Are pet adoption policies too strict?

emma1420December 28, 2006

I never thought they were. I have two dogs, one is from a shelter and the other is from a breed rescue I work with. They both well cared for and my oldest is now 13 and going strong.

So I've been thinking recently that I'd really like to adopt a puppy. I was thinking of a puppy between 4-6 months old, as I work all day and I only come home at lunch. Both of my dogs I adopted as adult dogs, and while they are terrific, I would love to be able to raise a dog from puppyhood at least once.

So I contacted a local shelter, and discovered that because I'm not home all day, that I'm not eligible to adopt under a year old. I was a little surprised. They were more than happy to have me adopt an older dog from them, but as I wasn't interested in adopting an older dog, that rescue was out for me.

While I understand shelters and rescues wanting to make sure that the dogs and cats in their shelters go to responsible pet owners, I also wonder if perhaps they've gotten a little too strict? It seems as if everything is black and white. You either fit into their idea of the perfect pet owner, or you don't.

After being involved in rescue (the organization I'm involved with (which only places adult dogs) has some general policies, but we evaluate the suitability of the potential pet owner based on our interaction with them, rather than a preconceived notion of certain rules), I was surprised to learn how strict many shelters are.

So I wonder if some of these strict policies are too strict? Do they end up encouraging people to go to breeders, because adopting from a shelter or rescue is so strict?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You must have contacted a VERY strict private organization.

The city run shelters don't have those types of restrictions (at least not here). Actually, ours don't have any as long as you can pay the adoption fee and are not on their "black list".

Have you tried other private organizations...smaller rescue groups. If you have a fenced yard, I can see no reason why someone would not adopt to you if you are not home all day.

I do have certain guidelines that I go by when adopting, but it is generally on a case by case basis.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

probably not too strict as they have rules to fit the general mass public; start easing up on the rules for 1 or 2 and the rules go out the window. Breed rescues probably deal with fewer numbers and can have the luxury of inspecting each individual wannabe adptor. Many breeders are responsible about where their pups go, some are not as careful, backyard operations mostly could not care less and just sell to get a few bucks. Every organization chooses a policy to follow, they arent all the same.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually, it was the local humane society shelter, that's why I was so surprised! I've check out a few other rescue/shelter organization's websites and many of them have similar rules. However, I am planning on contacting some other rescues/shelters to see what their policies are. But, I never thought I would be denied because I work. I have a fenced backyard, and both of my current dogs are up-to-date on their shots and are both microchipped.

I had never come across a shelter and/or generalized rescue (i.e. not a breed specific rescue) that has rules that are so black and white. I guess I know understand why some people choose to go to breeders. Of course, unfortunately most people aren't educated on the difference between a responsible breeder and a backyard breeder.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Humane Society here in KC is also very strict...think they also have a rule about not leaving a puppy alone during the day...quite nuts, actually. This will create separation anxiety in a heartbeat!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I volunteer at a Humane Society. We rarely have puppies because our shelter is so old and crappy that disease runs rampant among pups (supposed to be building a new facility one of these days). Our puppies almost always go to foster homes (like mine) and then to either a puppy rescue group or a pet store that adopts out only rescue puppies.

That being said, I don't believe my shelter has a rule about someone being home all day with a puppy. I can see why the rule would be in place - someone adopts a cute little puppy and then realizes they can't spend enough time with it and back it comes. Heck, we have that problem with people adopting adult dogs. :(

I do think some places have too strict policies, but I would guess it all comes from previous experiences of adoptions not working out.

You could probably find a mutt pup if that's what you want in your local classifieds rather than going to a breeder and spending major $$ on a puppy.

Good luck! I have a foster puppy right now that will be in need of a home soon. I wish I could give him to you!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my area, we have puppies coming out the yin yang. Most shelters have at least one litter, plus several puppies from about the 4-6 month old mark. And in the spring and summer months they have more. That's another reason why I was surprised at the policies they had.

My vacation is almost over so I'll need to wait until the next time I have vacation. So, my own situation isn't a huge deal to me :)

However, it does bother me for people who are in similar situations that I am.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 2:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know if I would call the policies to strict.

I lost my old dog in January. Things were in such a funk that something had to be done that was drastic. I had two other dogs, but things were a mess.

I looked for a female puppy that would get along with my other two females, both large, pup will be.

The rescue league investigated me thoroughly. Because I already had two other large full grown females and wanted another female pup, there was concern that everyone was going to get along, and that I had what it would take to deal with a 3 month old pup. Every possible question was asked, which I completely understand. I have two veterinarians that were also called, as well as other rescue leagues that my other two dogs came form.

In the end, I got the dog, but I do have a circumstance that lots of other people do not have. I work form home, and am here a big part of the day, as well as evenings.

Puppy's are huge amounts of work. I totally forgot what a force they are. Everything has worked out great, but I would not recommend 3 dogs to anyone unless they have a similar situation.

