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Balkan Underdogs- anyone adopted from/know anything about?

(26 Posts)
TheSitChewAceChien Sat 25-May-13 17:24:07

Decided it's the right time for us to have a new member of the family.

I'd been looking for a rescue cav (have posted before) but not been able to find one that wasn't an ex breeder needing a resident dog already here.

I came across Balkan Underdogs and have fallen in love with a lovely little girl on there, says good with kids and cats. I'm not sure what mix of breeds, she is gorgeous!

But I'm not sure how it all works, and wondered if anyone knows anything about?
Do they need to go in quarantine after they've travelled over?

TIA smile

Iamaslummymummy Sat 25-May-13 22:59:15

We've had two dogs from action aid for animals (from Romania and croatia).

The rules have changed and they don't have to go into quarantine anymore. They have to have their rabies jab 21 days or more before they travel. They should have a pet passport. The cost was around two hundred pounds in total per dog.

It worked very well through aafa but I haven't used Balkan under dogs. Often they share transports.

TheSitChewAceChien Sun 26-May-13 10:22:28

Thanks for replying smile

Glad they don't have to be in quarantine, was thinking how stressful that would be for them on top of everything else.

How did your dogs settle in- I'm a bit worried about having a dog I've never met before. I'm scared she won't like me!
Where did you pick them up from?

Sorry for all the questions!

Iamaslummymummy Sun 26-May-13 12:23:41

The first dog was born into a shelter and hadn't lived in a home. He was 6 months when we got him. He has separation anxiety but is very very loving.

We fostered a female a couple of weeks ago and have already decided to adopt her as well. She had been in foster in Croatia and the difference in their temperament is huge. She is much more willing to be alone, she is mega friendly.

Action aid for animals have drop off points from Folkestone, Thurrock, South Mimms, Stafford. They are normally able to help to arrange transport further afield for petrol costs.

I've found the experience very rewarding. I know that aafa will put a call out to all of the rescue and carers to find the type of dog you want. I would choose a dog who had been fostered if I were to get another as the temperament will have been better assessed and the dogs have known love from their carers who really do love them.

You get forever support from the charity and they have a behaviourist you can access for free. Hth

TheSitChewAceChien Sun 26-May-13 19:52:37

That's brilliant, thanks so much!
Your dogs sound lovely.

Have sent the pre adoption form off now (eek!) so just waiting to hear back.

Thanks again!

Iamaslummymummy Tue 28-May-13 12:33:58

Good luck!

TheSitChewAceChien Thu 30-May-13 20:58:22

Excited! grin And scared...

jessywessy1 Wed 24-Jul-13 18:28:42

Please can you let me know how your experience with Balkan underdogs has been? I am considering adopting from them and have filled in my form ready for a home check.
I'm a bit worried as not many people have heard of them and I want to make sure the dogs are safe and relatively healthy.


Frettchen Thu 25-Jul-13 12:06:56

My AAFA puppy arrived in the UK on Saturday. I didn't pick him up, so I can't tell you about the handover aspect (assuming Balkan Underdogs use the same sort of transport system as Action Aid do - i.e. a transit van full of caged dogs)

I can tell you about the puppy though; he arrived filthy and frightened, and it's taken almost a week before he's re-found his confidence. Having not got a puppy from the UK before I can't say whether that's any different - I imagine the longer journey probably added to the stress of the new home. I had to change his food cold turkey, not having what they had, so that was a bit of a shock to his tummy; a day or two of loose poos as a result. On the plus side; within a day he had become comfortable with me and is quite possibly the cuddliest, most affectionate puppy I've ever met. There is a little separation anxiety now I'm back at work and he's staying with my mum until I've sorted the paperwork so he can come in to the office, but that's possibly normal puppy anxiety.

Would I have done something different? Yes if they'd really messed me about (there was some confusion over which dog I was getting and what date the transport was, so it wasn't the easiest of transactions) but as it was - no. I'm so glad I got my puppy out of Romania. It's a horrendous place to be a dog. Yes, people will point out that there are many dogs in the UK in need of a home, and they're right. But there are dogs everywhere in need of a home, and there are fewer people in Eastern Europe helping them out, so I feel entirely justified in the decision I made.

TheSitChewAceChien Thu 25-Jul-13 19:43:38

Frettchen, was your puppy on the massively delayed transport? With the passport problems?

I've now got mine. She's lovely, very friendly.
The transport she came over on (kitkats) was very good, and very clean, and she seemed happy enough when she arrived.
DD loves her to pieces, and puppy follows her everywhere like a shadow.

