Ideas for Rescue

Airn

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#1
So, I volunteer for this rescue. The girl who runs it does pretty well considering she's in school and is maybe 25. She's manages a LOT on her own. But, for SOME reason(s) she is getting a lot of 'returns'.

I figured if anyone can help work out some kinks/give some feedback, Chaz could.

I'm thinking maybe making the application a bit stricter/more specific? This is the current application. http://form.jotform.us/form/23288719751161
C&P'd

Let Love In Animal Rescue
Adoption Agreement
Full Name*

First Name

Last Name
Address*

Street Address

Street Address Line 2

City

State / Province

Postal / Zip Code

Country
Home Phone Number*
-
Area Code

Phone Number
Cell Phone Number
-
Area Code

Phone Number
E-mail

How did you hear about Let Love In Animal Rescue?*

Why do you want to adopt a dog?*

Do you have an age/sex preference? If so, please list.

If you are interested in a specific dog, please list their name(s) here.

If you have other pets, please describe them. (age/sex, breed, personality,etc.)*

What pets have you had in the past 5 years? What happened to them if they are no longer with you?*

How many people live in the house where the dog will stay? Please list ages of any children.*

Describe the area in which the dog will live. (country, city, inside, outside, etc.)*

Do you rent or own your home?*
Rent
Own
If you rent, do you have permission from your landlord to have pets?*
Yes
No
Not Applicable
Landlord's Full Name

First Name

Last Name
Landlord's Phone Number
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Area Code

Phone Number
Is your yard fenced in? Please give height and type of fence.*

Where will the dog stay during the day? Night? Vacations?*

For what purposes do you want the dog? (hunting, obedience, agility, show, breeding, family pet – discuss all that apply)*

Do you promise to notify Let Love In Animal Rescue if you cannot keep your pet?*
Yes
No
Are you willing to take your dog to obedience classes?*
Yes
No
What are the occupations of the working members of your household?*

What is the name of your Veterinarian?

Veterinarian's Phone Number
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Area Code

Phone Number
May we call them for a referral?*
Yes
No
Do not currently have a vet
Please list two references (other than family members). Please include their names and phone numbers.*

First Name

Last Name
Phone Number*
-
Area Code

Phone Number
Full Name*

First Name

Last Name
Phone Number*
-
Area Code

Phone Number
Our rescue dogs are all spayed or neutered, and current on vaccinations. We do charge an adoption fee to offset our expenses. The fee is usually between $30-$100. Do you agree to the above?*
Yes
No
Do you agree to keep your new pet up to date on all vaccinations as well as flea and heartworm prevention?*
Yes
No
Signature*

First Name

Last Name
Date*


How can she make this better? She already has a trial week, which is supposed to prevent so many 'returns'. I'm worried she's just being too nice and not being realistic with people. (The foster I currently have was adopted out with her brother. The woman now is going to school and isn't sure when she'll be back. :confused: I also know of another family that adopted two littermates and almost adopted a third. They returned their two because 'the landlord changed his mind'.)

Anyway, on with the ideas/advice. I'm not sure if she'll listen to me, but it's worth a shot!
 

JessLough

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#2
I'm not sure how thoroughly she's conversing with people after they fill out the application, but I know we have an application, much email conversation, and then basically half a day they spend with us.

Other than that, of she'd stop adopting out puppies together...
 

Oko

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#3
Does she do home checks/phone interviews? That might scare the less serious people away, if she's not.
 

MericoX

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#4
Common sense and up her level of counseling. Does she know these dogs she's adopting out, or are they just random dogs going this way and that?
 
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#6
What's the real problem? Is she adopting to unreliable people whose plans are changing? Or is she matching up the wrong dogs with the wrong homes?

The first is an easier fix, imo. (It's also why people whine and complain that rescues are too strict). Start looking for patterns. Throw on the application,
  • "Do you plan to move in the next few years? Do you realize the average dog friendly rental costs $xxx more in this town?"
  • "The life of a dog is 10-15 years. Do you plan any major life changes over this time frame? Going to school, having children, traveling for work?"
  • "The average cost of caring for a healthy dog is $1000/year (or whatever it is in your town--everything is more costly here). Is that something you are comfortable with?"

Just get people thinking about the commitment. I'd also require a written/signed form from the landlord, so that land lord is aware of the commitment as well.

When we adopted Lucy from the city shelter, they gave us a folder of papers:
  • We got a list of doggy day cares they trusted, local pet sitters they could vouch for, and vets who they had a good relationship with.
  • A list of obedience classes in town who had solid, credentialed instructors, as well as behaviorists and private trainers.
  • A list of appropriate foods (and those to avoid) and stores where we could find them.
  • A sheet on how to crate your dog successfully during the day (including frozen kong recipes, using food dispensing toys, covering the crate, etc)
  • If the dog was vetted as a "dog park appropriate dog" (they did doggy temperament tests and had a play yard where they could observe doggy manners), they'd talk about dog park etiquette and give addresses of local dog parks.
For matching the right people up with the right dog, that takes more time. Lucy had been cat tested, child tested, and other dog tested. They did the "hand in the bowl of food" test, noted whether she resource guarded food, and were honest about any issues they noticed in dogs--allergies, barking, whatever. Basically, there were few surprises.
 

Airn

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#7
What's the real problem? Is she adopting to unreliable people whose plans are changing? Or is she matching up the wrong dogs with the wrong homes?

The first is an easier fix, imo. (It's also why people whine and complain that rescues are too strict). Start looking for patterns. Throw on the application,
  • "Do you plan to move in the next few years? Do you realize the average dog friendly rental costs $xxx more in this town?"
  • "The life of a dog is 10-15 years. Do you plan any major life changes over this time frame? Going to school, having children, traveling for work?"
  • "The average cost of caring for a healthy dog is $1000/year (or whatever it is in your town--everything is more costly here). Is that something you are comfortable with?"

