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Adopting a dog has become pretty difficult


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Since we have moved way out here in the boondocks we have been toying with the idea of adopting a dog for the kids to play with. We have a Miniature Doxie, but bless his heart he is a Mama's Boy. Of course he plays but you know how cold natured they are. I just figured the kids needed a dog that was a little more "substantial". One that could roam the woods and wrestle and tussle, but one not so big he/she couldn't come inside with us as well. You would think with all of the homeless animals out there it wouldn't be so hard to adopt.....NOT!!!


We have been all over petfinder.com looking at a new potential family member. I have no problem giving a Vet reference but GOOD GRAVY I should not have to give 3 personal references, open my home for an inspection, list all the pets we've had for the past 10 yrs, their vet names and their fate as well as my previous employers and previous addresses!!!!


We have always adopted, except for our Doxie, but it has been a while. It seems that a lot of places are doing this now. After looking everywhere within a 100 mile radius our little boy had picked one dog that he fell in love with. It was obviously an inside dog because it was house-trained. This dog just stuck with him and nothing compared to "Jake". I called today and they asked if we had a fenced yard. When I explained to them that we lived waaaay out in the country and waaaay off the road their response was "Yeah well we hear that from others and then their dog gets hit by a UPS truck." So we are not able to adopt that dog. When I started looking at their website they go so far as to say that if you have children under the age of 6 you can not adopt a dog under "x" lbs.


So I look at another place and they have adoption process where you have to let them know how much time the pet will be alone while you are at work and what arrangements you have made to make sure the pet is let outside while you are at work. Then you have to let them know for what reasons you would relinquish the pet....like allergies, did not get along with other pets or children etc OR last option was I WOULD NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ABANDON MY PET. You have to let them know who would care for the pet in the event you went out of town and you had to give them a name of a person who did not live in your household. ETC ETC ETC


Now, I am an animal lover and I'm all about making sure that a pet goes to a good home but good grief!!!!

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sounds a lot over the top if you ask me--i would probably end up going and buying one rather than let someone have all that information

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My neice just reported a similar experience. They lost their last dog a couple years ago to old age. She and a friend found a dog down at her college, two states away. They talked to my brother, he viewed the on-line data, and said yes, he'd like that dog. They were all set to adopt it and bring it up home to him this week.


Nope. The person refused to believe they knew anything about animals [neice has been taking care of horses, cats, dogs, cows, donkeys, etc her entire life. Had primary responsibility for feeding a barn full of boarded horses since she was ten. ] and also refused to believe that the dog was intended for her dad....not destined to be stuck with some looney, careless, college kids. They could not convince her otherwise. :shrug:


Like you, I understand that the shelters are filled with animals who were formerly housed with folks who did not take care of them properly. But sheeeeesh! How do they expect to home any of them? And the cost is so high for an unknown quality of animal.



MY dog should never have been re-homed. She'd flunked two or three homes and has mental/hormonal issues. Yet they didn't tell us anything --except the dh told us she'd nearly killed a dog she'd gotten along with for months....just up and attacked it. That also, is not a good way to get the dog a home without revealing the true nature of the dog. :shakinghead:


Many shelter folks use their heart more than their head.


MtRider [.....now stuck with a...'problem child' ]

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I know that the interview process for my breed is very stringent. That is because this breed is not for everyone. If a pup falls into the wrong hands it could be a very serious situation.


Having had the breed for many years myself, I am very protective of them too.


I wonder why these shelters feel the need to ask all of these questions. I doubt it's because they're nosey and have nothing to do. Something must have happened that caused them to draw such a strong line.


Anyway, just another perspective perhaps.

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Well, considering some of the things that have come out of some shelters, I think they should be providing the information to the person adopting. They had a BIG stink in Memphis, TN because dogs were starving to death and some which were to be adopted were euthanized even in sight of hte peole coming to pick them up.


Living in the country, I would have no problem getting a dog. Have gotten two the same way....dump dogs. One who had been on her own for a while but had managed.and one who was almost dead from starvation. Both were wonderful dogs.

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I breed small dogs myself...but it sounds like you're trying to adopt from a Rescue. Shelters can be touchy too in not adopting out to people with small children. I don't 'get 'this...if that were the case, I'd not be able to have small dogs with my 4 kids. I have had babies as newborns with dogs and puppies around. Personally, just buy a dog off of a breeder--or someone who has a litter of pups in an ad in the newspaper...or an adult dog that someone is trying to rehome. There are enough of them out there! I know --it SHOULD be so easy bcz I've tried to adopt an adult dog and while she was a good dog, she wasn't the go out to the barnyard dog that I thought she'd be. She was a couch potato. And she wanted to chase the free range poultry when she did get loose in the barnyard. I had to rehome her. We have an excellent dog now--a male Dutch Shep x German Shepherd. GREAT with my 1 and 3 yr.old grandsons and my younger kids 9 and 13. Wonderful with the poultry, ducks, livestocks and we have Teletubby land here with some domestic rabbits roaming free. Doesn't touch them either. He does like to 'play' with the male goat though!:laughkick:

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.dump dogs. One who had been on her own for a while but had managed.and one who was almost dead from starvation. Both were wonderful dogs.


