Legalese – Having the appropriate legal language is the most important part of the form. You need to ensure you are clear with the owner that they are giving up all legal rights to the animal and that your organization has full control over what happens up to and including euthanization. Avoiding clarity leaves room for the owner to challenge the document in the future. Be sure to consult with an attorney if you have questions regarding your specific state or local laws.
Background – Depending on the situation, take the time to ask for appropriate background on the animal including their health history, likes/dislikes, temperament, etc. Try and involve the owner in providing information that will help another potential adopter. What activities does the animal like? What type of food does the animal typically receive? How active is the animal? These items will help you develop the adoption profile.
Donation – Use this opportunity to solicit a donation from the owner. Either a mandatory or suggested one for the costs you will incur to ensure the animal is healthy and ready to be re-homed.
We’ve attached some good examples of simple and more extensive forms for your convenience below.