Dogs Trust

Rehoming a Dogs Trust dog

If you are on this page, it is likely that you want to know more about rehoming one of our rescue dogs!

From your first visit to one of our rehoming centres to potentially taking home a four-legged friend, we are here to help as much as we can.

Take a look at some of our frequently asked questions about our rehoming process, but if there is anything else we can help, just give the team at your local rehoming centre a call.

Questions

Who can rehome a dog from you?

We believe that there is a dog for everyone, but sometimes it can take time to find the perfect match. Anyone is welcome to visit and to rehome from us, if they can meet the welfare needs of that particular dog.

Do you rehome dogs to families with children?

Yes we do. Although every dog is different and some dogs would like to live with children whereas others would prefer an adult-only home. If you are looking at dogs on our website their profile will specify the home they are after. If you are visiting us, just ask our rehoming team which dogs can live with children and they can introduce you!

We also have lots of advice on teaching children how to behave safely around dogs through our Be Dog Smart programme. Feel free to ask for more information from your local rehoming centre.

What will happen when I visit Dogs Trust?

Our rehoming team will go through a questionnaire, designed to help us find out more about you, your lifestyle and the home you can provide so we can see which dogs you may be perfect for. We often find that when you visit, the dog chooses you and not the other way around, so grab a coffee and take your time. If you don’t find a dog on the first visit, you can pop in as many times as you like until you do.

We also find that people come in with an idea of the dog they want and end up with something completely different. Whatever happens, our brilliant teams have rehomed hundreds of thousands of dogs over the years and know just the perfect fit.

This is a great opportunity to find out everything you can about our dogs, from the people who know them best! We understand people will sometimes need to have a dog walker or family member help them out in caring for their dog - that's fine, just let us know so we can make sure any dog we recommend will be comfortable with that!

If you are visiting because you have your eye on a dog, please do give the rehoming centre a call before you visit as some dogs are currently in foster homes or may have just been reserved, so we may need to arrange for them to come to the centre to meet you.

Can I fill out the rehoming questionnaire online?

Unfortunately this service is not yet available online. Please visit your local rehoming centre so we can go through the questionnaire together. You never know, you may spot a furry friend on the visit!

Could I be turned down for rehoming a dog?

We pride ourselves on a thorough behaviour and veterinary assessment that helps us match each dog to the right person. Sometimes a home not be a perfect fit. If that is the case we will discuss this with you and if appropriate, suggest alternative options.

We rehome to all different types of homes from houses and flats to narrow boats! It really does come down to whether your home is the best match for one of our dogs.

We will be honest if we don't feel you are eligible to rehome a particular dog. Please don't take this personally as factors such as working hours, holidays or regular commitments could mean it isn't the best environment for the dog. As a responsible rehoming organisation we would be doing a disservice to ourselves, the dog and to you if we were to rehome a dog somewhere that we didn't see as their forever home.

We know people have their hearts set on certain dogs and it's disappointing to hear they won't be coming home with you but our experts will have made the decision knowing the dog as well as they do, and not wanting to cause undue heartache in the future.

Can you give me a full history on a dog?

Some of our dogs have been handed in, others are stray or abandoned. If a dog is handed in we get as much information as we can from previous owners but if they are a stray it can be difficult. Our expert teams give each dog a full assessment so we can piece together as much of that dog's story as we can. 

We are completely honest and tell you everything we know in order to make sure the rehoming process will be successful.

Can I bring my children into the rehoming centre?

Children are very welcome in our rehoming centres. If you are looking to find a new member of the family, it is important that everyone who will be in regular contact with the dog can get to know them!

We also have lots of advice on teaching children how to behave safely around dogs through our Be Dog Smart programme. Feel free to ask for more information from your local rehoming centre.

How much does it cost to rehome a puppy?

It costs £195 to adopt a puppy from us; this includes a £150 rehoming fee and a £45 Dog School fee.

We believe that training should be the first step for all dog owners, giving puppies and dogs the best start in life to prevent problem behaviours from occurring that could help avoid dogs being returned to kennels in the future.

Dog School is available nationwide, and the whole family are welcome to attend. Our classes teach puppies key life skills, whilst owners learn basic training skills to help create a strong bond with their new canine companion.

As we believe that training is a big part of being a responsible dog owner, we will only rehome dogs under six months to adopters who are willing to attend Dog School's six week course.

How much does it cost to rehome a dog?

Our adoption fee is £150 (£140 in Ballymena) which goes towards the costs of caring for over 15,000 dogs every year.

Your dog will be microchipped, vaccinated and neutered (or come with a neutering voucher if they haven't yet been neutered). They will also have a full vet check, starter pack of food, collar, lead and four weeks' free insurance with Pet Plan.

I already have a dog, does that matter?

Not at all. Our rehoming team can tell you which dogs are suitable to live with other dogs. If you find a dog to rehome we will ask you to bring your other dog to the rehoming centre for a 'doggy meet' so we can be sure that the dogs will be happy to live together.

We will also need to ensure that your dog is fully vaccinated.

Can I take my new dog home on the same day?

Sadly this isn't possible as the process normally takes about a week, but it can be shorter or longer depending on a few factors.

