a happy home, but will also determine whether
the animal will live or die. One can always find
someone willing to take an animal, but finding a Independent Animal Rescue good home is a great deal harder. There are PO Box 14232 individuals who pretend to seek a companion Durham, NC 27708-4232 animal only to acquire them for research or other
cruel purposes. Always carefully screen a new 919-403-2221 home and it's occupants. Don't think it can't Email: email@example.com happen to you. Always ask for identification and references. Ask where they work. Legitimate callers will not mind when you
explain why you need the information. Don't be GUIDELINES FOR GUIDELINES FOR
afraid to ask questions, to make stipulations, or PLACING YOUR PET OR PLACING YOUR PET OR just to say "no." This brochure is designed as a
tool to help you learn how to go about placing STRAY ANIMAL IN STRAY ANIMAL IN
your animal, how to evaluate a potential home, A NEW HOME A NEW HOMEand how to make the best possible choice for your animal. The future of this small life begins or ends with you. May you be wise in your HOW SHOULD YOU ATTEMPT choices.
TO PLACE AN ANIMAL?
Not all people like animals, or are kind to them. If your companion animal is a pure breed dog or
There are many unpleasant uses to which cat, contact the original breeder of the animal.
animals are put including: Many breeders will take back the animal or
assist you in placing him/her. Many breeders • Used as "bait" to train fighting dogs to kill have people waiting to adopt pure breed • Used as food for snakes or people animals..
• Sold to labs for experimentation
• Sacrificed or tortured for occult purposes If your animal is not a pure breed, if you do not • Abandoned on the street or in the country know the breeder, or if you feel the breeder is
where they die of disease, starvation, not the best choice for the animals' welfare, then
predators or gunshot wounds from those you can attempt to put the animal up for
who shoot animals for sport adoption yourself.
• Maimed or killed by cars
• Irresponsibly dumped at the pound to be If you are not able to put the animal up for
euthanized adoption yourself, please do not take the animal
to the pound to be euthanized or drop the animal
off on the street or in the wilderness. Please call
one of the many rescue groups to help you.
They may be able to make referrals to help you
place your animal. A veterinarian may also be
able to help or may give you phone numbers of
others who can help.
MAKING YOUR PET ADOPTABLE
The only way to protect your animal from
Take your animal to a veterinarian for a such an end is to ensure his/her future by finding
complete check up. A thoroughly vetted animal and carefully screening a good home for your
is a much more attractive adoption prospect. animal. The decisions you make on the animal's
behalf will not only determine if they will have
Tell your vet about any behavior problems the groomer can safely give your animal a bath animal may have so that physical causes can be if you do not feel comfortable doing it ruled out. Some behavior problems are caused yourself
by easily treatable health problems. For example, ; Get the animal a new collar and leash to go house soiling can be caused by worms, diabetes, with his new clean image. Make sure the or urinary tract problems, to name-a few. collar is the right size. The safest collars for
cat are the new breakaway collars. Having (NOTE: If you are helping a stray, tell your vet a pet that's neatly groomed complete with what you are trying to do and they may give you collar and leash makes a nice impression on a discount for services.) prospective adopters.
Correct any behavior problems the animal may ; Bring all vaccinations up to date. Have cats
have. You can not expect a new owner to accept tested for FELV & FIV. Have dogs tested
an adult animal that is not housebroken or for heartworms and start him/her on
trained. Be honest with someone inquiring about heartworm preventative if he/she is not
your animal. If you are trying to place an animal already on a preventative medicine. Make
because of behavioral problems, do not expect sure that you get a rabies license tag when
the new owners to want to keep the pet anymore your animal is vaccinated for rabies.
than you did. If you place an anneal with ; Have a stool-sample checked for worms or
behavioral problems in a home, they may try to other parasites and check for other internal
return the animal or get rid of it. The new parasites and treat external parasites, like
owners may not be as careful as you about how earmites, ticks and fleas to name a few.
they get rid of the animal if they decide not to ; If your dog or cat is not spayed or neutered,
keep it. If your animal has behavioral problems DO IT NOW!! It is much easier to adopt out
that make it unadoptable you have two choices: a spayed/neutered pet. There are major
health benefits to spaying/neutering for the
• Keep the animal until you have corrected the animal as well as for society in general.