If you really want a pup, consider a walking service that will be able to help you out until the pup is at least 9-10 months old. Pups need tons of attention when they are not crated. So many habits are forming at this age.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I believe in many cases they are too strict.
And in some cases not strict enough.

It's like a college application with the rescue groups here and they want to come out and inspect your house.

If you don't have a fence or a family points will be deducted even if you can demonstrate neither are necessary.

Then again the county shelter doesn't do anything to screen potential adopters except a brief form which anyone can lie on and they don't even follow up with a phone call.

Surely there's some where in the middle.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As much as I'm surprised at how strict many rescue's are, I'm equally as disappointed there are still some shelters that only require an ID and cash.

And I wish there was some middle ground. Because while I think it's wrong that some places have no real screening, I think that some rescue groups are so intent in finding the perfect home that they elimate good homes.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

emma, did you tell them that you reliably came home for lunch each day? We adopted Toby from a stricter shelter about six years ago. He was 7 months old, so they did not want us leaving him home all day without a potty break. I was working afternoons/evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays - when DH would be home 5 or 6 hours after I left, and on Saturdays when DH was home. But on Mondays, when I worked all day, we had to arrange for Doggie Daycare or a dogsitter to let the dogs out. There was a doggy daycare at the adoption event, so we signed up with them for Mondays. Then we got the dog.

As it turns out, it made no sense to us to let the baby go to daycare when the older dog was at home alone - we had gotten the new dog to be company for her. In the end, BOTH dogs went to Daycare on Mondays for a few years. They loved it - had friends among the other dogs. We learned that our dentist's sister's dog and our little Toby were best friends! Imagine sitting in the dentist's chair discussing dogs, learning that they went to the same daycare, exchanging names and realizing that our Toby was her dognephew Max's best friend!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the animal has been in a foster home, they will know the dog and its behaviors...fluxuations on requirements will be made accordingly.

For example, I currently have a wonderful Border Collie...she HATES she can't go to a home with horses.

The fenced yard is a requirement because the majority of cities have leash laws and the state which governs that group appreciates them placing this requirement on the potential adopter. For most dogs, it really isn't much of a life to be tethered to something everytime they go outside. They want to run, run, run...letting their ears fly back as they zoom around the secured romping area.

Tons of dogs are brought into the shelter or get hit by cars because the owners didn't have a fenced yard.

Underground/invisible fences only work if there are no other roaming dogs in the area....if there are, your dog becomes absolutely defenseless and trapped. Also children are not aware of these invisible boundries and are far more likely to come into the dog's territory...big liability.

One other thing...rescue groups certainly should perform a home is truly a shame how many people will lie.

I had a lady tell me one time that she had a fully fenced back yard. The dog that I had for adoption was definitely a sprinter (a very nice little Yorkie). When I got to her house, her fence was LITERALLY a foot high rock wall. Well, needless to say, the dog went to another home with a nice fenced yard and is very happy.

There definitely are reasons for those of us in rescue to have requirements for adoptions...they are our dogs until we decide that we have found just the right home for them...and we always do.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 1:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Yes, sometimes shelters have unnecesary or questionable regulations. I love gordon setters. This is well known in my community of 50,000+ in a metropolitan area of 1,000,000+. Because of this, I occasionally get calls of gordon setters in shelters, normally at the last minute just before they are euthanized. I recall the case of Gordy. He was a lovable lummox but not too bright and certainly not a hunting dog. I looked for a home for this lovable fellow, but could not find anyone. I attempted to adopt Gordy myself, but because MY Gordon Setters are used for hunting, they assumed Gordy would also be hunted and refused me the adoption. He was put down within the hour. The irony is I would never have taken Gordy out hunting. Oh sure, I would have run him with both my male and female, but never hunted him as he clearly had no ability. One has to wonder why even if I had this was a worse alternative than eutanasia?

This was our local humane society. I guess euthanasia is more beneficial than using a dog for least according to their rules.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 7:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Got to agree with some of the others. I have seen rescues loose several really good homes because of their adoption policies. One because the dog would be crated part of the day and this woman didn't allow her dogs to be put in crates. There's not a lot of perfect homes out there but there are lots where the dog would be kindly treated and given food, water and vet care. That to me is better than having them in shelters for months or maybe years at a time


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 8:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

pet adoption policies... a month ago I would have said yes, much too strict.. as my mother lost out adopting a senior dog because of the stringent requirements didn't mesh with the timeframe before the dog was moved out of state to another rescue group. The dog went to a great foster home, however lost the best forever home.

