Dogs Rehoming, Adoption & Rescue FAQ | Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust

Frequently asked questions about rehoming.

We are often asked some very common questions regarding our rehoming criteria and how the rehoming process works. Hopefully the few short answers below will answer your questions; however, if not please contact your nearest centre to ask for more information.


Do you take dogs for rehoming?

Our rehoming centres in the UK and Ireland do take in dogs to find them new homes. The dogs are a mixture of private handovers from individuals and other organisations and transfers of unclaimed stray dogs that have been held for the statutory seven days by local authorities.

At any one time we care for over 1500 dogs in our centres and they are frequently very busy. It is therefore possible that there will be a waiting list to hand in a dog.

How can I hand in a dog for rehoming?

If your dog needs to find a new home, please contact us as early as possible after the decision is made. You will need to contact your local centre directly; the best way to do this is by telephone.

Please leave a message if you are not able to speak to someone straight away and our staff will do their best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Please be aware that our centres are generally full to capacity and you might be put on a waiting list. We will endeavour to help every dog that we can; however, there might be times when we are unable to accept a dog for rehoming.

We do not take a fee from you if we are able to take your dog in, but all donations are welcome.

I've filled in a rehoming questionnaire. Why haven't you contacted me about suitable dogs?

We do not contact everyone individually by telephone because there is not the time or resource to do so, and also because meeting you and talking through your questionnaire is a key part of the rehoming process.

As well as trying to make the process speedier and more efficient, this is why we no longer have an online rehoming questionnaire but ask people to fill in the form when they visit the centre.

If your nearest centre is some distance away or you’re only interested in a specific dog, please feel free to call the centre in advance to ask about this.

Please do not send us an email through our online contact form about specific dogs; these enquiries come to our London head office and the staff there are unable to give any more details about particular dogs.

I want a particular breed. Can you contact me when you have one?

We cannot contact people directly about their particular requirements as there is not the time or resource to do so.

However, you can search by breed and specific criteria in the rehoming section, which is updated regularly.

Are the dogs free? How much does it cost to rehome?

Our adoption fee is £150. ( £140 in Ballymena due to extra licence fees)

These fees help us to cover the costs of caring for over 16,000 dogs ever year. Every dog adopted from Dogs Trust is:

  • Neutered (or comes with a neutering voucher if a puppy)
  • Microchipped
  • Vaccinated
  • Vet Checked

You will also receive four weeks' free insurance with Pet Plan and a collar and lead as well as having a pre-adoption talk to help your dog settle in.

Once they’re at home, you’ll be able to access advice from the centre team as needed for the rest of the dog's life.

Can I rehome out of my area?

As long you are able to visit the centre as many times as necessary to complete the process, you are welcome to rehome from any of our centres.

It is worth calling the centre in advance to ask for more details about any specific dogs you are interested in before making any lengthy trips.

Can you move the dog from one centre to another closer to me?

Dogs are rarely moved between centres, and this will happen only when it is considered to be in the dog's best interest.

This is because it can be a stressful process for the dog.

Any transfers happen only with the agreement of both the centres involved. While you are welcome to ask the centres about this possibility, it is important to note that this does not happen often.

Can I reserve a dog online or over the phone? How long can I reserve a dog for?

Dogs cannot be reserved without meeting you as this is a key parts of rehoming process.

To get started, visit a centre to fill in the rehoming questionnaire and find out more about the dogs available.

If this involves a lengthy trip or you are interested in a particular dog, you are welcome to call ahead to enquire further about them.

Once you have visited a centre and the staff have agreed to a match, they will reserve the dog (sometimes known as 'booking') until rehoming is complete.

It is also generally not possible to reserve a dog for an extended period of time, such as until you return from holiday or move house.

This could prevent the dog from finding another suitable home, thus also restricting us from taking in another dog needing our help.

I want to know more about this dog, and see more photos.

You will need to contact the centre the dog is at directly to find out more about them.

Please do not use our online contact form to email us about specific dogs, as these queries come to our London head office and we are unable to give you any further details.

It is unlikely to be possible to send more photos of the dog in question, but you are welcome to come and see them in person during opening hours.

Do I need to make an appointment to visit a centre?

No. Our centres are open six days a week, including weekends and Bank Holidays, and you are welcome to drop in during opening hours.

You can find out the specific opening times and which days each centre is closed by viewing their page under the our centres section of the website.

How long does the rehoming process take?

Every adoption is treated as an individual case, so while the process normally takes about a week, it can be shorter or longer depending on a number of factors, and this should not be taken as a guarantee.

Centre staff will do their best to find a dog whose needs suit your circumstances from the start, so many people agree a match with centre staff on the first visit and are able to take home the dog soon afterwards (pending a home check).

Some might need to visit a centre more times to find a suitable dog, and occasionally dogs might need to get to know their new owners more gradually, over several visits.

Whenever you discuss a dog with centre staff, their needs will be explained to you so that you know what to expect.

If you know there is a big event (moving house, going on holiday, a new baby) coming up soon, it's best to start the process after everything has settled down, so that whenever you find your new dog, you're ready for them.