Canine Care Card FAQs

We've answered the most common questions about our Canine Care Card service. If you have any questions that we haven't answered below or you need to get in touch with the team regarding our Canine Care Card service, please email us or call us on 020 7837 0006.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Canine Care Card work?

Your Dog Guardian should notify Dogs Trust on 020 7837 0006 should the worst happen. It is the responsibility of the Dog Guardian to arrange interim care for your dog whilst we arrange for him/her to come into one of our rehoming centres. If a neighbour or next of kin is able to bring them to us, that is always extremely helpful. However if this is not possible we will arrange for a member of staff to organise collection. 

When your dog arrives at Dogs Trust, our qualified behaviourists will assess them. This ensures we can provide the best possible care and helps us to know what home will suit him/her best. Your completed Canine Care Card application form is extremely useful as we have all of the information about your canine companion to hand.

Before your companion can be rehomed, all adopters are asked to attend a pre-adoption talk at the rehoming centre, to discuss how to make their new dog feel welcome and settle in with a minimum of stress. At Dogs Trust, the rehoming process does not end when your dog goes to the new home. Our Post Adoption Support Team of behaviourists will be there to provide lifelong advice, support and information to owners of all DT-rehomed dogs so we are always here to help your dog at any point should they need us.

At Dogs Trust we never put down a healthy dog, so if for some reason it takes us longer to rehome your dog you can be sure that they will be happy and healthy with us, until their loving new home is found.

Are there any dogs you can't accept?

At Dogs Trust, we love all dogs. And though we want to be able to care for any dog whose owner has passed away or become seriously ill, there are some cases where this might not be possible. Unfortunately, we are unable to activate a Canine Care Card if your dog falls into one of the categories below:

· Extreme aggression - to protect the other dogs in our care, along with our staff and volunteers, we are unable to take in dogs that pose a danger to human life or other dogs in our care. This could be aggression issues or a contagious medical condition.

· Banned breeds - due to UK legislation, we are currently unable to take into our care any dog categorised as an index dog or any dog that has limitations imposed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

· Living overseas - the UK has managed to eradicate or control certain illnesses and diseases that impact the dog population. Therefore, to protect the dogs in our care, we are unfortunately unable to accept dogs currently living overseas and would recommend that you make local provision for your dog’s care.

Of course we know that dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and they all come with a different story. And we want to hear it! So if you are unsure whether your dog falls into one of these categories, please call us on 0207 837 0006 and our dedicated team will be more than happy to discuss this with you.

How can I make sure the process works smoothly?

Here's some handy hints:

  • Please be sure to update your Will to include the Canine Care Card information and also notify friends and family of your wishes.
  • Please notify us if you change address.
  • Please let us know should your Dog Guardian details change.
  • Please keep your microchip information up to date.
  • Please keep your dog up to date with any vaccinations.
  • Please update us with any medical or behavioural conditions.
  • Please notify us if you get another dog or if your dog sadly passes away.
  • Remember to carry your card on you, as you would an organ donor card.

Can I still take out a Canine Care Card even though a family member will probably take on my dog?

Yes. If for some reason your family member could not care for your dog, Dogs Trust would be able to care for and rehome them. Please ensure that you leave details in your Will regarding the care of your dog so that there can be no confusion about your wishes.

To register for the Canine Care Card you need me to elect a Dog Guardian, what should I do if I don’t have anyone who can be my Dog Guardian?

Whilst we would always suggest that your Dog Guardian should be someone close to you and your dog that you can trust, we do understand that sometimes this isn’t possible. Your Dog Guardian could be a neighbour, your vet, or even your GP, so long as they are happy to act as the point of contact between Dogs Trust and your dog and get in touch when you pass away or become seriously ill and are no longer able to care for your dog. Ideally this would mean that your dog would come into our care as quickly as possible.

Will my dog go to my local rehoming centre?

Should the worst happen to you, your dog would be taken to the nearest rehoming centre with availability. As you can imagine, our rehoming centres are often full to capacity, rescuing as many dogs in need as we can. In most cases a dog is taken to the nearest rehoming centre. However if this was full we would then look to take your dog to the next nearest Centre with availability.

You say you never put down a healthy dog but my dog has an ongoing medical condition. Will he be put to sleep? Will you provide the necessary veterinary treatment?

We treat all dogs as though they were a beloved family pet. If your dog has an ongoing medical condition then we would of course continue to treat this. Please supply as much information as possible with regards to veterinarian and dosage details to ensure that we can administer the medicine correctly.

I have two dogs will they be re-homed together?

We would allow your dogs plenty of time to settle into our comfortable kennels, housing them together as long as they are happy to, as we find that sometimes even the best of friends can enjoy having their very own space to relax in but see each other for walks and play times. We always seek to provide for every dog’s needs as best we can so they can thrive in our care and are able to house dogs together where this is beneficial for both. As we want to give every dog the best chance of that loving new home, should a prospective owner seek to rehome just one dog we would not want to deny any of your dogs a loving home.

Can you care for/find appropriate care for my cats/other animals as well?

Unfortunately as a dog charity we do not have the facilities to look after other species. We advise that you contact the other animal welfare charities in your area to see if they can help or can offer a similar service to the Canine Care Card.

Do I need to notify you if my dog dies?

Yes please. We can then ensure that our records are updated accordingly.

Do I need to notify you if I get another dog?

Yes please. If you do decide to take on any more dogs and would like them to be registered on the Canine Care Card we will send you a new application form and also discuss any additional requirements. Please note that separate rules apply for registering more than 4 dogs.