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Old 08.03.2010, 16:00
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Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

There's many threads on EF started by people wanting dogs and other pets and many cases where they have been pointed in the direction of rescue shelters and but I haven't found one thread particularly devoted to the process of adopting an animal from a rescue centre. So here it is.

If you have any experience of adopting (successful or otherwise) or know someone who has or if you work/volunteer at one, please share your experiences. Let us know how friendly the process was, costs incurred, paperwork required and post adoption visits etc. Hopefully the information on this thread will help and encourage people to go down this route.

This might also be a good thread to point people to if they ask about importing/adopting animals.

The main portal for animal shelters in Switzerland seems to be Tierschutz but if you know of any other web sites please post them here, the same goes with rescue centres in your area.
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:02
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

So, I'll kick off.

Recently we decided that a companion was required for our 20 month old Rottweiler Kyra. She has a great life up here but is too big to play with the cats and, after a kick, a bit too small for the horses. We decided to get another Rotti and spent a couple of months searching the rescue centres in CH and finally found one in at SPANE in Colombier, just south of Neuchatel.

3 weeks ago, we drove down with Kyra to take a look at Dyron. It appears he was illegally smuggled into Switzerland from France with a docked tail. Nobody wanted him (partly because of the tail but also because of the breed). We introduced the 2 dogs together in a large exercise pen and after a minute or so of growling and bristling they got on like a house on fire and played non-stop for almost 2 hours.

We expected that a home visit would be in order but we brought photos of home and of the other animals and maybe it was that as well as how well the dogs got on (not to mention a 3 hour drive) that persuaded the shelter to let us take him home that evening. We paid 180 francs and were told his passport would be posted to us within a week with a vets certificate confirming that the tail was docked whilst a puppy and before he was brought into Switzerland and that he was "legal". He was clearly loved there as all the volunteers working that evening came out to say good bye to him.

We were a little worried about the long drive home but he was as quiet as a mouse, the only murmer we got from him was when we were climbing up the mountain and his ears must have been popping!

It's clear that he isn't 100% Rotti, although much younger at only 8 months he is a little taller than Kyra but only half her weight. We didn't really like his name (in French pronounced Die-Ron) so we changed it to Dylan which he now answers to. Although not trained he is learning very quickly, he is so soft, gentle and loving and although he follows us around everywhere, he's quite happy sleeping on his own.

here he is (on the left) with Kyra.



And a little video of him enjoying his first snow storm!

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Old 08.03.2010, 16:06
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

Grumpy, your video made me smile. Great thread and congratulations on the new addition and he's real lucky to have found a home with you all!
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:16
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

I adopted my remaining dog from SPALD in Ticino on Boxing Day 2004. We went to see him on the 24th December and liked him and arranged to collect him two days later.

What was more important was that they liked us and that we already had a dog (and specifically, we were Devil Dog Owners already).

The dog was a 3-year-old American Staffordshire terrier who had been dumped at Ponte Tresa (border of Switzerland and Italy). He was found with a broken leg.

We paid SPALD for treatment and for his de-sexing. It came to 300 francs - which I'm sure could not cover everything....but that's what they asked for and that's what they got.

I don't know the level of abuse the dog suffered but, still to this day, he is cautious with people (especially men). But what he lacks in courage, he makes up for in unconditional love. He's so rewarding and kind and easy to be around that he makes life a pleasure.

I would never look to get a dog from anywhere else, to be honest. They have been sounding us out about an 8-month-old Amstaff as they know we recently lost our older Amstaff girl (sweet 16 ). It's a challenge to say No as we have love to give but do have changed circumstances - plus the Devil Dog Haters Club is growing stronger and stronger each day

We'll see what the next couple of months holds

For what it's worth, my dog is still on the SPALD website banner all these years later He was very popular with the people there....who told us that he would run away if he was not on the leash. Well he sometimes managed to be outside our garage door when it closed a few times and would run between the gate and the front door.....run away - what, from the sofa? Not a chance
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:20
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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Recently we decided that a companion was required for our 20 month old Rottweiler Kyra. She has a great life up here but is too big to play with the cats and, after a kick, a bit too small for the horses.
Thanks for sharing this fascinating experience.

You mention you have Rottweilers AND cats. How do they get on?
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:24
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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Thanks for sharing this fascinating experience.

You mention you have Rottweilers AND cats. How do they get on?
I should have a picture somewhere of two Amstaffs, one Entlebucher and two Bengal cats all sitting together (and I REALLY mean TOGETHER) waiting to be fed....

The cats growl to protect the food and, from them all, the Entlebucher is most likely to bite...

Dogs have bad press when it comes to cats
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:25
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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Thanks for sharing this fascinating experience.

