A leading animal charity is asking Scots to put their dogs first during National Pet Month
The campaign, which runs throughout April and into the first week in May, celebrates the joys of pet ownership but also emphasises the importance of caring for a pet responsibly.
And now the Dog Aid Society of Scotland is asking dog owners to think about their dog's needs – and consider re-homing them if they’re not getting the right care.
“It’s a really difficult decision but we know that there are many people out there who may be struggling to cope with a dog that’s not quite the right fit for their family, or their circumstances may have changed so they can't look after them properly any longer,” says Clare Rodger from the charity.
“This National Pet Month, we want owners to be aware that we can find loving new homes for dogs which can’t stay in their present homes for whatever reason.”
The Edinburgh-based charity, which was formed in 1956, rehomes dogs on a home to home basis, which means your dog can go straight to its new home without a potentially stressful stay in kennels
It also offers information on many aspects of dog ownership – as well as encouraging responsible dog ownership by providing dog waste disposal bags. Dog Aid Society of Scotland can offer financial aid, in paying veterinary fees, to dog owners on low incomes. Vouchers are also available to help towards neutering costs.
"We're a small team and we don't receive any government funding: all our work is funded by donations, memberships and legacies,” adds Clare.
“We're passionate about offering every dog a loving home and we know that making the decision to rehome a dog isn't easy. We'll always put your dog's needs first and our welfare officer will carry out home visits to match the right dog to the right home, within Scotland."
If you decide to give your dog for adoption, you should register with the society then the team will conduct home visits with potential new owners who can meet the dog's needs. When the right person is found, the dog will be fostered for a fortnight in their new home before staff carry out a follow-up visit. If you are looking to take on a dog, all of the information about how to adopt is available on the society's website.
As part of the rehoming process, the charity will cover the veterinary costs within reason for any dog over eight years old or with a pre existing condition (eg arthritis, diabetes, heart condition etc) but the new owner would be responsible for routine costs (eg worming, vaccinations etc).
"We can give you updates on how your dog is settling in to their new home so you can follow their progress,” says Clare. “We have been providing this service for over 60 years so people can trust us to find the right new home for their dog.”
For more information, see Dog Aid Society of Scotland.