Are Shelters too judgemental?
Ive had rescues in the past both in the UK and here in NL but recently Ive been hearing stories about shelters in the UK being really judgemental when doing home checks. One person was declared ok by two rescues but when applying via a third because they had a dog to suit the family they were told they didnt pass a home check. Some people are refused because their garden is too small , they are considered too old (50+) because they work or that they live in the wrong area.
Here in NL the process is much more relaxed (the Dutch are relaxed about most things!) and shelters are there to help you make the right choice and support you in your adoption rather than to judge.
In the UK I know OH and I would fail a home check, we are both over 50 OH has a health issue which limits his life expectancy, our garden is gravel ( even though we only let Murphy out there for a pee and to play in his pool...) we also have a parrot who is not social at all. All these things would count against us and yet look at Murphy , I dont think anyone could say we do a bad job looking after and caring for him. Over here there wouldnt be such a problem the shelter might suggest that we adopt an adult dog or a smaller dog who would be easier to manage rather than a large dog like a rottie or german shepard but that would be about it.
I wonder whats it like where you live?
@mad-murphy Interesting question!
I have recent experience with adopting our two pups in the last 3 years, and a good friend coordinates adoption events with multiple shelters/foster organizations in our area.
The Seattle area is very popular for pet adoption. Many companies are pet friendly. A number of them, like Amazon, allow employees to bring their dogs to work. Just walking along the streets of SoDo (South Seattle) and Lake Union district, you see so many young people with dogs. My friend "in the business" explained that in many cases, it's like a business. Dogs are brought in from all over the state, and other nearby states, like Oregon, California and Hawaii. In addition, from far away places; I have two friends that have adopted dogs from Iraq. Somehow they are brought in through the military, I suppose.
Our first adoptee was Woody who originally came from Hawaii - Maui. They do a lot of wild boar hunting there, and the treatment of the hunting dogs depends on the hunt company ownership. Woody was dumped in the Maui Humane Shelter's overnight bin with 5 other hunting dogs. Alaska Airlines transports dogs for free with sponsorship, so Seattle Humane works to bring many of those dogs here.
Woody came to the Seattle Humane and was adopted by a young college student and her boyfriend who lived in a one room apartment. I don't know how they were able to adopt him because his paperwork stated that he needed lots of exercise and training. I'm assuming there was no home inspection. The owner told us that she enjoyed running/jogging with Woody. It would have probably worked out okay, but then she graduated, started traveling more and most likely Woody was not exercised enough.
Woody came to us because we inquired through the breed organization that assists with rescue of Griffs (wirehaired pointing griffons) in the US and Canada. We filled out an application, did a phone interview and then got called when Woody came up for placement. The original young owners had an incident where a family member was bit after they had Woody for 7 months. They called the breed org. to see if they could find someone to take him ASAP.
Woody was extremely fearful (bit my husband first thing), had a number of skin issues, infected ears, broken teeth (we found out later), and needed a lot of training. It's been a long road and we are still taking him to a dermatologist 3 hour drive away to heal his ear problems (so much scar tissue from constant ear infections).
We became good friends with one of the members from the breed organization that helped us adopt him. We had many discussions on the phone helping us with "Woody issues". She came to visit us to see how he was doing when she had some business in the area. She lives in North Carolina.
Our other pup, Waggle, came to us from a notification from the breed organization that there was a potential candidate at a Shelter just north of Seattle. We filled out the paperwork, talked with the Shelter on the phone, drove to the Shelter and introduced her to Woody under their supervision, signed some paperwork (including an agreement of care) and we were done.
So in both cases, there was no home inspection prior to adoption for us. For us, I thought the breed organization did a pretty thorough job of phone interviews and follow-ups. Shelters not so much.
@Griff Mom great that you adopted, and it sounds fairly relaxed.
Maybe one of the issues in the UK is that many landlords and companies are not dog friendly, I have to admit I havent lived there for a long time so I only know what friends tell me. But the worry is as one man said he was messed about by three different rescues each one setting different standards , one saying his part time work was no issue another saying they didnt consider adoptees who worked and had to leave the dog alone one said his living in a house with only a back yard was no problem as he is a keen walker the other said no garden = no dog. It got to a point that he seriously considered just buying a dog from a private seller or breeder even though this went against his gut feeling of adoption being the way to go.
Luckily he eventually found a rescue who would help and he and his dog are now very happy. But I cant help but wonder how many people would have just given up and bought a dog?
I know we are a small country just 17 million people but at the moment there are just 483 dogs up for adoption on the countries shelter data base. I cant help but think this small number is because shelters here are more welcoming, more relaxed and more helpful in their atttitude.
