Adoption Application References

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Adoption Application References

Postby TrainTrax » Tue May 11, 2010 2:20 pm

I got an application for a current dog we have in rescue and I've spoken with the woman on the phone. All in all, she seems like an awesome owner and will be the perfect home for this specific dog! And I'm excited for this dog to be adopted (hopefully).


I have no clue what to ask her personal references. Like, no fricken' idea! lol. I've never handled an adoption by myself. Just looking for the more seasoned folks to give me some pointers.

Thanks for any help!

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Re: Adoption Application References

Postby tarnation » Thu May 13, 2010 10:22 pm

I hope some experienced folks respond to your post. Since no one has yet, I'll tell you what we did in your situation, although we aren't experienced doing adoptions. When I spoke to the personal references, I basically tried to get a sense of the potential adopter's world--their schedule, their social group, their job, what their life is like. Part of that was looking for confirmation of what the adopter had said in their application. (Of course you still need to directly fact-check things like the landlord, the vet, etc.) Ask open-ended rather than yes-or-no questions; try to draw the person out and get them talking. If the reference is a vet or an employer, you can be pretty direct in asking about how responsible the person is, etc.--would they let this person care for their pet? If it's a friend, you can ask them to describe what kind of owner their friend would be, what kind of life a dog would have with them. You also end up getting a sense of whether the reference-person is trustworthy, which says something about the judgment of the adopter. A lot of the information I gleaned was not only literal facts, but also vibe & gut feeling about the person.

One note: it can be interpersonally delicate. I found that people could be a bit defensive---feeling like their friend was being overly checked-up-on and that the questions were overkill. It's good to try to defuse that a bit up top by having a sunny demeanor (not seeming like an interrogator), and by giving a short explanation at the beginning about why you're talking to the reference. ("We try really hard to make a great match between adopters and dogs." "Your friend seems like a great applicant, and we wanted to learn more about her." The fact is, you ARE interrogating them for the maximum amount of accurate information, but it's good to disguise that with charm and positivity as much as possible.

Good luck and I hope you get some more responses.

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Re: Adoption Application References

Postby APBT<3er » Sat May 15, 2010 10:55 am

You've probably already contacted the references, but the best reference to have is that from a vet, because the potential adopter could get any friendly yahoo to tell you exactly what you want to hear.

usually, we ask them what they can tell us about the adopter. We always tell them that there is more than one reference, so their answers to all of our questions are confidential. We ask them answers to questions that were answered from the application to see if everything adds up.

Then we contact the vet and see what they haver to say about the person.

Then come the home visits.

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