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A question for folks who work in rescue....

July 8th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Hi All…a question for anyone out there who works in rescue….I do Westie Rescue here in Ontario and we just got in a little Westie from a family who did not want him any longer.

After he was surrendered to us, the original family e-mailed us letting us know that a man had now contacted them about the ad they previously had put in the newspaper offering this little Westie for free. They told the man he had been surrendered to Westies in Need and he has contacted me…not very happy at all to work with a rescue group…here are his comments…..

My point is the probing is that, or more than that of adopting a child.

Don't get me wrong, a home inspection is perfectly acceptable, but the rest of it is ridiculous in my view. And you end up driving "prospective" adopters away. I've seen this many times.

I don't want to enter into any discussion over this. I've been part of the rescue orgs, and have even fostered dogs, and have seen first hand people saying "good God, this is ridiculous." There are people with upwards of $750,000 homes, plush backyards, dog experience, even the breed experience, that end up getting fed up with your ridiculous system! A home inspection and that should be it. You are fanatical to the point of driving prospects away. Most people end up getting fed up, and just go and buy a puppy. And your rescue dog suffers at the hand of administration.

So here is my question…do you think he has a point???

We think our adoption procedure is a good one…submit an application, we contact you, we do a home visit and then if all goes well, the Westie is yours for a donation fee. Do you think some prospective owners see rescue organizations as fanatical??? Guess I am feeling a bit “touchy” right now as I usually hear the “Oh, thank God for folks like you who do this” comments..not the opposite.

July 8th, 2009, 02:48 PM
I say if they don't like it they don't have to work with a rescue...

but I'd remind them that great breeders and great rescues ALL do at least SOME background checks, usually very thorough ones, and if they really want no questions asked they can just toddle off to a byb or a puppymill/pet store and support the same industry that's creating all these rescue dogs in the first place...

or would that be snippy? :confused:

July 8th, 2009, 02:49 PM
My personal opinion is, just because someone owns a $750,000 house doesn't mean they are good pet owners. People with money can be just as abusive as a poor person. I see nothing wrong with rescue's making sure the animal is going to a safe and caring home. He's probably just mad that his FREE dog is now going to cost money.

July 8th, 2009, 02:52 PM
I would guess the man has never tried to adopt a child then. :rolleyes: Unless, of course, his name is Madonna.

In my opinion if the man is not willing to sign a contract, agree to a follow up visit, s/n, or anything else asked of him then he does not get the dog. Plain and simple.

July 8th, 2009, 03:27 PM
Corrie, it sounds like your particular applicant was very snooty....some of these show off types don't even have a dollar in the bank (so to speak). Others just think that money buys them a free pass to whatever they want.
Don't feel bad. :)

July 8th, 2009, 07:06 PM
:frustrated: my adopters say it would be easier to get a kid adopted from China than one of mine:D....Too fuffing bad..I make sure each of my rescues get a home just like idiots need apply...

July 8th, 2009, 07:33 PM
I just had a bad experience with a rescue called "Take Me Home" in Mississauga. I sent an application in, within 1/2 hour, I recieved a response saying that my application was "EXCELLENT" and that I was approved for adoption. I received a call and was asked to come by and see the dog that day. We drove 2 hours that evening to see the dog, with our other dog, to make sure they were compatible. When we got there, and the dogs met, the dog for adoption was coughing, so I asked the foster care giver if the dog was sick, she said it was most likely kennel cough. I offered a freindly suggestion, that it may not be the most appropraite time to show the dog to families other dogs. She was clearly offended, as this was not my intention. I had several questions regarding the history of the dog and what kind of medical treatment was sought. She was clearly annoyed that I was asking questions. I told her I was still interested and would like to adopt the dog. 2 days went by and I didn't recieve a response. I called and e-mailed, telling her I was interested. I recieved a response the next day from a different person from the organization, saying they didn't find our family suitable. I responded politley saying I was happy that they found the dog a good home and aksed if she could give feedback on why we weren't suitable, so we knew for future adoptions. I was sent a very unprofessional condescending letter. They said they were offended by my suggestions and were more than qualified to make the judgement calls they did regarding animals health. They implied that I wasn't qualified to make such suggestions. They said that "people like me are the reason why so many dogs are being looked over, because I expect a perfect dog".

When I responded that the questions and suggestion were not meant to be taken defensively and it was meant to be constructive and I was just expressing my concern over the dogs health, I recieved a response from yet another person saying, that the only reason why I made any suggestions was because I was upset that I wasn't getting the dog?

I'm still baffled at how unprofessional, defensive and arrogant these people were. The kicker is I have been a veterinary technician for 20 years, I have been rescuing dogs from shelters for 25 years. One of which of these dogs was paralyzed, another extremely obese and 2 diabetic cats. Take Me Home, did not ask me once about my background or qualifications and just made the assumption that I was clueless and heartless.

