Before you undertake a home check please ensure you are in receipt of all the relevant information regarding the prospective home, including:
A contact name, address, telephone number/email address of the home to be checked.
The number of family members living at the property, including number of children.
Do the adults work? How many hours per day?
Are there any other pets already in the home?
Will this be their first pet or are they experienced owners?


It is important that you obtain as much information as possible about the rescue animal(s) in question (unless you are home visiting for someone to go on a waiting list for a specific rescue, or to foster animals for the rescue). This will help you establish not only if the potential home is suitable but also if the family is too. You will need to know:
The breed or type of animal to be rehomed
Age of the animal
Any likes/dislikes the animal may have
Any medical conditions affecting the animal
The type of home that the rescue responsible for the animal(s) will think it will be best suited to

Contacting the home to be checked and confirming the appointment
When you contact the home to be checked, it is important that you not only state your name clearly but also ensure that you specify that you have their details from the rescue organisation.
Make sure that the prospective home know that all people who will be living in the house where the dog will live need to be present when you conduct the home visit, especially in those families where there are children, as you will need to speak to them too.
Once the home visit date and time is confirmed, you should confirm the address details.
Finally, ask the prospective adopter if they have any questions for you before the home visit. Often people get very nervous about being home visited so it might be you need to reassure them that you aren’t going to be looking behind sofas and running your finger along mantelpieces!


Personal safety during a home check

The first priority during a home check is your own personal safety before, during and after the visit.
The following guidelines should be helpful and remind you of common sense steps you can take to ensure your own safety.

1. When you arrive at the home you are conducting the home visit at, try to park nearby and not miles away, this especially applies during the darker winter months
2. If you at any point feel unsafe, don’t go into the home
3. Leave your mobile phone switched on and within easy reach
4. Do not reveal any personal details, such as where you live, during the home visit
5. Get back to your form of transport as soon as you can especially when travelling during evening hours and/or those dark winter months

Informing the rescue that requested the home check
It is important that the rescue centre/Animal Lifeline is informed as soon as possible of your findings and any suggestions and/or reservations you might have.
When you speak to the rescue about the home visit be honest with your findings and advise them of any reservations, such as hours the animal(s) would be left, or the height of the fence. Make sure you let the rescue know in detail what the concerns were.

Many rescues will ask you whether you think they should be allowed to adopt the animal in question. You should base your decision on your findings and on gut instinct. Many home visitors go by the following ‘Would I be happy for my animals to live there?’