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What do I need to do to adopt a dog from Helping Hounds?

You can apply to adopt a dog by completing our online adoption application form. We will assess your application against the kind of home that we feel the dog needs and we will then contact your to discuss your application with you. We are entirely staffed by volunteers so please be patient whilst you are waiting to hear from us.

How much is the adoption fee?

The adoption fee is £425.00 for each dog that is adopted from Helping Hounds. This includes a three point harness and slip lead that we require you to have from us as part of the adoption. We do not make any profit from the adoption fee. The cost post Brexit of rescuing a dog from Europe has risen; Transport for each dog costs £230.00, Import & Export charges for each trip cost £125.00, Vaccinations etc at a cost of £100.00, Pet Passport and microchipping. In addition there are costs for us to transport the dogs from their drop off point in the UK to our kennels/fosterers plus onging food, flea/worming treatment or any vet fees whilst the dogs are with us prior to rehoming. Ongoing fundraising and kind donations help us to cover additional costs. Dogs adopted from Helping Hounds also have their microchip updated with your details and are provided with 5 weeks free pet insurance from the date of adoption. We believe that the fee should be same for every dog that is adopted from us, irrespective of its age or where it has come from. Each adoption fee that we receive enables us to rescue another dog.

Will you rehome to me if I already have a dog or other pets?

Yes, on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the dog that is being adopted and the needs of the dog(s) or pets that already reside in the home. If you already own a dog or dogs, we will ask you to bring them to your 'Meet & Greet' with the dog you are looking to adopt so that we can be sure that they will all be happy to live together.

Do you rehome to families with children?

Yes we do, on a case by case basis. Not every dog is suitable to live with children but we have had many of our dogs adopted by families with children.

Do you rehome to older people or those with reduced mobility?

Yes we do, we always try to match the dog with the person/family. Age or mobility is not the defining factor for rehoming our dogs. We have older or sometimes nervous dogs who are looking for nothing more than a quiet place within a home and may suit an older person or someone with less mobility.

Do you rehome to full time workers?

Yes we do, providing arrangements have been made to ensure the dog(s) are not left on their own for any great length of time.

Do we need to have a home check and what happens during one?

Yes all of our potential adopters need to have a home check prior to having a Meet & Greet with one of our dogs. The home check gives us the opportunity to ensure that your home and family life is suitable for the dog that you wish to adopt and helps to avoid any disappointments. We have years of experience of rescuing and rehoming Romanian dogs and we have learnt that gardens must be fully enclosed with a minumum of 5 foot fencing all round. This sometimes needs to be higher depending on the dog. We will need to ensure that your fencing meets these requirements. You will be amazed at the efforts these dogs will go to in order to escape. Our aim is to have happy dogs and happy adopters!

Why do I need to pay a reservation fee?

The rescue is manned entirely by volunteers and we need to ensure that you have thought seriously about what it means to adopt a rescue dog. We cannot afford to have our dogs miss out on genuine adopters or to have our time wasted by adopters who say they want a particular dog but then change their mind. If you are serious and truly believe that you are able to adopt a particular rescue dog then you should not feel concerned about paying a £100.00 reservation fee.

What is a 'Meet & Greet'?

The purpose of a Meet & Greet is for you and any family members or dogs that live in the household to meet the dog that you are thinking of adopting and for the dog to meet you. It may be that it is a perfect match and you all get along well or it may be decided that the match will not be in the best interests of you or the dog.

What happens after I submit my application to adopt a dog?

Once we receive your adoption application one of our team will contact you to talk through the application, to ask any questions that we may have and to talk to you about the next steps which will include:

  • Home Check - if this okay then we will arrange a Meet & Greet.
  • Reservation Fee - if there is a particular dog that you would like to adopt then we will ask you to pay a reservation fee of £100.00.
  • Meet & Greet - this will happen on at least one and sometime more occasions.
  • Adoption Contract - this will be sent to you and will need to be fully completed and signed prior to you taking the dog to its new home.
  • Adoption Fee - this will need to be paid in full prior to you taking the dog to its new home.
  • Day of Adoption Essentials - in order for us to let you take the dog home you will need to arrive with; Collar with ID tag, Harness, Lead AND a Slip Lead. We are sorry but if you arrive without these we will not be able to let you take the dog until you come back with them.
  • Free 5 weeks of Pet Insurance - this will be arranged for you from the date that you take the dog to its new home.
  • Microchip - this will be updated by us with your details after you have taken the dog to its new home.
  • Follow up contact - we will contract you regularly in the first few months post adoption.

