We're seriously thinking of getting a young dog or puppy in a few months and would be hoping to get one from a rescue. We have DCs aged 5 and 7, so are looking for somewhere that will let families with young children adopt suitable dogs. I'm quite keen to use a rescue that "fosters" dogs in a home environment and obviously we're keen to use an organisation that will put a lot of effort into ensuring they match us with a dog that suits our family (and will like living with us!). We're quite interested by Many Tears - any of you have views about them? Otherwise any other good rescue centres you can recommend in the South (e.g. Hants, Dorset, Surrey, Sussex etc.). Any advice gratefully received.
We adopted from Many Tears, about 18 months ago - a 5 month old pup.
We had a positive experience, the foster carer was lovely, all their questions made perfect sense (I'm glad they ask them, tbh), and the local lady who visited to do the homecheck was also lovely. I didn't find any of it daunting or scary, and actually found the homecheck practical and helpful!
Our kids were nearly 5 and nearly 8 at the time, and our pup seemed fine with kids. After a few months, it became clear that he had issues with being touched/cuddled too much - he was in a pound for the first 3-4 months of his life, so hadn't had much socialization with humans! So we had a few behaviour issues as adolescence hit.
I emailed MT, and they phoned and gave advice over the phone - helpful as they could be, but for us it wasn't really as useful as having someone meet the dog and give advice. So we paid ourselves for a one-off visit from a behaviourist, who was worth every penny. Our pup is not aggressive by nature, but he is scared of strangers - especially kids - and has growled, so we tell visitors to ignore him till he gets to know them. Its working beautifully, he's gaining confidence and our kids and their friends are fine with him.
BUT, as rescue pup, he does have issues - and we went through a stressful patch. He's not the dog I thought I wanted, iyswim, but I do want the dog we have
I digress! MT were fine, and the only thing I'd do differently is pick a dog who has been fostered with children, as opposed to just meeting lots of them when out and about: behaviour is different in a home setting. I have learned.
Stubbington Ark is ashore, give them a wide berth! Try Dog's Trust instead. If you'd consider a greyhound try Celia Cross kennels near Guildford. They do great work. Re the Ark, I know so many people who have had problems adopting animals from there and the reasons were ridiculous! One person was refused a cat because she works, another was refused a dog because when they turned up unannounced for the home visit my friend's DH was collecting their daughter from school and friend had put on the form that someone was home all day (her DH works from home)!!! They continually bleat in the local press that they are struggling spacewise etc - I wonder why???
Many tears have recently stepped into save a dog I know who originally came from them. Unfortunately the owners didn't have insurance and she needed a really expensive operation. MT stepped in at the last minute after the children had done their final goodbyes and gone to school, the op was a success and the dog doing well
There's also a MT fosterer who walks where we walk our dog. She goes to a lot of effort to make sure the dogs she looks after are really well socialised. My dog sitter fosters for Dorset Animal Workers Group which is a small rescue. Our cat (the sloppiest of the 4 we have) came from Pound kitten Rescue in Poole. They also have dogs - Pound Puppy Rescue.