A Little Something About Applications and Home Visits

A Little Something About Applications and Home Visits

This is inspired by a friend.


Second Chance Salem requires you to fill out an adoption application before being considered for one of our dogs. Yes, considered. That sentence sounds inflammatory even to me. It sounds especially insulting, if the picture you have in your head, is of a dog waiting to be rescued by you. Second Chance Salem dogs have already been rescued by us or the people we obtained them from. They have been; groomed, vetted, trained and rehabilitated, by the time you meet them (at the home visit, another point of some contention). They have been living in a family home for at least three weeks. They have been pampered, loved on, taken on car rides, played with, socialized, and become a part of the family. They are in no way in danger of being euthanized or do they even know, that they are homeless…They aren’t. They are looking for a more permanent home but they are happy and healthy and loved.


Back to the, “Pictures in your head.” Now certainly not all of you but some of you, picture a dog in a kennel. There, the dog is surrounded by cement block and chain link. The dog is likely sleeping on the floor or a donated raised bed of some sort. They might have a tennis ball or some worn-out rope toy. You picture the many people every day walking by this dog while it waits, lonely and sad. You are thinking that anything would be an improvement and that certainly, the exceptional standards at your home, would be a blessing for any dog. You may be right. However, the picture in your head differs from the conditions that our SCS dogs live with. Our dogs live in homes, with families and yards, other dogs, cats, and often times kids. They are, for all intents and purposes, already a family pet. They, often times, are already lounging on the sofa, when you think of adding them to your family. We at Second Chance Salem, already think of them as part of our family. So…If we ask you to fill out a few forms, submit to a few questions, and allow us into your home…It is only because we are trying to make ourselves comfortable with the idea of allowing you into our family. You are asking to take one of our family home with you. We are picky and nosey, some might say irritatingly so, because we care so much about our dogs. They are, from the minute they come into our care, our family.


I know that we will offend some people with our procedures and standards. I realize that not everyone will get what they want and that some people will elect to get their dogs through other channels. My job, my concern, has to be the dogs, it has to be their best interest. I like people but I cannot lose sight of the objective, which is to do what is best for the dogs in our care. The small truth (don’t tell my children) is that I am not clairvoyant. I need applications and home visits to aid me in the choosing of the proper families. I owe it to the dogs and the foster families who love them to do my homework, and be discriminating. If you were in the unfortunate position of having to give up your dog to us, you would want nothing less.


Gwen Hammond

Executive Director

Second Chance Salem

Dog Rescue and Adoptions

Second Chance Salem Adoptable: Kiwi

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