Too old to adopt a puppy: 70-year-old woman denied Yorkie mix

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All she wanted to do was adopt a one-year-old Yorkie mix from Fluffy Dog Rescue,  but she was denied. The dog rescue organization that adopts dogs to people living in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois just didn’t think Mary, who is a 70-year-old vibrant woman, would be a suitable pet parent.

According to Fox News, Mary sent in an application to adopt the adorable pooch who was being fostered  near her Illinois home. The response from Fluffy Dog Rescue was, to say the least, a bit unsettling with them stating the organization has “a philosophy of ‘adoption for life’… we feel there are other dogs that may be more suitable for you. In your case it would be a dog aged three or older.”

Mary had been searching for a little companion to travel with her – even to place under an airplane seat while she went visiting. Her husband had passed away a few years ago, and Mary thought a little dog could give her that companionship to help with the lonely days.

” I think they made a very poor judgment, in the fact they don’t know me,” stated Mary.

Mary’s daughter couldn’t believe the pup wasn’t to be adopted by her mother obviously because of her mom”s age, but the rescue was unrelenting in its own defense stating. In a response to her daughter’s questioning, the rescue wrote:

“… we have established a formula for our older applicants to do our best to accomplish this. With that said, your mother fits into a category of only being able to adopt a dog that is three years or older… There are many rescues out there that will sell anyone a dog without a care of what might happen to them. We are not that rescue.”

For so many of us involved in animal rescue, we know that age should never be the deciding factor. After all, animal lover Betty White has just celebrated her 96th birthday. Did any of the representatives from the rescue ask Mary questions about her health if age was a concern? Tragically, young people adopt dogs and young people die before their dogs. The positive part of adopting out to retired people is the time they can devote to a forgotten pet. Get real Fluffy Dog Rescue – you might want to reconsider such narrow mindedness.

(Photo of 70-year-old Mary and the dog she wanted to adopt via FB)

What do you think?

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30 replies
  1. Bunny Peters says:

    I think she should be allowed to adopt as long as she has a “contingency plan”. I sorak from experience: My parents adopted 2 puppies from the Humane Society with their knowledge that my husband and I would “succeed them” should there ever be an issue of ability to care for these puppies. Sadly my Dad passed away recently and my Mom moved into a small apartment. She is allowed to have her 2 puppies, but right now, they are staying with me and my husband because there are always lots of people in and out of her apartment. We bring them over for visits (& she is “OK” with it).

    • Marianne says:

      I agree with bunny but sometimes family members change their minds once the person is deceased, it’s a shame I think a little bit older dog would be suited for her instead are the family living with her probably not. I can see if their were puppies can be a handful I volunteer at no kill shelter I see it all the time

  2. Pam says:

    What the hell kind of rescue are you ? Do you even care that dog or any dog you have. Really gets a a forever home???? Or the power trip to exciting for you??? Get over yourselves. You have just just signed life of dogs in your facility lives with no family !!!! You are not GOD. Don’t ever forget that. POS.

  3. Linda Patton says:

    That’s horrific and thoughtless of this rescue. The puppy had a woman who wanted nothing more then to provide a good loving home for this pup. Who’s to say her age made her a risk for providing that? Fluffy dog rescue ought to be ashamed, their decision is one that shows predijust and thoughtlessness. I truly am appalled!!!

  4. Darla G says:

    I think this rescue is way too restrictive. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow, no matter our age. This woman wants to give a dog a home and she is probably a BETTER adopter than many people half her age because she’ll be home all of the time, for starters. I would hope that she has a plan in place in the event she doesn’t survive her dog (i.e., would her daughter care for the dog for the rest of the pup’s natural life?). Any single person should have that same plan for their companion animals, just in case. I think Fluffy Dog Rescue needs to rethink their policies.

