How to Facilitate Dog Adoptions Directly from Foster to Adoptive Homes
Foster-assisted adoption programs like Adoption Ambassadors can mean foster dogs never have to return to the shelter. But how do foster families facilitate meet-and-greets, process adoptions, and conduct handoffs—especially during COVID-19?
Orphans of the Storm Animal Shelter in Riverwoods, IL, has developed a protocol that’s working well for them and their foster families. According to Kristen Tump, volunteer coordinator, “We are here every step of the way to support our foster families, but thanks to technology and amazing volunteers willing to go the extra mile, a dog can go straight from foster to adoptive home!”
Tump says foster families use video conferencing for meet-and-greets and phone and email for communication between shelter staff and foster volunteers. When a match is made, all the paperwork and payment are handled online and via text, thanks to Shelterluv, the agency’s software system. Review the agency's adoption checklist for animals in foster.
When it comes to handing the dog off, Tump says the foster family has the option of dropping the dog off at the shelter’s veterinarian (in some cases, this may be necessary because of required vetting) or, if foster families are comfortable, they may set up a handoff at their own home or other mutually agreed upon location. If the foster parent meets the adopter in person, Tump recommends they follow all safety precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including wearing PPE and physically distancing as much as possible.