Adopting a dog from Oakwood Dog Rescue

Thinking about taking on a rescue dog? Please think carefully, these dogs have had their lives tipped upside down through no fault of their own...

Below you will find all the information about adopting a dog from Oakwood Dog Rescue

Before you submit an application form you must read the adoption requirements to ensure you qualify for adoption with the rescue

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: We are unable to accept applications from families with children under 10 or cats. Any applications sent with cats and/or children under 10 will not be processed this also includes people who are expecting a child in the very near future.

As a rescue we do not discriminate where a dog comes from, we aim to help a dog find an understanding and loving home. We take in dogs from Romania and dogs from the UK.

Any rescue dog will take time to settle into a new home. Imagine your first day at a new job, it's scary - you take time to get used to the flow of things, to know where the toilets are, to understand what you're supposed to do on a day-to-day basis and you certainly don't have everything pinned down over night... This is a similar situation for a rescue dog.

Taking on a rescue dog, and an ex-street dog is not easy. These dogs have never had people be nice to them, they have never been taught how to sit, lie down - most have never seen a tv or flight of stairs before. Oakwood supports its local adopters with 4 weeks of free training with Oakwood Canine Services. For adopters outside of Hull, you will be asked to book training with a professional in your area to help with the physical side of training - we are here to support you via phone and email.

Ever heard of the phrase, "adopted dogs take 3 days to decompress, 3 weeks to start to know your routine and 3 months to start to feel at home"?

Any rescue dog may toilet in the house, bark when they are left alone, become destructive or chew a prized possession - we need all of our applicants to be comitted and understand that a dog is hard work - whether you take in a puppy or a rescue, you will have challenges. We expect our adopters to work with us... returning a dog after 2 weeks in the home because it is hard work is not a valid reason to return a dog to rescue. 

Give them a chance.

In viewings our experienced staff will disclose everything there is to know about each individual dog - what they may struggle with, are fearful of or have faced in the past. We expect our adopters to listen and take on board what they are told in viewings - you may have had dogs all of your life, but just like people are all unique, each dog is too. The staff work with these dogs on a day to day basis and know them well.

Before you go any further, please ensure that you are 100% ready and committed to taking on a rescue dog, regardless of their origin and work with the rescue to provide the dog with a patient home. Returning a dog to a rescue centre can have very detrimental effects on a dog and its behaviour.

Our adoption policies, terms and conditions are in place for the benefit of our dogs and their adopters. We differ from most other rescues in the extensive support we offer our adoptive families during the adoption process and also the aftercare support and training we offer.

We re-home to adopters over the age of 21 - it doesn't matter if you work full-time or have children*. We look for your committment and ability to provide everything the dog needs. Then it's just a case of finding a dog that is suitable.

Our policies are put in place to benefit our dogs and their welfare, they do not reflect to you as a person.

The process from reservation to adoption takes between 1-2 weeks depending on the dog you are adopting and where you live in the UK.

Please do not apply if you require garden work to meet requirements, are moving house or have a holiday booked in the next 6-8 weeks: you must be ready to start the process immediately and you need to be able to commit your full attention to the dog.

*as a rescue we assess dogs with children as young as 5 years of age. We cannot accept applications from people with children younger than this.

  • Perfect matching service: We pride ourselves in matching dogs to clients needs, wants and lifestyles. We endeavour to find the dog that will slot right in to your family.
  • The dogs are fully vaccinated, microchipped, neutered, regularly fleaed and wormed - our Romanian dogs come with their own dog passport too.
  • Our dogs receive a behaviour assessment undertaken by experienced staff in order to find them the best homes.
  • 50% off any groom voucher for Noah's Ark Grooming
  • 20% off your first 3 grooms at our very own Happy Paws Spa
  • Royal Canin food voucher
  • 6 weeks of basic training videos and a rehoming advice pack
  • Ongoing support for the life of the dog, support, advice and training just a phone call, email or Facebook message away.

Unfortunately we are unable to rehome dogs to families with children under 10 and cats at this current time.

We cannot forsee this changing in the short term and therefore we are unable to rehome to families with younger children and cats for the rest of 2020.

Please do not submit an application if you have children under 10 and/or cats. We will update our website when this changes and make an announcement on our Facebook Page.

Our fee guidelines are as follows:

Dogs under 1 year old - £300                                                                                

Dogs 1-6 years old - £225

Dogs 7-9 years old - £150

Dogs 10+ years - Voluntary Donation

Pure/Rare breeds - up to £325

The differences in fees are due to dogs having differing requirements. For example older dogs require a higher commitment to vet care and so to help towards this we reduce the cost of our older dogs to make them more rehomable. Puppies cost more to the rescue to ensure they are neutered, vaccinated etc. ready to go to their new family.

