"Want to Adopt? Prepare for an Inquisition."

Discussion in 'Dog News and Articles' started by Sweet72947, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    I am unable to adopt from a rescue that I work with at my job because I don't vaccinate yearly, so my pets aren't "up to date on vaccines" - even a letter from my vet and titer records did not help the situation. Another breed-specific rescue wouldn't adopt to me because I live in a duplex, so there is a "shared wall". Disregarding the fact that each side of the duplex has its own, seperate, fenced-in yard, and that we each OWN our own houses - there is no housing association, there is no landlord, etc. It's just like owning a single family home except for the fact that they're smooshed together.

    That being said, I love the fact that the rescue I work with does pretty much everything on a case-by-case basis - every dog is different, there are no blanket rules that will fit every one of them. Yes, that crabby old Chihuahua might need a home without children, but the big friendly Lab mix would be excellent with children. And adopters are evaluated on a case-by-case basis as well. As long as you have a good, safe way to exercise your dog, then who cares if you have a fence or not?
     
  2. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I'm sort of torn on it. I think some rescues definitely have rules that are too strict if they are unbending. Mostly rules about vaccinations, neutering, fences, and children that apply to all dogs in their care. That said I do think some rescues might put it there just to scare some people away and they really are willing to make exceptions for certain households/dogs...though that's sort of stupid because they scare away good people too. I also can see where it might be hard for rescue people to adopt a dog out to someone who, although will provide a forever home where the dog will not be neglected and will be very much loved, is going to feed Ol Roy and worships Cesar Millan. But I can also see how it's not fair for the rescue to decide what the right way to raise a dog is.


    I've volunteered with a rescue that is sort of strict. Does home checks, gives holistic homes preference, requires a fence for households with kids under 12, requires stay at home or work from home owner for young puppies, requires enrollment in an obedience class for puppies and young adult dogs, requires a vet and two personal references, asks for your employer info, and charges $400-$450 for their dogs. Plus they turn down people who they just get bad vibes from or who have had a dog die from something they deem preventable unless the family seems to really have learned from it. They demonize "chaining" and will not adopt to you if you plan to tether the dog at all. To adopt you must fill out a 4 page app and get approved (asks about work hours, current dogs and if they are neutered and where they are housed, asks what you will feed, etc.), make an appointment to meet the dog at the shelter or foster's home (and your dogs have to meet the dog) and talk to an adoption counselor, have a home check, then can take the dog. All of the apps that they have on a dog are considered and the best of the bunch is chosen (they usually get a huge chunk of apps on weekends when they have open hours to meet the dogs, no appointment needed). You cannot go in the kennels, you either describe what you want and dogs that fit the criteria are brought out, or you ask for dogs that you saw online.

    I have just started working with a shelter in Maine that is a kill shelter (though with a low kill rate, they have something like a 90% adoption rate) and adopts out dogs much easier. You come to the shelter (open at 11am every day) walk through the kennels (you get 15 minutes to do this), pick out one or a few dogs you like, fill out a 1 page questionnaire that asks a bit about what you want (activity level, good with kids, good with other animals, what the noise/chaos level of your house is like, how much you plan to spend on the dog per year, how much training you are going to provide). Then an adoption counselor talks to you about the dog(s) you chose to make sure they still sound attractive. You can see the dog in a meet and greet room or walk him around on leash outside for a bit. You should have brought any other dogs with you and they must meet the prospective dogs. If you still like a dog after that pay the fee ($145-$300 depending on age of dog, adult cats are free) and he's yours. I don't actually know what you need to do to get turned away, I feel like the questionnaire you fill out is more so the adoption counselor can steer you towards/away from certain dogs but I don't get to see the process. Dogs are given on a first come first serve basis so even though there might be 5 people waiting to see one dog if the first one decides to take him then he it's his.


    So on the one hand, the second place moves dogs out MUCH faster than the first because way more people qualify to adopt. However I also think the return rates of the second place are much higher. About one week after I went to the second place all of the dogs that were there (except a senior pit bull whose been there a while) when I was there had been adopted. Then about a week after that three had already been returned. One of those was readopted within a few days of being returned, 2 are still waiting. The first place rarely has returns, maybe a few each year. I don't know if it's worse to hold onto dogs longer to find a "perfect" home right off even if it means turning down people who could have been fine or adopt dogs out quickly and have dogs go through a few homes before finding the right one even if some dogs do find the right one the first time. Neither of these places are terribly extreme IMO but they are certainly different. And I'm not sure which I like better yet. I wonder how traumatic it is for a dog to go through a few homes before getting adopted for good, that might sway my opinion.


    I don't know, I think it's hard. Yes, people who get turned down might go to BYBs or puppy mills. But I don't think that means we should knowingly put dogs into crappy homes just so we can empty shelters. But I don't know how picky is too picky either. Obviously I have an idea of what a perfect dog home is, and very few people fit into that. I'm sure every rescue does too. So how does a rescue decide how far away from perfect they should let a home be before saying no?

    I do think rescues should talk to the potential adopters before turning them away, explanations for what they wrote on their apps are very important IMO. Their willingness to learn is also very important. I'm sure a ton of people here used to take worse care of their dogs than they do now, it just took education and we were very willing to change. I'm sure there are plenty more like that out there.
     
  3. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Rescues aren't that bad around here, they generally will go case-by-case. If you lose your temper right away, no, they won't adopt to you. If you can't handle being interviewed for a dog and hitting a bump in the road without losing your temper, whose to say you won't lose your temper with the dog and dump it, or abuse it?