I do have some issues though.
She has kennel cough. Feel very isolated with her as I can't take her out around other dogs.
Huge separation anxiety. Doesn't know her own name (nearly 3 weeks of training in) and, in all honesty, there wasn't an instant bond like there has been when I've adopted from England. Because I'd not seen her in the flesh, or made regular visits to see her- as you do with rescues here.

She is also much bigger than I expected! She was described as "will be a small dog" but she is very lanky and I'm expecting her to grow much more.
There doesn't seem to be much back up afterwards. There is a fb group, but this seems mainly to talk about how much the new dogs are loved. Not seen anyone on there brave enough to admit to struggling.

I'm glad she's safely here, and would never try to put anyone off, BU do a fantastic job. It maybe wasn't the right decision for me- but possibly only because I've always had 'easy' dogs, and an untrained one (who doesn't understand me!) is a shock!

Frettchen Fri 26-Jul-13 12:18:50

I don't think it was massively delayed. My issues were more with organisation on the Romanian end (people meaning well, but having their own personal issues alongside trying to organise puppy transport; I don't blame them, but it was frustrating to not know what was going on.)

Kennel cough sounds terribly timed, poor you and poor dog!

My issues have been the opposite of yours; my boy's tiny; smaller than I had expected. He's a mixture of breeds and seems to be more the size of the smaller components. Also he's bonded with me really well, but seems nervy around other people. This is lovely for me; I get all the cuddles, but I do worry about him now I'm back at work and he's with my parents.

I think I'd probably recommend rescuing an Eastern European dog, but only to people ready for a bit more of a struggle than you'd get with a British dog. You have to expect the worst of them, and over-prepare...

TheSitChewAceChien Fri 26-Jul-13 22:12:15

It is stressful waiting for them, eh?

There was a recent drop off that was supposed to be at 6pm but didn't turn up until 6am the following morning, people were stuck waiting at services- wasn't sure if your pup was on that one!

Totally agree with how you'd recommend. It is so much harder than I expected.

Iamaslummymummy Sun 28-Jul-13 13:35:09

I've been on the fb group admitting I'm struggling just this week and we got our dogs in February and may.

Iamaslummymummy Sun 28-Jul-13 13:35:53

My dog is very lanky!

TheSitChewAceChien Mon 29-Jul-13 12:16:20

So glad it's not just me, Iam! A lot of people on there seems to be in some sort of competition over who loves the most (or maybe I'm just in a bad mood!) there doesn't seem to be any honesty on there.

Hope you're ok.

Buneville Sun 16-Mar-14 17:41:18

Hi - hope you don't me asking but I too am trying to find out more about Balkan Underdogs. Thinking of adopting a dog from them but no idea if it's a scam or anything bad like that. It looks pretty straightforward but would welcome your side. I guess I fill in the for, wait to be house checked and then pay £50 as a deposit then £200 isn on balance when I get her? I understand there is no quarantine - sorry yours had kennel cough sad - but is there any more money to pay or anything else I need to know about? Sorry if my Qs are dumb - any help welcome

LadyTurmoil Sun 16-Mar-14 18:59:27

I don't have any experience of adopting from them but follow their FB page. They seem much like other dog rescues bringing from Eastern Europe. I'm a bit involved with Action Aid for Animals Croatia (they used to operate in Romania but stopped because they had various problems there). They charge about £210 per dog. Their transport is now linked to Traces and the dogs have to go into kennels for 48hrs in UK so they can be checked by UK vet (all Defra requirements now).

Depending on the age of the dog, you will receive one which has all up to date vaccinations, has usually been spayed/neutered and has EU pet passport so it's actually a good deal.

I fostered a dog for them which all went smoothly. They have now implemented a plan that all dogs have to go into foster homes for 2-3 weeks in Croatia so they can be better assessed. Potential owners are homechecked by them or via other dog rescues local to person's location.
They have a few dogs in kennels in UK as adoptions didn't go as planned and therefore decided it was irresponsible to rehome dogs without a fuller assessment which I think is good.