On the other hand...... *big sigh* ..... our local animal shelter allowed one of my sons to adopt a "problem" dog, knowing of his low income, and the fact of financial hardships with veterinary care. Take a guess who will get to pay for the first vet visit! I've mixed emotions about this. Is life preferable to death, even if it means not getting routine care? Obviously the shelter thinks so! Talking to son about this is like talking to him about safe sex when he was a teenager... got me no where! grrrrrr

webkat - very good point on the invisible fences and the liabilities with children. I'll have to give your words of wisdom to a friend that is considering this for her mastiffs. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 9:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

webkat wrote: "The fenced yard is a requirement because the majority of cities have leash laws and the state which governs that group appreciates them placing this requirement on the potential adopter. For most dogs, it really isn't much of a life to be tethered to something everytime they go outside. They want to run, run, run...letting their ears fly back as they zoom around the secured romping area."

Ya hear that NYC, London, Chicago, Miami, Paris and every condo and apartment dweller, if you had to adopt from a rescue group, you would not win the dog against someone who will in all likelihood use the fenced yard as the primarily means of exercise and I believe people misuse the fence because they also do not supervise their pets while they are in the yard.

So to sum it up, too much emphasis is placed on the fenced yard thing when there are folks living in condos doing multiple daily long walks and treadmill and other outings.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 9:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just want to interject - don't you think most people need two income these days, especially if you are going to have 1 or more pets? The cost of keeping pets is incredible. All I can say is I cannot believe they turned you down for not being at home all day long. You weren't trying to adopt an 8 week old puppy, but a 4-6 mos. old puppy who should be able to be crated for a minimum of 4-6 hours without an accident.

IMHO these shelters are getting a little crazy with their "rules". I also agree that some people use the fence as a babysitter. Big mistake. I make it a practice to take a look out every 15 mins or so to see what's going on. My two boys escaped the yard in that small amount of time and were in the woods adjacent to the fenced part of my yard. Had I not checked, they would have been on a road trip looking for a place to swim.... A fence isn't a babysitter, that's the petowner's job. I swear sometimes I wonder if I should have named the youngest dog Houdini.

I hope you find the right dog for your family.

Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I completely agree that a single pet is incredibly expensive. Do the math with my triple situation. Monthly pills alone run $20.00. No kids in the house makes a huge difference.

I'm not complaining, and I always tell my vet's that money is not the main issue when it comes to my dogs, however, the $ must be figured in to what is going to happen.

For instance, surgery of any kind (except for dental) is something that I frown upon. I have been blessed with not having to make a surgery decision over the past 15 years of having a dog. All ailments have been managed with pills, another expensive item. I also know that my approach has saved having it done because of my investigating thoroughly issues when my dogs get sick.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree the "assumed guilty till proven innocent" approach is just weird. Many of these dogs are found in dismal circumstances, and will lose the chance of going to a good home because some "expert" feels they can size you up. And yes, if you don't work, how do they expect you to feed your dog, let alone pay for gas! I guess that's why I see lots of homeless folks with dogs - they really are the ideal owner.

I think the applications are invasive - my own vet doesn't even ask these questions. I have nothing to hide, but I like my privacy too. maybe we should make them fill out a "application to request an adoption application" so we know who we are dealing with. Who knows what these people do with your info (and note most of the online applications are not secure meaning someone can intercept your info across the net).

I'm glad someone asked thx
- Tom K

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 3:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The fence thing always kills me. Where I live (metro Detroit) if your house is worth over $300,000 or newer then 1985-ish -- you will not likely have a fenced yard. Our home owners association will only allow a fence if you have a below-ground pool. Here, fences are considered eye-sores.

That does not stop many, many people in our neighborhood from having dogs. They go out on a chain in the backyard to do their business, and hopefully, get walks with their owners. The large dog we had would run out and do its thing (on the chain) and want right back in (he just wanted to be by us, not alone in the yard).

Fences can be over-rated. There are many dogs who spend countless hours in the backyard alone "enjoying the fresh air" when they'd rather be inside with their people.

And yes, I do agree some adoption policies are to strict.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have very strict adoption guidelines and it's because it's so necessary. My first question to a prospective owner is "do you have pets and if so who is their vet?" This usually knocks out 90% of the people. My theory is if you don't take care of the ones you have or have had in the past, you aren't going to take care of this one. A vet reference is a great jumping off point for an aoption. I very rarely adopt to first time pet owners. Call me crazy, but again experience has taught me some tough lessons. If I go through the expense and heartache of rescuing an animal I want to make 100% sure it goes to a good home. I don't expect people to treat their animals like I treat mine, but I do hold them to a very high standard and if they can't meet it, they don't get an animal from me. I have adopted to first time pet owners and they have turned out to be the best. I have a couple I adopted 2 puppies to that treat these dogs like their children. They had a baby since adopting the dogs and all of them are living harmoniously. The dogs still sleeping in the bed with mom and dad. This just warms my heart because more times than not, it's that sorry excuse, I can't have a dog/cat because I now have a baby.....

