Why have you chosen NOT to adopt?

  1. We’re seeing an increase in negative responses and rule-breaking comments and feel this has run its course. Thanks all

  2. i did eventually adopt (and she’s fantastic) but it wasn’t easy. Most shelters/rescues I looked into either never responded to my inquiries/applications (and had requirements like “must have a fenced-in yard and another dog already”) or they had zero requirements/knowledge about the dogs (and I wanted something a bit more reputable.) I also needed a dog that wasn’t too large/energetic as I live in an apartment, and a lot of the dogs I found weren’t suitable. i eventually found my pup but i can see how others would get frustrated by the process and turn to a breeder

  3. I agree I went through the same exact process lol it’s just disheartening to get rejected over and over again for months. It’s especially annoying because the rescue groups are all about helping these dogs but they make it so difficult for people who doesn’t live in a town house or single house. Also, a lot of them are starting to ask if we work from home or not which I don’t get why that takes into consideration because before the pandemic working from home was NOT a common thing but now a lot of the rescue groups almost expect you to work from home.

  4. I had a friend who tried to adopt for about a year, never heard back after sending the initial application, or got told they weren’t approved for things like not having a fenced in yard. She gave up trying in the end.

  5. I eventually did adopt a dog last year, but the process was very frustrating. The most shocking was a rescue group that didn't allow anyone to meet their dog until everything was finalized. This included the application, references, a home walk through, and paying for the dog. Once it was time to put the dog in your care was the first time you'd see the dog in person. They said this was because meet and greets had become too time consuming for their volunteers.

  6. This is also why we went with a breeder. Had several applications approved only to get ghosted. We tried for almost a year before giving up and exploring other options.

  7. It was wild to me that I was one of the most competent staff at reading dog behavioral cues and safely handling aggressive dogs after a week or two. I did not come to the shelter I worked at with a lot of dog experience (I’d owned one very easy shelter pup and dog sat for a few people). However, I had about 10 years of wildlife biology technician jobs under my belt and I think that that actually really helped.

  8. I adopted a dog from a shelter. Was told he was friendly and fairly well behaved other than some separation anxiety. I had done a ton of research about it, going in knowing dogs from shelters often deal with it.

  9. Shelters need to be 100% honest about a dogs needs. So many shelters try to make the dog seem as adoptable as possible by lying about behavioral issues and this has scared away many potential adopters because there’s no way of knowing what kind of dog you are actually going to get.

  10. Strongly agree with what you’re saying here. The “making a dog more adoptable” aspect is unfortunate; many inexperienced dog owners will want to adopt, then end up with a dog that they have trouble training or managing.

  11. Absolutely this. If a dog is truly reactive and just nervous with some special needs, I can probably manage. However, if this dog actually wants to kill other dogs and will maul a child any chance it has, I cannot deal with that.

  12. Agreed. A woman in my province was killed by one of her rescue dogs a couple of years ago. If I recall correctly, she had just adopted it a few days or weeks beforehand. Of course I'm not saying that rescue dogs are inherently dangerous. The vast majority of them are lovely. But some rescues just aren't honest about a dogs behavior/background, and that can have serious consequences.

  13. Yup. I fell in love with a dog at a shelter before that had been brought back 3x already by previous owners. The agency assured me that it was super friendly and sweet and great with other dogs/animals. But as the worker was telling me this, the dog started snarling and barking and tried to jump through the glass of the playroom we were in to attack another dog that walked by.

  14. Yes, this right here! If you have young children or other vulnerable people/animals in your home, you just can’t take the risk of not being certain.

  15. I adopted a pup and got him home before noticing aggression towards strangers. Go back to the shelter to talk about him and his behavior only to find he had already been homed and returned to the shelter due to aggression toward kids. They’d specifically had the dog living with one of their trainers for several weeks to try to get his behavior more acceptable. Not a word mentioned of that issue before adopting him and at that point my wife was totally in love so we had a high needs dog we weren’t equipped to deal with. He still is bad with strangers 7 years later despite our training efforts and I’m terrified as we are about to have a kid. I love my dog but I’m furious with the shelter and this should never have happened. I’m totally soured on shelters.

  16. Completely agree ! When we adopted our dog, the worker was very open & up front about our dog's behavioral issues & what needed to be worked on. We prepared accordingly & she's been with us for almost 3 years now !

  17. I feel this 110%. The humane society listed my cat as "chatty" and I took this to mean she meows to sort of make conversation?? Nope! This lady talks my ear off from sun up to sun down whether she needs something or not.

  18. Reading through these I am realizing that there are a ton of reasons not to adopt that I never even considered.

  19. This is why I always suggest adopting a dog from a foster home (assuming the rescue is reputable) - they have been in a home, possibly with other dogs, cats, and kids, and the foster family can tell you more about their behavior.

  20. This is why we got a dog from a breeder. The breeder was local, had a great reputation and only bred her family dogs in her home- so we were able to go to her home and meet the parents and play with them before deciding. Best decision ever. We don’t let them (trying to teach them how to treat animals haha), but our kids could literally do anything to the dog and she’d just be smitten they were paying attention to her. All love and snuggles ♥️

  21. All of the shelters in my area had either straight pits or pit mixes, which I can't even have due to my home owners insurance-- not a fair thing, but it is what it is. And/or dogs that needed to be the only animals in the house. I already have 2 cats of my own, and at the time I stayed with my gf a lot and she had 2 cats as well. Honestly, I just couldn't find what I was looking for at a local shelter, and I perused their websites a few times a week. I really wanted to have a puppy that would grow up with the existing animals we had, and I wanted a smaller breed dog. Neither one was feasible from a local shelter.

