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Please read prior to completing the Homing Application

 

At Epsom Canine Rescue, we are determined to ensure that all rescue dogs are homed in an environment that best meets the needs of that dog.

We will also do everything in our power to ensure the dog you are interested in is the right dog for you, and ensure a happy and successful partnership. We never destroy a healthy dog, so please help us to give them a second chance.

Like many smaller rescues, we do not have a re-homing centre which you can visit and view all of our dogs together.  Where we can,  we use foster homes, so our dogs may be in several locations within the local area.  Where we do not have a suitable or available foster home, we use private boarding kennels.

The average cost of a dog in our care exceeds £300.00.  We therefore ask for a minimum donation of £150.00 (or £180 for puppies up to 6months of age) to enable us to continue offering more dogs a lifeline, though of course you are very welcome to offer more :)

 

If at any stage of the adoption process an ECR representative, fosterer, homechecker, behaviourist / trainer or any other rescue volunteer are not completely happy with the match for any reason,  you may be refused adoption and will need to return the dog.

 

Our Minimum Adoption Donation is £150 per dog unless otherwise stated.

 

 

Homing Area

We are a 'local' rescue, and as such are only able to re-home our dogs within an approximate 20 mile radius of Reigate (RH2).

This is because we home-check every home personally, and want to be on hand to offer back-up guidance &  support to settle your new dog into your home if necessary.

Unfortunately we are unable to accept home-checks by other rescues or third-parties.  This is because we feel we know each of our dogs individually, and a home that may be perfect for one dog may not be suitable for another.

 

Homing Procedure

Please take a look at our Current Dogs for Homing pages  - this is regularly updated with all dogs that we currently have available.

If you are interested in offering one of our dogs a home, then we ask that in the first instance you please complete our re-homing questionnaire  which can be found HERE .

This is an online form, that is easy to complete.  At the end you just press submit and it automatically emails the form through to us.  We will then get back in touch with you. Please feel free to list more than one dog you are interested in.

We endeavor to respond as soon as possible. However we are all volunteers with other jobs & commitments, so on occasion this may take a couple of days.

If the dog you are interested in does not suit your requirements, we may suggest another dog which is more suited to your lifestyle or needs.

We will then arrange for you to meet with the dog you have selected.  As we  use foster homes wherever possible,  this may be anywhere within the local area.  If you have an existing dog, we will ask that you bring them along as well to ensure compatability.

We will also arrange a home-check.  This is to check the safety and security of your garden and house for the dog you are considering, and also to establish where the dog will be sleeping.  Again if you have a resident dog, we may also bring the dog you are considering along to ensure that your dog has no problem with unknown dogs in the house.

If all meetings are successful,  then we will arrange for you to collect the dog and take him home.

Approximately two weeks later, we will do a follow up visit to check on progress and  complete the formal adoption paperwork.

 

Homing Guidelines

(Please also take the time to download and read our Guidance Notes on Adopting a Rescue Dog. This provides lots of useful information on preparing for your new dog, what to expect in the first weeks and how to build a successful partnership.)

 

Children

Our minimum child age for re-homing dogs is  8years.  However where applicable, we will specify different minimum child ages for certain dogs based on their background , breed or character. 

We appreciate that not everyone will agree with this policy, however a large proportion of dogs surrendered to us privately are from homes with younger children.  This is often due to lack of time to spend with the dog on exercise/ training &/or socialisation, or from parents concered because the dog has growled or snapped  at a child usually due to inappropriate handling or behaviour.

 

Age of Adopters

This is obviously a very  emotive subject,  and we understand that not everyone will agree with our guidelines.  

However, these are based on two criteria:  (1) Where a large proportion of our dogs in rescue come from ,  and (2) A determination not to place dogs in the same position again, whereby they are forecd into rescue or worse put to sleep  because they can no longer stay in their homes.

Our minimum Age for Adopters is 25.   In general, below this age, people often  have a lot going on in their lives , with changing relationships, jobs, homes, families  and busy social lives .  Whilst we do understand that this does not apply to everyone, we are contacted by a large number of young people who have taken dogs on and can no longer keep them because their circumstances have changed, or sadly because they have taken on dogs on a whim without considering the long-term conmmitment.

 

We have no maximum Age for Adopters, but  above age 65 we would ask for details of a Nominated Party who would agree to permanently take over the care of the dog in event of illness or death.  

It is important that the nominated party considers carefully whether their lifestyle, work commitments , family and/or other pets could reasonably accomodate caring for a dog, who may at that stage be elderly and have health issues.  Confirmation in writing, with contact details would also be requested from the Nominated Party.

In any event , the age of the dog being chosen must be such,  that  there is  a reasonable expectation of that dog living out its final years in its adoptive home.  Dogs in rescue have already been made homeless at least once,  and may already have been moved between kennels and various foster homes; so it is unfair on the dogs to expect them to move home yet again  if their owner can no longer care for them due to illness or perhaps having to move into accomodation that does not allow pets.

