have fence doors? No dog! Forget I had her for 16 years and was happy! You refuse for not working and for working! You discriminate for age. But you’ll gladly accept a dog dumped for stupid reasons no questions asked!

      I saw a video one person did of a shelter. The videographer teased animals and I got his case! I saw puppies in dirty cages and not cuddled! I saw a dog who threw up and it was left there because the shelter workers were too lazy to do rounds!

      I saw a rescue online in my state. One dog he had up he boasted had bitten him so bad he had sirgery but still tried to unload the dog! They advertised “nervous” dogs. Sounds unpredictable! Advertised unhousbroken dogs. Say what????

      In 1978 I got a sick dog from a shelter they didn’t tell me he was fatally sick and I was heartbroken! I see videos of dogs in shelters with mange and adopted out!

      If someone wants to “shop” so what! Dogs and cats need homes! It’s a crap shoot! Adopting from shelters and rescues is NOT a job interview! Provide YOUR references! Provide us with walking around YOUR house for an inspection! Provide US with the ssme stuff you demand! You won’t? Wjy should we provide you with references if you won’t let US question people living near you who don’t know you or should as they’re not babysitters! Show YOUR financials since you demand it of us! If you won’t provide why should WE!

      To all of you who choose to buy somewhere else stop apologizing! You don’t owe anyone anything! You get a dog where you want! Pet shop, breeder? You owe no one any explanations! Sjelters amd rescues aren’t the only thing around and if they make it impossible then buy somewhere else and may you amd your next fur baby enjoy a long beautiful relationship. You’ve earned it.

  203. Avatar Of Amanda



    As someone who has worked at multiple shelters, I can tell you that I very much prefer a no-nonsense, short adoption process with most animals. For every animal that is rehomed, another one can be helped. My current shelter has a three page application that asks real basic info. I want to know that the animal will be treated humanely; I don’t really care how many steps a dog has to go up to reach your front door. If families have to jump through too many hoops to get a shelter dog, than they will get one from a breeder. Too many shelter people have superiority complexes. Most people who come looking for a dog know what it takes to care for one, and shelter people have to be more trusting of the general population.

  204. Avatar Of Kimberly



    Sometimes YES
    If there is any question a persons references vet, groomer etc should be good
    I recently tried to adopt and that was not enough I had to have a home visit and lived too far away. I begged so much they finally sent someone out and I got the dog but had I not gone crazy begging the people I bet that dog would still be there! My three other dogs I got from rescues held at events/pet stores and I had NO hassle. I filled out a quick form and got my dogs a couple days after they spayed or neutered them.

  205. Avatar Of Catherine



    We have been refused by a rescue group because our yard is not fenced. We live in a farming area and no one has fenced backyards here… My four children were brought up here. My current dog has lived here for 4+years. This fence issue has never been a problem in our lives. My dog is outside with me when I am outside. He lives in the house, with us. We were willing to adopt a 5 year-old mistreated dog from a breed with a life expectancy of 7 to 8 years (Irish Wolfhound). We were told we were perfect for him… but that we would have to have the yard fenced before he could live with us. It ended there. I do not know if that dog ever found a family that was perfect enough… I hope he did.

    • Avatar Of Jamieb



      well i know lots of farmers with fenced in areas albeit it sometimes just right next to the house, and its 40×100?

      Almost every farmer i know has the tools and know how to install a fence, and could put up a three sided fence, and use the house as one side in a few hours for a few hundred bucks or less. If its a wire fence, tons of farmers have that laying around, or another farmer down the way has a pile he will give you, or trade for etc.

      • Avatar Of Lee



        What’s your point? It’s not like you put in a fence in one day, typically. She lives ON A FARM. Even with a fence, she’d probably have the dog with her, roaming the acres of land NOT FENCED IN. So what’s the point in having a fence?

  206. Avatar Of Louise Basgall

    Louise Basgall


    As both an adopter and rescue person, I have seen both sides of the fence. Not everyone is a perfect match for every dog and rescue and shelter people many times it almost impossible to adopt. I once filled out an adoption application that was 15 pages long ending with “what is your favorite book about animals and why?” I felt like I was in 6yh grade taking a class final. I completed the application and never even got so much as a return phone call.

  207. Avatar Of Melissa



    Well I have mixed feelings about this since I have been on both sides of the fence. I have adopted a cat from a shelter when people in the neighborhood to get animals from and they probably wouldn’t adopt him out to me based on other peoples experiences with that organization. I met my cat, picked up an application and called to speak with an adoption coordinator. I asked several questions regarding my cats temper, or lack thereof, and what they thought his potential suitability would be for living in my household with my working lgd’s and special needs canine six pack. When I went to go turn my application in and person I wound up leaving with my cat the same hour and they didn’t even go through my application completely and check my references.