We require a reservation fee of £100 to be paid on reserving your chosen dog. This is non-refundable/transferable if you decide to un-reserve the dog and do not complete the adoption. If we decide the dog is not suitable for you, we will fully refund the reservation fee. When you complete the adoption, the reservation fee counts towards the total adoption fee.

  • Behaviour assessment whilst in the rescue
  • Neutering/spay worth up to £365 (depending on size/sex of dog)
  • Full course of vaccinations worth up to £60
  • Up to date with worming and flea treatment
  • Microchip worth £20 (you will need to change details if you move house and this does come at a cost)
  • Aftercare support with free telephone/email advice when you need it.
  • Rescue back up support for the dog should they need to be returned to rescue.


  • Prospective owners must be 21 or older.
  • Applicants aged 60+ must secure rescue back up from a friend or relative under the age of 60. In the event that the dog can no longer be cared for by the owner the back up person will assume responsibility for the dog.
  • If you are unable to keep the dog it must be returned to us. However, this is not a get out clause. Adopters must be willing to work through situations to try and keep the dog.
  • An adoption contract must be signed on the day of adoption and an adoption fee is to be paid. All fees are non refundable/transferrable.

Responsibilities of an owner:

  • Insurance must be taken out on the dog for the life of the dog - to ensure that veterinary care and public liability is covered in the event of an accident.
  • New owners must be willing to provide the dog with the level of exercise and stimulation it requires everyday.
  • Annual vaccinations, regular flea and worming treatments and Pet Insurance must be kept valid and up to date to protect the health and wellbeing of the dog for its whole life.
  • You must commit to completing training with your chosen dog. We shall send you an advice pack with lots of helpful information on how to settle your dog into the home. We will also set up a 6 week free online training couse for you to complete some basic training with your dog to get them settled into your home.
  • New owners must be willing to give the dog reasonable time to settle in and adjust to their new life which can be around a month to 6 months, sometimes longer.

Your property and garden:

  • Homecheck is mandatory - this checks for the safety and security of the dog once it is in your home.
  • Maintain a secure garden with a solid 5ft boundary* and minimum 5ft gate for a small dog, a 6ft boundary and 6ft gate for dogs medium/large/giant. If your garden is not secure with the minimum listed above please do not submit an application form as you will not be able to adopt from us. *this is subject to dog assessment.
  • Any holes or gaps that a dog could squeeze through or manipulate to escape or hide behind must be blocked off or closed up. Any holes in hedges, or at the root of the hedges must be secured by garden screening/mesh to ensure the security of the dog.
  • Any fencing under 5-6ft can be heightened with trellis or garden screening. Please ensure your garden meets these requirements before submitting a form. If you submit a form anyway then we cannot process your application and responding to you takes up time we could have spent with the dogs
  • We cannot adopt to anyone who does not have secure outdoor garden space.

Household members and pets:

  • Everyone in the home must be in agreement about adopting a dog.
  • ALL household members, and other dogs in your home must attend the initial viewing with the dog to make sure they all get along. There are no exceptions. If you have visiting dogs to your home, we may request they also come to a viewing appointment.
  • All existing dogs in the home must be neutered (spayed or castrated) in line with our responsible dog ownership policies. If there is a medical reason they cannot be neutered then please provide a letter from your vet along with your application.
  • We only adopt opposite sex dogs. If you already have a dog, we will match you with a dog of the opposite sex e.g. if you have a male dog already, we will look to match you with a female dog. Dogs of the same sex are more likely to fight and experience problems living together. If you have a male and a female dog already then unfortunately we will not be able to adopt a dog to you.
  • Due to the time-consuming nature of puppies and rescue dogs we are not able to re-home to people who already have a dog under 1 year old.
  • Rescue dogs often come from an unknown background therefore we struggle to find homes for dogs with children under the age of 10. Please do not apply if you have a child under 10 living in the property or regularly staying over. Any applications sent with children under 10 will not be processed this also includes people who are expecting a child in the very near future.


  • The dog must not be left alone in the home for longer than 5 hours or overnight, other arrangements must be made with professional services such as a dog walker or pet sitter.
  • Due to the uncertain and unknown backgrounds of our rescue dogs we cannot guarantee that they will be suitable to take to the workplace. We ask adopters that work full time to look for professional support if the dog will be left for longer than 5hrs.

You are about to commit to 10-15 years with your chosen dog. You need to have thought about how having a dog will change your lifestyle. Your dog will affect holidays, days out, social plans and much much more. You must be willing to make this commitment.

We take in a lot of mixed breed dogs who come in all shapes and sizes. It can be difficult therefore to categorise them based on weight alone as a dog could be really tall and light, or really short and heavy. We categorise dogs based on approximate size. Here is an example of how we would categorise our dogs:

Miniature: Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier

Small: Jack Russell, Shih tzu, Westie

Medium: Spaniels, Border Collie

Large: Labrador, German Shepherd, Weimaraner

Giant: Great Dane, Newfoundland, St. Bernard

The Adoption Process

Before completeing an application form it is important that you read each section to ensure you meet our requirements.

