This subject is a constant conundrum for those of us who work in shelters. I am perhaps a little more lenient than some others that I work with as far as adoptions. I think "almost" any home is better than being locked in a kennel. My personal exceptions to that are homes where a dog is left outside ALL the time regardless of weather conditions and homes where a dog is chained all the time. In those situations I would rather see one humanely PTS.
I also feel pretty strongly about attempted rehab. When a dog comes in to me fear aggressive I can usually tell within a short time if I am going to be able to get it to come around to being adoptable. If a dog is dangerous to have in the kennels or for the workers to handle, I will usually help him to cross over. We just had this situation with one of the prettiest boxer mixes I have ever seen. She was a year old female, gray to fawn color with these awesome tall ears and a black muzzle. One of the prettiest girls I have ever seen and absolutely terrified to the point of biting and having to be moved with a rabies pole. Every time we had to move her to clean her kennel we were just scaring her more and making her life more miserable. She was the worst case I had seen in my three years at the shelter. As much as it saddened me to do it, I put her to sleep. I am certain she is much better off than she would ever have been.
Another bias we run into in my shelter is the people who do not want to adopt to anyone who uses a dog to hunt. Seriously? We always have an over abundance of hounds..Blue Tick, Red Tick Black and Tan,
Redbone, Treeing Walkers...you name it. These guys were born and raised to hunt before they somehow ended up in our shelter, yet we have volunteers and workers who act like it is the worst thing in the world when someone wants to adopt one to use as a coon dog. They want to make all hounds be couch dogs. I have no problem with them hunting as long as they are not going to be chained to a dog house all the time that they aren't hunting.
And what about dogs kept in an outside lot? Say a 8x8 kennel of sorts? What do y'all think about that? What if it is covered and has a good insulated dog house? Yea or Nay? This one is more of a gray area for me. I think my determining factor is - are they going to get the dog out and play with it and love it everyday or is it going to be shut away in the yard with no interaction.
It's such a hard thing sometimes. Maybe there are never any clear cut cases. I just try to handle each one as it comes.
I do agree about the ridiculous fees and conditions of a lot of rescue orgs. I could adopt a child easier than a dog from some of these groups