    So it really makes me wonder why they wouldn’t adopt to the other people. It could be a very valid reason. There is no way that I would place a puppy into a family where everyone is gone all day and the pup would be left unattended. People do not also realize the importance of fencing and bringing a new dog into a new territory that the dog has not established as “home” therefore I also will not place a dog with out a fence unless the new parent is ready to spend lots of leash time with the dog.

    Some time ago I acquired a hybrid through a relationship. I wound up having to rehome her due to severe female vs female dog aggression issues, we’re talking vet bills not just little tussles. It took me 18 months to find her a suitable home even though she was great with cats, kids and large submissive male dogs. No small dogs, no female dogs and she was not an animal for a first time owner. I was concerned that because of this rescues would not be interested in me as a potential adopter. I have spoken with rescues regarding my breed(s) of choice and have not found this to be the problem. In fact they wanted to make sure that she was gone and commended me for enduring that experience.

    As far as neighbor dogs coming over to visit, great if it works. However just because it has worked in the past doesn’t mean that a new dog will accept them coming over into their yard. Unfortunately I have a neighbor who thinks it is cruel to leash train and crate train her dogs and used to let them run at large sometimes. Early in the morning last fall I was out back by my bird pens, checking on my broody hens with chicks, with 2 of my female dogs who were off leash. Six of her dogs came around the corner, I put my dogs in a stay, one of her dogs growled and it was on. Thankfully the damage wasn’t too bad and my girls didn’t have to go to the vet 😉 and she doesn’t let her dogs run loose harassing and killing livestock anymore. Her dogs have also been aggressive with neighborhood children that were playing in their own yard. She has had some her dogs shot and killed by other neighbors. I think it is horrifying that her dogs had to pay the ultimate price for her stupidity. Even though that lady loves her dogs immensely I would not adopt a dog out to her since she only thinks about her dogs being happy not about the over all safety of everyone concerned. She actually blames the people who had to shoot her dogs on them just being mean instead of realizing that they needed to protect themselves, their family or their livestock. This is why good rescues do such extensive background checks, to prevent animals from going to people who are willing to invest emotionally in an animal but not take the needed steps to ensure their safety. I also would not adopt to this lady due to her methods of training which she tried to share with me which involved loud noises, rolled up newspapers and clapping close to the dogs head while yelling no in a loud voice. She offered this advice to me after she saw me quietly correct and claim space around a brooder full of chicks from the hybrid who was sniffing it with an inappropriate intensity. The hybrid chose to go lay down in her place after correction. Then this female tried to demonstrate what she was talking about and smacked the top of the brooder and yelled at one of my boys who wasn’t sniffing inappropriately, that scared the chicks and their canine guardian came unglued but didn’t bite. This is from a person with over ten dogs.

    On the other hand it is important for adopters to also check out rescues too. My mother went through a few horror stories a couple of years ago when she went to go adopt a couple of dogs. She is pretty much a noob when it comes to dog behavior and wound up with a furry little pit mix rescue, who by all indications was likely a former bait dog and has men issues. He is doing much better with $2K plus and countless hours spent in behavior modification. She also tried a couple of terrier mixes that did not have their issues disclosed and went through an ordeal returning them after she got stitches in her hand from one of them and the other one turned out to have a long list of medical issues that she wasn’t informed of or willing and prepared to handle. The last one she got with the med issues was from a rescue working with our local vet office and they sent her to her new home just hours after her spay and that dog was a hand biter too. Totally irresponsible on the rescues part.

    So there are good rescues and bad rescues just like there are responsible owners and not responsible owners. Four pages of application doesn’t seem excessive to me cause I am not only concerned about the ability for someone to care for an animals physical needs but their mental needs as well.