A big part of it is just what Scrubbie mentions--dumping animals. Folks want the cute puppy without a thought to how big it will grow and what its needs are. They abandon the dog for 8+hrs a day and wonder why it chews and destroys things, or pees/poops in the house. They will lie and say all sorts of things to get a dog that they think they want. And then 3 mo later dump it or bring it back to whatever rescue or shelter they got it from--sometimes demanding their money back. As to adoption costs, think how much it costs to spay/neuter a dog, get it all its shots, deworm it etc, providing full vet care? This and long term boarding costs are some of the reasons rescues & shelters have gotten costly to adopt from, and why they are getting nosey about your business. The dog is their responsibility, for now, and they don't want to have the dog fail to be successfully rehomed.


We've adopted 2 dogs via rescue. I now volunteer at that same rescue group. We board our dogs with them when we go on vacation (we travel a long ways, and 1 family member can't be around bouncy big dogs due to a mobility restriction, and her cat...), I see the anguish they go thru when a dog comes back, even with their screening process. I see the love and care they do their best to give to all the dogs in their care. I see the pain they go thru when one of the dogs must be destroyed due to an unresolvable healthcare issue, such as terminal cancer. I see the huge amounts of $$ they spend just to maintain the health of the dogs, and the costs of the very expensive surgeries some need to be repaired from injuries sustained prior to rescue, or due to genetic issues such as dermoid sinus.


Sorry for the rant--



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I too looked into “adoption”of a dog from the Humane Society, where I even know a few of the employees, the up front fees scared me away. So I went to Craigslist, and typed “Free to a good hhome”, and found Cloie Bell, a Shepard/ & miniature Doberman mixture, female. I have a good dog for a companion at no cost, she a wonderful pet, and very energetic.


I am told, by my friends at this local Humane Society, that because of the people who have neglects and or abused animals is on the rise, ( hence the dog/cat population in kennels at the Adoption Centers) is one consideration in the 21 questions. Today’s pet abandonment rate being on the rise comes into play for the questions shell game. Some general ignorance on animal care is a reason for the sifting process too. All of this, and MORE gives rise to the need of vigorously screen prospective owners, is felt deeply. There are new laws on the books in various state too these days on pet ownership & animal treatment. THIS, along with the workers hart for animals, distaste of and avoidance of euthanasia, the costs involved ( as weighed against THEIR low wages) the try to be careful of whom the allow adoption to.


Another consideration is that many folks have a passing fancy to own a pet, which wears off and lends to Unintentional neglect. We do live in a much changed society, considering that many children come into the world with out so many questions, and not as much oversight over their subsequent care, it seems to me that these avoided animal lovers have a greater concern for animal care that they do of humans!

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The place that turned down our adoption req was a Humane Society.


We don't really want to use our local Humane Society because they ARE horrible. They send dogs to homes that do not need to be rehomed or will lie about things that are wrong with the dog just to get rid of it. Many years ago we adopted a dog and when we had it (the next day) found it was ate up with some sort of mange and was very sick. I had a newborn and this was an inside dog. I called them and they said that the dog did NOT have mange and was not sick. My Pop took the dog down there to them and they still denied anything was wrong with the dog. In the meantime, I called a lady I knew who worked with rescue and she ran down and got the dog and took to vet because she said the HS would only put him down. Come to find out we were right the dog was very, very ill and it took months of constant nursing to save him. She told me that it was a good thing that Pop did what he did and removed the dog because of the kids. My neighbor adopted one the other day and they were very ugly and rude to her. She is very knowledgeable about animals and found some places she thought was mange on the foot. They adamently denied he had it and seemed offended she would even mention it. She got the dog to the vet the other day to be fixed and sure enought....mange. I wanted to use a more respectable and caring place.


I have no problem providing some info, because I want to make sure that it is a mutual fit for us both. The fees that I have seen are around $75 and that covers spay/neuter, shots and worming....no problem with that. Some of the animals are fostered which I think is great because these people will KNOW the dog and it's mannerisms....another plus.


