When you’ve rescued a dog or cat from neglect or cruelty – or when an animal has been carelessly given to you without a backward glance – you want a better life for that animal, with all your heart. For this reason, St Francis Animal Rescue is very careful about placing dogs and cats in the right homes.
We have a few rules about adoption which separate us from other animal charities. We don’t want a dog to be adopted for protection. We know the life of that dog will be spent outdoors, barking at passers-by – the alternative to an alarm system. If a dog has the kind of loyal personality which make him or her protective, that’s a bonus for an owner looking to adopt an animal as a ‘family member’.
We insist upon our dogs sleeping indoors where they are safe, comfortable and close to their family. We ask that adopted dogs are regularly exercised to release their energy and prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. Ideally, they should be trained at a puppy or dog school to realize their best potential as well-behaved, disciplined, loved dogs. Wherever possible, we place our beloved rescues into homes where someone is there during the day so they are not left alone for too long. And we also strive to place our puppies in homes where there are children who will respect and love them. Not all adoptions are a success. We’ve taken back dogs and cats who have not settled into new homes and we’ve sought other more suitable families to adopt them.
We tell everyone who adopts to give the animal time to adapt to a strange environment. We ask for patience, empathy and understanding. We tell all those taking on a new rescue, to give the animal at least three weeks to become comfortable with the new family, other pets and the home environment.
We remind them it usually takes a full 3 months for a rescue to become a fully-fledged member of the family; secure, happy, well-adapted and comfortable with routines and life in general. Every rescue comes with a history. Unconditional love is the essential ingredient in making that dog or cat become one of your tribe.