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Support for rehoming much loved dog - N East contacts?

(7 Posts)
LittleMissBabybrain Mon 29-Aug-11 20:30:08

For personal reasons a friend of mine has reached the heartbreaking decision to rehome her beloved dog. She is not keen on handing him over to a rescue (although our local Dogs Trust are great and she will consider them as a last resort) she would prefer to meet and vet the people who her boy is to go to.

Does anyone have any reputable contacts in the North East who can support her with this?
If you would PM me any info that would be great.


Vallhala Mon 29-Aug-11 21:23:19

Please beg her not to do it.

Not rehome if she must, I know that not all owners are feckless dumpers of pets, but rehome privately I mean.

Please perhaps print this out/show it to her. A decent rescue will do many, many things the owner can't for whatever reason. They will:

Assess the dog thoroughly and train/consult behaviourists as appropriate.

Neuter/spay and vaccinate, vet check and worm.

Assess potential owners in their own home, meet all the family and check all adults are on board with owning a dog, do follow ups and meet all existing pets so ensuring that the dog is less likely to bounce back to them and that owner and dog are suited.

Ensure, through written proof, that the new owner is allowed a dog - ie that they own their home or have landlords permission to own a dog on the property.

And, very importantly, insist by contract that they must take the dog back AT ANY TIME IN HIS LIFE if it doesn't work out or if they cannot keep him and have a no-kill policy to support this.

There is good reason for this. Damned if I can find it now but online somewhere is the story of a UK woman who rehomed her dog to what she was made to believe was a nice, responsible family.

Not long after the dog was picked up as a stray, IIRC, in a terrible, terrible state, beaten and abused. The owner had been duped by the "loving family home". This is far from an isolated case and all too often owners are similarly duped and their dogs used as breeding stock in puppy farms, bait for fighting dogs, fighting itself or just kept in dreadful conditions and abused because once he has left the owner it is out of their control and knowledge.

Equally I have often been tasked with finding rescue spaces via vets who have had the unhappy experience of a visit from an owner who cannot/will not keep their dog and so takes him to be "put to sleep"... and of course not all vets are as scrupulous and moral, many WILL take that action without reaching out to rescue. This is happening all the more since the RSPCA no longer accepts dogs from the public... often people have, or think they have nowhere to go. It's hard enough for me, with contacts across the UK and beyond, to secure rescue places, especially for older, bigger or ill breeds and crossbreeds or for the ones with "reputations" such as Bull Breeds and Greyhounds.

If your friend rehomes privately and in 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years time the new owner cannot keep pooch he could end up on the vet's table whereas if he went into reputable rescue they would always take him back, no matter what or when.

Please, please believe me, I see and deal with this sort of awful stuff far too regularly and have done so for years. Please ask your friend to seek a rescue with a genuine no kill policy which insists upon all the checks and assessments I've mentioned above. Unless the dog has issues with aggressive behaviour I would say that the Dogs Trust is a good start. Another is Farplace in Stanhope, Co Durham, (a few miles west of Bishop Auckland), a tiny independent animal rescue who I know personally. They don't take in many dogs but may well know of someone reputable to refer your pal to if they can't help themselves.

Please ask her too to start her search now and not to put it off if she's sure she can't keep pooch as, as I said, places are hard to find.

I said I wouldn't take on any more cases like this, being so heart-sore about them, but sod it, if I can help secure a rescue place please say. I have totally no-kill policies as an AR supporter and I'm completely independent in what I do. I work for the dog, not for any particular rescue, not for the owner or prospective owner and not for myself and, of course, the decisions are all those of the owner. I'm only the middle-person, putting a suitable rescue with a space in touch with the owner, with the dog's needs, interests, welfare and safety paramount in all ways.

Vallhala Mon 29-Aug-11 21:32:49

PS Please remind your pal that many independent rescues work from foster homes and not kennels, if that's what she's worried about. If she's able to keep him until a home is found some independents may be able to assess the dog from there and do all the above checks so he can go straight from home to home... not unusual but possible, shout if that might be a possibility as I may be able to influence rescue to secure that. No promises, it will be hard to achieve but not to be bigheaded easier for me to do than the owner.

Also she might consider a breed rescue if pooch is a particular breed, KC or not, - many of these are foster based but she must check them out thoroughly and seek only those who assess, homecheck, take back, neuter/vax and have a no kill policy as above. Google for breed rescue or consult a reputable, well known breed club.

If he's a pedigree by rights any decent breeder would be as willing to take the dog back at any time if need be just as rescue would though sadly there are many breeders who won't. Equally if he's a rescue dog he may have come with a contract saying that he must be returned to them and not handed over to anyone else.

Legally speaking of course I should advise her that if the latter is the case then she must do this BUT if the dog is a rescue one and that rescue doesn't have a no-kill policy then I would be very much against the idea of her doing so for obvious reasons and would urge her instead to approach a no kill rescue.

If she will consider rescue with all this in mind would you be able to tell me the breed, age, sex, info on whether good with other dogs/kids etc to see if I can suggest anyone else?

DooinMeCleanin Mon 29-Aug-11 21:33:28

Save our strays are very good and would home check and offer rescue back up if your friend could keep,the dog in her home until a home can be found? If not they do have fosterers, but unfortunately not enough so some of their dogs are in kennels. It's worth contacting them, pat, the manager is very lovely and will do her utmost to help.

Also greyhounds galore, they will take in other breeds if they have space. If this dog is a staff let them know I'll steal foster it grin

5inthebed Mon 29-Aug-11 21:36:27

As always, Val offers great advice.

If however your friend still wants to rehome these are brilliant people and might be able to help.

LittleMissBabybrain Tue 30-Aug-11 15:31:44

Sorry for posting and running, rushing again now but wanted to say huge thanks for all your advice, unbelievably helpful, thank you!

Will come back later with an update on what she's going to do.

LittleMissBabybrain Sun 04-Sep-11 21:27:10

Hi I'm really sorry for not posting about this situation sooner, in the end family member has agreed to take the dog so it's worked out well for all involved, the dog already is familiar with the other family member and the transition is going smoothly.

A huge thank you to all of you for your advice and help, this is why I love MN!

Vallhalla - your cautionary tale made me feel sick to my stomach and i will certainly be advising anyone i know who's rehoming a dog or puppies to do it with support of a rescue. Massive thanks to you for all the valuable info you provided.

My own dog (a lovely staff Dooin grin) came from the Dogs Trust and I personally will always rehome a rescue rather than buy, whether from a breeder or not. In fact, if my boy would tolerate other dogs we'd have a few more!

Thanks again everyone

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