When a board member of the Humane Society of the United States, Eric Bernthal, was rejected when he applied to adopt a pit bull he'd fallen in love with at an adoption event, it inspired their Animal Sheltering magazine to take a look at adoption restrictions.
In the article, they wrote:
After a week went by and he still hadn’t heard back, Bernthal followed up. He received a terse email: “Sorry, your application has been rejected.”
“No explanation, no apology, no encouragement,” he notes.
That was a year ago. He still hasn’t adopted another dog.
Bernthal’s story is, unfortunately, far too common among those who try to adopt from rescues and shelters. And while Bernthal knows the animal welfare world, the average would-be adopter doesn’t. They don’t know why they were rejected. They don’t know what they could do better. One thing the average adopter does know? Not to try to get a pet from that group again. Why would they, when they can go online or head for a pet store, where no one will ask them any questions, and where the pet store will be all too happy to take their money?
Rescuers and shelters see what happens to animals who meet with cruel or irresponsible people, and they work to ensure the animals in their care never again suffer abuse or neglect. Rescuers invest in their animals, emotionally and financially, and getting them go into the unknown can feel risky.
But if we can’t trust anyone, how can we find good homes? Are our reasonable fears making it too difficult for good people to adopt?
Read more here.
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