HOMING PROCESS: Essential Reading Prior to Your Application
Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:01 am
Please, sit with a drink and offer us 10 minutes reading time:
Our Homing Team:
If you are considering adopting one of our dogs, our Homing Questionnaire is the first point of enquiry. It is always the first step in our rehoming process. We do not have telephone resources.
Our volunteer team is small. We do not have the manpower available to discuss our dogs in sufficient depth to answer your questions before we receive an application from you. A Fosterer may know their dog in their limited circumstances, as the dog's behaviour emerges, but won't have the depth of experience to translate through to more varied situations based on the reading of the breed and a specific dog's integral skills.
Our Homing Team may direct you to another dog who is more suitable for your lifestyle, so discussions have to be through the homing team - hence the application. Families need to meet our criteria first: i.e. being serious about adopting a dog within seven days, as well as being prepped and ready. Our Homing Questionnaire is comprehensive and we will need answers to all the questions for us to successfully match a suitable dog to your family. Otherwise, applicants end up wasting their time and ours too. We will be blunt and direct, and you may think we are washing away your dreams, but homing a dog needs to be founded in realism. The aim of our guidance and process is to achieve a positive outcome for our dog and its adoptive family.
Our Forum is our Rescue Centre. Browse. Each dog's title bar on the Forum states their name, breed, age and location. Please do not post questions and claims on the Forum. We will probably be talking with families about various dogs, and it can upset those families to think that we have reserved a dog for another person. We can only answer Homing Questionnaires. We strive to understand the complexity of your circumstances and home situation as provided by you in your Homing Questionnaire. We aim to be thorough and professional during the course of our our homing procedure.
Rehoming Preparation Factors Include:
Communication with all family members, the owners of your property, any friends or family who will be involved with the dog or affected by a dog, such as regularly visiting children's parents/ex-partners who may object. Your plans for dog ownership can be collapsed by an ex-partner parent to your children, your landlord, or other live-in or visiting adults.
Activities and Plans:
Scrutinise your plans over the next few weeks. Postpone your application if you remember a short break approaching or if you have relatives/friends visiting. In truth, people use this as the most frequent excuse as to why they don't wish to go further with adoption. A family emergency comes up and we are left hanging, never to be contacted again.
Garden boundaries must be checked, repaired and ideally photographed/videoed. Are your garden boundaries appropriate for the type of dog you are applying for? First time dog owners should investigate local positive training classes or one to one training sessions.
Resident (and ideally regularly visiting dogs) must be neutered, as unneutered pets can cause all manner of discord in a home due to their hormonal variations. All your dogs must be neutered unless you have written veterinary advice available as to why this isn't possible.
Complete our Homing Questionnaire:
Having read the above and judged yourself ready and prepared for a dog, complete our online Homing Questionnaire. Please make sure contact numbers are not work numbers, and keep the copy emailed to you after online submission for your records. Please Contact Us if you haven't received a call or email from us after seven days. Remember to check your spam/junk box and answerphone messages!
Interview and Home Check:
We will make an appointment with you to talk when you have time to engage in a full conversation. This aspect takes a lot of time - We try to schedule a mutually agreeable time within a window between 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM. We will discuss your lifestyle and the homing requirements of our dogs. We use boarding kennels and Fosterers, so please be aware that you may need to travel to a dog's location. It is not possible for our volunteers to travel to you to deliver a dog. You can find every dog's location by viewing our dogs' website pages and Forum threads. Once we suggest matching dog(s) to you, come back to us with your considerations if you need time to think. We will not chase you, as the initiative for the whole process needs to come from you, with the passion and compassion offering a dog a home involves.
After our discussion, we will then arrange a home check and/or possibly a vet reference. We do this quickly, and arrange for you to meet selected appropriate dog(s) with the view to homing. This is not a long drawn-out procedure. From first enquiry, you may find yourself with a waggy tail in your home within 3-5 days. It is clearly in the interest of our dogs, and the many dogs looking for rescue places, to achieve this process as speedily as possible. And this is why we ask you... Are you ready?
We ask you to respect our hard pressed volunteers on all accounts. Upon receipt of your Homing Questionnaire, we are giving up our personal time for you. We do not have paid employees. We will be honest with you and may need to educate or remind you of breed traits and the management thereof, and their impact on family life. We aren't purposefully 'putting you off', but we always bring the realism of dog ownership to the fore. We are reminding you what it is to manage a young dog and their needs, what techniques do not work with our dogs, despite TV personalities using 'dominance theory' based techniques.
