Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find our more about settling in a foreign rescue?
How do I adopt a Balkan Underdog?
To adopt one of our dogs you need to complete our application form after choosing your preferred dog. Check out our page on the adoption process for a detailed breakdown of what's involved from choosing your dog through to their arrival at your home.
How much does it cost to adopt a Balkan Underdog?
There is no fee for adopting one of our dogs, we simply ask for you to cover the costs of getting your dog to the UK including their vaccinations, titer test, flea, tick & worm treatment, transport This is typically £260 (for a cat £100) plus a £50 deposit after your successful home-check.
The donation required may vary for dogs already in UK foster as often funds have been raised specifically for these dogs. Please enquire for confirmation of cost for one of our UK foster pups.
I have young children, can I still adopt?
The short answer is yes. We will need to assess your application in terms of suitability and this is done on a case by case basis to ensure a good match. Many of our dogs are fine with children and go on to make great playtime companions as children grow up. Of course, coming from the streets there will be some dogs that need more space and consideration that would be unsuitable for a family home. If you are at all unsure, please get in touch and one of the team will discuss your requirements and dogs that would be suitable
I work full time, can I adopt?
We will need to discuss provisions made for the dog but we will of course consider your application. We realise that people need to work and this shouldn't be a barrier to ownership - we just need to ensure that adequate arrangements are in place so the dog isn't left alone for long periods of time and that they will receive a good amount of exercise around your work.
My home is safe, is the home check really necessary?
Yes. The home check is a mandatory part of the adoption process but you will only need it done once. In addition to making sure your home is safe, this is also an opportunity to discuss the realities of owning a rescue dog and ensure all aspects have been considered. You will be asked to produce ID and vets details in order to complete the check. The homecheck can even be about the little things like crate training or plants in the garden that might be toxic.
Where do you rehome to?
We rehome dogs all over the UK! The dogs land in the UK at predetermined sites from which they can be collected. In exceptional cases, we can arrange transport for you.
What if we change our mind?
We ask that you give your dog a chance to settle in before making the decision that it isn't working. Please bear in mind that our dogs have had to travel a long way and have had their lives completely uprooted. They might have come almost directly off the streets, out of a loving foster home or out of one of our kennels before making the epic journey from the Balkans to the UK. They then have to stay in a strange new place before moving again - this time to your home! The adjustment time varies depending on the dog and how you handle the situation but it could take a couple of days to a few months. Our team is on hand to provide advice and you are welcome in the Adopted Balkan Underdogs Facebook group which is an active online community made up of volunteers and adopters. If you are certain it isn't working we will find a suitable foster or new home for your dog. It is part of the contract that you sign that we will take the dog back and you are not permitted to sell it on or have it put to sleep, unless agreed otherwise in writing in advance or medically necessary as advised by a vet in an emergency.
What support do you provide?
Here at BU, we want you to feel confident and comfortable when adopting your new family member. This means giving you as much support as is required. We are advocates of responsible rescue and rehoming and so offer rescue back up for life - if there is a change of plans that means your new family member will be in difficulty, we are here to help. We are always willing to chat by email or telephone and and have a very active online community of adopters and volunteers on our closed Facebook group 'Adopted Balkan Underdogs.' In this group people share their experiences, ask for and provide advice and share their annual update (or monthly for some members!). You can be as involved as you like in this group and several members have been active for many years! We are also able to provide behavioural guidance (from experience) and help you to find a suitable behaviourist should the need arise.
What breed are the dogs?
Most of our dogs are cross breeds with a lot of variety in their DNA. This is because so many dogs breed on the streets before being rescued. This is one of the reasons for our spay and neuter campaign. As a result of the harsh conditions over in the Balkans, generally speaking, the dogs are exceptionally healthy! Take a look at our dogs and see if you can find one you like the look of.
Can you tell me about the dog's history?
For most of our dogs, we don't have any record of their life before rescue. Most are found wandering the streets, out in the fields or dumped like rubbish. Many are malnourished, injured or rescued out of the horrific 'kill shelters' after having been collected by the dog catchers. We describe them as accurately as we can in their online descriptions along with as many photographs and videos as we have but we are often unable to tell you any more than we (or their rescuers) can observe.
Are the dogs house trained?
As with almost any rescue dog, our dogs will require some additional help learning where they are allowed to go to the toilet. Having spent time on the streets and in kennels, for most dogs a 'home' is a new concept. Most take to it quickly despite this!
Do the dogs need to go through quarantine?
There is no quarantine any more although for the first 48 hours the adopter will need to make sure the dog is not kept anywhere other than the home they are sent to. DEFRA will make random spot checks on the dogs to check on paperwork, they will contact adopter direct and arrange that at the adopters convenience. All dogs are vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days prior to entry to the UK, are microchipped, vaccinated, wormed and have a valid European pet passport. Dogs travelling from outside the European Union are subject to titer testing, as this requires a wait period of just over three months and a negative test result before travel this may mean a wait for your chosen dog. Our admin team will be able to advise you on this at the application stage and our rescuers will keep you updated with pictures and video to ease the wait!
What guarantee of the dog's health is there?
All of our dogs are sent to their new homes in good health, having been checked over by a vet. Some of our dogs may have had veterinary treatment or surgery and you will be provided with xrays or further information in these cases.They will have been vaccinated, treated for worms, fleas & ticks, and may have been neutered if of a suitable age. We advise that you purchase lifetime insurance prior to their arrival in the UK to be certain that they are covered for any conditions or accidental injury that may occur after leaving our care (most policies require 30 days no claim). Our dogs are no more likely to be injured or unwell than any other dog.
Are the dogs vaccinated and neutered?
All of our dogs are vaccinated up to date and in some cases neutered, with the exception of younger dogs and puppies. We will advise if your dog has not been neutered and options will be discussed with you prior to travel. A condition of our contract is that dogs will be spayed or neutered either prior to travel or once settled here in the UK. Prior to travel, all of our dogs and cats are tested for the following illnesses, Heartworm, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Erlichia.
How do I find out more about settling in a foreign rescue??
All dogs have their own personality quirks, confidences, and anxieties. However it is important to remember that many of the dogs we rescue from overseas have lived very sad lives, and they may have experienced neglect, or spent time living on the streets. This doesn't make them hard to care for, but it can take some time and patience to help them build loving confidence. We suggest you read through this blog written by Nick Benger, which is essential to understanding what to expect from an overseas rescue. Please do ask us any questions about our dogs, as each dog will have its own personality traits. Take a look at Nick's blog here.