Thanks for sharing Kristen!I think it is also helpful to explain what the circumstances surrounding the bite were as well and if there are any tips to set the dog up for success in the next home. I'm curious as to when other organizations share this information - is it on the description, before the adopter meets the dog, after the adopter meets the dog, etc?When I worked at the San Francisco SPCA, we started by telling the history to the interested clients immediately. We were then piloted having the clients meet the animals first and then told the history - both medical and behavioral. This had mixed results - some clients were upset that they had already met the animal and then gotten the full story. They felt as if they had been "tricked". Others did not care, appreciated the full information and then still adopted. We were still piloting this when I left 4 years ago and full disclosure - I haven't volunteered or worked in adoptions since then, so I'm not sure how it worked out or what the current practice is. I would love to hear what other groups are doing.
Does anyone offer behavior/training advice/help with the adoptions of dogs with bite history?Sorry for creating more questions than answers, but hopefully this continues the conversation. Thanks everyone!#AdoptionsandAdoptionPrograms#Behavior,TrainingandEnrichment
Hi Cindy,This is a great question! My personal bias is to be very transparent and up-front from the get-go. At our shelter we have several different behavioral disclosures that we can attach to an adoption - they are essentially a waiver the adopter signs at the time of adoption stating we disclosed we were aware of that behavior concern. We have several that are general (resource guarding, dog-dog issues, etc.) and we can also customize them. Below their biography on their kennel card and on the website, we list all the behavioral disclosures that animal has. If the animal has a previous bite history, they get a custom disclosure explaining the circumstances of the bite, and we list "previous bite history" on their list of behavioral disclosures.
We then discuss it during the adoption counsel - what happened, why it happened, how we recommend it be prevented, etc., Then at the time of the adoption they sign the disclosure stating we discussed it with them, and then they also get a copy.While we don't lead it with - meaning it's not the first thing we discuss or list on the website, we like to be as upfront and transparent as possible so that if a previous bite history is a deal breaker (could be personal preference, renter or home owner's insurance policies, rental rules, etc.) they don't feel swindled by getting attached and then finding out the deal breaker later.