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Frequently Asked Questions - Adoption 

How do I adopt a BU cat or dog?

You'll need to complete our application form which you can find on this website.  

Also check the adoption process page to find out more about how to choose a cat/dog that's right for you.

We do ask that you consider the reasons for adopting a foreign rescue, and  research the level of commitment required to settle in a foreign rescue.

How much does adoption cost?

Our adoption fee -£125 for a dog, and £75 for a cat- is paid after a successful home check. This  is non-refundable, unless otherwise agreed or we cancel the adoption. A donation of £350 for a dog and £100 for a cat towards the charity’s costs is also requested. This donation is gratefully received and can be made any time up to one month before transport to the UK of your chosen dog or cat. We are happy to provide the actual costs of getting a cat/dog from its initial rescue to your home. Please note, we are a none-profit charity and NO wages or expenses for staff are taken from the Charity.

I have young children - can I adopt?

The short answer is yes. Applications are assessed on a case by case basis. 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 consideration and would be unsuitable for a family home. If you are unsure, please get in touch and one of the team will discuss which dogs could be suitable.

Please note, that we do not process applications for homes with more than one child aged 5 or below. 

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 will need to ensure that adequate arrangements are in place so a dog isn't left alone for long periods of time and that they will receive a good amount of exercise around your work.

What if we change our mind?

Your pet needs a chance to settle in before deciding that it's not working, and you may need to consult a behaviourist. Please bear in mind that our dogs and cats have travelled a long way, and their lives completely uprooted.

A pet's adjustment time varies, but it might take  days or even 12 months. We provide advice, and our Adopted Balkan Underdogs Facebook group is an active community where a great deal of support and good advice is available.  


If your pet is still not settling after a suitable amount of time (at least 6 weeks), then we may ask you to consult with a vet or an appropriately trained behaviourist to assist you. 

New owners must be aware that they are legally obliged to abide by the contract that you will sign. This states that Balkan Underdogs reserves the right to take a cat or dog back if we believe this is in the pet's best interests. You are not permitted to sell or give away the adopted animal, or have it put to sleep, unless agreed otherwise in writing.  

What guarantee of the cat's or dog's health is there?

Our dogs are no more likely to be injured or unwell than any other dog.  All of our cats and dogs are sent to their new homes in good health, having been assessed by a vet. Some may have had veterinary treatment or surgery and you will be provided with x-rays or information in these cases. They will have been vaccinated, treated for worms, fleas & ticks, and neutered.

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).

My home is safe! Is a home check necessary?

The home check is a mandatory part of the adoption process, and you will only need it done once. You will need to produce ID in order to complete the check. We  expect homes to have a secure garden, with a minimum fence/wall height of 5ft. If the type of property means it cannot be properly secured, such as a rural home with fields, then we require proof of a secure play/toilet area.  We are happy to re-home the right cat/dog to people in flats, but shared gardens are a concern and you must be willing to take the advice from the adoption team, and ensure neighbours who share outdoor spaces have been consulted.

What support do you provide?

We want you to feel good when adopting your new pet. We give you as much support as you need .We advocate responsible rescue and re-homing, and offer rescue back-up for life. If an unexpected event means your cat/dog will be in difficulty, we are here to help. We are always here to chat by email or telephone, and have a very active online community of adopters and volunteers. Our private Facebook group 'Adopted Balkan Underdogs' is where people share  experiences and advice. We are also able to provide behavioural guidance (from experience) and help you to find a suitable behaviourist should the need arise.​

Where do you rehome to?

We re-home cats and dogs all over the UK (excluding Northern Ireland)

The cats and dogs can be collected at predetermined sites across the UK after they have arrived.


In exceptional cases, we can arrange transport for you.

Are the dogs vaccinated or neutered?

All of the animals are vaccinated and neutered prior to travel, unless (rarely) there is a medical reason that prevents this. This will be communicated to the potential adopter. In any case such as this, new owners are contractually forbidden to breed from adoptees.


Prior to travel, all of our dogs are tested for the following illnesses: Brucellosis, Heartworm, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Erlichia. Cats can also be tested for FIV and FELV and other possible diseases on request and prior to adoption.  It is worth noting that some UK vets may require a follow up test for Brucellosis approx three months after a dog enters the UK. The cost of this test can be around £70-£100.

Do the cats and dogs go through quarantine?

All our animals are microchipped and vaccinated against rabies (animals have to be more than 12 weeks old before this can happen). After one month (or later) they have blood drawn and this is sent away for titre testing. The sample is sent to the relevant body and a pass is a result over 0.5. If they fail the pass rate then the process begins again. Our animals all travel into the UK following UK rules and travel on Commercial Certificates/CHEDA papers, along with full Serbian passports. Although there is no quarantine, on arrival to the UK all animals have a 48 hour rest period in registered UK kennels. This gives them a break before their onward journey, and allows DEFRA to do any checks they wish to make on arrival. As you can appreciate this all takes time. 

Can you tell me about the cat's or dog's history?

For most of our cats and dogs, we don't have any record of their life before rescue. Most are found wandering the streets, abandoned in government pounds, dumped out on wasteland or born in areas like this. They are often dumped like rubbish. Many are malnourished, or injured. 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. 

How do I find out more about settling in a foreign rescue?

All dogs have their own personality quirks, confidences and anxieties. It is important to remember that many of the dogs we rescue have lived very sad lives, and 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.

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