On 20 July 2018 we brought our first Russian rescue dog into the UK – a dog called Marsha. This event marked the beginning of a small but meaningful programme for us. It gives some rescued Russian dogs a chance of finding a happy forever home. A chance they would otherwise never have.
As of June 2020 we have found loving homes for over 80 beautiful dogs and some cats.
Why do we do it?
Because they deserve it, because it is their only chance to have a good life and because these animals are the best ambassadors for our work. These dogs prove better than any words can what wonderful companions, friends and family members they can be given the chance. And why it is our responsibility to help them.
We work with a small number of partner shelters and rescue groups in Russia.
We select dogs for rehoming only from them. This makes the process reliable and manageable which is important for our small charity.
Sometimes we get involved in a dog’s life from the moment the dog is found and requires rescuing. Sometimes, we step in later when the dog has already been rescued.
We select dogs who we believe would be relatively easy to rehome in the UK as we cannot afford for the dogs to “get stuck” here. This means that we usually select young and medium sized dogs with a clean bill of health.
This does not mean that we do not help other dogs or cats. We do. Please see information on our programmes.
All the dogs who might come to the UK go through medical checks and are assessed by us to ensure their temperament is suitable for adoption.
If there are any known historic health issues (injuries, dietary issue etc), we obtain advice from our partner-vets in Russia and in the UK and decide on the dog’s chances of adoption in the UK. We fully inform prospective adopters of the dog’s situation.
All the dogs coming to the UK are microchipped, fully vaccinated and neutered (if they are old enough for that).
We try to arrange for the dogs to be placed in our partner foster homes in Russia for a minimum of 2 – 4 weeks before travel to the UK to help them adapt to living in a home and socialise.
Depending on the circumstances, the dogs travel either by road (in a van duly certified for animal transportation and with an experienced driver) or by air.
Once the dogs have arrived in the UK, they go into our foster homes where they recover from the journey and adjust to the new surroundings. We assess them again and decide on an individual rehoming plan.
Some dogs are ready to be put up for adoption quickly, ie within a week of arriving to the UK. Some need time to adapt and require training which means they are put up for adoption later. This may take several weeks.
Once all the dogs have been rehomed, we arrange for the transportation of the next group.
We only advertise those dogs for adoption who are already in the UK. This means that we do not accept enquiries/applications in respect of our dogs who are still in Russia, even if we publish stories about their rescue or treatment.
We do not respond to enquiries/applications for our dogs who are already in the UK but have not been advertised by us for adoption. This is because we do not have the resources to manage such communications.
We do not respond to enquiries from someone who wants us to find/match a dog for them to adopt. We simply do not have the resources for that.
We advertise our dogs for adoption on a number of platforms in addition to our social sites.
We decide how best to advertise a particular dog for rehoming. This means that not all our dogs will be advertised through our social sites.
When we advertise a dog for adoption, the dog’s profile sets out basic factual information about the dog as well as the type of home the dog needs. Please read both of these carefully.
If you are interested in a dog who has been advertised and you can provide the type of home that the dog needs, please check our adoption policy.
If you believe you meet our requirements, please contact us using the contact details provided in the advert. Our Rehoming Coordinator will then get in touch with you and provide you with our adoption application form.
We typically process adoption applications within a week of receiving them.
If we believe there is a realistic prospect of you being a good match for the dog, we will be in touch. The next steps usually involve a telephone conversation by an audio or video link and then, if all is well, a viewing.
Depending on the dog’s needs, there may be more than one viewing.
All adoptions are subject to a successful home check usually carried out in person or by way of a video-link/video materials.
Viewings take place at the relevant fosterer’s home or in their gardens or in a public place nearby (ie a quiet park etc), as appropriate. Our fosterers are located in Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and London.
If you have not heard from us within a week of applying to us, then this means that we do not believe you are a suitable match for this dog. There may be a number of reasons for that.
Sometimes, people just do not read our adoption policy and our adverts properly and apply for a dog who is not suitable for them. Sometimes, they may be a very strong candidate, but we have taken a view that another candidate would be better. As much as we would like to provide feedback to all applicants on their applications, unfortunately, we simply do not have the resources for this.
To finalise the adoption, you will need to sign our adoption agreement which we will provide when we get to this stage. It is fairly standard.
We will provide advice on how to prepare for the arrival of your new pet.
We also provide post-adoption support. One of our experienced team members will assist you with any issues concerning the dog’s transition into your home or ongoing training. This does not take away your responsibility as the primary carer to make the adoption work.
If despite your efforts and our support you would like to return the dog, we will of course take the dog back. However, this may not be immediate.
We ask you to make a voluntary adoption donation when you adopt a dog from us. This will help us continue with our Rehoming Programme.
We will provide you with your new pet’s vaccination card which records its age, microchip number, current vaccinations and anti-parasite treatments.
Once you have adopted a dog, we usually allow a settling in period of 1 week. We ask you to keep in touch with us during this week to let us know how your new pet is getting on and whether there is anything we could help with.
If all is well after the first week, we apply to Petlog for the registration of the dog’s microchip in your name. This completes the adoption process!
Our primary duty of care is to our dogs. We also have a responsibility to ensure that members of the public and other animals our dogs come across stay safe. Our adoption decisions are based on these two principles.
We focus on finding a suitable match between the dog’s needs and people’s experiences, abilities and lifestyle expectations. Not every good family or home is a suitable home for the dog they are interested in.
We obtain full information about the prospective owners through our adoption application form and pre-adoption interview. We also provide as much information as we can about the dog’s history.
We do not rehome unneutered dogs unless it is a puppy and it is in the puppy’s interest to be neutered later.
We do not rehome to people who have unneutered pets.
We usually rehome our dogs in South East counties only to homes no more than an hour’s drive from the dog’s foster home. We simply do not have resources to cover longer distances and comply with our adoption procedure.
We do not rehome to families with children under the age of 6 unless there are exceptional circumstances. This is because there is a risk of a stressful situation for a dog resulting in your child or their friends being scratched, nipped or scared.
We do rehome dogs to families with older children. However, not all our dogs are suitable for this. We assess what is appropriate on a case by case basis.
We are prepared to consider applicants who rent rather than own their property. However, we need to ensure that the dog’s adoption is for the duration of their live, not for the duration of the lease.
We do not rehome into homes where gardens are not secure. If a garden is not secure but can be made secure, we make recommendations on how it should be made secure before the dog can be rehomed.
We do rehome our dogs as a second dog in the home, but only if we believe they would benefit from having a canine companion and it is a good match.
We do rehome our dogs to homes with cats, but only if we believe they can get along.
We will consider applicants who live in a flat with or without a garden, but only if we believe a dog is suitable for that and will be walked sufficiently.
We do not rehome to people who cannot afford the cost of looking after a dog (for example, making a garden secure, everyday care, a provision for holidays, insurance, emergencies). This is because we want to ensure that adoption is sustainable long-term.
We do not rehome to a household where all adults work full-time UNLESS there are suitable and sustainable long-term arrangements made (for example, working from home or the adults work in shift patterns with little overlap etc). This is because most of our dogs require or would benefit from regular attention and might get unhappy, destructive if left alone for long.
We do not rehome during the firework season or during Christmas season (too much stress for the dogs).
We do rehome to first-time dog owners, but only if the dog is relatively low-maintenance dogs in terms of their behavioural and other needs.