DOG SURRENDER GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES
This procedure is intended to help those who may be in the unfortunate position of needing to surrender a dog into our care – please read all points thoroughly.
Phoenix French Bulldog Rescue appreciate that surrendering a dog can be a very painful and difficult time. To help you decide on whether or not you wish to surrender to Phoenix FBR, we have compiled these guidelines for your information. Please do call us if you would like to discuss anything in more detail and any member of the Team will be able to walk you through how we work - at no time are you obliged to hand over your dog until you have signed the Surrender Contract to do so and, if it can be avoided by offering support and guidance, we will be delighted to do so.
Should you find yourself in a situation where you are no longer able to keep your dog (with the exception of aggression - please see point 7), the procedure is as follows:
When you call us, we will take some notes about your situation, including why you need to rehome the dog, the dog’s home situation, details on the dog, etc. You can ask any questions that you need to know at this stage. It is not our place to sit in judgement and all calls will be handled compassionately.
The telephone log is passed to the Regional Manger of the area in which you live so that an assessment of your dog, in your home, can be arranged. This is important so that we know as much about the needs of your dog as possible. We work on a foster-home basis, so want to place your dog in the very best home for his/her needs; no dog is ever placed in kennels.
Once the assessment has been completed, and this will be managed in a conversational, informal fashion, the paperwork is passed to the Management Team for discussion to see if we can identify a foster home that is immediately available, or if we need to advertise for someone to come forward – no personal details will ever be given out and your dog will be given an admin name for anonymity purposes. Your details are highly confidential, as are those of our fosterers, who will have been fully home-checked and assessed for their suitability, and will remain in daily contact with the Team once a dog is placed with them.
You will be informed when we feel we have the best home for your dog and a visit will be made to uplift your dog; it is at this point that you will sign a Surrender Contract. This can be a very difficult time and we are extremely mindful of this, but it is important that you understand what you are signing as the Surrender Contract is a legal document: PRIOR TO SIGNING THIS AND YOUR DOG LEAVING YOUR HOME, YOU CAN STOP THE PROCESS AT ANY TIME. Please do not feel obligated to continue unless you really want/need to, we would much prefer to help your dog to stay in its loving home with you.
There is a lot of legal jargon within the Surrender Contract and this will be explained to you by the attending coordinator, but it is important you understand that once you have signed the paperwork, your dog becomes the legal property of Phoenix FBR and we are under no obligation to ask your permission for any matter relating to the dog, or send you updates (exclusions apply, see point 7). In practise, where an uplift is a painful one, we will always let you know when the dog has arrived and is settled; we are human too. However, you cannot have contact with the dog or the fosterers once the dog has left.
We cannot tell you where the dog is going, or to whom, as this is against the terms of the Surrender Contract and in breach of confidentiality regulations. However, we will always do our very best to adhere to the plans discussed during our visits to you, and will only change these if there is a change in circumstances relating to the dog and we feel that better alternatives are available. Our decision is final when placing a dog.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: It is vitally important that you tell us the absolute truth about all aspects of your dog; this will protect the dog and ensure an appropriate home is found for the dog. If the dog shows any form of unprovoked/undisclosed and/or uncontrollable aggression within the first 48 hours of collection, the dog will be returned to you immediately and the Surrender Contract will become null and void. We are here to help as much as possible but please don’t pass on your aggression problems; we place dogs in real homes and will not put the safety of our volunteers or fosterers at risk. Failure to accept your dog back into your home under these circumstances will render the Surrender Contract and all its implications to be null and void and your dog may be at risk of being put to sleep.
Why must my dog be placed into foster before it is adopted?
This is a question that is often asked, and it is simply because we use foster homes rather than kennels, for our dogs. Most rescues are premise-based and will do as many assessments with the dog as possible prior to rehoming, but we do not have that opportunity. At Phoenix we believe that it is not possible to adequately assess a dog, especially a Frenchie, in a kennel environment, as they behave so differently. Therefore, we use real homes, pre-assessed and suitable for what you have told us your dog needs. For example, a dog that is unpredictable with children will never be placed with a family; a female dog that is terrified of male dogs will not be placed with one; a dog needing others for company will have them. It is important that you tell us as much as possible, warts and all please. But do please consider that your dog may like YOUR cat – in foster it may prove to hate all others! We never want to set up a dog to fail, so honesty is essential. Assessment is vital and part of the terms of our insurance too.
The dog will stay in foster-care for 2 weeks minimum for assessment, and to address any medical needs such as neutering, or any other procedure that is needed improve the dog’s quality of life.
All of our adopters must foster first, and so it is very likely that the dog will stay where it is and be fully adopted by the home offering foster-care; in some cases we will actively request this, dependant on the dog’s needs. However, once assessed there may be cases where it is not the ideal match and so an adoptive home will be requested, advertised through our various media, and using everything we have found out about the dog during the poster period to get the very best home.
Dogs of 6 months old and under are not subject to the same rules: They change daily at this age, so assessment is neither accurate nor useful. Young dogs will move straight to foster-to-adopt homes – all adoptive homes are home-visited and regular checks made to them too.
Will I receive updates about my dog?
No. If you wish to contact your local coordinator they may be able to update you, but please do remember that although we try to be as compassionate as we can, we are all very busy volunteers too, so cannot contact you to do so. And, this is why we ask that you understand the document that you are signing when you surrender. You may recognise your dog on the Phoenix media pages, under their pseudonym, and so you can see updates there, but please remember that you have signed a contract to say that you will not attempt to make contact, and we do ask that you adhere to this please.
Please note that if your female dog is found to be pregnant after she has been surrendered, in surrendering the dog you have also waived your rights to any surviving off-spring and all confidentiality clauses remain in place.
If you have any other questions about this, or any of the procedures by which we operate, or maybe you would like to see the Surrender Form before you commit to it, any of the Team will be happy to chat with you.