These are generalized questions that may help you sift through the good and bad potential adopters. Remember that it's your job to find the best home possible for the animal. It has to be the right fit for both parties in order to be a successful adoption, so if you're feeling uneasy about things, follow your instincts. Let's get to it!
- Have you ever had another pet? What happened to it? Ideally, they will explain how their old pet died of old age, or that it passed away of complications that they did everything in their power to prevent. Anything preventable or along the lines of 'they ran away' or 'we gave it away' are huge red flags.
- Do you have a pet now? If so, how will they get along? Is it up to date on vaccinations? If an existing pet is territorial, likelihood of it welcoming in a new pet is minimal. Also, making sure that the existing pet's health needs are being taken care of is in the best interest of both the existing pet and the new one.
- Who is going to be the owner/taking care of the pet? The person who you are meeting with may be obtaining the pet as a gift to someone else. If the pet isn't going to either the individual you are meeting with or someone directly in the family (such as parents buying a family pet), please INSIST on meeting with the future owner. Animals should never, ever be given as a surprise gift to someone who isn't prepared for it.
- How do you plan on disciplining the animal? Rubbing their nose in their urine and screaming “bad pet” is not accepted as an effective correction. Many training methods exist, such as group or one-on-one training. An answer you’d like to hear is one that suggests patience and consistency. It is NEVER appropriate to hit, spank, slap, kick, or humiliate a pet. This psychological damage is a result of stupidity on the part of an abusive owner who didn’t know how to house break a pet.
- How long will the pet be alone each day? If the owner will be gone from home 8-10 hours a day, they need to also be able to provide appropriate exercise and attention to the animal. Also asking if they vacation often, or are away for multiple days at a time on a regular basis is also a good way to gauge if they are ready to take on a new family member.
- What kind of exercise will be animal get each day? How long will they be outside for? Proper exercise and time outside the house is important to both their physical and mental health.
- Do you have children? If so, how will they interact with the pet?
- Are you financial prepared to take on a new family member? Remember, anyone adopting a pet should be stable enough to provide for the proper diet, exercise and health requirements that the animal comes with.