The second big problem are the conditions in the animal shelters of the respective countries. Here (and not on the street) the dogs suffer under often unspeakably bad living conditions. Again, taking individual dogs does not change anything.
Vacancies shall be filled promptly. An important goal of the protection of animals abroad should be to improve the conditions in these institutions. But in the face of unabated population pressure, this task is likely to prove a bottomless pit.
Effective help for the dogs in Russia / Romania / Spain is and remains tied to effective population control.
Is it therefore completely senseless to rescue dogs from killing stations and to place them as family dogs? Is it really better to leave it altogether?
My answer here is a resounding no!
The mediation of Nugget, Pepper and Karlson did not change the overall situation in Romania, Russia and Spain, but for Nugget, Pepper and Karlson it changed EVERYTHING.
The sense and nonsense of importing dogs through foreign animal protection organizations is really reduced to the all-important question: Will THIS dog have a good life in the new environment??
An intact community is for dogs a necessary condition for a good life. Therefore, the following question must also be asked: Can we find people who will be happy with THIS dog??
Wanting to help and being able to help are two different pairs of shoes and especially in cases where one absolutely wants to help, one must first make sure whether one can help at all. If one ignores these important questions, one runs the risk to make everything only worse.
San Antonio street dogs breeding in the streets. (Source: Youtube)
What can we do?
So what can we do to make sense of it all? How do we increase the chances of a happy ending and how do we reduce failed placements to an unavoidable minimum?
As trainers we can contribute a lot to the success of placements, as long as people hire us. Working with foreign dogs is often demanding. First of all a reasonable compromise between the needs of dog and owner has to be found and so we come to the priorities for the upcoming training.
While people usually have the usual basic training and one or the other disturbing behavior in mind, for the dogs it is first about much more fundamental things. Especially in the first few months, so many new things hit them that even the most talented candidates have a hard time adjusting to the new environment. Often in the beginning, the foundation that is so important for everything else is missing: a stable, trusting relationship with the new social environment.
The issues that come up are very diverse. Of course there is no such thing as THE dog from abroad. The combination of all conceivable dispositions and the likewise very different back stories provides – to put it mildly – for some variety.
Nevertheless there are important basics. Curiosity and environmental exploration are our assets and should be consistently enabled and encouraged. Unfamiliar, possibly threatening everyday stimuli should be announced if possible and for the first contacts with new situations and environmental elements there is a nice saying that you should always keep in mind: There is no second chance for the first impression!
We have powerful behavior change tools at our disposal, but we still need to communicate openly, especially in this context: Our options are limited!
Whenever we talk to people who import dogs from abroad, we should clearly point out to them the limitations of training and suggest the following thoughts:
1. Careful selection of the dogs to be placed
Do not ask yourselves primarily which dog should be helped most urgently, but above all, whether a mediation can really help. Be clear: every failed placement means great suffering for both dog and human.
In the end, the dog leads an endlessly long life in fear and the family concerned, including its environment, is worn out for decades for the protection of animals.
And please: Dogs with fears are difficult dogs. They may be quiet and reserved, but it’s often very, very hard to help them have a good life.
2. Pure wine for the potential adopters
Dogs that have grown up in a completely different environment will never do justice to the predicate "beginner dog".
It is not a good premise to approach the integration into the family naively and naively even with young dogs. Explain on your websites about the typical adaptation difficulties as well as about the health aspects of the whole story. It may be that this information reduces the placement rates, but people who are deterred by these more or less frequent complications should not be placed with a dog anyway.
Placement texts for foreign dogs often read like a mixture of detergent advertisement and job reference. Who knows a little bit, knows how to interpret the formulations, but the people, who inform themselves about a potential family member, do not.
It is bad and unserious enough when superficial breeders and multipliers market their dogs like stuffed animals turned into meat. Dogs are personalities and dogs from these circumstances are personalities with difficult backgrounds.
To integrate such a dog into the family is always a more or less big adventure. Make it clear to the people already on the mediation pages!
