How we are staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020

We’re committed to making sure our workplaces and venues open to customers are Covid-secure. Here’s how we’re meeting the government’s criteria: 

We have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment

We have carried out a thorough risk assessment of our 21 rehoming centres and various charity shops around the UK, and all team members working within these premises are fully up to date on our new Covid-19 procedure to ensure they can continue to work safely.  

Our London office is currently only open for business-critical purposes and for roles who can’t do their job from home, including our Facilities team and Pharmacy team. Staff visiting our London office are able to keep 2m apart at all times and are required to wear a mask and gloves whilst on site and wash their hands when they arrive and before they leave. All other teams will be working from home for the foreseeable future.

If you’re interested in seeing our risk assessments please email [email protected].


Our rehoming centres

We have cleaning, handwashing, and hygiene procedures in line with guidance

  • We ask all staff to wash hands on arrival, before and after any interaction with one of our dogs, after handling paperwork, before and after lunches / breaks and before going home
  • Although appointments with members of the public will take place in an outdoor area, we kindly ask members of the public coming to our rehoming centre to wash their hands before they arrive and as soon as they get home and use their own hand sanitiser throughout the appointment. 
  • Staff will carry masks, gloves and hand sanitiser at all times in the event of an emergency which requires them to be closer, for example, they need to give first aid
  • If dogs are returning to the centre from being in a foster home or have been given up to us, they will be isolated for between 72 hours to five days, at the managers discretion, before going to another foster home or to one of our kennels 
  • Isolation areas and kennels will be regularly disinfected  
  • On arrival at a new foster home or forever home, we advise that dogs should be wiped down by new family and all collars and leads should be disinfected 
  • We advise the new foster / forever family that they should wash hands after handling the dog or any of their belongings for at least 5 days.

Our Dog School classes

We’re pleased to resume classes at some of our Dog Schools on a phased basis from 17th August. 

Our classes have been individually risk assessed by our specialist Health & Safety team to ensure we can follow all government guidelines to protect our staff and dog owners.

  • We’ll be running smaller classes. Under normal circumstances, classes would have two Dog School Coaches, several volunteers and up to six dogs and their owners per class. To ensure we can maintain social distancing, we’ll be limiting this to one Dog School Coach and four dogs. A maximum of two people from the same household will be allowed to attend with each dog per class. 
  • New safety measures will be in place. We’ll be asking staff and dog owners to make use of hand sanitiser before classes start, and to wear face masks for the duration of the class. Dog owners will also be asked to bring their own blanket and treats. 
  • We’ll be resuming Dog Schools on a case-by-case basis. We have 30 Dog Schools, run from 120 venues across the UK. Around half of these will reopen from 17th August, dependent on venues being open, or us being able to find suitable, safe alternative venues. 

To find out if your local Dog School has re-opened for classes, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/dogschool and make an enquiry with your local Dog School team. 


Our charity shops and donation centre in Portchester

We are pleased to announce we have reopened twelve of our charity shops as of Monday 21st September. We can’t wait to reopen all of our shops and see our fantastic supporters again – albeit at a safe distance! It is great to be able to get our shops back up and running after so many of our fundraising activities have been impacted by Covid-19.

We are following all government guidance to keep our staff and supporters safe

  • We are asking staff and supporters to practice frequent hand washing with soap and sanitiser
  • Our shops are operating with only essential staff at the moment in order to maintain social distancing measures. This is a temporary measure and we look forward to welcoming our volunteers back soon
  • We have provided our shop teams with face masks, gloves and aprons and have asked them to wear these throughout the day, when handling donations and conducting transactions with supporters
  • All donations received will be date-stamped and quarantined for 72 hours to remove any risk of infection
  • Each of our shops will have specific times when supporters can make donations, in order to maintain quarantine procedures
  • We have also installed cough guards at our till points and hand sanitising stations for staff and our supporters
  • We are also limiting the maximum number of staff and shoppers inside our shops at any one time so that people can remain two meters apart. The maximum number of people in a shop will be signposted in each shop window
  • We look forward to being able to welcome dogs back into our shops, however for the moment we are asking supporters not to bring canine friends on their visit. This is only a temporary measure until staff and customers have adjusted to our new way of working
  • We are also asking supporters to hold onto larger items such as furniture, for the moment until normal business resumes; as well as all books, soft toys and children’s games.

We have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home

In line with Government guidance, all members of staff who are able to work from home are doing so. Where possible, we have provided staff who need it with equipment. All staff have been given information on how to work at home safely with practical assistance on how to set up a new workspace and keeping data secure. We also encourage a good work-life balance with tips on everything from taking regular breaks and weekly wellbeing sessions to advice on balancing working from home and home-schooling.  


We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace

We have a new rota system at our rehoming centres to limit the number of staff, and communicate by radio to let others know their location, to avoid close proximity in one space at any one time. 

All dogs will be on long lines, and after meeting a new family, the dog will be wiped down as an extra precaution. Long lines, door handles, gate pushes and radios will be disinfected regularly. Staff will also change their uniform after meeting with members of the public.

Adopters will be advised on the new process during a virtual meeting prior to a visit to our centre. They will be asked to pay over the phone, and paperwork won’t be passed directly between people, it will be placed in plastic wallets and only opened after 48 hours. 

Any members of staff taking a dog to their new home will wear a mask, gloves and apron. They will have the dog on a long lead, or place the dog in a crate in the adopter’s outside space. Find out more about our new rehoming procedure.


Where people cannot be 2m apart, we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk

Dogs will be on a long line when meeting new adopters at the centre, as these will allow staff to keep control of the dog while giving them the opportunity to interact with their new family and maintain social distancing. Staff will carry gloves, a mask and hand sanitiser at all times in the event of an emergency which requires them to be closer, for example, they need to give first aid.