 

Gardens

Other than for certain elderly dogs, it is a requirement that any home have a suitably secured outside space or garden for the dog that they are applying for.

Moving home is a stressful time for any dog, and many will also come in with unknown or little recall.  As such  we have a duty to ensure that they are kept safe during this transition period, and that they have a secure environment to explore & run around in whilst bonds are formed with their new family,  and training is undertaken.

The height & type of fencing needed will depend on the breed, age and character of the individual dog  e.g for most Jack-Russell types this will usually mean at least 5' height, made of sturdy materials, with no holes,  & secured with gravel boards or rabbit proofing.

Hedges alone would not usually be adequate as they can easily push their was through if busy following a scent!

 

Working Hours

Again, we do not automatically preclude full-time workers from adopting our dogs. However the dog they are considering must be of a suitable age, personality and background to fit with that lifestyle. 

We would also expect suitable arrangements to be in place e.g a dogwalker to ensure that the dog has an adequate break, company & stimulation during the day.

Unfortunately we have many dogs handed into rescue because they are exhibiting anti-social or destructive behaviour due to poor socialisation and being left alone too long, that we have to take this into account in our re-homing procedures.

 

Puppies

For puppies and dogs under 6 months of age,   we will only re-home to families where someone will be around for most of the day, and who will commit to a programme of socialising and attending training classes; that will ensure that they grow up to be a well rounded adults.

Anybody applying for a puppy/young dog will need to be prepared to invest a large amount of  both time & effort, particularly in the early days.

Applications from full-time workers will therefore not be considered.  You must also be prepared for acommitment of 15 years or so.....

An increased Adoption Fee may apply,  and the additional funds will  be used  towards veterinary costs,  as well as  helping to  support other less fortunate rescue dogs in our care.

The following adoption requirements will also apply:

 - The puppy/young dog must attend a course of suitable training classes to help give it the best start  behaviourally & socially, and evidence must be sent to the rescue.

- The puppy/young dog must be neutered at between 6 - 8 months old (unless a vet advices there is a medical reason not to do so), and evidence sent to the rescue.

 

 

Jack Russell Terriers/ Parson Terriers

As a rescue we often have a number of Jack Russell  or Parsons Terrier types  on our website looking for homes. Not least because  they are a particular favourite our our founder.

 

They are fantastic little dogs, but it is important that you are choosing one for the right reasons, and not just based on size....you get a lot of dog for your money with a Jack Russell!!

 

Whilst this is obviously a generalisation and there are exceptions to the rule . It is important to remember that Jack Russell/Parson Terriers are first and foremost a working breedoriginally bred to bolt quarry from their dens.  So they  tend to be extremely intelligent, athletic, fearless, and vocal dogs.  They have a tendency to bore easily, so it is not uncommon for them to become noisy or destructive if not properly stimulated and exercised,   and they will consequently often create their own fun when left alone to entertain themselves!!

Their high energy  makes them ideally suited to busy households where they can join in  ( & help!) with everyday activities.  And obedience classes are also a must,  as Jack Russells know their own minds , can be a little stubborn and are headstrong, independent & fearless if  not properly socialised.

Despite their small size, they aren't particularly suited to living in a flat or a highly urban area - they  would much prefer the freedom of burning off energy running in a more rural environment, flushing out the hedgerows and following all the smells and sniffs, as they generally have quite a high prey-drive.

They do make good family dogs,  and if well socialised are generally friendly towards children. However,  they  will not tolerate manhandling even if it is unintentional, so are not well suited to households with pre-school children.

Unless they have been bought up around cats  or are still very young, feline companions are not generally an option as they will usually chase .  And secure fencing is a must.  Terriers are avid climbers and diggers,  and will escape through the smallest holes after something of interest.    For this reason 5-6' fencing is a must and hedging alone will not usually be adequate.  It will need to be reinforced with sturdy wire mesh , and fixed properly into the ground (See separate paragraph on fencing) .

We will also not generally home a terrier bitch to a home where there is already a resident female terrier type dog, as it often leads to problems and scraps further down the line. The exception being where we have a known, bonded pair of females looking for a home together, and we know theirh istory and that they are happy to share, toys, people and other resources.

 

Why Muzzle Train?

We muzzle train many of our dogs as a matter of course. But what may come as a surprise to many people, is that the reason we do so is actually for the safety and protection of OUR dogs.

Dogs are trained to wear a muzzle for a number of reasons:

- Some dogs just can't resist 'snacking' whilst outside the house, and see walks as a veritable smorgasbord of nibbles and treats to try on route. Whilst some choices can be frankly rather disgusting, others can cause upset stomachs or other health problems. 

Muzzles can help this by making it difficult for you dog to pick up anything you do not directly feed them. And yes - you can still give treats through the side of a muzzle!

