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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

Craigslist posting was made today complaining bout how this person was trying to adopt a dog and the rescue was invading her privacy by doing a home check and asking how large her home was. She stated they also asked who her employer was, how much she made in a year, and how long she had had this job which if they did I think that is crossing the line but the other two things? I think are valid questions and doings for a rescue. It's not like they are going in there to steal things or murder you they are only making sure this is the right home for a dog that has had a more then shakey start at life and they don't want it repeated. I added a small blurb from the posting below.

"I don't think it is anyone's business who I work for, what level I am or how much I make. I already have to give 2-3 references, plus a vet. The vet can say that our current dog is given excellent care and in good health. Also would a retiree be banned because they can't fill in this section?

Square footage. What does this matter? Is a home with 10,000 sq feet better than a 500 sq foot apartment. Yet they don't ask important questions like, do you have a pool, is it fenced off.

I have no problem bringing my family and dog out to meet a new member, but I don't let strangers into my home. It's about setting an example to my kids that our home is a safe place where strangers are NOT welcome. And why do they need to see the home, if 3 people who know me can comment, my vet can comment, they meet my family and they can see my dog.
"

Several people responded some agreeing with her others trying to explain why they need to do it. Sure you can provide references but references can only give so much information and often times don't know everything. A home check isn't some invasive thing, they don't go snooping around in your underware or going through your bills they are there making sure the home is safe and suitable for their animal.

What do you all think about home checks?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 11:01 PM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

I think home checks are a good idea in general, but think they are getting a little too personal with the employer and income questions. I assume its just to make sure they have a stable source of income to provide what the pet needs... but still think its a little much to require information about.

I also don't see the need to get so upset about it. If you don't like the requirements of the rescue, don't deal with that rescue. If you found your perfect pet and can't possibly give them up... suck it up and let them approve your home.

Most places who do home checks aren't actually juding them specifics of your home, they just want to make sure it will provide the RIGHT place for this particular pet. Living in a tiny one bedroom apartment won't make you a bad pet owner... but it might not be the right environment for a very large high energy dog. They may not ask specifically about pools, fences, etc but will make note of these things during the home check and probably ask about them in an interview.

Home checks aren't meant to be an invasion of privacy, they are 100% in the best interest of the pets in rescue.

Jessie

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 11:23 PM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

Having spent many years in rescue and doing adoptions, I understand the need for carefully selecting prospective homes. But I think some of this is a bit much....

You definitely don't want to place a huge dog in a small apartment and the home check is reasonable, because the reality is...people lie. Way more than I'd like to think. I've seen many pets come back because the shelter I worked for didn't do home checks or always check with landlords or vets.

As far as I'm concerned, references are useless and don't know why anyone bothers with them for pet adoptions, jobs, etc. You won't give a reference that's going to say anything bad. Unless you're very skilled at questioning them and interpreting answers, you get very little out of them.

I understand why a rescue would want to ensure that someone is financially stable, but I don't think they're entitled to know how much you make. And I think it's going too far to even confirm employment. I think you can get a sense about the financial situation from the conversation. I know I could, and then would make sure to initiate conversation about how much it costs to own a pet and bring up all the things they might not have thought about.

As far as her comment about not allowing strangers in the house, but I think she's being a bit paranoid. Exercise caution, don't agree if the person gives you a bad vibe and even if you get a good vibe, make sure there's a couple adults in the house when they come. Her kids are probably scared of their shadow when they're anywhere but home.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 11:29 PM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

I agree with Lisa. I gave my employer's name, but I don't think they asked how much I made. I did lie, too. I said I owned the home I live in. I didn't even have to lie, but my landlady's mother was dying and I simply didn't want to bother her. But considering that the adoption agency had Charlee and Cali's names mixed up, their birth dates wrong, and had them listed as living in separate foster homes and NOT related, I figured they wouldn't check.....

For a dog, I think a home visit is warranted. I have friends who have dogs in apartments and with every few exceptions, I don't think it's fair to the dog.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 11:45 PM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

When I adopted Arianwen, I was glad that Safe Dogs By The River rescue did a thorough hame check. To me, this indicated a high level of care.

I remember the adoption questionnaire/contract being long, but don't really remember details, except that they were strictly against declawing. I liked that.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 03:17 AM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

It's not on to ask financial details.. I mean who will care?

Home checks are necessary, but some people could do with training on what's sensible (or not) to ask. Ours lasted about half an hour, with most qns focused on the area and who would be at home etc.

The poster in question sounds completely paranoid though... "strangers are not welcome" wth? LOL. Wouldn't want to be those kids. "no honey you can't have a friend over, his parents might have to come in the house and they're STRANGERS".
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 04:18 AM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

I do a lot of homechecking, mostly for dogs but for cats & other animals too. I think they are important, and the fact that a potential new family is happy to have one means a lot in itself. It usually means they have nothing to hide and are serious about giving your animal a good home.

My homechecking is pretty informal and relaxed, with a set of set questions adapted to the individual. I ask job title and working hours, but not employer. I wouldn't ask a persons salary, but I do clarify that they understand the potential costs of caring for the animal and how they are prepared to cope with potential large bills. If the family have children I always ask that they are present so I can explain to them why I am there and why it's important.

I would never rehome a dog these days without homechecking - I need to know that the home & garden are safe for one of my rescues, and that the dog will be cared for properly. I also often carry out post homing visits if there is anything I have doubts about.

However, I am not too strict and nowhere near as strict as many rescues. If I have a problem with a family, I give them ways to remedy it or an alternative option. For example, many UK rescues refuse families who work full time - I recommend the services of a dog walker and recommend an adult already used to spending time unsupervised. Again, many families with young children are refused - I ensure I meet the kids and match the family with a dog that suits them, and recommend classes that they attend as a family.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 05:31 AM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

I think home checks are definately necessary but some shelters really do go overboard - particularly the smaller independent ones (in my experience). I agree with Jessie - if you dont like their policies, adopt from somewhere else. I refuse to go anywhere near my nearest animal shelter because they have such droconian rules. I also know precisely which shelter I'll be heading towards when I want to adopt another cat or dog because they have rules I feel comfortable with.

As a side note -theres no way in heck I'd tell some stranger how much I earn!! None of their darn business!! I'm employed and I've worked out I can afford an animal. Thats all they need to know on that score.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 06:08 AM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

The thing that amuses me is that the rescue places care so much for the animals, that they don;t realise that they could be turning away perfectly decent people (like Allie for eg) because they're so strict. I mean we wondered what we were getting ourselves into when we first went to the Blue Cross place. It really was as if they didn't trust us to be intelligent sensible people.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 09:09 AM
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Re: Home Checks: Invading Privacy or Good Idea

I think home checks are necessary, and if they didn't do them, I'd be afraid of the condition the animal could end up getting right back into. The only way to find out that information, is to ask the necessary questions. That said, I do not agree with the depth they went into requarding the financial status of the potential adopter. Simply to ask if they are currently employed, possibly where they are employed, tell them on average how much it costs to care per year for that particular animal, and ask them if they are financially in a postion to take on that cost, would be sufficiant I would think. It would be about as much as I'd be willing to answer.
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