Animal care providers want the best home environment for their pet and therefore provide a screening process to match a pet with its potential family. Pet screening methods are commonly used by animal shelters, rescue groups and individuals or breeders selling or giving away animals. Although it’s impossible to guarantee a pet the perfect home, there are many ways to rule out a bad fit. Here you will find some criteria that should be used when evaluating potential pet owners.
Create a List of Preliminary Questions: Asking questions is one of the best ways to find out important information about a family or individual interested in pet adoption. The following questions should be asked or included in a pet adoption application:
• Do you have identification that shows your present address?
• How long have you resided at your present address?
• Are you at least 21 years of age?
• Do you own your own home? If not, do you have consent from a landlord to keep a pet in an apartment or rental home?
• Do you have any other pets? Which type of pets and how old are they?
• Have you had any pets die on your premises or have gotten rid of a pet in the last year?
• Are you employed? If so, who will be watching your pet while you are at work? If not, how do you plan on paying for your pet's needs?
• Would you be willing to allow our shelter/rescue group to inspect your home?
Consider Pet Factors vs. Family Factors: When matching a pet to a potential pet owner, its best to consider factors from each side. If the family includes small children or infants, large or aggressive breeds should be avoided. Larger dogs may also not be a good fit for those residing in a small home or apartment. Less active or older pets should be matched with individuals who are at the same speed such as seniors or those who are disabled. Young, energetic dogs may fit well with a young individual who spends a good amount of time outdoors.
Set up a Trial Period: If you’re unsure about the potential pet owners, agree to set up a trial period. Have the pet owners sign a contract that says they will bring the pet back to you if the pet adoption doesn’t work out. This will give some relief on both sides and prevent the pet from ending up in a bad environment.