I’m going to state my case briefly, and then get out of the way to hear your opinions. Please share them in the comments below.
Is it necessary for shelters to require home visits?
No. I do not believe shelters or rescues should require home visits. As long as we are killing several million healthy dogs and cats annually due to a “lack of homes,” we should ease up on our adoption requirements.
I understand where shelter workers are coming from when they require home visits. They don’t want the dogs to end up in abusive homes. However, the condition or appearance of a person’s home will tell you nothing about the quality of care the pet will receive in that home.
Not only that, but the idea of a home visit sounds scary to potential adopters. While those of us in the rescue world understand home visits are usually no big deal, the general public does not know that.
The idea of a stranger inspecting their home is alienating to adopters, and it gives them a reason to obtain a pet somewhere else.
Home visits should be used in extremely rare cases such as if the dog or cat requires unique medical care or if the dog has unique behavioral issues. Home visits should also be used if there are any red flags on the adoption application that can’t be clarified in any other way.
Even in these cases, the term “home visit” or “home check” should be avoided. Instead, the shelter should say it will do a “home delivery” and bring the pet to the adopter. This sounds much friendlier.
So what do you think?