I also do not adopt to anyone who thinks it's OK to declaw a cat. Guess that's why I have so much trouble with adoptions, but that's OK. At least I can sleep at night knowing I didn't put any animal in a bad situation.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I do think some adoption policies are too strict. Working all day, I would think, is a good thing. As long as you aren't working 12 hour days with no one in to see the dog at all, it should be alright. I mean, obviously you're being responsible, making an income, and will be able to hopefully afford the animal you would like to adopt.

At the same time, my local shelter that I got my kitten from in may, didn't do a whole lot of screening what so ever. At the same time though, I did ask a TON of questions before considering adoption, and maybe it answered theres. "Will it get along with my other female??" "Will you use my same vet to have her spayed, or will I have to pay extra for her to go there??" "Will she be okay with dogs" etc etc. I pretty much offered up a ton of information without being asked. Maybe that made them not ask me questions.

The only other questions I was asked were "Do you live with anyone else, and are the aware you're adopting this animal??" Which I easily could've lied about, if my boyfriend and roommates had no idea, but they all knew. And they asked if the house/property owner was aware, and allowed pets. Well, I was the homeowner, so no qualms there. I guess they did ask about other pets, but they asked more what I had, not much about the care they're given.

I guess they got lucky in that I AM a great pet owner, and will go to great lengths for all of my animals. But I have a feeling a lot of the people who go in there, and walk out with an animal the same day, aren't always great owners.

Though I do think it's a good thing that they make you wait when you're getting a puppy or a kitten, until they can be altered. That sometimes takes up to a week, depending on the vet and some people are deterred by having to wait, because the puppy/kitten was an impulse buy. If they can't have it NOW then they don't want it.

Also, I think my shelter has either a two week, or 30 day no questions asked return policy type deal. You're allowed to bring an animal back within whichever time period, if for whatever reason it isn't working out. So I guess it's a trial period more or less. Although I do think they penalize you if you do bring the animal back by not giving a full refund, but whatever. And you're still resonsible for any vet care they recieved before they were placed to your house, I think.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very simple solution Emma...say you don't work...end of problem! ;) That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 8:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I used to think the fence question should be removed and was the least important thing on the questionaire and to a degree I still do. The fence makes it easy for me to sit inside and enjoy climate control while the dogs run around. Before the fence I would have to go out and connect the dog to one of those cable/pulley contraptions.
The reason I do sort of think it's important now is because certain breeds of dogs need to run freely. Having a fence ensures the dog(s) can do this safely. My dogs sure do love to run and to tell you the truth they really couldn't do this without a fence. So the weight of that fence question should depend on the breed.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 1:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Having a fenced yard, is fabulous on those days when you simply can't get outside to walk your dogs as much as you would like. For example, a few weeks ago, we had a foot of snow and below 0 temps. On days like that my dogs don't get much of a walk, but they still like to be outdoors part of the time, so a fence is a lifesaver :)

And I have no problem handing over my vets info to a propsective shelter. However, I do take issue with many policies some shelters have. I don't think a fenced yard is a necessity, I don't think it's necessary to be home all day. I think it's more important that my dogs get regular walks, are fed a decent diet, and get regular vet care. But, apparently for some shelters that isn't enough.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I thought I would "do right" by choosing an animal from a local rescue group, and downloaded a few of their applications... with their pages and pages of questions!

Some adoption application questions are ridiculous. One question asked:

Do you foresee any major changes in your life in the next fifteen (15) years (average lifespan of a cat) such as marriage, childbirth, health problems due to age, going away to college? If yes, please explain.

Fifteen years?! How can you POSSIBLY try to predict FIFTEEN YEARS?! ANYTHING could happen!

The very next question read:

Do you or anyone in your household currently have any serious health problems?

Yeah, I get it - you don't want to adopt out to someone who would be too ill to care for the animal, but hello?! The question is intrusive and violates privacy. I understand that they "only want the best for the animals", etc. etc., but not everyone who applies is a complete muppet, either. These people are not my personal physicians; I'm not about to disclose any "health" issues to them. Suffice it to say that I and my family do not have any sort of "health problems" that would impede the general care and feeding of a companion animal.

I was going to write all that down, but then decided I didn't want the hassle of dealing with people who are on a bit of a power trip - and adopted my new friend from the local animal protective league.

You can always tell the groups who are the strictest in their screening process - they have lots and lots and LOTS of animals whose numbers rarely decrease (because nobody who applies is "good enough").

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some rescues make the mistake of being too black and white and may miss out on some great homes.
A fence for example. Not all animals require a fence. If a rescues makes exceptions for certain animals the application should have a header that says something like

"Please answer truthfully. The questions you answer below will not automatically reject or accept your application to adopt. We reserve the right to adopt or decline your application for any reason. If rejected for a certain animal, you may still be able to adopt another animal from us. If you are putting in a general application, we will let you know if we have any that might be a good match for you. We only want happy owners and happy pets. That is why we are asking you to jump through hoops and wear a tutu. Thank you for considering adopting from our rescue."

