Every adoption is unique but there are some basic guidelines to follow. You'll be accompanied every step of the way by an adoption counselor or your liaison through your first few fostering experiences. Hopefully the following will help you understand the process and enjoy it!
Keep in mind that our goal is a safe and happy home for your pet. But just as importantly, we want to choose the right applicant for this specific pet. We want our animals to settle into one home for the rest of their life.
Before the first Adoption Event: Remember that you must keep the animal a minimum of one week before putting it up for adoption. This is to ensure we do not adopt sick animals, if at all possible.
When TLC receives the animal, it gets basic veterinarian care and an appointment is made for it's spay/neuter operation if necessary. You will be taking the animal to and from the vet for that appointment, and TLC will be billed.
The first step is accepting applications. We receive applications in a variety of ways – email via the website, at an off-site adoption event, and you may receive an application from a friend or neighbor who meets your foster in your home.
Applications must be in agreement with the basic adoption requirements of TLC and your liaison will help you become familiar with our expectations. An applicant must also be able to provide the right situation for your foster pet – and that's where you especially need to contribute to the decision. Your input is VERY important.
All applications MUST be reviewed by an adoption counselor or your liaison before you move forward. Even after you've become experienced at looking over applications you'll still benefit from the "team approach" to reading an application. Many details are easily overlooked and TLC requirements must be met. Always work with a counselor and never hesitate to ask for help.
The application asks for much of the necessary information but it doesn't tell the whole story. You'll need to speak personally with your applicant, asking any remaining questions you might have and clarifying areas of the application that are uncertain. A seemingly poor applicant might calm your concerns in an interview or a good applicant might unexpectedly reveal something you needed to know.
You'll often learn as much or more at the interview than you did on the application.
This is your opportunity to explain our adoption process to them – the contract, home visit, adoption fee, etc. You'll also be answering their questions about your foster pet – full disclosure and honesty about your foster is always the right thing to do.
Your applicant must supply their veterinarian's contact info on the application. Unless they are a first time pet owner, you need to call their vet for a reference. Identify yourself as a foster for TLC and ask to check the reference on your adopter. You'll want to learn if their animals are current on their immunizations and if they have followed through on medical treatments for their animals. Also verify that the list of current pets they gave on the application was accurate and ask about any specific concerns you might have.
Accepted Applications: If you are satisfied with the application, interview, and their vet reference then it's time to notify your applicant that they've been approved to adopt your pet and make an appointment for the home visit. This is also a good time to discuss HOW a new pet can be integrated into their animal family. It's best to give them suggestions before the home visit so they can be thinking about their strategy to introduce their personal pets, the adjustment time required, the supplies they'll need, etc.
The application itself or the applicant name, email, mail address, and reason for rejection need to be sent to our Adoption Lead at adopt@TLCPaws.org. She'll send them a polite rejection letter or redirect them to another foster pet.
A home visit is very valuable, and allows you to see your foster pet interact with the new environment. It also provides a time for you to help your foster to be accepted by an existing animals. There is a Home Visit form you can use to help you determine the fitness of the place for an adopted pet. Home Visits should include another representative of TLC. An Adoption Counselor may also attend. Take the Adoption Package , and make sure the contract is explained and signed. The amount of the Donation should be determined with an Adoption Counselor before the Home Visit. You and the other representative should use the Home Visit form to determine the final decision about the applicant.
After you think your foster pet had enough time to "settle in", call the adopters to see how everybody is doing. You might be able to make suggestions if they're going through a tough adjustment and you want to make sure everybody is doing okay.
If possible, get a digital photograph or two of the pet in its new environment for our "success" files and possible publication.