Can someone here explain to me why the adopters can't question the foster parents and their credentials, when the foster parents are questioning every comment and move the adopters make. What makes the foster parents more qualified to make judgements about your ability to care for an animal than some adopters if you don't even know their background? I find this behaviour extremely arrogant and off putting.

This was just one incident that I had...all of the other rescues I have dealt with have been stellar. I would never buy from a pet store or breeder and will always continue to rescue regardless of my experience. However, if this guy had a bad experience like the one I had, understandably that may have turned him off.

July 8th, 2009, 07:44 PM
I am sorry you went through adopters get all info I have on mine...

July 8th, 2009, 07:57 PM
Sometimes its over the top. I mean, I, ME, this crazy little dog fanatic wasnt allowed to adopt from the spca.. She didnt give us a reason at first (I SWEAR we were the perfect home, Breed experiance, hell, I walk a dog that had the same energy level, temprment, jeez they even LOOKED identical) but she didnt give us a reason, she was VERY snooty. She was even pissy to people that came in to give donations.. She finally found an excuse. She said we could adopt because we didnt have a fenced yard. (funny, my uncle adopted a very similar dog from them, and he doesnt have a fenced yard:rolleyes:) Who ultimitly suffered in the end? The dog did, He speant another full YEAR in the shelter, in a cage.. And i cant help but to think how many wonderful families get turned down, while thses dogs sit in shelters for months and months and months. I think most rescues are too quick to draw the line.
A volunteer later told us that she wouldnt let us adopt simply because 'she didnt like us'...

July 8th, 2009, 08:40 PM
So here is my question…do you think he has a point???

NO !!!

I am so SICK of people bitching about rescues ! Yes some rescues are so so , or not too good. But most of them are doing a pretty good job. It would be nice if people would get that , rescues are volunteers based , who work for the wellfare of DOGS and not PEOPLE ! They have to make sure they're placing the dog in the best home possible. These dogs are at their second , third , fourth .. different family. It's the rescue's job to make sure they find a GOOD and FOREVER family for these poor dogs.

This guy said he fostered before ? Sorry but , I doubt that. If he was so involved with a rescue , he should understand.

3 years ago , I tried to adopt an abused older Rott from a rescue in NY states. They had all my references , and knew I was fostering also , for another rescue. You know what ? I was denied. And you know what ? I completely understood and agreed with them. (the poor dog was blind and they felt it would be too much stress for her to live with 2 other dogs + fosters that come and go) and maybe I was living too far for their taste , anyway , I respected their decision and was glad they were more concern about the dog then about what I would think of them. :thumbs up

Golden Girls
July 9th, 2009, 08:13 AM
I wouldn't worry about what he thought pfft I was once accused of being the very reason people will buy from a pet shop and by a member of this forum :shrug: I was very insulted as well.

Many don't realize the work a rescue or er will do for even one dog and the very reason for screening is that you would like to make sure it's a forever home. Every rescue or er should be able to do as they see fit without criticism

It's easy to spot people who are in it to "puff" themselves up and I agree some are fanatical ... there are bad rescue & er's out there but for the most part people helping an animal are doing the best they can. If a potental adoptor doesn't see it that way ... they could always go the breeder route or whatever but there was no need to be so insulting :frustrated:

You seem to be doing wonderful work and you shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself in any way :thumbs up

July 9th, 2009, 08:15 AM
As Frenchy stated, rescues are volunteer run (everyone here knows that). They all run differently, they all have good intention, and they all have the animals welfare at heart.

Do they discriminate? Probably. It really is all based on experience. Do most have high standards - yes and if not - they should.

Rescues however have the responsibility to not only animals but the very least be polite, honest and forthcoming with adopters. It is about the animals, but it is about the people as well. Without people - there are no adoptions, referrals, donations and ultimately - no animals. I have been with rescues for years. What I have noticed is that rescues can be too hasty at times with rejecting potential adopters that are in fact wonderful homes, with wonderful people. Before I got hot and heavy into rescue, I applied for a dog and was denied - very rudely. Funny thing now - I am affiliated with this same rescue group years later and I can now have any dog I want just about. They forgot that I am the same person as years ago - but it's different now because they know me - but they could have known me back then had they taken the time.

It depends really on how the suggestion was addressed. If there was an arrogance about it - then they may have been put off based on that. Personally - I would have advised the potential adopter before hand as being a responsible rescue in order to ensure that the adopters dog (if there is one) is protected against.

There are stories about rescues. This one is better than this one etc... but in the end, all rescues do the best they can. They are doing it for the animals as there is no money in rescue. Why else would everyone go to such lengths to help animals in need.