problem and then adopt it out. Obtain Spaying/neutering can decreases the risk of
professional help, if necessary. For information, breast & ovarian cancer in females and
contact your vet, local rescue groups, local prostate and testicular problems in males.
obedience classes, private trainers and (NOTE: If money is a problem, talk to your
behaviorists. vet, local animal rescue volunteer, or ask at
• Keep the animal permanently. No one will your local animal shelter for low cost
take better care of the animal than you can if spay/neuter programs or certificates.)
you are concerned enough to want the best for
the animal. Groom your pet. No one will want to adopt a
companion animal that is smelly, unkempt and
flea infested. (NOTE: All of this can be done by
; Get rid of mats and tangles by brushing
thoroughly. You can try a brush mitt to protect
your hand if the animal may scratch or bite
; Give your animal a bath. Even cats need PLACING AN AD IN THE baths sometimes to get them clean. Make sure NEWSPAPER the water is luke warm and the air is warm
when they get out of the water. Dry
them thoroughly with a towel so they do not
chill. Use a vet recommended shampoo or a The trick to an effective ad is creating one that mild shampoo. It is not necessary to use a will generate inquiries (while not flea shampoo if your pet is on the, misrepresenting the animal) and, at the same Advantage or other flea control program. time, do some preliminary screening for you. Read labels carefully especially when You need a concise description of the animal bathing kittens or puppies. A professional his/her needs, your requirements and your
telephone number. Include the following nutrition.
information: ; Include your telephone number. Instruct the
newspaper with whom you are placing the
• Breed ad to abbreviate as much as possible. Your
• Pet Characteristics ad should read something like this: British
• Color Silver Tabby/Abysinian mix for adoption.
• Your Requirements for a Home Young adult spayed female. Friendly,
• Sex housebroken, great for a one cat home.
• Your First Name Indoor only, ref. required. Peg (Phone #).
• Neutered or Spayed
• Your Telephone Number
• Approximate Age
; If your pet is 0 - 1 1/2yrs, then give the age
in months if known, ex. 18 mths is 1 1/2 yrs.
Flyers Develop a flyer containing a picture of He/she will be perceived as a young animal.
the animal (action shots are more interesting) If I 1/2 - 3yrs, then describe him/her as a
and more detailed information. Copy these and young adult. If he/she is over 3yrs then
post them at work and in veterinarian's offices, describe as an adult.
groomers, pet supply stores, supermarkets, ; Emphasize your animals "selling points".
obedience training classes, and community Keep physical descriptions brief and
bulletin boards. Follow up with phone calls concentrate on personality traits and other
and personal visits. Bring your animal, when advantages. Is he/she friendly, housebroken,
possible and reasonable. obedience trained, loves kids and other
animals? Tell the good points of your
Word of mouth Inform all your friends, animal, but do not exaggerate.
co-workers, relatives, front desk staff of ; Target the type of home you want your pet
veterinarian's offices about the animals adopted into. Pre-qualify the home by
availability. Give everyone a flyer. stating definite requirements in a positive
manner. For example: No dogs or No cats.
Free publications Research which local Fine with children over 10. Quiet, mature
publications will permit free advertising. family pet. Ideal for senior. Always state
Sometimes the small towns surrounding big "references required". This lets people know
cities will print these type of ads free in their that you are a concerned pet owner who
newspaper. This gives you the advantage of wants to do right by his/her animal and that
possibly finding a home with some land for they can expect a barrage of questions when
outdoor running room for the animal. they call.
; NEVER, include the phrase "free to good Phone referral - rescue groups List the home," even if it is true. In fact, do not put animal as available with your local breed any price at all. While it is true that "free" rescue and all animal rescue groups to obtain will generate a lot of calls, the quality of the phone call referrals from them. callers is generally poor. Not stating a price gives you a lot of latitude. You can easily tell the wrong caller that the animal is
SCREENING APPLICANTS $5,000 dollars and just as easily give the dog
"free" to the perfect family on a fixed
income, if you want to.
