Useful information on the adoption process
If you are considering adopting a new furry friend from Sun New Hope Dog Rescue, please read this page as the the information is very important.
Natasa is our very experienced rescuer and all of our doggies are assessed to ensure they are suitable for rehoming. As you may have read elsewhere on the site, Izzy Chill does work full time, so we apologise in advance if there is a delay in getting back to you.
We are not for profit and therefore do not charge an adoption fee. However our doggies are currently in our Shelter in North Macedonia, and we obviously have to charge for the transportation of our doggies to the UK.
We do not bring our doggies over to the UK, to be put into foster care. We do not believe this is right for them. They have had a hard enough life already and do not deserve to be passed from pillar to post. We want committed, serious adopters who want to offer the best life to our little ones.
Failed adoptions do happen, due to health issues etc...However we do not consider "Oh we thought he would be smaller" ..."She doesn't want to come out for a run with me " ..."He's digging in the garden" or any number of other lame excuses as reasonable. YOU are making a commitment for life in adopting one of our beautiful babies. Please only consider applying to adopt from us if you are willing to make that commitment.
Adopting a doggy is not a try before you buy thing. Please think about this very carefully before considering applying. They need time, care and total commitment from their new family. We are not the "Blue cross" We are not a UK rescue where people can "Dump" unwanted pets. We love every one of our doggies with every bone in our bodies, and seek only serious committed adopters, who will love their new family member like any other member of that family. The adaptation to life with a doggy family member has to be made by YOU and your family. Every failed adoption is another massive blow to a poor defenceless dog, and it is just not fair for him or her.
Having a dog, whether bought or adopted is a serious commitment and it can be difficult at times, just like having a baby. Dogs are individuals just like us so you can never predict quite how they are going to fit in around your family. The important thing is that YOU have to fit in round them too. They are not a "Thing" to be discarded if you don't like it or it doesn't fit. This is what has already often happened to them in Macedonia for us to rescue them. Please Please Please think before you decide.
The transportation cost varies slightly depending on the company used and the current border and associated fees, but is always kept to the minimum. As we are only a small rescue we have to share transport with a number of other rescues. At times spaces available are limited and the transport companies do not operate to a weekly fixed schedule. This means that there could be a significant period of time between agreeing to adopt one of our doggies, and them getting to their forever home. Please understand, this delay is out of our control but we always endeavour to expedite your new furry friends travel.
If your new doggy is very large, then it could be that he or she effectively takes up 2 spaces (as the transport is based on total weight). If this is the case we will obviously inform you of this at the earliest possible time. This is very rare and we as a rescue have never experienced it, however it can happen.
If you are considering a puppy, please note, regulations prohibit the travel of pups under 5 months old. We will never risk sending an underage puppy, as the risk to the puppy as well as our reputation and therefore our ability to continue rescuing doggies in need would be jeopardized. So please do not ask us to transport puppies under this age.
Although all our doggies have a pet passport, which includes their microchip and all their vaccination record, they do not travel as pets as this is illegal. They enter the UK under the Government approved system. All our doggies are also thoroughly vet checked prior to travel and comply fully with all vaccination and certification. We only use approved licenced transport companies, who look after our doggies on their long arduous journey.
After an application form has been completed, if we think you are suitable as an adopter, Izzy will make contact to arrange a home check. We do ask that you include as much information as possible on your application, as this helps us to ensure the best home for our lovely rescue pups.
If there are any issues arising then Izzy will discuss these with you.
We do not just want any home for our doggies, but the BEST possible forever home.
If the home check is positive and you are the most suitable prospective adopter for him or her then you will be formally offered your furry friend. We then ask for a Non refundable deposit to secure your doggy. Please do not feel offended if your application for your chosen doggy is not successful. We often have more than one applicant, and ultimately we have to choose one.
We may well be able to secure you an alternative doggy. If there are no others currently available who you would like, we can keep your application on file until you find a doggy you would love.
Izzy will discuss with you if there are any "Issues" with your application at an early stage.
Transport is arranged at the Macedonian end, which will be on a mutually agreeable date. Approximately 30 days prior to your new doggy starting his or her journey we request the balance of the transportation costs. This has to be paid by us up front and if we have not received the money we cannot pay for the transport. We do not have "Spare Money" Our fundraising to keep the dogs safe in the shelter and on the streets of Macedonia is for exactly that.
We do strongly suggest that you take some time off work, so that you can be there to settle your new addition in to your home.