People get put off by one rescue and then they bad mouth or swear off all rescues. Personally, I have had some pretty crappy men in my life but I have not sworn them off or lump them all together as being trash.

I think rescues sometimes need to relax a bit and treat people accordingly. Be honest, be polite and stop being so judgemental and investigate before turning people away because one minor criteria is not met. And if people ask questions or have suggestions - why not? It shows that there is concern, knowledge and maybe even something to offer.

Golden Girls
July 9th, 2009, 08:23 AM
Rescues however have the responsibility to not only animals but the very least be polite, honest and forthcoming with adopters. It is about the animals, but it is about the people as well. Without people - there are no adoptions, referrals, donations:thumbs up

July 9th, 2009, 08:28 AM
When I lost my Daisy, I called a couple rescues that had dogs I was interested in, one in Montreal, one in Ottawa, I am a VERY responsible pet owner, I gave my vets names, my trainers name, so many pets are walked daily, vetted when needed, best of food (to my knowledge) I live on the outskirts of a small city with tons of hiking trails, bushes, farms and beaches. I rehab wild life, help with the spca when needed for fund raising etc. My pets went everywhere with me, they are part of our family. ...............I was rejected, they never called any of my references , never spoke to my vets or trainer....the reason was that my huge yard was not fenced in. The city allows me to keep children without the yard fenced in. We were accepted after almost a year of paperwork etc to adopt a child, yet I was rejected from adopting a dog/pup. Man, that really hit me hard. I can completely understand rescues rejecting people that don't walk pets, don't vet them, but to not even check me out? Thats when I got Brina, I called about an ad on line, refused to pay big money for a mixed pup then received a call from the owner asking me to take one free and help him find homes for the other 7 which I did. So I don't know....should I have been insulted? or should I be happy that rescues are strict enough to ensure all their dogs/cats go to great homes. A fenced yard does not ensure that a dog will be socialized, walked or exercised. I do bow down to rescues for all the hard work they do and yes I still donate to them all the time, especially when help is needed for a certain dog. Would YOU adopt a dog to me??

P.S. please disregard all the pics of abused Brina dressed in funny clothing *L* NOW would you adopt a dog to me? *S*

Golden Girls
July 9th, 2009, 08:58 AM
Well Melinda, lucky for both you and Brina you got refused ... your so bad no fence :wall:

Personally I'd prefer to adopt to someone without a yard even, at least that would ensure me that dog will be properly exercised IMO

and btw yes you help in every aspect in our animal kingdom :angel2: and have donated plenty of times personally when I've needed help with vet costs.

I even want you to adopt me :D

July 9th, 2009, 09:02 AM
*LOL* how many walks do you need a day GG???? do I need a halti? shock collar maybe? *L*

thank you for the compliments and yes....thankfully I did get turned down for Brina's sake.....the spoiled brat!*Running to get the spare room ready for you*

July 9th, 2009, 09:12 AM
Melinda - the fact that you did not get a response or your references checked just proves that the rescue and whatever dog you did not get - suffered. Their loss!

I am with GG on this. Fenced yard does not mean the dog is getting proper walks and socialization. It is a quick way to let the dog relieve themselves without you having to get ready, dress appropriately, get your poopie bags and walk the dog. I think a fenched yard is a bonus but should not be a pre-requisite. That is just ridiculous. And yes - I have heard this before and I do NOT agree that this is terribly important.

Would I adopt to you? If I did not know you here, then I would do all the background checks. An unfenched yard would not be a reason for me to turn you down Melinda that is for sure.

July 9th, 2009, 09:22 AM
thank you BenMax *S*

July 9th, 2009, 10:23 AM
Thanks everyone for your wonderful replies! We do work very hard to make sure that all our little Westies get the very best homes available. It is hard to say no to families who want a dog…but sometimes we have to. Now, that said, we are VERY nice about saying no, we answer any and all questions that people have.

I think what perhaps happens is that sometimes folks get so caught up wanting a Westie RIGHT NOW…they may not think it through. They send in an adoption application that says they want an older, quiet Westie who loves to cuddle..they do not want to potty train, but are looking for a bit more of a “made” dog….THEN…they look on the website and see a wild, puppy mill Westie who is gonna need a strong owner, a ton of rehab and will need someone home 100% of the time as he/she has separation anxiety up the ying/yang! Now they think that Westie is PERFECT for them…so we then have to speak to them about what is best for the dog…

We are lucky as most of the folks on our adoption lists already have one Westie and are looking to add another one (Westies are like potato chips…you can’t just have one!) so they are quite educated about the breed and terriers in general.

But again…THANKS to everyone for making me feel better. The guy really had me bummed.

