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Week Two:
September 7, 1998 - September 11, 1998

Forms, Paperwork and Legal Questions


Day Three

Subject: CLASS: re: questions over the phone
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 04:32:04 -0400
From: Vicki DeGruy <72074.676@COMPUSERVE.COM>

Hi Everyone,

I admit that I cheat somewhat on adoption apps. I don't have time anymore to waste on people who aren't serious about adopting or obviously don't have adequate facilities for our dogs. So instead of doing a preliminary interview on the phone, inquirers are mailed an application along with an info pack about the breed and our rescue service. Since at least 3/4's of the inquirers never return the application, a lot of pre-screening happens automatically without my having to interview anyone! The info pack costs about $1 to mail but I think it's a good investment in education. And it sure saves me a lot of time!

Our adoption application asks for:

  • applicant's(s) name, address, phone, date of birth, driver's license #

  • number of adults in household

  • number of children & their ages; are they planning to have any in the next 5 years, do they babysit for other people's children?

  • do they own or rent their home? If renting, does landlord approve?

  • do they have a fenced yard? If not, would they consider installing one before adoption? If not, how do they plan to exercise their dog and/or keep it on their property?

  • what do they estimate their monthly dog food costs to be? Annual medical expenses?

  • where will the dog spend its time?

  • do they have other dogs? What kinds, sexes, ages? Cats?

  • have they had other dogs in the last 5 years?

  • have they had a Chow before? if not, what attracts them to the breed?

The questions fit on one page and the sheet is finished with the applicant's signature attesting to the truth of the information presented. The applicant is encouraged to write more on the backside if desired.

There are more questions that many of you ask in your written applications that we don't. Our application is meant to be very preliminary; other necessary information will come out later in the interview. What I'm looking for in this first form is very basic - might they be worth interviewing and do we have a dog that might fit their needs?

My most preferred adopters fit this profile: married couples aged 30-60 who own their home, have fenced yards, are without young children or cats, and have successfully owned a dog previously. Most of that information is apparent from the adoption application. (We consider people outside the profile, too, but the above gets called back soonest. )

Take care,

Vicki DeGruy, Wisconsin Chow Chow Rescue


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: questions over the phone
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 09:42:57 -0400
From: Judy Marion - iluvdogs@HUSKYNET.COM

This is a good idea Vicki

I admit that I cheat somewhat on adoption apps. I don't have time anymore to waste on people who aren't serious about adopting or obviously don't have adequate facilities for our dogs. So instead of doing a preliminary interview on the phone, inquirers are mailed an application along with an info pack about the breed and our rescue service.

So what we all could do is compose more indepth adoption applications as well as our qualifications for adoption, and use those forms for the website.

one for large breed dogs
one for small breed dogs

but I think referrals should have a more indepth questionaire for the phone.

Judy
NoVa Rottweiler Rescue League, Inc/MD,DC,VA
http://waikaloa.huskynet.com/rottirescue/rescue.htm


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: questions over the phone
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 08:51:00 +0000
From: Pam Bishop - dobra@pe.net

Vicki wrote:

I admit that I cheat somewhat on adoption apps. I don't have time anymore to waste on people who aren't serious about adopting or obviously don't have adequate facilities for our dogs. So instead of doing a preliminary interview on the phone, inquirers are mailed an application along with an info pack about the breed and our rescue service.

I know the feeling....I spend many hours on the phone with people that will never be good Fox Terrier owners.

I work with two breeds that look cute, are small and many people "think" they want one. I live in an area that has many big commercial breeders of our fairly rare breeds. So there are alot of these puppies available.

I feel I am saving many Fox Terriers from coming into rescue by talking to them from the begining. This isn't a problem for many breeds, but for Fox Terriers it is. I keep a list of Rescue people for other breeds near the phone. I ask callers what they are looking for. Are they looking specifically for a Fox Terrier. Have they either seen or been around a Fox Terrier. If the answer is no, then I make suggestions on breeds that might be more appropriate for them.

I've placed a lot of Bostons, Pugs, and Shih Tzus over the years!(VBG) They are lovely pets and far better for these people than a Fox Terrier. If I did not take the time to educate these people about what it is like to live with a FT, they would have gone out and bought a puppy from one of our local breeders. These are not breeders that would have said "no" to anyone or screened anyone. Another dog in rescue - if it's lucky......

I place maybe 2-3 dogs per 100 phone calls. But I save many more and in my breed that's just as important.

So if you are working with a breed that has special needs in a home and could easily end up in bad homes, do take the time to educate if you have it. From many breeds, it's not going to be necessary. Diffierent communities will make a difference. If there were no breeders around, I wouldn't have to do this, or if they were responsible breeders. In my case, they aren't and I need to do this for the dogs. Look at the big picture....

Pam Bishop
Fox Terrier Rescue
dobra@pe.net


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: questions over the phone
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 11:05:53 -0500
From: Beth Goelzer Lyons - bgl1@CORNELL.EDU

We expect interested adopters to fill out our adoption form, so we try to limit our telephone interviewing until after that's accomplished, and we don't attempt to do screening before that.

