• vickylizzy

    I run a rescue and would like to offer a placement for a stray dog. What requirements must we meet to qualify?

    Any rescues offering a placement for a dog via Animal Lifeline UK must adhere to the following:

    • All dogs must be properly assessed before being rehomed or placed into foster care.

    • Pound dogs must never be placed directly into foster homes where there are resident or visiting children.

    • Rescues must have a 'no kill' policy (unless advised on medical grounds by a veterinary surgeon).

    • All dogs must be vaccinated and microchipped.

    • All dogs must be neutered before the date of adoption, with the exception of puppies, or unless advised by a veterinary surgeon on medical grounds. If the dog is too young or the surgery could not be carried out prior to adoption (in the case of bitches who have been in season too recently) a contract must be signed by the adopter to confirm the dog will be neutered as soon as applicable (as advised by a veterinary surgeon). The rescue must then undertake follow up checks to confirm the dog has been neutered. Bitches must never be rehomed whilst in season.

    • Thorough home checks must be carried out on all potential homes prior to the date of adoption.

    • The rescue must offer a lifetime 'back up' guarantee for all dogs, i.e. take back any dog that must, regardless of circumstances, be rehomed.

    Generally only rescues that have been operating for a year or longer will be considered. Unfortunately many new rescues in the UK find themselves closing their doors within the first 12 months due for unforseen circumstances or costs. This can leave animals in urgent need of alternative placements and others without the lifetime 'backup' normally offered to rehomed animals.

    If you are a new rescue to us we require proof of vaccinations, microchipping and neutering for each pound dog you take from us. Please do not offer a placement for any dog unless you are prepared to do this.

    If you are a rescue and can help please email us at: [email protected]

    Who makes the decision to euthanase a stray dog?

    Animal Lifeline UK works very closely with a number of pounds across the UK to secure rescue spaces and transport for stray dogs to get them to safety. We will always do everything we can to find a safe haven for every dog we are asked to help with. However, during busy periods pounds can fill up quickly with stray dogs, and without a rescue place for them to be transferred to sometimes dogs are euthanased to make space for incoming animals. This decision is made solely by the pound and NOT Animal Lifeline UK. We have no authority whatsoever to decide whether or not a dog is put to sleep.

    According to the Environmental Protection Act, 1990, Control of Stray Dogs (Section 149 Seizure of Stray Dogs):

    41. If a stray has not been collected by its owner after seven days, the officer may under section 149(6) dispose of the dog:

    • by selling it or giving it to a person who will in his opinion care properly for the dog;

    • by selling it or giving it to an establishment for the reception of stray dogs; or

    • by euthanizing it in a manner to cause as little pain and suffering as possible.

    The UK pounds we work with are privately-run and are contracted by local councils to provide a stray dog service. They are not rescues, nor do they have the resources to check prospective adopters, or capacity to hold dogs indefinitely. This means they rely on Animal Lifeline UK to ensure that the above legal requirements are satisfied and that each dog goes to a suitable rescue where dogs will undergo a veterinary check, vaccinations, neutering and microchipping and prospective homes will be thoroughly vetted.

    '44. Where a dog is disposed of under section 149(6)(a) or (b) to a person acting in good faith, officers will need to satisfy themselves of the suitability of such persons or establishments.'

    Animal Lifeline UK helps by carrying out follow-up checks to ensure dogs receive all the care and attention they need from the receiving rescue. Where possible, particularly with new rescues, we may also carry out further rescue checks to satisfy that the criteria for acquiring stray dogs or other animals via Animal Lifeline UK is met.

    Why can't dogs be rehomed or fostered directly from the pound?

    This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, many pounds will not rehome directly to a member of the public as they are unable to satisfy the following legal requirement:

    41. If a stray has not been collected by its owner after seven days, the officer may under section 149(6) dispose of the dog: by selling it or giving it to a person who will in his opinion care properly for the dog;

    Pound dogs spend a minimum of seven days in kennels but their history and background before this is usually unknown.

    It is not uncommon for the behaviour of dogs to be very different when taken out of kennels and placed in a home environment. Some dogs become less stressed, while others may react to people or situations they may or may not be familiar with.

    Is is important, therefore, for the safety or the dog, the foster family and existing pets in the home that the pound dog be fully assessed by a qualified or otherwise trained and experienced professional in a controlled environment before placed into foster care. This allows the rescue to determine the type of foster home that would best suit the dog and avoids putting anyone at unnecessary risk.

    It would be very dangerous and totally irresponsible to allow stray dogs to go straight from pounds into family homes without being first properly assessed.

    Animal Lifeline UK, nor the pounds we work with, have the resources or facilities to evaluate how individual dogs react to children, dogs or other pets so it is essential that prior to rehoming, or placing in a foster home, receiving rescues carry out thorough assessments of their own to determine the most suitable home environment for each dog.

