What's with draconian pet adoption people?

Recently, my family was interested in expanding our family/menagerie with one or two dogs. So, we did the responsible thing and asked around about good local dog shelters. We figured that the process would be not too different than what we went through ten and a half years ago when we adopted our current dog. Alas, it was a bit more difficult.

Attempt #1: I met a couple at a local brewery who had a wonderful little pup with them. I chatted them up to get their dog's story and they said that they were were foster parents for a private shelter and loved the dog so much that they decided to keep it. Great! I went to the shelter's website, checked out the adoption process, and filled out the form as directed. That was five days ago and I've heard nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not even an auto-responder email saying, "Thanks -- don't call us, we'll call you!"

Attempt #2: The weekend arrived and we noticed that Pet Smart was having a dog adoption event. The Mrs. and I headed down there to see that they had about six to eight pups. We see a couple of them that seem like they would be a match for us. The volunteers allow us to play with the dogs. We start to get used to the possibility that one or both of the pups could become a part of our crew. So, my wife asks, "What's the process?" I assumed they would hand us an application to complete and maybe ask us for some money to get it going. Well...no. The process is much more arduous:
  1. Go to their website and get their email address.
  2. Send an email indicating that you're interested in adopting a dog.
  3. Wait for them to send you an application.
  4. Complete the application and send it back to them, with references.
  5. Wait a few days while they process your application and complete your background check.
  6. Assuming you've been accepted, they'll provide the location of the shelter and make arrangements for you to visit and meet dogs.
  7. You meet dogs, possibly select one, and start a one-week trial adoption.
  8. If all goes well, you've got a new friend!
The best part: by the time you get through the application gauntlet, the dog that you met at one of their adoption events may have already been adopted. They should rename the adoption events to "Come Waste Your Time and Build Up Hope That You'll Get to Adopt a Dog -- Maybe" events, instead.

Attempt #3: We head on down to the animal shelter associated with the city. We see a couple of adorable puppies and ask to interact with them. We hang out with them in a private room for 20 minutes and they seem like a good fit. We fill out the application and pay a "hold" fee while we run home to get our kid and current dog as they ask that the whole family meet the potential adopted pets. Family meets the pups and everyone gets along swimmingly! We sign the pet contract, pay the balance on the adoption fees and head home. Yay!

I understand that not everyone is a good pet parent, but do these guys really need to make the process so burdensome? Perhaps the volunteers just want to keep the pets for themselves or something...

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