I volunteer about 20 hours per week at Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas, Calif. (which happens to be the first solar-powered humane society in the U.S.). We have a very successful callback program that involves calling and/or emailing every adopter of a dog from our shelter at four to five days, six weeks and three months post-adoption. We give advice on shelter-dog transition and training issues and answer any questions the adopters may have. We also have a chance to see if the adoption is working out or if, as is the rare case, the dog is not a good fit for the family. If we cannot help the adopter, we are able to encourage the adopter to bring the dog back to the shelter so that a more appropriate placement can be made. We enter information from our communications in the shelter’s computer system so that anyone who looks up a dog in the system can see how things are going in the home.
The callback program is very rewarding for those of us who make the calls (and emails); we share the joy of the new adopters, and of the dogs, who get out of the shelter and into loving homes. We also are able to help people help their new companions adjust, which can make the difference between a success story and a return. We get many compliments on this program.