    Yes, they do go by assuming you are a bad guy and you need to prove else wise. It is much more difficult to prove you are he good guy than for them to see that you are a bad guy if they assume you are good. It's a way to make sure the dogs go to the best place possible -- they have time and emotions invested into these dogs, and don't want them to go through more pain than needed.
     
  4. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    That, unfortunately, sounds like a class issue. Either they have no idea what a duplex is or, more likely, people who own duplexes aren't good enough for their dogs.
     
  5. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    I realize a lot of duplexes/twin homes are part of a larger community with housing associations and whatnot, which can make owning dogs difficult with breed/weight restrictions, pet fees, etc. But mine isn't part of an association, we own the house and the property, and nothing is shared - we have seperate yards, driveways, garages, etc. Dumb.

    It's horrible when rescues judge what kind of a pet owner you are by the area you live or what type of house you have. I was a better pet owner living in an apartment than many people that live in giant houses with big fenced in yards in nice neighborhoods. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    And lots of free standing homes have those rules too. I'm not usually quick to jump on the "class' bandwagon . . . but as a former duplex dweller myself, and with some knowledge of how such neighborhoods are looked upon, I think someone needs to pull that silver spoon out of their behind.
     
  7. Kyllobernese

    Kyllobernese Member

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    When I first moved to the acre of land in the country, the first thing I wanted was a big dog. I had been without a dog for about 15 years but before that I had raised and shown purebred Scottish Terriers and Greyhounds.

    I got the application from the SPCA and I think I could have adopted a child easier. I never did fill it out and ended up getting a Bernese cross from an oops litter advertised on our radio station, for nothing. I needed a barn cat to keep the mice from my barn. They do not adopt out cats unless you keep them in the house and not to people who have young children (not that that affected me). My niece had a neutered male cat that had been at a barn she worked at, so I got him. He is about ten years old now and fat and healthy and no mice in my barn.
     
  8. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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  9. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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  10. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    I don't know... I mean, having only rescue dogs & having lots of fosters, I have the opposite problem. People are always begging me to adopt their foster, unwanted dog, or foster a dog. D:

    I feel like the writer of this article, and other people who complain about it, are just accustomed to the breeder with an article in the newspaper who will push their puppies on anyone with money. THAT kind of casual attitude about a lifelong commitment & allowance for impulse decisions & lack of care for the future of the dog is why shelters are so flooded with dogs. If rescues aren't critical, the cycle's just going to continue. I know that my local animal control will give anyone a dog, if they'll spend 10 minutes filling out a brief application. People can easily lie on it, there aren't any background checks and there are hundreds of dogs to choose from. It's only in private rescues especially with small dogs that I've seen any attitude.

    I have met some really annoying, snooty rescuers. But I let it slide, because those are people who do a lot for dogs, who have saved many lives and spent immense amounts of time & money selflessly. For all they do I don't really mind the attitude. And when you see so many dogs thrown away like trash and awful people who are completely clueless, you do get jaded if you're active in rescue. -__- It is unavoidable. When ever I've been interested in adopting from a private rescue, I love how they start talking to me like I don't know anything about dogs (I'm sure that's the norm) and are shocked and delighted when they find out I actually know what I'm doing.
     
  11. Cheetah

    Cheetah Fluffy Corgi Addict

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    I was denied Eevee because I lived in an apartment. Therefore, I was incapable of taking proper care of a dog. I went home crying that day. My dad was furious. He sent a homeowning friend of his to the rescue and this guy was instantly allowed to adopt Eevee just because he had a house. The guy came and brought Eevee to me after adopting her. 12 years later, She's still alive and thriving. I've lived in a few apartment since with her. Guess I'm not a bad owner after all...

    I agree with rescues being careful... but I also agree that some of them are ridiculous.
     
  12. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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  13. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    Aleron, that article is amazing. The writer is my new hero.
    I totally understand wanting a good home for an animal. I wouldn't give a dog to anyone walking down the street. But there is a middle ground between that and rescues having such a big stick up their asses that animals live the rest of their lives in a shelter- either a very short one before being PTS or a long, painful, chaotic one in a "no-kill" shelter.
    I gave my lab foster (who the guy names Repo, lol) to someone who had just lost his Dalmatian, Kirby, at 16 years old. I could have waited for the "perfect" home, but instead I saw a good home with a man in mourning who wanted a buddy to go boating with, a companion to sit by his side, and a dog that was exactly what he wanted and needed a forever home. Repo doesn't eat the best food, he's not the best trained dog, but he's loved, he gets a lot of exercise, a lot of play time, and he and his owner are both happy with each other.
    I got rejected from a border collie rescue because the fenced portion of my yard wasn't big enough. No questions, no asking for more information about how the dog would get exercise or anything, nothing. Just "Sorry!" I am SO glad I wasn't set on one dog, or else I would have been devastated.
    I got a no with ZERO explanation from an Aussie rescue. WTF? They wouldn't even give me the courtesy to explain what the problem was?
    In the end, I'm glad I went to my local shelter. I answered questions that were the most important, signed a contract about basic care for a dog, and I ended up with a dog I love to bits of a breed I adore and thought I couldn't have for another decade.
     
  14. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I love that article. Covers exactly how I feel.
     
  15. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Such a good article. It is disgusting how so many shelters and rescues needlessly turn people away and deny so many animals a nice life....in most cases.
     

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