How to do PAW Vet Checks (VCs)
Have applicant name, address, phone and pet info ready, and call each vet listed.
- What past & current animals has the applicants had? (Sometimes applicants don't list pets they don't want us to know about).
- Ask for records as far back as the vet has them. Some vets discard records after just 3 years, especially for deceased pets -- if so, note this.
- When did the person first bring each animal to the vet?
- How old was the animal when first seen by that vet? (If they first visited only recently and the pet was not a baby, we'd need to ask the applicant for vets seen prior.)
- Do the charts note they visited any other vets (i.e., an emergency clinic)? (In some cases, we would follow up on that.)
- Were all pets spayed/neutered?
- Were vaccinations given on time year to year (at least for the last 3 years).
- For CATS: rabies and distemper.
- For CATS: was each cat screened for feline leukemia and feline AIDS?
Was the cat declawed?
(While not necessarily declining applicants with declawed cats, PAW believes
the practice inhumane and adopters are prohibited from declawing PAW animals.)
- For DOGS: the minimum shots that must be kept up-to-date are: Rabies (given annually or every 3 years), annual DHLPP (distemper & parvo).
- For DOGS: HW (heartworm) preventative given year-round, with tests every
year or two as recommended by the vet.
- Did the person refuse recommended treatment or disregard a vet's advice?
- For DECEASED pets: what did they die of, when, and how old were they?
(And did the vet records match what the applicant wrote on the application?)
Were the pets indoor or outdoor? Any indication of the pet getting loose or
being let loose? (PAW typically does not adopt to people who have outdoor
cats or dogs, or who let animals roam off-leash.)
- Note any additional info the vet provides.
Compiled by Robin Tierney - Last Updated 7 Dec 1999 CLI
- If an applicant had a questionable vet history, but in the last few years got on track, this is may be acceptable.
- Some vets aren't good at advising clients. For example, some vets don't
prescribe HW preventative year-round or at all, so if an applicant didn't
appear to buy HW pills for a dog, ask the vet: "what was indicated in your
chart? Did the vet recommend the person buy HW pills and the person
- For out-of-the-area VCs: many parts of the USA don't have a HW problem.
- Some vets don't keep good records...some vet assistants misread
charts...and sometimes otherwise good applicants neglect to list all vets or
a rabies clinic they visited. So when there's a gap (unless you're certain
the applicant gave poor care to prior/current pets): please call/email the
applicant to advise of the gaps, and ask if they saw another vet, attended a
rabies clinic, had the pet sterilized elsewhere, bought HW preventive from
another source. If they did, then ask for a contact name/# or have the
applicant fax you the receipts.