Scheduling Vetting

Identifying the Location

The first step in setting up a vetting is selecting a good location. You should be somewhat familiar with your area, and most handlers you will be working with should be within a moderate radius of your home. You can use Google Maps or your memory, but try to find a location roughly half-way between you and the handler, or somewhat close to the handler. The location should be an open public space that is pet friendly.

 

Dog parks are one of the preferred locations, as it’s a public space a handler will feel fairly comfortable meeting a stranger, and it has a suitable amount of distractions that will help you get a good read on the pet in stressful situations. Other public parks are also suitable, but not letting the pet off leash makes it less likely you will see any negative behaviors. The most important aspect of the location is that you are able to properly test the pet, so keep that in mind when selecting a location.

 

It is also important to consider the prospective handler when deciding. Make sure that you are making it as easy as possible to join. If the handler is familiar with a specific location, verify its safety and give it some consideration. Make sure you keep the tone conversational and friendly when making your suggestion, and allow them to respond. As long as your respect the handler's needs as well as your own, the process should become smooth and enjoyable for both of you.

Agreeing on a Time

In your chats with the prospective handler thus far, you should have some inclination of their schedule or know it outright. If you do not, ask for what their availability they have for the next few days to week. Make sure that you pay attention to any time windows that they have. Compare this to your own and find one or two days in which you are available, including the time of the day. Its important to never offer more than two different options at a time, even if its two different times on the same day. It keeps you in control of the meeting time and makes sure that the time selected will always work for you, while letting the handler feel that they have control.

 

The time during the day should have been discussed and selected at the same time as the date. There are a few things that should be paid attention to in this area.

  • Do not offer times after dark. This is for your safety as well as to ensure the handler feels safe.

  • Keep in mind travel times, both for you and the handler. Its recommended to choose a time 15-30 minutes after the beginning of their window and before its end.

  • It's advisable that you arrive slightly early so that your pet can calm down before the vetting. You'll be able to observe their pet's behavior more clearly this way.

  • Try not to meet after rush hour has begun if possible. Travel time can add over an hour to a vetting depending on the distance and the traffic.

 

The process of identifying the date and time to meet can be done in any manner, so consider using the preferred method of contact.

Formal Invitation

The formal invitation must be done using a method that leaves a "paper trail", so Calendarwiz or an email will be required for further steps.

 

For steps to use Calendarwiz, note the guide here.

 

When giving the formal invitation, the most important detail to be included is the date and time you have decided on. The other information and details that need to be included:

  • A description of what you'll be wearing or a brief description of you and your pet's appearance.

  • A suggestion to bring necessary documents in person. These can be submitted electronically, though receiving them in person can speed the process.

    • Driver's License

    • Auto Insurance (if they own a vehicle)

    • Car Registration (if they own a vehicle)

    • Vaccination Records

  • Request that they bring a favorite toy and treats to the vetting.

  • If they do not see you when they arrive, request that they call you.

 

Its important to be clear with the what you need and what they can expect. Canned Messages are a good place to start, though depending on your relationship and their personality making a custom message for them is acceptable.

Materials and Preparation

There are many things that you will need to bring to the visit that will either be used in the vetting or be a consideration to the handler and their pet. There are also some actions that you will need to take before the vetting begins. Some things are necessary, others conditional or recommended. Make sure that you do the necessary actions and consider the others, as they are only mentioned because they improve the experience and have proven beneficial to other Territory Managers.

 

Necessary Actions the Day Before (>24 hours):

  • Message the handler to confirm the visit again

  • Check the weather report. If there is severe weather or rain, you may want to reschedule.

  •  Ensure that the public space you have selected is not temporarily closed. Closures of parks and dog parks can happen for a variety of reasons, such as weather, renovations, or seasonal reasons.

Conditional Preparations:

  • Set aside any additional documents needed for the visit

Recommended Preparations:

  • Note the vetting in your personal calendar or an alternate calendar to ensure you get an alert

  • Set aside additional Paws-to-Share goods and advertisements for the vetting, as it is good time for handler outreach.