Why are people turned away when trying to adopt a dog?

There's a bit of a controversy brewing between the Amarillo SPCA and a local couple over whether or not they're capable of taking care of an adopted pet.

David and Marian West say they met and bonded with the chow and after everything was set, the shelter told them they couldn't adopt her. Now the Wests feel like they've been discriminated, but the shelter says they have to evaluate things on a case by case basis.

There are currently about 130 dogs at cats at the Amarillo SPCA each looking for a good home. When a chow was shown in the paper, The West's, who has formerly owned chows and just recently lost his pekigneese, wanted to go check her out. After bonding with her, his wife Marian went out and plans were made to bring her home.

"We needed a larger dog house, my wife made an appointment to have the dog groomed and shampooed, and low and behold ... that's when they said they couldn't let us have the dog, implying im too old," according to David.

Kelley micke with the SPCA has criteria it says it must meet to make sure adoptvie families can take care of their new pets.

"The husband seemed to bond with the dog and Mrs. West, to be honest, she was in the back and she expressed concerned she might not be able to handle the dog. We look at all these things, not just one or two things, we have a whole list.

The West's say they're heartbroken and think it's a case of age discrimination. When asked about being close to their 80's they got a recommendation from their vet and their daughter agreed to take the dog if anything happened, according to David.

"Called our daughter if anythign happened to us, if she'd be able to take care of the dog, she agreed. Called our vet who gave us a good recommendation, so we felt we covered all our bases, and we left there very upset."

Micke defends their actions, saying "We're not here to warehouse dogs. I think we turn away more than we adopt. We want to make the best possible choice for the animal."

Marian West said off camera that the real victim in all this isn't them or the SPCA. It's the dog they didn't get to adopt or maybe others, that still need a good home.