Shelter Manager
Posted May 14, 2018 at 12:53 PM Under "Adoptions & Adoption Programs"
Asking for identification

Hi all!

Our organization is looking into possibly asking for identication for ALL adoptions. Such as drivers license or a state issued I.D. The concerns surrounding this is that we want to make the adoption process go as smooth as possible for adopters and adding that tiny extra step may cause a barrier. We do, however, currently ask for identification if we belive the adopters are not at least 18 years of age and if we have any other type of suspicions. I would like feedback of the pros and cons so I can present this to my leadership team. Do other shelters ask for identification for ALL adoptions? Is this appropriate? And of course are their any organizations who currently use the system we have and only ask for suspicion purposes? All feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

  • Scott PRC Tampa    June 07, 2018 at 05:29 AM

    We have always asked for drivers license or state id. Most people have no issue at all giving it to us and as you integrate it into your process it really doesn't delay anything. Being a government agency we actually take a scan of the license and keep it in a data base and even that only has about a dozen people per month (out of over 1000 adopters) that question why we are keeping copies of the id.

  • Kitten Division Adoption Center    June 03, 2018 at 07:57 PM

    We require photo ID for all intakes and adoptions, a copy is made and stays with the animals paperwork.

  • PetsConnectKat    May 29, 2018 at 08:26 AM

    We check a picture ID prior to adoption. We didn't use to, but we had one incident of someone pretending to be someone else in order to adopt a dog. Sigh...

    We do not make copies or write down a DLN. Just check the ID briefly.

    I would not, however, deny an adoption over it, if I thought there was a good reason why that person didn't have photo ID with them. For us it was just a case of one bad apple ruining the whole barrel.

    On the other hand, if someone is surrendering an animal to us, we not only require to see picture ID but we do write down the DLN...because if there were ever a question of whether that person really had ownership of the animal, we need to cover our butts legally. Luckily we don't deal often in owner surrenders, being a small rescue we just pull from the overcrowded local shelters and let them deal with the question of ownership. This was also borne of one bad apple...locally there have been maybe one or two instances of rescues or shelters placing animals they didn't have legal ownership of. So it's C-Y-A.

    • Amanda    May 29, 2018 at 03:03 PM

      Great info! Thank you so much~

  • Ruby2057    May 25, 2018 at 09:37 AM

    Hi Amanda!

    I just became a foster mom of a tiny kitten yesterday, after our local shelter (Charleston Animal Society) received 40 kittens and moms the day before. They didn't take/copy my ID but, on the application paperwork, it did request my driver's license number. I didn't hesitate to enter it, as I felt it was an appropriate request, so I'm not sure how they would've handle it if I hadn't entered it.

    I think you should ask to see everyone's ID to confirm their address, name & age. My son is almost 17 and he looks to be in his early 20's! The majority of his similarly-aged friends also look over 18. Also, when I was in my 20's, my best friend (who is almost a year older than me), looked like she was in her late teens, and her meek, soft voice made her sound even younger! She got offended numerous times when she was ID'd, but I wasn't, and she's older! It's safer to ask EVERYONE for their ID but if someone has an extenuating circumstance, you can handle on a case by case basis!

    Best of luck to you!

  • phack    May 25, 2018 at 08:10 AM

    We do ask for a state issue ID with photo, we do not make a copy.

  • Magswagsnpurrs    May 24, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    Im an aixiliary volunteer with an open intake IL county shelter; we require state identification and all adoption applications are vetted for age, home ownership, rental approval, past animal history...

  • Donna    May 23, 2018 at 01:12 PM

    We require a state issued photo ID for all adoptions.

  • opsdirector    May 21, 2018 at 01:06 PM

    We ask for photo ID, but are flexible.

  • Karen Green    May 21, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    We don't require ID and haven't felt compelled to add that requirement. Other than confirming that someone is 18 or over (for people who appear perhaps not to be), it doesn't seem like it will really add much value to see ID of adopters, but it would add an extra administrative step, and in some cases, it's going to be a hassle (someone isn't going to have ID on them, and that doesn't mean they wouldn't be a good adopter!).

  • SSAS    May 20, 2018 at 02:12 PM

    It's more than reasonable to ask for ID before handing over a life, especially in cases where no homechecks have been done, so it's the only way you know who the people are and where the dog/cat is going. We are their advocates and we need to do what we can to try to ensure they will be safe/going to responsible adopters.

  • CorinneM    May 18, 2018 at 12:02 PM

    We used to keep a copy of an ID with the adoption paperwork. Then our COB said it was a violation of privacy and so now we can ask to see and ID, but cannot make a copy of it. We do feel better knowing that an adopter does have a valid ID. We never have had any problems asking for an ID, people seem to just accept it as a part of the process.

    • Amanda    May 21, 2018 at 03:02 PM

      Thank you!

  • JudyH    May 14, 2018 at 01:08 PM

    I volunteer for a small shelter. Yes, we require ID. We have never had this be a barrier but it is helpful to determine that they are old enough to adopt.

    • Amanda    May 17, 2018 at 03:31 PM

      Thank you Judy!



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