Please be very honest at this stage of the placement and remain as factual as possible. Of course, the decision for a dog is always a matter of the heart, but the consequences of this decision are so great that it should first and foremost be a sensible one. And hey: Emotionally it will be soon enough.
3. No mediation without a Plan B
The placement of dogs in a completely foreign environment is a complex process, in which not all factors are under control. It is not possible to reliably predict how a dog will behave under these completely different circumstances. And even well-informed adopters may have overreached themselves and, and, and.
To cut a long story short: You can do everything right in the placement and it still goes wrong sometimes. Please have an acceptable alternative in case a placement fails. The dog from abroad, which then ends up in a German shelter is a disaster, which simply must not happen.
4. If you entrust a dog to people after the pre-control, then please trust them also if there are problems in the consequence.
Take worries and difficulties seriously and stand by these people. This should be self-evident, but at least my experience has shown that this relationship of trust is often buried under mutual recriminations already at the first difficulties. Here then also fast the too rosy homepage avenges itself.
When people are first told about the typical problems of these dogs by a vet or dog trainer, they quickly feel fooled.
If you decide to get a dog from abroad with these thoughts in mind, don’t expect any guarantees and be ready for a fantastic adventure. The good news is: If it works out, nothing in the world has ever made more sense than importing THIS dog.
Whenever we talk to people who import dogs from abroad, we should clearly point out to them the limitations of training and suggest the following thoughts:And whenever we talk to people who are planning to take in a dog from abroad: Now is a good time for humility and a clear indication of the limits of our work. The following points can help make the upcoming decisions less frivolous:
The good deed is not to take a dog out of this "hell". It consists of permanently taking responsibility for this dog. Please consider beforehand what you are getting into.
Every dog is a miracle bag. You never know what is in it and for dogs from abroad this is of course especially true. There can be all kinds of difficulties, because these dogs really do come from another world.
Forget romantic prejudices like the fairy tale of the particularly social street dog. An intermediate station was for most of these dogs a kind of mass animal husbandry in which they possibly made very, very bad experiences with conspecifics.
Most importantly, it eliminates the romantic thought of dogs being grateful for their rescue. This form of humanization often takes bitter revenge and becomes the dogs’ undoing. The task of accommodating such a dog can be a very, very thankless one, and those who expect gratitude may experience deep disappointment.
And if it comes so: The dog can nothing, but also purely nothing for it. The life of these animals is completely foreign-determined from the first day in the shelter at the latest. You simply have no choice. No matter how problematic their behavior may be. It is an adaptation to the current circumstances on the background of their previous history and neither of them have chosen it.
The name of his behavioral consulting is for the biologist and dog trainer Gerrit Stephan program: Fave canem – support the dog. The focus of his work is separation stress and dogs from foreign animal protection. As an ATN lecturer, he also addresses these issues in his lectures and seminars. Scientific as well as worth knowing and entertaining can also be found under Dogs in Science and Canine Science Slam.
Facebook live recording: dog life in the human world – expectations, imagination and reality
Deprivation syndrome in dogs
a contribution of dog trainer Mare Partel
It is not a question of the dog having bad experiences, but no..
When we are presented with dogs with a great fear problem and learn that they have grown up on a farm in a stable or in an animal rescue center, it is important to check whether these dogs suffer from a so-called deprivation syndrome. Especially if after a few days or weeks there is no kind of habituation to the environment. Panic reactions and stress at everyday things, such as garbage cans, rustling tarpaulins, cars or even conspecifics, can be an indication for the diagnosis of deprivation syndrome.
What is a deprivation syndrome??
The term deprivation comes from the Latin word deprivare = to deprive. Applied to dogs, we can speak of the deprivation of the senses of stimuli, stimuli that are, however, crucial for an adequate development of the senses, i.e. the brain.
In other words, these dogs have grown up so deprived of stimuli and have not been exposed to many things that a different environment than what was encountered within the adolescent socialization phase can become a great challenge.
A varied environment with appropriate sensory stimuli such as different sounds and volumes, smells and tastes, but also social stimuli such as contact with people, conspecifics and other animals, are essential for the healthy development of the brain. If there is too little stimulation in the decisive imprinting phases, the lack of brain development is irreversible.