  22. We got a golden retriever from a breeder, but we only decided to do that for exactly the reasons you list -- our local shelter is all pits and pit mixes, and we also happen to have a very skittish cat. My wife also has a history of dog trauma. This pretty much ruled out all available shelter dogs.

  23. Nearly all the dogs in the shelters near me only have pit mixes labeled as something else and elderly toy dog mixes. I wasn’t really interested in either of these.

  24. Our local humane society regularly has dogs listed as “lab mixes” that are so clearly, obviously 100% pure pit bulls. Like “looks like the dog on the AKC pit bull info page” obvious. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so deceptive. And unfortunately it absolutely gave me pause because, okay, if they’re willing to lie about the dog’s breed to make it more adoptable, what else are they downplaying? They do great work and we support them financially but yeah, those little lies ultimately made me unwilling to adopt a dog from there & we went with a reputable breeder instead.

  25. Yeeesssss. And if it’s not a bully mix breed, they aren’t good with cats or kids or other dogs and it just sounds like a very isolating life.

  26. I worked at one of the largest municipal shelters in the country (I guess I’ll go ahead and state which one since I’m out and have a good job in my field now and won’t need to go back - Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in Phoenix AZ).

  27. I really, really hate that "save them all" people are volunteering and working in shelters and with rescues. We need to euthanize dogs that are dangerous to the public, and we need to not villainize the shelters/rescues for having to make that decision. There is absolutely no place for these dogs.

  28. THIS. THIS IS WHY NO KILL SHELTERS ARE A PROBLEM. I hate to say it, but for some dogs it's just damn cruel forcing them to live through constant fear.

  29. Wow thank you for sharing your experience. It must have been really upsetting to work there. Feel badly for the dogs and the staff.

  30. Too many shelters where I live lie about the history of their dogs and their temperaments to the point where it's too risky to adopt for safety reasons like recently someone adopted a dog from one of the nearby shelters and within the week he's been bitten very severely and has had to go to hospital, not sure what is going to happen to the dog but it's just not going to be safe to adopt that dog. Another thing is that the rescues never put anything about the dogs health either from not knowing the past but also there's Google reviews that said that when they adopted they were not told that the dog had heartworms, there's a few reviews like this for this shelter. I'm not opposed to adopting but from where I live right now the shelters nearby just make adoption too risky especially when you can get a puppy from a certified breeder whose line has been health checked and you get to meet the parents to see if there may be any behavioural issues in the line.

  31. Adopted a dog who had heart worms. Of course we were never told. Treatment is costly and they know it. They actually admitted that they knew about his heart worms.

  32. This happened to me, the situation was not dangerous but the shelter definitely lied by omission and carefully curated my visit with the dog to hide her behaviors. She was presented as “having some anxiety” and as being fine with cats. I am a first time dog owner and I have two cats. I didn’t even know what “reactivity” was but quickly got a crash course as she lunged and barked at any dog or person that got anywhere close. She also was fixated on the cats, lunging and snapping at them despite slow introductions. I was completely unprepared for the severity of the issues and I ended up taking her back to the shelter. They were like “yeah we knew she was reactive that’s why we had you walk her outside away from people” WTF?! I really want to adopt as I know there are many good dogs out there but I’m not willing to risk my cats lives and my sanity.

  33. Something similar happened to me. Finally found one with a dog that was "right" for my family. I took in the dog, I have 2 small children.

  34. One time i tried to adopt, I went to a pound and the whole place was full of about 30-40 highly aggressive pitbulls except for one incredibly old dog. I just saw an accident waiting to happen.

  35. I wanted specific breeds, temperaments, and health expectations. I've had a few rescues, but they've always been a toss up on how they acted and what would crop up later for their health. The descriptions shelters give their dogs also... seem to miss the mark, to make them more adoptable, it feels like. "Needs lot of love in a single household with no other pets" turned into "this dog needed serious rehabilitation and training that will cost hundreds of dollars in training to make her safe to even be in public without trying to attack anything that scares her." I loved her and had her for a good 10 years before she passed, but that was my last rescue, haha.

  36. The pandemic hasn’t helped either, less dogs getting socialized means there are more “must be only dog” strays and owner surrenders.

  37. My dog was gotten with the intention of training him for service work. Service dog training is really difficult and the vast majority of dogs aren't suited for that type of work, so it's super important when getting a prospect to do everything you can to get a dog who has a high chance of succeeding in it. (It's estimated that 50% of dogs who are set up from birth for service work don't make it through!) Generally, increasing your chances of a dog making it as a service dog means getting a temperament-tested puppy from a reputable breeder. This helps lessen the chances of the prospect having temperamental or physical problems that could make them unsuitable for service work, and it also allows you to set them up for service work from as early an age as possible. You can control their socialization during the crucial socialization period, prevent the development of bad habits, build handler engagement early on, etc.

  38. My wife and I are just huge fans of a specific breed (Golden Retriever) and love the process of raising a golden from a puppy to adulthood. We would adopt but as I'm sure you know Golden Retriever puppies rarely find their way into a shelter so we had no choice but to go with a breeder. I'm much more open to adopting than my wife is as she is a one dog woman where if it were up to me we would have 40 dogs at this point. The middle ground is we also work with a couple local shelters to act as a foster family for dogs waiting for adoption and that is wonderfully rewarding for us and also for socializing our dogs. Over the last 4 years we've probably fostered 20 dogs until they were adopted. I'm sure you have a foster program with your shelter and I don't know how it works for you but I do know it was actually very difficult for us to be authorized as a foster family. We have a fully fenced in yard, I work from home full time, we already have a couple dogs of our own, decent sized house in a quiet neighborhood and they still raked us over the coals before agreeing to let us foster a dog. I understand you need to be through and I support that but some of the requirements that I've seen on this forum to be a foster family are crazy.

