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Rescue details
OUR POLICY

We rescue animals of all types, some waiting destruction in Welsh pounds others handed in to us for whatever reason, good or bad. We provide medial care, food, shelter and love for them all and ultimately find them loving homes. if for any reason things don't work out we always take them back. We inoculate and worm all our animals and ensure they receive any medical treatment they may require. We also neuter as many of our animals as possible, new owners of any un-neutered animals are bond by agreement to carry out this vital task at the earliest opportunity. Every eligible dog, cat or rabbit leaves our Rescue Centre with 6 weeks free insurance from a leading company, new owners are then given an opportunity to extend such cover by subscribing to the scheme. Our staff are always available to give advise on training or behavioural questions and are there to assist if needed.

We operate a non-destruction policy.



History

LAST CHANCE ANIMAL RESCUE CENTRE was founded in 1986, its aim being to rescue and re-home unwanted and abandoned animals. We take in all creatures, from cats and dogs to equines, livestock and wildlife. Our kennels are constantly filled from two main sources: local rescue dogs, and the Welsh 'pound dogs' saved from their death row sentence. For many it truly is their Last Chance.


Our Services

Our Veterinary surgeon checks, worms, and inoculates all animals, (we also indentichip all our dogs- cats can be identichipped at a minimal cost), and operate a rigorous neutering policy, as we strongly believe this makes a happier pet and is the most important way to reduce the escalating problem of pet overpopulation. We have a non-destruction policy, except on humane grounds, and a system of individual home checks before any animal is placed into a new home, along with follow up visits to ensure the animal has settled. All our animals leave us with six weeks free insurance cover, and we do encourage new owners to consider either extending the existing cover or taking out an policy of their choice. Our adopters sign a legal document declaring to give the best possible care, and to ensure that the animal is neutered at the earliest opportunity if this has not already been carried out, we always take back any former resident if the adopter is unable to keep it, thus ensuring future security for any animal entering Last Chance. As we are totally reliant on public support and do not receive and other funding, we do ask for a donation for our animals to enable us to continue caring for the next animal that arrives at our door. Please contact us for more information if you require it.



Your Help

Your support and enthusiasm is desperately needed to enable us to continue saving and improving more lives.

Due to our increasing success finding loving homes for around 5 cats & 20 plus dogs per week we now need to find home checkers in all areas to help us improve our system further. If you think you can help please telephone either of the following numbers for more details/information pack.

For all enquires:

Last Chance 01732-865530
Helpline: 01227-722929

Rescue Centre

Found out how to get there
Last Chance Animal Rescue
Stick Hill
Hartfield Road
Edenbridge
Kent
TN8 5NH
 
Telephone 01732 865530
 
Charity No. 1002349
 
Email Address Contact Now
 
Web Address Visit Now
 
Title: Home Checkers
Date Posted: 21st November 2005 00:00:00
Description: Last Chance Animal Rescue
Hartfield Road, Edenbridge, KENT, TN8 5NH
Telephone: 01732 865530
Facsimile: 01732 865838

HELPLINE: 01227 722929

Registered charity number 1002349

HOME CHECKER PACK

Thank you for requesting a home checker’s information pack. We hope you will find it useful and decide to become part of the Last Chance team, in fact a key member of it! Join us on our mission to rescue and re-home abandoned and unwanted animals.

Many of our animals have been to hell and back before they come in to our care, so we are anxious to place them in loving and responsible homes, where their future security is assured.

Home checking can be very rewarding and a lot of fun. You are sure to meet some special people and some wonderful animals too.

Don’t forget, we are only a telephone call away, should you need any advice or support.

HOW THE PROCEDURE WORKS

1. People wishing to adopt an animal, visit us at Last Chance. It is our policy to meet all members of the family, everyone who will be sharing their home with the rescued animal, including all children and dogs! We assess all potential owners very carefully and only when it is apparent that this is a good home for the chosen animal, do we put them forward for a home visit.

