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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Are Animal Shelters To Strict? #HuskyAdoption

The topic of animal shelters, and whether or not their adoption process is too strict, is an ongoing debate in the pet owner/lovers world. The adoption process is generally different between breeds. What I mean by that is, Siberian Huskies for example, are a unique breed, and are not recommended for first time owners. I agree with that 100%. But according to 'most' animal shelters, Siberian Huskies should not be adopted out to someone who has never had a Husky before, someone who does not have a fully fenced in yard, someone who does not have children under the age of 12, someone who does not live in a big house, someone who.... well you get the point.

Adopting SIberian Huskies


In my Siberian Husky Facebook group, I hear all the time that someone was rejected from adopting a husky from a shelter even when they currently own a husky, and know their stuff when it comes to the breed. Why were they rejected? Most times it's due to the person not having a fenced in yard, or having a young child. My question, and/or thought process is... are shelters right to reject people for those things? Maybe... who am I to judge? In my personal opinion, I think they are too strict in some areas. I understand why they have the stipulations the way they do, but I think it should be directed more towards the person, rather than whether or not they have a fenced in yard. I am owned by 3 Huskies, and I do not have a fenced in yard.

Don't get me wrong, I get it, I really do. Shelters are trying to be careful, and trying to reduce the number of huskies that end up right back in the shelter. BUT... by refusing adoptions for these reasons, are they potentially refusing good homes? The answer is - sometimes yes, and sometimes no. That's what makes this such a hot debate topic.

The Sibe Tribe would love to know:
What are your thoughts on the adoption process?
Are they too strict? Not strict enough?
Lets chat in the comment section! 

36 comments:

  1. I think you are right. Many years ago my #sis1# together with her husband, tried to adopt a dog from a shelter. They were rejected because they didn't have a fenced in yard. They ended up, adopting a fine dog mix from someone which had had a divorce and couldn't keep the dog.

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    1. They definitely make it hard sometimes!

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  2. It is a tough call for the rules. With rules like fencing, an apartment dweller or renter may never get a dog. I think they should have a rating for these things and look at other things as well. I think you can be a pawsome dog owner without a fenced yard for example (we don't have one and Hailey and Phod seem ok!)

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    1. Exactly! I'm with you on the fenced in yard thing, as I do not have a fence either, but my dogs have long leads in the yard to play on, plus our daily walks, and tons of off lead time in the dog parks or arenas, so just because someone doesn't have a fenced yard doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to adopt!

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  3. I'm like you, I tend to think they can be too strict, but on the other hand I understand why they are. It's tough. We had a bad experience many years ago with our local shelter. My problem with them at that time is that they were not consistent. It's a long story, but we were put through the wringer, it took forever, and at the same time they were letting college students adopt cats with virtually no problems at all! Then when it came time for them to pay the adoption fee, they didn't have it. They left to go get it and never came back. Meanwhile we were there forever filling out paperwork and having to provide every last detail on our current pets. I didn't have a problem with that so much, but with the fact that we were treated differently. This was a long time ago, so hopefully that has all changed now.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. Some of it just doesn't even make sense to me. Why on earth would shelters want to deny people who could be great owners? Fpr petty things such as not having a fence? It makes no sense at all to me!

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  4. I think it is more important to adopt to a great home with loving humans more than if they have a fenced yard. I do see many dogs returned though so I understand the rigid rules.

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    1. See, that's exactly where i'm at. I understand trying to make sure the pet is going to a good home where they can stay forever.... but some of these rules.... UGH!

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  5. Yes - some are super strict but they've usually ended up that way due to previous bad experiences :-/
    With rescues being often based on volunteer work, it can be problematic to not have a standard set of rules. It would be nice though, particularly for breed rescue, if they could come up with as previously suggested, a list that takes into account a range of factors: have you lived with this breed before; do you live with this breed; for how long; what happened to your last dog of this breed etc. Of course, an increasing number of breed rescues try and do home visits which can take into account the circumstances of how the dog will be kept. I also suspect though, that the more adoptable a dog is, the picker the rescue could be about finding the just right home.

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    1. I agree, and definitely understand why they want to make sure.... but for me, I don't think someone who has never owned a certain breed shouldn't be able to adopt 'said' breed just because they never have before. I mean, offer some education on the breed, see if the peoples life style is adaptable for the breed, and go from there. In my opinion, far too many dogs get denied a good home for these reasons.

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  6. The shelter where we adopted the girls was not as strict as a rescue I tried to go through previously before I found Zoe. I was trying to adopt a small breed puppy and they turned me down because I didn't have a fenced yard. We lived in the best, most pet friendly apartment complex and we had a big grassy field right outside and I also had glowing references, worked in the pet industry, had a vet already and everything... but they wouldn't even consider me. It was so disappointing and sad. I think that rescues and shelters should take each case by the individual or family.

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    1. I agree!! And see? Things like you just mentioned are exactly why I did this post. SO many times I hear people being denied adoption for these reasons, meanwhile these people could give these dogs a wonderful home!

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  7. I think it should be evaluated for each person. Like maybe they don't have a fenced in yard but they are super active and run with their dog all the time and also let them go to the park to run. Someone could have all the qualifications but not be a good fit. I think people definitely have to know what they are getting into so they should be educated on their breed but ultimately it is how much does someone care and want to make it work!! Support after adoption would be good.

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    1. Yes, support after adoption would be wonderful. A few home visits maybe... maybe offer a little bit of background on the breed they are trying to adopt, but to just downright refuse people for silly reasons.... UGH!

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  8. I think shelters tend to be a lot less strict than rescues, especially breed specific ones. It's partly why all my dogs but Lucky are from responsible breeders. A big one for me are rescues not wanting to adopt out to people that have intact pets. I'm not a breeder, but Olivia hasn't been spayed yet (15mo old). She will be in a month or two, but still.