I think what bugged me also is that he copied the original owner on all the e-mails he sent me…I sure hope she was not second guessing her decision to surrender! I have not responded to his e-mails after the initial one, so I am not sure why he feels a need to continue and tell me what he thinks of rescue...(she sent him an e-mail yesterday telling him to stop!):loser:

Here is the last e-mail he sent her yesterday and copied me

I've dealt with these people in the past. Hell, I was in it volunteering, and I was frustrated for people who wanted to give loving homes, but were put off by the process.

1) An Application
2) References (at least two)
3) A home inspection
4) A non-announced visit.

...what's next, a physical from your doctor? I'm not being facetious here. This is what they put your through, and most people walk away, and go buy a pup. They are fanatics that think they are doing the animal justice by turning away prospective adopters by smothering them in administration.

Oh Jeez! :wall:

July 9th, 2009, 10:48 AM
I would respond to this nutwad and ensure again that this woman is CC'd. I would politely explain how your organization works and why it is important to verify and turn every stone. Describe your experience with puppymill dogs and where they came from. Explain how it is your responsibility to end suffering and this is why you do what you do.

This will shut this liar up (I say liar - because if he ever fostered for a rescue he should know better and I highly doubt him) and will also secure the woman.

Don't let him get the last word. Write back and then do not respond if he responds back. You did your job educating and desensitizing. Your work will then be done.

July 9th, 2009, 11:47 AM
I think that this is just one of those things that happens when trying to judge the character of a person without actually knowing them, some people seem nice face to face and their info checks out and then they end up being crazy and returning the animal anyway. Some people might check out and face to face be weird but actually end up being a good home lost. Although a lot of the time shelters do do a good job on checking out the people looking to adopt there will always be misses eaither rejecting good homes or accepting bad ones.

July 9th, 2009, 12:07 PM
1) An Application
2) References (at least two)
3) A home inspection
4) A non-announced visit.

While I understand the the first 3 conditions, I have to be honest and think that the 4th one is a little abrasive.

It is like saying that even though, they had enough trust in you and let you adopt a dog, that there is still concern of not trusting the adoptee. Most shelters once they have adopted a dog, the shelter does not do a unannouced visit.

Now, if the person is just fostering, then by all means you have the right to make an unannouced visit. Also have to say that I don't understand how that can be even visable. I when fostering, you are not legally that animal's owner, it is the shelters, rescues...therefore they can pop over anytime really. But once you adopt an animal, that animal is legally yours. So, can't just go over to someone's house..unless you have a complaint regarding the animals welfare.


July 9th, 2009, 02:47 PM
but thought it may be of interest

July 9th, 2009, 03:36 PM
AC022..yes I was not sure about that one as well.

We don’t do “surprise” I think he was referring to other rescues he has maybe dealt with and not Westies in Need??? Not sure at this point what he means…and not too sure if I care as well. :shrug:

The first 3 conditions he mentions we certainly do have:
An application
Reference check
Home Visit

But the surprise visit we don’t do…we trust the folks we adopt Westies out to. We do follow ups via the phone and e-mail to see how things are going, but we sure don’t just show up at someone’s home.

We also send them a little card of congratulations and some Westie gifts to say thanks when the adoption is finalized!:thankyou:

July 9th, 2009, 04:57 PM
Yeah, the first three are a given I think. Sorry, I must have read it wrong. I thought that the 4th condition was one your the recuse that you work had applied.


July 10th, 2009, 08:50 AM
I work in rescue. Luckily I work more with the animals than people.

Please don't let what this person has said affect you in any way. Without people like you where would all the wonderful dogs end up.

Not everyone can agree, even on this forum we all have our own opinions, but it does not mean that we don't respect each other.

Keep up the good work and don't let people like this :clown: upset you too much because he is not worth it.

P.S. My next door neighbour just got a Westie pup. His name is Angus and he is a sweetie.

Jim Hall
July 10th, 2009, 09:16 AM
i can see this from bith points of view when my inherited cat that was going to be abandoned by the former tenant in an apt wwhere i moved died suddenly i apllied to about 5 diif agencies .

single guy last cat died cat befor was rehomed lives abouve a resturaunt
i got turned down luck i found someone who knew my vet and i got DU
I gotta say i am an excellent owner but from the history the agencies didnt want anything to do with me.

July 10th, 2009, 09:21 AM
I work in rescue. Luckily I work more with the animals than people.

Please don't let what this person has said affect you in any way. Without people like you where would all the wonderful dogs end up.

Not everyone can agree, even on this forum we all have our own opinions, but it does not mean that we don't respect each other.

Keep up the good work and don't let people like this :clown: upset you too much because he is not worth it.

P.S. My next door neighbour just got a Westie pup. His name is Angus and he is a sweetie.

:thumbs up. Nicely put.

And Jim Hall - DU was meant to be with you. Everything happens for a reason - I truly believe in this theory.:)