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David Merl asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Why does it seem like dog "rescue" organizations don't want to adopt the animals out?

I applied to adopt a dog from two rescues only to be rejected from each because I couldn't provide vet references. This would be my first dog (first non-fish pet). I met one of the rescue workers and she really seemed like little more than a hoarder (someone really should rescue the dogs from her).

I insist on finding a puppy and am open to a variety of small to medium sized dog breeds. But now that two rescues basically scammed me out of a small application fee, I'm completely put off from contacting any rescue group. Leaving me to either wait for a pup to arrive at the local shelter (pups are adopted almost immediately), or, *groan*, buy a pup from a pet store.

Anyone else had bad experiences with "rescue" groups?

Update:

Yes i did make a note that this would be my first non-fish pet. This is because for the past 10 years I've been in school, renting, and moving around alot.... now I'm in a house that I own and plan to live in for a long while.

As a side note, I have been checking at 2 local shelters regularly. Just came back from one before posting. They did have great dane puppies, all but one were adopted or on hold. Puppies seem rare at the shelter. But, a great dane is too big for me anyway (being realistic).

13 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    are you putting a note on the application that this is your first time owning a dog? Perhaps find a vet that you plan to use.

    Rescues are trying to put dogs in proper homes.. they want to assure the dogs go to permanant homes- they dont want to see the dog in a shelter, abandoned, neglected, abused or ending up back in the rescue. They tend to be very picky about who they adopt to to assure the dog goes to a good home.

    There are plenty of shelters to adopt from too.. they require nothing more than your ID and an adoption fee. If you go often enough, you can easily find a puppy to adopt.

    Buying from a petshop is NEVER an option. Why do people think that is the solution when they cant get what they want thru a rescue? You can certainly find a REPUTABLE breeder to purchase a pup from if you cant get one thru a shelter or rescue.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Rescue groups come in all shapes and sizes. The buyer/adopter really has to be careful that they are getting a dog from a reputable place. I would say to start by checking to see if the rescue is a registered non-profit group. You can do that on Guidestar.org

    There are many groups that hoard animals and they usually eventually get shut down by bigger organizations like humane societies. Always make sure that you visit the place where the dogs are being housed and if you see something that makes you uncomfortable, then call the appropriate authority.

    On the other hand, rescue work is very emotional so I think there is a strong protective element when it comes to rehoming dogs. Some volunteers have a hard time giving up the pet they have fostered. A good way to vet rescue groups is to ask how long, on average, dogs are in foster care before they are rehomed. If you find that dogs spend years in foster care on a regular basis, then walk away.

    Other possible sources of pets...

    STAY AWAY from pet stores that sell puppies (pure breds and "doodles"). These pups come from puppy mills and buying them encourages the inhumane and unethical practice. You may also end up with congenital defects, either physical or emotional.

    Talk with a manager at the local humane society and explain what you have been going thru. I bet you will find a sympathetic ear and someone willing to help.

    Search Petfinder.com and see what other groups you can find in your area and check them out. Ask for references.

    Animal Control centers may also do adoptions. These are usually government run facilities that don't put as much "work" into the animals as a private group would do, but you are still helping a homeless animal.

    Good luck. Don't get discouraged. You'll find your buddy!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Most rescues don’t require that you have owned a pet before in order to adopt and most don’t charge an application fee. They do want to know that you are prepared for the commitment and responsibility of owning a pet and have done some research. In my experience the vast majority of rescues are just trying to look out for their animals – of course there are exceptions.

    I’ve fostered many animals and most adopters are good, responsible people. However, I have had calls from the local shelter that an animal the rescue I worked with adopted out has been turned in there. Luckily, we microchip and got the animals back pretty quickly but these were shelters that do euthanize when space is limited or an animal doesn’t do well there. Unfortunately rescuers see some pretty awful stuff so they really want to be careful about where their animals end up.

    Please don’t go to a pet store. It’s true that 90% of the dogs there are from puppymills and you will be supporting them. The stores will not disclose the origins of the dogs or the conditions their parents really live in. Many will even blatantly lie in order to sell dogs.

    Some rescues will let you be pre-approved and then when a dog meeting your criteria is available, you will be first in line. You could ask some local groups about that. Also, Craigslist.com has a pet section for people who have pets they need to find new homes for. Breeders are prohibited but they will try to post anyway. There are also people there who will charge “re-homing fees” that are really high because they are selling to make a profit so you have to be wary and ask questions.

    However, there are also people there who have to give up pets because they are moving, develop allergies, or just can’t handle the cute little puppy they so desperately wanted and are looking to find their pet a new home. Many just charge a small fee to make sure you are serious about the animal and are not going to re-sell or abuse it.

    I would try petfinder.com, craigslist, the local shelters – if you really look you will find a great dog or puppy from a person/group who will be happy that you will give it a good forever home. It might take a little time to find the right dog, but you could have the dog for 15 or more years, so it really is worth putting in the effort.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, rescues are very picky about who they adopt dogs to because the dogs they get have been neglected, dumped abandoned and nine times out of ten have heartworm, aren't fixed, pregnant and basically been afforded NO medical care, so yes, they want to make sure that the person that gets them next won't do the same thing and fail to provide basic care such as heartworm medication, flea and tick etc. If you have NO vet history to where you can show you've cared for every animal you've owned then they are going to be very wary of wanting to give you a dog since they assume you neglect care also.

    Did you tell them this is your first animal EVER? and that is the reason you dont' have a vet? I suggest that you go down and find a vet you would consider using and talk to them. Then put the vet down as a vet reference but give an explanation that you have never owned an animal before, that you have chosen a vet that you will use when and if you get the dog.