A deprivation in the puppy – and young dog age leads to a lifelong impairment of the dog and is not curable.
How does a deprivation syndrome manifest itself??
New situations and environments can be very stressful for deprived dogs. What exactly constitutes a new situation for a dog varies from person to person and is sometimes difficult for humans to understand. For one dog it is strangers and loud noises, for another it is enough to move a piece of furniture in the living room. However, the reaction of the body remains stress and the release of stress hormones.
As a result, the dog’s behavior may manifest itself as follows:
- apathy / inhibited movements
- inhibited interaction with anrtgenossen / humans
- increased aggression behavior
- no / hardly any exploration interest
- Disturbance of attention
- limited ability to concentrate
- slowed learning ability
- sleep disturbances / difficulty to relax
- increased sensitivity to stimuli
- Complaints in the gastrointestinal tract / digestive disorders
- constant panting and high demand for drinking water
Slight manifestations of deprivation often go unnoticed and are attributed to other behavioral problems.
In the end, even in the case of a deprivation syndrome, the character of the dog is decisive for how much the isolation has affected and impaired the dog. And with specific training deficits can be compensated well and with time, patience and small steps even these dogs reach their goal!
What can I do if my dog has a deprivation syndrome??
dogs are extremely adaptable. Nevertheless, a structured daily routine can give a lot of support, especially in the first weeks and months after moving into the new home. Whether this strict daily routine should be maintained permanently varies from dog to dog. rest periods in a low-stimulus environment, however, remain essential for the rest of the life.
In terms of training and exploration, the keyword should be small steps! At the beginning of the training, few and very short training sessions are quite sufficient. But learning can also be learned! With time, the training sessions can be extended or increased a bit. The dog learns to learn with friends, if the training is built up with a lot of praise and positive reinforcement in the form of clicker/marker training.
With positive learning experiences, the dog can acquire a palette of different behavioral repertoires to fall back on when needed. The more he has of it, the less stressed the body has to react in new or frightening situations.
A mix of tasks to be solved independently (such as intelligence tasks) and things that the dog works out together with his human (such as exploring scary things and discovering that they are not so scary after all) is probably the best way to start training. On the one hand, independence and finding solutions is promoted, on the other hand, the bond with the human is deepened and creates trust.
In very difficult situations that cause great panic or aggression in the dog, the training of a so-called alternative behavior is indispensable. However, this should be done under the guidance of an experienced dog trainer and built up to be able to apply it to several situations in everyday life.
Animal welfare abroad
a field report by Sonia Reisner
Like our society, the dogs of this society are now "multicultural" – if you walk through the park, you meet Greeks, Hungarians, Romanians, French, Italians, Bulgarians, Russians and sometimes even Chinese or Costa Ricans. And here we are not only talking about the people, but especially about their dogs. Just as human rights cannot be limited locally, animal welfare has not stopped at national borders for a long time and that is a good thing.
This article is all about how to find a reputable animal welfare organization, how a transport from abroad takes place and what you have to consider in general.
My name is Sonia Reisner, I am 24 years old, live together with my boyfriend Lukas in Marl, NRW and together we are the proud owners of three wonderful Hungarians named Gustav, Pici and Paula. Through the adoption of our first dog Gustav we started to volunteer in his placing association Cani F.A.I.R. e.V. to engage.
First with the admission and switching of foster dogs, then additionally as mediators of the dogs in Hungary and in the meantime as board members. Due to the experience with our dogs, several foster dogs and because we were already many times on the spot in Hungary, make the transports of the dogs ourselves and are networked in the foreign animal protection, I write this article, in order to make further humans on the topic attentive.
I want to adopt a dog – how do I find a reputable club?
First of all, it should be noted that you help any dog that you adopt. You don’t necessarily have to adopt from abroad to give a dog a better life. There are of course also dogs in German animal shelters, whereby one should pay attention also there to the Seriositat, and also each quantity of private giving away, with which one can attach importance even to the race. Here help breed-specific portals such as z.B. Labradors in distress.
