Rehoming charity Spaniel Aid UK is appealing for spaniel lovers with experience to step up and help a dog in need. With a threefold increase in people looking to rehome their dog in the past two years, there is an urgent need for more fosterers with experience of these active and intelligent working breeds.
Spaniel Aid UK is an online based organisation, and dogs are rehomed from a network of dedicated fosterers who care for dogs in their own homes across mainland Britain. Without these caring and selfless people, it would be impossible for the charity to operate.
One of the foster co-ordinators, Chloe Lloyd, says: “We don’t have a rescue centre, so our fosterers are vital for us to help dogs looking for new homes, often through no fault of their own. “We get several requests a day from people wanting to rehome their dogs, or from dog wardens or vets where stray dogs have been handed in. We couldn’t help any of them without our wonderful fosterers, and we are always grateful for the fantastic work they do.”
Examples of some of the dogs* rehomed by Spaniel Aid after spending time being assessed and cared for by fosterers include:
- Ruby, aged about 5, found as a stray after giving birth to numerous litters, the last of which was delivered with a DIY caesarean section stitched up with string.
- Bailey left abandoned as an eight-week-old puppy with three litter mates in a box in a car park.
- Rocky, aged 2, who was much loved by his family, but a change of working hours driven by the cost-of-living crisis led to him spending more than ten hours a day at home alone.
- Charlie, aged 8, who showed signs of anxiety when a new baby arrived and was rehomed after growling and snapping when his whole world had changed.
Spaniel Aid is particularly looking for people with experience of dealing with behaviours such as resource guarding, separation anxiety and reactivity, all of which increased after the Covid-19 lockdown and the associated puppy boom. Dogs needing a foster home are not allocated – it is always the choice of the fosterer to offer a temporary home to a particular dog.
Alex recently began fostering Billy (pictured) for Spaniel Aid. She had been thinking about adopting but decided to consider fostering in the short term. “Fosterers are desperately needed for all the dogs being relinquished so we decided to give it a go.”
“We have learned such a lot and it’s been a wonderful experience. Spaniel Aid have been so supportive and very quick to provide advice, and through this we have been able to help a dog in need and become better dog carers and trainers.
“Although we are going to be so sad to see Billy leave, we know he will be going to a great home, and we look forward to helping the next dog that needs us.”
Golden cocker Daisy is one of many dogs helped by fosterer Nikki, who has been volunteering for Spaniel Aid for about three years. In that time, she has helped a mix of dogs, from strays to much loved pets and those with medical problems. “Whilst it can be hard work at times, the joy in getting to understand them and what they need to help them thrive is so rewarding.
“Sending them off to their forever homes is always a time of mixed emotions – but getting updates and seeing them live their best lives makes it all worth it and I feel very honoured to be part of their journey.”
Fosterers cannot have a child under eight in the home and must not leave a dog for more than four hours. There is always a demand for homes without cats or resident dogs, although these would not rule someone out.
Anyone who fosters a dog for Spaniel Aid may choose to have them join their family on a permanent basis, but the urgent need is for altruistic fosterers, whose primary motivation is to help a dog in need.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a fosterer for Spaniel Aid can apply via the SAUK website here: Spaniel Aid UK
* The dogs’ stories are real; their names have been changed to protect the privacy of their Adopters
* In 2021 Spaniel Aid received an average of 47 surrender requests per month. In 2022 that rose to 87 a month and in the first 3 months of 2023 the average is 136 requests a month.
* Spaniel Aid UK is a nationwide rehoming charity, founded in 2015, since then it has rehomed about than 3,500 spaniels and spaniel cross-breeds.
* Spaniel Aid UK is run entirely by volunteers, and there is no payment made to fosterers or volunteers, other than some out of pocket expenses such as transport mileage