BACKGROUND Run by a voluntary group of collie-enthusiasts, this
Over the years, Ros and Chris have become well-known in the
Our organisation works closely with other national and local dog/animal charities in helping to rehome unwanted and abandoned rough collies. At any time of night or day, its members never ignore pleas to help a collie in distress until either it is reunited with its owner or placed in a permanent new home with caring and responsible owners. We also offer help and advice to owners who may be experiencing a particular problem with their collie. In the hope that the problem can be overcome, there is often the possibility that the dog will stay in its original home and negate the need for our organisation to rehome it.
Nevertheless, whenever we receive calls at the eleventh hour, fearing for the well-being of the dog, when we are told that it has got to go, we act straightaway and make sure the dog is our number one priority.
CARE OF THE RESCUED COLLIE More often than not, the dogs are not in good condition and, before we can offer them for re-homing, we have to make sure they are fit and healthy, that their skin and coats are in good condition and, probably most important of all, that their temperament is sound. When the dogs first come into our care, rather than put them into a kennel environment, our organisation prefers to “foster” the dogs in our own homes. By doing this, it is easier to assess the dogs, apart from which this particular breed does not thrive well when deprived of human companionship. We routinely arrange for each dog to be inoculated, micro-chipped and treated for fleas and worms. As soon as they are fit enough, we spay the bitches and castrate the males. It is not unusual for a dog to remain in our care for months rather than weeks or days.
Many of the dogs we care for are strays and some of the dogs which come to us from their owners can also be in poor condition. We never turn away a dog needing our help whatever its age or condition. It is not unusual for us to "foster" dogs which have been seriously neglected by their owners. All too many are infested with fleas, have chronic eczema, have dirty and matted coats. Besides the physical neglect, they are often emotionally disturbed and very withdrawn. Their recovery and rehabilitation can take a long time, often several months.
ADOPTION PROCEDURE Whilst preference is given to experienced collie owners, we do not discourage those with little practical knowledge of the breed. We have an extensive checklist of questions to ask potential adoptive owners; this is the first step to building up an idea of the kind of home and environment somebody is able to offer a dog needing a new home. Whilst the collies are in our care, we assess their behaviour and habits, observing how they interact with humans and other dogs. Strays are never placed in a home where there are children under the age of ten years old. All potential homes are vetted and veterinary references usually taken up.
We have very simple criteria when assessing the suitability of a potential home for one of our rescue dogs – if we would not be happy to leave one of our own dogs in the home we will not leave one of our rescues!
New owners are required to sign an adoption form. The form of words is as much to protect the well-being of the dog as to help the adoptive owner. Whilst it goes without saying that we sincerely hope the dog will be in its new home for the rest of its days, it is a condition of the adoption form that, if the owner finds himself/herself no longer unable to look after the dog - for whatever reason - then the dog must come back to the rescue organisation. The last thing we want is for the dog to be caught up in a spiral of being passed from one home to another … it more than likely underwent such an experience prior to its coming to us for rehoming.
When a dog has been placed in a home, a follow-up visit is made usually within a month to ensure the dog has settled in and continues to thrive. We actively encourage adoptors to keep in touch as we like to hear how their new dog is progressing … and, now that we are creating our web-site, we would love to be able to include stories from new collie owners.
If you are interested in adopting one of our rough or smooth collies, please don't hesitate to phone us so we can have a chat. Please note that we prefer to rehome our collies within Warwickshire and the surrounding counties.
For those of you not able to make the permanent commitment of adoption, we are always looking for people to help with fostering and assessing dogs whilst waiting for a suitable home to materialise. We look forward to hearing from you.