  208. Avatar Of Melissa



    I adopted a dog from a rescue group a few years ago and, at the time, thought the process of completing an appication, having a phone interview and a home inspection was a little over the top. I was even denied at first because I work outside of the home. I took the time to follow up and convince them that I am an excellent dog owner and was re-considered. I now volunteer and foster for that same rescue group and have a lot of respect for their process. The dogs in rescue are often dogs who were previously abused, battered, abandoned and neglected. Rescue is their second chance at a good life and the people who run the rescues (all volunteers often with minimal resources and funds)want to make absolutely sure that they dogs they adopt out do not end up back in a shelter or in a bad situation. While the process you have to go through as a prospective adopter may seem intrusive or time consuming to some, it is the best way rescues have with their limited resources to make sure the dogs they save go to homes where will be safe and will receive love and food and good care. Adopting a dog really is adding another member to your family. It is a huge commitment that should be taken seriously as you will be responsible for caring for this familiy member for 10 or 15 or more years. If you are truly willing to give a dog a good home, you should be willing to invest a few hours or days or maybe even a couple or weeks to convince the people who have comitted to this dog that they will find him/her the best possible forever home that you can provide that home. Sadly, there are more people who don’t take this commitment seriously than those who do, which is why there are millions of animals in shelters and rescues. Those are the people who make it harder for good people to adopt a dog, not the rescuers or shelters. If you are one of the good ones, you shouldn’t have an issue with proving it. And BTW, there are plenty of rescues who will only ask you a few questions and to sign their contract in order to adopt, so please take the time to find one of them (usually at your local pet store on a weekend) if you’re a good pet owner who just doesn’t want to have to prove it to anyone. Please just don’t buy a dog.

  209. Avatar Of Aileen Miles

    Aileen Miles


    Wow. We’ve never had trouble getting a dog. The first one we got was a stray found by a friend so no dealing with rescues or shelters, but after that we had 2 from a shelter (one adult, one puppy) which was only too happy to give them to us as long as we paid the fee to have them neutered/spayed. It wasn’t a no kill shelter, just volunteers working with the county animal control to try to rehome as many dogs and cats as possible.

    For our newest dog, we got him from a local rescue that doesn’t have a shelter, just a network of foster families. We did have to fill out a 5-page form and have a home visit from the dog’s foster parents. Having heard that it can be hard to get a dog from a rescue I was a little intimidated, but we had no problems. We actually did several home visits to help our other dog get used to her new packmate.

    I understand some rescues can be overly picky, but I think most of them just want to be sure that the dogs are going to homes where they won’t be chained up, ignored or otherwise left in a bad situation.

    • Avatar Of Jamieb



      i think people make too much of a 2-5 page form. Its often lots of spaces, large text, lots of things that you put not applicable etc.

      It is not like reading a number 8 font legal form that is 8 pages long.

      They have to skim some undesirable people from the pool, because if they did not, they should just have the dogs in pens with a sign that says free, or leave $100 on the honor system, and anyone in urge for a dog could just go get one.

      Filling out a 2-5 page form, and paying 100-350ish for a healthy puppy to maybe 2 year old dog that you like is not a big deal.

      People stand in long lines for crap products, drive an hour to a mall like its nothing.

      • Avatar Of Adriana



        I agree. People pay much more money than that for all kinds of crap that ends up in the garage a month later. But all of a sudden, having to pay a little money for a dog or cat, and they think it’s an outrage.

  210. Avatar Of Nicu Rn Loves Her Rescues

    NICU RN loves her rescues


    While not faulting either side of the shelter/rescues & the potential adopter, I too had an experience with a rescue that I found on Petfinder.com This particular rescue that I contacted had a dog on their website that I was very much interested in. After contact via email and phone, I was set to meet with a representative/volunteer that would do a “home check” to see if I was “suitable” for adopting one of their available dogs. I had owned purebred Bichons, and after they both died (one lived to be 18; the other 14), I realized just how many dogs needed homes in rescues/shelters. After being re-assured by this volunteer that this was no “big deal” and it was by no means not a test to be stressed about, I wondered when I would be contacted after the “home check” was done. I was never contacted by this rescue again. I thought maybe it was because I didn’t show her all the rooms in my house which was in the process of being painted, and “stuff” re-arranged because while one room was being painted, stuff had to be shifted from one room to another. I also thought maybe it was because we didn’t have a front fenced yard? Then I thought maybe it was because I was a night nurse that worked 12 hour shifts 3x a week (even though I had a dog sitter who was happy to watch them for those times named “my mom”!) Whatever the reason was, I was deeply disappointed, and after briefly fretting over it, I continued to look for another rescue, that didn’t require a “home check”. I instead found a rescue that had me fill out a 3 page interview form, had me list two referrences, my vet’s address and phone number, and list my experiences of any pet ownership prior to my visit here. After turning in my interview form, and meeting the lead person in charge of this rescue, I adopted my “Charlie”. I later returned a year later to this same rescue, and adopted my “Bailey” too. Today Charlie is about 10 years old; Bailey is 8 years old; and Rex joined us from a local high kill shelter 3 yrs ago. The moral to the story….don’t give up on adopting a rescue animal. If one rescue is too strict…find another….like I did!

