Help with the Adoption Application Process

The motto of ESRA is Rescue, Rehabilitate and Re-Home. So how do we go about the ‘re-homing’ part, anyway? We want these precious Springers into new loving homes where they will live out their lives as a member of the family. We at ESRA endeavor to be as confident as possible about the potential successful placement of a rescued Springer into a new home. This process can seem a bit much to the adoption applicant, but to the rescuer, it still may not seem like enough. So we need friendly volunteers to help with this process; volunteers who can welcome the potential adopter while, at the same time, making sure this is the right home for one of our Springers. Maybe you have been through the adoption approval process yourself and can bring you experience as an applicant and as an adopter to help you with the process.

So what is the process? Those who want to adopt an ESRA dog are led to the national website to fill out an adoption application. This application is sent to the volunteer(s) in the area of the applicant for approval. Our Adoptions/Matching team will set in motion a process of interviews to make sure that each applicant is ready for a Springer and to match their lifestyle to just the right Springer. This is typically accomplished through 1) a phone interview with the applicant, 2) a check with the applicant’s vet and 3) a home visit with the applicant.

A phone interview and vet check can be done from your home or office or even from the beach or mall, at your convenience. Just call up an applicant and have a nice friendly chat about Springers. You can even share your favorite Springer stories while listening to the applicants reasons for wanting a Springer of their own. The vet check, again is a phone call to check out how well any given applicant has cared for the medical needs of previous or current pets in the home. Home visits are just what they sound like; grab your own Springer, hop in the car and go visit with a prospective adopter. You are sure to enjoy passing some time swapping Springer and pet stories with another Springer enthusiast.

When an application comes in, after an initial review by the application coordinators in each area, we will send an email requesting a vet interview and telephone interview.  You don’t have to be local to do these phone calls – they are just that:  telephone calls.  The vet interview consists of questions regarding pet history, vaccination records (do the applicants keep their current or prior pets UTD on vaccinations, HW meds, etc.?), treatment history, etc.  We always ask the applicants, via an introductory email acknowledging receipt of the application, to give their vet permission to speak with us prior to a volunteer making the call.  There have been times when more than one vet interview is needed, but this doesn’t happen often.

The telephone interview is scheduled by a volunteer using the contact information we received in the application.  Telephone interviews usually take 45 minutes or so, and we want ALL the adults in the home present for this.  We forward the application to the volunteer doing the interview so they will have a feel for the home, the current and past pets, and the family that is applying.  The application coordinators will also note any concerns or special items believed to need covering in the email to the volunteer when the app is forwarded.

We encourage each and every volunteer to speak your mind in the interview comments.  If there is something you find troubling, then please say so.  Your interviews are submitted directly to our application coordinators, and go no further than them.  We ask volunteers to decide if they are comfortable with the responses they get.  Yes or No – we need to know!  If further interviews are warranted after the initial phone interview, then we will follow up on those.

The final step in the applications process – after a good vet check and phone interview – is a home visit.  We ask volunteers local to the applicant’s town to do these.  Some folks take a Springer with them.  Not required, but it can be a good measuring tool to see how the family takes to a new dog, how existing pets react, etc.

We have forms for all the interviews online.  You can print the form out and fill it in during the interview, or you can put the family on speaker and type as you are doing the interview.  Then you just click the ‘submit’ button to send the interview to this email.

We appreciate each and every one of you for volunteering, or even considering taking your personal time to do interviews.  Your input, your help, is vital to ESRA in finding great homes for our rescues.

Thank you again for your time, your interest, and your participation in helping ESRA.  Without each and every one of you, we would not be as great, nor as successful, as we are now.

Can you help with these interviews, checks and visits? Our Adoptions/Matching Teams are ready to guide you through the process with guides for typical questions and conversation points. If this sounds like a way you can help, please contact our adoption teams:


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