@mad-murphy I think more relaxed and especially more helpful can provide adopters w/ good matches with their pets! It's great that your friend persevered and got a great match! My friend's non-profit does quite a bit with follow-up and education for new pet owners at their adoption events. I posed the same question to her regarding homechecks. Here is what she had to say:
So it sounds like the breed specific organizations are sometimes a bit more strict because of smaller volume and supply/demand. Another friend told me that the majority of dogs in the Shelters are pit bulls, large black dogs and chihuahuas. When other breeds come into the Shelters, they are adopted quickly. I wonder if that is true in other places and why?
I've seen a lot of different types of shelters and rescues here in New York. Some are extremely lenient and will adopt out quickly, and others have very, very strict rules.
When I first applied for a pug at a large rescue, I wasn't even contacted for a followup, but the next rescue responded immediately. What I like about the rescue Pompey came from is that the fosters are very thorough and want to make sure the dog is in the best home possible. It's a lot of scrutiny and a lot of questions with multiple home visits, but I didn't mind. I also want the best for the dogs. Luckily, I was chosen for Pom. He's the best!
I have a fenced in back yard, but I did have to get a secure front entry deck with a gate in order to be able to adopt him.
@mad-murphy i can understand the "why" .. trying to get pets into the right homes and not returned again. But i sometimes think they could be a little more flexible.
when i went through the torturous first phone interview to adopt Maybe i thought for certain i would be rejected. I leave the house at 7am and don't get home again until 5pm (and it depresses me when i think about it - i only get about 4 hours a night to do chores, play with dogs, eat, etc - i need longer days!) but the rescue decided to "trust her gut" and give me a chance.
It is hard - crazy hard! to make sure that Brick gets enough. He will be 5 years old this thursday and i still don't know that i have a good balance. Textbook says he needs at least one hour a day of hard exercise. But between work, rain and unexpectedries, on average, he gets an 45-60 minutes every other day. I am so lucky that Maybe is so much easier! (if you don't count the couch cover she just split in two!)
But honestly, i don't know, if the tables were turned, if i would have let me adopt two high energy dogs. On paper, it's gonna be a fail.
I hate waiting....
Now this is a point, four days ago I wrote the email to the rescue who were begging for parents for the babies in their care..
Not a peep , no answer, no call, not even a quick automatic response to say they have my mail.....
Im phoning today but I can see why many people would just say... well I wont bother then.
we are on the list... I phoned had to try two numbers finally got them on a cell phone number. They hadnt seen my mail.. 'Oh, well, they sometimes get 'lost ' was the explaination.! But I gave my details and they have formally invited me to the first stage of adoption procedings which is an information afternoon , then the house visit and if we pass... adoption...
wait... what?? YOU are the adopter?? omgoodness! of what! pictures!!!
Early days but if we pass the home visit ( and the lady I spoke to was very positive) we will be adopting an ex laboratory beagle. There is a charity here who regularly rehome them and the latest group are ready for new homes....hopefully we will be one of the lucky ones who is chosen.
OMGosh - so exciting! I've my fingers crossed for you @mad-murphy! So wonderful that you are adopting and an ex-lab pup to boot - gives me goosebumps! These pups have 'done their duty' to mankind and now a chance at an amazing forever home with your family. Hoping all goes well and looking forward to your updates!!!
Thank you @Griff-Mom and @AmongTrees adoption and rescue have always been close to my heart, Murphy is the very first non rescue dog we have ever had. But he is all alone and we think he would be happy to have a friend to walk with and chase balls with, someone to play tug of war and mess about with.
Health wise for OH things are not looking as bleak as doctors expected and they admit that part of this is lifestyle , all the walking and outdoor activities we do with Murphy seem to be really paying off.
So with all of that in mind and the fact that its been 18 years since we were last a one dog household we thought we would give it a shot and see if we pass the adoption tests. I have to attend an information afternoon on April 14th and then they arrange a home visit to see if you are beagle proof.. (after 14 years living with a beagle I think we have a fairly good idea of how to be beagle proof)
The charity have sent some information, they say if you want to adopt a beagle you must be prepared to cuddle them , love them , walk them lots, have them close to you all over the house...
I let out a sigh of relief when I read that, crates are so popular here and I hate them. So our dogs have always had day beds downstairs and night beds upstairs with us. I cant see the point in having a dog if you dont walk and as for cuddles.. Well there is nothing quite so wonderful as a snuggle with your dog.
I will keep you all updated about the procedure and who knows hopefully we will soon hear the sound of beagle paws here at Murphy mansions !
goosebumps here, too!! I am so excited for you!!
🙄 I'm a crater, tho. which is why i said a lot of rescues would reject me. But Brick panics if he eats any place but his crate - it's the only way he can feel safe. and Maybe... ugh. If she was free the whole time i was at work - no doubt she'd eat the whole house. They play crazy rough - they sound like a pack of wolves, sooo.... it's just safer they spend half my work day ""resting"" 🤣
this blood bath happened while i was home!