2. Those considered suitable for a home visit are provided with the names and telephone numbers of the home checkers in their area. On rare occasions, if we have any doubts or anxieties about the prospective home, we provide only one number and we contact that particular checker in advance to discuss our concerns. This way the checker can be particularly vigilant – don’t worry, we only give our more difficult jobs to very experienced checkers.

3. The potential owner will be given a form containing a questionnaire, which the home checker completes. On the top of the form we will provide you with as many details of the rescue animal as we can, e.g. breed, age, size, temperament, known history etc. If the animal has not been neutered we will indicate the date by which this important procedure should be carried out. The dates of any vaccination requirements will be provided. We will also state any specific requirements, e.g. if the fencing must be a certain height. An example of this form is enclosed/attached.

4. The interested party will contact the home checker to arrange an appointment, which is mutually convenient. Please remember that we are desperate to get our animals out of cages and in to homes and we are constantly under pressure to find the space to take in the next rescue. The length of time it takes us to home each animal is literally a matter of life or death to the next poor soul waiting to come in to our care. Your rapid response to a request for a home visit could help us save another life. If you are unable to undertake a visit within a maximum of 48 hours, please suggest that the caller contacts another home checker or refer them to Last Chance.


5. The home checker visits the home to assess it’s suitability and to complete section A of the form. Please note that you are not obliged to tell the individual(s) whether they have been successful or not. However, if you are confident that the home is a good one, you may wish to advise them that you will be recommending them as suitable to adopt the animal in question. You can then sign the top part of the form (section A) to indicate that you have approved the home. You can then advise them that they can return to Last Chance to collect their new pet. It is advisable that they telephone first. We will normally only hold an animal for 48 hours, once they have passed their home check. The animal will then be put up for re-adoption. We are open between 10am-3pm everyday except Tuesday when we are closed. Animals can only be collected during opening hours. Kindly ring us to confirm that the home check was successful and when the new owner wishes to collect their pet. If you are unhappy with the home, or you wish to discuss the situation with us, do not sign the form and take it away with you. Simply say that you have all the information you require and you will report back to Last Chance, who will then advise them of the outcome. You need to ring us as soon as you can.

6. Two or three weeks after your initial visit, you will need to make your follow up visit. This will be the first time that you will actually meet the rescued animal and most home checkers look forward to this moment. You need to check that the owner and pet are happy and that no problems have been encountered. It is also important that you check that vaccination and neutering obligations have been met. You then need to complete part B of the form and send it to Last Chance. Please ensure that you quote the original name of the animal, as we knew it, and the date of the initial visit. This information makes it possible for us to trace the animal by our records.

7. Two or three months after your initial visit, you will need to do your second follow up check. This should be your last call on the family home, unless you choose to visit them again. Once again, you need to know that all is well. By now, any puppy or kitten, will have reached sexual maturity and it is essential that the neutering requirement has been fulfilled. Please complete part C of the form, quoting the original name of the animal and the date of the initial visit and return it to Last Chance.

IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE:

If on your first or second follow up visit you are concerned about the animal’s welfare in any way, please contact us immediately. It is vital that neutering is carried out by the specified date. If the client fails to meet their contractual obligation to neuter, we have the right to reclaim the animal. Please read our guidance notes on neutering, which are enclosed/attached. It will help you to understand why we must be so emphatic about this point.


HELPFUL HINTS

GARDENS

If someone wishes to adopt a dog, we would almost always require an enclosed garden (occasions may arise when we feel the character of a dog and/or adopter merits an exception being made). Time after time we advise potential owners that it’s not the size of the garden but, the security, which is important. On the home check form we will specify any special height requirements for fencing. Border Collies and German Shepherds are known athletes of the canine world, in most circumstances we would need 6 ft fences for these breeds. In other instances we may only indicate the size of the dog, i.e. small/medium/large/enormous – old, young etc. As a general rule, if a dog can see over a barrier and place it’s paws on it, it can easily jump or scramble over. It is worth checking what is on the other side of the fence – is it a neighbour’s escape proof garden, a busy road, a field of sheep? Please remember that it is not only the height of the fence that requires consideration, it must also be solid and well maintained. A tenacious terrier, hell bent on adventure, will be quite happy to go under, over, or through a fence or gate. Springers and other members of the gun dog fraternity are bred to flush game from thick vegetation and even the thickest privet or conifer hedge will not serve as a deterrent. Please also check that there are no hazards within the garden – shards of broken glass from a derelict greenhouse can prevent a real danger as can fishponds and swimming pools, which, if they are sheer sided, must be netted over.

