Adopting a Dog

Thinking about taking on a rescue dog? Please think carefully, these dogs have had their lives tipped upside down through no fault of their own. 

They will take time to settle into a new home. There will be problems you will need to work through, hence the free training and support Oakwood gives you. They might poo or pee in the house, they might bark when you leave them, they might destroy something, these are not reasons to bring them back to us after one or two weeks. Please listen to what we tell you at the viewings and during the visits, we know these dogs and disclose everything we know. Deeply consider what you are told about the dog and its personality before you offer the dog a home. It does them no favours to go into a home for a week and then come back to the kennels. 

With training and guidance they will settle, if you do nothing and bring them back after a short time then it makes them harder to place next time as they get upset every time they are brought back and the problems become harder to tackle. Please be sure you can commit to a rescue dog before you take them home.

If, after reading this, you are still interested in adopting one of our dogs, please read our Adoption Requirements and complete the Adoption Application Form.

Click here to visit our Available Dogs page to see the current dogs available, please note this is updated as regularly as possible, but changes can occur at short notice.

Our adoption policies, terms and conditions are in place for the benefit of our dogs and their adopters. We differ from most other rescues in the extensive support we offer our adoptive families during the adoption process and also the aftercare support and training we offer. We re-home to anyone who can care for a dog, it doesn't matter if you work full-time or have children, providing they are over 5 years of age. Every home has something to offer, more than anything we look for your committment and ability to provide everything the dog needs. Then it's just a case of finding a dog that is suitable. Our policies are linked to our dogs and not to you as a person.

The process from reservation to adoption takes between 1-2 weeks depending on the dog you are adopting. Please dont apply before you are ready to start the process as this takes up extra admin time for us a rescue, which takes us away from caring for our dogs.

What you can expect from us:

  • Pre-adoption assessment to help you find the dog who is most suited to you and your family.
  • All dogs are neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and up to date on flea and worm treatmentments.
  • A dog that has been assessed for behavioural needs by experienced and qualified staff. 
  • Free training services for 4 weeks after adoption.
  • Ongoing support for the life of the dog, support, advice and training just a phone call away, and a safety net should you ever find yourself unable to care for the dog.

What we expect:

  • Prospective owners must be 21 or older.
  • Everyone in the home must be in agreement about adopting a dog.
  • All family members, and other dogs in your home must come to the centre for an introduction to make sure they all get along.
  • Homecheck is required - this checks for the safety and security of the dog once it is in your home.
  • Lifetime insurance must be taken out on the dog for the life of the dog - to ensure that veterinary care and liability is covered in the event of an accident.
  • Your fencing must be a minimum of 6ft, solid fencing around the entire back garden.
  • New owners must be willing to provide your chosen dog with the level of exercise and stimulation it requires everyday.
  • New owners to give the dog reasonable time to settle in and adjust to their new life which can be around a month to 6 months, sometimes longer.
  • If you are unable to keep the dog it must be returned to us. However, this is not a get out clause. Adopters must be willing to work through situations to try and keep the dog.
  • An adoption contract must be signed on the day of adoption and an adoption fee is to be paid (which is non refundable).
  • Annual vaccinations, flea and worming treatment and insurance must be kept valid and up to date to protect the health and wellbeing of the dog for its whole life.
  • The dog must not be left alone in the home for longer than 5 hours or overnight, other arrangements must be made with professional services such as a dog walker or pet sitter.
  • Unfortunately due to the time-consuming nature of rescue dogs and their unknown backgrounds, we are not able to re-home to people who have dogs under a year old or with children under 5 years old.

The Adoption ProcessIzzy (14)

1) Complete and send our Adoption Application Form here - Please only submit this if you are wanting to adopt a dog immediately. If you want to adopt in future please complete the form a minimum of 2 weeks before you want to adopt. We cannot hold applications for people who want to adopt in the future. If you simply have an enquiry, please use the adopters enquiry form, click here

2) You will attach photos of your garden to the application form. They must show the full boundary fence on all sides which must be solid, 6ft tall and have a 6ft tall padlocked gate. For fences/gates which are slightly too short, trellis can be added to the top to increase the height and keep costs down. Unfortunately we cannot consider applications until the fencing is 6ft in height so please make any amendments to your garden fencing before you apply.

