There are thousands of unwanted animals awaiting a second chance in dog rescue homes. If you’re looking for a pet, why not adopt one?
Ever considered a dating agency? Maybe not, but millions of people do every year, often finding the partner of their dreams. The same could be true for getting a pet.
If you’re considering adopting a dog, there’s almost certainly a perfect match ready and waiting in one of the many rescue centres around the UK. Unless you have very specific criteria – a rare pedigree, perhaps – this is one of the best solutions to finding a new pet. Rehoming centres are skilled at finding you the perfect match. By then, they will have checked the animal’s health and given him a course of vaccinations. They will also have carried out tests on his temperament, increasing the chance of finding just the right companion to suit your personality.
How to find your perfect pet
The obvious destinations for dog adoption in the UK are the RSPCA (rspca.org.uk), Dogs Trust (dogstrust.org.uk) and Blue Cross (bluecross.org.uk), but there are also many local homes (most famously Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, battersea.org.uk, which has three centres in the South East of England). You can find your nearest centres by searching for your location and ‘dog adoption’ online, or try a dedicated pet-rehoming search engine, such as Pet Adoption UK (petadoptionuk.co.uk). Whichever you choose, it’s important to go to a trusted and certified agent.
Most rescue centres match you with a dog by letting you enter your criteria (size, age, breed, child-friendliness) to scan through potential matches. Don’t be surprised to discover that the old nugget about love at first sight applies.
Going through the dog adoption process
For organisations like the RSPCA, their first priority will be to match you and your family with the right pet.
Once you’ve identified your new best friend, there are a few understandable hoops to jump through. It’s to be expected that centres want to be sure the dog is going be placed with a safe, caring owner who will be able to look after him long term.
Different agencies will have different standards, but you should expect to have to register and fill out an application form providing proof of address.
Following this, there may be a home visit to assess the suitability of you and your house. After this, you’ll be introduced to the dog. If you and your potential pet partner are deemed a good match, you’ll be able to bring them home. A fee will be payable to cover the centre’s costs for care, medical support, neutering, insurance and microchipping.
There should be aftercare support available, because not all animals will be house-trained. There may also be settling-in issues. It’s important to accept there may be tricky moments –you’re introducing a new character to the household, and like any relationship it can take time, especially if the animal has had a hard life previously (you will be informed about his history).
Rescuing a dog is a truly rewarding experience for both parties – a generous act you’ll never regret.