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Q: Can a shelter deny an applicant a pet due to past medical history ?

August 17, 2008 | By sharon s. | 12 answers | Expired: 2156 days ago

I will be more specific. A cancer surviror, who is now cancer free. Also, this would be a couple who applied and the primary applicant has never had cancer.

Readers' Answers (12)

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Chris
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Aug 27, 2008

No. It is discrimination. Notify the local ADA.

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Rachel  E.
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Aug 26, 2008

I don't think that's legal, as it is considered a form of descrimination.

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Carol L.
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Aug 19, 2008

I wouldn't think a shelter could do that if you are capable of taking care of the animal and especially if the cancer is in remission. What do they think cancer survivors do with their children and their pets, take them somewhere else? Pets are very good therapy for people who have an illness, to let them adopt would be a winning situation for the human and the dog. They would each have someone to care about and love, this itself is healing and a good thing.

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Corey A.
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Aug 17, 2008

Hmm...I wonder about how legal this is. Did you get the opportunity to read and acknowledge their notice of privacy practices? You know, the one you get once a year from any doctor you visit? If not, I'd ask in writing, what the policy is for the shelter, and whether they comply with all state and federal laws regarding medical privacy.

At the same time, you realize that there is no such thing as being cancer-free once you've had it. It may come back regardless of how long you've been in remission.

And on a completely different note, there are other shelters who would gladly adopt out. There are so many animals out there needing homes, perhaps it is worthwhile to open your heart and look elsewhere for another animal to adopt.

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T
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T

Aug 17, 2008

The audacity of some shelters. Bullsh*t! My girl friend in Ohio adopted a dog from the local shelter, and she told them that she had MS, and the shelter thought it would be wonderful company for her. How dare a shelter be so pompous to play God with someone! I would have brought in the ADA and would have taken them to court! Yes, I am handicapped, terminal, and have adopted 7 animals, and no one better ever question my ability to care for a pet! None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Go kick them in the a$$ for me!

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Ethel02
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Aug 17, 2008

No one has ever asked questions about my health, the SPCA basically just asked if I had ever owned a dog before & Vet Ref., the NGAP (Greyhound Adop) did ask allot of questions and followed up on them, fenced yard, references, Vet. Reference and allot of other questions, because they really care about these dogs ( the Phlia., Pa. one) they would rather keep the dogs than give them to the wrong home, they have a great facility, a medical center and large paddocks for the dogs, it is nothing like a pound, but is also not like a forever home, got off the track, they did not ask if I had any health problems, but I did have to sign that if I could not care for the dog it had t go back to the rescue, which made me feel good knowing if something did happen they would still have a good hme

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Aug 17, 2008

*heart

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Aug 17, 2008

Before I adopted my little Chloe, I was denied by several shelters because I was honest and told them I have MS. I did mention that I do not live alone and that the dog would be a family dog. However, three shelters denied me because they felt that I "couldn't take care of a puppy."

I was really hurt broken over this- I cried for almost two weeks the first time it happened. The second and third, I became really angry. Who are they to tell me who/what I cannot raise or take care of?

If a pet owner/shelter feels that you are not well enough to take care of the dog, then "yes," they are legally allowed to deny you a pet.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Aug 17, 2008

Considering the tough laws companies have to follow about medical records privacy and stuff, I'd make them prove why that is necessary for them to know. To have that policy, once they had your medical history, they would have to guard it following all existing laws. Question if they follow those laws, and how they do it. Misuse of them can affect how insurance companies treat you later. Use that as leverage and see how it goes. You may find their "interest" suddenly changes. I've never had a shelter ask me such questions. I dislike arbitary rules for no good reason. Because I said so isn't a good answer here.

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Rhonda S.
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Aug 17, 2008

I volunteer at the Taylor Jones Humane Society and we have never denied an application due to medical history. I have discouraged certain people from adopting a particular pet because of their physical abilities. For example we had an 89year old frail woman who loved big dogs and wanted to adopt one of our big rambunctious lab mix puppies. We talked her into a more mellow older and smaller dog, and she was quite happy. Another person came in wanting a small dog, but he walked with a cane. The dog he wanted was a chihuahua that ran under even our feet and would tripped us. We talked him into a dog a bit bigger(not by much) and one that wouldn't trip or pull on him when he walked it. Any good shelter will work with a persons medical/physical needs when adopting a dog/cat. I'm not sure what the legal ramifications are for this, but I would look into if I were you.

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