We look for families who want our dogs as included family members, and not closed off in the kitchen at night and when left, and only allowed on the sofa on invite. Our attitude and approach is to work with our dog in the frame of loving kindness, and respect their breed traits. For example, a Shepherd will very often have 'guarding traits'; 'Working Terrier' types can kill small furries or cats; Bull breeds are emotional and need to engage, and when young will jump up to greet you - they can be mouthy. Some of our dogs need to be only pets, and some need to live with at least one other dog.
We ask you to respect our time and experience: we are experts in our field. We treat your application as a job interview/dog interview! If you fail to impress us, we may not want to take the process further, as we need to trust that we are placing our dogs in capable hands. We are looking for flexibility, tolerance, and a responsible attitude while you support a homeless dog to build its skills and to settle in your home.
Our adoption process is just that. It is not a purchase/retail process. It is a vetting process to try to ensure our dog will be well cared for, kept safe and hopefully live out the rest of its days in your loving care.
If we receive abuse, we have then lost an enduring trusting relationship with our dogs' potential owners - so please do not go further. An abusive email or phone conversation signals a completion of the relationship. We most often receive abuse when a family are focused only on the looks of a particular dog and do not want to listen to us when we relay to them the needs/homing requirements of that dog.
Our potential families must demonstrate empathy for our kennelled dogs, who don't deserve an hour longer in kennels - an extremely stressful environment. That is why we put ourselves out there to get our dogs into their rightful homes. The pace we work at may not suit you, but it suits our dogs. If you want to approach dog ownership casually and take your time, please go to a large Rescue Centre. But be aware that until you are home checked, no dog is reserved, so you may be daydreaming about a dog who is already off into their home before your visit.
Off Lead Advice:
Here are our off lead rules, in the context of current dog laws and the real threats facing off lead dogs outside the home (and inside also, but we are not covering that here). We no longer live in the 1950s where dogs were off lead on streets. We no longer live in the 1970s where dogs got into fights and everyone shook hands and parted company, understanding these situations do happen. We no longer live in the 1990s, where if you left your dog tied up outside a shop you could guarantee it would be waiting for you when you returned, AND we no longer live in 2010, where if your dogs got into a squabble over a ball and a person was inadvertently bitten, you wouldn't end up with a destruction order on your dog and a criminal record to boot. Or a control order with your dog needing to be muzzled whenever it is outside the house. The law sees you, the dog handler, as the responsible person: not your dog. We advise owners to keep their dogs on a lead outside, especially during the first several months, when you are still developing a bond.
Current Dog Law:
Dog laws changed in 2016! Over the past 10 years, zero tolerance and anti-dog culture has been developed by the press, with the public taking a hardened attitude toward dogs and, in particular, towards Bull breeds. We consistently receive homing applications exhibiting the naivety, innocence and expectation that most dogs will achieve safe off lead status. We often need to spell out some of the realities, which we hope will make you think about the expectations placed on a dog’s shoulders when it is off lead.
A few facts:
According to the Dogs Trust Stray Dog Survey 2014, only 90% 0f Local Authorities reported their figures. The other 10% probably have a high kill rate, so are embarrassed to declare their figures. The survey reports that over 110,000 dogs were found stray. Of these, 55,253 (50%) were passed back to the owner; 7,805 (less than 10%) were put to sleep; and 29,236 (20%) were passed to welfare rescues (with many not making it through to homing, as many rescues are not 'no kill'); and 20% were unaccounted for.
Source: https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/news-event ... ogs-survey
Rescue Remedies is a responsible rescue. We help council pound 'death row dogs' that have been handed in as supposed strays, or who were genuinely stray from being lost off lead or escaping from insecure gardens. Council pound dogs get seven days to be reclaimed, and often cost at least £100 to reclaim. Even when owners claim they sold their dogs on, or deny ever owning them, from April 6 2016, owners will face hefty fines for failing to change ownership details on their dog's microchip.
Unrealistic Expectations Placed on an Off Lead Dog:
All dogs must achieve 100% recall despite distractions such as cats, squirrels, birds, running children, joggers, cyclists, or other dogs. They must never chase or jump up in excitement, especially if they are a Bull breed.
Dogs must show exemplary behaviour when off lead, never intruding into an unsociable dog’s space; they must walk away if another dog challenges or starts a fight, and they must never run across a road or out of a park gate.
The off lead dog must not risk its health by going down a hole, drinking from a river, and possibly catching Weils disease, contracted from rats urine, or scavenge discarded, rotten food.
