Heathlands Animal Sanctuary

COVID-19: We are now open for rehoming again, with a few changes to the normal process under the current COVID-19 guidelines. This includes video home checks & meeting dogs outdoors, maintaining social distancing.

Adoption Procedures

So you've seen a dog that takes your fancy.
What happens next?
Step 1: Arranging a viewing

In order to arrange to view one of our dogs, you must call dog rehoming on 01763 244488. Please note that e-mails to General Enquiries and Facebook messages cannot be accepted for appointments to view.

Listen to the message very carefully and follow the instructions. Don’t forget to speak clearly and leave ALL of your contact details! Please only leave ONE message. You will be contacted but it may take a couple of days. All calls are dealt with in the order they are received so that we do not keep people waiting too long for a reply. If there are many calls for the same dog we try to pick the most suitable home.

A member of the dog rehoming team will call you back and have a chat about your circumstances and whether the dog you are interested in is suitable for your situation. We really care about finding the right matches for our dogs, so please do not take it personally if you are turned down for a specific dog, as you may well be suitable for others that we have.

You will be given the number of the foster home for you to call to arrange a mutually convenient time to visit. Everyone in the family must attend the visit to ensure that all family members get on with the dog and vice versa.

Step 2: Visiting your home

Once you have visited the dog, if you wish to reserve them you MUST ring dog rehoming. Telling the fosterer is not enough.

One of our home check team will contact you to arrange your home visit, where they will check the security of the garden, where the dog will sleep, eat etc. and answer any questions you may have. If you have existing animals, we will require proof that they are up to date with any necessary vaccinations. If you own any small pets, we require that they are housed and cared for in a way befitting their species. If you are in private rented accommodation, a letter from the landlord giving authorisation for pet ownership will be required.

The homechecker will report back to the rehoming team and, if all is well, a time will be arranged for you to go to our registered office in Royston to fill out your adoption papers and pay your adoption donation*. We would expect this to be completed within a few days as we have more dogs waiting for foster homes.

*Why do we require a donation? Each dog we rescue costs an average of £300–£500, as we ensure that they are neutered/spayed, vaccinated and microchipped before they are rehomed. With your donation we can continue to rescue animals. We reserve the right to refuse an adoption if we feel that you are unable to financially provide for the dog in your current situation.

Step 3: Welcoming your new dog

Our dogs are usually neutered before rehoming. Occasionally, due to young age or ill health, this is not possible, and we will ask you to bring the dog in to be neutered when the time is right.

If you're adopting an 8-week-old puppy born at Heathlands, you will be responsible for all necessary vaccinations, This way, you will be able to register your new puppy and enrol in any schemes/insurances etc right from the word go.

All of our dogs are microchipped and are registered to Heathlands Animal Sanctuary. Once you have adopted a dog, you will therefore need to update the microchip with your details in accordance with UK law.

Important Information

Please be aware that many of our dogs come to us directly from the pound, and therefore often have, or may develop, kennel cough. This is not normally serious but it is contagious. If you are concerned about your existing dog(s) catching kennel cough please ensure they are vaccinated against this disease before considering adopting a dog from Heathlands.

All of our dogs, cats and rabbits are normally neutered before rehoming. If not, animals are recalled for neutering once at the correct age or in optimum health. Dogs, cats and rabbits are fully vaccinated but again, if rehomed unvaccinated this can be done from your home with one of our approved vets.

We hope the above information is helpful to you, but if you have any questions, please do get in touch. Our phone line (01763 244488) is open daily from 12 noon until 4pm, except on Wednesdays and Sundays. Please note that we will be unable to return any messages left outside these days/times.