So, you could ask Balkan Underdogs what their policies are re. assessing dogs, fostering before travel etc. AAFA also have a behaviourist that can be contacted at any time for advice re. dogs if niggles arise which all charities should offer, in my opinion. Good luck!

salsmum Sat 26-Jul-14 23:29:40

I can speak for Balkan underdogs and know firsthand they are not scammers. I have had my lil scruff Teddy nearly a year now and DO NOT regret a thing!. He was the smallest,littlest 'scrap' I'd ever seen ( I'm used to rescue staffys) and the minute we saw him (in the flesh) we all felt this overwhelming need to love and protect him. Transport can be a bit of a waiting game because although KitKats do their best to get to their destination on time they do drive all the way from the Balkans and have many stops along the that boarder stops where they have to show ALL documentation for the dogs and toilet/water/food/exercise stops for the dogs and then, of course there is the traffic!!!! Teddy did have a few 'issues' like digging a 'den' to sleep in. chewing (not major) and tearing up tissues lol! but that's understandable-he was a stray!...He was NOT vicious, un-trainable, snarly,nor dirty in the house(to my surprise) The fosterers in B.U. do a great job in toilet training,teaching basic training and teaching English. Many folks who adopt from E.U. also have U.K. rescued pets...My lovely boy is now happy and well loved NOT seen as vermin to be killed by the majority of the locals in Serbia from where he came.

LadyTurmoil Sun 27-Jul-14 01:14:03

Great post, salsmum

AuntieJackie Mon 13-Mar-17 15:01:52

I have adopted a dog via Balkan Underdogs and am about to pick up a second on Saturday. BU does a great job in supporting local rescuers in Serbia and Romania, finding UK fosterers, and suitable UK homes. You are always able to return a dog that you cannot manage, and there is lots of support given by experienced dog owners in how to manage behaviours. My first dog from BU was bigger than I expected, but settled in very quickly (I have three rescues from a small UK rescue charity) with only a couple of spats with my fiesty JRT. BU provide descriptions of the dog's size and temperament - good with cats, children, needs to be only dog, must be with other dogs, high prey drive, must be kept on lead, etc. There are lots of posts on the sister FB page - Adopted Balkan Underdogs - on how to deal with food aggression, timidity, poor recall, etc. It's important to give these dogs time to settle, but they repay your efforts with love and loyalty. No need to fear that you'll be dumped with a nightmare dog and left to deal with it on your own.

Sinuhe Tue 14-Mar-17 07:43:32

What's wrong with dogs in uk kennels? So many dogs waiting for a second chance, already been in a home environment, their history is known and did not have the stress of travelling 100's of miles.

Blackfellpony Tue 14-Mar-17 09:52:57

Look up the reactive and training dog pages on Facebook- a lot of the people struggling with reactivity and fear based issues seem to have Romanian and imported dogs.

Maybe the rescues should be clearer about how diffficult inagrating street dogs and puppies into UK society can be sad

Vegansnake Wed 15-Mar-17 20:57:36

I've never heard of this,reading with interest.what about diseases and rabies?

honeyroar Wed 15-Mar-17 22:47:21

Blackfellpony, I think the rescues perhaps need to be a bit fussier about who they give dogs to. I was very involved with the Romanian rescue my third dog came from, and 90% of our dogs settled v quickly into normal life if with a sensible home.

And yes there are lots of uk rescue dogs, I have two of them too, but when you've seen the conditions the Romanian dogs are in, you have to be very cold hearted to turn your back. Our Romanian kennels latest inmate was found tied to a high branch of a tree by his tongue, stood on his hind legs and left to die...found just in the nick of time. We spend money on trying to set up neutering programs and trying to do educational programs with local schools on educating people about dogs.

This is my Romanian rescue six months after being with us, initially terrified of men, now totally in love with my husband!

airforsharon Sat 18-Mar-17 06:49:27

blackfell I foster for a rehoming charity that brings dogs over from Romania and yes I agree with you that integration can be difficult - the org I work for had recently taken steps to improve advice for adopters and the after support they offer.

I've also adopted one of my foster dogs and would say that any adopter needs to allow a good 6 months for the dog to settle. Talk to the org as much as you can beforehand, also (essentially) get in touch with others who have adopted this way. Personally I think it might be a good idea if any potential adopters were required to foster first, before committing to one particular dog.

Vegan the dogs come fully vaccinated and with their own passport.

Sinuhe the conditions in Romania are appalling - shelters are run on a shoestring and during the winters dogs literally freeze to death where they lay. They have real problems with strays, many of whom are simply put into 'kill pounds' when caught and put to sleep. My opinion is this - I have three dogs, 2 UK born, one from Romania. I don't think the life of my Romania dog is worth any less than the others just because she was unfortunate to be born in an awful place.

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