Candy and Susie
Adopting a dog.
Organisations that rehome all breeds of dogs, both cross-bred and pure-bred,
are listed on these pages by region. Most of them have will have kennels
or centres that can be visited most days of the week including weekends
but a few may need an appointment.
Although the larger organisations are well known, there are also many
smaller organisations, often operated on a very small budget but still
doing a wonderful job. The best rescues will all offer ongoing advice
after you adopt a dog from them.
In addition, about 700 contacts for breed-rescues
are listed, each specialising in a single breed of dog and these are listed
alphabetically by breed. In most cases these rescues will not have dedicated
kennels so that dogs waiting to be rehomed may stay either in a foster
home or be rehomed directly from the previous owner. Many breed-rescues
are run in association with a breed club.
What sort of dog?
Every dog you see at a rescue centre should have been assessed to determine
the type of home the dog will need.
From the many sorts of dogs available it's important to choose a companion
that will match your particular lifestyle. Though no dog should be left
for more than a few hours, an older dog might be slightly more tolerant.
Young dogs usually require more attention and a puppy will need constant
attention for feeding, toileting and training throughout the day.
Although a few puppies do require rehoming most dogs, like Sam pictured
right, will be from six months upwards.
Being intelligent animals all dogs require the mental stimulation of exercise
beyond their own home and you should be realistic about the amount you
can provide. Lack of proper exercise can lead to behavioural problems.
Larger dogs will not always require more exercise than smaller dogs, but
they do need more space and the rescue organisation will be able to advise
All dogs need regular grooming and some breeds may require regular professional
attention that needs to be budgeted for.
A dog will be your responsibility for many years and may live for 15 years or
more. They should never be bought for children whose interests may quickly change
as they grow up.
So then what happens?
The aim of every dog-rescue and rehoming organisation is to find a loving home
where the dog will remain for the rest of it's life. Their homing procedure will
usually involve a short questionnaire and most will arrange to call on you at
home to verify your address and to advise on the suitability of fencing etc.
A good rehoming centre will try to ensure that your new dog is compatible with
your children and any dogs or other pets you already have. Some may have a lower
age limit for children.
The costs of rehoming including kennelling and veterinary care are high and most
organisations will ask for a contribution from you of between perhaps £70
and £120 when adopting a dog. This will often include providing an ID chip,
inoculation and neutering or a voucher for neutering.
If you need to rehome your own dog.
If for any reason you are unable to continue looking after your dog try
to get advice as soon as possible. If rehoming is necessary you should
contact one of the agencies listed and in most cases they will be able
to offer more general advice if that's needed.
It's important to choose an organisation with a good reputation. You need
to ensure that the one you choose has the necessary skill and experience
to rehome successfully and that you understand their rehoming policies.
You should know how and where your dog will be kept and what happens if
the initial rehoming isn't successful.
Well-run agencies will usually carry out a home-check and be able to
give ongoing assistance to a new owner. They should only allow a dog to
be rehomed within their catchment area. A dog should never be rehomed
outside of the UK as due to our quarantine laws, even after recent changes,
it may be impossible to help if problems arise.
If your dog has severe behavioural problems, particularly of aggression
towards people, it could be very difficult to rehome. A few organisations
undertake never to destroy dogs even when it is not possible to rehome
them. If this is the case you should satisfy yourself that they have the
resources and facilities to care for a dog if they are unable to rehome