Happy Monday! We thought it would be great to start the week off with a refresher on the application process! It's a lengthy one, but we know it will help all involved!
The recent media attention has caused an influx of applications, which is incredible! More applications=more homes! The downside is that many have not reviewed the requirements for applicants, which leads to volunteer time being ineffectively used. We want to use the time of our dedicated volunteers wisely, and you can help us do so! It's a win-win...faster processing = then sooner a pooch can join your family!
We recognize and acknowledge that not all applicants will qualify, which is why we offer so many opportunities to educate applicants on the process prior to applying. We understand your time is valuable too! So help us, help you!
1. Animal health. The care of your current and past pets is absolutely the most important part of your application (if you're a first time pet owner, this will not apply). BEFORE you apply, call your vet and ensure you have everything up to date, as well as release permission. WHEN you apply, include your vets name and number. No number? No call. Make sure you've listed all dogs and cats who have lived in your house for the past 5 years. It makes us suspicious when we call and they list other animals you did not.
If your pets are not up to date on the items below, please do not apply until they are. It's frustrating for our volunteers to have to make follow up calls, follow up emails, and then more follow ups, only to find you haven't provided this care.
-For cats or dogs in the home, we require spay or neuter for pets over 6 months. We respect that some choose not to alter their pets, and that is your choice. This choice, however, as clearly stated, disqualifies you from our rescue.
-For cats in the home, we require a current wellness exam OR a current rabies. Why? Because this responsible check up ensures that your cat is healthy and happy enough to welcome a new addition. If you feel your cat is too old or to fearful to handle the stress of a 10 minute appointment, you should probably consider the stress of adding a strange new addition to your home. These brief appointments can also help catch underlying conditions that could be exacerbated or accelerated by a new addition!
-For dogs in the home, we require rabies, distemper, heartworm testing and preventative. We strongly recommend a lepto and bordetalla vaccination as well, as dogs from the south have more exposure. Heartworm testing is a MUST for southern dogs, and we appreciate seeing that you have already incorporated this care into your own dogs. Heartworm is here too, and testing and preventative purchase demonstrates proactive care. Again, please have your pet up to date on these items PRIOR to applying.
2. Background checks. As we send volunteers into your home, we expect that we can offer them reassurance of safety. If you or an adult in the home have concerning charges on your background check, we offer you the opportunity to share more about the incidents and offer your side. We all make mistakes!
3. Landlord and property managers. BEFORE you apply, talk to your landlord. Make sure you understand their policies and make sure they know you're looking to add a family member. WHEN you apply, include their name and number.
4. Complete your application with care. This seems obvious, but so many come through with incorrect emails, no non-family references, no vet telephone numbers, no landlord information, no birthdates for those in the home. Answer questions with care and double check your answers each time. Remember, this is a screenshot of what you have to offer and using answers like "common sense" or "whatever I feel like" doesn't paint a nice picture.
5. Polite follow ups are always appreciated. Emails threatening to go to a breeder, calling the requirements stupid, or telling volunteers to be more helpful and not so lazy (yes, this happens) will not make us bigger fans of your applications.
We appreciate you reading through this information! While we have never advertised our group as a "one size fits all", we have ALWAYS emphasized high standards for adopters. As a non-profit, volunteer based group, our goal is to move these animals from the worst situations to the very best! Our volunteers put in 10-70 hours a week to make Paddy's Paws possible, and we are so thankful for their time! We are equally thankful for the amazing homes our adopters provide!
Thank you for changing lives!