  211. Avatar Of Kris Kris says:

    I guess we got lucky with our local shelter – we were looking to adopt a dog, and we stopped by the shelter, saw a 6-month old dog we both liked very much who had been brought in as a stray – there was a 1-week waiting period in case anyone came to claim him, and, when no one did, we brought him home (to our unfenced yard), and he was neutered, UTD on shots, and with a certificate for a free vet visit, all for about $100.

    That said, my parents adopted a dog from their local shelter and they ran into no end of hassles – they finally succeeded, but not before my mother had to threaten to go to the local media.

  212. Avatar Of Sheilagh



    After Hurricane Sandy the shelters here in New Jersey were way overfull. My husband and I decided to adopt another dog. We already have a TDI registered therapy dog who also has her AKC CGC award and our landlord was very happy to have us adopt another dog. I stay at home and volunteer with my dog. And yet, we were turned down at a time of desperate need. All those dogs overwhelming the system looking for homes and us with open arms and great references….but no fenced-in back yard. How sad that they’d rather let a dog die than place it with such horrible people as ourselves.

    • Avatar Of Ann S

      Ann S


      exactly- I live in the country on 100 plus acres, the only road is a football field away. it is a farm, we don’t have a fenced in yard- for god’s sakes we aren’t even required to fence in our pool because there is no one within walking distance to us! But we were turned down at a rescue. We wanted a mastiff and found plenty at rescues that needed a second chance- one we wanted to give them- we weren’t even looking for a puppy!
      But nope despite fantastic references, the no fenced yard was a dealer breaker for them. So sad, the dogs are the ones being hurt- we ended up buying from a breeder. So Please don’t shove the don’t shop adopt crap down my throat. Until rescues and shelters start having a more reasonable approach to adopting out animals there will be more and more animals that live out there lives behind bars. they are the ones hurting the animals in their charge.

  213. Avatar Of Theresa Lane Theresa Lane says:

    Northeast Animal Shelter on Rte 107 in Massachusetts was EXACTLY like this article back in the 90s. We ended up adopting a dog elsewhere, but the staff said because the dogs would be home for 6 hours a day on their own we could not adopt him. Any dog that has been in our house has been spoiled and has the BEST medical care. I adopted a British Bulldog with Cerebellar Hypoplasia and have rehabed him. He has the best care in the world. He goes to doggie day care on the days I can’t work from home. He even has an $800 wheelchair from Eddie’s Wheels. So Northeast Animal Shelter can take that and stick it!

    The fenced in yard thing I can understand a bit, but you have to present to them a good plan for apartment type dogs on walkies and stuff.

    I have seen the difference between good owners that do not meet all the requirements and the real sleazy ones that you know can’t even manage a child, let alone a dog or cat.

    Perfect example of this is my neighbor. She is a grandmother and is raising her 2 grandkids. They had a cat and let the cat roam free on a busy main street drag and then act surprised when the cat goes missing. They had to come beg for cat food off of me because they could not afford it. The cat would even come to my window looking for food. Now the cat has disappeared and the little boy says they are getting a dog. I feel like posting a notice to all shelters saying DO NOT ADOPT TO THESE PEOPLE.

  214. Avatar Of Wendy Scott wendy scott says:

    i’ve read the article and applaud the goal of becoming a no-kill community. Chris Weiskopf, I owe you an apology because I said it would never be a goal with you in place. See how people can be wrong? we can agree to disagree about the adoption process because I feel if adopters are impulsive, they will just as impulsively give an animal up for medical issues, behaviorial issues or any number of excuses. If they cannot take the time and commit to an adoption app that is already a red flag. Without some due digiligence and critera, we are no better than the pet stores and backyard breeders/ flea market sales. Most often the people don’t go to a shelter- they want the animals all vetted, groomed, wormed, flea treated, spayed/neutered, health guaranteed and even pawty trained by the time they are “willing” to adopt a rescue. The criteria they place on us is not one they typically ask of breeders, pet stores etc. Some people, let’s be honest, aren’t rescuing, they are looking for a cheap animal. I pawsonally know of only 2 rescues that live off the money they make. Most of us donate umpteen hours and thousands of dollars to save animals and never get expenses reimbursed. The people that complain about the process have usually never donated an hour of their time or any substantial donations to help the problem or helped an animal that they were not going to own. Never mind having any devotion to being part of the solution, not the problem. The woman who surrendered the kitten with diarhea, what would she do if a dog or puppy had medical issues? I work with so many people that commend the 4 page application and the 2 page contract, pay adoption fees that help pay the vets, and welcome home visits! Fortunately there are still many out there! If rescues fail in one area it may be in not responding to every application.