  39. We specifically have wanted Golden Retrievers, which our local shelter never has (They only have various mixed breeds, especially pit mixes). We might be open to adopting our next dog from a Golden Retriever rescue organization.

  40. I only recently got my 1st dog after a lifetime of cats, all from shelters. I purchased from a breeder because the way I see it, even if you love cats (and I do!) you kind of expect your cat to be an ass and understand it’s a crapshoot. I’ve had amazing cats and cats I would gladly have rehomed given the opportunity. I can live with a problem cat, within reason, without it affecting my life too much. I cannot imagine living with a problem dog.

  41. I also only want golden retrievers. A dog is a lot of work and therefore I want to have a dog that I am willing to commit to. After working with many dogs, only golden retrievers satisfy my interest. I tried to adopt a dog from a golden rescue but it was too challenging because I don’t work from home and that is apparently unacceptable to rescues.

  42. The "fenced in backyard" requirement has GOT TO GO. In this housing market, with the economy the way it is, that requirement alone prevents a huge amount of quality adopters from adopting.

  43. I wanted a small dog and tried to adopt one, but I kept getting denied. It was really frustrating and not worth it after a while. These were some of the things I was rejected for across different rescues:

  44. Single male who works from home, I made post similar to yours about my frustrations, I feel like these Rescues don't actually give a shit and just want to insult us with their power trips

  45. I will never attempt to rescue or adopt again. I have been denied for all sorts of discriminatory reasons. This is not an exhaustive list.

  46. They wanted you to have a necropsy on an 18 year old dog that died in its sleep? That is insane and a desecration of a beloved family member.

  47. That is something a lot of people don’t talk about. Sometimes just dealing with the actual rescuers is such an awful experience, you just get turned off from it. I’m sure a lot of rescuers are great people. But you have some who are basically trying to look for a way to gatekeep. And clearly they lost out on a great owner when it came to you!

  48. I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this and have been denied the opportunity to adopt, and dogs have been denied the opportunity to be adopted. If you have the energy/inclination, this kind of discrimination is 100% against the ADA. You might be able to find a pro bono lawyer to work with you to address the behavior of these rescues. You don’t have to want to collect monetary damages, but they could be sanctioned by state regulatory boards, and the DOJ will often pick one case to “make an example of” to express to other similar orgs how they need to comport themselves.

  49. i worked at a shelter for four years and all I can say is… what the fuck. And I’m sorry. rescues like that ruin it for the individuals who do actually try and care.

  50. The bar for adopting a dog was set so high - and the pay off just wasn't worth it. I needed a puppy to raise around my cats and sadly as I'm not an independently wealthy hermit who never leaves the house, I couldn't adopt a puppy. So I bought one.

  51. I initially advocated for a shelter pup. My husband wanted a reputable breeder but was willing to hear me our. Here’s what we learned:

  52. 3 is a big reason I didn’t adopt this time around and went with a puppy instead. I’m sure it’s a “not all shelters” thing, but SO MANY have switched over to this. Everything is a “lab mix” to cover for pit mixes (pits are banned where I am but people keep getting them from rescues that pull them from the states), and instead of just saying “has intense prey drive” (which even itself is a nice way to say small animal aggression), they’ll just say “best in a single pet household”. If you’re not going to be honest and transparent, I’m not going to take the risk.

  53. Yeah although I love my pup that we adopted recently the pup was advertised as 5 month old pup even having his birth date as Feb 22nd but when we took him to the vet he said the dog is probably around 8-10 months old because of his almost if not fully grown canine teeth lol also the foster parent had kids in the house and never crate trained and just gave all the attention whenever it barked so he came with a lot of behavioral issues that were never discussed with us. We pretty much have to start all his basic training and crate training when he’s already 8-10 months old because previous fosters were not ready or just lazy

  54. I volunteer 10-15 hours a week in an open admission shelter. I do not have access to numbers, but my impression here is that we have more animals coming in than we have in the recent past but about the same number of people adopting. That is just my perception, I don't really pay attention to the actual numbers. Being an open admission shelter every dog that is brought in by people or animal control are accepted. Most of these dogs have issues of one type or another. Lots of 1-2 year old pit bull or pit bull mixes that are no longer cute puppies and now are older, untrained, under socialized, balls of energy. That causes the shelter to ask that people who adopt them don't have small children, there maybe pet restrictions, etc. I am sure you deal with the same thing.

  55. FWIW re: numbers, my local shelter makes them available (you have to ask for it, but it’s a public record) monthly. Our intakes are up, but the largest source of intake is still by far strays (which, given that some may be abandoned or improperly contained, is still a people problem, but it’s not something that can be addressed directly with the people bringing them in). Adoptions are actually still up compared to 2019, but they’re down from the intense rate of 2020 and from the still high rate of 2021.

  56. I have a cat, and I don't want to put him at risk with an untested dog. Even if a dog came from a home with cats, there's no guarantee the dog is going to be ok with cats it wasn't raised with. Also, most dogs in my area are breeds that wouldn't fit my lifestyle (pits, huskies, gsd's, and hounds) or require 1 dog homes and I already have a dog.

  57. That’s also why we went w a puppy from a breeder. Most of the dogs in shelters in my area tend to be medium/large high prey drive breeds that I am not equipped to handle. I couldn’t risk that w my cat. Most shelters do the best they can, but they can’t know eeeverthing about their dogs.

