(Closed) I want to adopt a dog but…

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I know shelter restrictions are hard sometimes.  When we adopted our first dog, Louie, the shelter just did a couple reference checks and called our landlords to verify a dog was allowed at our rental.  We went back a year later to adopt a second dog, and the requirements had changed to 1) owning your own home, 2) having a yard with an 8′ foot, and 3) job verification and wage checks.  We owned a condo, but we didn’t have a fenced yard, so we didn’t qualify to adopt, which was super disappointing.  🙁

If you do get turned down by a shelter, you might want to look in the newspaper or on Craigslist for giveaways in your area.  We ended up getting our second dog, George, when a friend of a friend had to give away their new puppy due to some rental agreement changes.  There’s lots of dogs that need good homes, and not all of them are in shelters!

Post # 4
3125 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

you won’t be rejected kitty!

we had a similar experience in 2005 when trying to adopt a cat. my husband (then bf) had to put his BOSS as a reference – and they called her. He’s a VP, so that was a little extreme and she definitely ribbed him a bit for it. And after all that, interviews etc, they accidentally gave our cat to another couple. they misfiled the paperwork. I cried all night!

We went to another county and adopted our cat Rocky and it was much easier. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. But kitty please – do not buy a pet from the pet store. It’s so horrible that they breed them in bad conditions to sell when there are so many at the pound.

Post # 5
1148 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Many groups have different requirements. If you are looking for a smaller dog, definitely check their rules as many of them do realize that apartment owners are just fine with smaller dogs. I’ve never heard of needing 2 vet recommendations or even 1 before, so I don’t know what group you were looking at that requires it. I second checking craigslist and the classifieds as many people are having to give up their pets right now with the economy.

Post # 6
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I had the exact same experience and outrage when we adopted our dog this year.  Luckily we met all the qualifications, so we got her.  I know they are trying to do right by the dog, but they make it so hard! 

Post # 7
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I know what you mean. We love English setters, and support a rescue group, but couldn’t actually adopt one of their rescue dogs because Fiance keeps his male dogs intact (for reasons that I don’t understand but have to do with hunting drive in his mind – I’ve given up on it). My dog’s life is about 10 times better than mine, Fiance and I are such stereotypical DINKWDs.

If you are looking right now, CraigsList is a good source for dogs that are heading for a shelter but the owners are trying desperately to place first. I know NYC hasn’t had the same housing crisis as here in Cal, but I’m sure there are still plenty of people who can no longer care for their dogs but are trying to re-home before going to a shelter. 

Post # 8
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Keep in mind the requirements are to weed out unsuitable owners.  You may know you’re going to be great, but to the rescue volunteers you may well be just as irresponsible as the owner that got bored with their pet and dumped it on their doorstep to begin with.  We’ve adopted two dogs, so yes I TOTALLY understand how frustrating it can be (and I DO live in an apt and Fiance and I BOTH work all day – 2 red flags right off the bat at a lot of rescues!).  In the end all the extra work will be worth it!!

Oh – and as others have said PLEASE don’t buy a dog!  You’ll only contributing to an ongoing problem and really, proving the rescue that turned you down right…

Post # 9
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I have to say the adoption requirements on Petfinder *looked* a lot more intimidating than they actually turned out to be for me. I’m in NYC too and adopted from a rescue that said they preferred people with houses, wanted vet recommendations, etc.

I just filled out the application anyway and explained why I thought we would be good pet owners. I asked some friends for vet recommendations and I listed those people and explained that I didn’t have a relationship with them since I hadn’t owned a dog in the city before.

I didn’t hear from the rescue for almost two weeks and assumed my application had been rejected automatically. When I followed up the woman was so nice and we talked about our situation and scheduled a home visit.

I bought a crate, toys, and food before the visit so they could see we were set up to be puppy parents. I was nervous about the visit but it turned out to be low key. And soon we had our puppy home with us!

So I would just be honest and upfront with the agencies. If you meet resistance that’s probably not who you want to adopt from anyway!

Post # 10
66 posts
Worker bee

It can be frustrating. We were regected by a lot of rescues because we didn’t have a yard. But I guess I can understand where they are coming from. I think they are just trying to avoid the dog ending right back in the shelter. I have seen too many people adopt dogs on a whim, realize how much work the dog needs, (behaviorally, exercise or health-wise) and then return it.

It sounds like you are educated and really care about dogs, and I am sure that will come through to adoption centers!

Post # 11
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

I share your outrage!

Seven years ago, my first dog was a rescue from a shelter.  The only basic requirement to adopt her was having the $65 to pay for her license fee and microchip.

We rescued our second dog from a friend who was giving the whole litter to the shelter.

We recently tried to adopt a friend for him, but the requirements now are RIDICULOUS!  No wonder your rescue organization is overrun with animals, you require vet reqs, a home inspection, a yard, and you want to call my boss, my landlord (and probably my mother!!!!).  Then, to top it all off, the rescues in my area usually want you to pay some RIDICULOUS fee to be able to adopt the dog!!  We’re talking $400-$500 dollars!!  I understand you had to feed and shelter the dog for however long, but I shouldn’t have to pay YOUR org’s overhead costs!!  If you’re worried that someone will adopt the dog without the fundage to care for them, then why don’t you require a $400-$500 DEPOSIT at a vet’s office instead??  Then the money actually goes to the animal, AND you know the new owner is legit!

I mean they have the sad commercials on tv with the Sara McLaughlin songs that make you cry and guilt you into trying to adopt, then they won’t even give you a chance!

I even took my dog with me one time to go see some contenders at the local adoption drive, and they told me to take him back to the car, that dogs weren’t allowed in the adoption area!  Excuse me???  How the hell am I supposed to know if my dog will be ok with a new dog??  How am I supposed to test that out??  It really pissed me off!

