BULLDOG RESCUE POLICY
DOGS AWAITING RE-HOMING
Bulldogs awaiting re-homing will either be placed into a Bulldog Rescue registered foster home, be sent to an approved boarding kennel, be sent to the main Kennel at Midhurst or be re-homed via the re-homing service and therefore left in their current home.
All owners who wish for us to rehome their dog must complete an on line information sheet first. This form also includes a disclaimer that asks them to confirm that their dog has never bitten a person or shown aggression towards people at any time and that Bulldog Rescue cannot be held liable for any false information given. This form also asked them to agree that they will also surrender of all legal rights to the dog at the point he leaves their property.
Where possible a volunteer will visit the dog prior to the rehoming taking place to ensure everything is as detailed on the information sheet, that the living conditions are acceptable, that the owner is capable of continuing to care for the dog and that the dog is safe to rehome.
In situations where the dog is to be rehomed from home the current owner will be asked to sign a “Rehoming Agreement” agreeing to not rehome privately or via a different rescue in order to not waste Bulldog Rescue’s resources. They are also asked to agree that in the event the dog is unavailable at the point a new home is found they will be asked to pay all costs up until that point
In most cases the prospective new family is expected to go to where the dog is, especially in the case of the dog still being at home as this allows them to be able to see the dog on his own territory and thus acting in a more natural manor than he may do if he were in kennels or a strange environment such as a foster home. In some cases the dog may be transported by a volunteer between homes especially if the current owner does not want to meet the new family.
It must be stressed very strongly to the current owners the importance of honesty as should it also be stressed to the potential new home that we are not always told the truth and that rescue dogs should be taken on bearing in mind that there maybe some unknown baggage and always with the intention that the arrangement is a permanent one.
When we are satisfied that we have found a suitable new home the details shall be forwarded to the current owners with the view that they should make contact with the potential new owner. The current owners can change their mind at any point up until the dog has left their property and they are not obliged to let their dog go with any one that they do not like. It is important the final stages are orchestrated by the current owner in order to protect Bulldog Rescue against accusations of making the process move to quickly.
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP
Dogs automatically become the property of Bulldog Rescue at the point they leave their current home and will remain so until such time that the formal adoption form and adoption fee has been received by the office. Legal keepership and therefore full responsibility for the safety and welfare of the dog is transferred immediately the dog leaves to his new owner.
Original owners must inform Bulldog Rescue as soon as the dog has left their possession by way of an online sign over form which will immediately be received by the office. At this point a text is sent to the new family informing them of what they should do if things go wrong. In the event the re-homing fails the dog must not be offered back to his original owner and instead Bulldog Rescue will instruct the nearest registered volunteer to collect the dog. All foster spaces (including those at the main kennel MUST be as directed by the co-ordinator).
SURRENDER OF DOGS
If it is not possible for the dog stay at home or if the visiting volunteers deems it unsuitable for the dog to be left at home then he may be moved to a nearby registered foster home or approved kennel. A surrender form must be signed by the current owner transferring the dog into the care of Bulldog Rescue and in the event that the surrender is made via a third party any written authorisation from the owner(s) should be disclosed at the time of surrender. KC papers (if there are any) should be collected together with the vaccination record and forwarded to the office as quickly as possible. All (if any) of the dogs personal belongings are to be labelled and sent with the dog to his new home.
All dogs currently in rescue care must wear a Rescue collar and/or tag at all times and all those brought to the main rescue kennel will be scanned for a microchip and checked against the lost/stolen list before being re-homed.
In the event there is no microchip, one will be inserted as quickly as possible
PURCHASE OF DOGS
Bulldog Rescue will avoid wherever possible the purchase of any dog advertised as for sale. However, discretion may be used in situations where the dog is in imminent danger, requires urgent veterinary intervention or where a purchase is the only option in which a dog can be obtained. Dog's may only be purchased with the express permission of the Chief Executive who may from time to time fund raise for such a purchase, a limit of £100.00 direct from the rescue funds is set for such situations, however this figure may be reviewed periodically.
In the event that the dog is not microchipped rescue will implant a chip prior to him leaving where possible. From April 2016 Bulldog Rescue are no longer able to have microchips registered to them unless the dog is in foster care. In the event there is no chip; Bulldog Rescue will implant one and fosterers may ask their vets to microchip any dog in their care prior to rehoming with the invoice being sent to the office for payment.
Dogs that are already microchipped upon rehoming shall have the chip details transferred to the new owners via the AniLog system
KENNEL CLUB PAPERS
Any available Kennel Club papers are to be retained by the Bulldog Rescue office, they will be filed and not transferred to the new owner. This is to try and ensure that the dog goes on as nothing more than a pet but also as part of our confidentiality policy to protect previous owners and/or breeders. Bulldog Rescue also feel they have a responsibility to ensure that the Kennel club papers do not fall into the wrong hands.
