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Battersea- Any success stories?

(17 Posts)
horsemadmom Tue 04-Oct-11 17:44:20

Hi All,
DH and I are in disagreement. I am willing to be patient and work with a breed rescue and DH wants to just get one from Battersea. I'm concerned that if the breed we want (we have specific reasons) has ended up at B.D.H., it may have been rejected as unhomeable by the rescues. Of course could also be a stray but I am realistic about what behavioural issues I can take on. DH has only ever had the one dog and he came to us housetrained, mature, well-loved by a family and a paragon of virtue.
Really, I could love anything fluffy but we have DC's and I can't bare the thought of having to return a dog because it isn't safe.

Vallhala Tue 04-Oct-11 18:10:22

Battersea are a council pound. They're shit at what they do from the POV of the independent rescuer insofar as they have a high kill rate.

HOWEVER their rehome policy is very good. They assess thoroughly - indeed they're far too careful in many ways from our POV, which is what contributes to that high kill figure, and they rehome carefully and responsibly.

Contrary to your fear that a dog from BDH may have been rejected by the rescues the opposite is far more likely to be the case. Independent rescue would be the ones to take on the dogs which Battersea refuses to take or which Battersea would kill if they did take in. (We get to pick up the pieces and all the shit and heartache but not the funding or the credit in anotherwords!). grin

I will warn you of this though - because of that over-cautious approach there are generally few dogs which they will consider suitable to be rehomed with young children.

ANY reputable rescue - though I repeat, Battersea is NOT a rescue, it's a pound - will thoroughly assess their dogs before rehoming, be that dog a stray or from a family home. Far too often people lie to us, rescue just can't take that risk of believing the owner wholesale. For many owners it's about getting rid asap and they'll tell us what they think we want to hear, hence a reputable, responsible rescue will assess the dog regardless.

fruitshootsandheaves Tue 04-Oct-11 18:35:57

My friends got a dog from Battersea after they just 'popped' in for a look on their way home from a day out! grin

He is fab (although he had been there a long time due to his 'problems')

when i went they were overflowing with Staffies and lurcher/greyhound types sad

Elibean Tue 04-Oct-11 18:37:23

I had the best dog in the world from Battersea <notalgia trip> but at the time, I had no children - and there were lots of different/mixed breeds there to choose from.

A friend has just re-homed a SBT from Battersea (she has two young teenagers) and is thrilled to bits with him - he's been no trouble, is soft as butter and works hard to please them all, bless him.

I would agree that their re-homing is good, their no-kill is dire, and that there aren't many recommended child-friendly dogs at any one time there (I checked).

If you want a specific breed, as well as the breed rescues you could have a look at Many Tears - they seem to get a huge variety of breeds, and foster dogs out all over the country: a fostered dog will have clear accurate history, especially if fostered with children!

horsemadmom Tue 04-Oct-11 23:32:59

Thanks! They told my husband that with a vet reference and photos of our house and garden, we could take one home on the spot- not necessary to meet the kids. The rescue insists on a home visit with the whole family and a close inspection of the garden. Hmmm.

Vallhala Wed 05-Oct-11 09:18:41

Jeez I apologise. My info is clearly out of date - I was going on experience from some while back. It's troubling to find that battersea aren't just killing huge numbers of dogs whilst eliciting much public sympathy and money but that they're also now very little better than any other pound.

silentcatastrophe Wed 05-Oct-11 10:05:45

We have 2 Battersea Dogs, and they are both fabulous. One of them is puppy farm/pet shop stock. He had stayed at the home for about 6 months before coming to us. I think he could have been an easy dog to destroy, but they persisted. BDH do have a good rehab dept.
I was told that a reason that children and dogs can cause problems is because adults can have very high expectations of the dog. Lots of dogs come into rescue with no experience of children and there are so many unknowns. The rescue organisations are often just covering their backs.

