I've heard people wonder why people who can't have children adopt foreign babies when "there are so many babies that need homes in our own country". I often think it's because the hoops people have to jump through are so much higher here (i.e. no farm animals, no trampolines), the lifestyle qualifications are arbitrary (i.e. married status, sexual orientation), and then there's always the idea that the biological parents could come back in a few years with changed minds and find some legal loophole to take the kiddo back.
I think some dog rescue groups are setting themselves up in this same type of situation. People want to do the right thing, they want to adopt homeless dogs. But if there's going to be a rescue group looking over your shoulder for the next ten years threatening to take the dog back anytime the leash slips away from you on a walk, or anytime the dog slips out the back door--both things that can happen to even the best of dog owners--all that's going to do is drive the average dog owner away from shelters and rescues and straight to pet stores and puppy mills.
(As a caveat, I'm not saying that adopting a baby from a foreign country is like getting your dog from a puppy mill. I'm just saying that if you can't get something you want from one source you'll go to another, and in the case of dogs, the "other" is most definitely not where you want to go.)
I know there have to be some qualifications for adopting out a dog or cat or any animal, but as is stated in the first post from Pet Connection, there are lots of homes out there "that may not be perfect, but are perfectly good." And certainly better than a dog lingering in a shelter.
Porterhouse is a perfect case study. Had my friend taken her back to the shelter, she may have gotten adopted again, but chances are she wouldn't have. At three years old, she had lost her puppy cuteness. She would have been just one of many "Sheppard-mix" type dogs, and a shy one at that. And given her disposition the experience probably would have traumatized her for life.
Instead she's had a home these past seven years. It's a home that wouldn't have passed muster with many rescue groups (we rent, we were college students), but she's been loved and fed and taken to the vet. Yes, we broke the rules, but at the same time we did the right thing.
That seems to be exactly what Degeneres tried to do...and the rescue group is doing themselves and the dog a disservice by refusing to let her.