WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN ADOPTERS?

We have no set criteria about what makes a good or bad adopter, unlike most rescues. This means that it takes longer to process applications – as we judge each home on an individual basis not on arbitrary rules such as fence height. We do ask that dogs are left for no more than 4 hours but if you work full time you can pay a dog walker or have friends/family come and check on the dog during the day and that’s fine.

Many of our dogs are fine with children, it will say so on their album if they are. However, if you have kids and/or a busy lifestyle we will need to make sure that you do have enough time to give to your rescue dog as they need a lot of attention and training!

Mostly what we look for is adopters who are kind, loving, patient but also able to be firm if needed and set boundaries for the dogs – they need structure as much as they need a cuddle to be healthy and balanced.  We also need to make sure that you are financially stable enough to give a dog a good quality of life.

 

HOW MUCH CAN WE TELL YOU ABOUT THE DOG?

Sometimes rescuers will know a dog’s history and sometimes they won’t. Most of the Spanish dogs will have lived in homes previously, most of the Romanians will have been street dogs.  We are very experienced in assessing a dog’s personality and this will be described as accurately as possible to you but there are NO guarantees.  Dogs do tend to blossom in a home situation, but all our dogs will need time, patience, training and commitment to reach their full potential. We do our very best to give the friendliest, most adoptable dogs the best chance possible of finding good forever homes. 

We try to ensure that adopters see a video of their chosen dog before adopting so that they can see their personality and temperament.

 

WILL MY DOG BE HEALTH CHECKED?

Yes, as far as possible. Our Romanian and Spanish rescuers use very trustworthy vet and they have monitored the dog sometimes for months, sometimes for years. They are vaccinated against EU diseases such as Rabies and certain parasites, as well as the usual UK vaccinations. Many have blood tests for diseases such as heartworm. They are vet checked when rescued and again before travel, and treated for existing conditions before they can be adopted. They are dewormed and deflead within 48hrs of travel. When they arrive in the country they must have thorough medical details that have been signed by an approved vet before they are allowed to go to their new homes. They are checked by a vet at the border and also by DEFRA. However, as with any dog there are NO guarantees that they won’t develop something later in life. Street life is tough on the poor creatures.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO ADOPT?

Typically the adoption process will take 2-4 weeks. You have to fill out a pre adoption questionnaire for the dog that you’d like to adopt, then have a phone conversation with a member of our team to discuss any questions you may have, then we organise a home check and finally arrange transport or a meeting if the dog is in UK foster.

 

WILL A RESCUE DOG BE CLEAN IN THE HOUSE?

Yes – if you train him/her! Some seem to know from the outset, others need to be shown. It is no different from having a new puppy. Most of our dogs haven’t lived in homes for very long (only a few weeks before they travel usually) so you need to be prepared to house train them. We offer full training/behavioural support for our dogs and have a lot of experience in this area so you can contact us any time about it. However, if you are terrified that the dog may pee or poo in the house then unfortunately our dogs aren’t for you.

 

HOW MUCH IS THE ADOPTION FEE?

There are different adoption fees, to reflect where the dogs have come from.

A non-refundable deposit of £100 is required to secure your dog once your initial phone call is complete. If the home check doesn’t pass this is refunded.

Romania: £250

* Vaccinations against UK diseases

* Vaccinations against EU diseases

* Internal/external parasite treatment (including fleas/worms/ticks)

* Spay/neuter (if old enough)

* Minimum 2 vet checks

* International pet passport and TRACES documentation so that the dog is able to travel without quarantine

* Microchipping (you must change the microchip to your own details once the dog arrives – call Anibase or PetLog to do this)

* Transport to the UK to a designated kennel in England (or door-door depending on transporter).

Spain: £325 

* Vaccinations against UK diseases

* Vaccinations against EU diseases

* Internal/external parasite treatment (including fleas/worms/ticks)

* Spay/neuter (if old enough)

* Minimum 2 vet checks

* Important blood test work to make sure the dogs are free from parasitic diseases (4dx snap test)

* International pet passport and TRACES documentation so that the dog is able to travel without quarantine

* Microchipping (you must change the microchip to your own details once the dog arrives)

* Transport from Southern Spain straight to your door. Extra charges will be quoted for Scotland.

 

HOW DOES TRANSPORT WORK?

