Thinking of Adopting a Dog soon or in the future?

If you are considering adopting a dog, we have been sent some advice to help the Essex community through the adoption process and making the right decisions

At the time of the home check the adopting person/family and the home in which the dog will live. An extensive discussion takes place to maximise safety for the dog AND you. It’s to make sure that there’s a good match between the adopter and the dog. This happens in human adoptions, so should be carried out for any pet. Some rescues allow dogs to go on trial, however this should be once all of the above is carried out. Sending a dog back can be upsetting for the adopter and even more so for the dog, who doesn’t understand what is going on. This can have a detrimental affect on the dog’s mind and behaviour. A home check is not to catch the adopter out but to discover what their expectations of an adopted dog are and to ensure that their lifestyle is going to be suitable for the dog. The following is an example of home checking questions you would expect a Homechecker to be following to ascertain your suitability:

Did you meet all those living in the home? Did all individuals appear keen to foster or adopt?

Have the family owned a dog before? Have they had to rehome any previous dogs?

If there is a resident dog/s what are their ages? Are they neutered?

If there is a resident dog/s are they vaccinated?

Do they currently have any other pets? Specify

Are there any children, what ages are they?

Do they work/If so, how long would the dogs be left for?

Have they any holidays/house moves/babies planned?

Who will mainly exercise the dog? How often?

Is there a garden? If so how high is the boundary fence?

Position of house - Main road, cul-de-sac, countryside?

What is the condition of the garden — any dog hazards, sharp objects, things a dog could/would eat and shouldn’t, small gaps a dog could get stuck in, animal faeces?

Is there a porch to stop dog running out of front door onto road?

Are there any other pets, such as cats, chickens, rabbits etc?

If there are other pets, can you see food/water bowl, does it have food and clean water in it?

Do the applicants understand the needs and behaviour of the breed of dog they are wishing to adopt? Do the applicants understand the potential needs of a rescue dog, in particular behavioural and training needs?

Where would the dog sleep? Where would the dog stay when home alone?'

There may be other points discussed, such as travel in the car and what to do if your dog is lost/stolen, but the list above forms the basis of the homecheck of reputable rescues. This will take an hour or more in discussion with the adopter.
Reputable rescues also have conditions of adoption that they require the adopter to sign and adhere to, including Rescue Back Up for the dog's entire life.
Reputable rescues insist that the home checker report back to them, including a copy of the completed HC form; the rescue makes the final decision.

If you have had a dog dropped off to you with a 10 minute chat before leaving the dog, this is absolutely poor practice.
If you choose a dog and take it on trial before you have had all of the above, this is dangerous.
If you have returned a dog and been offered another as a straight swap, this is a pet shop!

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