When your new furry friend arrives in the UK, government regulations require they spend 48 hours in an approved kennels, to enable DEFRA to inspect them if they choose. As there are only a few such kennels, you will have to travel to collect your new addition. We do however make sure that your doggy arrives at the nearest kennels to your home, and with sufficient notice for you to make arrangements.
Please understand that we adore our rescue doggies and only want the best possible forever homes for them. They deserve the best possible life and we as a rescue will endeavour to make that happen.
We have a great deal of experience bringing doggies over from Macedonia and the additional time it takes for the travel due to Covid and Brexit border measures has meant that we do now have two very clear pre-adoption requirement.
1. You must purchase, borrow or rent a metal crate.
We insist that you use this covered with blankets in a quiet place (No TV, Radio etc) to allow your new addition to decompress and sleep when they arrive. Their poor little immune systems are shot to bits with everything they have been through. Many problems which adopters have experienced in the past are avoided by the use of a crate.
Some doggies will resist crating crying or scratching. If your new addition won't settle to sleep then you may have to settle down near the crate for some time to give your new family member some support. Think of this like having a baby. Even when they cry we have to put them down to sleep in their cot, as they NEED the sleep. We know you are excited to interact with your new Fur Baby but if they are not given the chance to sleep and get over the stress not only of the journey but also being overwhelmed with sensory overload you will have problems. Sleep 20 hours + a day, for at least a week. It can take some considerably longer. Of course you can let them out for short periods in the garden for a wee etc, but after a few minutes out maybe saying hello to you if they want to, it's back in the crate. Do not wake them for toileting wait for them to wake. Doing this prevents sensory overload which can manifest itself in various unwanted behavioural issues.
2. Our 2nd requirement is that you must be in contact with us preferably on Facebook Messenger or if not Whatsapp. We need you to keep in touch and send us updates and photos of your new family member so that we can let our wonderful Vet in Macedonia review how they are settling down and advise you on any issues. This is especially important in the first few weeks. We are not being nosey. Our doggies are our world and we need to know they are safe and well. If you do not agree to adhere to these 2 simple requirements, then we are afraid we cannot offer you a doggy.
Should you wish to proceed with an application to adopt, please either email [email protected] or fill out our contact form requesting an application form.
Your New Doggy Settling into their new Home
3 DAYS to 3 WEEKS - LET THEM SLEEP.....LOTS...NOT REST...SLEEP
Some older dogs who have known family life before, and are relaxed in nature may only take a few days for this phase....BUT THE MAJORITY OF OUR DOGS WILL NEED MUCH LONGER
The first few days and weeks for your new family member will be very stressful. They have had the transition from the streets to our shelter where they have been loved and cared for by Natasa. Having become settled and relaxed with only limited human company but lots of doggy companions, then your new doggy will have spent 72 hours or more travelling across Europe from Macedonia in a van with up to 25 dog strangers. He or she will be very tired or scared or excited or all of these combined.. Provide them with food, water and somewhere warm to sleep. They need to be allowed time to settle into their new surroundings. Do not expect them to interact very much with you, or any other household animals. If they do wish to be near you be gentle and calm with them. They really do need this time to adjust and settle in. Don't be too prescriptive where you allow them to explore, provided of course it is a doggy safe environment. He or she will have no idea where they are supposed to go to the loo or whether they are expected to find their meal in the rubbish bin. They will not know that your favourite slippers are not toys for them.
Unlike humans, doggies do not know when to switch off for their own health. They can if they are encouraged or even allowed, carry on running around and expending energy they do not have until they literally drop down dead. I know that sounds extreme, but it happens. You have to act as their on / off switch for them. When they arrive with you they have "Round the World Jetlag" X 100
DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT FOR A WALK, your garden for a few minutes at a time, just for a wee and poo when they wake up, on a lead will be more than sufficient for these first few days, while they decompress. IT CANNOT BE STRESSED TOO MUCH - LET THEM SLEEP AND RECOVER FROM THEIR ORDEAL. Their immune system will be at a very low ebb, and any stress or picking up of contaminants could be life threatening.
Due to covid border controls and brexit our recent transports have taken significantly longer to get to the UK kennels. Some have taken well over 100 hours on the transport to get to the UK. With this in mind it is essential that for the doggies health and wellbeing, they MUST be allowed to de-stress for significantly longer. They should be kept in, apart from regular garden leashed wee and poo breaks for at least a week. It could take much longer, every doggy is different. They must have their crate time, where they can relax and overcome their fatigue. After short relief breaks in the garden, put them to bed...their need for sleep far outweighs any benefits of play or exercise at this critical time. If these early days are calm, relaxed and contain huge amounts of sleep, he or she will develop into your perfect doggy.
