1. How much can we tell you about the dog you want to adopt?
Sometimes rescuers will know a dog's history and sometimes they won’t. However, we are very experienced in assessing a dog's personality and this will be described as accurately as possible but there are NO guarantees. Dogs do tend to blossom in a home situation.
2. Will your potential rescue dog be health checked?
Yes as far as possible. Our Romanian rescuer uses a very trustworthy vet and they have monitored the dog sometimes for months, sometimes for years.. But as with any dog there are NO guarantees. Street life is a hard life.
For an extra cost the dogs can be tested for vector borne diseases through a 4DX blood test.
3. Will a rescue dog be clean in the house?
Yes - if you train it! Some seem to know from the outset, others need to be shown. It is no different from having a new puppy.
4. How much does it cost to bring a dog over and what has to be done?
A dog has to be spayed or neutered first and foremost if it has not been done already. Vaccinations, worming, flea treatments and an international pet passport are included in the adoption fee of £100.
For an extra cost a 4DX blood test can be done to test for blood parasites.
Transport to the UK varies from £150 to £250 depending on where you live. e.g. Dover is £150, Manchester is £210. We use Pet Kudos Transport for our dogs, who are very efficient, caring, and run the DEFRA approved Traces scheme, which means the dogs omit the two days in kennels and do quarantine for two days within your house and garden. DEFRA may arrange to visit you to check all the details of the dog are correct.
5. What should I expect from my rescue dog to start with?
There's not any one answer to this. The first days the dog needs to have some quiet time in a quiet space. 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 traumatic. Within a week though, it 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.
6. Can I let my dog off a lead out walking?
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. If you don’t wish to use a harness, a slip lead should be used. 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.
7. Will I need to change anything in my house?
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. Walking with a harness is the most secure way of exercising as a harness cannot be slipped. If you don’t wish to use a harness a slip lead should be used.
Some people use a child gate in the house to confine a dog to the kitchen, or stop it going upstairs. This can help some dogs initially but it's good for a rescue dog to have a quiet place to retreat to. It is 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.
8. How do I change the Microchip details?
This is very important. The details should be changed immediately through Petlog. You will need to have your pet’s Microchip number which will be in the Pet Passport.
9. Will my dog know its name?
No, the name is purely to help the shelter. If you don’t like the name, a dog will usually learn it’s new name within 2-3 days or less! Try not to pick more than two syllables though.
Suggested books to read
The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell