FAQ – Frequently asked questions

The very first step is to fill out an application form. If you meet the adoption criteria, you will then be contacted for a video interview and home check. Assuming this goes well, you will then become an ‘approved adopter’.

Please remember that you must fill out an application form to be considered to adopt a dog. We will not consider comments made on Facebook or messages sent to us on social media, or texts for offers of homes. 


Our adoptions fee varies depending on the dog, further information is provided as applicants progress through the rehoming process.

All money received by DogsnHomes goes towards the rescue and care of dogs in need. No salaries are taken by our team as the charity is staffed 100% by volunteers.

Your adoption fee allows us to ensure the very best care is afforded to the dogs we save, helping to cover their medical, domestic and transportation needs as they are prepared for and undertake their journey to the UK. Examples of what this money goes towards include:

  • Food and shelter in Portugal
  • Vet visits for: health checks, blood tests, vaccinations, and to ensure they are fit to travel
  • Any necessary medications
  • Flea, tick and worm treatments
  • Spaying / neutering if the dog is over one year old
  • Microchipping
  • Behavioural assessments
  • Transportation costs to the UK on the Happy Bus, including import duties and customs charges
  • A Passport
  • Socialising visits
  • Administrative fees

Additionally, for every dog we place for adoption, we make a further donation to our partners in Portugal which is used to spay / neuter other dogs to try and break the endless cycle of unwanted litters.

For some dogs, it will never be possible to leave Portugal and they will see out their days in the shelter system. Financial donations help these dogs to have their medical and domestic needs met to ensure they lead as comfortable and happy lives as possible

Everyone who submits an application will receive an email from us confirming that we have received their application (we aim to confirm receipt of your application within 10 working days). Sometimes our emails end up in junk/spam mail, so please check there too. If we wish to take your application further, you will receive further correspondence from us via email to arrange a home check.

However, if you do not meet our adoption criteria, we will not be able to respond to your application to confirm this. We are sorry about this but DogsnHomes is run by a small team of volunteers and we must prioritise our resources.

We understand how frustrating it can be trying to adopt a dog and not hearing back soon. We are a small, volunteer-run charity and we have to split our time between multiple activities, so we thank you for your patience and understanding.

There are some common themes with applications that aren’t successful:

  • The dog you have applied for is extremely popular, like most of our dogs. We receive many applications for puppies and young dogs in particular, and it’s our job to pick the strongest application for each dog.
  • Your circumstances do not meet our dog’s requirements. This is not a reflection on your ability to care for a dog but it may mean that you are not a good match for the dog you applied for. This may be because they need a resident dog, a quieter household or environment, an experienced adopter, amongst other reasons. 
  • Your application form is not detailed enough. We receive hundreds of applications and have to make a judgement on which to take forward to the next stage based on your answers, so we recommend that you include as much detail as possible, much like a job application. Also if you have any physical or mental health issues that may help us decide on the most suitable dog, please include this in the application.
  • You aren’t based in our catchment area, which is currently a 60-minute drive of Fleet, Hampshire (GU52).

Please bear in mind that we receive between 150 - 300 applications a month, but only rehome between 10-15 dogs a month. With these numbers in mind, we hope you understand that it’s simply not possible to keep up with demand and some people will sadly be disappointed.

We prefer to adopt within a 60-minute drive of our base in Fleet, Hampshire so we can continue to offer support and guidance if required, after a dog has gone to his/her new home.

Approximately 70% of the dogs available for adoption are puppies, but we do also rehome older dogs. 

No, we currently do not have kennels. All of the dogs are in local foster homes.

The majority of the dogs we rescue come from Portugal.

We have formed close relationships with the fosterers and private rescue shelters there and they are very honest when giving us information about the nature of the dogs. Our team in Portugal gives us all the information they have about the puppies and dogs, such how they were found and how they’re getting on in the early stages of their life.

They continually assess the dogs as they grow up, and the puppies don’t come to us until they’re approximately 4 months old. Whilst in Portugal, all of the puppies are brilliantly socialised and are introduced to many different people, other dogs, other animals (e.g. cats) and children. They’re also taken to public spaces such as the beach, the local villages, and cafes too, which means they generally come to us as very well rounded pups with a high level of positive socialisation.

But be aware that they are in a rural part of the country and the places they visit aren’t as busy as they are here. Please note that some of these activities are restricted at present due to COVID (such as cat testing and socialising with children) which may affect the rehoming process until restrictions are lifted.

No, we will keep your application on our files. This means we can contact you directly if we think we have found a puppy which meets all of your requirements. However, if anything changes on your application, including the type of dog you are looking for, please let us know and we will update your application for you. Or alternatively, submit a further application.

Please be assured that in line with GDPR, we will not share your information with any third party, and we ask that you email us if you decide that you don’t want any further contact from us.


All of our dogs are rescued from Portugal where they may have been handed in or found as strays, or abandoned. What we know of their backgrounds will vary, but every dog will be assessed so we can match them up with the best family for them, and ensure you are the best match for each other. 

It depends entirely on the dog. None of the dogs come to us directly from the public kennels. Most of the dogs are in foster homes in Portugal, or live in what we call private shelters, where people have numerous dogs at their home. So there is no need for them to be in foster in the UK and they can go straight into their new homes. However, some are placed in foster homes here in Fleet, Hampshire or nearby to be given additional time to decompress from travel. 


We don’t currently have premises or kennel facilities, so when the dogs arrive they are either placed into foster homes or go straight to their adopters. If a dog goes into foster, it may be possible to meet them prior to adoption. 

At DogsnHomes, we consider applications from families with children of all ages, however, priority is given to those where all members of the household are over 10 years old.

