The adoption application process
Shelters and rescue groups will ask you to complete an adoption application form. This gives them all the info they need to help you find the pet that’s right for you, your lifestyle and your family. It’s important to get it right, as the pet could (hopefully) be a part of your life for the next ten years or more.
Preparing for your meet and greet
If the pet is a good fit for you, the rescue group will get in touch to arrange a time to meet the pet face-to-face. This gives you the chance to see if you, your family and your pets have a natural connection with the pet. It may also help to prepare a list of questions you want to ask about the pet’s personality/behaviour and health issues.
If you have young children, make sure you manage their expectations by explaining you are just ‘meeting to see if you all get along’ - you want a pet that adores and interacts with your children, not just a pet that will tolerate them.
What to expect from a house check
Some rescue groups may also request a quick house check prior to adoption approval, although this is usually not required for cats, rabbits and pocket pets. They’ll just want to make sure your fences are escape-proof (tall and sturdy, without cracks and holes) and there are no potentially dangerous situations your new pet may get into. Before your house check, check your fences and gates and make sure all hazardous items, such as paint, insecticides and electrical cables are stored safely out of harms way.
What if the pet is already rehomed?
It may be that the pet you’re interested in has been adopted, but with the information you provide in your application form the rescue group may be able to suggest another suitable pet. And remember, there are hundreds of new pets listed on PetRescue every day, so keep looking and sign up for alerts so you can be among the first to view any new pets for adoption.
What if my application is not successful?
A good rescue group will not turn a potential adopter away, and will offer you helpful feedback and advice, explaining why you weren’t successful this time and suggest other pets that may be a better match for you, your family and your lifestyle. You may also find that some rescue groups practice more rigorous screening processes than others, so don’t let that put you off your quest to adopt! Search the Rescue Directory to find other shelters, rescue groups and pounds in your area, and even if they don’t have your perfect pet match listed on PetRescue, get in touch - they may be able to help you find what you’re looking for.