    There are many instances in which other pounds and rescues have placed stray dogs straight into family homes and those dogs have gone on to attack children and kill other pets in the home. Neither the pounds we work with, nor Animal Lifeline UK are willing to take this risk by placing unassessed dogs straight into homes or foster homes.

    Pound dogs are also normally 'quarantined' for a period of time (normally around two weeks) to ensure they are free from any signs of disease or illness. Once assessed and given a health check and first vaccination by a veterinary surgeon these dogs can go on to be fostered as normal.

    Of course we do not want to see any healthy animal put to sleep. Animal Lifeline UK staff and volunteers work incredibly hard and long hours to save animals in need and ensure they go on to lead a safe and happy life. However, we, along with the pounds and councils we work with, can only do this by ensuring rules and procedures are in place to protect both members of the public and the stray dogs we are tasked with helping.

    It's heartbreaking to see so many stray dogs at risk. How can I help?

    There are many ways to get involved and potentially save a pound dog. You could:

    • 'Like' our Animal Lifeline UK Facebook page and share appeals for rescue spaces and transport with friends and local rescues.

    The Animal Lifeline UK Facebook page can be found here:

    • Offer to transport a dog from the pound to their rescue placement. Even a short distance can be a huge help.

    • Adopt or foster a rescue dog! This can potentially 'free up' space for other dogs in urgent need of a rescue placement.

    • Offer to carry out homechecks on potential foster or forever homes (once dogs are in rescue and have been assessed) to create more space for pound dogs.

    A special thanks to everyone who helps by 'sharing' our pound dogs via our Facebook page to help find them rescue places. Without your help so many wouldn't be here today. The power of sharing really does work so please keep sharing them all! You can find the Animal Lifeline UK Facebook page here: Animal Lifeline UK Facebook Page

    If you have space in your home and your life for a foster animal, or are able to help with transport or home-checking please contact us!

    E-mail us at: [email protected]

    Join Animal Lifeline UK today by clicking here and help us to save more animals:

    Animal Lifeline UK works on behalf of pounds throughout the UK to secure rescue placements for stray dogs.

    Pound dogs have seven days to be reclaimed by their owners. If not reclaimed then on the eighth day the dogs are often euthanised.

    Animal Lifeline UK not only secures rescue placements for these dogs, we also find volunteers to help transport them and raise funds towards the cost of transport and emergency boarding if needed.

    Every year ALUK helps hundreds of pound dogs to find those all-important rescue spaces to give them the opportunity to find a new, loving home.

    Reviews from some of the pounds we help

    (Click to view larger images)

    "I have been a dog warden/animal welfare officer for over 18 years, and in the last 18 months we have seen a huge increase in the number of strays we are picking up, and the volume of Staffordshire bull terriers (SBT’s) has risen to an overwhelming amount.

    Without Kelly Joy and the volunteers and helpers of Animal Lifeline UK I really don’t want to think about what the ending for some of our strays would have been.

    They put their heart and soul into finding and securing a rescue place for our stray, abandoned dogs, and organising transportation runs to move the dog to the said rescue place; all of which takes huge amounts of time and patience on their behalf, and with time constraints as well, because of due dates for Put To Sleep (PTS).

    They are guardian angels to ‘pound’ and ‘death row’ dogs, and I wouldn’t be able to do my job without their help and support.

    They save thousands of stray dogs a year and place numerous amounts of SBT’s, which is no mean feat to achieve.

    "Pip Singleton – Dog Warden/Animal Welfare Officer for Worcestershire Regulatory Services".

    Transporters assist rescues by helping to move animals to the safety of rescue and foster placements.

    Animal Lifeline UK works closely with pounds and rescues to help remove animals at risk to places of safety.

    Our work depends entirely on the support of our volunteers - people like YOU to help us achieve this.

    Transporting rescue animals can involve moving pets from:

    • Pounds to rescue centres
    • Rescue centres to foster homes
    • Current owners to rescue placements
    • Rescue centres or foster homes to veterinary practices

    ... and occasionally even to their forever homes*.

    We would never expect anyone to do a whole transport run; we appreciate that fuel is expensive, and some journeys can be a considerable distance.

    However, if you could drive even just a short way to meet someone else en route, like a relay, you could genuinely save an animal's life.

    Do you want to get involved but have no previous experience?

    If you have never helped with a transport run before, don't worry.

    Animal Lifeline UK helps co-ordinate each transport run and is there to support every volunteer through every stage of the journey.

    You can view details of just some of the transport requests on our forum by clicking here: 'Transport Help Needed'

    Please also see our 'Transport Guidelines' here for more information: 'Transport Guidelines & Useful Information'

    * In exceptional circumstances only. Fuel costs for transport to forever homes is normally covered by the rescue or new owners.

    If you would like to get involved please fill out the form below, or contact us at

    E-mail us at: [email protected]

    Join Animal Lifeline UK today by clicking here and help us to save more animals:

    Are you looking for a new pet to join your family? If so please spare a thought for the many animals that are in rescue throughout the UK.

