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Why Adopting a Rescue Dog is So Hard Right Now

Why Adopting a Rescue Dog is So Hard Right Now

I went through a hefty procedure to adopt a rescue dog, but my application got turned down. If dog rescues have no intention of finding homes for them, what is the point in suggesting people go to shelters? 

This is a common question that I have seen multiple times on different web forums. People who are willing to adopt a rescue dog complain that they have applied for adoption, but their application got rejected.

This “Don’t shop, just adopt” trend in society seems so inviting until you practically start looking to adopt a rescue dog. Where statistics show that almost 1.5 million animals die each year in the shelters in the United States, isn’t it bizarre to know that most shelters have a complicated process of adoption?

Why adopting a dog from the rescue is not as simple as purchasing the one from a pet store? Well! You can calm yourself down by saying that good things come after some adversity. But you have to dig deeper to get to know the intention of rescue centers behind this complicated adoption procedure.

If you want to adopt a rescue dog, then read this guide to know the steps of the dog adoption procedure. You have to prepare your mind for the toil that the rescue dog adoption process entails. 

Moreover, if your application is rejected and you end up here to know the reason for this rejection, read the guide below to settle your nerves. We have given all the likely reasons for the complex rescue dog adoption procedure;

The Goal Of Shelters Is Finding The Right Home, Not Just A Home

If the dog you adopt from the rescue is not compatible with your personality or your lifestyle, then what will you do? Of course, you’ll end up giving him back to the shelter. 

Although a huge population of dogs needs a home, finding the right home is a prerequisite for the well-being of the dogs. Finding the right home is an uphill battle for rescues. Any miss-match will put both the owner and the dog in a challenging situation.

For instance, if Schnoodle puppies, known for excessive barking when they are alone, end up with an owner who works outside, it would be problematic for both Schnoodle and the owner.

You have to fill in a detailed application form in the rescue dog adoption process. All information regarding your house, family, finances, and work are acquired to assess whether the dog you settled for is a right match for you or not.

Onerous Steps of Rescue Dog Adoption

Now you know the goodwill of shelter homes, it would be less annoying to go through the strenuous work of rescue dog adoption. Some aspects of the dog adoption process in shelters are very hard for potential owners, such as;

  • Detailed Application Form: 

If you do not have enough time to fill in a lengthy application form, how would you manage to keep a dog that demands your time? If the dog adoption process should be a piece of cake, then how to deter those not serious about adoption?

So rescue centers purposely make a difficult application form so that only responsible applicants get the chance of adopting a rescue dog. Otherwise, dogs may end up again in the shelters, hurting them once again.

  • Stringent Rules and Requirements:

A rescue dog might have been abandoned several times in his life. If you adopt one of them just to abandon them once again, then what is the point of going through this onerous adoption procedure?

Dog rescues require a home where there is no chance for a dog to get abandoned again. So, strict rules and numerous requirements are made compulsory for the applicants. 

Every shelter will have different requirements and rules, but the aim is the same that is finding the right home for their dogs. Volunteers used to come across many dogs entering the rescues in a miserable state, so their judgmental attitude toward you does make sense.

  • High Competition:

With a lot of awareness programs, people are now well informed about the abusive attitude of immoral and unethical people toward dogs. So they decide on adopting a rescue dog instead of going to a pet shop. 

According to research, global interest in dog adoption has considerably surged, with a 250% boom in dog adoption in the year 2020-2021. 

This increases the number of the rescue application form that shelters receive on a daily basis; subsequently, the chances of rejection also increases as shelters will only choose the best of them

  • Common Reasons for Application Denial:

Another aspect of this detailed form filling and interviewing procedure is to deeply observe your lifestyle and personality. Rescue dogs often go through a lot, so they need specific care, diet, and other requirements. 

If you fail in any one of them, your application is more likely to get rejected. So must know the appropriate process of filling out the application form to meet the criteria of rescue centers.

  • Financial Concerns:

Many applicants ask for discounts on adoption fees which implies that you have financial concerns. If you find it difficult to pay the adoption fee, how would you carry out the ongoing care of this new addition to your expenses?

Dog adoption means you have to pay for dog food! Can dogs eat peanut butter cookies?routine vet visits, grooming, and many other such things. So your application is likely to be rejected if your finances are not enough to accept this new member of your family.

  • Leaving “Landlord Contact Info” Slot Empty:

There are several cases in which dog owners handed back their dogs because they got failed to seek their landlord’s approval. 

That is why many rescues ask for the landlords’ contact information to confirm their approval before the adoption. If you do not provide such information, you are more likely to get rejected.

  • Offensive Attitude Toward Workers:

If throughout the adoption process, you make the mistake of being rude or belligerent to rescue workers, your chances of getting selected for dog adoption are halved down. 

Workers will not trust you because if you can be rude to humans, then what is the surety that you will not be rude and abusive to your pet? At the stage of applying for dog approval, you should be polite with the rescue workers.

  • Your Past Experience with Pets:

Dog rescues might want to know your experience with pets in the past. If they ask directly, obviously, you will not risk your reputation. So they ask indirectly about your experience with Dogs.

For instance, they will ask for any vet recommendation. If you do not have a vet recommendation, there could be two reasons. Either you did not provide routine medical care to your previous god, or your former vet does not accept you as a capable dog owner.

Similarly, they will ask for the vaccination you used to provide to your former pet. If you did not vaccinate your precious pet, then the rescue will not trust that you will bother about vaccinating the new dog.

Also, they would ask about the reason if you abandoned any pet in the past. If your answer is not satisfactory such as: “it did not suit my lifestyle,” then don’t wait for application approval. Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment, after all!


With a large number of dogs in dire need of a home, it sounds bizarre that many rescue dog adoption applications get rejected on a daily basis. 

But we all know if your dog doesn’t suit your lifestyle, then both of you won’t be happy and you’ll end up handing it back to the shelter. 

So you have to go through a detailed procedure to ensure that you are a perfect candidate for this lifetime commitment.

Further Reading:

Adoption Tips-ASPCA

Adoption Procedure – Champaign County Humane Society

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