Many people have asked why it is necessary for a rescue group to conduct home safety-checks. Some have considered it an unnecessary intrusion, an invasion of privacy, and even insulting. It is important that you understand that it is not unnecessary, nor is our intent to insult anyone who is kind enough to want to adopt an orphaned animal. Therefore, let us try to answer this very legitimate question.
First, please understand that it doesn't matter how nice the adoptive family may be. We've been rescuing dogs for many years, and have seen a number of situations where dogs placed by other groups were lost though the rescuer felt comfortable about the family, but had not conducted, or delayed, the home safety-check. It is usually in the first few days that the dog gets lost, and that is why the home safety-check must be conducted before the family takes the dog.
Let us tell you a story: A wonderful family wanted to take a dog with them directly from the adoption site and have us come to do the home safety-check at a later time. At that time we were overwhelmed with a very busy schedule, so to do the home safety-check as it should be done, the adoptive family, who lived sixty miles away, had to wait for a week. That also meant that we'd have to pay for another week of boarding. For those reasons it was very tempting to let them take the dog, relying on their obvious good will and decency. But we didn't.
When we went to their house the following week, we found three areas from which the dog could have gotten out. One was a secondary gate in one of the side yards that could be opened simply by pushing. As they never used the gate, the family was not even aware of it. In addition, there was a gap under another gate, big enough for the dog to squeeze through, a condition not obvious to most people. Another was in the backyard which appeared to be securely fenced, but when we pushed an area behind the bushes in a corner, we found a huge crack on the fence that the dog could have easily slipped through. The family was grateful and fixed all three areas overnight. This fortunate dog is still with them, and all are very happy to this day.
When a dog is adopted, he or she is moving into an unfamiliar environment and tends to explore. Sometimes the dog wants to go "home" -- a home that no longer exists. When a potential exit is found, the dog will often try to get out.
For these reasons, all reputable rescue groups require a home safety-check. Of course a home safety-check can be avoided by going to a city or county animal shelter to adopt a dog, in which case you are, indeed, saving a life.
But please remember that, unlike adopting a dog from a rescue group, if you ever come to an unfortunate situation in which you need to return the dog, your dog will be the first to be destroyed as an "owner turn-in" at public shelters.
Rescue groups also go to much greater lengths to check out the health and personality of the dogs in their care, and work with potential adopters to see that they adopt an animal with whom they can have a long and satisfying relationship.
Most importantly, please remember that adopting a pet is a commitment throughout the lifetime of your companion animal.
Compliments of Forte Animal Rescue :