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Adopting with pets

Robshaw February 5, 2021 19:15

Hello everyone,

We are just starting our journey into adoption and looking specifically at foster to adopt.

We currently have two house bunnies that live in our living room. They are calm and very well trained but we are slightly worried that this will become an issue due to the fact that they live inside.

Does anyone have any experience or advice they can give us on how best to approach this with our SW? Part of me feels like it won't necessarily be a problem as they are so well trained but I understand that there could be dangers with a LO about.

Edited 17/02/2021
Jacobs February 5, 2021 20:18


Whilst we don’t have bunnies, we have a dog. He was 3.5yrs old when our 1st adopted child moved in at 8months old. They are now 6.5 & 3.5yrs old.

Bailey was assessed by the social-workers, he is house-trained, sleeps on a crate in the kitchen, eats & drinks in the kitchen, toilets outside. We also used stair gates to keep him out of rooms if necessary (for example, if the front door bell goes, we can close him in the lounge, or we can keep him downstairs).

We had also done lots of training around children - we walked past schools at finishing time, let friends’ children stroke him, etc, so he was used to being around children.

As soon as our son moved on, Bailey has wanted to be by his side every day. When he is at Nursery, Bailey catches up on his sleep!! But they want to be in the same room. If I put my son in time-out, Bailey joins him. They have a lovely relationship.

Hope that helps. Good luck! 😊

Edited 17/02/2021
Donatella February 7, 2021 10:30

We’ve always had dogs so my three children all arrived when we had ours so they grew together.

It can depend on a child’s age and lived experiences at placement. Foster to adopt doesn’t always mean babies so a child can be older. Children can be jealous of pets, can be cruel - I’ve friends who’ve had to rehome pets because they weren’t safe - so bear that in mind and make sure you have strategies in place if required.

Edited 17/02/2021
Safia February 11, 2021 08:47

We’ve always had cats - and had two during assessment and placement and I don’t remember them being mentioned. They were very therapeutic for my daughter - though she did treat them very roughly and would suddenly throw them down when she’d had enough if she was holding them. She would chase them sometimes and once threw a tin of powder over one and on another occasion hit him with the phone. Cats are very good at keeping out of the way as long as it’s possible to do this and our second cat did this. However the first cat was very fond of her and could see beyond her behaviours in some way. When he had to be put down when she was about 12 she came with me at her own suggestion and was able to stroke him and comfort him through the process. She loves cats - more than people she says - and was volunteering at an RSPCA cat centre until recently. Pets can be a real blessing - just think about how you can protect them (and therefore the children too as they may bite if upset) and how they can hide themselves away if they want to.

Edited 17/02/2021
amyandluci September 6, 2021 17:12

Hello. Is anyone able to give me a low down on the assessment they would do on dogs please? Thank you.

Mairi September 7, 2021 09:09

We are a month away from matching panel, and we have lots of animals: two dogs, two cats, a house rabbit, and chickens and ducks outside. The only pets the social workers were interested in was the dogs, and we had to fill out a questionnaire and they observed their behaviours, and made some suggestions on what to practice. Our social worker made the case that the animals we have are a big part of our live - we're smallholders, so caring for animals and vegetables and stuff is a big part of our lives - and that it would suit some children particularly. One of the videos we got from the fosters parents of the child we're about to go to panel with was her meeting a friend's chickens and cats, and observing their behaviour and feeding them and so on. But we live in a part of the country where this way of living is fairly common. From what I recall, with the dogs they were concerned about being too boisterous, not jumping up on tables/work surfaces, and how they react to children and visitors. We have a dalmatian and a bearded collie, both of whom are energetic, but also cheerful, and I think this went some way to allay their concerns.


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