Please understand that our organization is completely run by unpaid volunteers who dedicate their free time to help the dogs. If your references are unavailable, it will delay the process, since those must be checked before moving forward. The entire adoption process takes time; we are unwilling to sacrifice being thorough when the dog’s future is at stake. We thank you for your time and patience throughout our adoption process.
Step 1 – Fill out a Pre-Adoption Application
The first step is to have you fill out a pre-adoption application. This application will tell us about you and your lifestyle, training beliefs and background with animals.
Step 2 – Application Preliminary Review
Our application review volunteers will initially screen your application to determine if all necessary information was provided. If not you will be contacted to either fill out another application or provide additional information. We will usually request a few photos of your home and yard at this time.
Step 3 – Landlord Approval Verified
If it is determined that you rent your home, your landlord will be contacted to make sure you have approval to have a dog in your home. We also ask about any breed or size limitations. If your landlord does not allow for a dog in your home, your application will be denied at this point in the process.
Step 4 – Veterinary References Contacted
Our volunteers will contact the veterinary reference(s) you provided to determine if all your current pets are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations. If you don’t have any current pets, we will ask about the veterinary care that your previous pets received. If you have never owned a pet, this step is skipped.
If your veterinary reference(s) cannot verify the spay/neuter and vaccination status of current or previous pets, processing of your application will be stopped until you can provide this information.
Step 5 – Personal References Contacted
Our volunteers will contact your three personal references and ask them questions in regards to whether they consider you to be a responsible pet owner. This is the portion of the process that can take the most amount of time. It is helpful if you contact your references and ask them to return our calls in a timely manner.
If our reference checking volunteers have any major concerns about adopting a dog to you, based on communication with your references, your application may be denied at this point in the process.
Step 6 – Home Visit and Applicant Interview
FTLOL requires home visits to determine that the dog will be living in a safe environment. This is an informal chance for us to get to know you, your lifestyle, home environment and determine which dog(s) in our program might be the best fit. The home visit volunteer will do a short walk-through of your home and yard to ensure its safety and to advise on any areas of concern. All household members must be present for the home visit.
If our home visit volunteers have any major concerns about your home environment, or if you refuse a home visit, your application will be denied at this point in the process.
Distance is a factor in whether or not the required home visit can be completed. We are a 100% volunteer run organization. Although we do have volunteer contacts in many areas, some areas may be difficult for us to locate a volunteer to conduct the home visit.
Step 7 – Meeting between Approved Applicant & Available Dogs
FTLOL does not have a shelter where the dogs can be visited. Our dogs are in foster homes. We do NOT arrange meetings between interested individuals and our foster homes until an applicant has been approved via this adoption process. This is both for the safety of our volunteer foster homes, as well as our doggies.
Once you have been approved, a volunteer (usually the foster) will contact you about scheduling a time for you to meet the dog(s) you are interested in. This meeting may occur at the foster’s residence, your home or a mutually agreed upon location, i.e. dog park, etc.
Just because you are determined to be an approved adopter, you are NOT guaranteed a particular dog. For some dogs we receive many applications so we may allow multiple applicants to have a meeting with the dog before we choose the home that we feel will be the best fit for the dog. In addition, if the volunteer involved in the meeting with you and the dog, does not feel you are a good fit for the dog, you may be denied adoption of that particular dog but you may be allowed to adopt another dog.
Step 8 – Adoption Official
Once you have made a decision and have been approved, your adoption becomes official. Your adoption donation fee of $495 will need to be paid and our Adoption Agreement needs to be signed. Once complete, you can pick up your dog or we will arrange transport to you if the dog is not in your area. All veterinary paperwork we have for the dog will be transferred to you when you receive the dog.