Vaccination cards should be forwarded to the office and all of the dogs personal belongings should go with the dog to it’s new family. New owners are not to be told the registered name of the dog (if known) to prevent them from obtaining copy papers from the Kennel Club or from contacting any previous owner.
In the event the rehoming is cancelled before the dog has moved all paperwork and vaccination records shall be returned to the owner along with the costing invoice
All re-homed bulldogs must be formally adopted and an adoption fee will be charged in accordance with the dog's age at the point of adoption unless the dog is elderly or has an illness or requires long term veterinary attention. The bulldog in question will remain the property of Bulldog Rescue until the adoption process has been completed.
CONDITIONS OF ADOPTION
The new owners are prohibited from breeding or showing their dog, they are also prohibited from selling or giving him away and in the event that their personal circumstances change rescue must be contacted in order to arrange return of the dog or for a new home to be found
In the event that the dog is not yet neutered, the new owners will take responsibility for ensuring it takes place within 6 months of adoption at Bulldog Rescue’s expense unless the dog is elderly or is suffering from a condition that would put the dog at risk by undergoing such surgery. All adoption paperwork includes a Neutering voucher requesting the veterinary surgery contact the Bulldog Rescue office for payment on the day of the surgery.
Male dog must not be castrated prior to the age of 18 months and it is preferred that bitches are spayed 3 months following the end of her season
ABANDONED OR NEGLECTED DOGS
Dogs that have been abandoned should be taken to the nearest registered rescue volunteer where the dog should be taken to a veterinary surgeon for examination and to be scanned for a microchip to check against the data base.
Temperaments should also be assessed where possible and any medical problems dealt with before the re-homing process can begin.
Stray dogs must be held for a minimum period of 7 days (unless they have already been held at a stray kennel elsewhere for the same period) and the local dog warden must be informed that the dog is currently with Bulldog Rescue if not already informed by the finder or the stray kennels that signed the dog over. Bulldog Rescue have no powers to seize dogs that are considered to be neglected or at risk or that have been treated in a cruel manor. In the event that cruelty and/or neglect is suspected bulldog rescue can be contacted as in some cases we may be able to inform the RSPCA who can investigate and if necessary, undertake any appropriate legal proceedings.
CROSS BRED BULLDOGS
Under no circumstances must Bulldog Rescue agree to rehome or take in any other type of Bulldog. This includes American, Victorian, Olde Tyme, Dorset, Aylestone, Sussex and other creation that may arise in the future. In the event there are no kennel club papers discretion will be given to the management team to decide if the dog in question is “bulldog enough” based on detailed photos.
NON RECOGNISED COLOURS (Pending approval)
Bulldog Rescue will not refuse to help dogs of unrecognised colours BUT the charity must be satisfied that the dog in question is a full bulldog and not a variation of other bull breeds bred in order to produce a non-recognised coat colour. Therefore, all requests to rehome dogs that are Tri, Black and White, Black and Tan, Blue or Lilac in coat colour or Dudley which can produce lilac coated pups must be able to produce a genuine kennel club registration document issued by The Kennel Club in Clarges Street London, prior to the charity agreeing to rehome the dog.
Due to the increased theft risk these dogs will be spayed or castrated BEFORE being rehomed and in the event there are no kennel club papers discretion will be given to the management team to decide if the dog in question is “bulldog enough” in the same way as already done with suspected crosses
Bulldog Rescue operate a non-prosecution policy in an effort to encourage owners that have not looked after their bulldog properly to surrender the dog to us as opposed to abandoning them.
DESTRUCTION OF DOGS
Bulldog Rescue operate a non-destruction policy except in cases where the dog is known to be aggressive towards people or is terminally ill.
Bulldog Rescue adopt the policy that it is irresponsible to re-home a dog that is known to be people aggressive or that has already bitten a person and subsequently will advise euthanasia for dogs we are asked to rehome due to a biting incident. We draw this conclusion on the basis that if those that know him the best don’t trust him then we cannot responsibly place the dog with a stranger who would be subsequently put at known risk. This is in line with the current Dangerous Dog Laws which specify a dog is considered as dangerous if it has knowingly bitten or been aggressive to people (both on private and public property) within the previous 6 month period.
We will advise the current owner to ensure a veterinary surgeon thoroughly examines the dog and rules out illness or pain induced aggression but in the case where euthanasia is advised it is preferred that the owner is the one that takes the dog to the vet as this is considered to be much kinder for the dog who will subsequently be in the company of his family as opposed to strangers. However, Bulldog Rescue will sometimes collect a dog with the sole intention of putting him to sleep if it is felt the current owner will allow the dog to be sold or rehomed privately and subsequently put members of the public at risk. A record of all “first contact” is kept on the AniLog system in the hope we can identify dogs coming through via a different owner which we are already aware are aggressive to people.
Rescue will not rehome any dog a second time that has been returned to them because of a biting incident and will instead euthanise the dog as quickly as possible, we consider it to be irresponsible to rehome a known biter especially as it could open the charity up to legal proceedings.
Dogs are only considered aggressive enough to require euthanasia if the behaviour is aimed towards humans, dog aggressive bulldogs are not uncommon and therefore homes may be sought where there are no other dogs residing. In the event that we have unknowingly rehomed an aggressive dog, the nearest volunteer shall be asked to remove the dog from the premises as soon as is practically possible. The volunteer is then responsible for undertaking any subsequent euthanasia which will be paid for by bulldog rescue.
It is not usual practice to inform the original owner that the dog has been destroyed.
In the event the owner cannot or will not euthanise their own dog, rescue may, in certain circumstances, collect and euthanise for them.
No one shall be entered onto the waiting list until they have completed an on-line registration so that details of their current living circumstances have been taken. There is a £5 registration fee in place in an attempt to a) ensure the applicant is serious and b) those looking for cheap breeding stock or fight bait are less likely to pay a fee. The Waiting list is divided into areas to allow us the opportunity of re-homing dogs within a 2 hour radius of their current location. The waiting list is not operated by order of application and potential new homes are selected by area and by their suitability as a home for that particular dog. Being on the waiting list does not guarantee a bulldog shall ever be offered to them and details are only kept active for 1 year after which they are required to re-register their details.
POTENTIAL NEW HOMES & VETTING PROCEDURE
All potential new owners must be permanent residents within the UK and over 18 years of age. Prior to being offered a dog their names will be checked against the electoral role and the address/phone number given checked for its validity. Aerial photographs may be accessed via the internet to ensure that details such as having a garden are correct and local crime stats and a google search may also be undertaken prior to contacting the family. Where possible the potential new home shall be home checked by a volunteer and it is preferred that this is the same volunteer who initially visited the dog at home, although in the absence of a nearby Bulldog Rescue representative a character reference can be obtained before any bulldog is re-homed with them. This reference can either be in the form of their current vets telephone number so we can talk to their vet or a written reference from their landlord/employer or similar. References cannot be accepted from a family member or close friend. Information regarding the correct care of a bulldog will be forwarded to all those that adopt a rescued bulldog and they are encourage to stay in touch with us throughout the dogs lifetime.
Individual dogs will have their personal needs assessed having taken as much information as possible from the current owner by either the owner submitting a rehome request form on line, a volunteer at the time of visiting the dog or from the foster home that is looking after the dog. Those needs will then be compared to the circumstances of those on the waiting list in that dogs current area and a suitable home chosen pending vetting procedures. Suitable local families will receive an email informing them there is a dog that matches what they are looking for and it is then down to that family to “Show an Interest” via the web site listing. All those that show an interest will be informed immediately if they have successfully matched and their details are then logged on the dog’s file for the rehomer to look at. Any special needs the dog may have are discussed in full with the potential new owners prior to their details being passed to the current owners of the dog. Risk factors shall also be taken into account including the age of the children in the potential new home and any other animals that may reside there. Rescue will subsequently take responsibility for that dog for the rest of his life and in the event that circumstances change, or the adopted owners cannot keep their bulldog, rescue will take the dog back or arrange any necessary further re-homing.
Full details of all known behaviour and medical notes will be made available to the new home along with a neutering voucher, 5 weeks free insurance and life time back up.
PROTECTION OF PARTIES INVOLVED
On offering a bulldog the potential new home is given no details regarding the current whereabouts of the dog other than the town, this is to protect the dog against any potential theft prior to the organised visit. Current owners are also not given the potential new owners home address and are not encouraged to contact them after re-homing has taken place as on very rare occasions a re-homing may be regretted, therefore it is wise that they do not know exactly where the dog has gone. Although this is a rare occurrence it is for this reason that the current owner is to be the party that makes contact with the potential new owner so that it can be seen that they initiated the final stage of the re-homing process. We have no control over parties that chose to stay in touch with each other although we do not encourage it and request that any update on their dog should be directed via ourselves.
In the event that a re-homing fails, the dog should be collected by the nearest Bulldog Rescue volunteer and assessed. Placements failures are usually because we were not told everything about the dog so any notes already taken should be checked against the individual dog in question and a surrender form should be signed at the point of collection. In the event the dog has been returned following a bite incident the dog will usually be destroyed unless an illness or pain induced reason is apparent. New owners are advised to have the dog fully checked over by a vet as soon as possible and any major problem that we were not aware of should be reported to Bulldog Rescue within 7 days as in many cases Bulldog Rescue will be able to help with any unexpected veterinary costs.
