Pet Rescue Groups Need to Ease Up on Adoption Rules

Over-the-top standards scare away would-be owners: Emily Yoffe
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2012 1:18 PM CST
Pet Rescue Groups Need to Ease Up on Adoption Rules
   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

Animal rescue groups have come a long way over the years and done wondrous things in reducing the number of dogs and cats that get put down, writes Emily Yoffe at Slate. Here comes the "but": These groups need to loosen up their overly strict adoption standards, which often scare away perfectly good pet owners and thus leave animals without homes. "Applicants are sometimes subjected to an interrogation that would befit Michael Vick," she complains.

In fact, when Yoffe and her family tried to adopt a second rescue dog, "I felt it was my job to prove to the groups we contacted that I wasn’t a vivisectionist," she writes. They gave up, and when Yoffe mentioned the experience in a column, she was flooded with similar complaints. Applications are filled with trap questions and hidden clauses that give the group the right to swoop in and remove the pet down the road. (Ask Ellen DeGeneres about a similar rule, requiring that pets go back to the group if things don't work out.) It's time to ease up a little, suggests Yoffe. Read the full column, rife with would-be adopters' horror stories, here. (More rescue dogs stories.)

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