RSPCA Volunteer Home Visitor
Hants & Surrey Border Branch
Registered charity no. 201291
RSPCA Volunteer Home Visitor
This is a key role as part of the RSPCA’s rehoming process: its aim is to make sure the pet is going to be happy with the family; safe in the home and surrounding environment. As a Home Visitor, the role involves visiting people in their homes who are interested in adopting an animal from us and have, in most instances, already chosen the pet they want to home. It is the role of the Home Visitor to assess the suitability of the potential adopter’s home to ensure it meets the Society’s re-homing criteria, taking into account the character and needs of the particular pet. It is also the role of the Home Visitor to promote responsible pet ownership, and answer any relevant questions.
For example, a home suitable for a dog must have an adequately sized and completely secure garden. For cats the location of the home in relation to a busy road needs to be considered as does the provision of a cat flap or suitable shelter. A rabbit has to have an appropriately sized hutch and a run in which to exercise.
It is these defined criteria that help to ensure we are providing the best future welfare needs of every animal that has come into our care. As a result, we have a high re-homing success rate, ensuring that the right home and owner are found for a pet.
All Home Visitors must attend a training course and accompanying shadow-training with an experienced Home Visitor before they will be able to start.
The role of Home Visitor involves:
v Following a request to carry out a home visit, make contact with the potential adopter within 48 hours to arrange an appointment, ensuring the home visit is completed within 7 days.
v Using the details supplied on the pet interview form regarding the family and the pet in question, establish answers to the relevant details required to ensure they meet the Society’s criteria for the needs of the particular pet. This may include visual checks of the garden; asking to see the cat flap or location of where a cat flap will be fitted or asking to see the rabbit hutch and know its location and that of a run.
v Be aware of the needs of particular pets, mainly dogs, cats and rabbits so as to be able to answer any questions a potential adopter may ask and to use that knowledge to assess potential adopter’s suitability, or not, to adopt the pet in question. Please note: questions can be quite wide ranging inc. what type of food is best, grooming, exercise, best type of cat flap, flea & worming treatments, toys & bedding, etc so a basic knowledge of pets’ requirements is necessary.
v Ensuring you have seen evidence of any necessary letters or documents of proof and detailing same on paperwork.
v Complete all paperwork neatly and accurately.
v Following the completion of the home visit, report the findings back to the Home Visit Coordinator as soon as possible (and within 24 hours), giving all the salient details to determine a pass or fail for the adoption taking place.
Home Visits – Post Adoption
Part of the Home Visitors role is to follow up in all cases of successful adoptions taking place, approx 6-8 weeks later, with a Post Home Visit. In most cases the Home Visitor who carried out the initial home check will be asked to carry out the Post Home check. This is one of the very rewarding parts of the role as it gives the home visitor the opportunity to meet the pet with its new family in its new home and to know that you have played an important part in that pet getting another chance at a happy and healthy life.
The Post Home Visit is to check on a number of factors, including how the pet has settled in, check that if there were any outstanding treatments due eg booster vaccinations, they have been carried out; has a cat flap been fitted if there wasn’t one
before; answer any questions the new owners may have about their pet etc.
Once the post home visit has taken place, the findings are again reported back to the Branch Representative that handles Post Home visits.
As a volunteer working as one of our Home Visitors you will be expected to:-
- Be familiar with and follow at all times the national Society’s re-homing policies, guidelines and procedures.
- Have access to transport.
- Work under the supervision and direction of the Branch’s Home Visiting Co-ordinator or Rehoming Manager and liaise with them promptly.
- Adhere to the policies relating to your own personal safety, general health and safety rules, insurance requirements, vehicle documentation, codes of conduct as detailed in the “Volunteer Code of Conduct” agreement. Complete all necessary application process paperwork and the Society’s Home Visitor training before commencing as a Home Visitor.
- Attend any refresher training, as required.
- To act at all times as a good ambassador for the branch and the national Society, supporting its policies and aims whilst on RSPCA business.
Whilst the role is voluntary, this Branch is willing to reimburse out of pocket expenses including car parking expenses, mileage allowance @45p per mile, bus or train fares.
If you are interested please complete the online application form & we will be in touch.