Texto: Verónica G. Kaufman (@vero_g_kaufman)
Fotos: archivo Voluntarios Itinerantes
If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, this blog post is for you. I interviewed Eliana Profeta, a volunteer collaborator in the adoption process at the Animals Sense Sostre shelter. She explained the step-by-step process of adopting a dog at the shelter.
Eli, last time we talked about responsible adoptions. Today, I’d like for you to explain the adoption process at Animals Sense Sostre. How does it work?
Of course. At Animals Sense Sostre, we’ve designed a process that lasts approximately three weeks and consists of six steps.
STEP ONE: Pre-adoption questionnaire
Anyone interested in adopting should fill out a questionnaire which is available on the shelter’s website. (See questionnaire). On this questionnaire, we ask if there are other pets in the home, what the future adoptive family’s personal experience is with other animals, characteristics of their home, etc. What we’re trying to do from the very beginning is determine whether their current lifestyle fits with the characteristics of the dog they’re looking to adopt.
STEP TWO: Interview
We schedule an interview in person with the family or individual interested in adoption. On that day they have to come to the shelter with all family members in the household, including other pets. They will take the dog on a walk accompanied by someone from the shelter. The objective is to observe their first contact with the dog. If we detect that the profile of the family and their pets doesn’t fit with the dog they want to adopt, we can suggest other potential dogs to try on that same day.
STEP THREE: Form a bond with the dog
We ask families to visit the shelter at least two or three times so they can start to form a bond with the dog in adoption. We shouldn’t forget that, up to now, the dog’s environment has been the shelter. Adoptive families should not be strangers to the dog when they take them to their new home.
STEP FOUR: Home visit
We coordinate a home visit to see where the dog will live. What we want to learn, mainly, is whether this is a safe space for the dog. We check balconies, windows, doors, and make some recommendations, if needed, to create the right environment for the dog.
STEP FIVE: Adoption
If the previous steps have been successful for all parties involved, the adoption contract is signed, and the shelter and adoptive family will take care of any necessary administrative paperwork.
SIXTH AND FINAL STEP: Follow-up
The shelter doesn’t forgot about the dog once they’re adopted. During the first year of adoption, we will keep in touch with their new family to see how the adaptation process is going for everyone in the home.
To finish up, is there anything else you want to say to people interested in adopting the responsible way??
Yes. We know that some shelters let you take a dog home on the first day you visit. This could go well, or it could also go very wrong. We try to create a bond between the family and the dog before they are adopted. This way we reduce the probability of the dog being returned to the shelter.
I’m sure I can speak for everyone from Voluntarios Itinerantes when I say how happy it makes us every time we see a dog from the shelter go to their new home. Thank you to Eli and all the adoptive and foster families who make it possible!