Elibean Wed 05-Oct-11 10:53:22

Oh dear, I didn't know that either - no home visits? hmm

I still hear very positive stories about the re-homed dogs from BDH, but with kids...I would go for rescue.

Correction: I have gone for rescue <pinches self with excitement>

horsemadmom Wed 05-Oct-11 10:55:07

The rescue that we are looking at fosters all the dogs with families who have children. My kids are not little and very sensible but we do have friends whose kiddies are small and don't know when to leave the dog alone. Our Goldie was very tolerant and never so much as growled but there were occassions when I would have bitten the children! I know that BDH test the dogs but the stress of living in kennels is damaging and that's what worries me.

Elibean Wed 05-Oct-11 10:56:12

You sound clear about using the rescue then smile

yesbutnobut Wed 05-Oct-11 11:19:17

Extract from BDH website: Q: Will Battersea Dogs & Cats Home need to come to my home before I am able to take an animal away with me?

A: Yes, it may be necessary for a member of staff to visit your home to make sure it is suitable for the dog or cat you are wishing to rehome. In some cases we also visit you after you have taken the animal home to make sure your new friend has settled in.

From my reading of the website it seems Battersea take a very cautious view of rehoming the dogs. The descriptions seem very honest (eg emphasising the dog will need an experienced owner) and they do not like to rehome with very young children.

With cats it may be different - a friend rehomed an RSPCA kitten and it was enough that she and the whole family visited and met staff before they were allowed to take the cat home.

LauraShigihara Wed 05-Oct-11 11:33:10

We have a lovely whippet-cross from Battersea and they were very good, I thought.

We had a very thorough interview, were matched with the type of dog we thought we wanted, brought all the family in to meet him but the assessor changed her mind about the dog's suitablity and re-matched us with a female pup.

She is fab and I wouldn't change her for the world. BUT I had no idea at the time that it was a pound. I automatically assumed that it worked as a rescue centre.

We had a home visit a couple of days after she arrived.

Ephiny Wed 05-Oct-11 12:49:40

Really surprised to hear about no home visits at Battersea. Haven't adopted a dog from there (as we found the perfect rescue dog for us elsewhere) but did go through the process a few years ago and it seemed very thorough. Detailed interview, home visit, we had to provide a letter from daycare/dogwalker (as we are both out at work some of the time) - all this before we were even allowed to meet or reserve a particular dog.

I got the impression they did a fair amount of assessment, they seemed to have detailed profiles for most of the dogs, had tested with cats, other dogs etc, and seemed quite cautious about rehoming with young children.

Maybe things have changed though, or their policy is not consistent?

horsemadmom Wed 05-Oct-11 13:26:01

I think we may have found a dog! A friend of a friend rehomes for a charity and we just spoke. I know the lady who runs it as we met regularly at the post walk coffee place. She tends to get a lot of staffies but has the occasional 'other'. Wish us luck!

Vallhala Wed 05-Oct-11 20:51:56

Of course I'll wish you luck! smile

Bit c'mon, tell this GSD and Lab owner please, if you care to, what's your choice of pooch? <<nosy emoticon>> grin

yesbutnobut Wed 05-Oct-11 21:59:09

Whilst BDH do put a lot of dogs down, which is obviously v sad, they are different from other council pounds in that where they form the view, after assessment, that a dog can be rehomed, there is no limit to how long they will keep the dog. Other council pounds, as I understand it (from the Doghouse) put any dog down after 7 days.

Another extract from BDH's website: "We keep a stray dog or cat for seven days before we start the rehoming process. There is no time limit on how long animals can stay with us. We will care for the animals until they find a new home.

On average, dogs stay with us for 48 days before they find a new home, and cats stay for 32 days before finding a new owner. "

horsemadmom Thu 06-Oct-11 00:08:02

Hi Valhala- We are looking for a lab but I don't have issues with crosses, mutts or mongrels. The kids just decided that they are the next best thing to a Goldie without the painful visual reminder.

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