3) Receive a call back or email from one of the team to discuss your application, requirements and book a viewing (Please check your junk mailbox as often our 1st email we send goes into here). We try to call potential adopters back within a week, but as we only have a small team who deal with applications this process may take a little longer if we are experiencing a high volume of applications.

If we call, email or text and you do not get back to us within 1 week we will delete your application. Unfortunately this does happen regularly and takes up large amounts of time for our staff. We are unable to continuously try to contact people who do not return our calls/emails.

4) Book a viewing to meet the dogs you have been matched with who appear most ideal to your lifestyle, bring photo and address ID so we can verify who you are.

5) Pay a reservation fee of £75.00 which secures your chosen dog whilst you get to know them. This holds your dog pending checks. Once reserved the dog will no longer be shown to other prospective adopters. You also receive important information and advice on what you need to do ready for bringing home a new rescue dog.

6) Take your chosen dog out for a walk, out for the day to your home, and get to know them in every way possible over the next week. You will need to arrange to spend time with your new dog on no less than 5 days out of 7.

7) A homecheck will be carried out by one of our staff or volunteers. Home checks over 15 miles from Oakwood require fuel costs to be covered by the adopter (45p/mile). If you live outside the HU postcode area then we have a different process, see below for our out of Hull adoption process.

We do have a UK wide network of volunteers who can do home checks all over the country, the fees only apply if we have no one in your area, which is very unlikely.

8) If everything goes well, complete the adoption process with signing the contract, paying the remaining Adoption fee and take your new family member home!

If you like the sound of our process then please complete our Adoption Application Form. Remember you can't choose a dog from a picture. You need to meet the dog and get to know them, see how they fit into your home, family and life. That way when you do sign the adoption contract you know it will be forever.

For potential adopters who live outside of Hull

If you live outside of the local area, then we will need to carry out a home check before you come to Hull to view the dogs, this will ensure you don't have a wasted trip if your home check doesn't pass for some reason.

Once the home check has passed we will then arrange for you to come over to Hull to view our dogs. We recommend you allocate at least a day and a night so that if you see a dog you like you can spend some time with that dog and not have to make a decision within an hour. For example, travel up Friday evening, meet a few dogs then go back to your B&B or hotel and have a think. Come back the next day and spend more time with your shortlisted dog/s, take them for a walk, play in our play area, take them out for the day etc.

Once you and us are happy that the dog you have chosen could be suitable then we ask you to complete all the adoption paperwork and pay the adoption fee in full.


Adoption Fees

Our fee guidelines are as follows:

Dogs under 1 year - £275                                                                                  

Dogs 1 year to 7 years - £200

Dogs 8 years and over - £125

Pure/Rare breeds - up to £300

The differences in fees are due to dogs having differing requirements. For example older dogs require a higher commitment to vet care and so to help towards this we reduce the cost of our older dogs to make them more rehomable. Puppies cost more to the rescue to ensure they are neutered, vaccinated etc. ready to go to their new family.

We require a reservation fee of £75.00 to be paid on reserving your chosen dog. This is non-refundable/transferable if you decide to un-reserve the dog and do not complete the adoption. If we decide the dog is not suitable for you, we will fully refund the reservation fee. When you complete the adoption, the reservation fee counts towards the total adoption fee.

So what do you get for your adoption fee?

  • Full behaviour assessment whilst in the rescue
  • Neutering worth up to £200 (depending on size/sex of dog)
  • Full vaccinations worth up to £45
  • Up to date with worming/flea treatment
  • Microchip worth £15 (you will need to change details if you move house and this does come at a cost)
  • Free training for 4 weeks worth £80
  • Aftercare support with free telephone/email advice when you need it.
  • Rescue back up support for the dog should they need to be returned to rescue.