Is there a kennel in the garden? Whilst we are not averse to a dog spending some time outside, we WILL NOT home a dog that it to be permanently kept outside. Does an existing dog look to be an “outside” dog? Might it be used as a Guard Dog? Look for evidence of worn away grass or mud. Even knock on a neighbour’s door to ask if the dog spends a lot of time outside.


CONSIDERATIONS FOR CATS

Even the most sedentary feline will make it quite clear that he/she will go ‘wherever they wish, thank you very much’, so unless the potential owner happens to be living in Colditz Castle, you will need to check out the stomping ground to ensure it doesn’t present to much of a risk from traffic etc. Please remember that a busy street where there noise and activity level acts as a deterrent for most cats be they never so bold, is likely to be safer than a country lane. Cats lulled in to a false sense of security will drop their guard and be at risk from the next motorist that comes belting along, oblivious of the carnage they are leaving behind them. It is worth checking to see if the house is well set back from the road, and that there are ways for the cat to re-enter the home, i.e. through a cat flap or over a wall. Bends on the road, or narrow roads have the advantage of forcing motorists to slow down thereby increasing the cat’s chances of survival.

At the end of the day you can never be certain. Accidents happen, even in a quiet residential cul-de-sac. When confronted with a dilemma as to whether the road poses too great a threat or not, I often ask myself, ‘would I be prepared to leave one of my own cat’s here?’ This simple question is often a great aid in decision-making, and can be used for all types of animals.

We ask your help in emphasising to clients that an adult cat moving to a new home must be kept in for at least three weeks. A kitten should remain indoors until it has been neutered. This means a cat litter tray must be made available and vigilance exercised with doors and windows (are children in the household capable of maintaining this?). Cats on their maiden voyage outside should be allowed to make their own exit and entrance. It is most definitely not good practice to carry the cat out so ‘he can get his bearings’. This invariably results in the cat panicking, a lacerated owner and a terrified disorientated cat hot footing it over the horizon.

INSIDE THE HOME

The potential owner should be able to show you a contained room within the house where the new animal can be safely left without supervision and where it cannot damage itself or property. If there are children in the household the animal should have access to a sanctuary where it can sleep undisturbed. Some people argue that an untidy, unkempt, disorderly household indicates similar carelessness may be levelled at the pet. On the other hand, an immaculate home may also give cause for concern. Please remind people, especially those that haven’t had a pet before, that certain damage is inevitable.

Cats will be happy to avail themselves of the pine bureau and Axminster carpet to assist in their claw sharpening and body toning exercises. Puppies pass through difficult stages, the first which is to empty their bowels and bladders with astonishing and unpredictable frequency. This is rapidly followed by the adolescent traumas of chewing and general demolition. Adult dogs, who have been kept in kennels, may need a refresher course in house-training. They may clean their muzzles on the nearest available soft furnishings, in lieu of napkins! We always emphasise the negative side of ownership, so the householder can make an informed decision. Strange as it seems to us, some may think that the risk of possible vandalism outweighs the benefits of guaranteed friendship and unconditional love. Still, it is preferable that these misguided souls reach their decision at this stage of the proceedings, rather than a few months later when the animal is in their home.

