General Question

kheredia's avatar

Why are some animal rescue groups so strict with potential adopters if they have so many animals that need homes?

Asked by kheredia (5561points) December 26th, 2010

I’m not talking about the home check or adoption application, I know it is necessary to make sure the animal is not going to some crazy person. I’m talking about extreme guidelines that may even discourage people from adopting. I just saw a rescue group who is trying to re home a dog but requires the adopter to have another animal who lives indoor, eats a raw diet, and the home must be a non smoking home. I got my dog from a rescue group and they didn’t have all these requirements and he has a very loving home.
Don’t these rescues realize that while they’re prolonging the process of adoption there are hundreds of dogs being put down in shelters every day? What encourages them to go beyond just a home check and have such strict guidelines for people who are just trying to add another pet to their families.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

I don’t have an answer, but I think it’s a great question.

My guy and I went to out local shelter to get our dog. We were really interested in adopting a 10 year old pure bred lab who had been abandoned. We didn’t care about his pedigree, we just thought he was such a sweetheart who deserved to have a happy home for his few remaining years. We weren’t allowed to adopt him because he was on pure-bred hold in case someone on the exclusive yellow lab list wanted him. It was ridiculous- they literally give away older mutts because they’re so hard to adopt out.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Because it doesn’t do the animal any good if they give it to someone who is likely to mistreat it. They have animals best intrests at heart not yours.

marinelife's avatar

I agree that some of the rescue groups have ridiculous standards.

tinyfaery's avatar

I have large qualms about these types of rescues. It seems that they are more interested in pushing an agenda and making money than giving an animal a loving, stable home. Some rescues insist on making you sign a contract stating they can drop in and check on the animal any time and that they can take away the animal if they are not happy with the way you are caring for the animal. That’s just too much. And this is coming from someone who treats their pets like children. I’m all for home checks and interviews, but some rescues just go too far.

What I find the most reprehensible is shelters that hold animals for rescues (so the rescue can make money?) instead of adopting them to people who want to give the animal a home.

bunnygrl's avatar

@Likeradar thats just awful. They deprived that poor angel of a good home and at his age too. It’s so difficult to rehome older furbabies as it is, and they did that to him, and to you. They shouldn’t be allowed to re-home at all, because what they did was not in the best interest of that little baby. We got our little angel from a wonderful rescue, and yes, they do check where their babies are going, and make you promise that if you ever find yourself in the position of not being able to keep him/her that you’ll return him/her to them so a new safe home can be found. I also got follow up phone calls once a week or so for the first few weeks, checking how she was settling in, if she was happy. I wish all rescue people were like Frances, she’s a lovely lady and dogs re-homed by her are the luckiest in the world.

@kheredia This is a great question sweetheart, there are so many furbabies desperate for a new home, and the idea that red tape and artificial barriers (which have nothing to do with their safety, such as not being re-homed because of being kept for an exclusive list) would prevent them from getting to a place where they’d be loved is shameful.
hugs honeys xx

rooeytoo's avatar

I am all for stringent adoption regs but this all sounds a bit like overkill to me. But there are nutcases in all areas of life so they could be infiltrating rescue as well. You might as well adopt a kid, it wouldn’t be much more difficult.

I would hope that it is based on some kind of legitimate experience and is trying to avoid repeats of that, but who knows. Sometimes people who are put in charge of anything turn it into their own little kingdom and rule as they see fit!

But there are plenty of unwanted animals around, just go to another rescue and I’m sure you will find a pet who speaks to your heart.

bkcunningham's avatar

Sounds like the Pete Singer, Ingrid Newkirk and Cass Sunstein school of animal rights activism. Somewhere we have lost our common sense.

Coloma's avatar

I have had several experiences with rescues and all were quite rigid, especially on indoor/outdoor policy.

I was not going to lie, sooo, was turned down by both.

Oh well…all of my cats have had long and healthy lives for the most part, I have lost a couple to Coyotes..but…on the bigger side of positive, I provide a loving home, can afford good health care, live in a no traffic zone on property, and treat my pets like family, because they are!

I adopted my new cats, a Torti point Siamese and a beautiful caramel tabby with white, through my local animal services, and a Craigslist givaway.

Only room for 2 lucky cats…sooo, they were the lucky winners. ;-)

john65pennington's avatar

I believe the problem is liability. today, people are sue-crazy. a lot of government agencies are being “setup” for big lawsuits.

Likeradar's avatar

@bunnygrl We ended up with another 2 year old wonderful mutt from the shelter who didn’t look adoptable (super shy and skin and bones). It was important to us to not just rescue a dog, but to rescue a dog who really needed some love and who wasn’t the most outgoing little thing that the next person in line would likely snap up. I really hope that older guy we wanted ended up with someone who would keep him warm and happy in his golden years. I agree the shelter was nuts and counterproductive about the lab.

