Where do your dogs come from?
Nearly dogs come from local authority pounds, those dogs that have not been reclaimed by an owner after serving the statutory seven day period. The remainder are left to us as part of our SOS scheme to help dogs who’s owners have died. On occasions, should we have capacity we do take dogs from other charities but unfortunately we do not take unwanted dogs from the general public.
Where do they go?
Over half of our dogs go into normal domestic situations, bringing a little sunshine and joy to their owners lives. A percentage of the remaining dogs go into homes to specifically help people to become more active, healthier or to recover from illness. Each year a number are gifted for assistance dogs to families that need them and ocasionaly a dog goes to the service sector for training in scent or defense.
How do you make sure a dog is ready for rehoming?
When a dog is brought to us, it is because it was found as a stray, we make sure that they all receive essential healthcare and assessments before they are made available for rehoming. By finding out as much as we can about each dog, we are then able to provide as much information as possible about their likes and dislikes and their individual needs, to potential new homes.
Are the dogs checked by a vet before being rehomed?
All dogs are wormed, flea treated, and vaccinated at the home. All new arrivals are seen by our Vet on a Friday and are given a health check. If the animal requires any treatment for a health condition it will be started straight away. All animals are weighed on arrival and their weight is monitored throughout their stay. Diet is really important for dogs and we tailor the food to the individual’s need.
How do you assess the dogs behaviour?
Dogs are assessed for their reactions to other dogs, how they are around food or toys, what motivates them in training (i.e. food or toys), what commands they already know, how they travel in a car, whether their behaviour is the same off-site and how they are with a variety of people. Of course, it can be unsettling for a dog to be in a kennel environment so we may not see their true personality here, but we are able to advise on what we have seen.
They are assessed for how they enjoy interaction with people, how they like to play, whether they enjoy grooming and what their likes and dislikes are. We also assess for their ideal home – whether that would be with children or adults only, with other cats / pets. Although it is difficult to get a full understanding of their preferences we can get some ideas from our observations.
Will the dogs be trained before being rehomed?
When we assess the dog behaviour, we are looking for things we can work on to help them fit into a new home. We will work on a dog’s manners when walking on a lead and their recall for example. For shy dogs we will gradually introduce them to different people in different situations to help them to start to trust a variety of people. We use only positive reinforcement and will explain the training we have done so new owners are able to carry on with this once their pet is home.