    • Avatar Of Kris Z

      kris z


      the lady with the poopy cat found it a suitable home.. not all homes are suitable for every animal. i would assume that rescues had rules about returning the animals to the shelter if they do not work out. if not, than she did the next best thing. it isn’t like she gave the cat to a shelter or had it pts.. frankly she probably told them about it to show she knew it was up to her to make sure the animal was taken care of for life. this is the real world. sometimes things just don’t work out. you then do what is best for all concerned.

    • Avatar Of Kitty



      Are the cats or dogs better off in a shelter while you are looking for the perfect home?

      I’d imagine some people who adopt on impulse *may* give it up, but the majority will not. Most people want a kitty that is FELV/FIV tested and doesn’t have fleas, and you know what, responsible breeders have it too. So do you think it’s fine to have the cat stay in a CAGE while you are looking for this perfect home who satisfies your requirements? How is keeping a healthy animal who wants to run and play and sleep in somebody’s bed in a cage when there is a good home available is not abuse?

      I’ve owned my current cat for 14 years. While I’ve always loved cats, somehow I’ve never adopted one until her. So when I took her in, no, I had no vet references because she was my first cat (apparently some rescues have an issue with this nowadays). Yes, the first 3 weeks were a bit overwhelming, but we adjusted. She’s lived with me all these years, slept in my bed and got better care than most cats get. She is now sick with IBD, pancreatitis and congestive heart failure, and I am spending $$$ for multiple medications, blood re-checks as well as periodic echo/cardiologist visit, and I’ll continue to do it while she has a decent quality of life. So yes, I think I am a pretty responsible owner. Oh and she is spayed, has all her claws, and is indoor-only…

      One day she is going to pass. It might be the matter of weeks, it might be the matter of months, it might be a year (I hope). I will grieve, a lot, I love her, but I think at some point I’ll look for a kitty…

      Looking at the long questionnaire, yes sure, I could probably answer them to their satisfaction. BUT I’ll not agree to a home visit – my house is fine, but I don’t want a stranger in my home. I am not going to sign a contract that leaves the rescue the main owner of my cat. And given a choice, I’d go to a place that doesn’t make wait. I don’t need to wait and think. I think it’s pretty insulting. I don’t need some rescue person picking up the “right cat” for me, I’ll know the cat I want when I see it. Thankfully, I think local SPCA has a reasonable short application, and does the same day adoptions, but if I’d encountered only rescues that make adoptions difficult, I could go to a breeder too, even though I prefer mixed breeds.

  215. Avatar Of Pam Mahony

    Pam Mahony


    Yes, I do think shelters are much too picky. I live in a small town in NC. I have a horse farm with a pond for dogs who love to swim. All the neighbors dogs visit each other’s houses and we have not had a lost dog in the 20 years I have lived here. I can tell when my neighbors are not at home; their dogs come visiting, just to say “howdy”. They lie in my barn aisle and drink out of the dog water bucket I keep in the aisle just for this reason

    Alas, I do not have a fenced yard. I have been looking for a dog to adopt since Feb when my beloved Shelbie passed away from cancer at age 14, but I do not fulfill the criteria for adopting. As does anyone who lives in an apartment building, I guess.

    There is a shelter 3 hours away which will not adopt a dog out to anyone who lives more than 1 hour away because they insist on doing a home inspetion. References and pictures are not good enough.

    Another shelter within 100 miles charges a minimm of $600 for each dog! Come on! Middle class people want to adopt, too. I do not mind paying $250 to adopt, but $600?!?

    I guess I will keep on looking. But I have included purebred puppies (NOT from puppy mills!!!) in my search. I will never buy from a pet store, but I will buy from a responsible breeder, often one who breeds for show dogs, and is willing to sell the pet quality puppes for a reasonable fee. Such breeders are happy to see one of their dogs go into a home such as mine.

  216. Avatar Of Marlene O Hufford

    Marlene O Hufford


    I purchased my pom and after having him for about a year started looking for him a playmate. I wanted to adopt a rescue pet but was turned down time after time due to no fenced yard and i work. Didn’t matter I live in the middle
    of eleven acres of land no where near the road or neighbors. Poms are not even a foot tall. If really needed a simple”rabbit ” fence wwould keep one contained. I am ALWAYS with them outside…and I work so them and myself can live a comfortable life. I eventually had to buy another pom.

