About 18 months ago, TLC implemented a program we call "Foster-To-Adopt" or otherwise known as an "FTA". In a nutshell, it allows a potential adopter to 'test drive' the rescued dog for up to 7 days. It is our hope that every adoption "sticks" and we believe we have been making better adoption placements since we instituted this program.
And at the end of the seven days? The potential adopter either outright adopts the dog or returns them. Of course, the potential adopter can adopt earlier in the 7 days if they feel it is a good fit.
Dogs are situational creatures. Once the initial three days passes in a new environment, the rescue dogs figure out the new rules and 'layout of the land'. In the next few days, they relax and show off their 'best paw forward' outside of the shelter or rescue environment. Day four through seven become observation days for the adopters to make sure they fit the dog, and the dog fits their lifestyle.
During these seven days, the rescued dog still belongs to TLC and there is no financial investment in the dog by the adopter (we send the dog home with food for 7 days, collar, leash and harness, etc.).
It has become a great program for us at TLC and many dogs have found their furever home through this program. If you are interested in this program, please ask one of the TLC volunteers when inquiring or looking at a dog.
The 'rules and regs' of the TLC FTA program:
- Puppies are never eligible for the FTA program - they are a 'blank slate' and you write on their slate how you want the story to be (more or less).
- An approved adoption application is required prior to beginning an FTA. A copy of the adopter's drivers license is required with the adoption application.
- We ask that you give the dog at least three days to acclimate themselves to the new surroundings, rules, smells and changes before making your decision one way or another.
- Any dog placed in an FTA will be spayed/neutered prior, be up to date on their vaccines (including rabies) and microchipped.
- TLC will supply the potential adopter with enough food for a week, a harness, leash and halter. All other needed items will be supplied by the potential adopter.
- Rescued dog is the property of TLC until an adoption contract is signed. We ask that our dogs be treated like one of your own, receive love and affection, are kept safe and not taken to dog parks. We ask that their name not be changed during this time (to lower the potential confusion on the dog's behalf). We are not responsible for any destruction or liable for any damages by the rescued adult while on an FTA.
- Any needed medical attention during this 7-day period is with approval (in advance) by TLC's Director. Any medical care not approved by the Director is at the potential adopter's expense and can not be used to lower the adoption donation.
- Any known behavior or medical issues will be made known to the potential adopter.
- FTA agreement will be filled out at the time of placement with the dog's vaccine record, microchip, adoption donation, other information, etc. The agreement is signed and a copy is given to the potential adopter.