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Adopting a rescue...HOW???

(40 Posts)
ClayPigeon Tue 03-Oct-17 21:13:02

I work 30 hours a week flexibly and can work from home most days around appointments and meetings.
I have three DC, youngest 6.5
I have cats
I am not keen on the big jawed breeds such as staffies

I have trawled every rescue I can find online and check regularly, follow lots of rescues on FB, even friends with local home checkers. I apply for every dog that I think will be suitable but they either don't get back to me or the dog has already been reserved. Are the above reasons why I am finding this so hard? I think we could provide a really good home to a dog but I'm losing heart.

I really wanted to rehome an adult rescue dog but part of me is just thinking we'll be waiting forever and might as well get a puppy. AIBU? If you had similar circumstances to me, just how did you get a rescue dog?

Oops4 Tue 03-Oct-17 21:53:20

We have similar circumstances.....two young kids (4 and 6) an existing dog and a cat......and found it really difficult. We were looking for a companion for our very playful, dog loving 14month old terrier and, not particularly keen to repeat the puppy stage, were hoping to find a suitable rescue but we had a fair idea what we were looking for in terms of size and age. We contacted four Sspca shelters and they said although it wasn't impossible to find a dog that would match us, when you took into account breed preference and their waiting list of people looking for similar type of dogs, it would be very difficult to match us a dog and we would likely be waiting a very long time. They advised us that we would be best to go for a puppy. Two other shelters were an outright no to children under 5, another was mostly ex breeding dogs so lots of potential issues and needing someone home full time and the dogs trust were either "adult only or teenage children" home or already reserved. We did look for quite a long time but didn't have any luck. There are certainly shelters that would rehome to us but the fact that so many have stricter criteria made me nervous that it would be a mistake and that I should take the advice I had received.

Once an animal is with us they are here for good so I needed to make 100% sure the fit was right for our existing dog, cat and kids not to mention the new dog and that I was being realistic with what we could offer, so we opted for a puppy again. I am a bit sad that rescue didn't work for us this time but will definitely go down that road in the future when our circumstances are different

Littlewoo Tue 03-Oct-17 22:39:27

We were looking for a year before we found our rescue dog. We didn't have any success looking online as the dogs were always reserved by the time we saw them on the website. We went to visit two centres regularly and built up a good relationship with the staff who got to know us and what we were looking for. One day we went down the lovely guy Matt,who had been dealing with us practically dragged us into the kennels to show us a dog. She had just come up for rehoming, and it was love at first sight. Matt had been about to phone us to get us to come down because our amazing girl had already had a lot of interest.
If you can I'd really recommend visiting the rescue centres and getting your face known. We were really pleased with the whole process, the staff worked really hard at matching us to the correct dog.
It took a while but the wait was worth it.

parklives Wed 04-Oct-17 00:41:50

What Littlewoo said. I think the 'best' dogs (by that I mean the more popular types) get snapped up by people already known to the rescue.
It's a frustrating process, I'm in a similar situation (wanting a rescue rather than a puppy) and I've given myself a year of trying to rescue before I look at puppies.
I have joined loads of Rescue's Facebook groups and look at them a couple of times a day for updates in case there's a suitable dog for me.

CornflakeHomunculus Wed 04-Oct-17 01:06:04

I'd arrange a pre-emptive homecheck with any local rescues you can. Some will do them even if they don't currently have an appropriate dog for you whereas others will only do them if there's a particular dog you're interested in.

Have you been concentrating on all breed rescues so far? There are loads of rescues which are dedicated to finding homes for specific breeds or types of dogs, including many run by the breed clubs. It's definitely worth coming up with a shortlist of breeds you think would suit and looking at the more niche rescues.

olliegarchy99 Wed 04-Oct-17 06:30:50

I feel your frustration - I understand why the rescues have criteria and seek to ensure the dogs go to the best homes
BUT I think they should be more flexible. I lost my beloved lurcher 9 weeks ago and although I am not yet ready for another rescue doggie I have been looking on the greyhound/lurcher rescue sites and find that since I rescued mine 9 years ago - so many insist on not only cat testing (fair enough) and 6ft fences (my lurchers have never jumped so not all of them do) but the need for another dog to be in the home.
Now I appreciate dogs like company but as a retired pensioner I am home most days and I cannot afford to keep more than one dog (insurance, food, day to day care) and surely a home with 1 to 1 contact is better than staying in a rescue centre.sad
Good luck OP - you sound an ideal home looking for a dog and not supporting the many 'designer puppy' sellers (who are often in it only for the money)

olliegarchy99 Wed 04-Oct-17 06:51:26

Just to add - I did find my last lurcher through personal contact - a bit of a leap in the dark but he was wonderful and it worked out well - as I had about given up with the rescues at the time.
I would agree with others that smaller rescues are more flexible or they may know someone who knows someone who knows of a situation where a dog needs to be rehomed.