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am in total agreement with what emma1420 and others have said about there needing to be a "middle ground" regarding shelters or rescue groups and adoption policies. It amazes me how the policies and screening processes of such places can vary from one extreme to the other.

My story is a little different. I originally planned to adopt a special needs cat from a cats-only rescue group as a companion to my other cat, whod just lost her sibling of 8 years due to heart failure. After reviewing their multi-page application filled with questions similar to the ones digitylgoddess posted, learning of their ultra strict screening process and hearing accounts from others whoÂd tried to adopt from them and were turned down, I decided against it. They are truly a fine organization who helps cats in need, but theyÂre also another example of a place with at least 100 or more cats, many who have been there several years, but may never get homes because the staff is too preoccupied with finding "perfect" homes and owners, refusing to accept anything or anyone less. While I understand they want to do what is best for their cats, a little leeway on their end would be a huge benefit.

The other option was to adopt from a local humane society about 1 mile from my apartment. Unfortunately they were the complete opposite of the rescue group. They are so desperate to see their pets get homes and their policies so lenient that their screening process is almost non-existent, and their only requirements are an ID, cash, and a one-page application only asking for basic information which, as others pointed out, could easily be falsified. (They also suggest bringing a carrier, but if you donÂt have one, you can purchase one at their facility.) As a result just about anyone except those who have a criminal record of animal abuse can adopt from there. This bothered me to the point where I decided against them as well. Later on, I heard stories of people who indeed did falsify applications, or were allowed to adopt pets from there by simply lying or making false promises. One case was a man who confessed to a friend that he lied during the adoption and screening processes in order to get a cat. He told the staff he was sincerely interested in owning a cat and bonding with it, when in actuality he was not. He also admitted to the friend that aside from providing its basic needs, he ignores the cat most of the time because he doesnÂt like cats in general and only got her because he "needed it to kill the mice" in his apartment. Aside from a lone follow-up call after the adoption to see how things were going, the agency did nothing and the cat still lives with the man nearly one year later. That is sad, considering that a few years prior, this same agency would have insured the cat was promptly removed from there.

As for me, after learning of the way these places operate, I decided I would stick with the method my parents have used to obtain their pets: rescuing dropped or neglected animals.

I completely understand when an agency or shelter feels they must be strict in their criteria for adoptions; however, I feel a little more common sense and reason should be applied. There are only so many "perfect" homes and owners, and there's a fine line between being too strict and too lenient.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is my story:

I wanted a kitten to be raised with my dogs age 9 and 7. I had had a cat for three years and loved him and he was a partially outside cat and just dissapeared one day without a trace. He loved the house and was fixed so I think he was hit by a car or some possible fowl play. I waited until all summer trips were over and I would be around the house to watch over the cat as it adjusted. I didn't want it outside at first. I thought it would be easy to adopt from the humane society and when they asked about current pets I gave my dog and vet info very willingly b/c I had never even had any issues other than a weekend illness and a Spring rash in all the years I've had them and I thought they were up to date. Well they followed up with the vet and b/c distemper shots were 15 days past due(I hadn't even got a notice yet) and they had no record of an annual heartworm test and me buying heartworm medicine at the vet(I order Ivomec online and use it) I was denied. They gave me the option to get my dogs up to date, but I was so turned off plus I refuse to by Heartgaurd when I've been very successful with Ivomec I went elsewhere. Trust me, its not hard to find a needy cat from the classifieds or a friend. Anyway, my kitty has been at my house and happy and fixed for a year and a half.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In some way yes in some ways no.

the poster who couldn't adopt because he/she hunted with dogs, is a case of "too far" If a dog was bred to hunt but doesn't "make the cut" it will still have fun and should be adopted in that home. Same with smoking, or kids, as long as parents have realistic expectations.

But if animal is going to a bad home or is going to be hurt in any way (example some buddy who plans on de clawing, or devoiceing, feeding improper diet, tied up outside with no interaction or love) its probably better they do not get adopted. PTS is painless and its better then a life of pain and suffering.

shelters do these things for very good reasons because they do not want evil to become of the innocent lives they sell. As much as we hate to think, there are people, and will always be people who get pets for bad reasons.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The main problem with agencies who deal with the public is that no matter what policies are put in place, there will be people upset.

Case in point. I have an unneutered male dog. This is not the first unneutered male dog I have owned. It is not the first guard/watch dog I have trained/owned. But that is only one reason most humane societies will not adopt to me. I lived in a mobile home community---reason number two.

