Home inspection sheets are used by many animal rescue groups and shelters as a tool to check specific safety aspects of prospective pet homes. Checklists for basic information are typically included on the sheets along with room for special considerations for safety concerns, special needs or challenging pets. These inspections are performed to make certain a pet is entering a safe and appropriate environment for the remainder of its life.
While there are no standard home safety inspection sheets, a good one simply allows anyone reading it to understand what safety matters are acceptable and which need to be addressed before the animal is placed in a home. The form should be a checklist that includes all aspects of home safety in a manner that a passing grade simply requires the check of an appropriate box.
The home safety inspection is often a rescue organisation's only chance to deem the prospective owner appropriate for the pet in question. The inspection sheet should address these matters so adopting officials can feel comfortable placing a pet in the new owner's care. Include sections that address the owner's prior pet experience, ability to provide veterinary care, positive training experiences and grooming. If the owners have current pets, note the condition and temperament on the sheet. Take note of whether the family has children and if they might pose a problem to the new pet.
Location, Location, Location
You need to note if the location of the home is appropriate and safe for a pet. Include spots to note the location and traffic of nearby streets, as well as whether the home has a fence. Include a section on the setting, jotting down the locations of natural bodies of water, farm or wilderness property. Also include an area to note the condition of neighbouring properties and any potential dangers they could pose to a pet. The sheet should include all of these and leave room for notes based on any concerns.
Make a section on your sheet for each bedroom, bath, kitchen and any common living spaces of the home. Include all spaces the pet can access to include garages, basements, walk up attics, balconies or stairways. Include the questions: Do doors and windows close securely? Is hazardous clutter accessible to the pet? Do any electric outlets or appliances look dangerous for a pet? If you find safety concerns, be specific about writing them down in detail for discussion with the homeowner.
The yard safety section should address all aspects of the outside space of the property. Include questions such as, are the fence, gates, locks and yard secure and pet appropriate? Who has yard access? If outbuildings are located on the property, ask what is in them and if the pet will have access to them. Is the backyard cluttered or neat? Are there flower gardens, irrigation systems or a pool? When filling out your sheet, note if any of these areas might not be appropriate for the specific pet of interest.
A home inspection sheet should contain a line titled "Approval for Pet Ownership." Written approval should be necessary for anyone renting their home or people that live in communities that limit specific numbers or types of pets. For properties of these types, an approval signature from a landlord, homeowner's association, condominium board or apartment manager should be included on the home safety inspection form.
Passing and Failing Grades
If areas of the home fail the inspection, date the form and offer to come back within a specified time frame if the owners are willing to make the adjustments. Appropriate adjustments should be noted on the form along with a final passing or failing grade. Home safety should be looked upon as a way for a rescue organisation to determine if a potential adopter can provide a continuous pet safe environment.
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