ForTheTimeBeing Wed 04-Oct-17 07:12:03

Please don't give up, OP, there are so many rescue dogs needing a home. lists 98 rehoming organisations.

I have adopted repeatedly from Bid to Save a Stray and it's worked out very well. As the dogs come from a rescue centre abroad (Romania), you won't be able to meet your dog beforehand, but the people who run the charity give sound advice and match people according to their circumstances with the right dog. Photos and videos are obviously available.

They also have many puppies and they will adopt out to families with children/cats etc if the home check shows that the situation is workable and the prospective owners are sensible and responsible. The charity is registered in the UK and very transparent.

Good luck!

CMOTDibbler Wed 04-Oct-17 07:54:46

I foster for EGLR and adopted both of my dogs from them - the first with a 5 year old child and three cats. We started fostering with a 10 year old, 2 cats and three chickens.
Of my 10 fosters this year (all under 1 apart from the current), all have been cat safe, all have been considered for homes with children (including very young, current needs over 12), and this is the only one who has needed another dog in her forever home as she is nervous.
Mine have gone to people who don't work, work FT with dog going to work with them, work FT compressed hours with dog going to day care, work PT, all sorts really.
And we don't want to make it hard or keep dogs in rescue (god knows we don't - every dog in foster is taking a place that a dog may die waiting for), but we do need to try and do everything to ensure the dog is rehomed successfully in the long term. And cat compatibility, children, and work patterns/cost of dog care are some of the top on the returns list.

If you are looking for child and cat safe, then watch the FB page - its faster for people to post on there. And be prepared to ring several times - we are an entirely voluntary group, and everybody works as well as dealing with the dogs so you are much better ringing till you speak to someone rather than emailing or leaving messages tbh

Flippetydip Wed 04-Oct-17 11:31:17

Retired greyhound trust or local equivalent thereof. They are often very happy to rehome to families.

DeepfriedPizza Wed 04-Oct-17 11:34:16

Smaller rescues are better just like other posters have said. We ended up rescuing from Romania but I think the idea of a pre-emptive home check is a good idea then they can let you know wen a suitable dog comes to them.

arousingcheer Wed 04-Oct-17 11:47:24

We developed a relationship with the rescue by asking for a home check and taking a foster dog. When we wanted to adopt we asked the rescue to recommend a dog for us.

Any chance you could donate some time to the rescue? The one we use needs people to briefly foster dogs who have been spayed, to transport dogs and to walk them. I'm not suggesting that's the cost of admission, just that it will make you more visible to them and demonstrate your committment.

Many rescues are entirely volunteer-run and have to do all the admin and practical tasks themselves so things can take time to get done. They also get a lot of frivolous and false enquiries which they need to wade through in order to find the genuine ones. I agree with pp, get your home checks done, meet some folk from the rescues and you may find they keep you in mind when the right dog comes in.

Elphame Wed 04-Oct-17 15:34:35

Good luck ClayPigeon. my experience was pretty much the same as yours. Just working from home ruled me out of some centres ( why for goodness sake?)

After wasting endless hours online, visiting on spec ( and the nearest is at least 40 minutes drive away) and applying for dogs that were reserved, I gave up and bought a puppy

olliegarchy99 Wed 04-Oct-17 15:45:25

cmot - I have haunted the EGLR website over the past few weeks as I live near enough to visit
I did think I saw your latest foster listed there who looked adorable.
You are very fortunate to be able to foster so many lovely dogs.
I will keep looking from the beginning of next year as there is such a 'lurcher' shaped hole in my life which I need to fill.

CMOTDibbler Wed 04-Oct-17 16:22:15

Keep looking Ollie - my last one would have been perfect for you, its just the current one gets desperately upset if left on her own for 2 minutes and she only sleeps in the direct company of another dog at the moment.
Alas we never have a shortage of dogs, and we do have a fairly widespread fostering network so the dogs can be quite spread out

olliegarchy99 Wed 04-Oct-17 16:31:21

thank you CMOT - I will begin the search in earnest next year when I feel ready for another 'lurch' or greyhound. I was looking for an older dog - probably 4/5 years old. (or even older)
A puppy and a pensioner do not

ihatetosay Wed 04-Oct-17 16:33:34

I rescued mine from Dali Dog Rescue Cyprus they alrady have some dogs in foster in the UK and they have great back up if things dont work out have a look on facebook d.o.g. rescue cyprus - if i had seen him in kennels i would have walked past but he is the cutest most loyal dog ever

BlueKarou Wed 04-Oct-17 16:50:24

I can definitely recommend going to the rescue in person.