When people call wanting general information, here are some things we ask:

  • What attracted them to the Border Collie?

  • Have they had a Border Collie before? If so, what was the dog like?

  • Do they have young children? If so, we explain the problems that the herding instinct can cause with their children and their friends.

  • Do they have other pets? If so, another standard warning about herding behavior and prey drive, especially for small non-dog pets.

By this point, many people express dismay because they had heard the Border Collie was a good family dog. If it were, we wouldn't be rescuing! I should qualify that -- BCs can make good family pets with owners who provide good leadership, monitor the dog's interactions with kids, teach kids how to respond to inappropriate herding, and provide the dog with enough activities. *Not* your average owner.

If they indicate they want a puppy, we tell them almost all our Border Collies are adults, ages 1-5. We strongly suggest that because of the herding instinct, it's much better to get an adult so you know what you're getting. Depending on their reaction, we might spend a little more time dispelling myths about older dogs.

Since most people want a Border Collie pet, not a livestock dog, we usually wrap it up by detailing how much regular physical exercise, morning and evening, as well as obedience training, the dogs need every day. We describe how "in your face" most of these dogs are.

If they're reasonably nearby and haven't personally interacted with many Border Collies, we also extend an invitation to come meet our dogs.

If they're still interested, we tell them the next step is the adoption application. And we warn them that it can take a while to find the right match.

Beth Goelzer Lyons - Tavi@bcrescue.org
Tavi Border Collie Rescue
Serving New York State and beyond
Tele. 607 275-0282 (evenings)
http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/cgl1/TBCR/


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: what's a referral?
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 14:19:25 -0400
From: "Janyne M. Kizer" - jmkizer@PAGESZ.NET

On Wed, 9 Sep 1998, Beth Goelzer Lyons wrote:
Can someone explain what is meant by a referral?

Well, we do referrals for labs that we cannot foster but are in no kill shelters... So, we intereview the potential adopter over the phone and talk to the shelter (often several hours from where we are) and if it *sounds* like a match, we refer the potential adopter to the shelter. Of course, if we can foster the dogs, we do but we cannot always do that.

Janyne
DogGoneFast Flyball Club
Flyball, Agility, Rescue>BR> Lab Rescue of North Carolina,Inc.
http://www.bigfoot.com/~labrescue


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: questions over the phone
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 10:27:02 -0500
From: Beverly Coate - bcoate@CWIS.NET

I admit that I cheat somewhat on adoption apps. I don't have time anymore to waste on people who aren't serious about adopting or obviously don't have adequate facilities for our dogs. So instead of doing a preliminary interview on the phone, inquirers are mailed an application along with an info pack about the breed and our rescue service.

I for one would like to know where you get the mailing list of people that are possible adoptee's.

Beverly Coate
C&C Farms, Stigler Oklahoma, USA
Visit our website at http://www.cwis.net/~bcoate
bcoate@cwis.net


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: what's a referral?
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 10:37:35 -0500
From: Beth Goelzer Lyons - bgl1@CORNELL.EDU

Can someone explain what is meant by a referral?

What I think of as a referral is when someone contacts me to adopt or relinquish a Border Collie but lives in a state or area that is covered by another rescuer. I then give them the appropriate contact info for that rescuer.

Beth Goelzer Lyons - mailto:Tavi@bcrescue.org
Tavi Border Collie Rescue
Serving New York State and beyond
Tele. 607 275-0282 (evenings)
http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/cgl1/TBCR/


Subject: CLASS: re: what's a referral?
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 16:02:24 -0400
From: Vicki DeGruy - 72074.676@COMPUSERVE.COM

What Janyne said:

Well, we do referrals for labs that we cannot foster but are in no kill shelters... So, we intereview the potential adopter over the phone and talk to the shelter (often several hours from where we are) and if it *sounds* like a match, we refer the potential adopter to the shelter. Of course, if we can foster the dogs, we do but we cannot always do that.

This is the intent behind what we do for non-foster dogs, too. I say "intent" because time seldom permits us an in-depth interview or sometimes much of an interview at all. Most often, we provide the potential adopter with a contact number for the dog's owner, caretaker or shelter and rely on them to do their own screening. Owners and caretakers are given a "how to find a home" guide that tells them how to screen.

There are a few shelters that are insecure about their ability to successfully screen adopters for our breed. In those cases, the shelter refers potential adopters to us for in-depth interviews. We interview the person, then make a recommendation to the shelter as to the person's suitability. The final adoption decision, though, and responsibility for the dog still rests with the shelter.

Take care,

Vicki DeGruy, Wisconsin Chow Chow Rescue


Subject: Re: CLASS: re: questions over the phone
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 16:02:13 -0400
From: Vicki DeGruy - 72074.676@COMPUSERVE.COM

Hi Beverly!

I for one would like to know where you get the mailing list of people that are possible adoptee's.

These are people who contact us directly (by phone or email) about adopting a Chow Chow.

Take care,

Vicki DeGruy, Wisconsin Chow Chow Rescue


End of Day Three

Day Four








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