What we do

Dog assessment

SDR attempts to find suitable and loving homes for all the dogs in our care. Once a dog arrives at our rescue centre, it is given a medical assessment and any immediate treatment is provided. The dog will then stay in our newly refurbished isolation unit for 7-10 days to ensure it is fit and healthy. During this time, our staff are able to observe the dog during walks and socialisation to assess its temperament.

Among others, staff are looking to find out:

  • Is the dog able to get on well with other dogs?
  • Is the dog suitable to live in a house with children?
  • Does the dog walk well on the lead?
  • Will the dog be able to live in a house with a cat?
  • Does the dog have any behavioural issues that a new owner would need to know about?

Caring for our dogs

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, SDR has been able to refurbish its dog rooms and facilities over the past 6 years. We now have 41 bright, modern and comfortable dog rooms, with a variety of toys and comfortable bedding to make sure our dogs live in a relaxed and homely environment during their stay with us. Whenever possible, dogs are given a companion to provide company and all our rooms have an en suite patio area where the dogs can stretch their legs between walks.

All the dogs in our care receive the best food, each having a diet specifically prepared for their needs, and every dog receives a treat before the lights are turned off in the kennel areas at night. We also have a modern shower room to bathe our dogs on arrival and after muddy exercise!

SDR is located on the outskirts of Stokenchurch village, and volunteers are able to take our dogs out for walks in the local countryside every morning. In addition, we also have large outdoors exercise runs to ensure our dogs receive adequate exercise during their stay with us.

Adoption

Once we have a better understanding of the dogs' personalities and behaviour, we are able to put it forward for adoption to a new loving 'forever' home and its details are then listed on our website.

SDR places great emphasis on finding the correct family to adopt its dogs. Potential adopters can visit SDR to see the dogs available and are encouraged to build up a bond with the dog they have chosen, walking it and spending some time with it at SDR, before the dog is taken to its new home. Our staff check all potential new owners to ensure that we establish the perfect match between our dogs and their new forever homes.

Veterinary care

Our honorary veterinary surgeon is a frequent visitor to our kennels, and all dogs receive immediate medical treatment required – either in the treatment room at our premises or for more specialist care, at the veterinary practice. Our staff also ensure that all dogs receive flea and worming treatments during their stay at SDR.

Microchipping

Microchipping is an essential tool to ensure that lost or stolen dogs are returned to their loving owners and all the dogs that come into SDR are microchipped by our staff.

Behavioural training

Sometimes dogs come to us with particular behavioural issues, usually as a result of some particularly traumatising experience in their past. For example, some dogs may have difficulty walking on a lead, or others may be possessive about food or toys. Our staff and specialist behaviourists work with these dogs and once assessed, suitable training programmes are set up to ensure these dogs can be re-homed safely.

Offering sanctuary to the old and sick

There are no time limits imposed on the residents because of age, health issues or behavioural problems: our non-destruct policy means that dogs are able to stay at SDR until a new home is found for them.

It is our policy never to destroy a healthy dog and some of our charges are, unfortunately, very hard to re-home due to old age or health or behavioural issues and are with us for a long time - sometimes even for life.  A very few dogs that are unsuitable for re-homing are provided with life-time sanctuary at SDR and separate animal rooms have been provided by public donations to provide a more restful 'living room' for these dogs.

Fostering

At SDR we also have a 'fostering' system whereby puppies, older dogs, those with on-going medical needs, or those that have not adapted well to a stay in kennels can live with a family on a temporary basis. All veterinary and food expenses will continue to be met by our charity until a suitable permanent home is found for them.

Other activities

SDR is self-financing and all running costs of the charity are obtained through the continued efforts of our volunteers who are fundraising on a continual basis – street collections, quiz nights, jumble sales, village fetes, etc.

Our staff and volunteers also support the local community by providing speakers at local charity events, Rotary, WI meetings and schools.