I was looking for a dog a couple of years ago, I went to a near-ish branch of Dogs Trust and had a chat with one of their rehomers; I said that I worked 37.5 hour weeks, but could often take a dog in with me, I said that I had 3 cats and was in the process of starting a family (was actually about 4 weeks pregnant at the time, but didn't want to disclose that. Was very open about intending to have a baby though)

They didn't seem to have any objections, and 2 weeks later I brought home a 13 week old lurcher pup. I think talking to me and seeing I knew a bit about dogs helped matters - you can get a much better read of a person face to face than over the phone/internet.

RatherBeRiding Wed 04-Oct-17 16:59:18

I've had 2 greyhounds via the Retired Greyhound Trust and had no problems whatsoever. My children are/were older and we had no cats but both times I have/had been working at least part time, and the second time we already had a dog.

I think the RGT are pretty flexible about who they rehome to, but obviously not everyone wants a greyhound! They didn't insist on 6ft fences but obviously advised to be careful about them getting out etc. Some are advertised as not good with cats, others are advertised as fine with cats.

We have also had a rescue Staffie cross. Again, no problem. Found her online at a small shelter, went to see her, said we'd have her, went back for her, end of story.

The RGT did a kind of home visit for the first greyhound we rehomed, but second time round - as "experienced" greyhound owners - they didn't bother.

I think you might need to try smaller shelters - just Google dogs looking for homes, that's how we found our Staffie cross. Who was as soft as muck but I understand why some people are wary of them.

ClayPigeon Thu 05-Oct-17 09:53:14

Thanks for the tips everyone.

I'm definitely not criticising the rescues having these rules - I'm as keen as they are to get the right match. I've read so many dog's profiles now and have come across quite a few that say they have been returned from adoptive homes and I can imagine how difficult it is to be in a position where it isn't working out but you're torn about keeping trying or returning the dog. I don't want that. I'm just frustrated that it is taking so long to find a dog that isn't already reserved. I've been looking semi seriously for a year now and more seriously for the last 6 months or so but no joy sad

Part of the reason I want to get a dog is because my DD(9) has some problems and we strongly suspect HF ASD. She adores animals and is like a different child when she is with family members' dogs. I've read quite a lot about what difference having a dog can make to children like my DD who really struggles with human relationships. We have the cats but they are very bonded to me and quite aloof with everyone else.

I'm going to take the advice here and get a home check done (I'm FB friends with one who nearly home checked for a dog we were so close to getting and would have been perfect but a family who lived closer got the dog). I could ask her to come Abd do it. I've also started looking at Romanian and European adoption. I know it's slightly controversial adopting a dog from abroad but there does seem to be more suitable dogs available and I would feel good about providing a home and freeing a space for another dog who would potentially face a horrible death in these countries.

I'll update if we get any further. Thanks again for the advice all flowers.

ClayPigeon Thu 05-Oct-17 09:55:12

Forgot to say, if I could choose any dog, it would be a whippet but virtually none are cat safe. I've applied to be a foster home for a few rescues - none bothered to get back to me.

ClayPigeon Thu 05-Oct-17 19:41:12

A little progress to report - we're being home checked at the weekend by one of the shelters that rehomes Romanian dogs in the uk. Fingers crossed we pass!

CornflakeHomunculus Thu 05-Oct-17 21:02:51

Adopting from overseas can work really well but you do need to be extremely careful and go into it with your eyes open.

I'd highly recommend reading the following articles, written by a behaviourist who specialises in rehomed Romanian dogs:

All You Need to Know About Romanian Rescue Dogs

A Step by Step Guide to Adopting a Romanian Rescue Dog

Getting it Right for Your New Romanian Rescue Dog

They're very well balance, honest articles and she has a Romanian rescue herself. She also recommends this FB group for getting information about which rescues do things properly and offer full post adoption support versus those who just ship dogs over and wash their hands of them once they're rehomed.

ClayPigeon Thu 05-Oct-17 23:44:18

Thank you for linking those articles Cornflake flowers Great reading and has given me some questions to ask. So far I'm pretty sure the rescue I have made contact with are legitimate and I'm following them on FB but will look for some reviews too to make sure.

DeepfriedPizza Fri 06-Oct-17 10:11:08

That's lovely. Our Romanian rescue has settled right in, It's been 6 weeks now. There was a time where I had a moment of "what have I done, this is a big mistake" but now we're over that we are really enjoying her.

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