Our Policy on Home Visits
If you apply to adopt a one of the dogs that belong to the Oldies Club rescue, before the adoption can take place, we perform a home visit to ensure that your home is suitable for the needs of the oldie. We have a wide network of experienced volunteers, up and down the country, that perform home visits for us.
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer for us, we will arrange a home visit to determine your suitability as a foster carer.
What is a Home Visit?
There are a lot of misunderstandings about home visits, also sometimes called homechecks, so we hope this article will clear up some misperceptions.
We prefer the term home visit rather than home check. It’s the term home check that has people running around doing their dusting and fluffing up their cushions before the inspector arrives! That is not the purpose of a home visit at all!
The main purpose of the visit is to make sure that the dog is going to be placed in a suitable home that will provide a stress-free and comfortable environment with people who will care for him properly. We aren’t just looking at the size of the house and the height of the fences, we’re looking at the whole family and the environment that the rescue will entrust the care of the dog to.
What Will the Home Visit Involve?
The home visitor will be checking that your home fits the criteria of the Oldies Club, and the particular needs of the dog you would like to adopt (or, if you are being visited to go on a waiting list, it will determine what type of dog you and your family would be most suited to).
Once that bit is out of the way, your home visitor will be talking you through the trials and tribulations of the first days with your new dog. It is important for you to know who to call on if you have any problems with your new dog. A good rescue will provide you with all the backup and support you need, and your home visitor will instill in you the importance of notifying the rescue at the early stages of any problem. In many cases (especially with oldies!) rescue dogs will settle very quickly into their new home and it will seem like they’ve always been there, but it is wise to be prepared for any initial problems.
Your home visit is also your best opportunity to talk through any queries you, and your family, may have about taking on a rescue dog. If you have not had a dog before, your home visitor can talk you through training, feeding, vaccinating and health issues and anything else that you need to know.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
DO make sure that all your family are present at the time of the home visit. The home visitor will need to meet everyone who will be living in the house with the dog.
DO think ahead and prepare a list of questions. Your home visitor will be really pleased that you have thought everything through and want to learn more before making this big step.
DO answer any questions completely truthfully. The home visitor needs to ensure that the dog and the family are a perfect match.
DO be aware that there are no right or wrong answers, just truthful answers. It may be that your home or circumstances mean you are not suitable for a particular dog, but we might have in mind another dog who would fit in much better to your home environment.
DON’T go mad and overclean your house! In fact, most dog people will be reassured to see a comfortable lived-in house: you’re more likely to accept the hair and mess involved in loving a dog!
DON’T be frightened to mention any concerns you have, however silly they may seem.
DON’T ask your home visitor whether you have passed the home visit. They will have been instructed not to discuss their assessment with you. Any decision will be made centrally.
Please be aware that the welfare of dogs is the paramount concern for rescue organisations. There is a logical reason behind each and every specification on the rehoming criteria, they have certainly not been dreamed up to prevent dogs from getting homes! If you are not accepted after a home visit, it does not mean that the rescue are saying that you would not be a good dog owner, but simply that they are in a position where the dog’s welfare must come first and they feel this dog would be a better match for another home.
If it turns out that your home environment means that your home is not suitable for any of the dogs available right now, please look into other options. You could help out at your local rescue centre, feeding, grooming, cleaning and walking the dogs. The Cinnamon Trust has a database of volunteers who regularly walk the dogs of elderly or housebound owners, and here at the Oldies Club there are many ways you can help out in our mission without rehoming a dog. Just contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep you busy!
Volunteer as a Home Visitor!
The Oldies Club is always looking to increase its database of home visitors. If you are an experienced home visitor and would like to help older dogs, please send your details, location and a summary of your experience (including the rescue you have homechecked for before, and, if possible, someone we can contact who can verify your experience) to email@example.com.