Why aren't the adopters screened better?
Jane, among some
high-kill public shelters, there is movement starting toward "open adoption" policies. I loathe it and fight hard against it locally, but it's the trend. Expect to see more and more about it--it's spreading through "consultants.".
As far as I can tell, it's advocated for by certain no-kill advocates who "consult" with shelter management on how to reduce euthanasia rates. The dogs are just numbers to move, not individuals with needs and personalities to be matched with homes and people.
Breed seems to be irrelevant in that world view (GSDs, Mals, Pitts, Rotts, Dobies, and Mastiffs get no more screening than Pugs) -- indeed, if you claim homes should be more carefully screened for "powerful" breeds, you will likely be labeled a "breedist."
(These people apparently mean this to be an insult. They don't realize how moronic it sounds when said to a BREED rescuer....)
Here's what I think is really
going on: I think some shelters in dire circumstances have simply given up on even trying to screen because they don't have the resources. The "open adoption" philosophy is wrapped up in a no-kill rhetoric and reducing euthanasia rates, so it sounds warm and fuzzy. It lets the shelter claim that it's "doing something" to improve the euthanasia rate, without taking responsibility for how badly things may turn out for some of the dogs. In my opinion, it's a convenient post-hoc justification for an already-existing failure to dedicate resources to thoughtful adoption screening and matches in these underfunded public shelters.
It gets worse. One of these "consultants" wanted to get private
rescues (including breed rescues) to commit to an "open adoptions" program, including mass adoption events in parking lots where anyone who wants a dog can walk up and pay $12 and leave with a dog, with little paperwork or screening (and absolutely no home check or vet reference check). The idea is if rescues are churning dog adoptions (and flipping dogs quickly), they'll pull more dogs from the public shelter, driving down euthanasia rates. Remember, the dogs are just numbers to move.
Advocates of this philosophy claim that their random-chance adoptions produce no worse results than the careful screening typically done by breed rescues. I don't buy it, but I'm not going to put dogs at risk to test it out.