Adoption Procedure

Our re-homing policies have been set, with the benefit of years of experience, to maximise the chances of the animals staying with their new owners for life.

Some of our rescues have been ill-treated and their lives are just beginning, others are sad to be apart from their owners and are broken hearted. They all need the security of loving homes where they can rebuild their lives and find happiness once more.

Each animal is different and therefore our adoption procedure can vary from animal to animal. The following steps can be used as a general guideline for our adoption procedure:

  • The whole family needs to come in and visit the animals at the Sanctuary, please discuss any animal that you are interested in with a member of staff – it is very important to match the prospective owner to the right cat or dog to prevent the animal being unnecessarily returned.
  • As we will require landlord’s permissions if you are renting, please get this before placing an interest to enable us to speed up the process of rehoming.
  • All other animals in the home must be fully vaccinated and neutered, except when advised not to by a veterinarian.
  • You will need to complete a ‘prospective adopter form’ with a member of our reception team.
  • Once you and the Sanctuary have chosen a suitable animal a home check will be carried out.
  • Subject to all the above being successful, you will be able to adopt the animal (usually within 48-72 hours after the home check).

Adoption Fee’s explained

When you decide to adopt an animal from Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, we ask you to pay a minimum adoption Fee. This helps us to ensure all of our animals are micro-chipped, vaccinated and neutered – although we rarely come close to meeting the amounts that have been incurred to us whilst they are in our care, the fee is the minimum we require to help cover our costs, but we would always be so grateful for any donation over and above the fee, that could help towards our ever increasing overheads, the bonus is that this added extra can also include gift aid making your donation go even further!

  • Dogs, micro-chipped, vaccinated and neutered*: £160.00
  • Puppies, micro-chipped, vaccinated and neuter voucher: £200.00
  • Cats, micro-chipped, vaccinated and neutered*: £85.00
  • Kittens, micro-chipped, vaccinated and neuter voucher: £95.00
  • Rabbits or ferrets: £50.00
  • Guinea pigs: £30.00
  • Rodents (rats, degus, gerbils, hamsters): £10.00

*Please note that where an animal has not been neutered this will need to be arranged at a later stage; when the animal is old enough. It forms part of our adoption agreement that you do so – failure to comply may result in your animal returning to the Sanctuary. It is vital that animals are neutered at the appropriate age to help stop the cycle of unwanted kittens & puppies.

Home Checks explained

We aim to carry out all of our home visits within 7 days. We rely heavily on our dedicated team of volunteers to carry out our home visits, so please do be patient if your home check takes a little bit longer, it may be that we have limited volunteer resources in your area. If you haven’t heard from your home visitor within 7 days please do then contact our Rehoming team on 01275 474719 (11am – 4pm except Tuesdays when it’s 11am – 2pm).

Fully Enclosed Gardens for Dogs explained

For puppies and adult dogs, a fully enclosed private garden with direct access will be required. The minimum height of the wall/fence required will be as given in the rehoming details for the individual dog.

Non-crating policy for puppies and adult dogs

We have a non-crating policy for puppies and adult dogs. To do so will result in the puppy/dog being returned to Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary. The only concession would be if the animal needed cage rest due to a medical condition.

Reasons for not crating puppies and adult dogs

In recent years there has been a large increase in the number of dog trainers and behaviourists that recommend the use of a crate to solve behaviour and training problems.

The idea is that you introduce your dog to the crate, which they should come to regard as their den. The theory follows that you then lock them in their “den” when you are out so that they can’t do any damage and feel secure while they are alone.

This may sound like an excellent theory until you examine it in greater detail. Firstly, when the door is locked, the status of the crate is changed from a den to a very small prison. Secondly, it is very unlikely that any behaviour problems will be solved, they may in fact be made far worse.

The trouble with making the behaviour worse is that a vicious circle will be generated that is very difficult to get out of. As the problem gets worse, the crate is used more often leading to a worsening of the problem and more use of the crate and so the circle is never broken. The crate is used as a matter of course and the dog continues to suffer.

Crates were originally intended to be used rather like playpens for children, somewhere that the puppy/dog could play safely. Recently crates have developed into an instant crutch for owners. Using the crate means that there is no need for owners to understand their dogs, they simply lock the dog away when they can’t cope with their behaviour.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t do anything for the dog, it doesn’t teach them anything other than when they are alone, they must be confined. Once resigned to their fate, dogs can become depressed and lethargic, leading the owner to believe the crate has quietened their dog down.

There are many more humane ways to solve problems other than crating. The big advantage of humane methods is that they tackle the cause of the problem rather than the effect of it. This means that once the problem is gone, it is gone for good and you won’t make the problems worse or risk subjecting your dog to depression through confinement in the process.

Courtesy of Animals in Mind Charity

Fostering an animal

The well-being of all the animals in our care is one of our top priorities. Some of our animals need that little bit of extra love, care and attention that a home environment can provide, these include our very young, old and sick animals.

If you would like to offer a foster home for our animals please complete a Volunteer Application form or if you require further information please contact our Rehoming team.

I would like to rehome a small animal…

Small animals are available to adopt either on a home from home basis or occasionally they will be kept at the sanctuary.

To meet any of our small animals, an appointment will need to be made through reception once an application form has been completed.

Small Animal Requirements:

  • Small animals have very special requirements, they will need regular medical check-ups with your vet, plenty of enrichment and suitable housing.
  • Sadly, many pet shops still sell unsuitable accommodation which doesn’t provide for their needs at all. Some of the best accommodation can often be handmade, by converting sheds and playhouses etc for rabbits with access to an outside run and vivarium or bookcases used to create fantastic hamster homes. Cages with levels are not always best, although any cage should ideally be at least 2ft x 2ft in length. A long space where hamsters can run is usually far more fun than lots of tubes. Take a look at some of the images below to see what amazing spaces can be created.

A good buy is similar to The Hamster Heaven available at Pets at Home, Amazon and other pet suppliers…

The Hamster Heaven Metro Hamster Cage by Savic is an extra-large cage which comes complete with:
Tunnels, Platforms, Slides, Housing, Exercise Wheel, Toilet, Food Bowls and Drinking Bottle.

Approximate Dimensions (Product): 50 x 80 x 50cm

Hamster

Rabbit Run

Rabbit House

  • We require potential new owners to send in pictures of their accommodation set up ready. These pictures can be sent to info@hollyhedge.org.uk.
  • We may also require to arrange a home visit before they can go to their new homes along with a vet reference for previous pets.