Getting your dog back or NO PET FOR YOU!

Last Updated: 01/04/2016 Print Back to Articles

I am writing this article because in the recent months many people have contacted me about adoption of pets, lost pets and animal rescue. Because of my professional stand, I will not display the names of the organizations and parties mentioned in this article.

Animal rescue and adoption should be a labor of love but it is an area of the animal industry that has always been warped and continues to irritate me. I find non-profit organizations that promise something possibly good, eat up all the money or have no business sense to ever succeed, which is definitely sad since we need shelters…. or do we?

Some rescue groups think potential owners shouldn’t have full-time jobs, reject families with children, think apartment dwelling is OK for humans but not for dogs, or object to a cat’s litter box being placed in a basement. Most of these groups are private groups or individuals who have high standards for who gets to adopt. Applicants are sometimes subjected to an interrogation, get offended, give up and buy a puppy. Pet stores sell puppies to whoever has the money.

It used to be that people who wanted to get an abandoned, abused or missing animal went to the local pound, saw one they liked, paid a small fee, and drove home with thier pet. Since the 1990s, however, the movement to reduce animal euthanasia and the arrival of the Internet has given rise to a new breed of rescuers.

I have been, unfortunately, exposed to these places where they are really NOT for the animals. People are paying donations to these places thinking they are going to get a shelter or helping the animals. These places are NOT necessarily taking care of the animals or are using the money for purposes other than caring for pets.

Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly for the non-profit organizations that actually do their purpose for animals; but please do your research before donating money. Just because they say they are doing something, doesn’t mean they are.

If you want to place animals, you need to have business sense AND you need to be customer friendly.

I know a place which has miserable placement, adoption rates and they certainly do not work with you. They usually have too many dogs and make it hell for anyone to adopt an animal by all the rules and regulations they impose –while failing to look at their own situation and the dogs within it. And lowly me, I do know that there are rules on what is allowed and what is not. However, rules and regulations don’t cover all circumstances and sometimes rules need to be revaluated.

Their personal opinions and ideas about the idea of re-homing a dog cloud their vision about just what makes a good home. And so, they hang to dogs for eons because of it.


Now, as an animal professional, I know the warning signs for a bad placement and believe you should have the dog pick the owner; they have a much keener sense. ;-} In actuality, I want to make sure my dogs go to a loving home where they are part of the family, that is the main point. I stay in touch with the owners for the life of the dog and know they can call me anytime for advice. My professional opinion is that you are not successful when you are unable to place an animal in a home within a certain amount of time. I recently read about a “successful” placement that happened after two years – seriously, would you call that a success? Now I certainly would not.

But what if you lost your dog and you found it at an adoption rescue place?

That is what set off this year’s irritation; a particular request for placing an animal back with the owner.

When I have people calling me crying because they lost their pet, found it and cannot get it back, totally infuriates me! Who do these organizations think they are??!! Where is the humanity behind this and where is the care in regards to the animal?

Here was someone who had lost their pet, dog was found and brought to a one of the supposedly rescue shelter organizations. In turn, they asked a high amount of money to get the dog back and the dog owners could not afford to pay it all. The dog owners were willing to pay for the services, and wanted to make payments. The organization would not accept the lower payment saying they would charge an additional $100.00 a day until it could be paid in full. That was ridiculous!

They also placed it for adoption and the owners now had to adopt their dog back, but of course, not having a fence, they were turned down.

When the dog owners first called this organization to see if they found their dog, the organization lied by saying they haven’t seen the dog. But when calling the second time, looking for an animal to adopt, the dog appeared. I heard many others speak of the same experience.

The dog owners are working with another non-profit rescue group who is trying to get back their dog for them from this non-profit rescue organization place.

Prior to this, a dog was stolen out of their back yard and placed up for adoption, they were not allowed to get the name of the people who adopted their dog or ever get their dog back. They too, were lied to and the dog was a service dog that attended to both the owner and her son. They remain without knowledge of where their dog is.