  58. Yep. We tried rescuing a dog a little more than a year ago and the foster’s definition of “cat friendly” and my definition of “cat friendly” were wildly different. Getting that dog to be calm around my cat was going to take a long time and a lot of money. We tried a few months of training but utilimately returned to the dog to the rescue, as we had to keep the animals completely separate and it was breaking my heart to keep the cat in the basement except for the nighttime.

  59. I have this same issue: my cat was here first and I’m not interested in making her life a living hell just because I selfishly want another pet. The dog breeds I am interested in often struggle with aggression and reactivity so my partner and I are just not willing to take the risk of bringing a unpredictable shelter dog into our cat’s home. No hate to shelter pets, we got our cat from a shelter, but the cold hard truth is that shelters and rescues sometimes lie or unknowingly misrepresent pet behavior and I’m not about to stake my cat’s life and wellness on it.

  60. At the time we were getting both of our dogs (about 2 years apart), there were no rescue dogs that “checked our boxes”. Or if they did they were snatched up SO fast. We wanted a dog that was:

  61. My next dog will not be a shelter dog (most likely) because I'm dealing with such extreme issues with my current rescue.

  62. Very similar to my experience, unfortunately. I'm an experienced owner who has previously taken in two dumped dogs, two rehomed dogs, and two from breeders, but none of them came with the challenges my rescue dog has had. I love him and would do it again if not for the expenses, but my husband can't deal with another experience like this one.

  63. Having conversed back and forth with you a few times and read your comments on the sub, I have to say that I suspect this dog is in the best possible situation. He’s really lucky he has someone who is putting in this effort. I’m sorry it’s such a struggle.

  64. Yikes. I'm sorry for your experience - that's so much to take on. It's true that we don't always know what we're getting with an animal or what their complete history is, and it can be a gamble for sure. I really hope the organization you adopted from provided ongoing support with training and were open to accepting the dog back into their care with all of those challenges.

  65. Yes, about seven months ago, I applied for 8 different dogs over the span of a couple of months. I only heard back about 2-3 of them, both of which were adopted within the day. Finding a dog that excites you, taking an hour or two to fill out the application, then dreaming of what your life will look like with them while waiting for a response for days just to never hear anything back was emotionally exhausting. I definitely shed a few tears of disappointment.

  66. I have had rescues my whole adult life. I have never once had one without significant behavioral issues (some lifetime) and massive health issues (some heartbreaking, some wildly expensive, some both). My next dog will come from a tip top responsible breeder. I know it’s not a guarantee, but I would like at least the deck stacked in favor for a healthy, structurally correct, behaviorally normal dog. In addition, a dog is properly socialized for my life would be a real relief.

  67. An alternative if you prefer adults sometimes breeders adopt out adult dogs that for whatever reason couldn't be bred or were returned and often they are well trained before adoption. Of course puppies are great too just thought I'd let you know that was a possibility.

  68. I’ve been attacked by several rescue dogs for not knowing/being told their triggers so that has always left a bad taste in my mouth. although that is the owners job to warn me. We wanted a specific breed (Great Pyrenees) and they get big and are hard to find as puppies from rescues. When they get surrendered they are usually in their naughty teen phase and already close to 80 pounds. I wanted to be the one to desensitize them to everything and if they have any habits I could break them especially because they would be around kids. I respect people who do adopt and take the time to work with their dogs previous behaviors and triggers! It’s definitely something I support, just personally am not interested in.

  69. I am in North Texas, the shelters here are full of Pyrenees mixes and Pyrenees. There are even several Great Pyrenees shelters out here. I would say if you were anywhere close to Texas to come here for one but none of those shelters even bother getting back to you.

  70. Rescue organizations lie. My dog was not four years old. She was much older per my vet. She had a mouth full of rotten teeth that I was not told about. My friends puppy was not quite six weeks but she was told that he was eight weeks. He was born in a foster home so they knew exactly how old he was. My other friends puppy was a small dog. He was a beagle mix. Not true, he is 75 pounds and does not have beagle in him.

  71. Same, our pup was advertised as 5 month old puppy even having a birth date as Feb 22nd but when we took him to the vet, the vet said looking at his teeth he’s gotta be around 8-10 months old at least

  72. Same here. Was told she was 4 and she ended up being 2 years older. We love her to death but everything the shelter told us about this dog was pretty much wrong

  73. My sister tried to look after a rescue dog (Romanian I think?) and it used to fight her Alsatian. She gave it up to a shelter and specifically told them not to re-home it with another dog.

  74. OMG my older dog was adopted to me as "one year old" but was estimated to be around 7 by the vet. Rotten teeth, eyes went cloudy within the next year. It's been 10 years and she's still hobbling along on her last leg at 17ish but man that left a bad taste in my mouth.

  75. I have 3 so I won’t be getting another anytime soon. But here’s why the next most likely won’t be from a shelter/rescue:

  76. I don’t want a “lab mix” and anything that doesn’t have very obvious “lab” characteristics has 300 applications within 5 minutes of becoming adoptable. I tried multiple times and it ended in disappointment.

  77. Yes, this was my exact reason why I was planning on going to a breeder. I was even on a wait list for a Klee kai puppy when my beautiful little husky mix puppy popped up on the shelter. I emailed them immediately and went to see her as soon as they opened. I pre-adopted her that day (which would turn into a donation if the owner claimed her) and brought her home as soon as she was off the spay hold.

  78. I adopted my first dog from my local SPCA and looked into adopting for my second. At the time, our shelters were mostly empty, and the dogs that were available via rescue needed to be in single dog homes.

