Adoption Coordinator Guide
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING OUR FUR BABIES FIND THEIR FOREVER HOME!
1. You receive an application, now what? First, request to be added to that dog’s thread if you’re not already. Each dog that we have available for adoption has a Facebook Messenger thread, which includes ALDR volunteers as well as the dog's foster. This is where you can read up on specific information about the dog (including the dog's behavior and needs), ask questions about his/her status and coordinate with the foster to talk with the potential adopter/applicant once the time comes. We don't connect a foster with an applicant until they are fully approved to adopt.
2. Call the applicant to get a feel for them, provide them with all need-to-know information about the dog and let them know if there are other apps in line before them. Double check that they authorized their vet to give us information and have them prepare their personal references for your call. You may let them know that the application process can go quite quickly if all references respond in a timely manner.
3. If you are unsure about the applicant being a good fit for the dog (or any dog) they applied for, let the team know. We follow our gut feeling and don't want to risk that our rescue dogs end up in a bad situation again. If you feel good about this applicant, the next step is to google their address, look at them on Facebook, and get a feel for the applicant’s home situation.
4. Call both personal references and/or send them a text to schedule a convenient time to talk. Let them know you’re from Addicus’ Legacy Dog Rescue and that they were put down as a reference on “John Doe’s” application to adopt a rescue dog from us. See sample question document for examples of what to ask.
5. Call their vet’s office and ask them how long they’ve been a patient and if their current dog(s) are spayed/neutered and up to date on shots. Also make sure that they provide their dog(s) with the monthly preventatives. Some may order those online. Sometimes applicants may be behind on vaccinations and if this is the case, ask them to schedule an appointment to take care of this as soon as possible.
6. If you have trouble contacting references or getting information from their vet, let the applicant know to contact them to let them know that you’re trying to get in touch. They can also supply an additional reference if necessary.
7. After you’ve cleared all the references and feel good about their responses, only then do you let the foster know on the dog thread that we have an approved adopter. You provide them with the adopter's name and phone number. The foster knows the most about the dogs, so they’re the best ones to answer specific questions about the dog.
8. If the applicant is local to the dog in foster care, the foster can then schedule a meet and greet with the applicant at their convenience. Continue to check in with the foster at this point, to make sure the meet and greet is getting scheduled and follow up after the meeting.
9. After the meet and greet, follow up with both the foster and the applicant to see how it went and if there are any further questions. We do take the foster’s impression of the adopter very seriously, and definitely take it into account during the process. However, keep in mind that some fosters get very attached to their dogs and have trouble seeing the dog with anyone else. If there’s a disagreement between you and the foster, please talk with either Philippa Scott or Amy Stanton to resolve the issue and decide what to do. This doesn’t happen often but it does happen. Many times this can be resolved with discussing why you think this will be a good home for the dog and having empathy for the foster.
10. We will continue to take back-up applications until the adoption contract is complete. These fall through a lot for one reason or another, so just because we get an app, doesn’t mean they’ll end up adopting that dog even if approved. We typically give dog applications for a particular dog all to the same Adoption Coordinator, so if, for example, you’re working on an application for Spot and another application for Spot comes in, you will get that one as well, and so on.
11. Once the applicant is ready to adopt, they can find the contract and make the adoption payment ($250 for Texas and $450 for out-of-state adoptions) on our Website, under the Adopt tab. Also, direct them to the Resources tab on the Website with information on how to introduce new dogs to their homes, training tips and introductions to current pets in the home. We cannot stress enough how ALL dogs need time to adapt to their new environments and that most are not just going to settle into the routine immediately. Tell people that it could take up to two weeks; it usually doesn’t take that long but if they have that in their mind, then after a couple of days they hopefully won’t freak out.
12. Remind the foster (sometimes more than once) that the dog CANNOT BE RELEASED to the adopter without confirmation of contract, payment and all of the dog's paperwork (medical and shelter records). There are times when the foster will ask if the adopter can take the dog with them at the meet and greet. Yes, they can, however, we must have the contract and the payment confirmed prior to the dog going anywhere. This is very important! Once the adopter has the dog, it’s much harder to get them to do the contract and payment. As the Adoption Coordinator, I would even ask the person to do it in advance if they plan to take the dog with them.
13. If the adopter is out of state, you need to request transport once the adoption contract and payment are received. We have a transport from Texas to New England (at least) every two weeks (see Drop-off & Pick-up Locations). There is a Transport Request thread on Facebook Messenger that you should have been added to. Post the dog’s name, weight, pick-up location, where the dog needs to go and when he/she will be ready. Please let the foster know that there are instructions for transport on here under the Foster Menu. There are specific requirements for vetting and the health certificate, what should go with the dog, etc. that are important for the foster to read and understand. Otherwise the dog cannot go.
14. Make sure to ask for pictures of the dog(s) with their forever family! This is the best part after all the effort we put into this! <3