Questions for the adopter ; We recommend asking for a minimal
Talking to prospective adopters can be adoption fee to help cover the expenses you
frustrating and time consuming. Refer to the have incurred for advertising, vet care and
attached "Adoption Questionnaire" for to give you an indication of the type of home
examples of questions you might want to ask you have found. Someone not willing to pay
callers. Make copies and fill in the information a small amount for a fully vetted, cared for
as you speak to the callers. People usually find animal may also cut corners financially in
it easy to talk about animals and this the future with regard to veterinary care or
information usually helps you pick out the ; If the family or person has no pets
right family/home. currently,find out if they have had any pets in
the past and what happened to them. The ; Get the first and last name and number ofthe caller first in case you are answer will give you an indication of the type
accidentallydisconnected. of future your animal will face. People who
have never had an animal before should be ; Ask who else lives in the home? Are there
advised of the considerable expense of taking children? What are their ages? If the animal is
good care of an animal. They should also be not good with children, be up front with the
made aware of the responsibility involved in caller and do not waste time. A young dog
caring for another life who cannot care for under 2 years, for example,
itself. Talk about what average feed bills and is almost always a bad choice for a family
vet bills can run. Think to yourself, can this with young children as the dog is not mature
person handle being a committed, caring pet enough to understand how to play non
owner? If in your heart the answer is no, then violently with kids. Children often engage
do not place your animal in that home. Are in "rough-play" that may frighten the animal
they prepared to educate or reeducate an or represent aggressive behavior to the
animal that has behavioral problems? If they animal. A small puppy or kitten can also be
have had a pet in the last year, get the name of hurt by a young child. Does everyone in the
the animal and the vet they used. Call for a home like and want the animal? If the
reference. Did they take the animal for yearly person's partner is dead set against it, then
check-ups? Stay away from anyone who has the animal will be resented and possibly
had a significant number of pets in a short abused by that person. What would happen
period of time. It will be unlikely that your pet to the animal if the only person in the home
would last there very long either. Someone who cares for it should die? You could not be
who has several animals who were either sure the animal would have a good future.
stolen, killed by cars, lost or given away are ; Find out if they currently have other pets
undoubtedly a poor prospect. inside or outside the home. If your animal is
; Does the person own the home they live in? not good with other animals or if your animal
Are they renting? If so does their lease allow does not get along with another animal of the
for pets? Get the name of the landlord or condo same-breed and sex, do not waste their time
association and make sure that an animal is and yours. Decline the home. Neutering will
allowed. Make sure they know what pet fees not change aggressive tendencies so do not
will be involved if any are required. Some think that two males will get along just
places charge a base fee then add a monthly because they are neutered. Remember, you
fee to the rent. Make sure the adopter knows want this to be a permanent home where your
what rules their landlord uses. pet will be happy, so do not let your desire to place the animal cloud your good judgment. ; Do they have the necessary room for a pet? Is
their yard fenced with room enough for the ; Ask why they want this animal. Look for
dog to run? How tall is the fence? What kind someone who wants a household companion.
of fence is it? People who do not have an Be aware of people seeking an animal for
enclosed fence may allow the dog to run loose guarding or breeding purposes. Guard dogs are
in the neighborhood, which is mostly illegal often discarded when their usefulness is over,
and dangerous, or they may chain the animal and the last thing you want is to contribute to
which is a frustrating and desolate existence the animal overpopulation problem by
for an animal. Tell them you will want to come allowing your animal to be bred. Also be
and see the location where the pet will be kept. aware of people who pose as a good person
Get their address and check it out. Make sure with a good home for the animal but really
the address exists and that the neighborhood is want to obtain the animal for research purposes.
suitable. Call your references!' If someone wants the pet as a gift for another person, insist that the ; Ask them where they will keep the animal. Be person who will be spending the next decade wary of people who say they will keep it in the
with the animal be involved in the selection. garage, on the back porch, outside only or in
This also gives you an opportunity to evaluate the basement. They are probably not interested
that person as a good owner as well. in making the animal a household companion .
