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  • 1.  Anyone have resources or guidelines on placing kid restrictions for adoptions?

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 05-25-2022 10:11 AM
    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous

    Our adoption and behavior teams are reassessing our protocols for evaluations and adoption restrictions. To be honest, we have a lot of dogs with kid restrictions broken down to age groups: below 5, 6-10 years etc. We currently don't have any written protocols on how to determine these restriction unless we specifically know a dog has previous experience with children. Anyone already have a training or resource guide that they use?
    #AdoptionsandAdoptionPrograms
    #Behavior,TrainingandEnrichment
    #CaseManagement*
    #EducationandTraining


  • 2.  RE: Anyone have resources or guidelines on placing kid restrictions for adoptions?

    Posted 05-25-2022 11:49 AM
    We adopt out a lot of pets to families. As you mentioned, sometimes we have turnin forms that help guide that process and sometimes we do not. We allow kids as young as 8yrs of age to volunteer hands-on with our adoptable pets (that is very helpful). We color-code our dogs to know if they are kid-friendly or not. We use a modified version of Kelly Bollens assessment to make that distinction.  We look for things like can the dog tolerate every part of their body being touched, do they have any resource guarding issues, how do they walk on leash, do they jump, and if so, would that knock over a young child, etc. 

    Hopefully, that helps!

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    Erin Ellis
    Community Engagement Director
    Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe

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    Foster Program & Volunteer Management Specialist
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  • 3.  RE: Anyone have resources or guidelines on placing kid restrictions for adoptions?

    Maddie's Fund Staff
    Posted 05-25-2022 02:08 PM
    HI Anonymous,

    Great question!  Unfortunately we don't have research that tells us what is best for adopting out dogs to homes with children. There's some older research (1990's) that found that people with small children in their homes were more likely to relinquish their pet to a shelter.   

    As a parent and a dog person, i struggle with this issue. I admit that i had to work to tamp down my anxiety every time I did an intro of a dog to a family with children, because we can't guarantee how things will go.  

    For the most part, i recommend a flexible policy.  When my son was under 5,  he was not the type of kid that was respectful of dogs, despite my best efforts.  He required a lot of training and management to learn how to appropriately interact with dogs.   But he learned- really well! I was so proud of him last year (when he was 11) - we met our neighbor's senior dog for the first time.  I squatted down to get to know the dog, but CJ remained standing. I asked him why and he said 'She's an old dog and they might be cranky and not want to be touched. So i don't think it's a good idea for me to pet him but she's super cute.'  So proud!

    But now i'm off track :).   Even though my son wasn't great when he was little, we had lots of foster dogs enter our lives during his early years. If orgs i volunteered for had had blanket statements of 'you can't foster or adopt jumpy dogs if you have kids under 5' and things like that,  I know there would have been dogs that would have died due to that restriction. Did my son get knocked down by dogs? Yes  Did my son harass a dog (by aggressively attempting to 'play') when he was 3, so much so that we had to return it? Yes.   But that's real life. CJ learned how to not get jumped on. The dog that he harassed found a lovely home.

    So...
    1. Avoid blanket statements
    2.  Create general guidelines. E.g. a general guideline of : if a dog has a history of low level biting over resources in a home environment - not adopting to homes with kids under ten. (having said this, i adopted a dog exactly like this when my son was 1, and everyone remained safe and happy)
    3. Keep track of results - what happens with the dogs you adopt out.  If we all collect data, over time we can learn what works and what doesn't. 
    4. Remember that just becuase one org has a policy, it might not be the right policy for your org. They may have more or less resources that you do, which will greatly impact your ability to keep people and pets safe.

    Sheila

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    Sheila Segurson, DVM
    Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
    Maddie's Fund
    9258608284
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  • 4.  RE: Anyone have resources or guidelines on placing kid restrictions for adoptions?

    Posted 05-25-2022 02:38 PM
    Hello!

    I have attached some resources that I had on hand!

    Our biggest challenge was managing both new child and new dog meet-and-greets simultaneously. The Onsite Introductions document covers the steps we put in place for those introductions. 

    Note: This resource relied on additional, comprehensive training for counselors not indicated in the handout. The handout served as a reference sheet after counselors had completed many different trainings on canine body language, behavior, training protocols, and playgroup interactions.  

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! :)

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    Heather Kalman, CPDT-KA
    Embedded Data Coordinator
    American Pets Alive!, Human Animal Support Service
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    Attachment(s)



  • 5.  RE: Anyone have resources or guidelines on placing kid restrictions for adoptions?

    Posted 05-26-2022 08:21 AM
    Our rescue has a turnover sheet when an animal comes in that describes their personality, good with kids, etc.  We then note this on their bio and kennel card.   Hope this helps...

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    Barbara Grover
    Priest River Animal Rescue
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