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    1. I assume rescues are more strict than shelters as you said, but even still, shelters will deny someone an adoption simply because their yard is not fenced... I just can't fathom how that makes sense in anyone's mind, you know? *sigh*

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  9. Very interesting post. We agree that huskies aren't the easiest breed to own, not like as lab or spaniel for example, and understandably the shelters are wanting their dogs to go to good homes, but surely these rules are a bit OTT? Huskies can be rehomed successfully by people who have owned dogs before but never a husky!

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    1. My thoughts exactly!! I mean... we want to encourage everyone to adopt from shelters, but what about someone who has dog experience, but not husky experience, and they would like to adopt a husky? They are not allowed simply because they never have? Well there is only ONE way to get experience, and that is by owning one... now these people will have to go to a breeder for their husky because the shelter would not allow them to adopt. Silly

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  10. I've been through both strict and lenient adoption processes. I can understand both. But I guess I would prefer to err on the side of caution. But going overboard is a bit much. The object is to get animals into forever homes.

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    1. Yes, and those are my thoughts exactly. I don't think shelters and/or rescues should just let anyone, anytime, anyplace, adopt a dog.... but I think the rules should be individual for each person rather than based off of whether or not you have a fenced in yard.

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  11. Mom has adopted shelter pets for like the last 35 years. Everything from wabbits to cats, to a dog. The process has changed, but our Humane Society is still reasonable and she thinks the changes have been for the better. From what we hear it is the rescue groups that have really crazy policies.

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    1. Rescue groups are the worst!! I am glad to hear your mom hasn't had any issues with her local shelter!

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  12. Same thing can happen with cats, too. Personally, I think every adoption should be treated on an individual basis. Blanket rules often don't work. Good peeps can be rejected and even worse, bad peeps can slip through the cracks. When applications are treated individually, stuff like this can be easily spotted.

    Purrs,
    Seville

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  13. Personally I think the rules are stupid. Yeah, I get they are difficult dogs for a first-time huskey owner, but telling someone you can't adopt until you've already owned the breed is pretty much pushing them toward a breeder, and aren't breeders the problem? I think it would be far better to adopt to a first-time owner provided the owner is willing to work with the rescue to ensure the family fully understands what they're getting into. It's a far more labor-intensive for an agency that's cash-strapped and doesn't have man-power available to do all they already do, but then again, I also think there are WAY too many rescues out there and it's high time they were regulated. But that's a conversation for another day.

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    1. That is exactly my point!! how on earth is someone suppose to get experience with a breed if they aren't allowed to adopt one? From a breeder, thats how! So yes, you are right, it pushes people towards breeders in an instant. There is so much debate over this, and I personally think it should be based more off of the individual person rather than these silly rules.

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  14. We don't think there's any such rule here. Someone once told Jan she couldn't have a dog and when Jan asked why was told because she doesn't have a fenced yard. She said that was nonsense! And a while after went to the shelter to adopt Merci. Then came Buddy and Sam. We didn't have a dog pen for years! Always ran the dogs out the door on a leash and walked them no matter what the hour or the weather.

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    1. The rules here are absolutely ridiculous, and as I mentioned above, I understand that these shelters are trying to find good homes... but does it really take a fenced yard for it to be a good home? I don't think so!

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  15. I think every situation is different and yes I think they need to give a little more lee way.

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  16. Good post, Jenna. Always a hot-button topic, but one that really does need more conversation and exploration. I think that rescue rules are meant to be guidelines, especially for the Siberian Husky breed, and are required as some folks really truly do not understand the needs and nature of a Husky and in an effort to stop them from becoming lost, injured, returned to the shelter, etc., they set rules in place to hopefully ensure the safety of a breed, such as the Husky. However, that said...in my honest opinion, I think it needs to go on a case-by-case basis and be a "guideline." There are some pretty awesome adoptive parents out there ready to learn all about the breed and with some guidance and information, can give wonderful homes to Huskies. Or, there are Husky-experienced families who would be great, but may not pass another criteria. By the same token, without the rules, Huskies would keep being dumped back off at shelters because folks didn't realize they needed that special fence, are diggers, need lots of exercise, shed like nobody's business, or no off-leash, or, or, or... Honestly, education about the desired breed is really the key. Unfortunately, that does not always happen or is not always available. And, as we all know, as with so many other things, rules can become obnoxious. Maybe the real question should be not about whether the rules are good or not, but rather how can we become better awareness advocates and get breed information out there more and better help educate folks who are thinking of adopting so we can help the rescues help folks make the best decision for both the dog and their family?

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    1. Yes, you are 100% right!!!!! Guidelines should be what they are, not strict rules. Case by case, and shelters providing some info, background on the breed they plan to adopt can really help. Say.... someone wants to adopt a husky.... but they have no fence, but everything else sounds great about these people... well then, educate them! Let them know huskies have a tendency to run off, and always need to be on a lead, let them know to take them to an off lead fenced in area for some good exercise, and things could work out so much better then just refusing them completely. Great comment Dorothy, thank you!!!!

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  17. Yes shelters are too strict and I think it is 1) to reduce liability, but 2) the staff just does not have the experience or knowledge when placing dogs. I understand not wanting a dog back, but most reputable breeders will take a dog back if the placement does not work out and maybe rescues need to go that route as well. Also, most reputable breeders offer support to puppy buyers after the dog goes home. Breed rescues could and should do that too.

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    1. Yes, you're absolutely right. If they all did what reputable breeders do in that sense, I think the numbers of dogs being returned to shelters could be greatly reduced!

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