I would think if you provided your vet references that would provide a lot of info as far as how you are with your pet. If a person is not going to properly care for their pet or love their pet they are not going to go through the expense of taking it to the vet right? I really think that a little common sense should prevail here.

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Our last dog died a few years ago after a very long life in a loving home. Before Father's Day, I went looking for a new German Shepherd to join our family as a gift for my husband. My experience was quite similar to the original poster's. All of the websites had huge laundry lists of what they deemed to be unacceptable. You couldn't have small children but you had to have 10 years of experience with dogs. They wanted to see all vet records from your prior pets and you had to own your own home. It was going to cost about $1500 for the dog. They did insist on a fenced yard and they refused to place any dogs with people who lived in the city! They were adamant about all of those stipulations.


We were able to meet all of those criteria...except for city living. We have 3/4's of an acre, fully fenced, on a quiet street. We also have a separate dog run and Igloo dog house in the backyard that would enable a dog to not be constrained to the house while we were at work. With two college aged kids living at home, it is unlikely that the dog would have spent much time at all in the dog run because someone is usually at home.They were unyielding. If we'd lived in the suburbs on 1/10th of an acre, we could have been approved. As a result, we still are without a dog. My husband is an excellent dog trainer and people have always been surprised at how obedient our pets have been. Our pets are our family members and we keep them until they pass away. Our last dog had some dementia and kidney problems as a result of one of those dog food recalls. We still kept him and nursed him until the end.


I understand that there have to be some protective measures in place, but it makes me feel as though we are presumed to be criminals for wanting to add a dog to the family. I live in an area where the jobs are scarce. Most folks aren't looking to add a new pet to the mix right now. That holds true in the suburbs, too. Who do they think will actually be able to adopt all of these dogs in this economy?

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Well, I have to stick up for the rescues here. Having been the Director of Education for the largest Northeast Rottweiler Rescue, I entirely understand where they are coming from on this. If you processed applications for even a day, you would understand. I have heard and seen it all. People lie, all the time, and they are crazy some of them. Yes, you are a good home, but there are a few dynamics here at work.


1. People lie, and after a while, you come to expect it. Sad, but true. So, many of these volunteers are overworked, and just plain beaten down with the dregs of society. I had one person who wanted a very sweet rottie to chase off coyotes from her property. This was a pet dog, not trained, and certainly not capable personality-wise of chasing off a pack of coyotes, who are known for their manipulative tactics to lure dogs into the woods and feed on them... at least around here. Yeah, she was 80 pounds, but she would have been dead the first encounter with a wild dog. When I turned her down, she went to the president of my rescue and claimed I was making it up. She got the dog.


2. Many rescues "borrow" each other's legal paperwork. So, while we had large, powerful dogs who may have been trained to be aggressive, and a very good lawyer to make our paperwork and policies up, another rescue would come along... say a golden retriever rescue... and borrow our papers. Not all of those policies would apply to them.


3. Many rescue workers are bleeding hearts and don't want to turn down anyone. And some people should be turned down. So, they are told to obey the rules and that's that. Some good homes will be missed. I personally think that instead of using a formula, the formula should be a guideline and the volunteer's common sense should rule in the end. That's how my most recent rescue operated. If you didn't have a fenced in back yard (like me) but know enough to never let the dog off leash... fine. I live on a busy street, but they adopted to me because I have fail proofs to stop the dog from running into traffic. Two doors to get through to get to the back yard, for instance. If the dog bolts out of one, the other will stop him...


4. Many people buy based on impulse and also looks. They want that beautiful, big headed dog and don't care that he's 140 pounds, untrained and they have a toddler at home, and they never owned a dog before. Yes, they may be smart people, but there are things that come with experience... here, this 80 pound, docile female is better for you... that sort of thing. Dogs go through revolving doors when people adopt based on these criteria. He's pretty, he's big, he's protective. Whatever, they don't get how much WORK he is also, and how much time they will have to spend being diligent watching the dog to make sure he doesn't knock over little Suzie, or little Billy doesn't taunt him with his hot dog.


Basically, the worker you dealt with that made the UPS comment is an idiot. She's so used to using a formula to turn people down that she's not using her head. However, the rules and checks, I agree with them entirely. I have seen so many sick things, I would never volunteer for a rescue that doesn't have those rules in place. You should own your house or have your landlord's permission, stability in where you live (don't rent and move every year or else you'll likely give your dog up next year when you move), have good vet references, etc. Honestly, I only used the "3 references" when I had questions that weren't answered by the vet or a sneaky suspicion that the person was lying.


So many people in my experience need education. That's where these rescues are coming from. Don't take it personally. If you live with a dog for 6 months, as a foster home, and feed, vet, train it, and love on it... and then it goes to a new home, you want to make sure they're not fighting the dogs, or neglecting it, or breeding it for food (yes, I've seen that).