Meego's avatar

I may have to disagree with some answers, all dogs have different needs with allergies,food sensitivity and even desires to be with or without other animals. If you have all the animals in the same home on the same diet there is less room for things going wrong at feeding time. Usually it also has to do with the way the dog has been treated in the shelter and at the foster homes and shelters want as little disruption and stress to the animal as possible seeing as they would have already figured out what the animals likes and dislikes and comfortability level is while integrating an animal in their care, after all they save animals from many homes that can’t look after the animals needs to begin with. Some of these little fellas are similar to “special needs” children. I really believe this is why some cases have extra reasons. My chocolate lab is on a perscription diet for IBS any other food and her butt is on fire!! She doesn’t care about the consequences (shes a lab she sniffs food out constantly lol) and always stole my other labs food. I got tired of refing each meal so I put them both on the same food, it is a bit more costly but no diarrhea, no fighting, just peaceful meals. But nothing would be worse than getting a dog that doesn’t work for you and develops a problem you can’t manage and you have to return it to the shelter, this is what they are trying to prevent. Ergo, strict rescue groups.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Since I volunteer for a dog adoption agency like this, I can answer that!

The goal isn’t to get as many dogs into as many homes as possible- that’s WHY we end up with so many unwanted pets… the wrong people get them. Some shelters do have that goal, however. The better agencies have stricter standards because they take each individual dog’s needs into consideration. This dog may have certain health concerns that require it to eat a raw diet, may become destructive when left alone (so the owner would be required to have it a companion), etc. They do everything they can to make sure the animal will be placed in the perfect home for it so that the chances of it coming back to a shelter situation is virtually zero.

I fostered a dog for 9 months and turned down 21 applicants before I found the “perfect” home for that particular dog. It cost me a lot more money, but she’s happy now and they’ve kept her for 3+ years and love her so much, where as before she bounced from home to home because of her great needs overwhelming them. I’ve fostered other dogs that didn’t have such specific needs and I found them homes in weeks. It depends on the dog.

Coloma's avatar


That happens everywhere. My new cat had 2 prior homes and now me in his first 7 months.

He’s finally becoming social with company but, for the first 2 months I think he thought people were going to take him away again. :-(

I am grateful I have never had or wanted to re-home any of my pets.

rooeytoo's avatar

My akita was 3 years when we brought him home and we were his 5th (and final) family. He had no manners and that is a very bad thing for an adult akita. But once he was trained he turned out to be a really good dog. He is 13 now and I know his time is coming close. It will be a sad day for sure. I thought we were going to lose him a week or so ago, but you know how it is, as soon as you make the vet appointment, he revived and is going pretty good again.

So yes they have to be careful, they obviously screwed up with the first 3 adopters! But I never heard the one about a non-smoking home!

Response moderated (Spam)
bunnygrl's avatar

@Likeradar I’m so glad that you found another furbaby to give a good home to, and your wee angel is so lucky to have found you. Our wee Jade was terribly thin too. Frances, the lady who runs the rescue, had only had her for less than a week. The police had brought her to the rescue after removing her from a flat where a neighbour had reported the man who had her for abuse, having heard him hitting her. Frances told us that from what she’d been told of her history we would be (counting her two foster homes) her fifth home, she’d been rehomed once already by Frances but the lady who took her kept her overnight and brought her back next day, saying that she was “too boisterous” and kept jumping up onto the sofa/beds.

Being too boisterous hasn’t been our experience at all with her. She was terribly quiet and nervous, and yes she does like to sleep on the sofa hugged up next to Mum or her Daddy, and she sleeps hugged up next to us at night, but thats a personal thing, whether to allow furbabies onto the furniture and to me they are my family, and who doesn’t allow family to use the furniture lol. It’s taken a while but she’s gradually coming out of her shell, and has the sweetest nature.

I do understand that furbabies, in order to find their “forever home” should be placed in the best situation for them, and for their new family, but I also think that too, too many babies end up being put to sleep when they could have new homes if there were a little less red tape and a little more common sense shown.
hugs xx

Meego's avatar

I think finding one home first and only is best, yes there are many animals out there who need homes but that also means there are many homes out there who can’t look after animals. I think it should be a rule to have no kill shelters in each city to at least give half of the homeless dogs a chance. But at the same time you may feel like you are right for the dog but it doesn’t mean you could get employed. The type of shelters you are talking about also look for that spark between human and dog, and if the dog gravitates towards your personality. Yes it may be disheartening that you want a certain dog and it doesn’t work out but you have to remember, you always get the dog you need. Also try picking out a dog that matches your energy. If the dog is a runner and the human is clearly not this can be harmful to the human or the dog, the shelter sometimes look at all this kind of stuff they want the most responsible owners that will look after the needs of the animals. Sadly it is not very responsible to bring a dog home and then not even give it a chance and bring it back the next day, they are trying to find forever homes.

bunnygrl's avatar

@Meego well said honey, and great answer <hugs> xx
ps: welcome to fluther

Meego's avatar

@bunnygrl Why thank you! Big hug back.

Lakevw9's avatar

There are so many rescues and shelters that are too strict. If you give the potential adopters a hard time, they will lose faith and search elsewhere. It is not fair to the animals stuck in the shelters.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther