Every adoption is unique but there are some basic guidelines to follow. 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 the 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.
Applications: The first step is accepting applications. We receive applications in a variety of ways – email via the website, at an adoption event.
Applications must be in agreement with the basic adoption requirements of TLC. An applicant must also be able to provide the right situation for the adopted pet – and that's where the foster parent especially needs to contribute to the decision. The foster parent's input is VERY important. If he/she is not present, call and inform the foster parent at each step of this procedure.
All applications MUST be reviewed by an adoption counselor before the adoption can 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.
Interview: 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 donation, etc. You'll also be answering their questions about the animal – full disclosure and honesty is always the right thing to do.
Vet Reference: 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 representative of 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 the 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.
Rejected Applications: The application itself or the applicant name, email, mail address, and reason for rejection need to be sent to the Adoption Lead at adopt@TLCPaws.org She'll send them a polite rejection letter or redirect them to another foster pet.
Home Visit: Take the pet and their Adoption Package. Your adoption counselor may accompany you and the foster parent should go. The foster parent has the Adoption Package. \It contains medical records, rabies tags, microchip form and/or tag, and contract – everything you need to complete the adoption. At the home visit you'll see their accommodations for the animal, meet their other pets and get an idea of how they'll react. You also want to make sure EVERY member of the family is agreeable to the adoption. Most importantly, the home visit should confirm for you that this will truly be a forever home for the animal.
If you are pleased with your visit, you'll help them complete the contract and accept their tax deductible donation. The amount of the donation should be determined with an adoption counselor before you leave. The contract needs to be returned to the Adoption Lead within a couple of days. The check should be held by the foster parent for one week, and then shredded if the animal is returned.