So yeah, I agree with you.  The rules are stupid.  And if you’re going to pay $400-$500 for a dog, I’m sure there are reputable AKC breeders in your area that you CAN get a dog from if your local shelters and rescues make it impossible to go that route.  (My Father-In-Law bought a dog from Seattle and had it shipped to New Mexico because he COULD NOT find anyone that would adopt out to him!  Just because his yard doesn’t have an 8′ fence!!).

Post # 12
7408 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Try the Humane Society.  They are very reasonable in their requirements and you’d be saving a life! 🙂

Post # 13
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I used to volunteer at an animal shelter – you’d be surprised how many animals get returned. It was really costly for the shelter to get the animal adopted, and then to have the animal returned? ugh.  I mean, rather returned than some situations we saw: animals getting really horribly mistreated and then ‘dropped off’ at our door.. It’s disgusting what some people do to animals.

Anyway, they started cracking down around when I was leaving.  It seemed a hassle to me but I’m willing to go through that hassle in the hopes that no more animals ever show up at a shelter bloody and broken EVER AGAIN.

Post # 14
2825 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

The application processes (although tedious) is really useful…  The main things we look for at the shelter I work are vet reference (just one) type of house/fence based on the dog they are interested in, if they have kids and mainly if the dog will be indoor or out…  You would be surprised how many people come in who don’t have a fence and want a little tiny dachshund mix to throw in their backyard!  SERIOUSLY!  But it does depend on the dog…

That said we’ve also had people who seemed like they would be great homes, who once we called the vet they actually said “they have too many animals” or “they really can’t afford another animal”.  And others who we actually have given dogs and they’ve come back in terrible shape, or they get returned and have really been neglected… So the harder the application process it’s just to make sure you will be the right home…

Also, they tend to feel that if you don’t have the patience/time/energy to just deal with the application process, then you probably don’t have the patience/time/energy to take care of a dog properly… especially in an apartment…

I’m sure you would make a great home, but you have to prove that to strangers who only want THE BEST for these animals.

Post # 15
2196 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

You live in NYC?  There must be a ton of shelters that have less lengthy application forms and especially places that don’t require you to have a yard.  I can’t imagine that being a requirement at any NYC shelter.  Yes, some questions are necessary to be asked, for the reason everyone has stated here.  Not only is it costly to the shelter to have a pet returned, as stated, but it’s harder to rehome an animal because merely hearing that it’s been returned turns off a surprisingly large number of adopters–you’d be surprised.  They want to make sure the pet is going somewhere that can provide for it both emotionally and physically.  Please, please do not buy a dog.  As another poster said, if you did that, you just be proving that application-rejecters right by showing that you aren’t reponsible and invested in the welfare of dogs, since millions are put to sleep every year because there just isn’t enough space at shelters.  If this one rejects you, assuming you prove you have the resouces to give the dog basic care, you WILL find someone to approve you.

Post # 16
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Although I don’t care for your language, I understand your frustration.  There is a wonderful organization I would LOVE to foster for, but we wouldn’t even be considered because there is a daycare in the home, never mind that our dogs are kept upstairs and the kids are kept downstairs and they do not have contact unless I am right there.  I do understand though that their insurance company says it is too big of a risk for them to take.

Also, a complicated application does NOT always mean you will be rejected.  A lot of times it is to help them find a dog that is right for your particular situation.  For example, your interested in “Fido”, but Fido has a history of bolting out of the door, and your adoption application says you don’t have a fenced yard.  Maybe Fido isn’t the best fit for you, but perhaps Eddie, who DOESN’T need a fenced yard would be a better fit.  We fostered an older dog who needed to go potty a LOT.  A very nice gentleman wanted to adopt her, and he would have been an ideal home except that he worked long hours, and she wouldn’t be able to “hold it” that long.  He wasn’t approved to adopt our foster, but that didn’t disqualify him from adopting another dog who would be able to go for longer periods of time without being let out.

A $400-500 adoption fee does seem a bit high, yes, but you have to realize the kind of money that goes in to helping a lot of these dogs.  It’s not just feeding them until they get adopted.  Many need spaying and neutering, flea and tick treatments, heartworm or other parasite treatments, microchipping, basic shots, and more.  Some dogs need hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of care before they get adopted.  Most rescue organizations and shelters are non-profit for a reason; they aren’t lining their pockets.  Most are making just enough through adoption fees and donations to keep their doors open so they can keep helping other dogs.  Also, a lot of organizations foster dogs rather than keeping them in a shelter situation.  I’m not seeing any of your adoption fee either.  As a foster, we are given food, and reimbused for medical expenses.  Treats, toys, and extras, we pay for ourselves. 

There ARE shelters and rescues with lower adoption fees, as well, but before getting upset about any adoption fee, consider how much money you would have to spend getting vet checks, shots, and paying for spaying/neutering of a cheaper dog purchased from a less-than-reputable-source, (be it petstore, backyard breeder, etc).

If you ARE rejected for reasons you don’t agree with, or think an organizations fees are too high, check petfinder.com for other rescues and shelters that are either in your area, or willing to adopt outside of their local area.

This is a tough issue…the rules, regulations, and fees set up to help rescues succeed in their placements can sometimes backfire when people get upset and go buy animals from pet stores or backyard breeders instead.  The money that those people receive from the purchase of a puppy just goes to producing more badly bred puppies, some of which will end up flooding the shelters with more unwanted animals.  I hope to see the day when we don’t NEED animal shelters (or people shelters for that matter).  But please keep in mind that these are mostly volunteer organizations doing their best to do what they feel is best for the animals in their care.

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