Last updated: 13 Oct, 2020
Published on: 11 Dec, 2019
Interstate adoptions can be a soaring success. Here’s how:
The PetRescue & Jetpets Free Flights program has seen hundreds of pets flown to safe and happy futures. It’s enough to make even the most hardened heart soar!
Of course, in a perfect world, a pet’s ideal home would be just around the corner. But sometimes big journeys can lead to big and lasting love, so it’s worth considering the options available to the pets in your care.
There’s a wealth of experience in the amazing PetRescue member community, so who better to ask for top tips on how to make interstate adoptions a success!
Veteran Queensland rescuer and PetRescue member Chris Farnham has a lot of successful interstate adoptions under her belt. We spoke to her for her advice on how to successfully navigate interstate adoptions. Here's the low-down!
Interstate adoptions - with Chris Farnham
An interstate adoption is little different from any other – it’s just another part of the process and logistics, and if you take your time and establish a good rapport with the potential adopter it makes a big difference. Building and maintaining a rapport with the adopter, whether local or interstate, makes it far more likely they’ll reach out if they’re having transitional challenges, or if they run into problems later. You want them to connect with you and feel like you’re working for them as much as the potential pet.
Take a positive approach
For the right pet, it’s definitely worth considering, but only if you approach it with the same positive, solution-based approach you would any applicant who came before you. Extra time and care is always worth it; extra scepticism and angst makes maintaining the rapport more difficult. If the prospective adopter feels like you’re working with them, they’re much more likely to stay present. If your organisation has a Facebook page for adopters or similar happily-ever-after option, make sure they’re instantly “brought into the organisational fold”. Follow them up cheerfully and kindly.
Make the most of technology
Technology makes sight unseen adoptions a little easier – you can have live chats and also show live action of the dog in lots of different scenarios (meaning they make their own interpretations of the dog’s behaviour without relying on interpreting your words).
Be clear about expectations and responsibilities
Making the adopter “own” the responsibility and significance of a long-distance adoption has proven important – let them know from the get-go what’s expected of them (costs, what they’re expected to organise etc). Be clear (preferably in writing) the whole way through the process before and after the adoption.
Be upfront about the pet’s strengths and weaknesses
Always good form regardless, but be totally factual about the pet’s strengths and weaknesses, and be sure to put them in context, e.g. we’ve only known the pet a week; or we’ve known it six months, but it’s had one foster home and this is the type of home we’ve seen it in; or we’ve only known it in a shelter environment (so be prepared for whoever turns up!).
Pick your pets, and know your backup options
Some animals have a less flexible adoption profile, or perhaps a local training support package is part of the rehoming profile, so choosing which dogs are suitable for interstate adoption can be a good plan. In these days of considerable transportation of dogs from pounds, and networks with contacts all over the place (like the pledge pages), this brings all the rescue groups closer together as well, so hopefully those networks could be called on to help out in case of dire emergency.
The reality is that regardless of how near or how far, as soon as the pets are adopted, our most effective strategy for maintaining a part in ensuring their happy future is by being available to their new humans without judgment, no matter how tough that might be! Interstate adoption is in no way a science but an art; exactly like adoptions anywhere at any time. They go with our best efforts, sincerest love and good luck, and just a dog hair or two of luck thrown in!
HUGE thanks to Chris Farnham for taking the time to share her take on interstate adoptions!
More advice and travel tips from Jetpets:
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