Children and dogs can often be a fantastic combination and our aim is always to try and match the right dog with the right home, ensuring both the children and dogs’ welfare is carefully considered. In our years of experience in dog rescue, we have found the most successful pairings are with households with slightly older children.

When you submit an application form to us, this is where you should provide details about the people in your household, including children, so we can take this all into account when making rehoming decisions.

Absolutely. Another doggy buddy to play with and learn the ropes from can be a great thing. Before we place a dog with you, we would invite you and your existing dog(s) to meet your prospective new pup, where they could be introduced to see if they’d be happy to live together. We would also need to ensure your existing dog is fully vaccinated and neutered if of the opposite sex.

The majority of our dogs are cat tested before they come to the UK. If they haven’t been cat tested or they’ve shown aggression during the cat test, we will not allow them to be rehomed with other cats or small animals. However, many of our dogs pass their cat test with flying colours - so don’t be put off from applying if you have a feline friend! However, even if the dog has passed their cat test, there is no guarantee that your cat will like the dog and vice versa. They are animals and not all will get along, so please bear this in mind.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a garden then you’re not eligible to rehome a dog from us. This is because we ask all of our adopters to take their puppy outside every 30 minutes to ensure that they are properly toilet trained. This is very important, as it avoids them having any accidents inside of the house, and it makes it a lot easier to properly train them to toilet outside.

If your motivation to adopt is based on a desire to improve a health condition, or you’re not sure about how having a dog would affect a particular condition, please do not submit until you have very carefully considered the impact of dog ownership.


Dogs are wonderful companions and family members but can also be hard work, especially during the early days as you get to know each other and adjust to your new lives together. Many compare the demands of having a new puppy with the demands of a newborn baby (think sleepless nights, constant vigilance and cleaning up!).


We ask that you only submit an adoption form if your desire to adopt is based on wanting to provide a first-class home for a dog, primarily for the benefit of that dog, for life.

Two dog tags (not with the name of the dog on - one for the collar, one for the harness), collar and lead / harness and slip lead. If you will be taking your dog home by car, we suggest a seat belt harness, pet carrier or dog guard; your dog will need to be suitably restrained to avoid distracting you when driving or injuring you or themselves, if you stop quickly.

You can find some of our suggested items here.

We acknowledge there are many dogs abandoned and neglected in the UK. Fortunately, we live in a country which prides itself on being a nation of animal lovers and, as a result, there are a large number of dog rescue organisations which focus solely on rehoming dogs located in the UK. 

We do work with the local dog warden and have dogs surrendered to us, but these dogs typically come with issues.

Whereas in Portugal, there are significantly fewer animal welfare rights and protection for dogs and they just aren’t treated with the same level of care. Every dog deserves a chance at living a happy and healthy life, regardless of its origin, and so it’s our passion to rescue the dogs and pups that are subject to neglect and abandonment and offer them the opportunity of living a happy and fulfilling life.

Before we are allowed to export a dog from Portugal we have they have to pass a rigorous process, which includes

  • A minimum of two vet visits prior to arrival, the last within days of leaving checking they are fit to travel
  • Microchipped
  • Fully vaccinated
  • Treatments for fleas, worms and ticks
  • Screening the puppy/dog for infections with a blood test
  • Dogs over a year in age will also be spayed or neutered
  • The cost of transporting them to the UK (including the cost of import duties and customs charges).
  • Their Pet Passport

Also, once a dog is adopted by us, we then send money back to the shelter which allows them to neuter another dog which breaks the cycle of unwanted and abandoned dogs.

It’s important to mention that none of the volunteers, trustees or founders take a salary from DogsnHomes, so 100% of the money goes towards helping dogs. It is because of our commitment and professional approach, that Tim Peake (the British Astronaut) became our Patron, after adopting a dog from us and seeing the level of care we put into the process.

Once you have adopted your new dog, you are their legal owner, trainer and carer, responsible for meeting their daily needs and addressing any issues as they arise, as you settle into your new life together.

We do however love it when our adopters stay in touch so we can see how you’re getting on, and we will always provide advice and guidance where needed.

We also have a private Facebook page where you can ‘meet’ other adopters, become a part of the DogsnHomes Rescue online community and discuss your pups!

As a condition of adopting, you are required to insure the dog and train them to be well behaved inside and outside of your home, seeking professional advice to help you do so if ever required.

We are able to take in local dogs that need to be rehomed. However, they will need to have an independent behavioural assessment (arranged by us), and they will need to remain in the owner’s care until we have found them a new home. Please note that we are not able to rehome aggressive dogs.


As a completely non profit organisation, we are grateful for any help you can provide, whether this be financial support or your time. You can help us in the following ways:

- Donate money - you are able to donate money via PayPal or bank transfer. All of our details can be found here. If you decide to donate an amount to us on a monthly basis, you will be recognised as a DogsnHomes Rescue ‘Top Dog’, and you will receive a certificate of thanks from us by email. 

- Donate old or unused doggy items (Must be clean etc)  - if you have spare dog toys, leads, harnesses, collars, bowls or food, please consider donating it to us. We have a number of drop off points: Hook Vets, Morrisons in Fleet, Pets Corner in Fleet, Farnborough, Alton & Wokingham, and Pets at Home in Farnham. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept pillows or quilts. 

- Become a volunteer - if you think you have some spare time on your hands and you have skills that you think would be beneficial to us, get in touch! We are always on the lookout for people who have experience of using WordPress and Photoshop. 

- Fundraise - You could do a number of fun things in order to raise funds for DogsnHomes Rescue. For example, you could do a cake sale, sponsored silence, a charity walk or run, or you could even jump out of a plane! 

- Promote our social media pages - we are on FaceBook and Instagram, so please give us a follow and spread the word! The more you share, like, comment and engage with our posts, the more people see them.