What people are saying about rescue, in their own words
This warts-and-all feedback might shock you, but as one enquirer said, “If nothing is said then things can’t improve.”
I had to write to express my disappointment. In general, I have not received any replies from the rescue centres. I was so frustrated that I even went to a pet shop, which I never even thought about before as there are hundreds of dogs without a home.
I do understand that rescue centres are run by volunteers, but I would have at least expected a short reply in a more timely manner. I can now understand why potential dog owners take the easy road and buy their pet from a well organised and friendly pet shop.
Before this experience I questioned these families and was very judgemental on their decision. As a pet rescue organisation this must be the last thing you would want to hear but it is the truth and I thought you should know about it. If nothing is said then things can't improve.
I would like to thank you for your support and for replying to my emails during this process.
I adopted my remarkable and lovable dog back in 2009 through PetRescue. Sadly he died late last year. I am now looking to adopt other dogs. I have submitted applications for a few dogs and what I find disappointing is that I hear nothing.
There appears to be no respect or understanding that these forms - which are all different for each rescue group - take time and consideration to complete. It would be a respectful courtesy to just drop applicants an email to advise the dog has been either put 'on hold' or 'adopted'.
I sincerely appreciate all the work that carers do. They are incredible and amazing. But do they realise this system only works if there are people, like myself, who want to adopt and are demonstrated forever home applicants?
I certainly know I have been discussing this amongst my circle, including a rescue carer who I have adopted with, my vets and friends who adopt rescue babes. I have now found out this is common practice. The long waiting with NO response whatsoever will cause them to turn to alternative arrangements - that is my biggest concern.
I tried a number of times to get two rescue dogs, but it just got so hard that I purchased from a registered breeder.
I know these rescuers are trying to find the best homes for these dogs, but if you make it too difficult then people go elsewhere. Unfortunately I have heard the same complaints from a number of people who have also ended up purchasing dogs from pet shops or breeders.
Being told that a dog has been adopted yet their picture remains on the website for weeks on end; filling in long forms only to again be told the dog was adopted; not replying to phone calls or emails etc.
It is sad that this results in people giving up.
I had given up about corresponding about this issue, but in the interest of the poor homeless animals I think it is important that you are aware.
Continued responses saying that they are only volunteers aren't helpful. Volunteers have a role to perform and failure to perform that role renders them unsuitable, especially if the welfare of helpless animals is at stake.
I am also concerned that this is a public interest matter since the "Volunteer Organisation" is receiving public donations on the understanding that they are helping homeless animals.
I volunteered in a dog shelter for over 5 years so I fully appreciate how under-resourced the whole dog rescue industry is. I feel it necessary however to let you know how disappointed I have been in my latest enquiries about 3 dogs from different rescue groups. After giving A LOT of information required for their questionnaires and taking a lot of time to the fill the questionnaires of the other 2 rescues, over 2 weeks later and I haven't heard ANYTHING!!!
We are fit, active and retired - ie: at home a lot. We have 7 acres, we have 2 resident dogs (we are allowed 3 by the council) and have always had rescue dogs and have plenty of vet records to prove our dogs get excellent health care.
Another prospective adopter would just give up by now and either go to a backyard breeder or Gumtree. That is my concern. The industry is in trouble when even I am thinking of looking at Gumtree !! I am not complaining, I am not demanding anything, I am just very, very concerned about the dogs who are missing out due to the lack of communication.
A very sad dog lover.
I realise that this a volunteer-led process and I truly admire people who undertake this job as it must be heartbreaking, however I cannot help but feel disheartened by the process and actually am now seriously considering just buying a puppy from a breeder.
This is not what I want to do at all since I believe that adoption is a more ethical process, but honestly if trying to adopt is going to mean misery for my children who had completely fallen in love with the idea of the dog they saw (although I did warn them that it was not a foregone conclusion!) and then to feel that our family has been denied for an unspecified reason - it just seems rude not to even return a text or just send me an email.
I am aware that people all have lives to lead and cannot always get back when they say they will, but I think over 10 days is rather a long time to keep someone waiting. It may be that they have decided that we are not suitable for whatever reason and may not like giving people bad news etc - but that is what a text or an email are for. Once again, thanks for setting up this great site and for providing a venue that enables pets to find their new families.