Volunteers must be registered with Bulldog Rescue following an application and an interview to determine their suitability. Volunteers are subsequently responsible for home checking potential new homes within their area and visiting dogs that are listed on the rehoming service. They will also act as temporary foster homes should the need arise and have access to a bulldog knowledgeable veterinary surgeon.
Rescue volunteers must be interviewed and are required to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to be accepted and shall receive no payment, however they can claim bona fide expenses where receipts must be produced in support of their monthly expense account claim.
Volunteers should also be aware that they may be required to act quickly on occasions and keep rescue informed of such things as holidays and any period of time that they are not available. A network facebook group is available on the internet to allow rescue volunteers to keep in touch with each other and the charity is also a member of the Mindful Employer scheme and are therefore permanently available to discuss anything the volunteer may be struggling with or if they feel they need to address a mental health issue.
Volunteers are required to abide by this policy and act in accordance with the Volunteer guidelines as detailed in their handbook. They will also be supplied with all necessary paperwork, collar tags, uniform and an identification badge as well as a Personal Identification Number which is to be used when asked for by previous or current owners who may request it before allowing the volunteer into their home.
In the event of a major disagreement or an irrevocable falling out between a volunteer and Bulldog Rescue, a “go between” is available to speak on their behalf should they feel it necessary
Unless the dog is considered "unrehomeable" and then only by prior agreement, Bulldog Rescue volunteers are not able to adopt a bulldog until they have been a volunteer for a minimum of 12 months.
The Edward Foundation and Bulldog Rescue have agreed between them to not take on each others volunteers until there has been a period of 6 months between leaving one charity and joining the other
Volunteers are forbidden from volunteering for any other rescue whilst signed up to Bulldog Rescue
Under no circumstances should rescue volunteers put themselves, their families or their own dogs at risk whilst temperament testing or assessing a rescue dog in their care. They should also never allow rescue dogs to mix with their own dogs or work with an unfamiliar dog without a lead.
TRANSPORTATION OF BULLDOGS
It is the individual volunteers responsibility to ensure that all dogs are transported safely in line with current DEFRA guidelines. When leaving to collect a dog volunteers should ensure that they have a green collar tag, their ID badge and a spare collar and lead and are in uniform. Even if the temperature isn’t hot, stress can often induce an overheated state in a bulldog so they should also ensure they have plenty of water, both in a spray bottle to spray over a hot bulldog and in a container for him to drink, it is also wise to take along a towel that can be soaked in cold water if necessary, lemon juice and rescue remedy. If collecting from the dogs current owner, including from a failed re-homing, a surrender form must be signed and if the dog is being handed over by a third party it is preferred that a letter of authority from the original owner is obtained. Rescue ID tags must be worn by the dog at all times from the instant he is collected.
Where possible dogs will be rehomed within a 2 hour drive of their current location. Sadly, in the past, dogs have died in transit because they became stressed on a journey that was too far for them to cope with, so we have made it policy that because the dog would be with strangers who isn’t aware of what is “normal” for that dog we will no longer put them in that position.
All matters that arise during the course of Bulldog Rescue must remain confidential. Volunteers will often be privy to information about individual breeders and pedigrees that should under no circumstances be made common knowledge. Previous owner details must never be divulged to a third party at any time and all volunteers and staff are required to sign a confidentiality agreement which must be adhered to. Failure to do so or any breach of confidentiality will mean they will no longer be able to act as a Bulldog Rescue volunteer in the future.
Bulldog Rescue have public liability insurance in place in respect of any third-party injury or property damage caused in the course of work done on behalf of rescue. Cover commences upon collection of a dog by the rescue, continuing whilst a dog is in the care of the rescue and ends when the dog is re-homed and is provided by Cliverton Insurance Ltd. We also have Employers Liability and the vehicle at head quarters is also insured to carry live animals.
Monthly accounts are kept by the book keeper and audited on an annual basis. The audited accounts are published on the Bulldog Rescue web site and via the Charity Commission and Companies House to which all documents are submitted annually
2018 (14) This policy may be subject to change
Bulldog Rescue is registered with the Kennel Club, endorsed by the London Bulldog Society. Bulldog Rescue are members of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes report quarterly to the Bulldog Breed Council
Bulldog Rescue is a registered charity under the name The Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming Trust with the number 1115009, it is a registered company, limited by guarantee, with the number 5664557. A board of Trustees is in place to oversee the smooth running of the charity alongside 4 staff members
All Correspondence c/o PO BOX 18, MIDHURST, WEST SUSSEX, GU29 9YU
Phone: 0871 200 2450
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.bulldogrescue.org.uk