How can I handle foster-to-adopt / pre-adopt / trial adoptions?

  • Updated

When an animal is outcomed, they are assigned a system-defined status for that type of outcome; in the case of adoptions, it's "Healthy in Home" and cannot be changed.

If your foster-to-adopt program includes having the adopter sign an adoption contract and pay the adoption fee up front (when they first bring the animal home):

  • We recommend adding an animal Shelter Defined attribute for "Foster-to-Adopt" and have that published as a disclaimer on the animal's adoption contract. You can add your own language in the stored text for what a trial visit means for your organization, and your adopters must agree to that disclaimer when they are signing the contract.
  • You can then set up a custom report to return adoption outcomes of animals with that attribute, and you can use that list to see which animals do not have their adoptions finalized yet.
  • Once the adoption is finalized, you can remove that attribute from the animal's record so that they no longer show up on this custom report.
  • If you want to better track the animal before the adoption is finalized, you can put the animal back in your care in Shelterluv.

 

If your foster-to-adopt program includes having the adopter pay the adoption fee up front only but sign an adoption contract when it's finalized (after spay/neuter, etc.):

  • You can put the animal into an Adoption Hold; before doing this, create an Adoption Hold Price Group in Configuration called Pre-Adopt with the amount of the regular adoption fee so that you can collect the payment when you process the hold.
  • Under Adoption Groups in Configuration, set up a $0 group for each type of animal called Pre-Adopt. After pre-payment of the adoption fee is taken, you can update that animal's adoption fee to that Pre-Adopt $0 group, which will automatically be applied when you're processing the adoption.
  • NOTE: We see some groups set their Pre-Adopt status to Adoptable=Yes in Configuration (and Publish = No so the animal doesn't show up online anymore). If your Pre-Adopt status is set to Adoptable = No, though, then you do need to update the animal's status to any "adoptable" status before you can process the adoption.

 

If your foster-to-adopt program includes having the adopter sign an adoption contract and pay the adoption fee at the end of the trial period:

  • We recommend leaving the animal in foster during the trial period in a status used specifically for your Foster to Adopt period (perhaps something actually called Foster to Adopt) which would then be configured to Adoptable = Yes in Configuration (and Publish = No so the animal doesn't show up online anymore). Once the trial period is up, you can then process the full adoption along with paperwork and payment.
    • If you utilize Shelterpay (powered by Stax) for payments, and the adopter pays via credit card, you won't need to have them present in your facility to finalize the process as you can text them the link with the contract and option to enter their credit card to checkout.
    • If you use an external credit card reader rather than Shelterpay to process credit cards, you can call the adopter and process the card over the phone.
    • If the adopter is paying by check, they can write a check at the beginning of the trial period but postdate it for the day the adoption will be finalized and paperwork will be complete. 

We also recommend that you set up your return threshold in case the adoption does not work out.