If you now want to start looking for an animal family member, the following sites are recommended as a reputable platform for dog placement (both domestic and foreign animal protection): z.B. shelta from Tasso, animal agency.de, edogs.de or also sides, which specialized particularly in dogs with a handicap like z.B, dog-emergency skins.de or breed-specific databases.
Of course, most clubs have a club homepage, where you can see all the dogs of this club. On Facebook there are also quite a few animal protection sides, on which dogs are stopped and shared by the associations. If you now come across a club about a particular dog, you should first check whether it is recognized as a non-profit organization and whether it has a permit according to §11 of the Animal Welfare Act.
If the association is active abroad, an important characteristic of a respectable animal protection association is that locally help is given to the self-help. The pure adoption of a dog helps this dog (saving one dog will not change the world, but for this one dog the world will change forever) and also another dog, which is now allowed to take the place in the shelter and thus also gets chances for a family, but in the long term the situation abroad can only change if the animal shelters, which support the associations, also place the dogs on site seriously, carry out castration projects, etc.. The article by Gerrit Stephan deals with this topic in detail.
Now it goes to the first establishment of contact, which takes place either by Mail or by telephone. Here is also a bit of patience and understanding is required, if the mediator does not answer the call immediately or responds to an email only after a few hours. All mediators are volunteers and often work full time with their own dogs at home and it is very difficult for a non-profit organization, which does not pay salaries, to find enough good and committed mediators.
If you know a little bit about dogs, like to have contact with other people, are averagely talented on the PC and are willing to donate your time for animal welfare, the placement work could be something for you.
Simply get in touch with the clubs and "apply". Some clubs have a small application form for this purpose, which is then used to determine which task would suit you and whether you could fit into the team.
Of course, associations are grateful for any help, but since you spend a lot of your time in this animal welfare team on a voluntary basis, it must also fit humanly with such a time-intensive task. Therefore one should not judge here hastily, if some associations cannot take up each mediator.
So that one can imagine something under the switching work, here some task fields of a mediator:
- Putting dogs on the association homepage and if necessary. on social media and other portals
(Shelta from Tasso, animal mediation.de , edogs)
- Email and telephone contact with interested parties
- Sending documents
(questionnaire for interested parties, pre-check sheet, protection contract, travel information, etc.).)
- Organization of pre- and post-placement checks
(with the help of internal networks or Facebook groups)
- Clarification of the interested parties about travel diseases, acclimatization of the dogs, etc.
- Contact person for adopters and foster homes: also AFTER placement
- Work in a team
If you have now contacted the mediator and the desire to adopt becomes real, the mediator should be allowed to ask you some questions. Many associations use a questionnaire for interested parties, also called a self-disclosure form.
You should be asked the following questions:
- how you live
- which persons live in the household
- if pet keeping is allowed
- how long the animal must stay alone
- whether you have experience with dogs or the breed
- whether you can financially maintain an animal, even if it becomes expensive times
- whether you are willing to attend a dog school
You sometimes hear that you have to answer more questions when adopting a dog than when you want to rent an apartment. Please understand that a club can not mediate a dog if it does not get this information about you.
It is about a living animal, which in the best case will spend several years until the end of its life with you and therefore it is absolutely necessary to make sure that dog and human are a good match. You can recognize a serious animal welfare organization by the fact that it asks these questions and also critical questions or, if necessary, that the dog is not in a good home. even suggests another dog that might suit you better.
It should also be possible for the agent to forward questions about your desired dog to the animal shelter abroad. The keepers know some dogs well and can give first impressions.
However, you should be aware that these are only snapshots in a stressful shelter environment. The impressions can change to the positive as well as to the negative once the dog has arrived in his new home and feels comfortable.
What information can be given, however, are often: health condition, compatibility, fearfulness, behavior towards people, temperament of the dog.
Please understand that we cannot give you any information about the house-training, the behavior when driving or when staying alone. The dogs live in kennels or in the pack outside and it is impossible to predict such things. Always be prepared for the fact that a dog is not yet able to do all this and rather let yourself be positively surprised.