You mention you have Rottweilers AND cats. How do they get on?
The cats live in a barn and the stables but they actually get on pretty well with Kyra who was introduced to them as a puppy. At the moment though, they are still "educating" Dylan (and he has the scratches on his nose to prove it).

The one problem we have is the chickens, Kyra has learnt not to chase them but Dylan needs plenty more training before I'll let him off the lead near them.
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:26
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

I really enjoyed watching your video and how wonderful that the dogs get on well together.
He is a very lucky dog to have got such a great new home with you on the farm.
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:41
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

We are looking at dogs also right now.

Only thing is we will be living in an appartment( ground floor with ok terras and gardens (public all around)


reason we have not yet is because the dog would be alone most of the day......

I know there is good apartment dogs (like a bulldog or some other large breeds) big and small but does anyone have any experience with this?


He/ she has to come from a shelter so we can give it a better life.....

I have owned several dogs before but always had a private garden and such.....and I dont want to take away from the joy the dog could have.

Btw it has to be a dog....not to much of a cat person......
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:45
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

Anthony - research the breed. Some will be OK and some will not. Large sometimes needs less than small breeds, for example. Avoid terriers as they are active and require tiring out.

Your most important walk of the day would be before leaving home.

You may also find a pair of dogs are more content than a single dog.
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:51
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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Anthony - research the breed. Some will be OK and some will not. Large sometimes needs less than small breeds, for example. Avoid terriers as they are active and require tiring out.

Your most important walk of the day would be before leaving home.

You may also find a pair of dogs are more content than a single dog.


Yup 2 would be better than 1 but I can allready see the mess and damage they would imply on the apartment.


I researched some breeds but the ones always seem to say almost every breed will do fine. More the large ones in General.....

As a mutt is always different also (thats what mostly in the shelters.....)

ill keep on researching
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:53
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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I have owned several dogs before but always had a private garden and such.....and I dont want to take away from the joy the dog could have.

Btw it has to be a dog....not to much of a cat person......
Nah, you dont have to have a garden to give a dog joy. A nice walk before you go to work, give him/her meals on time and lots of belly rubs when you get back is more than enough for them!

Good luck on your search.
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Old 08.03.2010, 17:38
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

Loved your video Grumps - Kyra and Dylan are two very lucky dogs!
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Old 08.03.2010, 18:52
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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If you have any experience of adopting (successful or otherwise) or know someone who has or if you work/volunteer at one, please share your experiences.
The shelter here in Geneva, sgpa.ch allows you to take your prospective new best friend for a walk outside of their facility on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 14h to 17h, so you can get to know the dog before you even start the adoption process.

In the case of the adoption of my Bull Mastiff last October, I don't know how much of my experience would apply to an average adoption process in that I was adopting a dog on the banned breed list here. It took a lot of effort, and I don't know if the cantonal veterinarian would allow it again. I think they were just tired of me continually stopping by their office to plead my case, and granted me permission to adopt the dog so that I would stop bothering them.

Price wise it was only 260 francs even with the dog having been neutered while at the SGPA. My background, living situation, and experience with dogs had already been closely scrutinized, so I don't know if there is any kind of interview process involved in the adoption of a regular dog.
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Old 08.03.2010, 19:14
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

I just adopted two guinea pigs but not from a shelter but a guy that got three for his son just to discover that two females were pregnant! So he is given them away, nice guy!
I am really looking forward to the new adition in our home!

PS: I adopted a dog once from the pound when I lived in the US, unfortunately they told me she was a mutt but would not grow too big, guess what at 6 months she was the size of a boxer! I had to give her away because she was too big for my tiny appartment. I do recommend adopting from shelters though, so many animals needing love there. My Lucas (cat) I adopted from a friend also whose cat had just given birth to 7!
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Old 08.03.2010, 21:26
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

Here are our little evil creatures. Yes the shelter did ask all kinds of questions about what kind of life we can offer them - can they go out, how often are we away; what are the cat sitting arrangements; what experience we have etc etc. And they called recently to check up as well.

Martin was with us first so when we first brought Minnie home, there was some hissing and spitting, but now they're the best friends. Minnie, as it turned out, was actually found in our village and boy was she one greedy kitten at first, she must have been hungry a lot when she was younger, as she would eat everything and more, looking like a little balloon. Luckily she has now realized that yes, we feed her regularly.


And as the other half went to shelter alone and chose Minnie, there is no question about whom she prefers

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Old 09.03.2010, 08:55
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

Ok,here 's our and our Liza's story .


For a gazillion years i have dogsat for family and friends,sometimes over months on end and due to the story in our lives last year, we decided we now want a dog of our own.......we decided we'd like a Labby or a Border Collie,for the reason that I am not allergic to them as these were breeds i was looking after before

So we went to our local animal shelter to ask wether they had a dog for us, but they didn't. So we phoned round the other shelters with the same result.

