Placing dogs with people is complex, and I think we in the shelter/rescue world are ALWAYS struggling to find that balance – wanting to place as many animals as possible, which allows more lives to be saved/ less time having to be spent in a kennel at a shelter by any particular dog. yet not wanting to place dogs (or people for that matter) in a precarious situation by making a bad match. For our shelter, we basically try to be flexible and everything’s more dependent on the situation than on written rules or policies. We generally err on the side of “yes” than “no” to an adoption, if it’s “on the fence.” It goes without saying, perhaps, but we WANT all the dogs to get adopted, and every adoption is a celebration! Because we are flexible though, that means a lot more work up front in terms of interviewing/talking to the adopters, since we don’t just have a checklist to go by. For example, in the case of an older person, we might have asked about her physical abilities to walk the dog etc. and then tried to match her up with a dog that she’d be able to control. Of course you’d already thought that all through when you went to adopt a dog for her, but you’d be surprised that some people don’t think about things like that. So all we can do is talk to people and see where they’re coming from and try to get the best outcome.