- CONFIDENTIALITY: Remember, all information about all applicants is confidential and can only be discussed with Pet Harbor administration.
- CONTACT: When you are given the application info, please connect with the applicant to set up the home visit. Please make that contact within 24 hours of accepting the assignment. If, for some reason, you can’t do this timely, let the Home Visit Coordinator know ASAP.
- ISSUES: We have already corresponded with the applicants and gone over any concerns. If there are specific issues that need to be addressed pertaining to a particular application, the Home Visit Coordinator will advise you of such.
- PARTICIPANTS: When you set up the appointment, verify all pets and humans residing in the home will be present when the home visit is accomplished. They are required to be, and all applicants have already been informed of this.
- TIME: Please let the Home Visit Coordinator know when the home visit will occur and provide your report within 24 hours after the home visit.
- DEED: When we can’t verify home ownership otherwise, we have to see a deed or mortgage statement at the home visit. Applicant will know to expect to have to show proof at the home visit. We will have told them to black out or cover up the dollar amounts. That’s none of our business. All we care about is that the owner of the property allows Siberian Huskies. So please verify the date, name, and address and put in the comment section on this form that you did so.
- PETS: If they do not have a pet, please take your own dog or a Pet Harbor dog and see how they all interact with said dog. If they have cats, DO NOT TAKE A DOG! We prefer you take the wildest of your dogs. LOL Obviously the most family-friendly one should go. If the dog is blowing coat, please don’t brush the dog before you go! Show them what having a Siberian is all about.
- POLICIES: Please make sure what you say to an applicant is consistent with Pet Harbor policies. If they ask you questions, unless you know Pet Harbor’s policies, do not answer. Simply refer them to PH administration. You are there as a representative of Pet Harbor, not as an individual. This even applies to things as basic as “What type of food should I buy?”
- QUESTIONS: Often applicants ask “Did I pass?” Your answer should be “I am not the decision-maker.” They often ask “What is the next step?” Your answer should be “I will be giving my report. Pet Harbor’s Board of Directors takes it, along with all the other data they gather, and votes. Then you’ll hear something. If you have more questions about that, write to the person who has been emailing you about your application.”
- IMPORTANCE: Important things – number 1 is family interaction with the dog. Number 2 is walk the fence line.
- GENERAL: General instructions about home visits:
The best way to tell you this is by telling you the good and bad of prior home visits.
If they have pets, the #1 thing to me is how that pet reacts to his people. If they don’t have pets, it’s how the dog I take reacts and they react to the dog. Try to make people feel at ease. Tell them it’s NOT an inspection, only a visit. Some people think it’s an inspection anyway. They all want to clean the house. A house can be TOO clean for a husky!!!! I try to tell them to relax and just be themselves, it’s not some white glove test.
The best of home visits –
– Where the existing dog goes over to the basket of toys and brings toys to me to toss
– Where the existing dog obviously adores his owners
– Where the existing dog is allowed to roam freely in the house
The worst of home visits –
– Where the existing dog was afraid of the owner
– Where the children were afraid of the dog I brought
– Where the man spent the entire time picking hair off his pants
And the home visits from hell –
A. Retired general. Lived in Lake of the Woods. Had an indoor pool in the CENTER of his house! Has a Bichon. I did this home visit for NJ Bichon rescue. All went well. Existing dog had no collar or tags. At the end, he walked me out to the car. His dog followed. NO TAGS, NO COLLAR, NO LEASH. I said, “YOUR DOG!” He said, “Don’t worry. Everybody knows where he belongs. Someone will bring him back.” The rescue told him he would have to keep the collar and tags and a leash on the dog to adopt. He’s a retired general. He knows it all and refused to do what it takes to keep his dog safe. That was the end of that story.
B. The WORST home visit of ALL TIME was where we walked the fence line and there was a DEAD CAT stuck in the fence. I kid you not. The family said they didn’t know it was there. Dad was overall a “know it all” and not open to any suggestions about anything and, in fact, resented having a home visit. I think you get the idea, but if you have any questions, please ask!
- PURPOSE: These guidelines are not only to ensure that all the information that we have been given on an adoption application is correct but also to help avoid any potential problems/dangerous situations that might be found in common household situations that need to be rectified before the adopted dog comes to live there. Please fill this form out as thoroughly and accurately as possible. Your role is data gathering to help the board of directors have enough information on which to base its decision. Avoid sharing your concerns with the applicants because (a) your concerns may not be the same concerns voting board members may have and (b) applicants have your contact information. We make it clear to applicants from the very beginning that home visitors have no role in decision-making to avoid any retaliation. For most of this form, we are looking for more fact than opinion.
Again, we thank you, thank you, thank you.