  217. Avatar Of Rosiebearmom



    As a member of a rescue organization, I can say that there are two sides to every story. Without defending either side, until you have put your time and money into a rescue animal, you can never know what decisions need to be made when choosing the correct (not necessarily perfect) adoptive home. Never give up on adopting a rescue animal. If not from one organization, from another.

  218. Avatar Of Andy Mathis Andy Mathis says:

    I saw many requests for adoptions and help from a shelter on Facebook. Drove 5 hours to see if I could help out by adopting one and maybe fostering a few.

    What I actually found was that the shelter was using the homeless pets for donations. They would much prefer them to be sponsored online, and then sent to a rescue organization. That way they would get cash donations, and then the rescue organization would get a hefty adoption fee out of it.

    Adopted at the shelter = $100. vs. Money raised on Facebook= $300 and Adoption fee = $395.

  219. Avatar Of Nick



    I found that the shelter where I live is becoming overly picky. I went in to adopt and found this beautiful black lab mix puppy. I had to fill out a 6 page questionnaire with everything from name all the dogs you have had to total household income to how much you think you will spend on the dog each year. The shelter then looked up to see if I owned or rented my house and checked to see if it was fenced in. I then had to bring every member of my family with me to meet the dog to see if we would get along and I then had to bring in my other dog and the dog cost me 200 from the shelter. I will never as long as I live get another dog from the local shelter as I can do it with less agrivation and cheaper thru many local breeders.

    • Avatar Of Jamieb



      there are breeders that sell dogs for less then 200 ? I think its pretty common to see common breeds of poor parents for 400-800 all the time, i see mixes for $450 all the time.

      You can’t get dogs from a breeder for 200 sorry.

      • Avatar Of Lee



        You know every breeder in existence, do you? No, you don’t. You also have no idea about price in relation to good or bad parents. Nice try.

      • Avatar Of Ann S

        Ann S


        Yes you can. It depends very much were you live- I have a pure bred lab- 175$

    • Avatar Of Sue



      ok, so I agree with everything up until the last bit about puppy mills and cost. If you are frustrated by the process, go to where the dogs get dropped, don’t go to a puppy mill. One safe bet is the dump. I am a low intensity dog rescuer. My most recent rescue was a feral dog that myself and community members invested a lot of time months in capturing. The dog went to a young single woman who drove well out of her way 40 miles round trip to sit with the dog several times a week while the dog was still elusive. She works at a fast food restaurant. We charge nothing. The new owner pays the vet and picks the dog up from the vet. Since the dog was a small medium dog, 40 pounds, vaccinations, worming, heart worm meds and spay costs a little north of 100 bucks. Scale that size up a bit, add some health complications and easily the vet bill alone could run you 200 bucks, and the vet in question doesn’t even charge for time. Around here, anyone can find a stray fairly easily. Our goal is to get more spayed and neutered dogs and cats out into the community to cut down on the homeless and feral pets. Even here however, you are going to pay around 400 or 500 bucks for a pure breed lab with all the required vaccinations and tests at a minimum. You might get one cheap if the breeder did not vaccinate or take the puppies to check up OR if the puppy is wildly out of conformity OR if it failed some of those tests. But that means the breeder either trusts you to get the dog fixed or never gave the dogs really good care to begin with and you will go to the vet and spend that money on shots and spaying anyway, so your less than 200 dollar pure breed dog is still going to cost you around 400 and maybe even more with no health guarantee. And yes mix breed dogs like Pyradors can cost over 400 bucks, but at the end of the day if you don’t buy from someone with a conscious you are going to pay easily 600 with vet bills or you going to lose that puppy to parvo and you’re out what you paid. If you really need a cheap dog, visit local dump a couple of times a week, you will find available dogs there, and depending on the time of year, you can have your pick. That said if you do right by your dog, even that dog will cost you around 140 bucks or more.

      • Avatar Of Chrissy



        NOT true about the cost. I got my purbred 4 month old lab FREE. I saw another 10 month old pure bred lab advertised in the local paper for $75. These dogs were fully vaccinated and the current owners were even offering to pay for the cost of spaying and neutering just to get these dogs into a good home. Sometimes you get lucky, you just have to monitor the ads. And yes, it does depend on where you live. I live in a big city.

  220. Avatar Of Lp



    I tried to adopt from a shelter over 20 years ago. I wanted a big dog but at the time I was living in a rented duplex with a yard. They said something might happen and I would have to move and be unable to take the dog, so they would only let me have a small dog. I then bought a large dog from an ad in the newspaper, then got a second dog the same way. So I had two large dogs when the duplex was foreclosed on and I was forced to move. I did move and found a place I could take my dogs, had them till they died of old age.

