When we look down the list of applications coming in, sometimes a name or two stands out. When we click and open the form, we are rewarded with the equivalent of a familiar face–prior adopters who are returning to us to find new family members. NGPR has been around for 17 years so many of the dogs placed in our early years have passed on. Their adopters fell in love with the breed so now when they are looking for another dog, Great Pyrenees top the list. It also makes sense to contact us because after all, we both know a little bit about each other. Second or even third time around also has the “time” advantage in that as they age and retire, adopters can have more time for their dogs.
Our prior adopters passed the test before. They had good vet checks and fencing suitable to adopting a Pyr. Another big plus is that they are familiar with the breed, which we know is not always the easiest to understand or manage. And they know us, so the vetting and fencing requirements are not a surprise. There is one thing however, that has changed—how we qualify adopters. Prior to Covid, home visits were required. After an initial telephone screening was done, we would endeavor to find someone within driving distance of the applicant. Calendars had to be consulted to schedule the home visit and if the person was in a remote location or not close to prior adopters, a home visit could take days or even weeks to arrange.
During Covid, home visits weren’t safe which is when we realized they also weren’t very practical either. Most of us have become more proficient with our phones and videos so taking fence and yard shots wasn’t as difficult. In place of walking the fence line, we now ask for a 360 degree view of the yard so we can get a complete picture of the fence and how it encloses the area the dog will be in.
Once we have these, it’s time to move on the Virtual Home Visit. We found that a Zoom session or FaceTime call works well for most people and may provide advantages in some situations. We can meet the potential adopters face-to-face virtually along with their kids and even their pets. Scheduling is easier as it can be done after school or after work. It also eliminates the cost of gas and widens the geographical range of people we can adopt to since most people can be accessed virtually online.
If you’re a prior adopter or even a new adopter, we are doing our best to become more responsive and expedite our adoption process. If it’s been a while since you’ve been in touch and you think you’re ready for another dog, please fill out our form at nationalpyr.org/adoption-application to let us know. Your prior data is saved; in fact checking for previous applications is the first step we take when we review incoming forms. We do want a new application each time you adopt because that application will be linked specifically to the dog you choose. And if you haven’t chosen a dog yet, that’s fine too. Visit our Adoptable Dogs page or leave that space empty and we can help select the dog who’s right for you.
So, prior (and new) adopters welcome! We’re rolling out the welcome mat to let you know we’re interested renewing old acquaintances, meeting new ones and expediting your next adoption application!