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One of the places that had a detailed app also has a FB page. I went to the FB page and some people asked some questions about the app. They said that they adopt on a case by case situation and they use the app to help match the best dog suitable for the situation. Now THAT makes sense to me...their approach is different and they are very careful to explain their application where some of these other places just seem like they use no common sense. I'm hoping that we will be able to do something and find one this weekend. Our oldest son has moved home and he is just as excited about getting one as our middle son.

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I don't think anyone with experience with pets, dogs particularly, would balk at a series of reasonable questions. The point is that SOME are crossing the line ......WAY over the line. My point was that my neice was called a liar and not given any recourse to prove her assertions and her own personal qualifications. Dismissed out of hand......there is no justification for that!


No rescue, organization, 501C3 or whatever should be conducting themselves in that manner. {Like we say in human service: If it's burn-out....get out! } It gives a bad name for those who do well. I will not forget the cruel, lying games played by our Humane Society on those of us refugees from the 3-week wildfire. Disgusting....and gobbling down the donations at the same time. They had me in tears and ....that takes a lotta pushing. I'd never deal with them again. Cruelty to animals is inexcusible. Cruelty to people is ALSO inexcusible!



At the other extreme....none of them should be shoving animals out the door with anyone who walks by on the sidewalk. Had that experience too. They hide facts about the potential animal just to keep the 'buyer' interested. THAT is dangerous. That's why we refused to return our dog. We are more-or-less handling her problems and we love her. But someone less experienced ....it could have had tragic results. There still IS a risk fro her. The rescue we got her from didn't check us at all....asked a few questions. When she did not get along with our cat [as promised] we already felt that we could not trust the rescue to be careful enough to place her with someone who'd be safe with her. She's wonderful and friendly until the hormone thing gets her truly crazy. So....we kept her rather than risk that. Our own little one-dog rescue......and we keep a 3 pound cat and a 140 pound dog separated at all times in a 624 sq ft house. A decent orgaization would have known more about that dog. This one was WAY overcrowded and being cited for noise, etc.



Sooooo what I'm getting out of this thread is that we all need to chose WHO we go to for our animals. Forget the places that are being irresponsible on one extreme or the other.


We need to INTERVIEW THE RESCUE/ORGANIZATION to see if they are the type who will truely know the animal and inform the prospective adopter all about them. The heck with these idiots we've been running into.




It's been one year since we adopted Miz MM...the donkey. So she is officially OURS now. I have respect for that rescue. They talked a lot about donkeys ....in our case, how they were similar/different to horses, which we were familiar with. They spent lot of time. Gave us a lot of written material which we scoured. The lead lady was so impressed when the aloof Miz MM came trotting over to me when I called to her before we left. THEN they personally deliver each donkey set [they adopt them in pairs cuz they need each other except our MM wanted a horse instead! :lol: ] so that they can verify the pasture/shelter/feed/etc. They can get a feel for the care the animal will receive. In our case, DH knew someone who was a steady volunteer there and that reference was good too. They remain available for questions anytime....like the panic call I made when I thot MM had gone crazy! Or was choking? .... :blush: Nope, the lady told me laughing, She's just in heat. Okaay. But she knew I'd call if I needed and I knew she'd be glad to answer anything. It's a good, sensible rescue without treating the prospective adopters like criminals! :thumbs:



MtRider [...seen BADDDD, and seen Good! ]

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ANewMe, have ou checked your county animal shelter? They have so many dogs looking for a forever home. Please try there and I bet you find the dog you have been looking for! :) You will have saved a life an will be rchly blessed! I understand where the rescues are coming from. Or another idea, I almost hate to mention this, is Craiglslst. I am also against CL allwing animals to be listed. Dog fighters, bunchers, people who get free animals nd sell them to research labs, snake people looking for free food for their reptiles. Dont give up. :)

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Humane Society in Sarasota, FL told me that since I had owned an "outside" dog that I was "unfit" to adopt a dog from them. Their policy is that all dogs should be inside dogs. I went out in tears. Never been told I was unfit for anything before. And I used to donate to them several times a year.

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Reminds me of when I adopted a shelter kitty a few years back.


I thought it a little insulting that they were asking my employment info, how much I made, how much I budgeted to spend on the cat, and making me swear on all that was holy that he'd be exclusively an inside kitty (when I had had a kitty long ago that had decimated the neighborhood rodent population, it seemed silly). Showing proof that your landlord allow pets, that makes sense. Asking if I'd ever owned pets before, ok, I can see asking that too.