  221. Avatar Of Meadow Brooks

    meadow Brooks


    I have worked with many rescues and run one myself. My rescue prided itself on ease of adoption. Real simple, name and number of vet, your name address, pet owning experience, and are pets allowed where you live. We called the vet to check and had a nice VISIT with the adopting family when they came to pick out a pet. Simple easy and quick. Now other rescues that I have worked with strike me as borderline hoarders. They are WAY too picky about adopters, and would choose the pet for you usually a less desirable pet. Now I am not saying that the ugly ones don’t deserve a home but if someone comes and wants a certain pet and REALLY believes that they can provide for it then honestly who am I to say that they can’t? All pets are better off in a home instead of a shelter no matter how nice the shelter is. Like I say I think that some rescues use rescuing and intrusive personal questions as a way to facilitate their hoarding needs.

  222. Avatar Of Long Potential Adoptee Lists,Intrusive Applications, Unwelcomed Home Visits, Long Wait Time, High Fees------I Ended Up Buying From Responsible Breeders

    long potential adoptee lists,intrusive applications, unwelcomed home visits, long wait time, high fees------I ended up buying from responsible breeders


    Shelters have long potential adoptee lists,intrusive applications, unwelcomed home visits, long wait time, high fees——I ended up buying my babies from responsible breeders

  223. Avatar Of Susan Smyers

    Susan Smyers


    I should add, the cat was rehomed over 12 years ago!

  224. Avatar Of Susan Smyers

    Susan Smyers


    I had three dogs during nearly 30 years of marriage. All died of old age. After my divorce, I got a cat, but it had chronic diarrhea and I couldn’t deal with that. A friend didn’t mind the expensive diet his kids loved the kitty, so I gave her to him. I tried to adopt a dog recently from an animal shelter near Baltimore and they said no because I gave away the cat. I didn’t abandoned it, I found her a suitable home but no…not good enough…can’t adopt now. Blackballed, I guess forever. This is ridiculous. I was wanting a six year old bichpoo to train as my partner in Pet Therapy, but I’m probably going to have to buy a “designer dog” if shelters won’t adopt out to me.

  225. Avatar Of Anthony Hill

    Anthony Hill


    I have recently sat down and began looking at adopting a cat. Not only was I interested in expanding my family through bringing a cat in, but I was also wanting to help animals whom didn’t have a home. I was met with a 4 page, intrusive application. This goes too far, as an alternative I will be going to a breeder now, because they don’t intrude into my personal life. I am very much a private person and have no tolerance for those who want to pry around in my personal life. It’s funny too because they want people to adopt, and hate puppy mills, but they give potential pet owners no other choice than to go that route. End result is that a shelter cat was passed up on because of picky people with burdensome policies…..eliminate the red tape, your making the adoption process even more difficult than having a child or getting a loan….it is ridiculous. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    • Avatar Of Jane Mcardle

      Jane McArdle


      I agree I dont have a sticks and bricks house I live In an RV and because I don’t have a yard they won’t even let me look at a dog,

    • Avatar Of Jamieb



      I would hardly say its no other choice. Easy? No. But taking care of a animal they in poor get can cost hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, and a 100 per month to feed and crate, dozens to hundreds of man hours talking to people, taking them to viewings etc.

      It really is not to much to ask, hey, can you really even have a cat at your apartment? Sure you might fly under the radar for a year or two, then the landlord finds out, and if you think filling out a form is a big deal, then you will see how hard it is to give away a cat for free. I would wager maybe 50/50 the people can find new homes, then the other half just turn the cat loose, or have him put down.

      Its not like any rescue i have heard of asks for your tax forms, net income, what your job title is, etc.

      You need to dial it back. Also good breeders are just as picky if not more so compared to many rescues.

  226. Avatar Of Rhonda



    Shelters aren’t the only ones making you jumps thru hoops to adopt. Rescues say that they are trying to do what is best for the animals but that is not always true. My mother tried to get a kitten from a rescue and she had to go for an interview. At the interview the woman that was fostering the kitten told her that in order to get that kitten she had to take another one of their choosing. My mother took neither. She could have easily taken them both and then gotten rid of the one she didn’t want but my mother is an animal lover and wouldn’t be that cruel. But other people would have done just that! It’s not like they were giving these kittens away. Rescues in my area are taking animals out of shelters that are charging minimal fees and then charging at least double for people to adopt from them.

    • Avatar Of Amanda



      I work at a no-kill shelter. We primarily pull animals from kill facilities simply because they have already been behavior tested and we don’t want animals that we cannot rehome. Our adoption fees are higher than the facilities we pull from, but we also put a lot of medical care into our animals.

