Guidance for Home-checker
Thank you for agreeing to carrying out this Home Check. This is a vital process for Pointers In Need (the Charity); you are our eyes and ears. The best measure we can give you to establish a potential adopter’s suitability, is, would you be happy leaving your Pointer(s) in that home with that family?
Spend as much time as possible getting to know the adopters and their family/home set-up and specific Pointer requirements. We would suggest that anything less than about a 60-minute meeting is probably insufficient unless it is clear that they are not going to be suitable.
Please take the time to explain the adoption process and that Charity retains ownership of the dog, in keeping with the majority of other rescue organisations. Explain that the Charity will always be on hand for help and advice throughout the dog’s life.
When arranging to meet the prospective adopter, please explain that in order to complete the home-check you will need to meet everyone in the household who is going to be involved in looking after the dog.
Please push on any vague answers/explanations given, we need to know the full story. In writing your report, we need to gain a complete picture of the adopters, including your own perspective on the following:
- Does everyone want the dog?
- Do they have a practical, realistic expectation of what life with a rescue Pointer is like or is it an idealised view?
- In your view, are they prepared to take on the work if there are challenges, for example, with possessiveness, separation anxiety or recall?
If you are not happy about any aspect of the visit, please report this. Do not give any acceptance or rejection decision to the adopters – this is a Charity Team decision in conjunction with your report and recommendations.
It is important to stress the time and patience needed in taking on a rescue. We state in the Adoption
Finally, before you commit and sign this agreement; It is very important to give time to these Pointers. Your ability to put aside busy schedules/ chaotic living and commit to taking on a rescue is a pre-requisite to this agreement, if you cannot commit to this then it probably is not the right time to adopt. It could take a week, a month, or even a year for these Pointers to fit into family life. Please be honest with yourself, and ask how much time can you really give to the Pointer who may be needy?
Please make sure that the prospective adopter can commit to this.
Please send to us your detailed report using the form below and please use a separate piece of paper if necessary and mark it with the name of the prospective adopter.
Part One of Report to be completed at the property (please select Save and Continue once completed).
Part Two of Report to be completed after your visit. You can then submit the form.
Children and dogs – IMPORTANT
Please discuss this section with the adopters if children are in the household or are regular visitors.
If children are at the property, we need you to help the family learn about children and rescue dogs sharing the same space. It is vital that everyone in the household has a very clear understanding of the responsibilities and challenges of adopting a rescue Pointer.
Emphasise that rescue dogs are by the nature of their circumstances carrying some sort of emotional trauma, in varying degrees. Put in the mix aggravating circumstances such as a noisy child, over hot atmosphere, possessiveness about food or toys, toothache or any kind of pain and you have the potential for a dog to react in the only way it knows; fight or flight.
A dog cannot intellectualise or explain, it can only react physically.
There will always be warning signs; growling or snarling; showing teeth; raised heckles. Sometimes the signs are more subtle – yawning, licking of lips or trying to remove itself from the source of the stress. A dog will always try to tell you that something is wrong.
Educate both the adult AND the child.
Teach the child that the dog is a relative of a wild animal, strong and with big teeth and strong jaws.Teach
the child not to fear the dog but to respect it.
Teach the child to not antagonise or annoy the dog. Teach the children not to startle or frighten the dog.
Keep dogs and children apart when either are eating food, including snacks. And remember to teach the child to let sleeping dogs lie.
There are many books and online resources available to help families learn more about dog behaviour. One example, specifically with children in mind, is The Canine Commandments by Kendal Shepherd.