Couple told too old for puppy

by Leanne Thompson on May 13, 2009

A couple living in Northern Kentucky were told they were too old to adopt a rescue puppy.

Harriet and Doug Thompson, aged 69 and 70, wanted to adopt a rescue puppy but were turned down because they were told they were too old.

The couple have just adopted a puppy called Izzie, but he wasn’t their first choice.  Originally, they found a rescued poodle called Bijou at the Dachshund Rescue in Ohio but after a few emails requesting details such as the age of everybody in the home, the Thompsons were told they could not have a younger dog, but only a dog aged six years or older.

Harriet Thompson told the media:

“It tells me, I’m getting older and they think the dog would outlive my husband and me. Except that, I have a 40-year-old son at home. I don’t know what they thought we’d do with him.”

Mrs Thompson was especially annoyed because the couple did not have a home visit.  The pair have fostered seven children in Kentucky in the past and had had home visits in the past for this purpose, so it never crossed her mind that she might not be allowed a puppy.

Interestingly, nobody appears to want to take responsibility for the ruling on age.  Kathleen Winter of Dachshund Rescue in Ohio said that she herself is 50 years old and takes care of many dogs, so she said the decision is done by the woman who runs the website in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  A television station covering the story talked to the woman in Fort Wayne and she blamed the rules on Kathleen Winter.

No matter whose fault it is, the Thompsons feel insulted and the rules stink in my opinion so hopefully the coverage of this story will change this.

Most rescue places in the US and in the UK agree that homing young puppies with elderly people can be an issue if they aren’t up to training them and looking after them but with improved healthcare, those in their late 60s and early such as the Thompsons are not necessarily a problem and are simply encouraged to make arrangements for a dog’s care should something happen to them.

Considering the high number of rescue dogs without a home, you would have thought a good home being offered should not be refused.

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