Rescue Back Up or ‘RBU’ is a term commonly used by rescuers and rescue organisations when promoting dogs for foster or adoption. But what is it and why is so important?
What is RBU?
A good rescue organisation will always be there for their dogs, for the rest of the dog’s life. This includes taking a dog back at any point in their life, for whatever reason, and finding a suitable new home for them.
When you rehome a STAR dog, our STAR Team is available to help you with advice and guidance on any concerns or issues including diet, health, training, behaviour, and general care for their lifetime. A STAR dog is always a STAR dog, and we will take them back whenever needed.
Why is RBU important?
Without rescue back up, the dog’s future can be uncertain, and adopters are left to face any challenges or difficult decisions alone. Rescue back up gives a future with certainty, with support, and that is what every dog and their family deserve.
Does RBU cover help with health issues?
Our STAR Support Team is available to help you with advice and guidance on any concerns or issues including diet, health, training, behaviour, and general care. When you adopt a STAR dog you will be informed about any existing health issues e.g. leishmania. We will provide you with any vet reports and explain the medical needs of the dog. For dogs diagnosed with leishmania STAR will provide 6 months of medication upon adoption. Please remember that any dog may develop health issues at any time, and these will be your responsibility, so we strongly recommend pet insurance.
What should I do if I need to give up my dog?
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We know this is a hard decision, and we will not judge you. There are many reasons why you may need to rehome your dog including changes in personal circumstances, changes with accommodation and finances and relationship breakdowns. Asking us for help is the best and most responsible thing you can do, and we will help you make the right decision for your dog. We may be able to give advice on managing the issue that has led to you considering rehoming.
If we decide together that rehoming your dog is the best thing to do, we will work with you to agree the next steps. Ideally you will be able to keep your dog while we look for a new home. We will work with you to help us write a promotion that best describes the dog.
If you need the dog to be removed before a new home can be found, we will work to find either a suitable foster or a kennel placement depending on the needs of the dog. We’ll do everything we can to help you and your dog as quickly as possible. We will ask you to either drive the dog to the foster/kennel or pay for a courier.
We will ask you to fill in our handover form and on collection we will also need the dog’s passport, any veterinary records you have, including vaccination certificates and microchip details. If your dog has a favourite toy or blanket, that would be useful to hand over as well.
How much does it cost?
Giving up your dog to STAR is free. If you’d like to donate to our work, we’d be very grateful, but it’s not required. You can donate here.
I want to give up an aggressive dog. Can you help?
Yes, if you adopted the dog through STAR.
Our aim is to find a new home for every dog that needs one. We have an experienced behavioural team, and we will work with you to plan the best solution.
What will happen to my dog once they’re in your care?
Your dog will be loved and cared for either in foster or at kennels and using the information you’ve provided; we’ll tailor their care to suit their needs. If a dog has behavioural issues, our behaviour experts will thoroughly assess them and create a training plan for them.
We’ll also start the search for a new home that perfectly suits their needs.
How long will the dog be with you before they are rehomed?
On average, it takes about a month or two for a dog to find a new home; but some will find a home within days, while some will be with us much longer. We’ll look after them for as long as it takes.
Will you put my dog to sleep if you can’t find a home?
No, we never put a healthy dog to sleep. If we can’t find a dog a new home, or there are reasons why they can’t be rehomed, they will always have a home with us as a forever foster.
Will I be able to find out what happens to my dog?
Once a dog has found a new home, unfortunately we can’t give you the adopter’s details, but we will update you. This is due to data protection and because, from our experience, we know it can be upsetting for everyone involved.
What if I change my mind?
If you think you might have made the wrong decision, get in touch with us straight away. We can talk about why you wanted to rehome your dog in the first place and what’s changed. We’ll help you make the right decision for you and your dog.
We’ll always act in the best interests of the dog. If we think you are going to struggle to look after them, then we’ll be honest with you about that and we may not return your dog. When you give your dog to us, you sign a legal document which makes us their official owner, and we take our legal duty of care to the dog very seriously. We always do our best to avoid this situation by talking this through with you when you initially contact us.
Once a dog has been adopted by a new family, there’s nothing we can do to get them back, as legal ownership of the dog has been transferred to the adopter.
Can I rehome the dog myself?
No. STAR must always be involved, even if you plan to rehome your dog to a family member or a friend. We will help you and ensure the dog gets the right new home and our continued RBU. We will apply due process to include application, home check and adoption.