Transport to the UK takes 2-3 days. We use different transporters so each dog is slightly different – for most we try as much as possible to arrange for the dog to be delivered straight to your home. The Romanian dogs will be delivered to your door on a Sunday,  the Spanish dogs will be delivered to your door on a Saturday or Sunday.  We use transporters who are very efficient, caring, and come over on the DEFRA approved TRACES scheme. If Romanian, the dogs spend two days in kennels before being collected, if Spanish they will go straight to your home but either way within the first 2 days a member of DEFRA will come to your house and check the dog and his/her documentation.

 

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM MY RESCUE DOG?

There’s not any one answer to this.

For most of them this will be their first time in a house. Some feel quite at home within a matter of hours but for some the first two days can be quite difficult.  You want to treat them like any normal, balanced dog – people often make a mistake with rescues where they alllow them to get away with too much and then the dogs become difficult. Set boundaries and rules from the beginning, be equal parts loving and firm so they get used to the rules of the house, show them exactly what you want and don’t want. Within a week, they should seem like a different dog! 

Many younger dogs seem to experience a real puppy phase. This is where equal mixtures of patience, stimulation and consistency come in.  A dog is an addition to the family. Give them time and give them your heart and you’ll be rewarded hundreds of times over!

Rescue dogs may take up to 6 months to fully bond with their new adopters and fully settle, please be aware of this before deciding to adopt. We ask that you allow a 2 week settling in period for the dog to adjust, during this time we will not rehome the dog except in extreme circumstances.

Please see our adoption sheet for hints and tips about what to do when your dog arrives. You can always contact us for advice, we offer training/behavioural advice as part of our adoption package.

 

CAN I LET MY DOG OFF LEAD?

Yes, eventually, if you put time and effort into recall training. We can provide help and advice for this.

Your dog has to stay in the house for two days when it first arrives.  If you dog is very timid and scared please invest in dog a harness as this is the most secure way of exercising as a harness cannot be slipped.  Alternatively, you can use a double leash for the first week or so – a slip lead and a normal clip lead. Some dogs are fine and when in a safe place, can be let off the lead without a problem. But please make sure they have bonded with you and come when called before letting them off, and don’t take any risks.  If you are with another dog who is off the lead, they will tend to copy them. YOU MUST USE A LONG TRAINING LEAD THAT TRAILS ON THE FLOOR FOR THE FIRST TWO WEEKS BEFORE LETTING THEM OFF LEAD COMPLETELY. These can be purchased cheaply, they are leads which trail on the floor so can be grabbed if needed.

STREET DOGS ARE KNOWN ESCAPE ARTISTS AND ROAMERS SO BE PREPARED FOR THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOUR DOG WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GO OFF LEAD.

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO MY HOUSE TO BE READY?

Asides from checking suitability as a rescue home, a home check will also check that you have a secure garden, this is essential. Rescue dogs can take time to understand boundaries. Fences need to be intact and high enough that they can’t jump over them. All holes need to be closed up! Use a double lead with one normal and one slip lead or a harness the first time you walk your dog. Make sure there are no hazards around your house – wires, poisonous plants etc.

Personally, I (Natasha) get a new foster dog introduced as soon as possible to all members of the household including the cats and spend time comforting them, giving tasty treats and letting them come round. I sleep with all foster dogs and cats on my bed or in the bedroom to help with bonding, but of course this isn’t a suitable option for every household so it’s definitely not a requirement. If you are not sleeping with the dog in your room, be prepared for him/her to take a few nights at least to settle down and get used to sleeping on their own.

Some people use a child gate in the house to confine a dog to the kitchen, or stop him/her going upstairs.  This can help some dogs initially but it’s good for a rescue dog to have a quiet place to retreat to. They have never been crate trained and are unlikely to like a crate, but if you wish to try it in one, you must make sure it is plenty big enough for it to move around in and get them used to it slowly for very short periods of time at first.

 

HOW DO I CHANGE MICROCHIP DETAILS?

This is very important. Go to www.checkachip.co.uk and type in your pet’s chip number, which will be in the Pet Passport. This tells you the database that your dog is registered with. Then, go to the database’s website (Anibase, Pettrac, PetLog) and CALL the company – do not fill out the form as it only recognises UK chips.

 

Suggested books to read

The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell

Pointers and Setters by Derry Argue (For Hunting Dogs)