From some dogs it is known that they already had a family abroad. Therefore it can be natural with these dogs that they have already become acquainted with some house rules. But even this is not a guarantee, because in Hungary z.B. many dogs are kept exclusively in the garden and therefore do not know the life in the house nevertheless.
The mediator should suggest in the further course in any case a personal acquaintance in the form of a so-called pre-control (VK) at your home. It will be seen whether you can provide the animal with an appropriate habitat and other possible questions will be clarified.
This is in no way to control you or to critically examine your home, but above all to get to know you as a person. Sheets and phone calls never say what a person really is and therefore a personal acquaintance is indispensable. Altogether can be stated here also: Person always goes before living environment.
A dog can be kept species-appropriate even in a small apartment without a garden, if the person is willing to undertake many activities and to exercise his dog accordingly. If a club does not make any control with you, leave absolutely the fingers of it.
In individual cases, a preliminary inspection can be waived if the interested party z.B. has relatives who have already adopted a dog from the association and are in intensive contact with the association or if you have already adopted an animal from a German animal shelter or from another animal welfare association and a preliminary check has already taken place.
In this case there is a possibility that the new club with your consent can see the documents of this visit to the other club or can talk to the person who met you at that time.
There are always two sides of a coin
Another important point, by which you can recognize the seriousness of an association, is whether and to what extent you are informed about the travel diseases of the dogs. Some clubs have for this z.B. information documents to read on their homepage.
For example, our mediators attend annual training with Dr. Naucke from Parasitus EX e.V., the leading scientist in this field to be up to date and well informed to face the interested parties. It is important that mediators do not try to talk a disease "small" – especially with leishmaniasis, which is spreading more and more, is not to be trifled with and you should be well informed about it.
If a disease is diagnosed, treatment should be started abroad and you should be provided with all relevant documents. Overall, however, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the country-specific diseases before you wish to adopt (recommendation: Parasitus Ex e.V.), so that if necessary. can also ask critical questions.
A serious club makes after reservation of the dog a blood test with the dog, which is then also made available to you. Here you should also have a little understanding and patience, because the blood samples often have to be sent to laboratories and these have a certain processing time. Therefore, it can happen that you get the results only shortly before the next transport trip, depending on how shortly you have reserved the dog.
Especially medical info can often take a while, since shelter vets are not regularly on site and only they have certain info or. can give. It can also happen that a dog needs a treatment (e.g. a blood test).B. (e.g. a broken leg) and this is only determined afterwards. Please do not blame the animal welfare organization for this, as they are also dependent on the cooperation with their partners abroad and especially inexperienced, new animal shelters or rescue stations do not yet have so much experience with archiving documents, etc.. have.
There are always two sides of the same coin and you should not judge too quickly that a club wanted to "force" a dog on you. A serious association, which takes the mediation seriously and asks critically and considers all points mentioned above, never has the interest to force an adoption on you. Of course you also have the possibility not to accept a dog because of an illness.
But you should keep in mind that the club has already incurred high costs due to the tests and travel preparations and that the dog is ultimately not responsible for its illness and may be waiting for your help. In addition, a dog can always fall ill and one should always be prepared for this when acquiring a dog. Nevertheless there are always times life circumstances, which do not make an adoption of an already ill dog possible. For this the associations have also understanding, if you explain this reasonably and if necessary. another dog can be found for you.
If then everything is right, nothing stands in the way of a placement.
A protection contract should be concluded with you, which should contain a clause that in the case of a return of an animal, always the mediating association must be addressed and this will then look for a foster home or a new home. It is not at all so that imported animals, German animal homes should load and the association should take its responsibility for the life of each animal very seriously.
Here you should be aware that the association is not able to find a foster home or a new home for the dog within a few days. Therefore, before taking in a dog, you should know that even a dog that you may have. overwhelmed or does not fit into your family and a return is inevitable, after the decision will still be with you for some time. It is best for the dog if it can stay with you as a foster dog until you have found a new family.
