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Review for A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation, Inc., Chantilly, VA, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

Recently, my husband and I decided that it is time for our family to get a dog, so we began looking for a puppy that could grow old with our children. I spent weeks searching rescues and researching breeds. I found 6 puppies at A Forever Home that I was interested in, and all 6 were going to be at an adoption event on Sunday 8/6. I took my 7-year-old twins to the event and told them that we’d know if we found a puppy we couldn’t live without. Well, we fell in love with a puppy named Faye, filled out an adoption application and had our on-the-spot interview. I was told that the next step was a home visit which was a formality to ensure that we’re not “running a puppy mill or having dog fights in the backyard.” Faye was given a collar with our name on it. My children were told that we could rename Faye and that they should start thinking of what her new name would be. Confident that the home visit would go well, we were told that we’d attend a briefing on 8/13 where we’d sign the contract, pay the adoption fee, and take Faye home.

Filled with excitement, we were at the adoption event for 2 hours after we knew that Faye was “our puppy.” We held her and took pictures with her. Although my husband had taken an early cross-country flight that morning, he came to meet Faye so he could share our excitement during the week while we waited for her. When Faye was loaded into a car at the end of the event, we were taken to her so that we could say bye. She whimpered when we left. We spent the rest of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday getting ready for Faye and our home visit. We chose a new name for her. By Wednesday evening 8/9, we had not yet been contacted about our home visit. I sent an email to A Forever Home to let them know and provided my contact info. No response. On Friday morning 8/10, I noticed that someone was uploading photos to the Facebook page, so I sent a message saying that I hadn’t heard anything. That person (Maribel) gave me her email so I could message my info to her directly and said she’d look into it. Two hours later, I received a generic email from the Board of Directors denying my adoption application. I replied to that email and sent another to Maribel requesting clarification for what I could only see as a mistake. My husband left a message on the rescue’s voicemail as well. No response. Friday evening, I noticed someone on Facebook again so I messaged, concerned that I hadn’t received any responses. I was told to direct all inquiries to the info@ address, so I sent another email at 6:30pm. No response. I left a pleading message on the rescue’s voicemail Saturday afternoon, hoping that somehow we might still be able to get Faye on Sunday 8/13. I sent one final email on Tuesday 8/15. Again…no response.

It’s now Wednesday 8/16, and we are extremely hurt. Even more so, we are confused. We are confused by the denial with no explanation. We are confused by the denial with no home visit and no further communication. We are confused as to why we (especially my children) were given so much hope and were allowed to bond with a puppy and told to name her, only to be crushed.

I had initially been so impressed with A Forever Home. The website and Facebook page are great—filled with photos and information. The adoption event was organized and well run. But somewhere after the event, the level of professionalism previously exhibited was lost. We are left with a crate, food and toys for a puppy that we didn’t bring home. We are left with unanswered questions while at the same time trying to find answers to give our children. While I typically would not write a negative review, our experience has been nothing short of heartbreaking. I can only hope to spare another family the same experience.

Role:  General Member of the Public

libbymeurer - thanks for your review, even though it's not the kind we like to receive! We apologize that you didn't have a positive experience with AFH. There are several things that played into your experience: - The week you applied, several of our key members were away (not a justification - just an explanation) - The interviewers (and everyone else at the adoption event) are volunteers and don't always relay the correct information or set appropriate expectations. Clearly, we need to work on this. - When applications are denied, we don't typically reveal the reason. We recognize that this often causes confusion for the prospective adopters. It is a policy that many other rescues also employ. Again, we apologize we didn't live up to your expectations. We will strive to improve our adopter interactions.