Dog and Cat Adoption, Questions and Answers

Dear Burton:

A friend of mine is moving from his fenced in home, into an apartment. He has two dogs whom he loves dearly, a Doberman Pincer and a smaller breed, but he will not have room for them when he moves into the new apartment.

When asked, I advised him to communicate with the Humane Society, and other Animal Welfare organizations, to tell their story. What advice would you give someone in this situation, to help them relocate these dogs?

-Concerned Friend, Valdosta

Dear Concerned Friend,

Excellent opening advice! Tell their story, especially if their animals were rescued! While some will only care about the animals’ statistics, the backstory of how you came to be their parent may help get them adopted by the right person.

Aside from that, they’ll want to include info such as the dogs names, age, breed, whether spayed or not, heart worm status, health issues, status of other shots, such as rabies. He should offer the name of the veterinarian he uses and inform if the dogs are micro-chipped. Take good photos that are level with the dogs, rather than looking down on the dogs. Photos should be cropped to present your animal in the best light.

Since he has two dogs that have lived together, is he going to insist that both dogs be adopted by the same family? People are going to want to know how long you have owned the dogs, and how long the two dogs have been a pair. Prospective adopters will want to know how the dogs get along with other dogs, cats, and children. Do the dogs have any history of biting people? Note: If you falsely represent a dog’s character, you could be sued for damages.

Next, he should state whether he is asking for a re-homing fee, and be prepared to state, how much. Many people feel that a re-homing fee helps screen prospective adopters.  Have them agree, in writing, that you can visit the dogs and that the dogs will not be sold or turned over to an animal shelter at any time in the future but will be returned to your care instead. You don’t want your dogs euthanized!

He should have a plan regarding how he is going to screen people, so the dogs are not used as bait by a dog fighting ring. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad people in this world. What are you going to do to screen people that want to adopt these beautiful dogs?! Are you going to perform a home inspection?  I recommend that you do a home inspection before agreeing to release the dogs. I recommend that you have anyone who wishes to adopt the dogs, sign a contract, and take a copy of their driver’s license, etc.

Take a photograph of their car tag, and car too. You should Goggle the prospective adopter, to know something about their character. Have they ever been accused of animal abuse? Do they have a criminal history? If so, what was/were the criminal offense(s)?

I recommend you follow the same procedures that are used by the Humane Society, and other Animal Welfare organizations. These organizations have had a lot of experience with animal adoptions, so draw upon their experience while re-homing your pets. Gain their assistance if possible! Lastly, trust your instincts. You innately know if the person in front of you is the right one to adopt your pet(s).

-Burton Fletcher, President, Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, Inc.

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