    Animals come into rescue for many different reasons, the majority through no fault of their own.

    Simply click on the following links to view some of the many animals in need of loving new homes in rescues:

    Dog and Puppies

    Cats and Kittens

    Small Furries (Rabbits, Hamsters, Gerbils, Mice, e.t.c.)

    All Other Animals (Birds, Reptiles, Horses, Livestock, e.t.c.)

    • Are you looking to adopt a new pet?

    • Would you like help to find your new animal companion?
    • If the answers are YES then you may like to take advantage of our Adoption Match Service.

      Animal Lifeline UK works with many rescues all over the UK. We have expert knowledge and access to a wide of resources to be able to carefully match people wanting to adopt a new pet to animals already in rescue.

      How we can help

      We first ask you to fill out a short questionnaire to tell us a little more about the type of pet you're looking for and will enable us to identify potential matches that best suit your family and lifestyle.

      Once we have these details we will start to actively search for available animals. You can see our progress and view the details of any pets that may be a suitable match via e-mail or on our forum.

      If you are interested in offering a home to any of the animals we will provide you with details of the rescue directly responsible for rehoming that animal. Each rescue has its own adoption policies and procedures you will need to follow to adopt from them.

      Generally this will include:

      • A home check prior to adoption to ensure that the home, pet and family are a suitable match
      • A visit to meet your potential adoptive dog to introduce any existing dogs in the home (where applicable)
      • Payment of a donation - prior to adoption most pets will have undergone a veterinary check, flea and worming treatments, vaccinations and neutering, if not already up-to-date. This donation goes towards the cost of these, food and board and any other costs involved. The required donation will vary so please contact the rescue directly for details of up-to-date prices.
      • A follow-up call or check to ensure your new pet is settling in well and to offer advice and support where needed.

      Please note, Animal Lifeline UK has no authority to make decisions on behalf of any rescue regarding whether or not you are able to adopt a particular animal.

      If you have space in your home and your life for a rescue animal please contact us.

      E-mail us at: [email protected]

      You can view animals throughout the UK in need of forever homes on our forum by clicking here: 'Pets in Need of New Homes'

    Home checkers assist rescues by helping to 'vet' the homes of potential adopters and foster carers.

    When someone applies to give either a permanent or temporary home to a rescue animal they must first go through a screening process, normally involving an application form, a face-to-face or telephone discussion with the rescue concerned and a home check.

    If the rescue is reasonably confident, based on the information given, that the potential home seems suitable then a home check will be arranged.

    A home check is designed to inspect the housing in which the pet will live and interview the prospective owners or foster carers and their families to:

    • Confirm, as far as possible, that the details submitted on the application form are correct
    • Check that all residents living in the home are happy to receive a new house guest
    • Establish the location of the residence (e.g. near a main road, backing on to a train line) to determine whether it is safe for specific types of pets
    • Where applicable, check the condition and height of fences and gates to ensure any access to an outdoor area, such as a garden or yard, is secure
    • Ensure that the family are able to provide the following basic standards:
      • A safe, stimulating and loving environment
      • Plenty of clean water and a suitable, good quality, diet
      • Veterinary care, both for preventative treatment and to treat disease or injury
      • A warm, comfortable shelter, or otherwise suitable habitat, in which to live
      • Express 'normal' behaviour without the fear of pain or punishment

    Do you have the experience to home check potential new homes for animals or potential new foster homes?

    Do you want to get involved but have no previous experience? If you have never carried out a home check before but still want to help, don't worry.

    We can either help to put you in touch with local training centres or if you'd prefer to train 'on the job' to get practical experience we can help to arrange for you to 'tagalong' on other home checks in your area. This would entail accompanying experienced home checkers who would mentor you, pass on their advice and demonstrate how they would normally carry out a home check. Animal Lifeline UK will provide specimen home check forms and other training materials.

    If you would like to get involved then please get in touch!

    E-mail us at: [email protected]

    You can view details of just some of the home check requests on our forum by clicking here: 'Home Checking Help Needed'

    Please also see our 'Home Checking Guidelines' for more information: 'Home Checking Guidelines & Useful Information'

    Join Animal Lifeline UK today by clicking here and help us to save more animals:

    Experienced assessors are always needed to help rescues assess animals before coming into rescue or going into homes.

    Assessors and behaviourists provide a key role in ensuring the well-being of the animals they assess. They help safeguard their welfare by determining the most suitable foster / forever home for that animal, giving them the best chance of a long and happy life.

    Most assessment requests are for dogs, although we do also help give general advice on our forum and Facebook pages on general animal training and behaviour.

    Get Involved!

    To help please e-mail us at: [email protected]

    Offers of help can also be made on the ALUK forum here: 'Rescue Help Offered'

    Join Animal Lifeline UK today by clicking here and help us to save more animals:

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