But vet records? Seriously, people! If your cat is blessed with good health, and you have a thin vet file, does that make you a "bad" owner? Some things really are none of their business. If the shelter I adopted from was going to get that intrusive, I'd have left there and searched the nearest box of "free kittens" outside the grocery store. Oh, wait...they try to "corner the market" on that, discouraging people from placing pets through their own connections...no, you MUST run all "pet transactions" through the shelter! :angry: To which I say, *bleep* them. Got enough busybodies around as it is. They gripe about people buying from breeders instead of giving a home to an animal that needs it, and then treat people like criminals or very poor credit risks. Can't make me feel guilty about buying from a breeder if that's the way of it.

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HUGE change of plans. Our landlord changed his mind about us having a second dog. Glad I double-checked. So have I wasted my time with all of this looking? I don't think so. We won't be getting a second dog, but I have learned alot.


I think Mt. Riders recent post hit the nail on the head. Through all of this I have found that there are extremes on both sides and it's important for those of us wanting a pet to look into the "pet provider" just as much.


Growing up we had pets but very rarely do I remember taking them to the vet. There was simply no money to do that. If a animal needed to be put down, my Daddy did it himself. To this day I don't know how he did it....but he did..and when he came home he went straight to his room or his workshop and it was understood to leave him alone for awhile. Most may say it was horrible of him, but it was the most humane thing he could do. He couldn't stand for an animal to suffer and we couldn't afford to take it to the vet to be put down.


Before we moved, my son came home with "Buddy". It looked like a pit bull and it was pitiful. The neighbor had taken the dog in and tried to care for it when it wandered up. My DS told the neighbor that his mama loved the dog and wanted him so the neighbor gave him the dog bowl and sent Buddy to my house. Mind you I had never laid eyes on this dog and quiet frankly he was scarey looking. He was very gentle with the kids, but he was pitiful. It looked like someone had used him for dog bait. While we were trying to figure out what to do about him he really got sick and although I did not have the money I loaded him up and took him to vet. He was bleeding from wounds which some of them were actually mange. He was running a high fever and very ill. I got him to the closest vet and when she heard the story she treated him, wrote off some of the bill and only charged me for what she had to charge me for. We only had him for maybe 2 months. He was so protective of the kids and DS son's friends down the road were aggravating him and he snapped one of their hands. He ended up having to have a lot of stitches so I had to take him to the Humane Society. I'm just about positive that they put him down.


I tell that story to say that there are so many of us who are animal lovers although we are not involved in rescue. I don't think that we should be treated with condescendingly just becuase we are not involved. It's said "Don't shop...adopt" when attitudes are given towards people who try....that discourages the process. When these places act like they are the "All knowing protectors for animals" and others can't and don't care as much as them....that is detrimental to the process. When it comes across that an animal is more important than the well-being of a human...well that is just lunacy. butWhen we had to give up our cat because we found that our son was allergic I wanted to make sure the cat went to a loving home. I knew in order to insure that happened it would be best to surrender the cat to a rescue, but when I called and explained our situation I was given the impression that it was cruel of me to surrender the cat. They took him, but that were very rude about it. As much as I loved the cat my son's well being came first.


On the other hand I do believe that some questions should be asked. If I had taken the time to foster an animal and love it I would want to make sure it was going to a good home. By talking to the Vet you would be able to establish that other pets had been taken care of regularly. I thought about the questions about employment. It came to mind the cousin that I have who has no regard for money or budget. They would get a pet when they couldn't afford to put food on the table and depended on others to take their slack. Now when it comes down to it the animals are going to suffer because they are only objects obtained on a whim. So although I still didn't like that they would ask those questions, in her case I see that it would have prevented her from obtaining pets that would ultimatley be relinqueshed back or just dumped somewhere.


Before we found out that our landlord changed his mind, I talked to a lady at a rescue who was fostering a dog that my boys were interested in. She was very sweet and just held a conversation about the dog and our desire to adopt. It was a friendly conversation....not a rigid interview. She explained that they preferred a "meeting" first with the pet to see if the personalities were a match and to feel free to bring our other pet. She then said that they asked for references, but they did that to make sure that we were not dog fighters or anything like that. She was very open, non-judgemental, and very eager to do the right thing for the pet and potential owner. This, I feel, is a happy medium.


So no, I haven't wasted my time. I have actually changed my point-of-view on some issues and I have decided to try to get a little more involved with animal issues. I believe our Humane Society could do a much better job, but it takes the public getting involved. Since we can't have another pet this might just be a good opportunity to get my boys involved with volunteering and trying to make a better situation for those animals and finding a happy medium for those in search of the perfect pet.

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