Dogs must never challenge or steal from children, anglers, picnickers, and must never take another dog’s food, toys or balls.
IF OR WHEN my dog ever has an altercation with another dog, and one or both get bitten, I will stand by my dog, take full responsibility, and pay the vet bill for the on lead dog. I will accept a visit by a council official to my property and from then on live by the resulting 'Control Order', where I have to muzzle my dog in public, never to come off lead again, and know I am the one that will be prosecuted, despite the fact that I may blame my dog.
IF OR WHEN a member of public gets inadvertently or accidentally bitten, for example, by an over excited dog patted by a stranger, or during the separation of 2 dogs, I will stand by the dog when a police officer visits, and I receive a Control Order or possibly a ‘Destruction Order’, which could result in my dog being put to sleep. Or I will accept my dog may be seized and fight for it through the courts to prove its character, and save my much treasured pet’s life.
OUTCOME: I wanted my dog to be an off lead dog! I have ended up with a dog that by law must now be muzzled. We both have to bear this cross and deal with all the social stigma that comes with the use of a muzzle but, I won’t blame the dog, will I?
AFTERMATH: If I then decide to 'get rid' of my dog, I will spend two days on the phone trying to make a rescue believe in my dog - a dog that I put far too much expectation upon before it failed to meet my grade. I will tell them it’s my fault, not the dog's, or perhaps I will put the blame on the dog and put my dog to sleep for not meeting my ideals. After all, it was the one that didn’t walk away when provoked; it was the one that didn’t read the other dog who didn’t want an over social dog in its face, who was held on a lead by a responsible owner who tried to call this to my attention. I wasn’t paying attention, and it’s my fault my dog jumped up at a family who didn’t want a dog saying hello, or they knocked over a child, or caught their coat with their claw or plastered mud on their suit on route to work. Will I pay the price, or will my dog by losing its home or its life?
Some Rescue Remedies rehomings, where we trusted first time owners to take their dog and themselves on a training course, have not done so, but call in a behaviourist within weeks of homing, placing the blame on the dog. Some fail to grasp basic breed traits which give them chase drive and exuberance, or forget the impoverished background the dog had. Some families who insisted they will keep their new dog on a lead, call us to say the dog has been missing for four hours and they are worried sick, or that it is fighting for its life after being run over, or that it got into a fight with an antisocial dog.
Some families ask us to take our dog back after rehoming, as it isn't that ‘100% all singing, all dancing, perfect mannered’ dog they’d hoped it would be. Many of our responsible rehomers do stand by our dogs and ensure they are on lead, are supported with dog encounters, and are safe in public. These dogs go on to enjoy fulfilled and cherished lives.
If you are interested in re-homing one of our dogs, please complete our homing questionnaire, so we can ensure our dogs are matched, and will suit your circumstances/lifestyle.
Any interest for our dogs must be expressed through the homing questionnaire. It is meant to be a sobering and revealing experience, to ensure you are ready and open for us to match beyond the dog's looks, but based on your ability to meet our dogs' needs.
We hope you appreciate that you are not dealing with a shop that is just making money out of dogs. We are a charity. We put our own money into our dogs to save them being put to sleep in the pounds. We then provide them with all the necessary vet care and kennelling until they find their families. Anyone seriously involved with us and preparing to meet a dog needs to show commitment and respect for our volunteers' time. No one is paid, so there is no cause for harassment. We only have the dogs we have at any given time. Please keep in mind that another 'so called rescue' may allow you to rehome their dog based only upon looks and not on its integral skills, but you could become heartbroken as a consequence when that dog's integral make-up doesn't suit your expectations. So please respect our assessment of our dogs' needs and your circumstances.
We require a minimum donation of £175 upon the meeting and collection of your new dog. Please respect all the bills we have already endured in vet and kennelling costs. Where it is a direct homing, the donation helps towards paying three weeks kennelling for one of our long stay dogs. The donation is not a price. If you have a retail model in mind, then perhaps Rescue isn't for you. However, a puppy will cost at least this much without vaccinations, chipping and neutering. And there are no costs to the breeder for months of kennelling. Like all dog charities, we will try to rematch a dog if the selected dog doesn't suit, and we hope you will have a clearer idea of what you can actually manage. We always offer our dogs back up: most people appreciate this. Whereas with private homings, people can be left high and dry with no Rescue having the capacity to help, we will take our dog back if a homing doesn't work out.