1. Decide whether you are going to foster or board your rescued pet. Fostering
this animal is a great way to learn about its behavior in a home. If fostering
is not an option, consider keeping him or her at a local boarding facility.
Check with your vet's office to see if they offer short-term boarding.
2. Get to know the pet. Does your dog/cat get along with other animals?
Children? Is he/she housebroken? An escape artist? Potential adopters are
going to want to know the answers to these questions.
3. Get a dog evaluated by a certified professional dog trainer. An
obedience-trained dog is very attractive to potential adopters. Additionally,
dog training will give you an opportunity to learn more about the dog under
the guidance of a professional dog trainer. Ask the trainer what he/she thinks
would be the ideal home for this dog.
4. Get great photos and videos! These are the best tools you have to draw
attention to your rescued pet on
- Try to get the animal to look into the camera and connect. No profile shots. A treat or squeaky toy can often get an animal to look toward camera.
- Don’t use the flash setting on your camera. Try to use flattering natural light. Eyes are the window to the soul.
- Browse the “Adopt” section of our website and look at the listings of our available cats and dogs to see how we do it.
5. Network your rescued pet. Now that you have your adorable photos and video
and have learned important information about the pet, you are ready to post.
Social media and neighborhood apps are excellent ways to get him/her seen. Ask
your family and friends to help spread the word! Adopt-A-Pet has a rehoming
service you use too.
6. Fundraising for the Pet’s Expenses. It can be expensive to save an animal
from the streets. When you do something good like rescue an animal, others
want to join in and help. Often friends, family, coworkers and the community
where you rescued a pet will help with donations. Share your rescue via email
and social media with a cute photo and the animal’s story. You can ask people
to make out checks to vet offices or boarding facilities, so they know their
money is going directly to the animal’s care. Start a campaign on
www.gofundme.com for your rescue.
7. Screen potential adopters. We strongly recommend that you have a potential
adopter fill out an adoption application. The application is the best tool to
see if the person is a responsible pet owner.
8. Meet and greet your potential adopters to see how you like them in person.
Don’t be in a rush to place the pet. Why go through all this effort and put
your heart into this animal if the placement is not right? Do your homework
and take the time to screen the home.
9. Be a responsible rescuer. Be honest and transparent about the pet’s health
and behavior to help set up a safe and successful adoption.
- Protect small children. If you don't know the history of your pet and aren’t 100% sure that it gets along with kids, don’t take risks.
- Protect existing pets in adopter’s homes. We love large dogs but sometimes they aren’t good with small dogs and cats. Get the help of a dog trainer, or simply don’t place them in a home with smaller animals.
- Introduce dogs correctly. The best way to introduce dogs is to have them go for a walk, on leash, in neutral territory. If that goes well, you can let the dogs go into a yard with leashes left on and see how they get along. The reason you leave the leashes on is so that you can quickly and easily pull the dogs apart if there is an altercation. You never want to bring your rescued dog directly into another dog’s home.
- Introduce cats correctly. Bring your rescued cat in its carrier and put it on the floor of the new home. Let the other cat smell the cat through the carrier and observe. Remember, hissing is not aggression. Hissing means “Don’t get too close; I’m scared.” Growling or screaming is a problem. Exchanging scents with a towel is helpful. Take it slow.
10. Do a home check prior to adoption. A home check is not meant to be an
invasion of privacy but to make sure your animal is entering a safe and loving
home. After you have spent so much time and energy saving a pet, don’t you
want to see where it is going to spend the rest of its life? A good home will
have nothing to hide. Things to look for at your home check:
- the fence high enough? Large dogs need a fence at least six feet high. Is the fence secure? Walk the perimeter and check for holes or weak areas. Don’t be afraid to ask the potential adopters to make the environment secure before their new pet comes home. If they are not willing to, then they don’t take the dog’s safety seriously.
- If there is a pool, is there a fence around it? Dogs are like kids--especially puppies and senior dogs. A puppy can drown if you turn your back for even a moment. Even senior dogs that once could swim can lose their balance or become disoriented in their golden years. If it is a healthy adult dog that enjoys swimming, please teach the dog where the steps are.
- Who has access to their yard? Gardeners? Workmen? Small children? Gates should be locked. Dogs must be kept inside while workers are present. Children must be reminded about closing doors and gates for their new pet. Many dogs are lost as the result of a gate being left open.
- Are there secure screens on windows?
- Are there any unsafe areas in the home where a cat could hide or get stuck? For example, a fireplace, holes in walls, etc.
- Do they live in coyote country?
- Will they keep the cat indoors? If so, children must be reminded about closing doors so a cat can’t escape.
11. Adoption Contract. So you've found a great home? Congratulations for
getting this far! We strongly recommend that you use an adoption contract that
releases you from liability and binds the adopter to keep their promises about
caring for the pet and providing a good home.
12. Ask for a Donation. People don’t put any value on things they get for
free. Also, you want to be confident that your adopter has the financial
ability to care for a pet. If they can’t afford a donation, they can’t afford
10-plus years of vet bills and good pet food. What amount is appropriate? That
is up to you. Ask to be reimbursed for the cost of your spaying/neutering and
vaccines or have the adopters make a donation to a local animal rescue in
honor of the work you did.