Shelter Frustrations

I’m going to get hate mail for this, but I vowed to write honestly about something I’m passionate about—abandoned animals and fostering rescues.

I’m growing more and more frustrated with people who run animal shelters. I’ve filled out their forms. I gave them four non-family references. I gave them vet numbers, wrote essay answers and filled out everything they wanted. Each of them approved me for fostering and then nothing. No email back. No phone call.

The one dog I did get was not what I said I wanted (for health and Daisy reasons, not because I just didn’t want it). You can read all about

Moreover, I follow along on Facebook, where these groups post photos and heartbreaking stories about animals who need homes or face certain death.

So here’s my problem: If there are other people who want to help and there are animals without homes who will die if people don’t help them, then why are they not responding?

It has been about two weeks now since I got three “We would love to have you” emails from three separate groups. If I hadn’t been approved, I wouldn’t be this frustrated. If I hadn’t been approved, I would understand why they would ignore me.

It seems, though, that they want money more than fosters. I’m not implying that they don’t need it—these groups are and understaffed. But they can’t get homes for animals if they don’t contact people who want to foster.

More than that, it makes me wonder how many animals have died because people who want to help are overlooked.

I keep seeing posts where a dog is scheduled to be euthanized at 8 a.m the next day, dogs that I could take, dogs that fit my lifestyle by being a female and older, and no one will contact me.

I’ve reached the point where I’m going to have to unlike one particular Facebook page because I’m so disheartened about the whole situation.

I know it’s tough to run a charity right now. But this is far from the first time I’ve tried to volunteer for something for which I wasn’t contacted, then read where they were complaining that they needed volunteers.

I’m not bringing a dog into a “hostile” environment, as I was told the last time I wrote about this. I don’t have kids. It’s just me and Daisy, and she has only a few teeth and has never bitten anything in her life. Shoot, in four years I’ve only heard her bark three times. She apparently doesn’t care for the cows that live behind my parents’ home.

I’ll even let you come over and see how not hostile it is. Well, unless you’re scary or mad, in which case you can’t come over.

I know I’m going to get hate mail for this. I know right now which not-so-pleasant people will make their not-so-pleasant comments. But I promised to write about this honestly, and this has been my experience.

I’m not set in this opinion. Feel free to offer more information that will change my mind. I’m open to think differently. I would actually love for you to change my mind. I hate thinking negatively about people who obviously want to help animals.

KELLI December 29, 2011 at 01:48 PM
I myself was on a waiting list for one whole year before I even got the first call - saying they may have a dog for me. I had been giving money & other donations to them for years. Either they are totally unorganized or they have the wrong people working for them or volunteering for them.. Because I should have received a call immediately (at least within the first month!) for an interview... They say they need people to adopt these animals but many of the shelters seem to be sending a different message by their inaction or as in your case, deeming you to be 'not the right adopter' .... If they feel your home has too many pets (and/or children) already than they need to tell you that and not leave you hanging for a reason...
Jessie Gable December 29, 2011 at 09:49 PM
I'm pretty mad now. After I wrote this, that group posted that they were "pathetically desperate" for fosters when here I am, waiting, working from home, with dog experience and no kids and I'm still not being contacted. If you were that desperate then you would be calling people who can foster. If only I had the guts to write that on their Facebook page...
People are Crazy January 09, 2012 at 06:33 PM
"dogs that fit my lifestyle by being a female and older, and no one will contact me." You are considered "older" LOL Unless your picture is old that was a very silly comment. I applied to adopt a husky at one point from a rescue. I was told that I did not qualify because I had a fenced in yard and said on the application that the dog would be both in my home and outside to play in the fenced yard, but of course inside at night and during bad weather. They said that the dog needed to be inside at ALL times. What type of people run these places??? ALL dogs love to play outside!!!


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