So, you say… home inspection? Yikes! If you’re going to get a rescue dog by a reputable shelter, expect to have someone come to your home to do a in-home inspection. Reading other people’s blogs made it sound intimidating. Some people were turned down because they had left aspirin on their coffee table, or had wood stairs without carpeting. I bought child proof cabinet locks and did our attic stairs with strips of adhesive sandpaper. Works well!
During the time Steve and I were running around the house trying to get it ready, I met a woman who was trying to become a foster parent for young children. We compared notes, and it was pretty much the same thing housewise:
- make sure all medicines are locked away and out of reach
- all lower cabinets have baby locks -you wouldn’t want a dog to binge on people food like crackers or cereal if it’s down in a lower cabinet
- have closed lids on your trash
- safe stairs -you don’t want your dog to slip and get injured
- a gate for a door so you can isolate him in a room might also be a good idea
- make sure to clean up clutter, you don’t want an avalance of books or junk to fall on your pet
- have a dog bed or blanket for the pet to have it’s own area
- and you have to have a play area outside that’s fenced or have a plan for his outdoor use and exercise
Some of the applications asked if we would crate the dog, or if we owned a crate (we were given one by my family) although I was never sure if they wanted you to crate or not to crate! I personally think that locking an animal in a crate all day is no way for it to spend it’s life. If the crate is left open and becomes a safe haven for the pet if it needs security, that’s a different matter. Turned out that Finn didn’t really care for the crate, he’d go in it at night because he was asked to, but would never enter it on his own. He will go to his dog bed and stay there happily, though.
So here’s what we learned about the pet adoption process:
Most people sign up with a local shelter, get fully approved – application, reference check, phone interviews and house inspection. Then, once they’ve gotten approval, they’re at the top of the list to get a dog, and can get one right away. So we were doing it all wrong, since we were looking at the dogs, and then applying to all these different shelters. One shelter did say that if we were to pass a home inspection for a local shelter, that would suffice for them as well. Since the breeds we were trying for seemed kind of scarce we decided to keep doing it the way we were.
We also learned that while the dog might be listed at adoptapet.com for say, Providence RI, you’ll see the same dog listed at Petfinder.com as being in Springfield MA, only to learn that the dog is still in Tennessee! They cross-reference the dog with different states and different shelters so that they can get more exposure.
Your adoption fees help towards paying his transport, as well as medical care & shots, neutering, training and boarding. So when you add all that up, you’re really paying less than these things cost . You’re really getting a deal, especially compared to puppy stores, where here in CT you’ll find a “designer” breed (aka mutt) for about $1200.00! More on puppy mills and dog stores in an upcoming blog.