Just get people thinking about the commitment. I'd also require a written/signed form from the landlord, so that land lord is aware of the commitment as well.

When we adopted Lucy from the city shelter, they gave us a folder of papers:
  • We got a list of doggy day cares they trusted, local pet sitters they could vouch for, and vets who they had a good relationship with.
  • A list of obedience classes in town who had solid, credentialed instructors, as well as behaviorists and private trainers.
  • A list of appropriate foods (and those to avoid) and stores where we could find them.
  • A sheet on how to crate your dog successfully during the day (including frozen kong recipes, using food dispensing toys, covering the crate, etc)
  • If the dog was vetted as a "dog park appropriate dog" (they did doggy temperament tests and had a play yard where they could observe doggy manners), they'd talk about dog park etiquette and give addresses of local dog parks.
For matching the right people up with the right dog, that takes more time. Lucy had been cat tested, child tested, and other dog tested. They did the "hand in the bowl of food" test, noted whether she resource guarded food, and were honest about any issues they noticed in dogs--allergies, barking, whatever. Basically, there were few surprises.
Thank you! Excellent ideas.

I think it's her just not following up or asking the intense questions that scare away the "PUPPAH" people. I would love if she could just implement some of these. Ill make up a list and see what she says. :)
 
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#8
Thank you! Excellent ideas.

I think it's her just not following up or asking the intense questions that scare away the "PUPPAH" people. I would love if she could just implement some of these. Ill make up a list and see what she says. :)
Oh gosh, after the shelter lady came to our apartment and went through the whole folder with us, I looked at Zach wide eyed, wondering what the heck we had gotten ourselves into. I was scared to death! It was so valuable though--I was expecting the mellow older dogs of my childhood and wasn't ready for a crazy hyper active dog. I was so grateful for all the resources and instructions we had been given.

Also, shelter people were very clear that dog should not be left crated/alone longer than 8 hours at a time (your rescues' limit may be longer, depends what you're comfortable with). We had to have a written plan on the application for how we were going to make that work--whether staggering our hours at work, hiring a dog walker, utilizing doggy day care, taking off early, etc. It was a good reality check before we even brought the dog home.
 

meepitsmeagan

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#9
I think I would ask a lot of questions about past experiences with dogs, training, ect...

Also, making sure people are committed to exercise, as I think destructiveness/lack of off switch tends to make people want to return dogs the most.

With my foster/future fosters, I plan to make a "care package". A few of their favorite toys, a Kong, few cans of food/pumpkin/peanut butter. A small bag of the food they are on. A bag of quality treats. Some training points that could work for their situation (brochure type thing, IYC for the ACD's ect..)

If they are in your area, I think the daycare and dog park stuff would be really cool.

Honestly, I think further screening is going to help tremendously. Also, is "counseling" available? Do people feel comfortable contacting the rescue to talk with them about troubles they are having/asking questions? That helped me a lot when we were having issues with Rider.

I don't know if any of this will help... Hopefully it will! CaliTerp had some really great ideas that I'm going to steal. :D
 

Airn

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#10
I believe a HUGE plus is that she just got a job with a dog company. They walk dogs, pet sit, train, work on behavior issues. All of that stuff. They are a huge part of the community (they just started, though: 2012).

They even have a monthly pack walk and I think showcasing the fosters would be awesome. The foster homes are just a little spread out. And I'm sure we're all on different pages.

So, in the future she has a company she can point them to if they need anything dog related. The rescue also uses a doggie daycare/pet store so they have most of the bases covered.

I think she really WANTS to do all this stuff but she's not firm enough with people. And she's getting way too many puppies. I'll try to put something together for her, but I really don't feel qualified. I'm hoping if I offer the idea, she will be able to run with it. I don't want her to feel like I'm taking over. I just really want to help and I know she's getting frustrated.

I really appreciate the input.

(And Jess, yes. It would help. Also, in my opinion, you don't get a say in where your dog goes if you 'return' him/her/THEM. Be glad they're nice enough to take them back. Do not insist the brother and sister be homed together. :madgo:)
 

JessLough

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#11
I can understand the frustration. I really can. There's a (newer) local rescue that just... Takes in every dog they see, and now they're just placing dogs in ANY home to get them out.

I understand the want to save them all. I really do. It's that want that gets people in trouble with returns and too many animals and et cetera and so forth.
 

Barb04

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#12
Question, which I may have missed the answer to, is how much is she charging the adopter for each dog/cat? I know the rescues around here charge approximately $300+ for a dog. They are vaccinated & spayed/neutered when you adopt them and in good health.

I know the cost for an adoption would also stop some who are just doing it to try from those who truly want a family member to love. Just a thought.
 

Airn

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#13
Question, which I may have missed the answer to, is how much is she charging the adopter for each dog/cat? I know the rescues around here charge approximately $300+ for a dog. They are vaccinated & spayed/neutered when you adopt them and in good health.

I know the cost for an adoption would also stop some who are just doing it to try from those who truly want a family member to love. Just a thought.
Anywhere from $60-120. A $300 rescue around here would never get adopted. The shelters are in the same range. I've never really seen higher than $75, though the fancy small dogs are pushed higher. I know of a couple small dog rescues that go up in the hundreds. But I'm pretty sure that's due to the breed, not the cost of medical expenses.

I messaged her and the first thing she said was "I know it looks like I don't have my **** together. I have a lot going on." I think I upset her :(
 

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