  79. Around 7 years ago I knew I wanted to have a dog. I had heard the “adopt don’t shop” motto my whole life and I was planning to get a rescue. Maybe it’s the area I live in (Rhode Island) but there are not as many dogs available as I would have thought. All the rescues had a few but when I called about them or went to visit I was told some version of “just so you know, there are 3 other families who have asked about this dog also”. At the time I was in my twenties, single, and didn’t own a house so I would always lose out to people who had one or more of those features. I eventually found a woman on Craigslist whose dog had had puppies and I purchased my dog from her. 7 years later, my dog (Molly) is a happy healthy girl with a great life and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I love and support rescues and shelters but I feel people are always trying to convey that you can just walk in and take home a dog and that is NOT the case. It’s a process and more people are turned away than you think.

  80. I don't know what shelter you're from or what your shelter's practices are. For the shelter near me they lie. They will lie about the breed, behavior, kid livability, cat livability, and even age sometimes. I don't think it's the shelter necessary, but the employees.

  81. Rescues have backed themselves into a corner. Of course they have to be “no-kill.” But municipal shelters weren’t euthanizing dogs because it’s a fun hobby - it’s because some dogs are not suitable pets.

  82. I once got denied for not signing an agreement for "post adoption visits". Apparently refusing to sign a piece of paper stating that strangers can visit my home to check in for an indefinite amount of time makes me unfit to own a pet.

  83. Additionally too many rescues have been caught telling half truths about dangerous dogs. It's one thing if you honestly don't know. But multiple instances of knowing and hiding or making an effort to NOT learn it is a problem.

  84. Shelters are generally worse than rescues for this I think. "Little Bella is a 80 unknown breed with a box shaped head and short hair. She's had 8 different owners and looking to find her forever home. She's full of love but not recommended for a home with other animals as she wants to be your one and only. It's not recommended anyone under 200lbs without hand to hand combat experience own her cause she's got too much love to share"

  85. Yep, our dog was described as living happily in a foster home with other dogs and cats. Ummmm, no. He has wanted to kill every cat he’s ever seen and he’s unpredictable around other dogs. I don’t mind it as he’s an only dog in our household but I can’t imagine what would have happened if they’d adopted him to a home with other pets.

  86. Yep, and it’s not even behavioral stuff. I did adopt and intend to do so again in future (except my dog is going to live forever so I will never have the chance to!) BUT, the shelter straight up lied about my dog’s likely breed mix and size. He grew up around 30lbs bigger than they told us, and way stronger. This isn’t a case of “they couldn’t know”, either, I did the calculation right after we adopted him and figured out with pretty good accuracy about how big he was going to be.

  87. I show dogs. Don’t have any interest in project dogs. Despise retail rescue. I live next door to the infamous BDRR and it has left a terrible taste in my mouth.

  88. Pretty similar to you. I have a 5 month old Terv. Going to show her and then do various doggy sports. I’ve had the breed my whole life and like you said don’t have any interest in the potential big behavioral project that a rescue would be. I adopt my kitties, but I’ll always have a Belgian in my life. I also really appreciate the support that a good breeder gives. We get birthday cards for the pups and when they pass away, we get support then too.

  89. We weren't selected by rescues because we weren't unemployed millionaires with a 30 acre fenced in property and full time live in vet. Seriously, the reason we bought was because after getting told no repeatedly for dumb reasons and getting our hopes up on dogs we found a couple who had puppies and let us visit our dog 4 times during the 8 week wait and gave us a photo of all his siblings with their names and follow us on Facebook to see how our boy is doing. Shelters and rescues are places with dogs that have issues to work with in addition to being treated like a piece of shit for wanting to work with the dogs.

  90. We wanted a small dog like the one we had lost a few months earlier (shih-tzu). We looked for almost a year and found nothing but large dogs which we already have, if we did find a small one to consider it was 500+ miles away and most places wanted applications filled out before they would answer weather or not they would adopt to so far away. After filling out the app we would get either no response or a response saying they couldn’t adopt that far bc they wanted to do a home visit and we needed to have our large dog meet to make sure they could live together.

  91. Lots of people on here saying one of the main things that led us to search out the most reputable breeder we could - that a shelter’s culture of limitations on their adoption process - especially the judgement of the level of care one’s dog would get based solely on material things such as fenced in yard or cushy work from home job was why we turned away from them as an option.

  92. and even thoose are not always fully "moldable" my dog, for some reson, only barks while playing. I don't know why. We got her at 9-10 weeks like this. Her mum barks. A lot. Her siblings? Bark.

  93. I had a wonderful shelter dog a bunch of years ago. He was a great dog, but took a lot of training, patience and practice to stop him guarding and being aggressive with other dogs. He was excellent at home (providing visitors gave him a chance to warm up to them). I would do it again except the shelters here have a very warped ideal about what owners should look like. Some things I encountered when trying for a larger shelter dog:

  94. I was an adoption counselor for a very expensive rescue. I don’t like that they discriminated prices based on purebred vs mixed breed. A lot of rescues do that because people who want a purebred are willing to pay more money, but all youre doing is diminishing the pool of people who would take that dog. Not because they cant afford it, but if a purebred adult dog costs $600 from a rescue, why not just get a purebred puppy of the same breed from a byb for $600 or less.

  95. There is a strong chance that my next dog will be either from a reputable breeder or from a breed-specific rescue in which reputable breeders are heavily involved.

