By becoming a volunteer you must be prepared to act quickly if required
Remember, it's not all glamorous and they are not all happy ending. Once you have completed an application you will be interviewed to ascertain your suitability as a volunteer
Being a rescue volunteer can be incredibly rewarding and on occasions incredibly heart breaking, but If you feel you have what it takes and can offer your time to help Bulldogs in need in your area please contact us. You will be able to claim all bona fide expenses including mileage.
Please only apply if you are serious about working hard for nothing except the look of gratitude from the dogs we help. There is nothing more frustrating than a volunteer who can never help.
WHICH ASPECTS OF BEING A VOLUNTEER CAN YOU HELP WITH?
Transportation: This can be running dogs from one to home to the next, part of a railroad to get a bulldog to the kennel in Midhurst or collecting dogs to go into foster care
You are required to travel each dog safely, by way of either a dog crate measuring approximately 30" x 20" x 24" or a secure harness specifically designed to attach to the seatbelt. You must not allow any dog you have collected to sit lose in your car. This is for both the safety of you and the dog. DEFRAs guidelines for the transpiration of domestic animals can be found HERE (PDF document)
A green collar tag must be placed on the dog as soon as he is collected in order that the office can be contacted in the case of an accident.
Home visits: Where possible we will send a volunteer to the home of a dog that has been listed to be rehomed from home. This is to a) ensure the dog is a bulldog b) that it is safe to be rehomed c) that the environment is one that is safe for the dog to stay in.
Home Check: Every prospective new home requires a home check. This is usually done when there is a dog available for that person so the home check can be done with that specific dog in mind. You will be given a copy of the prospective new homes original application and a copy of the dogs profile so you can a) ensure that what they have told us is actually true (ie: large secure garden) and b) that the dog selected for them would fit into their home. The home check form requires a brief questionnaire to be completed at the time of the home check and you are able to inform the new home there and then if they have passed or failed by handing them the slip at the bottom. In the case of a fail because say the fence is down just ask them to contact you when it has been repaired so you can come out and check. If you don't want to tell them they have failed just let Tania know and she will write to them accordingly. Once you have home checked a family we like it that you become the first point of contact for that family once the dog has moved, this could subsequently involve revisiting the family to ensure the dog is OK, or in the case that the placement has failed, collecting the dog in order for him to go into foster care.
Home checks must be by appointment only and on instruction from Tania. You'll be surprised how many people are nervous about being home checked! We are not looking for a palace - in fact any house that appears to be obsessively tidy may not be a suitable home for a bulldog. Untidy homes are OK - you are not judging the family on their ability to do housework, but any home that is unhealthily untidy is probably not suitable either. Ensure the garden is both secure and safe, if the garden contains items that could be of danger to the dog, or have areas where the dog could escape but would otherwise be a pass, ask them to rectify the problem and call you when the garden has been made safe for you to inspect and issue the pass slip.
Fostering: Most foster cases are short term. All dogs that have been gifted into the rescue must stay in foster care for a minimum of 7 days, this allows us time to get to know the dog and also ensures that no new home has been promised the dog should the previous owner suddenly decide that they have made a terrible mistake. At the end of the 7 day period the dog will be listed for rehoming on our web site and efforts will begin to find that dog a new home. In some cases the fostering could be long term because they are either difficult to rehome or they have arrived in rescue with serious medical issues that require treatment before the dog can be rehomed. In cases where it's impossible for you to keep the dog long term alternative arrangements can be made to either move the dog to another foster home or to the main kennel in Midhurst.
Occasionally getting a dog into foster care is urgent, in these cases it is imperative that you are contactable within a 24 hour period of the initial call being taken by the office.
It is important that all foster dogs, are where possible, kept in a separate area from your own dogs. In the case of a long term foster you may in time integrate the dog with your own as long as you are sure they have nothing contagious and that they are not dog aggressive. It is also important that the dog is checked over as soon as possible and the intake form completed and forwarded to Tania. Each dog must also be booked in so Tania is aware that they have safely arrived in foster care.
There are occasions when a dog will require his temperament assessing. We will NOT rehome a known biter and we will not rehome any dog that has displayed aggression to humans whilst in foster care. Before completing an application to become a foster home you must be aware that not only is euthanasia part of the job for dogs that are deemed too dangerous to rehome, but you will also be required to stay with the dog at the vets until he has passed. This a very difficult part of the job and you will be asked to do this at some point during your time as a volunteer.
Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming understand animal welfare is a difficult role and constantly aim to monitor the mental health of all their volunteers. We are members of the Mindful Employer Scheme and encourage all their volunteers to share difficult experiences