    To be honest I volunteer for rescues and I have called references on applicants, a lot of times they want to know that the person adopting has experience with either a specific breed or a dog in general before they will consider them. Granted people have to start somewhere with their first dog, I suggest a shelter they do screen but tell them this is your first animal but you have a vet lined up for basic medical care etc. Shelters screen but aren't as strict as rescue groups tend to be.

    Or try a breeder, even a back yard breeder is better than a pet store. Never buy from a petstore all you will do is adopt a host of medical problems (that's if the dog lives past the first two weeks) and you will be supporting puppy mills.

    Don't give up but explain your situation as best as you can so they know up front or they will just think you've never provided medical care for your pets.

    Good luck personally I'd actually go to a meet and greet that a rescue is holding where you can talk directly with the coordinators and see if they are willing to work with you.

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  • Gloria
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I work with a private rescue that does pull only "small, cute, adoptable dogs" from my county's high kill shelters. This rescue is based in an area of Florida where they are only able to adopt out the smaller dogs. HOWEVER, they do take old, ill, and "difficult" animal. I have personally pulled dogs that are well over 10 years old. I have pulled animals with "bite" histories. Yes, they do charge a higher adoption fee (usually between $200 and $300) than the local shelter, but they have a higher adoption rate. They also spend a significant amount of money on medical for these animals that they pull each year. I would like to believe that any 501(k) rescue IS legitimate. However, if they can't get their 501(k), I would be worried. (Although, I know it takes time to get the 501(k).) They way I determine which is which, is simple research.

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  • anne b
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Wow. I think it is very wrong to charge a fee just to apply. What are their reasons for doing that?

    As a regional coordinator for a breed rescue group, I can only say that applications from people who have never owned a dog before are harder to process, but they should be checking a personal reference and getting to know you before making a judgment.

    When we process applications like this, we are usually more wary of people who insist on a puppy. Why? If it is your first dog, a puppy is much more work and you may not be prepared for it. A young adult would be a much better choice for someone with no experience, but people invariably always want puppies, puppies, puppies.

    As far as why shelters very seldom have puppies, people don't dump their dogs until they are older. Puppies are cute, but when the pup begins to grow up with no training and no vetting, or has genetic issues, it is just so easy to dump the older dog. Breed rescues are in the same boat. We take in tons of younger adults, but no one gives up their puppies.

    If you really and truly want to be realistic, put away your desire for a puppy, puppy, puppy, and start listening to the counsel of rescue volunteers who have the experience and know how to find you the perfect companion animal. We know what we are doing, and should be a resource for you, not an enemy.

    I would Google breed rescue in your area for the breed you are interested in, and start there. Many rescues work with people who have never owned a dog before, and we can be a valuable support to someone who is just starting out. I give my cell number to every adopter and urge them to call with any question or issue, no matter how trivial. That is what I am there for.

    To the poster who thinks we should not have contracts: Why on earth would I even consider giving a living thing to someone who won't sign a contract? We exist for the benefit and safety of the dogs, not the convenience of every nut who wants a dog. Contracts are written and signed to protect the animals. It is one of the few ways we have to somewhat guarantee that an animal will be safe and well cared for, and not end up euthanized next week after we walk away.

    Source(s): Rescue volunteer
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  • 1 decade ago

    Some are not real rescues. Some are in it just for the money, and that's how they get it, short of breeding their own dogs. You have to be careful, and unfortunately, it's people like that that give real, legitimate rescues a bad name.

    Where are you located? What are the names of these "rescues" you contacted?

    I would wait for the perfect dog to come into the shelter. Don't be so desperate for a dog that you would even consider buying one from a pet store - You know it's wrong. Be patient, the right dog will come along.

    Keep applying at rescues, and check your shelters frequently.

    Even travel out of your area. I drove two hours to adopt my dog from a shelter. It was well worth the drive.

    Try:

    http://www.petfinder.com

    http://www.1-800-saveapet.com

    http://www.petharbor.com

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  • 1 decade ago

    I often get the same feeling. "rescue groups" for specific breeds can have very high standards AND make you sign a contract saying they can take the dog back if they feel you aren't being a good owner. Meanwhile, while they hold onto their dogs, hundreds die every day in shelters.

    I would keep tabs on your local shelter. County shelters often get in tons of dogs as strays and surrenders and nearly always have to euthanize dogs to make room for more coming in. Its tragic. Some are pure breeds, rare breeds, some have had extensive training.

    Also, while puppies are adorable, for a first time owner i would recommend adopting a dog at 2-3 years. At that age, many are housetrained, and have gotten past their teething stage. All adult dogs from the pound will be spayed/neutered, with young puppies they may provide you with a voucher and when they get old enough you have to take them in yourself for the surgery. With a puppy you will have to do all that yourself, and socialize them. Grown dogs are still cute and silly too, and often get passed up for the fuzzy pups!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I know how you feel. I applied to a retired greyhound rescue. Paid thirty bucks for the application fee only to get rejected because my backyard was not big enough. BTW my back yard is 1000 square feet but apparently that was not big enough.

    That had had the dog I wanted for over six years in the rescue. That is why if I will go to a shelter if I want a dog.

    ADD: If you cannot find a puppy why not opt for an older dog. They are easier to care for then puppies.

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  • Holly
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Many rescue groups are run by volunteers who care deeply for the animals they rescue. They want to be SURE that the animals they are adopting out will be treated and cared for properly and go to the best possible homes. It's too bad you were rejected as a first time dog owner because you do not have a vet. But as I said before, they want to make sure the dog will be cared for. Don't blame the rescue, blame the loser dog owners who don't provide proper medical care for their animals.

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