  96. Every dog I have own has come to me unexpectedly. When I lived in the south it was far from uncommon for stray dogs to come up or to find puppies lost in the road from being dumped. However, as many people are saying, I’ve noticed that qualifying to adopt is often insane. My sister had a lab for 13 years. As a puppy, when my sister was 18, she fell out of a car window and sustained a pretty rough hip injury. She underwent surgery and recovered fine, only seeing effects of the injury in old age. After her passing (she was euthanized at 14 years old due to age complications). When my sister was ready for another dog, in her early thirties at this point, she decided to go through the shelter. Our local kill shelter denied her application because of the vet records for Sophie, citing her injury as a form of negligence. She ended up adopting from a non kill shelter in a lower income neighborhood that pretty much gave her a puppy on the spot. Just interesting how it differs.

  97. For me it’s the temperament. I have a mutt who’s genetic’s are so bad. He is reactive, fearful, very unpredictable and most likely has hip dysplasia at 15 months old. I love that dog and I don’t know how I will cope when he die’s as he is definitely my soul dog but life with him is so damn difficult. The next dog I want from an ethical breeder so i can hopefully avoid all those issues, but I would love to foster in the future and help however I can.

  98. Filled to the brim with Pitbulls. A lot shelters lie about the breed “lab mix” etc would rather buy from a reputable breeder for the breed I want.

  99. I live in a part of the US that doesn’t have enough adoptable dogs. So much so that almost all rescues are being imported from Texas. Even so we applied for many puppies/young dogs from Texas and we weren’t fast enough—someone else always got there first. So we decided to get in line for a puppy from a reputable breeder. We have young kids in our family so adopting an older dog with an unknown history felt very risky. We’re really happy with our dog! In the future if we get another we will definitely look in to trying to adopt from a rescue/humane society again though.

  100. Predictability, health and temperament. Health is huge for me as I work in an animal hospital and the majority of patients (dogs AND cats) are unfortunately poorly bred so we see the results, there’s pets as young as 12 wks old starting to show real aggression, and having skin/GI issues, as they older: diseases that could’ve been tested for and preventable through responsible breeding etc. Needless to say all those things rack up thousands in vet bills throughout the pets life and sometimes end in heartbreak. When I choose my purebred responsibly bred border collie I could talk to the breeder, see the puppies grow, meet the dam and sire and know their history. Ended up with an amazing dog who is biddable, focused and super easy to train, perfect off switch, confident, loves agility and anything I throw at her, overall low maintenance, absolutely no health/ temperament issues and has never been sick a day in her life. A few of her litter mates are same though I don’t know all about their health status. All this you would be lucky to find in a shelter but easy with a responsible breeder.

  101. I wanted a specific breed from a preservationist breeder who did all the correct health testing and puppy culture so that I knew what I would be getting.

  102. I ended up adopting from a shelter but was frustrated with several local ones who refused my application because I was a single mom. I thought that was both overly judgmental and offensive and went to a different rescue. Frustrating for them to act like they are desperate to help these animals and turn down people willing to adopt due to their personal stereotypes.

  103. I did adopt my baby from a rescue but I can tell you that I know a number of wonderful people who were turned away. The fenced-in yard requirement that we have around here prevents a lot of dogs from finding wonderful homes. It is very sad 😔

  104. The shelter dogs in my area were pretty much all german shepherds and pitbulls, of varying mixes. They pretty much all listed behavioral issues that would need an experienced owner to deal with, and that's just what they were willing to put on the page to try to get them in a home. I love both those breeds, truly. I've known some great ones. But they are big dogs that can do a lot of damage. I didn't want to bring home a dog I had to be constantly wary of around children or other animals.

  105. My dogs are all working ranch dogs- livestock guardians and herding dogs. Rescue dogs of unknown breeding and health could be a disaster for my livestock and operation.

  106. The breed of dog I wanted (corgi) NEVER showed up in shelters. When they did show up in corgi rescues they were also almost immediately adopted. Rescues were either very picky or were basically trying to adopt out a rescue corgi for the same price as a purebred corgi puppy. Because of that I just gave up on shelters and rescues.

  107. I alternatively adopt and purchase. My reasoning is very simple: I’m pro-choice. No one is asking people why they get pregnant instead of adopting a child, but there’s also a homeless youth problem, too.

  108. Hi. Upcoming dog owner, this is my experience. I tried both Shelter/Humane Society and Rescues. It took me a month and a half to figure out these two options were not happening for me.

  109. I probably won’t buy a dog from a breeder just because it’s so expensive, but I’m never going back to the shelter I got my dog from. I’d like to share the red flags I saw with them, I hope that’s okay.

  110. Because the rules and requirements sometimes are way too much for a good dog owner. I have 2 shepherds now but when we were looking for out first, no shelter would give us one because we had no experience. You need afenced yard, a 900 acre property and kids under 12 or over.. whatever..it went on and on and even after hitting most of the major asks, a no after no...after no. Disappointing. Have up after 3 months of trying all the way to Montreal, and went to a breeder. Today my shepherd is one of the best trained around the block and a super gal! But of course, no shelter would believe! It's a good thing to vet the potential owner but the process is all red tape and lack of common sense on a lot of shelters. Additionally, won't let adopt unless my other pets in my home are spayed or neutered, why? If I have 2 females and want a third female, why spay mine. I get it if it's a male, totally get it. But ridiculous. So there's my rant lol.

  111. We had 2 bad foster-to-adopt situations, one of which landed me in the hospital. We were close to giving up entirely. The long applications, the time commitments and paperwork (making phone calls and scheduling meetings) and just feeling like we were out here dealing with behavior issues we're not equipped to handle...we did consider a reputable breeder even though we didn't even want an actual puppy. I decided to look one last time and stumbled onto our girl's page and she was perfect. This isn't what you asked but I'll add that 2 major things helped make the adoption a success. The rescue offered us a free consultation with a behavior specialist and gave us a discount on our first training class. Just having guidance about where to begin with training and some support with settling in and a targeted behavior plan (minor issues only) was invaluable.