No matter that I could get vet recommendations from vets who have known me/dogs and treated them for over twenty years that I was a superb dog owner. No matter I could bring in notarized letters from the mobile home park manager authorizing me to keep a large dog. No matter I could bring letters from local police officers, the 4-H extension office, and neighbors attesting to my ability to care for/manage a dog, no matter I had a fence and larger yard than most apartments, no matter I kept the dogs inside when i was not home----none of those things mattered---THEY HAD RULES! Heck, I even had acquaintences who worked for the local city pound---who knew my dogs and how I handled them who would attest to my suitability.

The other gotcha was the humane organizations would not allow me to bring my male to the grounds to verify how he and the prospective adoptee could get along---oh, I specified a spayed female---no breed/type, just a spayed female he would not have for lunch, as he is a bit territorial.

Finally found a city pound in a neighboring city who agreed---eagerly, I might add---to allow the meet and greet. They had no place to do that---but we used the main entrance. We tried three dogs---first got no response from Max. Second was not through the door 20 feet away and he was growling. Third was the most abject, pitiful, terrified dirty(because she continually cowered in one corner and seldom moved) (Unspayed) dog I have seen in a long time.

Max wagged his tail---and the shelter personnel were amazed when I said, "That's the one." The person in charge actually asked, "You want her?"

We wanted a companion for Max, not another dog for us---we caould adapt, Max would have a much more difficult time adapting.

Forward three months. Molly is much more self assured, has gained the 15 pounds she needed to gain, been spayed, and she and Max are extremely compatable.

Upshot----rules are rules. But, sometimes rules can be bent---especially when there is really good proof that rule can be bent for the good of a person/animal. Humane societies who fail to do that are less humane.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is there a reason that you haven't spayed your male dog?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Joepieweed's right, its very narrow minded to keep an intact dog, unless you plan to breed... why on earth would you want another dog? If you could not fix your male dog, due to cost why do you want another dog to add to the costs?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Male dogs are castrated, not spayed.

I have not neutered him for several reasons----reasons my two vets accept. He is not my first unneutered male and may not be my last---for the work I have him for.

There have been no puppies created by my unneutered dogs---unless a unneutered female over the fence and back out. He is seldom outside without supervision.

I have the second dog---a spayed female as a companion dog to Max. Since I do not want puppies, she was spayed. I am not unresponsive to the overabundance of unwanted dogs and do not intend on adding to the problem.

In fact, both Max and Molly have been rescued from eventual euthanization.

As for the money---who said it was about money? I have to pay $125 a year to properly license Max---it would be MUCH less expensive to castrate him. Money is not the point.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What are the reasons truthfully?

Unless you breed/ are a breeder Why go through with it?.

Unless dog is a purebred with papers and no heath issues why not neuter?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Because Max is a guard/watch dog and unneutered males are much more aggressive and territorial.

I have been around animals all my life (actively owning/training for over 50 years)and the above is a fact---one even vets concede.

I have had neutered male dogs as pets---I am not against neutering. I have spayed all my female dogs---even doing the spaying of one myself, under the watchful; eye and direction of the vet for which I worked while in high school.

I understand the point of neutering. I also am an honest person. I get quite irritated by people who insist on interjecting their own agenda into what I say.

My unneutered males have never been any problem---no leg humping, no inside marking(they do mark outside----but all males do that), no excessive barking---NO unusual health problems----NONE of the DIRE MALADIES humane societies and some vets preach will happen if I do not neuter.

Max has been boarded at a kennel---the one kennel willing to do so---and the owner/staff LOVE him. They reported he was NO problem. The only concession was to keep him separated form any unneutered females.

So----I know how to handle/train dogs.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 10:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


well then I understand- does he have a strong prey drive?

You could get a neutered pit/ or other high prey-drive dog/ he will still protect your home if fixed, it may be less but if its a breed that protects..... its still good.

its good your being responsible about it/ whichever way you choose.

"fixed" IMHO can mean spaying or neutering.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bully type dogs are illegal in my town. I do not have an attack dog---Max is a guard dog---trained to guard my house/persons in the house. The choice of dog I select depends on the dogs personality, not necessarily the breed/breeds of his parents. The last guard dog was a Lab/chow mix---also unneutered.

Max has a strong territorial drive---his prey drive is fairly normal, as far as I can tell. He does not like cats/squirrels/rabbits/moles/etc---will chase them.

He only has this sense of territory in our fence/house. Once off the property, he usually ignores most people and is friendly when approached in the proper manner. He still does not like other animals---but can be friendly with dogs he will try to kill when he in in the fence and they are outside the fence(neighbors dogs.)

That territorial drive is enhanced by his being left 'whole'. That is part of what Nature has created and why the wild animals become dominant.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why don't you just enstall a home alarm system- honestly if you live in an area thats so violent and dangerous you need intact lab/chow mixes to feel safe you should not have pets. (Thats a dangerous mix, labs are soft and kind, in temperment, chows can be vicious, its like a wolfdog, one day its wolf/ the other day dog)

IMO if this is you save up money to move and get the hell outta there. Your life is more important then having pets.

