A very common complaint heard with respect to dog rescue groups is “they play God.” This complaint generally comes from people who have been denied approval to adopt a dog from said rescue group for dubious reasons or from people who have researched a group before bothering to apply for adoption and have come across the same complaint. If the rescue volunteers, who so obviously feel they need to protect dogs from bad humans, were as committed to protecting children, this world would be a much better place.
Far too frequently, the reasons given for denying adoption of a dog are reasons that are never applied to children, although it might be good if they were. The following list gives the most common reasons for denying dog adoptions. As you read this list, be considering if we as a society are as demanding about the birth and/or adoption of children as the rescues are of their dog adoptions.
1) Dog rescues have a pervading belief that they must thoroughly investigate their applicants. Some rescuers have been quoted as saying, “We wouldn’t just adopt our dogs to anyone.” These groups question your vet, they ask about every pet you have ever owned and demand to know why you don’t still have them, they ask how much you make, etc. Yet just “anyone” can have a baby. People can have a child with no one’s permission, but these same people may not be allowed to adopt a dog from a rescue group!
2) Almost all dog rescues require a home inspection before they will approve an adoption. Rescues feel they must inspect the home to make certain it is safe for the dog. No fence = denial. Exposed wires = denial. Poisonous plants = denial. “Unsafe conditions” = denial. Do we inspect the homes of prospective parents? No! We do inspect the homes of people applying to adopt a child, but problems are communicated and time is given for the any problems to be corrected. It is unfortunate the same does not apply to dog adoptions.
3) With very few exceptions, rescue groups do not approve adoptions for anyone living in an apartment. Are we as demanding for either having a baby or adopting a child?
4) Young children in the home = denial. The very worst example of this I encountered was a couple whose children were grown and newly married. The rescue decided that the grown children MIGHT have a baby which would mean grand babies in the house. Therefore, the potential grandparents were denied for adoption!
5) Rescue groups regularly deny adoption if anyone in the family has allergies to pets. If you have allergies, you may have a baby or adopt a child, but you may not adopt a dog from a rescue group!
6) Rescues tend to adopt only to the “worthy.” This too often means white, wealthy, and actively involved with the rescue. Fortunately, we don’t require this of potential parents.
7) These groups are generally opposed to breed specific dog ban legislation because of the generalizations that are made; but these very same people make generalizations about humans on a daily basis.
8) Rescues are often not honest about the serious health problems–mental or physical–their dogs possess. Hopefully, we are more honest with people looking to adopt a child.
9) Rescue groups insist on making sure that all animals in the household are “compatible.” I even saw a question on a dog adoption application asking how the current pets would adapt to a new dog in the household. We can no more know how well current pets will adapt to a new dog than we can know how children will adapt to a new sibling!
10) Dog rescue groups are quite willing to force their dogs to stay in kennels for weeks or months while the groups routinely deny adoption to people who would make perfectly acceptable homes for the dog because “acceptable” is not good enough. Fortunately, with human adoption, we understand that perfect homes are few and far between, that a loving home IS desirable, and that staying in a “facility” any longer than necessary is never acceptable!
In addition to questionable adoption applications, many rescues have equally questionable adoption contracts. In a recent trend, many rescue groups are adjusting their adoption contracts to include a clause giving them the “right ” to visit your home at any time in the future and reclaim the dog if they don’t like what they see. This clause means that you do not OWN your dog. You signed a leasing agreement.
If a dog rescue group makes it more difficult to adopt a dog than to adopt a child, or it retains its “right” to reclaim your desired dog, then you need to look elsewhere. I highly recommend your local humane society or animal shelter. Adopting a dog shouldn’t be as difficult as many rescue groups make it! I would also encourage rescue volunteers who so diligently look after the welfare of the dogs to consider volunteering some time to child protective services. Hopefully, our children are viewed as at least as important as the dogs.