Hi! I am new to this group and saw your post. I promise not all rescues are the same as the one you dealt with. You can try looking at rescue groups outside of WI, because some will transport the dog. I am with a Rat Terrier rescue and we can transport with volunteers to get to their forever home.
A home check is just that. They come and check out your home, meet the family, other pets. My husband just did one yesterday, to talk with the family, check out the house, the yard and everything.
I'm sorry that they wouldn't adopt to you. Doesn't make sense that a dog needs a certain square footage. Its not like a larger dog needs a large home to run around in. That is what outside and walking is for. We don't ask anything about home sq footage on our app and I've never seen that on anyone else's to date. We ask about size of the yard, type of fence and how high.