A DOGS DAY AND CAREER CATS

As a general rule, we would not home a dog if, on a regular basis, it is going to be left for over 4 hours in a working day. (That is 4 hours in total within a 24 hour period – not 4 hours relieved by a quick lunchtime pop-in, followed by another lonely 4 hours or more vigil.) Puppies, like children, should not be left unsupervised. Kittens can be left unattended for a reasonable period providing they are in a safe environment, not able to disappear up the chimney, get stuck on a curtain rail or drown in a fish tank. We feel that there is something pathetically sad about one lonesome solitary kitten and that is why we prefer to home in pairs. Sadly, kittens are quite often at risk, even when the family is in, but distracted. Every year one hears the tragic story of a kitten crawling unnoticed in to the washing machine or spin dryer, it’s little body being found when the machine is emptied – such a terrifying horrible death! Please ask the family to make sure the kitten is safe before starting any machinery.

We do everything we can to advise and assess the potential of those hoping to adopt an animal before we involve our home checkers. However, some families, in their enthusiasm to adopt an animal may stretch the truth a little or a lot! That is why we ask you to be our eyes and ears, as you can provide a second opinion as to the family and the arrangements in place for the animal’s care.

We do not wish to be unreasonable and we are certainly desperate to get our animals into homes, but it is important that the pet is going to have a full and happy life. A dog for instance is a pack animal. He is happy with a human pack, a dog pack or both. He loves his ‘family’ with all his heart and wants to be with them. The rescued dog, devoted to his ‘saviour’, delighted to at last have found someone who shares with him affection and kindness will, not surprisingly, be distraught when the beloved one walks out on him, leaving him to a lonely house. Prolonged boredom will lead to frustration and anxiety and can often result in undesirable behaviour. Owners will not be amused to return from a hard day’s work to find the kitchen in ruins, and an irate neighbour knocking on the door to complain about the incessant howling! Angry owner, complaining neighbour, the result is inevitable – one broken hearted dog returned to the kennels!

One should of course be able to leave a dog for a reasonable periods each day, or in unforeseen circumstances, for a more protracted period. A rescued dog may well need a little help in learning the temporary separation does not mean the end of the world. Please encourage adopters to speak to Last Chance, who will provide guidance on how this can best be achieved.

Adult cats and some dogs, the elderly, the sedentary, those who are used to being left, together with Greyhounds – the great lazy-bones of the canine world – are normally quite content to relax at home whilst their owners are away earning the bread. Nevertheless, even a career cat or dog needs their fair share of family life and amusements when the owner in at home.


PEACE IN OUR TIME

Many of our rescued animals have had a very difficult and disturbed past. Most are bewildered and confused, many are anxious, some are downright terrified and moving into a new home can be a traumatic experience for them. They all desperately need and deserve a little stability in their lives. With this in mind, we tend not to place animals in to homes where some sort of disruption in the near future can be foreseen, this includes a house move, an extended holiday, a new baby etc. All these situations are likely to impose additional stress upon the rescued animal. Establishing a pet into the household takes time and effort. It is important that family and pet have time to become acquainted, building strong bonds of mutual trust and understanding. For the new owner it is an important relationship, for the pet it is everything!

Again, we try and establish what the short term plans of the owner may be before we arrange a home visit, however, it is far easier to assess this in the home environment. We don’t expect you to be a clairvoyant, but a ‘sold’ sign in the window, suitcases packed in the hall or a pregnant mum are all good indications that in this point in time, the family may not be ready to adopt a rescued animal.

PETS AND CHILDREN

Unlike some animal charities, we do not have an objection to placing suitable animals into a home with young children. We will, of course, have met all the family ourselves, but once again in a home environment you may have a better opportunity to observe family interactions. Do mum and dad appear to have understood that they must provide supervision at all times? Are the children lawless and unruly in their own home? Are they likely to treat an animal with kindness and respect? The soft, unformed and malleable bones of puppies and kittens are very vulnerable in rough hands, without doubt rough and thoughtless handling can adversely affect an animal’s temperament. Even the most gentle and tolerant dog can be pushed too far. At the end of the day, a dog has 42 lethal weapons in his mouth. If pushed to the limit it may be tempted to employ them. (Of course we assess the temperament of all our dogs carefully and would not place a dog with uncertain tolerance into a family home.)