I struggle with compassion fatigue and the anger that comes from the stupidity of the management whose animal rights views cloud their business judgment and keep animals in cages instead of homes. I know animals deteriorate mentally over time. If organizations care about the animals, then the animals have the right to be with their original family. We, as humans, have the right to seek out our biological parents when adopted and the animals should have the same right! I realize animals get adopted out by not being claimed by the owner, however, the owner should have the right to regain their pet.

I would love to get more calls that say, “Hey, I am thinking of getting a pet. Do you know of any that need a good home?”; instead of getting, “I have an animal that needs a good home–know of any that need one?

Truth be told, I am a bit more sensitive than my professional side presents.

I also know that it takes a long time sometimes to track down animals. They make long distances in a short time. When technology catches up with us with a tiny GPS chip, we can find our pets sooner. In the meantime, give us a little longer timeframe than one week (which is the designated timeframe to adopt the animal out).

It takes that time to put an ad in the paper and people to read it; it takes time to call everyone and have them check; please take care of my pet but tell me if you found it or adopted them out, I am sure they miss me no matter where they are!


Be careful on what kind of dog you are getting and whom you are getting it from. Do your research on what kind of pet you need for your family and home life. Rescue dogs have many issues, so make sure you get them to a trainer. Have a trainer evaluate them before purchasing if possible. Don’t get mislead by “cute”, the dog doesn’t remain cute when it is doing things you are disagreeable on. Check out reputable places or Trainers who also work with Rescue dogs to find a dog that is a good match to your family or positions.
The Internet has transformed pet-human matching in the same way online dating has changed how we find mates, and it’s now easy to size up potential pets from the comfort of your laptop. The credit for this revolution goes to Petfinder, a Web clearinghouse for adoptable pets. The site, which has helped place more than 17 million pets, went national in 1998. By the turn of the millennium around 400 rescue groups were posting their furry darlings on Petfinder. Today, almost 14,000 groups post 320,000 available animals on the site. The number of groups grows by 30 a week, says Kim Saunders, the company’s vice president of shelter outreach. “If you’re a foster-based group, Petfinder is the way you get 99 percent of your adoptions.”
We are a group of volunteers who saw the need to provide education for dog owners on preventing the loss of their dog and to provide no cost resources to the owners of lost dogs to increase the chances of locating and being successfully reunited with their dog. The program also benefits local animal control and shelters by decreasing the number of “owned strays” entering the animal control/shelter system and increasing the chances of finding an owner once the dog is in their care. Check out their Facebook page.

CRAIGSLIST is another resource in which to place an Ad for your missing pet or find a dog. Again, be careful.


If an applicant manages to get approved, the adoption papers should be read carefully before signing. It turns out the contract often specifies the adopter is not the actual owner of the animal. Sure you’re responsible for the pet’s food, shelter, training, and veterinary care, but the organization might retain “superior title in said animal.” This means the group can drop in unannounced at any time for the rest of your pet’s life and seize Fluffy if it doesn’t like what it sees.

Many adoption agreements also have a provision mandating that if things don’t work out with the pet, you must return it to the group rather than find it another home. Let’s call this the Ellen DeGeneres clause. The comedian adopted a Brussels Griffon named Iggy that just couldn’t get along with her cats. DeGeneres gave it to her hairdresser, who has two daughters, then aged 11 and 12, and Iggy basked in the love fest. Then someone from the group called to check in with DeGeneres on how Iggy was doing. She told them about the new arrangement. Not only was DeGeneres in breach of contract, the group didn’t want Iggy living with any children under age 14. They confiscated the dog.

There are people in the rescue community who are aware that zealotry is damaging their cause. (The ASPCA sided with DeGeneres in her dispute). After all, since fewer than 20 percent of new pets come from rescue groups, driving down that proportion is self-defeating. Jane Hoffman is the president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the organization that transports potential pets from animal control to private groups and provides training and other services. “You have two ends of the spectrum,” she says. “Pet stores will sell to anyone with the money. And then there are rescue group who won’t adopt to anyone. We need a happy medium.”