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Home Visit FAQs

1. Why does Labs4rescue conduct home visits?
2. Who performs Home Visits for Labs4rescue?
3. Must every adopter and foster have a home visit?
4. When are home visits performed?
5. Who must attend the home visit?
6. What should I do if someone is absent?
7. Does every applicant "pass" the home visit?
8. Who decides if an applicant "passes" or "fails" the home visit?
9. What authority does the home visit volunteer have?
10. Can I perform a home visit for a friend, neighbor, relative, or business associate?
11. How do I submit my report to Labs4rescue?
12. What if I make a mistake on the home visit form?
13. How much information should I provide on the home visit form?
14. Does Labs4rescue do home visits after the dog arrives?
15. Is the home visit report provided to the adoption or foster applicant?
16. Are home visit volunteers compensated for performing a home visit?
17. Are fences required?
18. Are outdoor kennels or doghouses allowed?
19. Are outdoor tethers or runs allowed?
20. Are doggy doors allowed?
21. What should I remind the applicant of during the home visit?
22. Can I bring my dog with me when I perform a home visit?
23. What should I say if asked, "Did I pass?"
24. What if the applicant pressures me because the dog is already traveling on the transport?
25. What if the applicant has questions that I cannot answer?

1. Why does Labs4rescue conduct home visits?


Home visits are performed for several reasons:
  • To ensure that an applicant's residence is safe and Lab-friendly
  • To ensure that an applicant's yard is safe and free of dangerous distractions
  • To ensure that all family members support adopting a dog
  • To review the adjustments that the new dog will have to make
  • To discuss how the family will exercise and train the dog
  • To answer any questions that the applicant has
  • To serve as the "eyes and ears" of an Adoption Coordinator who may be located far from the applicant
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2. Who performs Home Visits for Labs4rescue?


Previous adopters or foster parents living an applicant's community usually perform home visits. When Labs4rescue doesn't have any adopters or fosters in an area, we will ask members of nearby rescues, animal control officers, or local veterinary hospital staff to perform home visits. Back to Top

3. Must every adopter and foster have a home visit?


Yes, all first-time Labs4rescue adopters and fosters must have a home visit. Back to Top

4. When are home visits performed?


Home visits are performed after an adoption or foster applicant is matched to a dog. The home visit must be performed and approved before the adopter or foster can receive the dog. Back to Top

5. Who must attend the home visit?


All family members residing at the residence must attend the home visit. Exceptions are made for college students living away from home and for military personnel currently deployed away from home for an extended period. Back to Top

6. What should I do if someone is absent?


If you arrive at the home to find that one or more family members are absent, you should remind the applicant that all residents must attend. Do not allow the applicant to pressure you into performing a home visit when one or more family members are absent. You should feel free to reschedule the home visit to a different time and notify the Home Visit Coordinator of the change. If you travelled a considerable distance to perform the home visit, and do not want to return at a later date, then you can perform the visit clearly noting who was absent when you submit your report. Back to Top

7. Does every applicant "pass" the home visit?


Although Labs4rescue has a thorough screening process before a home visit is conducted, not all applicants "pass" the home visit. While an applicant may look good on paper, issues may be detected at the home visit that could not be detected on an application or in interview. Back to Top

8. Who decides if an applicant "passes" or "fails" the home visit?


This decision is made by the dog's Adoption Coordinator who uses the information provided on the application, interview, vet check and home visit to determine an applicant's suitability for adopting or fostering a dog. Back to Top

9. What authority does the home visit volunteer have?


The home visit volunteer does not have the authority to "pass" or "fail" the applicant during the course of the visit. The home visit volunteer's purpose is to gather information, ask and answer questions, and provide their report and recommendation to Labs4rescue. If the home visit volunteer has any reservations about an applicant's suitability to adopt a dog, they should be noted on their report. Back to Top

10. Can I perform a home visit for a friend, neighbor, relative, or business associate?


No, home visit volunteers should refuse to perform home visits for friends, neighbors, relatives, or business associates. If one of Labs4rescue's Home Visit Coordinators asks you to perform a home visit for a friend, neighbor, relative, or business associate, you should decline the request noting that you are familiar with the applicant. You should only perform home visits for applicants you do not have a prior relationship with. Back to Top

11. How do I submit my report to Labs4rescue?


The results for all home visits must be submitted using the rescue's online Home Visit Form. Use of the online form ensures that the appropriate members of the rescue receive the form quickly. It is best to submit your report immediately after the home visit. Please do not delay submitting your report since applicants are anxiously awaiting the results. Back to Top