In addition to the protection contract, which should definitely be concluded before the arrival of the animal, the protection fee is due. Most of the protection fees are between 300-400€, depending on the club. In addition, depending on the club, different things are included in the protection fee. At Canifair e.V. z.B.:
- Spot-ons against parasites,
- Large blood count,
- Test for country-specific travel diseases (here Hungary),
- Giardia test and if necessary. also first treatment in case of positive test,
- first medical treatment in case of positive test or illnesses, which is still in Hungary (further treatment is then paid by the adopter),
- Transport costs,
- Papers (EU pet passport and vaccination certificate),
- Safety harness
So you can imagine that the protection fees for the clubs are mostly not even cost-covering and therefore it is not appropriate to discuss about the amount of the protection fee. Even if a few Euros are left over, you can be sure that with a non-profit association this money will be used for the next dog emergency.
Please also understand that the protection fee for permanently adopted dogs has to be paid before arrival, because the association has to pay for all costs in advance and would not be able to cover these amounts if the protection fees would not be received on time. In the protection fee in any case should be included but as a minimum requirement: castration, chip, vaccinations, deworming, spot-ons against parasites and EU pet passport.
Another important point to recognize the seriousness of an association is also that the association pays for the traveling dogs abroad. This means that they send the shelter an amount of money in addition to paying the medical costs per dog.
Now you have to wait until the next transport takes place and the dog can travel to you.
I have adopted a dog or take it in as a foster home – how does the dog come to me now?? How does a transport work?
The necessary travel preparations are now made with your dog abroad: if not already done, it is neutered, the necessary vaccinations are refreshed, shortly before departure it is freshly dewormed and given spot-on. The transport varies from club to club:
- German transport companies that specialize in the transport of dogs (z.B. Trans-Canis),
- Foreign transport company of the country of origin,
- Private persons with their private car,
- Animal shelter employees who bring the dogs to the borders,
- The club’s own transporter with volunteer drivers.
Since I myself have only participated in transports of our association and would like to provide a little insight, I report the following, how the transport takes place with us:
We have our own 3.5 ton Iveco van, which is equipped with dog crates and has been approved and accepted by the veterinary office. This is loaded before the journey to Hungary with collected material donations and then the driver team, which consists of 2-3 drivers, makes itself on the journey to Hungary. All our drivers have a transport permit according to §11 of the animal protection law, which they have acquired on a training course with a final test.
The journey takes about 15 hours from the Ruhr area as the starting point without traffic jams and border controls. The drivers take turns and make the trip in one piece. Usually the trips are organized in such a way that the drivers have a few days in the shelter to photograph and get to know new dogs, to go for walks, to brush and of course to spend time with the (Hungarian) team on site. This personal contact is very important for us, because it improves the cooperation enormously and the mediators, who are often present as drivers, have the possibility to get to know "their" mediation dogs personally.
The return journey starts either Saturday night or Sunday morning, depending on the driver team and weather conditions. In the summer months we prefer to use night transports, because in the cool of the night it is more comfortable for the dogs in the hold of the transporter. Our transporter has of course also in the dog area an air conditioning, light and a ventilation system. Before the departure the so called "boarding" takes place.
Each transport box in the transporter is equipped with towels and blankets, the pre-printed profiles of the traveling dogs are hung on the boxes and care is taken that the appropriate box is chosen according to body size. After that it gets really exciting: the drivers and the Hungarian team members gather in the front of the office and one by one each traveling dog is taken out of the kennel and brought to the office. Once there, the chip is first read out and compared with the dog’s pet passport.
In the course of this, both the drivers and the shelter doctor double check that all relevant vaccinations are in place, that worming is fresh and that all spot-ons have been given. The dog’s fitness to travel has also been documented in the passport by a responsible veterinarian, which will also be proof-read. Now the dog is put on the appropriate safety harness, which he already wears during the trip to guarantee a safe handover. Now the dog is taken out once more to pee and then takes its place in the transport box. His passport and vaccination card are attached to the respective box together with the identification card in order to simplify border controls and to ensure that the documents are not forgotten during the handovers. All this is repeated until all dogs are on board. Afterwards the drivers receive the traces documents, which are needed for the transport of the animals and which were issued by the local veterinarian in advance, and the copies of all EU pet passports. And now it’s time to go: the sliding door is closed and off we go with the precious cargo.