Do you sometimes turn down adoption applications?

We have years of experience with dogs rescued from Europe which helps us to match each dog to the right home based on their individual needs. If we do not feel that you are the right fit to adopt a particular dog then we will be honest with you. Please do not take it personally - we do understand how disappointed you will feel. We will have made the decision knowing the dogs needs and what is best for them and it does not mean that we will not have other dogs that may be a better fit for you in the future. Factors such as working hours, regular holidays or other commitments might mean that your lifestyle is not the best fit for one of our rescue dogs. We would be doing a disservice to the dog and to you if we rehomed them with you and it then did not work out.

Do you offer rescue backup for life?

Yes we do. Should circumstances change for you and you are no longer able to keep your dog we will take him or her back and rehome them for you. It is part of the adoption contract that you sign that the dog has to come back to Helping Hounds Hampshire and Surrounds unless otherwise agreed by us in writing.

What do I need to bring on adoption day?

On adoption day when you come to take your dog to its new home you MUST have the following items with you:

  • Collar with ID Tag
  • Harness
  • Clip Lead
  • AND Slip Lead
We are sorry but if you arrive without any of the above items we will not be able to let you take the dog until you have these items. Depending on where the dog is travellng in the car you MUST also have either a crate or a seat belt attachment to ensure the dog is restrained in accordance with the law. We also recommends that you bring a blanket or towels with you in case the dog is unwell in the car.


What breed are the dogs?

The majority of the dogs we rescue are cross breeds with much variety in their DNA's, which in so many ways is a good thing!

Do you have any background information for the dogs?

We normally do not have much background information as most of our dogs have either been found abandoned on the streets or have been rescued from the municipal pound (or kill shelters). We will of course share any information that we do have with you.

Are the dogs house trained?

No, normally the dogs are not house trained unless they have been with a fosterer. They will need some help with house training initially however, most of them master it very quickly despite them often never having been inside a home.

Do the dogs coming from Europe have to go into quarantine?

Since January 2012 there is no quarantine into the UK from Europe. The requirements are that all dogs are vaccinated for rabies 21 days prior to entering the UK, that they are microchipped, have a valid European Passport and have been wormed 24 hours prior to entry to the UK. They are normally also vaccinated against canine distemper, cainine parvovirus, canine parainfluenza, treated with Frontline or similar for fleas/ticks and receive a clinical examination prior to leaving Romania.

Do I get a health report when I adopt a dog?

All our dogs have a health check prior to leaving Romania and any condition or medical issue that requires attention will normally be dealt with prior to them being put up for adoption. We disclose any medical history or specialist reports that we have prior to any adoption.

Are the dogs vaccinated and neutered/spayed prior to being adopted?

All of our dogs that are available for adoption are normally neutered/spayed unless they are too young or in some case too elderly. If they are too young then it is part of the adoption contract that you sign for you to arrange this once they are old enough. Vaccinations are normally up to date.

If the dog I adopt is on medication will I be given medication to go home with?

Yes we will give you any medication that we have specifically for the dog being adopted.

Will I have to provide the same food that the dog is being fed at the kennels?

We will advise you the type of food that they have been eating and if they have any special dietary requirements.


They have got an upset tummy should I be concerned?

Its very common during the early days in their new home for the dog to have an upset tummy. It is normally due to the stress of moving and a change in diet. Avoid too many rich treats and stick to a bland diet or food such as Lily's Kitchen Recovery Recipe or Chappie original for a few days.

What support do you offer after I have adopted a dog?

We feel its important to offer our adopters support and we promote responsible rescue and rehoming which includes rescue back up for life. We are always on the end of the phone should you need advice, support or any other help. We want to ensure that everyone is happy and enjoying life together. One of our volunteers will contact you regularly in the first few months post adoption and if needed we can also recommend positive reinforcement behaviourists experienced in rescued Romanian dogs.

Is it necessary to use two leads (clip lead & slip lead) to walk my dog?

Yes absolutely. The dog will not be used to being with you or a lot of the things that you are exposing it to. We have years of experience and sadly know of several cases where dogs have escaped from a single lead on a collar or harness and then sadly been killed. This is to ensure the safety of the dog.


Why do you need foster carers?

