Adoption Application: “Denied”

By Ellen Graben,


Note to the ever-charming pet-adopting public:

If your application to adopt a pet from a responsible, legitimate rescue group or shelter is turned down, do not threaten the rescue personnel with bodily harm or online retribution. Your rejection is, 99 times out of 100, due to your own failure to meet reasonable expectations of care for a rescued pet in which the rescue or shelter has invested extensive time, money, sweat, and tears.There is no such thing as a “free” pet unless you plan to spend no time, effort, or money on lifelong care at all.

Legit reasons to deny your adoption:

• You bitch about a $250 adoption fee when the pet is special-needs and has received $3,000 in specialty vet care by the grace of public donations

• You ask for an adoption fee waiver because you can’t afford it (what are you gonna do when your pet needs a vet visit? Food? Supplies? Remedial training after you let it run amok?)

• You already have a dozen pets, a dozen kids, and no job

• You have unaltered or unvaccinated pets in your home

• You reject a home visit or a veterinary reference check

• You request an unaltered pet so you can show your children the miracle of birth, or supplement your income via your pet’s reproductive capabilities

• You have ever dumped your pet at a shelter

• You have undisciplined toddlers or entitled children who can’t respect an animal’s space

• Your last three pets died before they were three years old

• You plan to chain your pet outside or let your dog run at will with no confinement

• You are a militant vegan and plan to force your meat-free existence on a dog or – even worse – a cat

• You believe coconut oil is a substitute for life-saving medications

• You have an aggressive animal in your home

• Your spouse doesn’t want another pet, or you have an aggressive/violent spouse

• You harass the living hell out of the rescue administrator for not answering your texts or emails instantly, or putting your application ahead of all others received before yours

• You simply act like a patronizing asshole toward the rescuer

People who expect for something for nothing, or think that rescues and shelters should simply hand out cats and dogs free to any taker, no questions asked, are exactly the reason why there are so many discarded pets stuck waiting and eventually dying in shelters. There are plenty of places, unfortunately, from which you can acquire a free or cheap pet, no questions asked.

A responsible rescue’s priority is the long-term wellbeing and happiness of the pet it has worked to save and is now placing, not being a people-pleaser by fulfilling customer orders.

Note: This short essay is not all-inclusive. There are plenty of other reasons that rescues turn down applications. Many are justifiable; some are not. Some of you who read this will ask, “But what about rescue groups, humane societies, or shelters who make the adoption process ridiculously hard, whose requirements are (or appear to be) unreasonable?” That’s a valid question, but it’s the topic of a separate future essay and discussion. Regardless why you were turned down, your personal anger doesn’t justify a physical or verbal attack or a smear campaign. Your ego is not more important than an adoptable dog or cat’s future, so do not threaten the rescue personnel with bodily harm or online retribution.

NOTE: Reposted with permission of the author.

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