They do not ask for social security numbers or long invasive questions on philosophies of raising a puppy.
Social security numbers are in a different category than philosophies about raising a puppy--radically different categories. Rescues and shelters don't need to do credit checks. They do, however, need to know you'll provide a good, loving home. Why is asking about your philosophy of raising a puppy intrusive
For example, if someone has a dominance-based theory of raising a puppy, I would have concerns about sending a tender-souled, shy foster of mine to that home.
If someone plans to hit the dog when it pees in the house, I wouldn't send any
foster of mine to that home. I've seen that example actually listed in an application asking about preferred methods of correction and training! I can think of little information as important as that for me to know to evaluate a prospective adopter than that the adopter plans to hit
the dog whose shattered psyche I've been working on healing. If that's the kind of question about raising a dog that is intrusive, I'm all about
being intrusive--and unapologetic about it.
I know here at least we aren't looking to get into philosophical debates over whether clickers or treats should be used in training to raise a puppy -- we're using it to get a sense of whether you'll provide a good, loving home, and you've put some thought into the work actually required to raise a puppy so that you'll be able to hang in when the puppy is, well, a puppy. Since we aren't psychic and don't know you, the only we we can know the answer to that is through the information you provide.
Believe me, we don't get into your personal lives for our own amusement. Most of us who volunteer to do rescue work have actual day-jobs, often requiring us to work 40+ hours, and we still make time for the dogs. None of us would have the emotional strength to continue to do this work if we had to worry that a dog we once cared deeply about was on the end of a chain, being mistreated, or suffering because we'd made a bad adoption decision and not asked enough questions.
We also consider the app a demonstration of commitment. If you can't be bothered to spend 15 minutes filling out a form, we have no reason to believe you'll be committed in any other way to the dog. Remember, we don't know you. We don't have time to meet every person who is too secretive to fill out a simple application (I know of few shelters or rescues that will let you meet dogs without filling out an app). Seriously, it's not that hard.
BTW, I'd have never traded a single minute of the glorious ten years I've spent with the rescue dog I have -- even though his hips are imperfect, and they are giving him trouble as a senior. His elder care is my great privilege to provide, in gratitude for the enormous gift of friendship he's given me. And yes, I had to fill out a long application to get him. I'd fill out a 100-page application for a friend like this, and still consider it well worth the trouble.