12. What if I make a mistake on the home visit form?


Please notify the Home Visit Coordinator that asked you to perform this visit or resubmit the form. Back to Top

13. How much information should I provide on the home visit form?


Adoption Coordinators appreciate receiving detailed responses to questions since it helps them make more informed decisions. When in doubt, please provide as much information as possible. Be sure to raise any concerns you have, no matter how minor they may seem. Back to Top

14. Does Labs4rescue do home visits after the dog arrives?


All first-time home visits must be performed before the dog arrives. Occasionally, follow-up home visits are requested for adopters after the rescue receives a report that the dog was found by a Good Samaritan or Animal Control Officer, or if the rescue has reason to believe the dog is being mistreated or the adoption is not working satisfactorily. Back to Top

15. Is the home visit report provided to the adoption or foster applicant?


No, a copy of your report is not provided to the applicant. Although the Adoption Coordinator may discuss the results with the applicant, they may not supply the completed home visit form to the applicant. Back to Top

16. Are home visit volunteers compensated for performing a home visit?


Labs4rescue is a volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. As such, home visit volunteers receive no financial remuneration for completing a home visit. Labs4rescue does not reimburse home visit volunteers for travel expenses, gas or tolls. Check with your tax advisor/preparer to determine if you can deduct your unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses or mileage on your tax return. Back to Top

17. Are fences required?


The need for fencing is evaluated on an individual basis. If a fence is required, you will be notified before you perform the home visit. Some situations requiring a fence may include property abutting a major highway or a history of having a previous dog hit by a car. Back to Top

18. Are outdoor kennels or doghouses allowed?


Labs4rescue wants its adopters to treat their new dogs as family members. As such, the use of an outdoor kennel or doghouse is prohibited. Please report the presence of an outdoor kennel or doghouse when you submit your report. Back to Top

19. Are outdoor tethers or runs allowed?


The unsupervised use of an outdoor tether or run is prohibited. Please report the presence of an outdoor tether or run when you submit your report. Back to Top

20. Are doggy doors allowed?


The unsupervised use of a doggy door is prohibited. Please report the presence of a doggy door when you submit your report. Back to Top

21. What should I remind the applicant of during the home visit?


Please remind the family of the following:
  • Labs4rescue requires all adopters to administer heartworm preventative (chemoprophylaxis) monthly, regardless of the season or their location.
  • The dog may not be left outside unsupervised, even if your yard is fenced in.
  • The dog may not be left off leash in an unfenced area, including your yard.
  • Some dogs have been fostered in single story homes and may need to learn how to go up and down a flight of stairs safely.
  • If, for any reason, an adopter cannot keep the dog for its entire life, it must be returned to Labs4rescue.
  • All adopters should read the rescue's Adopt a Lab web page, their Adoption Contract (or the rescue's Sample Adoption Contract), and the rescue's Helpful Hints for Adopters web page.
  • All foster parents should read the rescue's Foster a Lab web page, their Foster Notice, and the rescue's Foster FAQs web page.
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22. Can I bring my dog with me when I perform a home visit?


You may bring your dog with you if you desire. This is recommended if you are visiting a family that never had a dog before since it will allow you to see how all members of the family interact with your dog. Bringing your dog is not recommended if the family already has a dog or if you are uncomfortable doing so. If you bring your dog with you, please advise us how the family members interacted with your dog when you submit your report. Back to Top

23. What should I say if asked, "Did I pass?"


Please advise the applicant that you do not have the authority to "pass" or "fail" the applicant and that you are there to gather information, ask and answer questions, and provide your report to Labs4rescue. You should inform the applicant that the decision is made by the dog's Adoption Coordinator who uses the information provided on the application, interview, vet check and home visit to determine an applicant's suitability for adopting or fostering a dog. Back to Top

24. What if the applicant pressures me because the dog is already traveling on the transport?


As a home visit volunteer, you should not allow the applicant to pressure you since the rescue is most concerned with the safety and well being of the dog. If the dog is already on the transport and you believe the applicant's home is unacceptable, please contact the Home Visit Coordinator and/or Adoption Coordinator immediately so that the dog can be placed with an approved foster home or boarded in a licensed boarding kennel. Back to Top

25. What if the applicant has questions that I cannot answer?


As a home visit volunteer, you should recommend that the applicant consult his/her Adoption Coordinator. Back to Top

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