If you haven't already guessed, I am one judgmental motherfucker. I make instant assumptions about people based on a few key things. If someone put me in charge of approving or denying animal adoption applicants, things would be pretty cut and dried. Let me give you some examples:
So yeah, when it comes to profiling and generally being a bitch, I'm right up there in the big leagues. However, even I think there's a line when it comes to adoption requirements. It's the line between, "let's make sure we put this critter in a good home," and, "we're not releasing so much as a gerbil to anyone who doesn't own a gold-plated food dish."
I'm almost not kidding about the gold-plated food dish. There are some re-damn-diculous adoption requirements out there. These are all REAL things some rescues (horse OR cat/dog) have listed as being causes for denying someone's adoption application:
You think I'm joking, don't you? You think I totally made this crap up, don't you? NO. Again, all of these are real requirements-- and some of the most ridiculous are on the same application! Check out the adoption requirements of H.O.R.S.E in Connecticut here. They include a mandatory 6 visits to the ranch before an adoption can take place, riders can't be under 10 or over 65, there's a $50 non-refundable deposit/application fee, people over 210 pounds must provide a doctor's note stating they are fit enough to ride, and, "Horses adopted
from H.O.R.S.E. of CT may NOT be used for showing,
jumping, hunter, 4H, or any competitive activity,
for the duration of their lives. No exceptions."
HOLY FUCKING SHIT.
I'm pretty sure adopting a human child has fewer requirements.
Look, I get why a rescue might list some of these things. Ideally, you want the perfect adopter, and if you take a bunch of these together, there might be cause for some concern. If a chick approached me and wanted to adopt a horse, weighed 300lbs, rented a farm but was planning on moving soon, had never blanketed her horses, and had 19 cats and six dogs, well of course I'd be worried. But denying an adopter because of any ONE of these things is STUPID.
Rescues that are obsessed with ferreting out the "bad owners" go about it the wrong way. A six page application and super-strict requirements are just going to turn EVERYONE off, good people and bad. Furthermore, someone could meet all the requirements and STILL be an asshole.
For example, just look at this dickwad. Brian Robinson is a "professional trainer" in Ontario Canada, specializes in AQHA stuff, has his own barn, and if he cared to jump through the hoops, he could easily get a horse from even the most strict rescue. He looks great on paper. Yet he thinks tying a horse's head to its butt by the bit is a good idea. Fuckhead.
Applications are fine, and good for getting to brass tacks and ferreting out information. But in the end, the best judge of a potential adopter is a rescuer's gut. Nor does a rescuer need "official reasons" to deny an adopter's application. There's nothing discriminatory, illegal or wrong in saying, "Sorry, this isn't going to work out. You're welcome to apply again another time."
Optimism Bias, and how it affects animal adoptions
How to Lie in Order to Adopt (scroll down)
And be sure to check out my favorite new blog, YesBiscuit! Lots of scandal in the world of animal welfare.