  5. Linda says:

    I would not donate 1 cent toFluffy Dog Rescue!
    and I hope others will do the same when they hear about this “so called rescue.”
    It is ridiculous and ignorant that this group denied Mary the adoption of this 1 yr. old dog!
    Mary seems to be the perfect candidate for taking in this dog. She sounds like she will be able to provide a loving and stable home for this dog. I am just a few yrs. younger than Mary and people Ike myself are very loving and doting pet owners. We have the time and often the resources to take care of our fur babies.
    Who’s to say that the pup is adopted out to a family w/children and the parents divorce and the dog ends up in a shelter as a result….or the family can’t afford to spend the time required in taking care of the dog.
    The response of this so called rescue is disgraceful and just plain wrong!

  6. Barkley's Mom says:

    Speaking as a woman who will turn the dreaded 70 years old this year and have 4 dogs, 3 German Shepherds and a Beagle, who are they to say this woman won’t be able to take care of this dog for it’s life. If they have a problem with the Woman’s age then ask what she intendeds to do with the dog if something were to happen to her. Most of us “older” people have plans in place should something happen, but then again, my mother-in-law lived to be 94. 70 years old doesn’t mean someone is on ‘death’s” door! Many times dogs don’t live their life expectancy either! “There are many rescues out there that will sell anyone a dog without a care of what might happen to them. We are not that rescue.” REALLY? You have most likely deprived a dog of a good, loving home time to take a look at your policies, your “established formula for your older applicants” needs to be looked at closer Fluffy Dog Rescue, some of you will be 70 some day and realize how narrow minded you are being but it will be too late!

  7. Adrienne says:

    Stupid rescue. My husband and I adopted a small 6 yr old dog and if there was a younger one available we might have gotten that one too. Maybe if they are so concerned that she will die (which is basically what they are implying ) before the dog, possibly her daughter could have cosigned with her that she would be responsible for the dog if something should happen to her mother.
    By the way we are older than this woman and our adopted dog loves us regardless of our age.

  8. Kathy says:

    Seriously!? You should be glad that someone wants to adopt a dog, especially someone who can devote time and energy with the dog! Just because a person is older does not mean they are not capable of handling a young dog. Not everyone over 60 years of age is feeble and weak! Accept the application, meet the person who wants to adopt and take it from there. You people should reconsider your policy!

  9. Alice Susan Harding says:

    Sadly it’s quite common for rescues to be too with their rules who they will and won’t adopt dogs to. They still get it wrong too often in spite of their petty rules and adopt out to families who are not committed to keeping the pet who ends up homeless again.

    In the US in particular rescues often don’t want to give pets to people who live too far away, as they feel that in a sense they lose the ‘asset’ of the pet they have adopted out and can’t use them for events, etc.

    As a result some are forced to go and buy a dog from a breeder – many of whom are puppy farmers disguised as breeders – and as a result animals suffer.

    Rescues need to rethink about the wider effects of their too stringent policies.

  10. Melissa Gurley says:

    Linda is right we should not donate a penny for discriminating against this wonderful.woman who has the time to give love to this pup none of us know how long we have in this world this rescue should stop playing God

  11. Marsha Squibb says:

    As an elderly woman (74) I would adopt an older dog, for 2 reasons…1 the puppy might just outlive me,2 older dogs have less luck in being adopted….Leave the puppies to the young……

  12. Shannon says:

    I’m so disgusted that this “rescue group” is getting away with discrimination so easily. Their reasoning behind it is completely flawed and offensive. Makes me wonder who else Fluffy Dog Rescue discriminates against with their “established formulas”? I would NOT support Fluffy Dog Rescue.

  13. Laurette says:

    I can understand were the rescue is coming from how many pets are dumped after a senior dies and they had no plan to take care of their pet. Many times the pet is middle age or senior and finding a home for them is very hard. They will spend the rest of their lives in a shelter or be killed.
    What they should do is have a written contract with the woman signed by her and her children that if anything should happen that she can no longer take care of the dog or if she dies that the children will take the dog forever.
    If the women really wanted a small dog I bet there are small dogs waiting for Home that are 3+ yrs. sounds like I want this dog or no dog not willing to work with the rescue and take an older dog that has very little chance of finding a forever home, while this 1 yr old has a high chance of being adopted.