Domestic cats and dogs have been selectively
bred and engineered over the centuries to want
and need human companionship and
interaction. Unless the family or person spends ; Explain that John/Jane Doe have asked to 10 hours a day in the garage or outside, an adopt your animal and you want to make intention to keep the animal only in these sure that the animal will get a good home. places or only outside is an indication that the Most vets would be happy to cooperate. animal will be isolated and alone for most of
its lifetime. ; Ask whether their pets get/got regular
; How much time do they have to spend with the vaccinations and annual stool checks and animal? People in situations where the animal year round heartworm preventative for dogs. will be unsupervised for more than a few hours
a day should not adopt a young animal (one ; Were the pets spayed/neutered? If the under several months of age). This animal may answers are positive, you can be sure the develop behavior problems that arise from same will be probable for your pet. boredom and lack of timely discipline. People
with young children are unlikely to have time
to spend with an animal. Many parents seek a QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL pet thinking that the pet and the children will REFERENCES entertain each other. They find that young children quickly lose interest in the pet. Pets have a great need for the mature interaction ; How long have they known John/Jane Doe? that only adults can give it and the pet not only
; Do they have any pets now? does not make less work for them by keeping
; Did they have any pets in the past that you their children entertained, but actually creates
; know of? more work for them.
; Are their pets well cared for? ; Who will primarily be responsible for the
; Is their yard fenced in? (This will tell you animal? Will the adult in the family be
just how well they know each other.) If you responsible for the daily care of the pet? It's
get a different answer than what you expect O.K. for the children to participate in the care
you may have to do some further of the pet, but the ultimate responsibility
investigating. should rest with the adult!
; If they were placing one of their pets for ; If the person or family travels a lot, what
adoption would they give it to John/Jane will happen to the animal? Caring for an
Doe? animal is a 10-15 year commitment. Remind
prospects that they may have to board animals
during vacations or hire a pet sitter. They must
also plan for the pet's needs if contemplating a
; How will they discipline the animal if
he/she misbehaves? How have they
disciplined animals in the past? What
restrictions will the animal have in the home?
Is there anywhere the animal will not be
allowed to go and why? What do they plan to
feed the animal and where? Make sure that
food is not located too close to litterboxes or
cleaning supplies. Get two personal references.
Even someone who does not now nor has ever
owned a pet should know two people who can
vouch for what kind of human being they are.
Require a home visit/interview! ! Get a good
look and feel for where your animal will be
spending the rest of its life.
QUESTIONS FOR THE VET
whole house and property where the animal will OBSERVE THE APPLICANT be allowed to go. WITH THE ANIMAL IN YOUR HOME
PLACING THE ANIMAL IN IT’S NEW HOME If the preliminary screening and reference calls are positive, call the family and make an appointment for them to see your animal. Make Placing an animal in a home with no other sure they know that they will not be going home pets If you approve of the family and the future with the animal and that you will not make a home of your animal, then go ahead and final decision until all applicants have been deliver the animal to them. However, you need screened. The animal will be friendliest to to remind them of the following recessive strangers in a familiar environment, so it's best behaviors that the anxiety of going to a new for the first visit to occur in your home. home may cause. Encourage them to come when all those who live in the home can be present. This is a An animal that was previously housebroken family/household decision, and it also gives you may have an accident or two within the first a chance to meet all the people your pet will be few days. The animal probably does not know exposed to in the home. It also gives you a where his/her bathroom is because his/her chance to find out if getting the animal is an scent is no longer there. Try one of the unanimous decision following methods. Confine the animal to a small space such as a crate or a small area like At the interview, watch how they act with the a bathroom to re-housebreak the animal. An animal. Do they approach the animal in an animal in a small space with food, water and a experienced way? Are they sensitive to the waste area, will use the waste area so it can animal's reaction to them and the animal's need keep its other areas clean. As the animal uses to feel safe? Do they supervise children and the correct area for waste continuously, teach them to be gentle and patient. Do the kids introduce the animal to more and more space seem to respect the pet? until the animal can roam the whole house without soiling the wrong area. Be sure to remove the odor of accident areas completely VISIT THE APPLICANT'S and cover the area temporarily so the animal
can not get to the area. If the animal smells the HOME
waste there, it may use that area again thinking
that it is an acceptable site. Another method to
try is to take feces/urine from the unacceptable If you and your animal like the applicant and the site and put it at the acceptable site so that the applicant likes you and your animal, then set up animal knows where the acceptable site is. a time that you can visit their home without the Again, completely remove the odor from the pet to do an initial home screening. Never let an previous site. Do not try to force the animal or applicant take a pet to their home without first be harsh with the animal. This will make the visiting their home! This is the only way that animal scared and will make things worse. you can truly verify who they are. If it appears
that something does not feel right about their The average animal takes several days to home situation or if the home does not look like settle in. Some animals may take longer. a good place for your animal, you are not locked Suggest that the new owners keep the same into a promise to give them an animal. Let them feeding and exercise schedule for the first few know that a home visit is a part of the screening days to weeks so the pet can adjust. Also it process and that you will not allow your animal helps if the animal has something of it's own to be adopted without a home visit.
