After you’ve received and screened an application from a potential adopter, the next step is to set up a time to talk on the phone or via video chat, if you can. Once that step is complete, it’s time to set up a meeting!

It is very important that you put your safety first when setting up an in-person meeting. Make sure you ALWAYS meet in a public place and, if at all possible, bring a friend! A pet-friendly store is a perfect, safe place to meet. A veterinarian’s office can also be a good option, but make sure you make an appointment first.

If your pet is a dog, you may be tempted to hold your meeting at a dog park, but this isn’t recommended. Your dog will be so distracted by the sights, smells, and sounds of other dogs that he might not be able to concentrate on the potential adopter. It’s important for you to observe your dog’s body language around the adopter so you can tell if this is a good match, so keeping distractions to a minimum is a good idea.

If your pet is a cat, a pet-friendly store can also be a great place to meet. No matter what, ALWAYS bring your cat in a carrier, and always conduct the meeting indoors. A nervous cat can bolt. If you can find a safe, enclosed room to meet in, open your cat’s carrier and see if he or she wants to come out. As you know, cats are not always comfortable in strange surroundings, and may want to hide, so cat meetings are by nature more challenging than dog meetings. Do your best to balance the need of the person to meet the cat with the cat’s need for safety.