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Discussion Starter #1
So . . . someone used me as a reference to a rescue. I could not, in good conscience, say that they should have a dog. I like these people very much, they're just not terribly responsible. Nor do they have time. And the one has very peculiar ideas about dogs. (Goldens can't be happy indoors?)

I didn't know they used me as a reference until I heard the message on my cell. I simply cannot say that these people should have a dog. I can't. On the other hand, I wouldn't want it getting back to them that I said that, because that would make for some really ugly family parties. I also can't say "hey, don't use me as a reference" because that's just like saying, "I think you're terrible people!" (I don't think they're terrible people. Just not dog people.)

So, do I risk it and give my honest opinion to the rescue, or just not return/avoid the rescue's phone calls?

Thanks.
 

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If it's family that's a difficult call to make. I would look the rescue up and see how many references they require, if it's more than one I would give them my honest opinion but ask that they do not disclose which reference gave them this review. If they only need one reference then I would just refuse to talk to the rescue as it may not be worth starting a family feud over.
 

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I would just say something like, "I don't feel like I am the best person to ask, sorry I can't be more helpful" when the rescue calls. Most people will take that as a hint that you are avoiding specifically giving a bad recommendation. But you can always claim to your relatives that you were misunderstood if it somehow gets back to them.

Its gone that way in hiring- HR managers can't give bad references for fear of being sued, so they simply say "I can confirm that person worked here for these dates" and nothing more. Most hiring companies hear that as as negative and know they are just being cautious.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's a good idea, Shell. If it were the rescue I went through, I know the person who runs it wouldn't out me, but I don't know this rescue. I'll call them and say that. I didn't really want to leave them waiting for me to call back, I just don't want a family feud, especially because I really do like these people. They're great in a lot of other ways. Just not this one.
 

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Its gone that way in hiring- HR managers can't give bad references for fear of being sued, so they simply say "I can confirm that person worked here for these dates" and nothing more. Most hiring companies hear that as as negative and know they are just being cautious.
Actually, that's ALL companies are legally allowed to say.

I've done home visits for the rescue I got Pepper from and have had to say no to potential adopters. Actually, its the adoption coordinators that get to say no. What they usually say is that they don;t have a perfect match at this time, but will keep the application on their desks so the adopter can be called immediately when a match comes in.

If you believe that someone will not be a good pet owner, then you have to say something. Otherwise you'll end up posting here about how crappy they are, how badly you feel for the dog, or how you've had to take the dog in because of neglect.
 

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I would just say that they didn't advise you that they put you as reference and would rather not be used as reference (or that you have no comment on the subject). They can read into that what they want.
 

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I would not give a bad reference. It could turn out badly in several ways. I would decline to give a reference.
 

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Actually, that's ALL companies are legally allowed to say.
No, Shell had it right. When companies have a policy against giving detailed references (VERY common), it's because of fear of being sued for defamation. It's not because it's illegal to give a bad reference or a detailed reference, but because of fear of litigation and all the hassle and expense it entails.

Anyway! I agree that you shouldn't give a bad reference, but I think it would be totally reasonable to say something like "I don't know enough to give an opinion." The rescue will read between the lines.

Hope it goes OK!
 

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I would give a bad reference, and then lie to the people. If they really shouldn't have a dog, then it's better that you let the rescue/shelter know that, so that a dog doesn't end up suffering.

Then when the people ask you if the rescue called and asked for a reference, just say "well they asked this and that", and just very briefly give vague answers about what you said, lie if you have to, and if they ask more detailed questions say you were a bit busy at the time and can't remember any details.
 

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I'd be honest. Is the rescue really going to tell them why they were rejected? Because I always figured they would just say we chose not to allow it. But then again, I've always gotten my animals from shelters, so they don't really ask questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am the worlds worst liar. I turn bright red and stutter. I mean, I can say stuff like "that haircut looks great!" when it doesn't, but I can't say I gave a good reference when I didn't.

I called the woman last night and said what Shell suggested. She said that they have a young child and that she didn't have any dogs good with kids, so I think she got the message. Which is good.
 

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I would not give a bad reference. It could turn out badly in several ways. I would decline to give a reference.
I would go with the above, as far as the possible future owners are concerned they should have said something to you ahead of time. Family or not.

Now as far as world's worst liar, well that's another problem you will have to work out.
 
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