This is going to be a little out of character today for me. I'm going to provide some constructive criticism of a group of people that I think do some of the finest, and most noble work you can do. But I feel like I need to say something, because they're making it harder than they should be.
Animal Shelters and rescues do a lot of great work. It is VERY difficult to see so many animals that need homes, and you can't find homes for them. I can't even imagine having to, sometimes daily, make decisions on which dogs are no longer "adoptable" and having to euthenize them to create space for more animals. I also know how hard it is to bring a dog into your life, or your shelter, and then see the animal leave to a home. I know how easily and quickly you can get attached to animals.
However, there was a letter to the editor in yesterday's KC Star that struck a cord with me. The woman who wrote in the letter was denied a cat adoption because the shelter was concerned about her already having 2 outside cats and 3 outside dogs (apparently there are no pet limits in rural Wellsville). She told the Humane Society that she was looking for an indoor cat, and yet they still declined her application.
From what the woman says, it sounds like she is a solid pet owner, and would take good care of the cat. I can see from the Humane Society's standpoint that the home may not fit the "ideal" home (most Humane Societies and Shelters prefer animals kept indoors).
I also know from working with our rescue group, that we work really hard to find good homes for owners. Given that a large number of our dogs are bully breeds, the last thing we can afford to do is have one of our dogs end up on the news somewhere because we place it with an irresponsible owner.
But sometimes I think the rescue community makes it too hard for people to adopt animals. There are slow response times, and turned down applications because the home isn't "ideal". Yet the reality is, that if the dog doesn't go to that home, a) another dog will have to be put down because there isn't room at the shelter/rescue and b) the person will find a dog somewhere else, maybe bought from a Back Yard Breeder or pet store that gets puppy-mill dogs.
I know that it's a tough gig. Trust me, I know. But sometimes people need to realize that in many cases, less than "ideal" is still perfectly fine. There are many instances where outside dogs are just fine (we had an outside "farm dog" for years that slept in our garage and was scared to even be inside and she had a wonderful life). Few bully rescues will allow same gender placements, and yet, I've had 2 females in my household for 8 months because of a long-term foster, and have had a third there this week, and it's almost never a problem. While opposite sex placement is generally the best idea, if you have two dogs with complementing temperaments it can work just fine. Even opposite gender placements don't work out based on gender alone.
I'm just saying that maybe they could make it easier on themselves by not turning down every non-ideal application. There are a lot of ways for animals to have good homes, and maybe by realizing that "less-than-perfect" is still better than euthenasia we can help solve a bit of our problem.