from the previous house to feel secure. For
example, it's own toys or bed. Do not force the When you go on your visit, show up 30-60
new animal into a bath or grooming or training minutes early. This gives you a chance to see until the animal is fully adjusted to the new what the home looks like before they fix it up home. for you. Insist in seeing all the places in the
Placing the animal in a home with other pets If the adopting family has a dog and you are FOLLOWING UP ON YOUR placing a dog, you will want the dogs to meet ANIMAL’S ADOPTION on neutral ground like a park. Dogs are very territorial and most dogs will resent a stranger Make sure the new owner's understand the on their territory. A dog's first impression of nature of the commitment they are making to another dog is hard to change. Your best your animal. Tell the new owner's that you will chance of a successful relationship is always want to keep in touch and visit a few times to on neutral ground. make sure everything is going okay. Tell them to call if there are any problems or questions. When placing a new cat in a home where cats Emphasize that the animal is to be returned to already live, go slow! We know you want your you if it does not work out. new cat to become best friends with the cat already in your household. But please follow Provide the new owners with a list of these guidelines to successfully make your cats medications and a feeding schedule. Include befriend one another in a matter of time. We some of his food in the adoption package. recommend keeping the cats in separate rooms Write down the animals normal schedule and for up to two weeks. After two weeks, switch activities. the cats, but leave their toys and litter boxes as they are and let them become used to each other's smells for a few days. Then slowly Send a favorite toy or blanket with the animal introduce them. Do not force them to get near to make them feel more secure in their new each other. Keep a watergun handy to separate surroundings. Provide the new owners with the them if there is fighting. They may take days animals rabies/ID tag. Advise the new owner to weeks to sort out the pecking order, not to leave the new animal unattended for a especially if there are two males. Expect a cat while as a sense of belonging takes time to who has previously behaved very well to develop. Give the new family copies of all vet exhibit some bad behavior due to jealousy of records, vaccinations, certificates or pedigrees. the intruder. They may try to punish you or Wait until the trial period is over before you turn destructive and start chewing or clawing. transfer AKC registration or pedigrees. List the names and numbers of training classes and If the adopting animal is a different species local breed rescue groups and encourage the (i.e., dog and cat), it will help if you only adopt new owners to call for advice. an animal who is younger than it. Adult animals will usually accept a baby animal and Have the family sign an informal adoption take over the chores of washing training and agreement which includes a waiver of liability. discipline. If you try to intervene and stop your (This protects you if the dog or cat destroys pet from disciplining the newcomer, he/she property or injures someone during the might become resentful. It also might be a adjustment period.) Also, the adopter must good idea for someone else to bring the new agree to return the animal to you if they decide animal into the home if your animal is they cannot keep him/her. Ask for a small fee possessive of you so that your animal will not to cover expenses that you have incurred if you be upset or resent you for abandoning him/her. rescued the animal. Do not allow the newcomer to usurp anything or place that belonged to the original animal. Most of all, feel confident that you have Remember to spend equal time with both placed your animal in the best possible animals to decrease the chance of regressive home. By following these guidelines, you can behavior due to jealousy. Cats and dogs be assured that your animal will be happy usually can work out their differences on their with his/her new family and the family will own. The only thing to worry about is the cherish their new member for a lifetime. dangers of a size difference as a large dog can accidentally hurt a small kitten in play.
Notes and Comments about potential adopters: