Volunteer Instructions

Instructions for Dog Adoption Events:
Handling the Dogs
Adoption Procedures

Handling the Dogs
We ask that you keep the following in mind while handling your dog for the day:

  • When handed the dog, make sure you ask his/her name, age, and story. Also find out how your dog is with other dogs and with cats. Got a smartphone such as a Blackberry, Android, or iPhone? Check our website (a mobile version of our website will load automatically) for information about your dog.

  • If the dog you are handling is not dog friendly, please stand off to the side to avoid conflicts. Be vigilant and cautious when others approach you. Keep your dog on a short leash, and be sure to warn others that your dog is not dog friendly.

  • Cleaning up messes! Please make sure that you clean up any messes your dog makes outside or inside. Paper towels and garbage bags are provided.

  • Always be aware of what your dog is doing and who is approaching you. This is necessary to avoid conflicts with other dogs, and incidents with children. Your dog may not be accustomed to having small children rush up to him.

  • While small treats are fine, we ask that you not bring large treats or rawhides, as these can cause fights between the dogs. Also, please limit the number of treats your dog receives.

  • Give your "dog-for-the-day" special attention. A little extra love means a lot to them!

  • When prospective adopters approach, tell them all that you know about your dog. You are his advocate for the day. If you don't know - ask!

  • Understand the adoption procedures (directly below) and share them with prospective adopters. If you do not know the answer to a question, ask one of the HART long-time volunteers or direct the adopter to the HART desk.


Adoption Procedures
Prospective adopters must go through the following procedures:

  • Fill out an application.

  • Be interviewed by one of the volunteers who do interviews.

  • Be interviewed by one of the board members.

  • All applications will be reviewed and the best home for the dog will be selected (as long as there is a viable applicant).

  • If they are selected, the applicant will be contacted in a few days to schedule a home check. Dogs are not placed "first come, first served", but rather, the best home for the dog.

  • If the applicant has had dogs in the past or currently has another dog, a vet check will be performed. (Family pets from childhood are not included here.)

  • At the homecheck, the HART representative will sometimes bring the dog. If all goes well, they will leave the dog at his new home. Sometimes, depending where the dog is being housed, the homecheck is done during the week and then the person or family picks up their new dog at the next HART adoption event the following weekend.

  • A contract will be signed and the fee collected. The fee is $325 for dogs 1 year and older, $375 for puppies under 1 year. Note: the fee is not for a specific animal, but is used to offset the costs of maintaining all the HART dogs and cats. All HART pets must be spayed or neutered. If it happens that a particular animal has not yet been spayed/neutered, HART will keep the animal until the surgery can be performed. Or, occasionally, the new adoptive family will be given a certificate to take the dog to a HART participating vet. The vet will bill HART for the spay/neuter, so there is no additional cost to the family. But again, the spay/neuter is required.


How do I volunteer for an Adoption Day?
First, complete the Volunteer Profile. You will then receive an email invitation to join our Yahoo group. Please follow the instructions in the email to add yourself to the group. Then, at the beginning of each week, you will receive an email stating the location and time of the next adoption events. If you would like to volunteer, simply respond to the email. The number of dogs that are brought to the Adoption Day depends upon the number of volunteers who commit to attending. The more volunteers in attendance, the greater the number of dogs having a chance to find their forever homes. You make a difference!

Where are Adoption Days held?
Adoption Days are generally held every Saturday from Noon until 3 p.m. at Pet Supplies Plus and Petsmart. The exact location for these events is provided in the weekly email and is also available on the HART website.

When should I arrive at Adoption Day?
We would appreciate if all volunteers would arrive a few minutes before the adoption is scheduled to begin -- so a bit before Noon. This will allow you to find out information about your dog and help with any set up necessary. We would also appreciate it if your time of departure is flexible, but that you stay at least until 3:00.

What will I do at Adoption Day?
When you get to Adoption Day, please go to the HART table and let them know that you are a new volunteer. You will then have a dog assigned to you for the afternoon. That lovable dog is your responsibility for the Adoption Day. Find out as much information as you can to be able to educate prospective owners on the dog’s background. Please clean up any messes the dog makes and make sure the dog remains safe. Keep the leash handle around your wrist at all times. We encourage lots and lots of love to be shared with the dogs. Most importantly, you are the dog's advocate for the day, so keep the dog in the dedicated HART area and make sure your dog is visible to prospective owners. Get one of the red HART scarves and tie around your dog's neck.

What should I bring with me to Adoption Day?
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. It is greatly appreciated if you bring with you plastic bags and paper towels (for cleaning up after your dog).

What do I do if someone is interested in my dog?
Tell them as much as you know about the dog and instruct the prospective adopters to complete a HART application available at the HART table.

How long should I plan to be at Adoption Day?
Because there are many dogs to transport back to the kennels, it takes some time to coordinate getting them into cars, etc. It may take up to an hour (but often less) after the adoption is scheduled to end, to get all the dogs back into their transport vehicles. We appreciate your patience and flexibility. (If you can stay afterwards and help clean up, we would greatly appreciate it!!)

Remember... YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Every Adoption Day you volunteer for is a day you've given a lovable dog a chance to find a forever home. Thank you for giving up your time to help; every volunteer is very special and greatly appreciated!