  112. Id like to adopt but rescues and such won't adopt dobermans to families with young kids in my experience at least. I lost mine last year and wanted another.

  113. My shelter girl is amazing, but the shelter lied about her breed blatantly. She's also got behavior quirks they didn't disclose, but her former owner did share when they found her Facebook page. Things they insisted they told the shelter.

  114. I have bought all my dogs because I wanted very specific things. The breed I have can be a genetic nightmare, so I wanted to stack the deck in my favor.

  115. I love Animals, but won't have one until I retire (11 years) and can give it my time and attention. When I do adopt one, it'll be an older Dog. (S)he and I won't have a lot of energy, so we'll go on short walks, and take naps together.

  116. I think it's great that you're asking these questions! I am not sure if we would adopt another shelter dog. The one we have right now came from a shelter affiliated with a rescue group here in Europe. Once we adopted her, it turned out that the shelter knew literally nothing about our dog and everything they had told us about her was a guess. We ended up with a completely different dog than we were looking for, with many more problems and much higher exercise needs than anticipated. Think 3+ hours a day in exercise alone, not including any other kind of stimulation or training. When I inquired about rehoming the dog because it was too much for us, the shelter wouldn't take her back because they were full. Nobody here will adopt a dog that needs this much exercise and who also comes with a hard play biting habit, so we decided to keep her to avoid risking having her put down.

  117. I grew up with two rescue dogs, who both had their quirks but were great family pets. Both unfortunately passed away suddenly (one at 9 of stomach cancer and one at 7 with a lung issue that was never diagnosed - he just started filling with fluid one day, and a week later after every veterinary option available money could buy he passed away).

  118. First time dog owner and I was very nervous about possible aggression issues with any shelter dog, especially the breeds that populate our local shelters. No breed shaming, I am just starting from zero and only have the experience of friends and general breed reputations to go by. I thought going to a responsible breeder and starting from puppyhood gave me the best chance at a good temperament. (Time will tell but the joke may be on me because I’m a little worried my thoroughly vetted labradoodle puppy may be developing signs of aggression.)

  119. I bought my last dog because I wanted to know what I was getting and because rescues in my area generally don’t have a behaviorist or trainer doing temperament testing, they have volunteers that do personality typing into categories like “rambunctious” and “couch potato”. If I’m being asked to spend what can easily be hundreds of dollars on a rescue, a bare minimum ought to include a proper temperament test.

  120. A lot goes down to how the dog acts vs how the shelter says they act. I'm all for giving dogs a chance, but in my current search I have to be extremely picky to accomodate my current dog's needs (very confident, well trained already dog in short), and so far every single dog I've met that is said to fit these criteria, has been skittish, not potty trained, or super defensive (in cases where the page said friendly and outgoing). So it's discouraged us a lot

  121. I currently have a rescue dog, a German shorthaired pointer. He is amazing, and we hit the lottery with him. We will consider rescue again at some point in the future.

  122. Because all the adoption places near us didn’t allow us. My brother is still too young, we don’t have a fenced in garden. The large pen we have out the back doesn’t help. We really wanted a dog, but the experience my dad has with them doesn’t help because the whole family doesn’t have that experience. That’s why

  123. So the reason I didn’t adopt is because the shelters in my area weren’t very forthcoming with their information about their dogs and made it damn near impossible to get a dog that worked with me and my temperament. In fact, they did the same thing to my mother. My mother did end up adopting eventually (spur of the moment decision with a shelter that did no background checks or anything), but is wildly unequipped to handle the dog’s special needs because the shelter didn’t tell her that her dog has any. And now we’ve had to deal with the dog’s anxiety disorder and her reactive nature, and it’s made my own dog’s life worse for several reasons.

  124. My background: Professional trainer, volunteered several years in a municipal (open admission) shelter, fostered 30+ dogs, do a wide variety of dog sports and show, have had 3 dogs from a reputable breeders, 2 from rescue, and 1 of my own breeding.

  125. As much as I wanted to adopt a second dog, my local shelters/rescues are unfortunately filled with large dog breeds and it wasn't going to work with my small dog (Maltese x Shih Tzu)

  126. I applied to so many rescue sites when I started working from home during 2020. I either never heard back or was told they were only considering adopters who already had a dog. I understand the idea that some animals need to live in a house with another companion but every single dog at your shelter? It was an exhausting experience that ended up with me purchasing a dog from a breeder

  127. I feel really, really strongly about rescuing. Not that everyone has to do it or that going with a top notch breeder is wrong, but that I personally can, so I will do my best to the extent that I can. I’ve worked in wildlife biology and invasive species, so animals have found their way to me anyway. I know I will put in the effort to get their needs met. So when I was ready to get a dog, I went with a rescue that had gotten 17 stray puppies from a shelter, fostered them, and adopted them out.

  128. I don’t intend to adopt again (at least not for many years) because in my experience shelters lie or omit a dog’s issues A LOT. shelters in my experience don’t care about finding a good fit they care about getting dogs out. rescues often have too many requirements and will still hide a dog’s issues. Many good dog owners live in apartments or can’t fence their backyard. It’s fine. There are plenty of ways to provide good care for dogs in that environment. But then they will not tell you the dog has come back to the shelter twice for hard biting during play, even if you have a kid in the house. Or they’ll say a dog is great with other dogs until proven otherwise, then the adopted dog will come home and be aggressive with your current gentle dog, but if you return the dog you’re blacklisted for life. I think it was a mistake, but a friend of mine adopted a pregnant cat once. 🤦‍♀️ I have adopted a cat with ear mites and the entire house of animals had to be treated (which was like… 7 animals? We had roommates.) These are just issues you don’t have with dogs from a reputable breeder. I wouldn’t consider adopting again unless it was going to be a single dog, and even then I’d expect to have to budget time and money towards behavioral issues.

