SDR Policies and Procedures
At SDR we try to have a fairly relaxed approach to rescue, while remaining responsible and professional. All too often we hear that people have to jump through too many hoops to be able to adopt a dog, however most are necessary to ensure the wellbeing of our dogs, but there are some which sound like a step too far.
In all honesty, we would love to rehome to all people, those that live in flats, have young children and who work all hours, but this depends entirely on the dogs that we have in our care and I imagine many will require a degree of training and certain management.
We will always have the dog’s best interests as our priority.
Whenever we get an enquiry regarding one of our dogs for adoption we would like to have a good chat with the potential adoptee. We can hopefully work out what dog will be best suited to that person and if they are calling up regarding a specific dog, if we don’t think it’s a suitable match we will suggest another dog to them. Then we will arrange to have a home check carried out. No dogs will be rehomed to anyone without having had a home check.
We will not rehome a male dog to any household with a resident male dog. I understand this works well for many people but with same sex aggression being so common in the breed, we simply won’t risk it.
We won’t rehome a dog under the age of 2 years to any home where the people are out most of the day even if they suggest a dog walker. With our adult dogs, we do not want them being left for any more than 4-5 hours. So if the people work we would expect to see proof that a dog walker or family member or friend would step in to help out. So within the settling-in period we may ask to see receipts from dog walkers etc.
Obviously we would prefer the home to have an enclosed secure garden, if not, we would need assurances that the owner will be able to take the dog outside for a walk to relieve themselves regularly enough that the dog is comfortable. Regarding the height of fences/walls, it really depends on the individual dog. During home checks we encourage volunteers to use their initiative and record approx. heights. In regards to children, we won’t rehome where there are babies present, but should we have a dog that would be a good fit with young children we may rehome to a household with children over 5 years. We are very thorough about how responsible a parent should be and can provide tips and advice on introductions. However, we would prefer that in a home with young children, the parents have previous dobermann experience.
In regards to our area of operation, we will cover the entire of Scotland and only take in Scottish based dogs, we will not be importing any dogs from outside of Scotland, we may assist other rescues in transporting dogs to or from Scotland when possible, we will however be open to rehoming them elsewhere in the UK if the right home is found providing the new owners are prepared to visit our dogs here in Scotland. We wish to focus solely on dogs in Scotland.
In regards to applicants’ housing, we do not discriminate against council estates, providing the home the dog is actually going to be living in is in an adequate condition and the people enquiring are suitable for the dogs in our care. If people rent their homes then we do need to see proof that dogs are allowed in the property, we cannot take the risk of a dog being returned to the rescue after a short period of time for any preventable reasons.
All of our dogs will be neutered/spayed, titre tested or vaccinated, microchipped and wormed before rehoming. Any medical treatments that a dog may need while in the care of the rescue/foster will be paid for by Scottish Dobermann Rescue. Once a dog is rehomed, the medical treatment will be the responsibility of the dog’s new owners, depending on the treatment required.
The only time neutering/spaying will not be done before a dog is rehomed is if the dog is too young, in season, too old (may be at risk from anaesthetic) or if a vet advises that the dog should not be neutered. In terms of a dog being too young or in season we would follow this up when able to be done and want confirmation/proof that the owner has booked the dog in for neuter. Due to some dobermanns suffering from the inherited blood clotting disorder, vWD, we may need to have blood tests run on some dogs before the neutering procedure is carried out.
All dogs that come into our care will be assessed before being placed into a permanent home. We will assess behaviour, temperament, handling, reactions to other dogs, children and if possible, how they react to cats. Once adopted, we do a 2 month settling in period where we can complete a follow up at the end of the settling term. This is to ensure the dog is doing as well as we would expect and that there are no signs of neglect present. Of course the rescue will always reserve the right to remove one of our dogs at any period should we be notified of any breach of contract.
We take adoption fees up front before we place any dog into a new home unless they are to be fostered first. We don’t need to spend our volunteers’ valuable time chasing people for adoption fees when we have bills being paid out every week for other dogs in our care.
Any and all donations and contributions made to Scottish Dobermann Rescue will be held in a secure account and monthly statements of our incomes and expenditures can be made public on request. We aim to be as transparent as possible.
Dogs in our care must stay on lead at all times, this includes dogs being fostered. We will not be covered for public liability if anything happens with a dog off lead! Once a dog is adopted the dog is no longer covered by our insurance policy. We advise all new owners of this and advise on taking out their own pet insurance.
Any litters bred under the affix ‘Cobradeil’ will not be processed through Scottish Dobermann Rescue. These dogs will be rehomed by the breeder, Helen Weir, as an individual. No money from the rescue will be used to pay for privately owned pets belonging to members of the rescue, including health tests, breeding etc If a dog has been rehomed through the rescue, to a member or trustee, this will have its own contract in place just like any other adoption.
We reserve the right to update our regulations and policies as we see fit.
Some dogs that we take into our care may be suitable for what we call “Permanent Foster”. This is when a dog is kept in a forever home under our fostering agreement. During this time, the charity remains responsible for their medical care for the entirety of their lifetime. We may also provide other things relating to the care and wellbeing of the dog such as providing food (some dogs in permanent foster require special diets) or training (professional help may be required in some cases).
In order for us to consider a dog to remain in permanent foster they must meet certain criteria, some of the reasons can be seen below:
- Elderly or infirm dogs
- Dogs needing palliative/end of life care
- Ongoing medical issues that cannot be insured against
- Previous injuries or medical care that limits the dogs quality of life in some way
- When the home benefits the dog more than the fosterers ability to afford medical care
- Extremely difficult behavioural issues limiting the options of finding someone to adopt
The decision to keep a dog in permanent foster is never made lightly, as we depend entirely on donations from our supporters to cover the costs for these dogs. We must consider this when deciding which dogs need our ongoing care. Due to the fact that we are a small breed rescue with limited funding, we can usually only have one dog kept in permanent foster at any given time. Obviously, we never know what dogs will need our help and support so there may be the rare occasion when more than one dog is in permanent foster with our organisation.
Dogs placed in permanent foster are considered ‘rehomed’ in every practical sense, but remain the ‘property’ of the rescue.
***Sadly due to the current dire financial situation that we find ourselves in, we have had to suspend veterinary care for dogs in permanent foster***