Initially, the basics will need to be prepared before the adoption process can begin. Start with items such as food, treats, and toys. It will also be necessary to dog-proof the home. This will require the owner to check for any sites in the home that the dog could use to escape. Hazardous items such as exposed wires, mouse traps, or harmful chemicals should be out of sight. A cozy area where the dog can relax and get used to their new home will also help the dog adjust to their new, unfamiliar surroundings. Depending on the dog that is being adopted, preparations may vary. If the dog has special needs such as a missing leg, blindness, or insulin-dependence, the owner will need to obtain appropriate supplies. For example, a dog who has lost a limb will not be able to walk upstairs or be able to jump onto furniture without assistance. To ensure that the dog remains comfortable, while also instilling in them a sense of confidence, install a ramp anyplace that jumping or climbing could possibly be required. Additional preparations, such as puppy pads or cages, will also be needed for puppies and elderly dogs.
Next, decide where the dog will be adopted from. Dogs can be adopted from animal shelters or rescue agencies. Shelters include public shelters such as the city and county animal shelters, animal control, and dog wardens. These places are often referred to as “the pound.” Additionally, there are private shelters that may use the words “humane society” or “SPCA” (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in their name. Comparable to animal shelters, rescue agencies liberate dogs from abuse, gross neglect, and abandonment. Dogs who have been given a second chance at life by rescue agencies are placed in the comfort of a foster home, or a privately owned boarding facility, until they are adopted into a forever home. Information about local shelters and rescue agencies can be obtained online. Some websites include pictures and provide background information on the dogs they have to choose from.
Finally, it is now time to begin the application process. If the adoption will take place at a shelter, a paper application will be provided for the applicant on site; however, if the applicant chooses to adopt through a rescue agency, the application will be delivered electronically, typically by Email. Subsequently, the application will also need to be submitted this way. Once the application has been received by either the shelter or rescue agency, it will be reviewed to see if the applicant appears to be a good candidate for adoption. If so, a phone call will be made to set up a time for an interview. During the interview, be prepared to answer a variety of questions. Katie, a long time pet owner from Indiana, participated in an Interview with NBC sharing her experience. “The application itself was eight pages long,” she told NBC. “It asked some normal questions, like my background owning a pet. It also asked about any medical conditions we had, whether we were planning on having children, what our jobs were, and what our schedules were like. I thought those were a bit much, but I answered them.” Asking rudimentary questions, such as those listed above, are important to shelters and rescue agencies because it gives them just enough insight to decide whether or not the applicant’s home and schedule is suitable enough for a dog. If the interview goes well, a home visit may be required before the dog can arrive. A home visit is simply a way to validate if you can, without a doubt, give the dog you’re interested in a good life. After passing the home visit, you will need to pay the required adoption fee and obtain the dogs sterilization/vaccination records prior to bringing them home.