  14. Pamela Garlisch says:

    Some rescues are really getting ridiculous with their demands. We were not allowed to adopt a cat because our dog was not neutered. All of our cats are neutered but that didn’t matter to them. I wonder what they are worried about, interspecies breeding????? LOL Daughter actually adopted the cat and give him to us out in the parking lot. We didn’t care who’s name was on the adoption papers.

    • Debbie Rhone says:

      responsible pet owners spay and neuter their pets regardless the species. You proved to be dishonest as well and obviously your daughter as well so maybe they were right. the paperwork is a legally binding contract.

  15. patricia mcnamara says:

    I went to an adoption event and their policy is that if you were unable to care for the dog it would be returned to the rescue. I told them that in my opinion that was great. The adopter would not have to worry in the event of illness or death. My dog also is chipped to the rescue and would be returned to the rescue in such an event as my second choice for her. A dear friend will take her if needed.

  16. lindette bourne says:

    Absolutely ridiculous these rescues-that would be one thing if dogs weren’t being killed left & right cause of over crowdness. Quit acting like holier than thou. Is this what you want-now she’ll go to a damn pet store. I am a rescuer myself & have heard the assinine reasons people have been denied/overlooked. Give it a rest, and quit acting like jackasses!

  17. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    What the fuck do you mean “not suitable”????? You let people drop off their old dogs and cats and then let them “adopt” a puppy!!! What the hell is that all about. She should be allowed to adopt that baby and give it a Loving home. This is so STUPID!!!!

  18. pamela bolton says:

    Fluffy Dog Rescue, you need a reality check. Not suitable? Really?? What about all the idiots you adopt to that turn around a couple years later and turn it in for a new puppy?? This lady wants a life companion and you deny this dog someone who would care for it and give it the best possible life. WHATS WITH THIS AGE CRAP?? Animals are being “put down” left and right and you want to bark about someone’s age when they want to adopt? And to think, they put people like you in charge of animals lives. Your demands suck at the cost of an animal’s life. SHAME ON YOU.

  19. Barb says:

    Shame on the people who made that rule, I’m 80 and I would adopt a puppy again. I have a 5yr old Weimaraner which I adopted as a 9 week old pup. Thank God I did she is well trained by me , and the love of my life. Tks to the breeder that sold her to me. My pup , had she stayed at the kennel she was to become a show dog.

  20. Kathleen Rago says:

    This rescue center is not considering the welfare of their animals. I am 65 years young and am more capable of taking care of a young or older dog/cat or any animal than some people who are a lot younger. It doesn’t sound like they even inquired about this women’s living situation or her health before they turned her down. Don’t they realize that placing this dog with her will definite benefit not only her but also the dog.

  21. Sherryll shaddock says:

    I am 62, I wouldn’t adopt a puppy. Small dogs can live to be 20+ years old, I am not sure how I will be doing at the age of 82, what if I am unable to care for the dog? There are so many older dogs that people turn their backs on, why not take an older dog. These dogs have already come from bad situations, why take a chance that they lose their homes a second time and end up in an animal shelter. In my opinion, a 70 yr old insisting on adopting a puppy is not thinking of the dog, only of what she wants. A three year old dog will also travel and be a companion. We adopted a 16 yr old Maltese when her owner died, couldn’t ask for a better companion. I support Fluffy Dog Rescue 100%.

  22. Debbie Rhone says:

    Funny so many are judging this rescue however you only know one side of the story. Running a rescue when people are denied they generally don’t take it well and they try to strike back by hollering discrimination of some sort. Its their dog and their choice and I’d imagine a young yorkie had numerous applications and there may have been an applicant they felt better suited for the dog for whatever reason. As far as thinking a rescue should lower their standards… quality over quantity…. they cannot save them all but they should strive to do the best for the animal they can and that means assuring to the best of their ability a lifelong home.


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