- Some dogs can get over-excited when playing with other dogs. They aren't being vicious or attacking, its just that their style of play can be a little over the top, or isn't well suited to their play companion. The sheer thrill of running around with another dog can sometimes mean excitable nips as they tear past each other, and particularly with thin-coated dogs, tiny 'grazes' can open up dramatically as they move. Often the dogs don't even notice at the time, as they are so engrossed in the game, and it is particularly common in Sighthounds with their style of play, thin coats and racey-chasey games. 

By muzzle training your dog, you are giving him the opportunity to continue having fun and socialising ( particularly important in young dogs), without having to worry about things getting out of hand and costly vet bills. Obviously it goes without saying that a muzzle does not give a dog free reign to 'run riot', and that you should always ensure that your dog displays good manners around others, and returns to you when it is time to end the game and go home, 

- Some dogs are not keen on having other dogs up close & in their face. This can be due to a number of reasons including lack of early socialisation, or because they have had poor experiences with other dogs in the past which can lead to fear-aggression. The majority of dogs just want to stay out of trouble and enjoy their walk in their own space. Unfortunately, we cannot control other owners and their dogs. Often the owners of "friendly dogs" are the worst culprits here, allowing their dogs to bound up to everyone and every dog, getting excitable and up close & personal because their dog "doesn't react" & "just wants to make friends". In dog terms this is very rude and shows poor social skills on the part of the other dog in not reading your dogs body language that says "go away I just want to be left alone please". So that your dog is left with the only other canine option - growling & perhaps lunging. 

It is a sad fact that If your dog is a spaniel or a lab, and they react like this it is considered acceptable. However, if your dog is a Staffie or other Bullbreed, because of the bad-press they get, people's reactions are different. So regardless of the circumstances, the Staffie/Bull-breed ends up getting the blame. 

For this reason we will choose to muzzle train the majority of our Staffies/Bullbreeds - to highlight that WE are the responsible owners, and to protect them from any recourse; but also to enable them to gradually rebuild their confidence around other dogs. 

The key to success here is correct training. And like any new experience it needs to be taught in the right way, over a period of time and using positive reinforcement. Using these methods the muzzle just becomes part of 'walkies' and usually ends up generating the same level of anticipation as when a lead and harness are produced ready to go out. 

An excellent video that shows how to successfully muzzle train your dog can be found here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FABgZTFvHo

We will always discuss with you when you meet our dogs whether they are muzzle trained or still undergoing training, and explain the reasons why. And we will provide guidance and back-up on how to continue with the training. 

It is important for the dog that you continue use the muzzle on all walks, and not just "dip in and out" , otherwise the dog will become confused nod unsettled.

As always our long-term goal is Happy, Healthy Dogs!!

 

Resident Cats

Many Dogs & Cats can live happily together, and we will always put the cat status of a particular Dog on its web-page.  In some instances  this may be unknown, and it may be possible to ‘cat test’ an unknown dog in one of our foster homes where there are resident ‘dog-savvy’ cats.

However,  it is important to remember that even with dogs that have lived with cats previously, or shown little interest when ‘tested’, personalities & environments vary, and results can be different with other cats.

It is also important to consider the personality of your own cats.  If they are timid or skittish, they may be more inclined to run, which is a greater temptation to any dog to chase; whereas a more ‘dog-savvy’ confident cat would hold its ground.

You should also bear in mind that if cats are not used to dogs, (or a particular dog), then  they may (in the short-term)  retreat and spend more time upstairs or outside whilst they get used to the presence of a new family member,  and that this can often make owners feel guilty!   They will gradually get braver as time goes on and venture down the stairs to peer through the stair-gate  – remember cats are very inquisitive!!

With careful integration there is no reason why the two cannot live happily together, but it is important to start of on the right track and create a ‘safety zone’ for the cat.

A cat’s instinct is to go up high, so a dog stair-gate (taller than a child one) is a must have, placed across the bottom of the staircase, as your cat will have the ability to easily scale this and dart upstairs if he feels threatened.   The idea is to leave the upstairs a dog free zone to start with,  and have this as an area where you cat can feel relaxed and safe. It also means that both cat and dog still have the opportunity to see each other (that a closed door does not provide), so gradually the cat loses its ‘novelty factor’.  This may mean having to leave food & water bowls on the upstairs landing.

Take time in the house to give treats and get to know  the dog before leaving your cat flap open or even a door.  In the early days it is better to leave a ground floor vent type window open so the cat can use this (as a running cat across the floor will be a target).  When they do meet,  this should always done under supervision, using a house line so you are able to restrain your new dog if need be.  The owner must play the part of mediator, helped with both physical (stroking/treats) and verbal rewards.

It will take time for both to feel at ease with each other. Please don’t give up after 48 hours because you feel sorry for your cat, they will come around!!!