How to find your dog from an animal shelter

Animal Shelters

There are hundreds of dogs waiting for a new loving, forever home. Adopting your dog from a shelter can be a wonderfully rewarding experience. You can give a dog second chance at having a happy life, while finding your perfect pet at the same time. In addition, by buying from a shelter and giving a good donation when you pick up your pooch, you are helping the shelter keep us with the costs of running  by providing money for food, vaccinations, neutering and training. Don’t be put off getting a dog which has already been given up once before, dogs are abandoned for many reasons and often it’s through no fault of their own.

How to Find an Animal Shelter


Animal shelters come in a range of sizes and have different amounts of funding to support their services. Some shelters may be very small and independently run, while others are large and may have several centres nationwide, run by large national charities. If you’ve decided to find your new dog at a shelter then you should visit a number of different rescue centres in order to find your new pet.


You’ll want to get your dog from a shelter which is taking good care of its animals, so ask your local vet for recommendations and be sure to take a good look around any shelters you visit. Pay attention to how the staff treat the animals and the living conditions they are being kept in. You should always buy your dog from a good quality shelter; it should be light, bright and friendly and the dogs should seem happy and well cared for.


While searching for a dog you’d like to give a new home to, check the dogs listed here on Noah’s Dogs (link). We have a huge number of dogs listed and they are all ready to join a new family. You may also want to check the websites of shelters in order to keep up to date with the dogs they are trying to rehome.


If you have your heart set on a certain breed of dog then check with specialised breed recue associations. The Kennel Club will be able to provide you with their contact details. You can also register your interest in particular breeds with shelters.


If you’d rather get your dog from a national charity, check their websites or give them a call and ask for the details of rescue centres in your area. Dog’s Trust, RSPCA, Battersea, Celia Hammond and Blue Cross all have excellent reputations.


Just because you are buying a dog from a shelter doesn’t mean you don’t need to find a dog which will suit your circumstances and lifestyle . Be prepared to visit more than one rescue centre in order to find your ideal pet. Try not to feel sorry for a certain dog and offer it a home out of sympathy, as it may not be right for you and it may once again end up without a home.


Some charities and shelters will have a team of fosterers who take care of dogs in their own homes until a forever home can be found for them. The shelter should let you know if they think a fosterer has a suitable dog for you, but remember to ask them yourself if they have any dogs in foster care which you might like.

The Adoption Process


All shelters will have slightly different adoption processes, but most will have a system put in place to ensure that you are getting the right dog for your circumstances and the dog is going to a loving, suitable, forever home. Usually you can expect the following steps:


· Fill out an application form – this helps the shelter determine if dog ownership is right for you.

· Have an interview –  you could be interviewed prior to finding a dog you’d like to adopt in order to help determine which dog would suit you, or afterwards to make sure the dog you’ve chosen will be happy with you.

· Meet dogs which suit your requirements - when the shelter knows you circumstances, you will be kept up to date with any dogs which would be good for you and invited to meet them.

· Visit with current pet dogs – if you already own dogs then you may be asked to bring them along to the shelter to meet your potential new dog, along with the rest of your household.

· Spend time with the dog on a few occasions – by meeting with the dog more than once you can get to know each other better before you take it home. This is particularly good for nervous dogs who may find it hard to readjust to life with a new family.

· Home visits – an inspector at the shelter may ask to come and take a look around your home, to ensure that your living arrangements are suitable for dog ownership.

· Provide an adoption fee or compulsory donation – most shelters ask for a fee of around £100 when you take your dog home, to cover costs such as food, bedding and healthcare for dogs staying with them.


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