All rescues should have all their legal paperwork in order, registered with the state they operate in, tax exempt, a 501c3 so they are tax deductible and listed with the IRS, Guidestar and any other charitable listings.
A rescue needs a policies, for adoption and legally binding contracts. I have learned from experience they should not be “one size fits all” There should be enough flexibility to accommodation unusual circumstances or weigh circumstances for suitability on an individual basis.
Every rescue has it’s supporters, people who will defend any policies or decisions. They also have those who do not agree with their policies. That can cause feelings of discrimination and even hatred.
Adoptions could cause major ill will sometimes. A very popular dog up for adoption could get 10-25 applications in the blink of an eye. We would spend time pre-screening to lessen the numbers. Those eliminated received diplomatic emails explaining our decision and encouraging them to apply again if they saw another that might be more suitable to their lifestyle.
The next steps were checking references and home visits before a meet and greet was scheduled. Puppies and young dogs were easy to place unless they had medical or behavioral problems. Older dogs may have very specific requirements. We have had to put distance restrictions on some. Not everyone will honor their contract to return a dog at their expense. A contract drafted in SC may not be legally binding in another state and long distance legal fees are usually prohibitive.
We had one dog who was very popular but was returned 3 times. We screened carefully, we disclosed every possible issue the dog might exhibit. Each family swore there was nothing that would make them want to part with the dog. A few weeks would go by then the barking, digging and chewing would start. Most likely just boredom but she was returned each time. If she had been adopted out of state she may have been dumped at a shelter without our knowledge. Imagine the cost and the heartbreak!
On the bright side home 4 was the charm. She has lived there happily for over a year.