Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Finding the right home...

Our goal as a rescue organisation is to rescue and rehab dogs, and then find suitable permanent homes. The rescue and rehab is the easy part! Finding the right home can be a challenge.

Our adoption policy is pretty straight forward- there is an application, home visits, meeting the dog, and finally a decision as to whether or not it is a good match. It tends to get a little dicey when there is more than one application- especially if they are both great.

First, we look at the lifestyle of the applicants. Does the activity level match the dog? Do they have the time to spend with the dog? Do they have experience with this particular type of dog? Can they provide the dog with a stable home? Is it a good match overall?

Then, we like to see how the dog and people interact- is the dog happy and comfortable in their presence? Does the family seem to mesh well with the dog? Does the personality match?

Finally we rely on references, the home check and just our gut feeling to help us make the right decision. Sometimes it is easy once you look at all the facts, and other times it can be very difficult. It is hard to explain to someone that their application was denied for this dog- and that they aren't bad pet owners- and that we for sure would adopt a dog to them, just not this particular dog.

I have a hard time saying no, and I am never quite sure how to word it- unless of course the application is denied for other reasons-that would make someone not a good pet owner period.
And then I have no problem. ;o)

We are very proud of our adoption rate- in the past two years- that is over 140 dogs- we have had 3 returns. I think that is pretty good- and mostly due to the fact that we screen and try and match the right dog to the right family. It is not a first come, first serve kind of process- in fact sometimes I will often say no if I think that there could be someone better for that dog out there! After all it is permanent homes we are looking for- some of our dogs are in their third or fourth homes!!! The least amount of moving around the better!!