Pet Rehoming Policies at Warrington Animal Welfare
To ensure that we place animals in loving forever homes, we also have a number of rehoming policies, for all adoptions:
- We do not re-home to families with children under 5 years old
- All adoptions are subject to a ‘Home-check’ (within a reasonable distance of Warrington) – in exceptional circumstances we will rehome out of the area.
- We reserve the right to carry out a 'vet check' for all adopters.
- Existing pets should be neutered (unless there are legitimate reasons).
- If you live in rented accommodation, we will require sight (preferably written) of evidence of permission from your landlord for you to keep a pet at the property.
- All adoptions are subject to a non-refundable ‘Adoption Fee’.
We also have a number of animal specific rehoming policies:
Rehoming Cats & Kittens
Single Kittens are not to be left alone for a significant period of time e.g. full work days, until they are older. If you plan on leaving your new kitten, we recommend you choose an older one (6 months +) or consider a pair of kittens.
Cats/Kittens will not be rehomed on or near a main/busy road - e.g. dual carriageways, busy 'A' roads, motorways, busy cut-through, main bus routes. Or near to active railway tracks. If we are unsure this will be determined during the home-check or a drive-by.
Cats/Kittens should have access to an outside space, so we will not rehome to apartments above the ground floor, unless the apartment has direct access to the outdoors e.g. external enclosed staircase.
Cats/Kittens are not rehomed as 'house cats' - due to the nature of cats, we cannot predict their behaviour in a home. The only exceptions to this policy include; older cats / very nervous cats that have come to us as house cats / cats with a medical condition or disability.
Rehoming Dogs & Puppies
Dogs/Puppies are not to be left alone for a significant period of time e.g. a full working day, where suitable care has not been put in place e.g. doggy day care, an arranged visit, coming home for lunch etc.
Dogs/Puppies must have access to a secure garden.
Rehoming Rabbits, Guinea Pigs & Other Small Animals
Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and other small animals have different needs, but space and the freedom to exercise at will is incredibly important.
Rabbits and guinea pigs require a companion of their own species if they are to live happily. They must have suitable clean accommodation and access to outside space. We will happily discuss and advise. More information on suitable rabbit and guinea pig accommodation is available on our advice page.
Occasionally we rehome rats, hamsters and gerbils and they must also have appropriate accommodation.
Why does WAW not re-home to families with children aged under 5?
We get a lot of frustrated people asking us this question, but our policy comes from over 35+ years’ experience of rehoming unwanted and abandoned pets and the limitations of our insurance policy.
As an animal charity we deal with hundreds of animals each year, who are looking to be rehomed for a variety of reasons, with the majority or reasons sadly relate to younger children.
A lot of these animals have already been passed from home to home, so at WAW we want to try and ensure that their next home is their forever home. We look for the best home, the best fit for each individual animal.
In addition these animals may not have a complete history and it would be irresponsible of WAW to rehome them with small children and risk the possibilities of nips and bites.
We extend this policy to puppies, kittens and rabbits as unfortunately the majority of adult animals we receive were bought as young animals, as pets for families with younger children and it has not worked out for a variety of reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to:
Asthmas / Allergies: By far the most common reason is ‘my child has developed ‘asthma or an allergy’ to the pet. Parents of children over 5 will generally be more aware of any allergies or issues related to asthma and they are being managed.
Bites / Nips: Puppies and kittens have sharp teeth and like to mouth hands when they are teething, this can be misjudged as a bite. Also children are less likely to be able to recognise warning signs that animals give that they are unhappy / scared / nervous during play. This generally ends up in a defensive nip or bite from the animal.
Affordability: The cost of a pet can be considerably more than people expect – food, vaccinations, vets bills, insurance, beds, hutches, runs, toys, holiday care etc. These, plus the significant cost of young children usually results in the pet being given up for adoption.
Time: Pets, especially dogs, puppies, kittens and event rabbits need a lot of time – training, walking, socialising, cleaning etc. So animals are surrendered when people realise that they do not have the time that their pet needs.
It’s because of these reasons, WAW do not rehome to families with children under 5, and families should not take our decision personally. By taking the time to find the right home, the first time we can ensure that the experience is positive for both the animal and the adopter. And reducing the likelihood of the adoption failing.
Our policy does come from experience and the desire to make sure that the many animals that pass through WAW are not returned to be rehomed again. We appreciate your understanding.