So I’ve been volunteering at a local shelter for 5 years. I’ve seen a lot I well intentioned people come in and say “I want your hardest to adopt dog/cat”

That is NOT fair to the animal. More often than not, somebody before you had said the same thing and returned the animal. A shelter environment is stressful enough without constantly leaving and coming back.

And its great that you want to give a troubled animal a home, but the thing is, most people don’t actually want a hard animal to take care of.

People come on thinking they’re going to be a savior for this animal, only to get in over their heads and have to bring it back.

So think about it… Really really really think about it. You think you’ve decided it’s for you? Think about it again.

Are you sure you want a dog that can never be around other dogs?

Are you sure you want a dog that can’t be around children?

Are you sure you want a dog that is going to need extensive training to prevent marking in the house or being destructive?

Are you sure you want a dog that may never be trusting of strangers?

Are you sure you want a dog that has health issues and will need constant care? Can you afford the care they will need? Can you afford that training?

Don’t go in thinking you’re going to be an animal’s savior of you’re just going to be another person that’s going to abandon them.

I think the problem is that when people come in and say that, they think “hard to adopt” means missing an eye or a leg or is just kinda ugly but is still a Good Pet, whereas in reality, hard to adopt rarely means ugly and most often means an animal with severe behavioral issues.

So they come in hoping to go home with a one eyed family dog that looks kind of wonky but is still full of love, not a dog aggressive hound that has severe separation anxiety, screams when it gets left alone, and resource guards like no other.

Their idea of a non-adoptable dog comes from the movies, where a family walks in and sees this ugly, run down dog, and takes it home where it blossoms into the Best Dog Ever. This, unfortunately, is not usually the case in real life.

^ Agreed, I admire them for trying to help the unwanted dogs but they have to be honest about their abilities to handle the issues the dog might have.

I’ve rehabilitated some feral cats that would be in the shelter for months not getting adopted until someone comes in looking for their most inadoptable cat. I am so grateful for them to give those cats a chance and last I heard they love the cats. But they also understood that they were previously very feral and will likely never be a cat that likes to be held but they are okay with that and understand ferals are different. If someone adopted them for the sake of adopting the unadoptable without understanding them they would be in for a hard time and it’s very stressful for ferals to be moved to different places if it doesn’t work out.

It helps if the shelter is honest with potential adopters and aren’t just trying to adopt the animal out to anyone that wants it.