I still have not had the courtesy of a response about XXXX, but he seems to be no longer listed for adoption. To be honest, I haven't had a great experience. Every time I have applied for a dog, I have had no response, and when I followed up the dogs have already been adopted. We have now been looking via PetRescue for about 3 months and to be honest I am just about ready to go to a breeder rather than rehome like we have done in the past.
I’m not even sure where to start, nor if there is anything your site/organisation can do, hard to police all these rescue organisations. But, in a nutshell, I have never wasted so much time and effort to try and adopt a kitty, for my elderly mum, whose 17 yr old rescue has not long passed away.
Most places don't even bother replying, most ignore the questions, phone calls go unanswered. As you can imagine I'm furious. I have been trying for four weeks now, so now do I just go to a breeder? Total disappointment, and I have all but given up. I currently have myself, another acquaintance, and a family in neighbouring town, all trying to adopt rather than go to a breeder, all with the same result.
Always the excuse, “well it's all volunteers, it takes time, they have lives”. Hope someone can get back to us.
I have filled in multiple applications at quite a few places to adopt a rescue or surrender dog. Sadly I only got a response from one group to say the little girl was already adopted. So we decided to get a pup from a registered breeder. We are going 300 kms south of here for a meet and play with the pup and meet the parents, and if all goes well we can bring her home.
I am sorry to say that I am still yet to hear any response from XXXX. I appreciate that you are the facilitation service for XXXX but it now does feel like there is a fundamental breakdown in the process.
I appreciate that the organisation is run by volunteers, but one would think given that the core objective is to rehouse rescued pets that customer enquiries would feature near the top of the "must do" tasks. Even if it is to say "sorry, we are busy and aren't ignoring you!".
I think that it needs to be reminded to them that generally speaking, people willing to adopt a pet tend to have an emotional investment in the selected animal and actually prevented me from nominating for any other animal that needed rescuing, lest I be successful for all of them.
I sent a request to organise a time to meet this puppy last Monday. Supplied full information about our house, family, experience with animals. I then followed up by texting the number they advertise on their webpage, asking for confirmation they received my enquiry. A week later, still no reply.
We have now seen dog has found a home, my wife and I are quite disappointed that they couldn't even extend the courtesy of letting us know, it was only that she went online and saw it. My wife was so excited about this, only to find out that it wasn't happening. If this is the response we can expect, we'll just follow other avenues to find a dog.
I recently enquired about a dog on your site but have heard nothing back in 5 working days. This was not my first enquiry, but the experience of each enquiry is similar. In each enquiry I need to provide all the details about my lifestyle and why I would be a responsible owner only to be told days later the dog is not available or receive no response at all.
I would prefer a rescue dog for obvious reasons, however it's all too hard. I have simply given up and will look for more convenient options. If this means using a breeder on Gumtree then this is what it will have to be if I want to find a companion anytime soon.
I duly filled out an application form and sent it off the same night. No-one has contacted me to acknowledge receipt of the application, despite my sending them a courteous email requesting the status of that application.
After this experience with them I don't wonder that people find it exasperating and in the end turn to puppy farms for their next pet, even though I despise the practice. What do we have to do to get people to at least have the decency to contact possible adoptee's for the pets they so desperately want to find homes for?
If I had followed the same practice when I was working, I would have been out of a job very quickly. Volunteers or not, surely someone would find the time to at least advise me of the status of my application, especially after you reportedly asked them to update me on the proposed adoption.
I am sorry if this sounds an abrupt message but I am frustrated at the inaction and the way I have been treated.
I understand that all rescue sites are fuelled and run by volunteers and I am so grateful to them, however I've applied a few times to adopt pets now, but fail to ever hear anything back.
It's really disappointing - I have so much love to give, with a stable job, home and extensive pet experience. It concerns me that this is something that many might encounter and it deters them from using adoption as an option to get a pet rather than a breeder/ pet store.
We know it’s not the nicest feeling to read this kind of feedback.
And we know there’s so much good being done in the rescue community.
That’s why it’s so important that we all take steps to make sure this good work isn’t undone, and to ensure the ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’ message retains its credibility and power.
Read on to find out better ways to manage and make the most of incoming enquiries...