Please read on for an explanation of our rehoming process.
Very often we are asked what is the procedure when visiting our rescue centre and how the system for rehoming a dog takes place - so we hope the below helps. Of course this should only be seen as a guide, each prospective new owner and their individual circumstances may require a slightly different approach. The answers to some specific questions can be found in the Question & Answer section and we would recommend you read these as they do highlight certain parts of our rehoming procedure that are important, for example regarding all members of the family coming to meet a new dog and certain polices regarding rehoming to a home with an un-neutered dog.
Of course the first part is to visit the centre. From the B5013 at its junction with Bellamour Way, Colton there are signs leading to Border Collie Trust. Heathway is easy to find but don't be fooled when you get to what seems to be the end of the road - follow the narrow track which leads to our kennels. The About Us page will give you all the information about where we are and how to get to us, but if in doubt about directions please email us or ring us on 01889 577058 beforehand to obtain them. Monday to Friday our admin office is open from 9am to 4:30pm to take any phone calls. At weekends the phone is diverted to kennel staff who may be busy with our "guests" or customers so please do try again if there's no reply.
Having parked in the car park visitors are asked to introduce themselves at Reception which is contained within the rehoming block (on the left as you walk down the driveway from the car park) If there is no member of staff present in Reception they may be out in the grounds exercising or working with dogs.
Initially we need to know a little about your personal circumstances and experience with our canine companions in order to help you identfy the most suitable candidates for you and your family. Most of the information we need comes from the Adoption Form you will be asked to complete. Most visitors complete the form on arrival but if you would like to complete the form prior to your visit - please do so. We do ask for some type of address verification such as a Driving Licence or a Utility Bill, so please remember to bring something along when you visit.
There is no need to send the form to us prior to a visit but if you have any queries or wish to discuss your suitability for a collie, please contact us before visiting. If you live in rented property, we will need written confirmation from your landlord that you have permision to own a dog in the property.
Our staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have so please don't be afraid to ask about anything that you may be unsure of at any stage in the proceedings. After this period of "information gathering" our staff will have a good idea of your suitability (and of course sometimes incompatibility) for rehoming. If they are satisfied that you can indeed provide the care, attention and patience that our rescued Collies deserve, they will show you photographs and a brief description/history of those dogs considered best suited to you.
We do not allow visitors to wander around the kennels as this constant disruption in the corridors not only causes some dogs to become over excited but interrupts staff duties and responsibilities. In addition our experienced staff can carefully select the appropriate dog/s. Each of our dogs has received a care plan since its arrival at the centre, this will be discussed with you and any points which you should be aware of, whether they be dietary requirements or behaviour characteristics will be pointed out. Each dog is also assessed during it's time with us to establish how it behaves and reacts to a wide variety of circumstances and everyday happenings from being near cats and other dogs, to it's attitude to humans and even everyday sights and sounds.
You will notice in the Dogs For Rehoming section and also on the information at the centre that each dog has a coloured label. This was introduced to help identify dogs who need special care or handling within the centre but also helps visitors to be aware of the general experience level we feel is required. Do bear in mind this is only a general guide and does not always mean that someone of limited collie experience could not be considered for a certain dog.
You are then given the opportunity to spend some time with all or any of the selected dogs. We have extensive grounds which will allow you to spend sometime in the company of the dog (remaining on the lead at all times please). If you already have a dog in the household this is the time to introduce them to the prospective new addition.Therefore it's important to bring your dog with you on the visit. It allows the dogs to meet on neutral ground and if they don't get on straight away at least all involved will be aware. If you have children we would also ask that they be involved and present during your visit it will allow staff to ensure that the dog will not react in any way to the child and of course vice versa. We try to socialise all dogs during their time with us but we don't have children living on site and of course a dog may react differently to different dogs and children.
You are under no pressure to rush through this process as this is a very important step in the procedure, remember you may be taking on a responsibility for many years to come. It may be the case that none of the dogs are suitable or for many reasons you may not find that special dog you were looking for. In that case we'd recommend keeping an eye on the website and if you need any more information we'll be happy to help. If you choose one of the dogs shown to you all the necessary paperwork can be completed the same day and all the necessary advice will be offered or we will reserve the dog for you to collect later.
We can only reiterate that you are under no pressure to take on a rescue dog, our staff will offer as much advice as they can. Assuming that our staff are satisfied that the dog you are interested in will fit in with your circumstances then the final decision to rehome a rescue dog of course rests with you. If you have any doubts, no matter how slight, we would rather you take time, if necessary away from the centre, considering all the matters before committing yourself.
If you still have some questions do take a look at the FAQ section but do feel free to contact us on 01889 577058 or of course email us. Please note that if you wish to reserve a dog to meet, we can do so for 24 hours but you must telephone to reserve a dog, we cannot take any reservations by email or via social media.