Dogs are domesticated, not "wild animals". Its cruel and dangerous to society to treat them as such. like feeding a wild coyote sandwiches and posting it on the internet its a dumb idea.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To be honest its no wonder animals don't get adopted :/ , which is sad because all they want is a home.
I got rejected from adopting a 10 month old dog because my current dog is not spayed. It was a requirement for the adopty dog to be spayed so I was gob smacked when the rejeced my aplication.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Back to the original question yes they are probably to strict - but like everything there are rules out there to cover the idiots.
How do they expect you to pay for dog food if you don't have a job all day?
However I try to avoid those applications, because if someone told me, I was not a suitable owner they would break my heart. I have had pets all my life and try to give them a good home and spend time with them.
As for the fence - I don't have one. I tie my dog outside, but never by himself. I go out with him and we spend hours out there together.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 2:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you're thinking that adopting from a breeder is going to be easier you're mistaken -- a reputable one, anyway.

I have met breeders who expect to do home inspections and even ask for income statements! Of course, they still expect you to spend a significant time at home with the dog. Or I should say not at home, but out hiking, fording river streams, and herding wild sheep. If you can't handle that then you are probably unsuitable for 99% of dogs out there, except for the toy group and brachycephalic dogs with smashed in faces because vigorous exercise can actually kill them.

If you have kids that's a problem for a lot of breeds. Other animals? That's a risk, too. Apartment? Just get a goldfish. People with real world problems like disabilities or even just elderly aren't allowed puppies. Yes, I have actually known a woman to get turned down for a puppy because she was 60+. They thought she'd drop dead before the dog did. Never mind that her daughter offered to take it in if, god forbid, something did happen. Ownership transfer is completely forbidden in a lot of contracts. You don't really own the dog, you're just leasing it.

I'm starting to think the only people suitable for pet ownership are young retirees in peak physical condition from their long careers as millionaire lumberjacks.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think that most rescues and especially shelters are strict enough. I say this as a person who volunteers with many rescues. There are fates worse than a humane euthanasia. And it's so easy to blame the rescues and shelters for euthanizing but they're not the ones breeding all these animals. I know no one had a chance to make that claim so I wanted to write it before they did.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 5:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think what is wrong is the 'one size fits all' rule. Long ago we wanted to adopt a puppy and two different human societies would not let us because I planned to take the dog to work with me each day. That made no sense to me -- wouldn't that be an ideal situation for a dog? It was just myself and my husband and we had a small business. I thought it would be great to have company.

Anyway, we adopted a pup from a shelter in another town and we simply lied about taking the dog to work. She came to work with us for 15 years and died of a happy old age.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 3:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know this thread is old but I really need to discuss this at the moment (forgive me of the following is long). I moved cross-country a year and a half ago leaving behind my two dogs. 1 is a senior dog who loves with my mother and I and the adjustment would be too much. The second is a 110 pound lab/Shepard that is really my brother's and it wouldn't have for in my new apartment anyway. I have always had a pet. Even in college I had a mouse. I have genetic depression and while I am perfectly normal thanks to my medication, I have found that having something to take care of helps me function above-average as well as keeps me emotionally positive.

After settling down in my new home I decided it was a good time to adopt a new dog. I'm 25, financially independent, and able and wiling to care for a dog (I am also certified to groom dogs, know numerous training techniques and own two training books, I volunteer at two local shelters and am this able to recieve discounted training and vaccinations for any pets; I have clipped my own dog's nails for years; know the best toys for a stimulated mind; and have even been asked to show my dogs before at local competitions (I declined); I live a mile from work and I work with only two other people who are fine with me bringing in a pet). And yet, I have been unable to adopt a dog the last year and a half and yesterday was the 6th time I was "burned" by the shelter system.

Time number 1: not so much a shelter system as a coworker's dog had a litter of puppies. One was promised to me, pictures were sent, promises and dates for exchanges were made. And then her sister took all the puppies to Portland and sold them for $300 each, including the one that was promised to me because one woman up there wanted a boy and a girl dog. I cried, this was a disapointment. But it was the easiest compared to the following year...

Time number 2: a dog I regularly walked at the shelter and I hit it off. I stated formally that I would like to begin the paperwork. The woman who normally runs adoptions was out on vacation so a note was made and I was given the paperwork. Meanwhile, one of the admin workers at the shelter decided that her friend would like the dog. She contacted her friend that day (after my note was made) and discarded my note and set up an adoption on her own citing it as an "emergency exception".