  129. I adopted my dog a decade ago from a shelter, but from what I understand it’s not easy to do these days. You have to fit their narrow parameters like no kids under X age (I’d fail that one). I’ve seen people on parenting groups post that they got rejected from X number of shelter and rescues because of their kids. Some place have income restrictions. It’s become crazy hard to adopt.

  130. Too. Many. Frickin. Hoops. I get they have to do their due diligence but holy shit. Some organizations make it almost as difficult as adopting an actual child. 🥴

  131. I can’t speak for everybody but for me it was because the dog shelters near me were dishonest and kinda crappy. I worked as an adoption partner alongside many rescues at a big box pet store and when one shelter had a litter of puppies that they managed to find home for except for ONE puppy, I volunteered to foster the puppy. It was listed as a MIXED breed mind you. So I ended up foster failing. And it turns out my puppy was a pitbull mix and was not allowed at my apartment because they have a no tolerance for aggressive breeds policy. I had to buy extra insurance to keep her. And when I asked the shelter about it they told me “They advertise pitbulls as mixes because they’re more likely to get adopted out that way.” Don’t get me wrong, I love pits. Have no bad will towards them. But when you’re living in housing that can kick you out for going against policy.. I almost lost my home over it.

  132. When my husband and I started looking for a dog we decided to try the local shelters first. We knew it would be tough to find a dog that would fit in with our cats and our small hobby farm but we were up for the challenge and the chance to give a shelter dog a loving home.

  133. I wanted a younger dog, preferably a puppy and a small breed. Small breed puppies at local shelters go so fast, they can't even keep up with all the applications. I put in applications for several dogs over the course of a few months and eventually just bought my Dachshund.

  134. Yeah a small breed 2 years old or younger that isn't a chihuahua basically doesn't exist at shelters near me. Mostly pit, lab, and shepherd mixes which I can't handle

  135. I wanted predictable health and temperament. I wanted the lifetime support and guidance from a breeder. I wanted a dog set up for success.

  136. i wanted to adopt but eventually decided to get a puppy from a breeder. I knew I wanted at least a partial golden retriever which there are some within my area but not a crazy amount compared to other breeds. but when i contacted shelters i barely got any responses back... and i have a big fenced in yard, almost no commute, eat lunch at home, etc so i should be a great candidate. another thing i really didn't like.... and I understand why shelters do this tbf.... but all the young dogs were neutered. Some as young as 9 weeks. Especially for big dogs this seems to be a mistake to neuter so young. And maybe just going through a lot of health issues with my previous dog.... i really wanted a healthy dog

  137. I really considered not adopting because a majority of the dogs around me were pits or bully breeds, which are restricted by 90% of rentals around me. And it did make us kinda paranoid to not adopt a dog that like said mix but looked pit-bull ish. Nothing against them, just literally can't own them.

  138. I'm in my late 20s. Growing up my family fostered for animal services/pounds. We adopted or rescued strays, dogs, cats, and chickens. I never thought I would buy an animal, I was 100% pro rescue.

  139. I spent months looking for a standard poodle to rescue, nation-wide, and they were being adopted literally the day they were listed. After months, and because the stars aligned to put a puppy in front of my face, I bought a pup instead. Ivy turned a year old this week and she's perfection, but if I live long enough for another dog? I'll go back to looking for standards to adopt.

  140. My father in law got his dog from a breeder. He said that they tried to adopt but gave up after months of looking for the right dog. Their breeder also offers a lot of support. I think that a lot of rescues in Canada have insane and unreasonable requirements that make it difficult to adopt. My guess is that the need isn’t as high where we live so they can do that.

  141. I was denied a few times because my living situation was unconventional. My husband traveled for work, we lived in an RV and traveled. We went hiking all the time, I have a lot of experience with dogs both as a child and as an adult. But, we live in a tiny RV with no "yard" despite most of our chosen camping places having tons of space and often dog parks as well. Also our other dog, who was a stray, has anxiety issues we've worked to manage and takes a bit to warm up to people and animals.

  142. I have two ferrets and live in a two bedroom apartment. When I’m home, I want all the animals to be able to roam freely. The smartest option was to get a yorkie from a breeder as a puppy. That way I could ensure his small size (saw the parents) and have him raised with the ferrets so he would not be aggressive towards him. There is just too much unpredictability with shelter dogs and I wasn’t willing to take that chance in my circumstance.

  143. As I’m writing this I’m sitting here with a rescue that I’m pet sitting. I love this guy, but he will try to attack bikes, squirrels, and cars. Also kids if they’re on a bike or skateboard. The only reason he hasn’t seriously done damage is because he’s 20 lbs and you can physically restrain him on leash. That’s the only reason he’s still alive.

  144. UK - seems to be very different to America, there aren't many dogs available in shelters here. A lot of work with charities who bring dogs in from overseas but this often involves picking and sponsoring a particular dog without having met it/knowing much about it etc which makes it very unpredictable.

  145. Most shelters neuter/spay puppies way too young, which can effect their development. I decided to buy a puppy so I could neuter him at a healthy time.

  146. Because rescues are getting nearly impossible to get from with their 3033 point checks. Which they will quite happily ignore when it suits, normally when someone knows someone.

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