Naturally all parents assure us that their children are responsible and kind (Doubtless Mrs Hitler said the same about her little boy). Nevertheless, far too often we are asked to take dogs that have protested ‘enough’ in the only way they know how, or those who have been reduced to quivering nervous wrecks by ceaseless teasing. Once we were asked to take in a family dog because the little girl kept biting it – this is not a misprint!!!

However, it must be emphasised that family homes can and do work very well. Homes where there are young children around usually have the advantage of having someone home all day (vital for young puppies). Most dogs appreciate the stimulation and boundless energy of the young. They like nothing better than to pile out into the garden for a noisy and boisterous game of ball, leaving the adults to deal with the muddy boots and paws, which are sure to follow. Most animals, (with the shameful exception of some human examples) have an instinctive respect and tenderness for the young of other species. A loyal dog may be the best guardian a child could ever have. The soft body of a purring cat at the end of the bed soothes many childish nighttime fears.

For those of you that have a child friendly, reasonably well-behaved dog (and assuming that there is not already a dog in the household), it may be a good idea to take it with you to see how the children react. Are they nervous? Are they over boisterous trying to pull it around? Their reactions to your dog will be a good indication of how they will be around a new pet!

OTHER PETS

Home checking is easier if there is another pet in the household. Is it happy, relaxed and well cared for? Is it neutered? What is it’s status in the family – one of the gang, or definitely in it’s place? Is it likely to be overlooked and pushed aside when the new pet arrives, or is it a valued member of the family? Please don’t forget to look at any small pets, rabbits or guinea pigs etc. Are they in a clean and suitable cage with food and water? If not, you may not be dealing with animal lovers. Please ensure that the family understands that their new pet may feel that small animals are fair game!

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

With some dogs (and people) we make the attendance of training classes a condition of adoption. This will be indicated on the home checking form. Some home checkers like to keep a record of classes in their area so that they can advise potential owners. The Kennel Club will be happy to provide details of local classes, you can reach them on 0207 493 66516651 or your local vet will have a list of reputable classes, also your dog warden (Local Council).

A trained dog results in a happy, proud owner, an untrained dog often, sooner or later, ends up in a rescue home when it’s owners are no longer able to cope and are unprepared to spend a little time and effort to teach their dog some manners.

Let’s be honest here, dogs are autocrats, not democrats. They are happy to be a junior member of your pack, only if you show that you are pack leader. Any weakness and they will take over the role! Dogs are in a very high league mentality, they have strong views on doggy government and how they wish to conduct their affairs. People who adopt a rescue dog or puppy should expect to spend some time explaining the house rules to their new friend. Otherwise they may end up with a doggy despot who grudgingly lets you sit on one of your own chairs – but only if he considers it convenient! If during your follow-up visits you realise that the chain of command is definitely breaking down and the owner is unable or unwilling to deal with it, please encourage them to contact Last Chance. Our animal behaviourists will be more than happy to be of assistance.

CAUTIONARY TALES

In the summer of 1997 we rescued a dog who had been living on the streets for many months. She was a beautiful pale yellow, Labrador cross, terribly thin from her months of depravation. She shook with fear until she recognised a kind and reassuring voice. A super family asked to adopt her and after the normal home checking procedure she went off to her wonderful new home. On the journey home the owner removed her lead. As soon as the car door opened she panicked and bolted. The new owner was very distressed and this poor frightened dog was on the streets once again. It took Last Chance two weeks to catch her and reunite her with her new owner who had learned a very hard lesson. You cannot expect dogs to react according to human logic! She didn’t know she was safe with her new owner. Precautions must be taken at all times.

Some months later, we rescued a lovely cream German Shepherd who had been destined for destruction in a Welsh pound until we saved her. She also went off to a loving home. Sadly a couple of days later, whilst walking in the woods near her new home, her owner decided to let her off of the lead. She stayed with him for a couple of minutes, then galloped off. He called and called but she did not recognise her new name or his voice and did not return. Later that day she was involved in a traffic accident in which she sustained severe facial injuries. Her recovery has been long and slow.

