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Rats Rule! Flea Market => Adoption Center => Topic started by: Michael C on July 17, 2017, 04:09:42 PM

Title: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: Michael C on July 17, 2017, 04:09:42 PM
I lost Oliver Reynolds a few weeks ago so I currently only have two boys in a big cage.

I recently found, through Petfinder, an adorable young boy in a town about 60 miles outside of the city. I went to the rescue organization's website to fill out the adoption application. This would be my first rescue experience but I've looked at similar applications in the past so I was prepared for the depth and breath of the questions. It's obvious that this organization primarily deals with dogs and cats because many of the *required* questions were about whether or not my yard is fenced and if my current pets are up to date on their vaccinations. The application also required things like my place of employment, the name and number of my employer, multiple references, number and type of pets currently in the home, etc. I listed my current rats and my roommate's cat on the application.

Some of the required information felt a little more invasive, like they required the name, birth date, and cell number for any other adults living in the home. Despite feeling a little uncomfortable giving out some of this information, I understand the purpose of being careful about who they place an animal with. I answered every question asked.

The application also required me to authorize my vet's office to release vet care related information to them. I did so.

I received an email a few days later letting me know that they contacted my vet. They were wondering why my vet didn't have any records for the cat listed on the application. I explained that it wasn't my cat and it was never even allowed in the same room with my rats. They told me that my roommate would have to authorize his vet to release info to them about his cat's history. I asked my roommate if he would be comfortable doing so. He expressed his reservations about the invasion of his privacy. I relayed this to the organization and they responded with "Sorry to hear he is feeling that way. Just let me know if you choose to proceed." My roommate ended up allowing the release of information and then I got another email from this organization. Now they're trying to schedule a time for a volunteer to come into my house to see if it's suitable.

At this point, I haven't even been asked a single question about how I actually care for my pets.

I informed them that I would gladly answer any questions they may have and would even provide them with pictures of my rats' housing and play area. I have not heard back from them yet but, basically, I'm wondering if I'm in the wrong for drawing the line at a home visit. I'm willing to give them all sorts of very personal information and let them see my vet care records and put 120 miles on my car to drive to a small town to pay $25 for an abandoned rat in need.

Is requiring a home visit too thorough for a rescue or am I being ridiculous?
Title: Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: erbusbee on July 17, 2017, 06:40:44 PM
I am all about supporting rescues, within reason.  When they make it so impossible that it's easier to get a rat in need off Craigslist or the local Humane Society, they are shooting themselves in the foot.  I've done 3 page applications before, which was tedious but within the realm of reason.  None asked for my partner's personal info.  That and a home visit would be too much for me.  There are plenty of other animals in need.
Title: Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: purple rat on July 17, 2017, 09:54:22 PM
+1 to what Erbusbee says. 
I agree that under these circumstances it's too much to ask.  I've adopted from Mainely Rat Rescue, which is a very reputable and thorough organization, and they didn't require a home visit or request overly invasive information.
Sorry for your loss of Oliver Reynolds
Title: Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: Michael C on July 18, 2017, 12:10:23 AM

Upon getting home from work, in an effort to assuage any concerns they may have, I spent a half hour composing an email detailing how I care for my rats and included images of my cage and play area. I repeated my reservations about allowing a stranger into my home for an inspection.

I received a reply encouraging me to reapply if I ever become comfortable with their adoption process.

Oh well. I hope they find homes for the rats.

...thanks purple rat. Oliver Reynolds started out a total pill. He would whine and squeak anytime anything came near him. It got so bad at times that it appeared that the other boys were walking around on eggshells with him. He turned into such a sweet and affectionate little man, however. He was such a cuddler and dear friend to his cagemate, Peter Martin.  Now Peter Martin has no choice but to snuggle with the ever-annoying Samuel Hollingsworth. Half the time I swear I can see Peter Martin's eyes rolling.
Title: Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: BigBen on July 18, 2017, 08:49:59 PM
I've adopted many rats from MRR and they have yet to do a home inspection, although they reserve the right to do so.  But I did get pretty thoroughly quizzed, in a friendly way, about my preparations for my first rats.  It was much more casual after that, partly I think because some of the people were checking GM regularly, and I've been pretty active here right from the beginning.

I think someone at the rescue misunderstood some advice they got.  The quizzing MRR does is aimed at rectifying any misunderstandings you might have, not rejecting you as an adopter.  Send them around to me, and I'll  set 'em straight!

P.S.--You might try e-mailing them a copy of the  adopter's questionnaire from the MRR Web site, to show them how to go about it.
Title: Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: Michael C on July 18, 2017, 10:20:53 PM
Thanks, BigBen =)

I just don't think they have any experience with small animals. They were applying their cat/dog application process to the adoption of rats (the application had required questions about the size of my backyard and whether or not it was fenced).

I was expecting a fairly in-depth application (it was) but I was shocked that I wasn't asked a single question about keeping rats. I was rejected before they asked me a single question. They require a home inspection for all adoptions, apparently, no exceptions.

They were extremely rigid in their process outright dismissive of me when I voiced discomfort over some of the aspects that I felt to be overly intrusive so I probably won't be reaching out to them to help them see how rat rescues operate.

In my last communication with them, I expressed my concern that they actually may be acting as a barrier to their rats potential futures rather than as a conduit for proper care. I'm guessing it fell on deaf ears. Oh well. I truly hope they're able to find good homes for Moe and the other ladies in their care.

Title: Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: BigBen on July 19, 2017, 02:14:24 PM
I know from shows on Animal Planet that especially for some breeds of dog a home interview is essential, so if that's where they're coming from, it does make a bit more sense.  But still.  Sheesh!

ETA:  Kind of makes me wonder if they know how to take care of rats, actually . . . .
Title: Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: Been to the Mountaintop on July 25, 2017, 02:23:13 PM
We were living in Manhattan during the financial crisis of 2008-2009. At a time when unemployment on the island reached 25%  :shocked2: we fell in love with a rescue kitten we met in one of many visits to the rescue's shelter, a brown tabby named Sweet Pea. Cat surrenders were HORRIFIC at that time. Our family had extensive fostering/adopting experience and our kids were great with animals. Similar lengthy process, including getting references from our employer, landlord, neighbors! and then-vet internationally renowned specialist at Manhattan Cat Specialists. They visited our 3BR 2 bath upper west side apartment (those were my executive days) across from Riverside park, and we were REJECTED because the girls were too busy., excitedly talking about how they helped care for the rats, cats and dog.  Unbelievable.
Title: Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
Post by: ratsareausomepets on August 09, 2017, 10:37:26 PM
Unbelievable! They should definitely make it easier to rescue animals.
I tried adopting rats from a certain shelter in NY and stopped when I was about halfway through the really long bureaucratic process.

MRR on the other hand... Is great!