To the editor,

I was pleased to read Steve Reid’s letter to the editor recommending that people adopt a dog from a shelter as opposed to buying a puppy from a puppy mill.  I do agree with him that there are many wonderful dogs available for adoption.  But I’ve experienced and heard many stories about animal shelters not allowing single people or lower income people to adopt an animal because they want the animal to go to a financially well-off family.

What happens to these single people who work full time and who are turned away from animal shelters?  These are the very people who are keeping the puppy mills in business. Their only other choice would be to lie on the adoption application. For honorable people who choose not to lie it becomes near impossible to adopt.

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I was told by more than one shelter to come back when I retire from fulltime employment. According to the shelter, the dog is better off in a cage or in a foster home than being in a permanent home with a single person who has the misfortune to have to work for a living.

For anyone in Westchester or Putnam who has been turned away from adopting a shelter animal let me suggest that you throw your net further afield. There are shelters outside of a 50-mile radius that don’t discriminate against single people. My beloved dog Viktor comes from the Humane Society in Walden, N.Y., which did not discriminate against me because I’m single and work fulltime. They checked my references and called my vet to make sure I behaved responsibly toward my dogs. 

Don’t bother arguing with a local shelter that turns you down. It’s a humiliating waste of time. Just go elsewhere.