Some dogs benefit from being in foster homes rather than in our kennels. This can be the case for elderly dogs or dogs that have only ever lived in a home. It also helps dogs that have never lived in a home adjust to home life prior to them finding their forever home. If a dog is particularly shut down or nervous then being with a foster carer can be especially beneficial for them.

Who can become a foster carer?

You will need to be over 18 and with own your property or have permisson in writing from your landlord to keep dogs at the property. You will need to have a securely fully fenced garden with fencing which is a minimum of at least 5 feet high at all points. We may need this to be higher for certain dogs. Each of our dogs that need to be fostered will have different needs. This may involve foster carers who already have a dog, who have no dogs, have other pets, who have no other pets, have children or have no children. Ideally you will be within a reasonable travelling distance of our kennels in Grayshott.

Can I foster if I work full time?

This will depend on the hours you work and what flexibility your work allows. You will need to spend a good part of each day with the dog to help them adjust to living with you and in a lot of cases to help them build up their confidence. Ideally we do not want the dogs being left for long periods of time.

How long do dogs normally spend in a foster home?

This will depend on the individual dog, for some it may only be a few days but in most cases, it will be for a few weeks and in some cases a few months. Once in a foster home they will generally stay there until they are adopted. We try to avoid moving them around too many times as it can be unsettling and stressful to them.

Will it be expensive for me to be a foster carer?

We provide the food and equipment that you will need for the dog and we also cover the cost of any veterinary bills whilst the dog is in your care. The only things we cannot cover are the costs of journeys you make to and from our kennels, journeys when you take the dog to meet prospective adopters and for any damage that occurs to your property such as carpets or furniture.

What sort of help, support and guidance will be available to me?

Foster carers will receive regular contact from one of our volunteers who specialises in fostering. You will have the contact details for key members of the team who you will be able to contact at any time.

How do I apply to become a foster carer?

Please complete our Adoption Application Form which has a foster option at the begining or contact us via email. One of our team will then be in contact with you.

Do foster carers have to follow any particular rules?

Yes we will provide your with guidelines which will include things such as:

  • Always ensuring the dog is walked with a collar & tag, a harness on, a clip lead on the harness and a slip lead.
  • Never letting the dog off the lead unless you are in a fully enclosed fenced specialist exercise field.


I would love to volunteer but I don't have lots of spare time and I'm not sure I can commit to the same shift every week?

All we ask for from our volunteers is for them to commit to a minimum of two hours at the kennels per week. You do not need to volunteer on the same day or at the same time each week. We appreciate your help and we also appreciate that everyone leads busy lifes.

I have never had a dog before or looked after one - can I still volunteer?

Yes absolutely! We will talk you through the key points of the volunteer role at your induction. The main thing our dogs need at the kennels is love, kindness and interaction.

I have had my induction but I am a bit nervous that I won't remember what to do?

That's perfectly normal and most of us were new volunteers at one time!. We recommend that all new volunteers buddy up with one of our friendly team of volunteers for their first few shifts until they get to know the ropes and feel comfortable. Also after your induction you will recieve an information pack which has lots of key information that you can use for reference.

I have been volunteering for a while - Is it okay to bring my friend or family member with me to my next shift?

No sorry we are not able to allow this as it would invalidate our insurance. If they wish to help then please ask them to complete the volunteering application form on our website so that we can arrange an induction for them.

What times do you need volunteers to cover shifts?

We need volunteers to cover shifts 7 days a week, from breakfast in the morning until teatime in the evening (as after all the dogs cannot feed themselves!). The dogs need socialisation during the day through play, training and walking and there are also cleaning/tidying duties that need to done daily (kennels, dog beds, kennel garden). So anytime between 7:30am and 8:00pm is a good time! - early in the day when they wake up, to let them out into the kennel garden and give them their breakfast - until later in the day to give them their evening meal and to play/interact with them for a bit before bedtime. Some of our volunteers who work tend to do early shifts before they go to work or later shifts after they have finished work.

Is it okay to bring my own dog with me to the kennels when I volunteer?

No, sorry, for a variety of reasons we do not allow you to bring your own dog to the kennels with you when you are volunteering. On rare occaisions Kate sometimes invites a volunteer to bring their own dog with them for carefully managed socialisation, to help with a particular rescue dog.

My children would love to help - can I bring them to the kennels when I volunteer?

No sorry please do not bring your children with you when you are volunteering as it would invalidate our insurance. Our volunteers have to be a minimum of 18 years old unless they are volunteering with us as part of the DOE award scheme.