Are you considering adopting a dog from a rescue center? Considering there are so many dogs that need a home, it may be a surprise to learn it’s actually quite difficult to adopt a dog from a shelter. Because these dogs have been through so much, it’s important they get the right forever home. They often have specific living requirements, diets and specialist care that makes them harder to home than throughout bred puppies.
If your application ends up being rejected, don’t take it personally. You might have your application rejected by one dog shelter, or one dog, but that doesn’t mean another shelter won’t be happy to move your application forward. Here are some reasons why it’s so hard to adopt a dog from a rescue centre:
Why is it so Hard to Adopt a Dog from a Rescue Center?
Dogs who end up in rescue centers have lived a difficult life. They have usually been abandoned and abused, so they come with trust issues and hang-ups. Shelters will put up strict requirements to make sure it never happens to the poor dog again. Their aim is to re-home the dog for life, so it never gets abandoned again.
Lengthy Application Form
The application form and process are purposely difficult to deter those who aren’t serious about the adoption process. If a shelter makes their rules too loose, it could result in a returned dog, who will be further traumatized. The whole point of the application process is to ensure that you can prove that you are ready to adopt a dog.
Read on the learn more about the application process and how you show yourself in the best light. We have given some tips on how to make a good first impression on an animal shelter.
Although every rescue center will have slightly different rules, they all have a similar policy. Their strict rules may make it seem like they are purposely making it impossible to adopt. These rules are only in place for the mind of your dog’s safety and the comfort of your family.
Volunteers have seen it all, they have seen the poor conditions dogs come in. They want to make sure the same scenario never happens again; this is why they may come across as judgemental towards adopters. Sadly, there are reports of adopted dogs being abused, so they want to check you are a good person. Don’t take it personally, they only want the best for you and your dog.
The rules are also in place to ensure you get the right dog for your family and lifestyle. You don’t want to get an anxious dog who may bite and scratch your kids. Remember, these dogs come from bad homes and can easily act out.
A lot of people have been interested in adopting a dog recently. A rescue group will get a lot of pet applications on a daily basis. In the ideal world, there will be more people wanting to adopt than dogs to be adopted. Every application will need to be vetted and check, which takes up time.
Did you know:
Research says that there’s a 250% increase in dog adoptions since 2020.
Rescues are private organizations who mainly rely on donations and volunteers. Volunteers will rarely work full time, and they work for free so it can take time to process very application. While it’s okay to check in with your application, always be police and understand volunteers are very busy.
Did you know:
To make the process easier for the volunteers, only apply if you meet the criteria of the rescue center.
Why are Applications Commonly Rejected?
There are many reasons why your application for adopting a rescue dog might be rejected. It is often a minor issue, which may seem unfair, but it’s for the good of both you and the dog you are adopting. A lot goes into the adoption procession, and the rescue centre only wants the best for their dogs. Here are some common reasons why applications to adopt rescue dogs are rejected:
Dog rescue shelters take the environment the dog will be living in very seriously. A good shelter will come and visit your home and check our secure and comfortable it is. They will check your fences and doors, ensuring the dog will not easily escape and be injured by passing cars or other animals in the neighborhood.
If you have a yard or garden, it should be big enough for the dog to enjoy without being unsafe. A dog must have an adequate space to exercise, play and go to the bathroom. If you don’t have enough outdoor space, or have a space that isn’t fenced off, your application may be rejected.
If you rent a home on a short-term lease (which is considered 12 months or less) this may also lead to your application being rejected. The rescue center will not consider a short-term lease a secure environment to bring a dog into. What if your next place doesn’t allow pets, or has an unsuitable outdoor area?
Your lifestyle plays an important role in adopting a rescue pet. Dogs need love and attention, especially rescue dogs who may be more sensitive and scared of being alone. If you have a busy life, they may not think bringing a dog into it is suitable. I
If you work long and antisocial hours, your application may be rejected. They won’t want a dog adopted and moved into an empty house. If you or your partner works part-time or work from home, your application is more likely to be accepted.
If you are someone who frequently travels and are away from home a lot, you might not be the right choice to adopt a dog. It will be hard to create a healthy dog-owner relationship if you aren’t at home from the much.
Dogs don’t just need company; they also need to exercise and care. Your lifestyle should allow time to walk them at least half an hour a day. If you don’t think you have this time, perhaps owning a dog isn’t the right choice for your lifestyle.
Members of the House
The whole house can affect whether your application is rejected or not. Not just your partner and children, but also other pets in your house. Your new dog needs to be moving into a welcoming and harmonious environment.
The first thing you need to do is make sure everyone in the house is happy with adopting a dog. They shouldn’t be scared, and they shouldn’t be allergic. The rescue center wants your dog to not be returned because someone in the house is allergic to their fur.
If you have young children, make sure they understand that they are getting a new pet who isn’t a toy. Sometimes rescue dogs are scared by loud noises and people getting too close with them. If you have small kids, it’s especially important for the safety of the dog and your children that you get the right rescue pet.
How to Get Approved for a Rescue Dog
If you want to adopt a dog from a rescue center, you will need to fill out an application form. Every shelter will be different and have different requirements, although the broad process will usually be the same.
Did you know:
Be warned, some parts of the application process might seem personal and intrusive. You may have to give out information about yourself you are uncomfortable with. Just know, they are only asking you this to make sure your rescue dog is the best match for you.
Consider Your Reasons
Remember how difficult, expensive, and time-consuming owning a dog can be. Here are some questions you ask yourself before starting the process:
- Does your lifestyle fit in with adopting a dog?
- Is your home big enough to adopt a dog?
- Will your job adapt to having a rescue dog?
- Do you have enough outdoor space?
- Will your children adapt well to having a dog?
- Will your existing pets adapt to a new dog?
- Are you away a lot or have frequent holidays?
- Is anyone in your house allergic or scared of dogs?
- Can you afford a pet and all the fees that come along with it?
These are things you should consider before even starting the application process. If any of these make you query if getting a rescue pet is right, then you shouldn’t start the process. A dog will change your life in the same way having a child will, and you need to have this in mind when adopting.
Follow the Steps
You will usually find the application forms to adopt a dog on a rescue center website. You can also visit the center in person, where you will be given a printed copy of the form. Read the form to see whether you should hand it in person, or whether it’s best to email it back.
Fill in all the questions, even if you find them intrusive. They want to identify what type of person you are and what qualities you want from your dog. Always be honest, otherwise you could hurt your family and the dog.
Centers will need references, like the number of your vet, employer, and landlord. They want to check that you are a reliable and honest candidate for adoption.
Someone who works at the rescue center will want to interview you. This could be at your own home, so they can assess your living situations, or down at the shelter. You may find yourself being asked personal questions about your job, your love life, or your finances. Always be honest and truthful, even if it’s a little embarrassing.
They will usually want to see how you interact with your dog, or other dogs at the shelter. Act naturally with the dogs, they may be a little shy and scared so take this into account. Don’t try to act overly friendly and false, the employees at the shelter will notice.
Pay The Fees
Some rescue shelters will ask for donations because they are non profit. The shelter may also charge an application fee for the time and admin required to process it. It will still be cheaper than buying a puppy through a breed, as well as being more ethical.
Adopting a dog from a shelter will often come at an upfront cost. You will need to buy food, toys, a sleeping place and medical bills. Shelter dogs, especially older ones, may have medical issues that come with bills. A good rescue center will always be transparent with these medical issues before you adopt the dog.