A transport is of course a stressful situation for the dogs. But the experience shows that most dogs sleep calmly in their box and do not panic. The long drive is not optimal for the dogs, but a necessary evil. The team of drivers does not have the possibility to stop in between and walk the dogs. This would be firstly much too dangerous and secondly purely logistically not possible, because 2-3 drivers for i.d.R. 10-25 dogs are in charge. During the several refueling stops along the way, the dogs are always given fresh water and also food, which they i.d.R. but always refuse.
Of course, all this happens with the van door closed, so that no dog can escape outside when the boxes are opened. During the trip, the adopters and foster homes are always kept up to date by a telephone service, where the transporter is currently located. In principle, however, one should keep the whole day free, since it can always come to delays, z.B. through border controls, traffic jams or bad weather conditions.
The handing over of the dogs to their new families is done differently in each club. Some have a single handover location, others have many different ones along the travel route. Often one hears that one should refrain from clubs that hand over the animals along the highways. I speak from experience when I say that this is not the case! There are clubs that mediate not only locally, but throughout Germany and whose adopters can therefore not meet in a single place, because the travel times would be much too long.
Thus they are dependent on several transfer locations. Since a trip without stops already takes at least 15 hours depending on the destination, each long departure from the highway to another site would mean a large extension of the journey time for the other dogs and also at some point for the driver team, which must be highly concentrated all the time, become impossible.
So if you choose a club that delivers along the highway route, pay attention to HOW the club does this. Our dogs are only handed over with a safety harness and are secured with several leashes. The dogs are only taken out of the boxes with the van door closed, the safety harnesses are tightened again and the leashes are already put on. The dog is then handed over to the new owner and we make sure that the owner brings the dog to the car without any detours and we accompany the dog to provide assistance.
Fearful dogs are handed over exclusively in their transport boxes and thus placed from the transporter directly into the car of the collector. If you choose a club that transfers on highways but does not have safety harnesses for the dogs, be sure to bring a safety harness yourself and insist that it be put on the dog while still in the closed van. Bring if necessary. different sizes with, because the shelter does not have the time before to measure the dog for you extensively.
Alternatively, you can simply ask if they can give you the box and then send it back to you. A final option would be to bring your own transport box and transfer the animal into it in the closed transporter. often, like us, there is a final handover point that is not along the highway. If it is safer for you, you can also drive to this point and receive the dog there.
But you should always keep in mind the additional time the dog has to spend in the car. The nice thing about the last drop-off location with us is that usually many adopters meet there for the pick-up and together you can hope for the arrival of the transporter. We always have at least one board member present and many team members who can help with the reception.
For the dogs, this is of course very stressful to be greeted by so many people and so we always ask people to keep a low profile and only let the adopters see the dog. But it is always nice to see the expectant faces of the people, the tears of joy when the dog gets out of the transporter and to hear the joyful "Oh" of the other people present, who often see the dog live for the first time and otherwise only knew him from photos and videos. Many adopters report after the fact that the pickup stays in their minds for years to come, and they always think back on it with glee.
At the handover, the adopters and foster homes receive the dog’s documents (EU pet passport and vaccination card) and if necessary. Medication or vitamins given by the veterinarian.
We also check if the adopters secure the dogs in their car reasonably after the handover. It is advisable either a transport box or however to hold the dog with the leash over the back seat, if it rides in the trunk, so that a helper, the dog from inside can hold, if the other one opens the trunk flap.
You should also always check beforehand whether the leash is still complete or has perhaps been nibbled through. Otherwise, you can also have the dog ride secured in the back seat with a helper and hold on to the leash before opening the car door to get out. The only thing to keep in mind here is that this won’t work with a fearful dog, as it won’t appreciate close human contact. Be on the safe side with a fearful dog, take him in the box and open the box only in the closed house.