Our rehoming team will do their best to find a dog whose needs suit your lifestyle from the start, so many people agree on a match on the first visit and - pending a potential home visit - can take their new friend home about a week later. Some many need to visit the centre a few times to find a suitable dog, or the dog might prefer a few visits before adoption so they can really get to know you!

You will need to attend a pre-adoption talk at the rehoming centre before taking your new four-legged friend home.

Can I rehome from out of my local area?

Yes, as long as you can visit the centre as many times as necessary to complete the process, you are welcome to rehome from any of our centres. Do call us in advance to ask for more details about any specific dogs you are interested in before making any lengthy trips to avoid disappointment in case dogs are booked or staying with one of our foster carers.

If you are travelling from a long distance, we may be able to complete the process in a matter of days - for example, over a weekend - if you are already a dog owner and we can complete all of our checks in that time. We would hate for one of our dogs to lose out on the perfect home just because of distance.

This is on a case by case basis, and the rehoming team will let you know if this is possible.

I've seen a dog I'm interested in, can it be moved to a centre nearer me?

We try to avoid moving dogs. Our centres are a home away from home, and whilst they are with us we want our dogs to be as comfortable as they can be with a regular routine and consistent care from the same team.

Moving a dog into different situations can be a stressful process so we avoid it unless it is in their best interest. We always advise visiting a dog in their home centre and, if you decide to do this, ringing ahead - just in case the dog has been booked already or is with a foster carer - to avoid disappointment.

Can you email me more details about a dog, or photos?

Our centres are extremely busy so it is unlikely that they will be able to send you more photos.

You are welcome to come and see them during opening hours if you would like more information or keep an eye on the centre's social media feeds as they regularly take footage or photos of the dogs.

Can I reserve a dog online or over the phone?

Unfortunately this isn't an option. Dogs can't be reserved without meeting you as this is a key part of the rehoming process.

Our centres are open six days a week, including weekends and Bank Holidays and you are welcome to drop in during opening hours. If you have a specific dog in mind it's always best to ring ahead.

If I am interested in a breed will you call me when one comes into the centre?

Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to do this. We would recommend keeping an eye on our website, where you can narrow down your search by age, breed and location.

Do you ever get puppies? Can you call me when they come in?

We do get puppies at our centres, but as you can imagine this is a very popular request and we don't have capacity to contact everyone.

You can register your interest at your local rehoming centre, but keep an eye on our website too.

How long can I reserve a dog for?

A dog will be reserved for you once you have met, and the rehoming team feel it's a good match. It is not possible to reserve a dog for an extended period, such as until you return from holiday or move to a new house as this could prevent the dog from finding another suitable home, thus also restricting us from taking in another dog needing our help.

Whilst our centres are designed to be a home away from home, not all dogs adapt well to kennel life so it would be unfair to keep them in kennels loner than they need to be.

How often does Dogs Trust ‘check in’ once a dog has been rehomed?

Our Post Adoption Support Team is available to all adopters at any time, for the rest of the dog’s life.

We call new adopters two days after the dog has gone home, where we check in on how their new family member is settling in and to ask whether they have any worries about their dog’s health or behaviour, or if they have any concerns or feedback about the rehoming process. If they have adopted a puppy, we will ask them to consider training classes, such as Dog School, to help prepare their pup for the world.

We offer a call at two weeks, and then again at for four months after adoption, although the adopter can opt out of this if they wish.

What if it doesn't work out?

Although this is very sad, it does happen. Our famous slogan, 'A dog is for life,' goes for our help too and we are here to help you for the rest of your dog's life.

Shortly after adoption you'll get a call from our Post Adoption Support Team to see how things are going. If you have any concerns, big or small, let us know as our centres are full of dedicated, expert staff who work alongside the Post Adoption Support Team and may be able to help.

If it is ultimately decided that returning your dog to us is the best course of action, we will take them back into our care.

Do you take in dogs for rehoming?

Yes. Dogs come to us for a variety of reasons including private handovers, or if they have been found stray or abandoned.

How do I hand over my dog? Is it free?

If you need to find a new home for your dog please fill in this form. We endeavour to help every dog that we can but as our centres are generally always at capacity there may be a waiting list.

In some cases we may not be able to accept a dog for rehoming, for example if the dog is very aggressive to people or other dogs, this could be dangerous for our staff, visitors and residents. As they will be living in kennels alongside other dogs, it could cause them to become highly stressed which would be unfair. If that is the case the centre manager will discuss this fully with you.

You will also need to bring your dog’s full veterinary history along with you.

It is free to hand over your dog, but all donations are greatly received.

I am having issues with my dog's behaviour; will you accept him/her?

Behaviour is the most common reason people give when they call us to hand over their dog.

To try and keep dogs and their owners together we run a nationwide network of training schools, Dog School. Our classes are based on extensive research and experience and overseen by one of the UK's top experts in canine behaviour. We run classes for puppies, adult dogs and rescue dogs that really focus on everyday problem behaviours. So before considering giving up your dog, we would suggest training classes to see if these problems can be overcome.

Of course, if the only option is to rehome, your local rehoming centre will be able to advise further on the next steps.