Reference Checking Waggytail Applications









For: Fosters, Waggy References Checkers - Review Application:


Specific to the person working on the application

  1. Read the application and email questions to either (Foster) or (Adoption) if anything is missing, or if you need clarification on something before contacting the applicant.

  2. Send an initial email to the applicant with something like:


"Thank you for your interest in Waggytail Rescue and wanting to rescue a dog!  I’m a volunteer with Waggytail (or Foster) and will be reviewing your application and contacting your references within the next day or two.  Do let your references know that I will be reaching out to them so that your application is not delayed because of non-responsive references- suggest they answer 'unknown number calls, etc'.  Our organization is entirely volunteer-driven, so we appreciate your patience during this process while we juggle this along with our day-jobs.  I'll be back in touch with you to let you know about next steps."

  1. If the applicant has specific questions that you cannot answer, you can copy waggy emails or refer them to the waggy emails. 

  2. Ask the applicant to email videos of their home or if they would prefer- do a FaceTime call. Explain this is Waggytail’s version of a home check. Especially good idea if there is a roommate living situation.​

  3. Email the videos to the waggy email addresses above, if you feel someone from operations should review.

  4. Look up their address on Google Earth and Google Maps to see the outside of their home. Report any issues or red flags to the waggy email addresses above.

Fosters, Core Volunteers and Reference Check Volunteers:


In addition to personal references and (potential) roommate, contact the landlord/management company if applicable. Usually provide the address not the name of the applicant, if possible.  OK to send an email with something like: "One of your tenants has applied to adopt a dog from our organization, Waggytail Rescue. Can you confirm that your 31-31 54th Street #4B unit in Queens is permitted to have a small dog?"

Contact the 3 personal references. OK to text first introducing yourself as a waggytail rescue volunteer, asking for a good time to call to check applicant's references - but DO speak on the phone (if possible) asking questions like:

  1. How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity (personal/professional)?

  2. Would you consider the applicant to be a responsible person? From what you know (not a typical topic of conversation) are they financially equipped to care for a dog?

  3. What two or three words would you use to describe the applicant?

  4. Have you seen the applicant interacting with animals? How would you describe that interaction?

  5. Do they currently have pets? Have they had pets before? Do you know where those pets are now?

  6. Describe the applicant's lifestyle/routine/home.

  7. How long is the applicant out of the house during the day? Do they travel a lot?

  8. Do you know of any reason why now might not be a good time for the applicant to adopt/foster?

  • If the applicant lives with a roommate, that is not listed as a reference, ask the applicant for their contact information so you can check that they are on board with a dog.

  • for adoption applications, call the vet (if one is listed) and ask if the applicant is in good standing (financially) and took current/past dogs for regular visits.


Approved/Not Approved:

  • If you are unsure and not comfortable with the applicant, email either (Foster) or (Adoption) and someone from Waggy operations will contact the applicant explaining why they are not approved.

    • Reasons why not to approve: incomplete applications, apartment doesn’t allow dogs, lots of existing pets already, poor reference replies.

  • After receiving positive responses from applicant, references, roommate, landlord/management, and vet – you can approve the applicant if you feel they are a good foster/adopter.

  • If an adoption application, email the applicant copying with an email as follows – don’t include a specific dog name because that dog may not be available: "Congratulations, your adoption application submitted to Waggytail Rescue has been approved. Someone from operations will be in touch about next steps and being connected with the foster to meet the pup. If the meet-and-greet goes well, we will share information about moving forward with the adoption."

  • If a foster application, email the applicant copying with an email like: "Congratulations, you are approved to foster from Waggytail Rescue. Someone from operations will be in touch with you about next steps."



  • Try and complete the above within 24 hours of receiving the application.  If you cannot, that is OK, let us know- stay in touch.  Things move fast in dog rescue and we try to fulfill an application for a specific dog as soon as submitted.

  • It’s okay if you don’t know anything about the dog they are applying for – your role is to make sure they are responsible dog owners/fosters.

  • You can use your personal email, but if you want to use email address, contact Ami to get setup.

  • Ask a lot of questions to Waggy operations if there is anything you are unsure about.  Better safe than sorry.

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