Rehoming in the UK

Why we bring animals to the UK

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.

To date we have found loving homes for over 300 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 and cats 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.

  1. We work with a small number of partner shelters and rescue groups in Russia that we know well.
  2. We select dogs for rehoming only from them. This makes the process reliable and manageable which is important for our small charity.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. This does not mean that we do not help other dogs or cats. We do. Please see information on our programmes.
  6. 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.
  7. If there are any known historic health issues (injuries, dietary issues 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.
  8. All the dogs coming to the UK are microchipped, fully vaccinated and neutered (if they are old enough for that).
  9. We try to arrange for the dogs to be placed in our specialist home-based facility run by our dog trainer in Russia for a minimum of 1-2 months before their travel to the UK to help them adapt to living in a home, socialise and provide them with basic training.
  10. We transport our animals ourselves by road in our van which is fitted out to the highest animal welfare standards. We hold animal transportation and international haulage licences both in the UK and the EU.  We conduct several trips every years brining on average up to 20 animals in each trip.
  11. Please read our Adoption Procedure (below) to find out how our adoption process works.
  12. Once all or most of the dogs have been rehomed, we arrange for the transportation of the next group.

  1. We rehome our dogs and cats (collectively referred to as “animals”) in two ways. First, through public advertising on our social sites and on reputable advertising platforms for charities. Second, instead of advertising publicly we rehome through our contacts, such as to families who have previously adopted one of our animals or someone has been referred to us by our previous adopters or fosterers. We are proud to say that we have a few repeat adoptions, ie this is when a family has adopted an animals from us and has subsequently come back to us to adopt another animal.
  2. We do not have a system where you can request to register your interest with us either generally or in relation to a specific animals before they have become available for adoption. We simply do not have resources to manage such requests.
  3. The decision on how to rehome our animals is entirely within our discretion. It is based on our extensive experience and our knowledge of our animals and it also depends on our current circumstances. Our main objective and duty is to find the best available home for our animals and to do so efficiently.
  4. We carefully select animals for adoption in the UK. There are many animals at our shelter in Russia and we regularly rescue animals. However, not all of them are suitable for adoption in the UK.
  5. Once a group of our animals has arrived into the UK, we publish their photographs and basic information about them (their gender and age) on our website page “Our Animals in the UK/Recent Arrivals” – and we also announce their arrival on our social sites.
  6. We advertise some of our animals in advance of their arrival in the UK in an attempt to secure foster homes for them or foster with a view to adopt homes. We are always short of fosterers. Unless we have secured a foster home or a foster with a view to adopt home for our animals, we are unable to bring them to the UK.
  7. You can only apply for adoption of those dogs who have been publicly advertised by us as available for adoption.
  8. Our adverts are quite detailed because we know our dogs well and have assessed them extensively. The adverts include basic factual information about the animals as well as the type of home they need. Please read both of these carefully. We will be providing further information about the animals, but only during interviews and viewings with the applicants we have been short-listed. Other than that, we do not have resources to respond to individual queries for further information about the animals.
  9. Each advert includes the link to our online application form. If you are interested in an animal who has been advertised and you can provide the type of home that they need, please check our Adoption Policy (below).
  10. If you believe you meet our requirements, please fill in our application form. You should receive an automatic confirmation of receipt.
  11. We typically process adoption applications within a week of receiving them.
  12. If we believe there is a realistic prospect of you being a good match for the animal, 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.
  13. Depending on the animal’s needs, there may be more than one viewing. This is rare and usually applies to nervous dogs, not cats.
  14. All adoptions are subject to a successful home check which we carry out in person or by way of a video-link/video materials. We require a detailed video of the whole perimeter of your garden showing its fencing and content. Any further videos of the house and the surrounding area are welcome too.
  15. 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, Norfolk.
  16.  There is often more than one applicant for each animal and our short-list sometimes includes more than one applicant too. We endeavour to inform applicants whether or not there are other applicants for the animal they are interested in, but even if we have not told you that, please assume that there are,
  17. If an earlier viewing went so well that we believe it would not be prudent/fair to conduct other interviews/viewings, or if the circumstances change, we may cancel your viewing. We will give you as much notice as we can in the circumstances.
  18. 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 animal. There may be a number of reasons for that.
  19. Sometimes, people just do not read our adoption policy and our adverts properly and apply for an animals 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 or another equally suitable candidate applied first. As much as we would like to provide updates and feedback to all applicants on their applications, unfortunately, we simply do not have the resources for this.
  20. In order to finalise the adoption and take the animal home, you will need you to complete a number of administrative steps including signing our adoption agreement, which we will provide when we get to this stage.
  21. We will provide advice on how to prepare for the arrival of your new pet.
  22. We ask you to make a voluntary adoption donation of £400 when you adopt a dog from us and £180 when you adopt a cat from us. The donation goes towards part-funding our costs in preparing and bringing the dogs to the UK. Our costs of care for an individual animal and their subsequent transportation to the UK exceed the amount of our suggested donation several times over. We do not make any profit from our adoptions. The amounts of our suggested donations are on the lower end of what other overseas rescues ask for and we have not increased the amount despite a spike in our costs in the past two years. Without these donations we will simply be unable to carry on with our Rehoming Programme.
  23. Once you have taken the animal home, there is a trial period of 1 week. Our standard adoption agreement sets out in detail your rights and obligations during the trial period.
  24. If at the end of the trial period the adoption is confirmed by you and us, we will provide you with the animal’s vaccination card and register you on Petlog’s database.
  25. If at the end of the trial period the adoption is not confirmed either by you or by us, we will take the dog back from you.
  26. We also provide post-adoption support which is not limited in time. We are always hear to help. One of our experienced team members will assist you with any issues concerning the animal’s transition into your home, their behaviour and ongoing training. This does not take away your responsibility as the primary carer to make the adoption work.
  27. Our standard adoption agreement provides a mechanism for us to remain in touch with you, to monitor the animals’ progress in your home and to take steps should you be in breach of the adoption agreement. Please read the provisions of the adoption agreement carefully.
  28. Our policy is that our animals’ interests come first. For this reason, should you wish to surrender the animal, we will take the animal back from you.
  29. If you have been unsuccessful if your application for a dog, but you are subsequently interested in applying for another dog who we have publicly advertised, you do not need to fill in another application form. Just email us on explaining which dog you are interested in and explaining how you can provide for the needs of the new dog. Some dogs’ profiles/needs are similar and some are very different, so we will be assessing you afresh as to whether or not you are potentially suitable for the new dog.

  1. Our policy refers to dogs only but it equally applies to our cat rehoming. We will be amending our rules shortly to reflect that we now rehome dogs and cats, but please note that we bring very few cats into the UK for rehoming.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. We do not rehome unneutered dogs unless it is a puppy and it is in the puppy’s interest to be neutered later.
  6. We do not rehome to people who have unneutered pets unless we are satisfied that there is a good medical reason for it.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. We do rehome our dogs to homes with cats, but only if we believe they can get along.
  14. We will consider applicants who live in a flat, but a garden is essential, except in a case of a small and old dog, but we rarely bring dogs like that to the UK for adoption.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. We try not to rehome during the firework season or during Christmas season (too much stress for the dogs).
  18. 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. The meaning “first-time dog owners” includes those who only had experience with dogs in their childhood and therefore were not their primary carers.

Why we need money

It costs £500 to prepare and bring 1 our rescued dog to the UK