Googling labby breeders.......grrmmppppffff......no puppies, no dogs for sale........by chance we came onto a small ad site and found our Liza

She is a labby mix ......now Liza is a rescued feral dog from Greece,was found end of last year on the roads of Athens, with a big wound on her side ( coz someone threw acid over her to shoo her away) and totally famished, by an animal loving lady who took her home and to the vet where she got treatment,her jabs,the chip,was neutered etc etc. and then she was passed on to a private organisation to be placed.

http://www.repage1.de/member/tier-sucht-dich


When we discovered the ad online we got in touch and i was chatting ( coz i can't do phone calls anymore) over MSN to the lady who finds places for those rescued dogs. She told me about the dog,it's story and her characterisitcs and I told her who we were and why we want a dog.

We had to fill in a large questionaire about us and wether we had the means, time and will and so on to care for a dog. I added photos of us as well and in the end it was agreed that we drive to France to fetch her the very next day.

And it was love on both sides from the moment we met.

Patty and Pit live on a smallholding in the French Jura ,they also have Ponies and Cats and we had a really good impression of them at first glance when we arrived there, the animals were kept well and you could feel that they have a love for what they do.

This ladies work is completely legit, the rescue dogs she tries to place with owners, all come with all jabs,chips,passport and so on and so forth.
We also had to sign a contract and we paid 300€ for Liza which was basically just covering the cost of her treatment in Greece as well as the transport of her to France.

Patty also breed dogs of her own.

Since Liza is with us we chat about every second day about her progresses and I was also invited to a Forum

http://bullyinlove.forumieren.com/index.htm

Patty runs where those who got dogs from her and Rotti and Bully owners exchange info about their dogs etc. So i would say that is also good after care and Patty was spot on with everything she described about Liza,despite our doggie only been with her about 10 days before we got her, so she really has a lot of experience......and she places 90% of the dogs in Switzerland

I couldn't add a pic so here's the link to my blog with Photos of our darling http://sylvssilverspoonreturns.blogs.../our-liza.html



IMPORTANT NOTE:

It is now MANDATORY in Switzerland for dogowners to do a dog handling course......both theory and practical...........until Sept. 2010 those who already HAD a dog only have to do to the practical course.......all those like me, who never had a dog registered to their name have to do both courses....whether you have experience or not!!

http://www.bvet.admin.ch/themen/tier...x.html?lang=de sorry this site only somes in ger/fr and engl

on it is also a link of dogschools through Switzerland that are approved for those courses

This course also has to be done if you already had a dog and aquired a second one...........
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Old 09.03.2010, 12:48
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

Cantons can also impose their own more stringent requirements. We just got a booklet through from Zurich canton and their training requirements are higher than federal

(We're also contemplating looking for a companion for our older deerhound)
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Old 09.03.2010, 14:32
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

For anyone considering adoption, I would highly recommend SPA Fribourg, in Estavayer-le-Lac.

http://www.spafribourg.ch

In autumn 2009, they had over 100 cats for adoption and a fair number of dogs. You will find may of the photos of the animals for adoption on the website with some commentary, although I understand they have so many animals not all are up on the web. Some of the dogs had special issues, but if looking for a cat, there was a type of cat for just about everyone. By the way, they speak both French and German.

As background, we started this journey reading the journal Schweitzer Familien, which profiles at least 1 or 2 times a month (not every issue) a different shelter with animals for adoption in Switzerland. It is a great way for the shelters that have lots of animals to get a greater profile. Highly recommend reading this journal if you read german. This profile of the animals for adoption from SPA Fribourg caught our attention, as there was a cat that matched our lifestyle.

The process was that we contacted SPA Fribourg, had some discusisons with them via phone and email, then made an appointment to visit (mandatory). In the end, the cat we saw in Schweitzer Familien was not so interested in us, but another cat quickly adopted us. We had to fill out an extensive questionnaire about ourselves, our living quarters, and other related info. The SPA Fribourg did an excellent job in finding the right fit and helped in all processes of the adoption. We chose to wait one week to think it over, then returned to pick up the cat. It cost about 100 chf, and he had all the shots and the imbedded chip. He was also neutered upon entering the SPA. He came home with his passport and welcome basket (food and treats). We provided the cat carrier and other comforts once at home.
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Old 09.03.2010, 14:47
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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Anthony - research the breed. Some will be OK and some will not. Large sometimes needs less than small breeds, for example. Avoid terriers as they are active and require tiring out.

Your most important walk of the day would be before leaving home.

You may also find a pair of dogs are more content than a single dog.
Our dogs are fine when left alone because they are not alone, they have each other, and they are very lazy. So yes, breed is a huge factor. But your landlord might think 2 dogs in an apartment is too much. Unless you live on a farm and dogs have tons of space, a small garden is not different than one that is a little bigger. They still need walks, but a fenced garden is still useful to have.
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