This Ellen dog debacle has blown up and there are a lot of issues at play. The issues of dog adoptions, contracts, reading the contracts, and being right are all being thrown around. But isn’t the goal of a shelter to find a good home for a dog? Shouldn’t the dog come first?
Unfortunately, in this case, it seems being right is more important then doing right. Yes, Ellen should have read the contract and should have known that the dog gets returned to the shelter, or at least notify them, if it wasn’t compatible. But, Ellen had the best interest of the dog at heart when she gave it to her hairdresser. Plus, the hairdresser already had a dog, so it’s not like she doesn’t know how to care for one.
Ellen’s wrong doesn’t make the shelter right. This shelter is worried about the wrong things, and their practices of not placing the dog in the forefront makes me wonder about dealing with shelters as a whole.
The other thing that irks me with the shelter is their rule of not adopting to anyone with kids under the age of 14. The hairdresser’s children, of course, are both under this age. What kind of rule is that? So you’re telling me that families with younger children can’t handle a dog? The shelter’s reasoning is that it is for the protection of the dog. I can understand certain dogs aren’t good to have around children, but that should be a case by case basis; not a blanket rule.
I saw a brief interview with the lady that owns the shelter. She came across as arrogant and heartless. She was more worried about following her so-called rules, rather then what’s best for the dog and for the family who is loving the dog; wanting to care for the dog, and wanting to be a good home for the dog. Isn’t that supposed to be the goal of the shelter- finding a good home?
This story also touches my life in that our second dog, Kelso, had sort of a similar story. He started in a home that couldn’t care for him, went to a second home where he wasn’t compatible with the other pets, and finally came to us (not including the time spent at the breeder’s and the store where he was originally purchased). Because of his bouncing around from place to place, he had a hard time adjusting to us, his third family. I’m sure the same is true for Iggy, and bouncing him around from place to place like a toy can’t be in the best interest of the dog.
If the shelter wants to enforce their rule that they need to be informed when an adopted dog changes hands, then at the very least, give this new family a chance to keep the dog. Bend your meaningless “under the age of 14” rule for the sake of doing right by the Iggy.