3 WEEKS ONWARDS
They should have got over their traumatic travel by now But if they still seem tired give them a little longer...Rest will never harm them
You will notice after a while they will begin to relax and maybe check out their new home and your family "their new pack". Some will begin to settle much sooner than others, every dog is different....just be patient and calm. They may still be somewhat nervous about their new environment but will over these weeks begin to show you their true character. They will begin to settle in to your daily routine, and when they get fed etc. This is also the time when you, by observing your new doggy's behaviour, can begin to identify any aspects of their behaviour which you may need to work on, or even seek professional help with. Take your time and be guided by your dogs acceptance of his or her new surroundings.
3 MONTHS ONWARDS
Over the next 3 months your new addition will gradually fit in with you as their new family. By the end of this period most dogs will have settled into their new home and understand the boundaries. You will have both climbed a huge learning curve and will be prepared perfectly for a wonderful life together. You have the basis for a great relationship. Remember these 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 Months are a rough guide. Every doggy is different and some will reach these stages sooner some may take longer. Be patient, kind and consistent.
Training your dog
Once your new addition has settled in and has accepted your home as his or her home you can begin training them. Training your dog is not only essential for his or her safety and your sanity but is also a great way to bond with your new doggy. When carried out correctly it is fun for the dog and provides the mental stimulation which they need to be healthy and happy. If your family is more than just you and your doggy it is definitely worth all taking responsibility for training. That way not only will your doggy will become obedient for all household members, but everyone is sharing the experience.
I will not delve into the subject here in any detail as there are many good books and online resources available. What I will say is that all training should be fun for the dog, and you. It takes time and patience but the rewards are definitely worth it. The absolute crux of all training is consistency of both command and reward. Make sure all family members are agreed with which commands they are going to use and stick with them. Some are obvious and straightforward SIT, DOWN, STAY, and "Dogs name" COME but you may decide to use alternative words or additional commands for other actions. Obviously that is entirely your choice but Keep them short, normally one syllable and do not try to link commands until your dog consistently carries out the basics. TIMING of the reward, whether food, toy or praise is essential and MUST be delivered IMMEDIATELY the correct action is carried out by your dog. Once your dog starts to make this association with even the simplest act then further more advanced training becomes far easier for you both.
COMMAND ACTION REWARD and REPETITION works. Keep trying and you will get there.
Most of all HAVE FUN...Because an obedient well trained doggy is a pleasure without equal. Training your dog never ceases, just like humans learning...we never stop. Continuing training throughout his or her life is rewarding for you both and he or she can never be too trained. Use every opportunity to reinforce a command, many of which can be taught by just careful observation of your doggy and command / reward. For example right from day 1 when he or she goes for a wee in the right place (garden) say "wee" or your desired word whilst they are in the act and as soon as they have finished "good boy or girl" and treat. This works for "sit" and "down" etc equally well for any action they naturally carry out. This is often the least stressful method but does require you to be observant and act straight away.
Beware of quick fixes; consistency and appropriate timing are the essentials. Please never forget that the best trained dog in the world still has his or her own brain and will on occasion disobey a command. Please don't be fooled into the "My dog has great recall" then he bolts after a squirrel and gets run over on a road scenario. If you really want to free run your doggy do so in a secure environment, so no harm can come them.
The process of training your new family member is fun but it does take lots of time and patience, and it will not come in a few days or weeks....It will take months and is not easy...but it is very much worth the effort.
I recently came across Pupford.com
They are based in the US so the training treats and articles which they sell are not available in the UK. However they produce videos and various programmed dog training courses. They are very informative and Zac George the trainer has a very easy manner about him. Just click the link to go to their website. They have a free New Dog Starter Course, which you will find useful. https://pupford.com/new-dog-starter-course/ You can also sign up for a 30 day course here https://pupford.com/30-day-perfect-pup-with-zak-george/ You get daily videos to your email each covering a different topic and they are in a very logical training order.
There are many other online resources as well as many good videos on YouTube etc.
If anyone is interested in professional help with a very experienced dog trainer, I would highly recommend Minky's Pups run by George and Jacqi.
I have known George for many years and I rate him as one of the best Police Dog Instructors I have ever been lucky enough to work with. It comes as no surprise that retirement is not going to be pipe and carpet slippers🤣....He loves dogs and training too much.
He has a wealth of experience with so many issues, and combined with Jacqi's behaviourist qualifications and experience they make a great professional team.
They are based in Norfolk but if you need "Hands on" help they do travel.
Just click on the picture above for more information.