      Earlier this year we got a call from an animal control to come pick up a black and white Saint Bernard mix that was going to be euthanized that afternoon. The reason for his pending death? It was Friday. I went and got this dog and took him to his foster home. The foster mom used to breed and show Newfoundlands. She took one look at this dog and said it was not a Saint Bernard, it was a purebred Newfie. As soon as we put him on Petfinder, we were flooded with over a dozen applications. There were plenty of farm homes wanting this big boy, but we approved a devoted family who lived in an apartment. They had him signed up for training and day care classes before they even picked him up, and they had a vacation house near a lake that he could swim in. I don’t care what a potential adopter’s living situation is, as long as they are aware of the dog’s needs and committed to meeting them.

      • Avatar Of Heather



        Just wanted to add my 2 cents. It’s gotten even worse, not only are shelters becoming more intrusive but their treatment of potential adopters is terrible.

        Back in 2007 I had rescued a FiV positive kitty who I named Osiris, he was not only FiV positive but feral. Most shelters would put a FiV positive cat down, but I took him and gave him a loving and peaceful home for five years. Unfortunately the FiV took hold and he got very ill and passed away in 2012.

        I had also adopted a Maine Coon who I named Luna back in 2011 from PetsMart. She was all set on her shots and wouldn’t need a checkup for a year. Her medical report showed her healthy. She passed away a month after Osiris.

        I was devastated and heartbroken. I knew they were both gone but I still looked from them in their usual greeting spot. To this day I still miss Luna and Osiris. But before jumping into getting a new pet, I waited a year until I felt I was ready to bring home a new companion. I also knew a big move to another state was coming and didn’t want to put a cat through that.

        So I finally get to my new home and everything is set up. I’m excited and happy that I can finally start looking for a new companion to love and care for. I really wanted to buy from a responsible breeder but I felt guilty because there are shelter animals in need of a home. So I decided once a again to rescue instead. I start searching everywhere Petfinder, craigslist, local shelters, etc.

        I find this orphaned kitten on Petfinder and fall in love with him. So I get in touch with the shelter and ask what I would need to do to be consider for adoption. They give me this intrusive application. The application asks who your landlord is, who your vet is, and asks for 2 additional references. Well, I decided to fill it out anyways and send it in.

        The next morning there is a message on my phone. The lady at the shelter leaves a message on my phone saying that there are “gaps” and that my vet reference isn’t good enough. She also says that she called my landlord to verify whether or not I could have a cat.

        At that point I decided they were taking it too far and told them that I felt their application was too intrusive and I wasn’t interested in adopting from them anymore.

        Well, the lady actually sent a email back. I felt the email was not a professional answer and somewhat rude. In her email she said “Well there’s shelters with more complicated applications and I’ll send you copies so you can look over them. Our’s is really simple.”

        My next reply to them was well “I don’t appreciate the way I’m being treated, I feel the application process is too intrusive, and I’ve already told you I’m not interested in adopting from you. Please stop contacting me.”

        She still continued with emails her next reply was “Well we still have 6 other applicants and I’m sure the new cat’s adopter won’t be offended by a phone call. Oh by the way your not getting the cat.”

        Having enough of this, I called the shelter to talk to the president to try to tell her I didn’t appreciate the rude emails and that I no longer wanted to be contacted by them. Instead of listening to what I had to say she turned the whole thing around and said I was the one treating her staff poorly while talking down to me and treating me like a 2 year old over the phone. She also kept mentioning that “Oh by the way your not getting the cat.”

        I’m still wondering what was wrong with the staff at that shelter because I’ve never been treated so poorly. I can also promise you that I wasn’t rude with my replies and was simply trying to tell them I wasn’t interested in adopting from them because I felt the application process was too intrusive, and that’s when it all went down hill.

        • Avatar Of Julie



          In reference to the landlord check. It’s absolutely essential. There are many renters who don’t know the animal policy for their rental unit.
          Check out places like KIJIJI to see how many people have to “get rid of” their pets because the landlord won’t allow it. Better to nip that in the bud by asking a simple question on an application.

      • Avatar Of Bavid Chen

        bavid chen


        “and they had a vacation house near a lake that he could swim in. I don’t care what a potential adopter’s living situation is, as long as they are aware of the dog’s needs and committed to meeting them.”

        Kind of contradictory. what if I live in an apartment as well as who have a loving family that is willing to work and take care of the dog together. Does that make me less applicable because I do not have a swimming hole for my dog.

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