Time number 3: I found a dog on petfinder at a shelter in Northern California about four hours away. They have a policy (and this is the humane society) that potential adopters need to fill out an i Irish wave of paperwork, deliver it in person with app family members present. The family must undergo a personally evaluation and spend four separate hours with the dog under the supervision of a pet psychologist. Then a second set of paperwork is filed and the dog is sent home on a temporary basis while the shelter checks in 1-3 times before the dog is officially allowed to be registered and adopted. Obviously, living four hours away this was a bit much. But I contacted the head of the shelter to set up an expedited version. I would undergo my evaluations over video chat, and meet with the dog once for 2 hours before driving it home. I sent in the first paperwork (a lengthy list that asked my marital status, income, smoking and drinking habits, references, two essays, a quiz on my beliefs on various pet-related things, etc). I was told that no one else was in competition for the dog. Until two days later when I was notified that someone local wanted the dog and my paperwork was void.

Time number 4: I was fostering a dog I fell in love with and she adored me. However, due to a genetic condition, she needed surgery on her legs and was unable to be adopted until after the 1st of the year. I told all the official channels that I wanted to adopt her. I was told this was great and not an issue. Her surgery was on December 20th. On December 21st the vet that performed her surgery took her home and adopted her.

Time number 5: a friend of a friend had a dog he was giving up to the shelter. It was a puppy/Christmas present for his kids that went un-taken care of, unloved after December 25th and left outside 24/7. It was a long-hair chihuaha/Pomeranian. My friend contacted him and while we were fine for him to just give me the dog, his wife wanted is to go through the local shelter system as a way of keeping an official record. Big mistake. Someone got wind that the chi-Pom was coming in and offered to make a $500 donation to the shelter in exchange for the dog. When I went in to pick up the dog an hour after it was dropped off, I was told he was adopted. (I only learned the true story from a friend who volunteers at admin as well as through the shelter e-mails).

Time number 6: last week I met with a shelter dog at it's foster home. I fell in love but wanted to make sure he and my roommate got along. I arranged that I would be able to have an overnight stay with the dog (I was also fostering a cat that the shelter wanted to see how it handled other pets). I contacted the shelter Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday to day that I
Could pick the dog up on Friday (this just so happened to be the single busy work week I have). On Friday I contacted the foster parent of the dog who informed me that she decided to show the dog to a couple during the week. And that then it was between me and them and the shelter prefers people who don't work to adopt pets (yes, that is literally what they said) so I was not allowed to adopt the dog. (The dog also came from an a used situation like the dog I had at home and thusly I knew how to handle it but apparently that is a moot point when it comes to the fact that I work a 9-5 job).

These were just the situations where I thought I had the dog before it was adopted from under me. There is also the shelter in Portland that had a requirement of a 4 hour driving radius. Southern Oregon is 5 hours away, this eliminating people in the shelter's own state. They was the shelter in north Cali that is 45 minutes away with a two hour driving radius who, upon finding out I live in Oregon told me they only adopt to residents of California. There is the shelter near Portland that has a minimum $900 adoption fees for male dogs and $1200 for females. There is the shelter that needs you to have a previous pet or a signed letter from a veterinarian (I believe this shelter is on the Oregon coast). There is the local shelter who turned me down for fostering because I work (again, I live 1 mile from work. I come home at lunch and I can bring the dog to work).

And a few other shelter stories from friends that posted on my wall when they heard I was once again denied a dog:

The friend who was 24 and had to get motorized permission from her parents to adopt a cat because they only adopt to people over 25. The professor who was denied because he was not married. The friend who brought in a start dog and was denied adopting said dog because she was the one who brought it in and was thus listed as the person who have the dog up. And finally, the family friend that was deemed too old to adopt.

Do I think shelters are too strict? Yes. Do I think they drive potential adopters to go to a breeder instead? Absolutely. After being burned six times I realized my only option is to save my money and go to either an out-of-state breeder or an out-of-state pet store. Was this this my first, second or third choice? No. It's my seventh choice, but it is the only choice available to a woman that works.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:16AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
It seems to me as if sometimes, people polarize themselves...
Advice needed regarding choosing a dog breed
We presently have a Beagle, who is very good with people...
Raw Meat Diet for Cats
I have been converted. Do any of you cat lovers out...
Is it harmful for a big dog to be crated 9 hrs on a hard surface?
I understand that my kids have to work, and they do...
putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box
There are no coincindents. thank you for your input...
Sponsored Products
Alvin MiniMaster Adjustable Drafting Table - Cherry - MM40-3-WBR
$138.00 | Hayneedle
Home City Impressions Chevron 100% Cotton Quilt Set - ZIGZAG QUILT TW 3PC BL
$82.99 | Hayneedle
Dynamic Air Flex Pet Bed Pillow Dog Bed
$14.50 | FRONTGATE
Sink Sider Soap Pump & Funnel
$7.99 | zulily
Two-Tier Organizer
$19.99 | zulily
Strictly for Kids Premier Deluxe Trapezoid Primary Care Cabinet with Display Mul
$818.39 | Hayneedle
International Caravan Faux Leather Large Round Stool
Orbelle Louis Philippe Toddler Bed
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™