These two stories illustrate how important it is that caution is always exercised. You may wish to share these stories with the potential owners and impress upon them that new dogs should always be secured in cars etc. Owners must lead walk their pets for at least three weeks before attempting to let the dog off. The dog must know it’s name and it’s owner and be totally responsive to recall exercises that have been practiced in the garden, before letting the dog run freely.

NEUTERING

This topic is covered in some detail, as it is so very important. All dogs and cats adopted from Last Chance require neutering at a date specific to us. The only exceptions from this rule are very elderly animals, or those suffering from a medical condition which, on veterinary advice, may present a risk from the anaesthetic.

We employ our own vet and neuter as many of our rescues as possible prior to homing. New owners who adopt a pet, which hasn’t yet been neutered, sign an adoption form which includes a neutering clause.

The final date by which neutering must be undertaken will be indicated both on the home checking form and the adoption form. It is most important that you are aware of this date, as we rely on our home checkers to advise us when this obligation has not been fulfilled.

Homecheckers need to ask for proof and reason for exceptions (a note from their vet)._

IT MUST BE EMPHASISED THAT IF THE ADOPTER FAILS TO HAVE THEIR PET NEUTERED, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECLAIM THE ANIMAL AND WILL EXERCISE THAT RIGHT SHOULD THIS VITAL PROCEDURE NOT BE CARRIED OUT.

In some, thankfully rare cases, a vet may suggest that the owner wait until the bitch has had her first season or a male dog is more fully grown. This is entirely contrary to veterinary research, which strongly indicates the physical and behavioural benefits of early neutering. If an owner is confronted by a vet who will not neuter at six months, they must find one who will. Most are perfectly happy to do so. If they are unable to find one in their area, they must contact Last Chance.

At Last Chance, we discuss the neutering clause very carefully with all potential owners. However, some are so excited with the prospect of adopting a pet, that the importance of neutering does not always seem to register. We would be most grateful if, on your initial visit, you could ensure that the interested parties fully understand their obligations. Ask them to carefully consider the cost implications. Neutering charges vary enormously dependent on where you live, which vet you use and whether there is a requirement for a special anaesthetic. It might be helpful if you can obtain some average costs in your area, so that you can provide some ideas as to what they can expect to pay. In some areas it can cost well over £150 to spay a bitch.

IT IS VITAL THAT YOU ADVISE US SHOULD YOU FIND THAT ONE OF OUR ANIMALS HAS NOT BEEN NEUTERED AS REQUIRED.

At Last Chance our motto is ‘Don’t breed or buy when others die’. We urge you to be our ambassadors and to spread this vital message. Everyday in this country alone, over 2,000 dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are destroyed because there are not enough homes available. The tragic problem of pet overpopulation and the slaughter of innocent animals can only be resolved by a sensible neutering policy.

Well that’s it – good luck with all your home vettings – enjoy it for there is nothing more worthwhile than finding the right home for an animal in need. If you want help and advice don’t hesitate to call us. You are very important to us and the job you have offered to do will really make a difference.

CHEERS!





LAST CHANCE ANIMAL RESCUE
Registered charity number 1002349
Hartfield Road, Edenbridge, KENT, TN8 5NH
Telephone: 01732 865530
Facsimile: 01732 865838

HELPLINE: 01227 722929

We hope you have found this pack useful and that you have decided to register with us as a home checker. If so, please complete the form below and return it to us as soon as possible.

You may only get a request occasionally, or you may receive several in a month, it depends how far from us you live etc. If at any point you feel overloaded, please do not hesitate to turn down a home check, or similarly advise us if you are unable to carry out a follow up visit.

Remember you can always contact us for advice or support on any of the above numbers, anytime between 10am-3pm. You can also email us at general@lastchanceanimalrescue.co.uk or Adrienne Ramsey on andy-age@blueyonder.co.uk or mobile 07782544913.

email me for further information, and links to the forms we use to help you do home checking.

ALL HOME CHECKERS MUST BE 18 YEARS OR OVER.

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I would like to become a home checker forLast Chance Animal Rescue
Name:
Address:


Daytime number: Evening number:
I can cover the following areas:


Signed: Date: