The Airedale team called me tonight looking for someone to do a home visit for them here in Syracuse. I'm the only volunteer in Syracuse.
I've never done one before so I'm looking for tips and info that will help me make an accurate assessment.
It would also be nice to have a list of questions to ask AND a list of follow up questions to ask in advance.
What should I be looking for? What are positive signs? What are red flags?
The potential adopter is a woman who lives in the city of Syracuse, already has 3 dogs and numerous cats. She says she's a trainer (who knows?).
She wants an Airedale mix and NOT a purebred 'dale. Said she had a 'dale/shepard mix before and it was the best dog (who's to say another 'dale/shepard mix would be just as good?).
The rescue group that has the dog is in Oklahoma. Our group is helping them out by doing the home visit.
We're concerned if she doesn't like the dog or it doesn't get along with her dogs, etc. Then what? Who will be responsible for the dog.
We don't handle mixes (not sure I get that; may be a resource thing).
So any help would be appreciated.
|The big questions and screening, reference checks, vet check, etc. should already be done by the group that has the dog. They also are the ones who are ultimately responsible for the dog should things not work out.|
By doing the home visit, you or your local group are in no way responsible for the dog - unless you/your group makes that arrangement w/ the original rescue group.
Long distance adoptions do have this as a big risk - what happens to the dog if it's not a match? or if circumstances change down the road? That is the main reason many rescues don't adopt out of their home area.
I have done many home visits - for OES, bassets, and also as courtesy checks for other dog breeds who I know through my dog friends network. I have even done St Bernard home visits!
Usual things to look for:
The people themselves - you are getting a face to face with them. Talk with them, ask questions, and listen. Do they sound like they are going to be a good family for an Airedale? You know the breed and the quirks, so use your gut on this.
The other animals - this one is a guess at best, but meet them, assess them. Any obvious issues w/ them - behaviors? how are they cared for? are they clean, social, how do the people interact w/ them? They know you are coming, so they should look good - if ever a time to have your dogs clean, well groomed - this should be it!
The home and yard - have them show you the house, have them explain where the dog will be, how they will integrate the dog into the home and w/ their existing pets.
At the end I usually visit w/ them - you've broken the ice, and they usually open up. Also you have a chance to question anything you may have noticed or have questions about.
It also is very helpful to get a copy of the application that the potential adopter filled out. It will have the questions and answers filled out so you can see how they answered stuff. That way if you need something clarified, you can help dill in the blanks.
Also helpful is to get the scoop on the dog from the rescue - get the facts, history, any issues, etc. That way you can be mentally picturing the dog in this home and environment.
Then you report back to the rescue about what you found out - give factual data, plus they will likely want to know your general impression of them and if this will be a good placement for a dog.
I may have missed stuff - tired from my long day.....good luck!
|Hi Mark, I just recently completed my first home visit for a rescue. Like you, I was the only one in WV, and very nervous to take on this task. It went well, people just want to talk about their dogs I have a copy of the home visit guidelines to follow for that particular organization that may be helpful. If interested, PM your email address and I'll gladly forward the PDF file to you.|
|In the end would you leave your dog there??? Thats is what my deciding factor is. If not then why? and ask if the HV should be approved. just my 2 cents|
|Well the prospective adopter called the adoption off.|
One of her cats got very ill the past few days and then passed.
She said she is too emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially drained to take on a pup that she wanted to train for service right now.
I'm thinking this is a blessing in disguise.
She has 4 other dogs, 6 or 7 cats, birds, guinea pigs. Lives in the city of Syracuse (tiny lot, houses crammed together), works part time, no safety net, and has disabilities.
While those reasons in & of themselves are no reason to not let someone adopt, I feel the combination of all those factors is just too much.
I really do hate that I've pre-judged this person based on the application, though.
|When we got Bentley, the woman who ran the shelter and one of her board members came for a home visit. We must have struck them both perfectly as the weren't there for about 10 minutes. We sat and chatted in our front room for a couple minutes, I offered to show them the back yard, which is pretty big for our plat. We walked out on the deck where you can see 2/3 of the yards but get a good idea of it's overall size. It was at that point that she said we were excellent candidates and we'd be hearing back very soon. this was a Sunday afternoon. Monday morning we got the call we hoped for and we picked up Bentley that Friday. I wouldn't say the women were rushed, maybe they've done this so much that they have a sixth sense about people and just know. I'd like to think that I'd be good at this as I'm very much a people-person and look for things that others don't. Maybe that's the artist in me; seeing things differently...|
I like the theory of 'would you leave your dog there?' That really sums it up.
I worked with a guy who was adopting a child and the things he said that he was 'hiding' from them made me wanna do things that I couldn't. What were his real motives there? Sadly, I'll bet folks do the same thing to get pets. Use you gut and listen to it.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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