1) Complete and send our Adoption Application Form with garden photos showing your full garden boundary - please only submit this if you are wanting to adopt a dog immediately. If you want to adopt in future please complete the form a minimum of 2 weeks before you want to adopt. We cannot hold applications for people who want to adopt in the future. If you simply have an enquiry, please use the contact form, click here

2) You will attach photos of your garden to the application form. They must show the full boundary fence/hedge on all sides which must be solid, 6ft tall and have a 6ft tall padlocked gate. For fences/gates which are slightly too short, trellis can be added to the top to increase the height and keep costs down. Unfortunately we cannot consider applications until the fencing is 6ft in height so please make any amendments to your garden fencing before you apply.

3) Receive a call back or email from one of the team to discuss your application, requirements  (Please check your junk mailbox as often our 1st email we send goes into here). We try to call potential adopters back within a week, but as we only have a small team who deal with applications this process may take a little longer if we are experiencing a high volume of applications.

If we call, email or text and you do not get back to us within 7 days we will close your application. Unfortunately this does happen regularly and takes up large amounts of time for our staff. We are unable to continuously try to contact people who do not return our calls/emails.

4) Proof of photo identification and address identification will need to be provided for all members of the household living at the address who are over the age of 16 years. This can be a drivers licence showing both name and address, or other forms of official photo identification such as a passport or work ID card and address identification such as a letter from an official source (bank, government office, tenancy agreement etc.) Scans or high quality photos of these must be sent to [email protected] before any viewings with dogs can take place.

5) You will have a viewing at the centre with all of the adoptive family present. This will take place outside in our field and you should wear appropriate clothing as we cannot move indoor if the weather is bad. You will be required to socially distance from our staff member and follow their instructions at all times regarding moving around the rescue center site. You must bring your own treats with you for the dog (cut up pieces of cheese or meat, the side of your little fingernail or smaller if you can manage it). You will be able to see the dog and discuss their personality and temperament with a member of staff before deciding if you would like to adopt the dog. There are no bathrooms available for use at the centre.

6) If you decide that you would like to adopt the dog then you will be sent the reservation paperwork electronically. This must be signed and returned to us by the end of the viewing day along with a bank transfer of £100 (non-refundable and non-transferrable) to reserve the dog. The dog will remain at the rescue centre with our staff member while you make preparations for them to live with you permanently. 

7) You will have 48 hours from signing the reservation paperwork to arrange everything you need for the dog such as food, beds, collar, ID tag, insurance etc. We will provide you with a helpful list so you don't forget anything. You understand that if you decide not to adopt the dog at any time during the adoption process all monies paid to Oakwood Dog Rescue are lost as fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable in any circumstances.

8) A virtual Homecheck will take place using a video call. This is usually performed using Facebook messenger and will mean you can show us around your home so we can check the boundary of the garden is secure at 6ft with a lockable gate. If there are any problems with your garden you will lose your reservation fee and the dog will be offered to someone else on the waiting list so please ensure your garden meets our adoption requirements. 

9) The adoption paperwork will be sent to you electronically to sign and you must return the completed adoption paperwork to us, along with proof of insurance and the remaining balance of the adoption donation via bank transfer prior to the dog being brought back to your home.If you do not complete the adoption within 48hrs of reserving the dog then the dog will no longer be reserved you and you will forfeit your reservation fees. 

10) We will arrange a further socially distanced meeting in our outdoor space at the centre at an agreed time so you can collect your adoptive dog. We will also provide you with your rehoming pack and any other documents belonging to your adopted dog. 

11) Due to the current pandemic we are unable to offer our usual period of free training at the centre therefore all training will be the adopters sole responsibility. We will however provide you with some materials to help you get started in training your dog at home, and we will still provide you with our usual aftercare help and advice so you can contact us with any problems you may be experiencing.

It is incredibly important to keep your family, our staff members, and our dogs safe during this pandemic therefore you agree to inform us immediately if any members of your household are:

  • Caring for, or have had direct contact with, someone who has Covid-19 (coronavirus) or Covid-19 symptoms
  • Displaying Covid-19 (coronavirus) symptoms or is recovering from Covid-19
  • Sick or unwell for any other reason


We reserve the right to cancel any and all appointments if you or your household are unwell or do anything to put our staff members at risk.

Due to the nature of our dogs some dogs are not able to travel long distances in a car. Subject to dog assessment we are able to consider homes further afield, however this is will depend on the dog. If we do not have a suitable match we will place you onto our waiting list.

We ask all of our applicants and any guests 16 years+ that accompany them to the viewing to bring photo and address ID. If you do not bring this to your viewing we will not be able to proceed.

For examples of ID, click here

Adoption requirements

These must be read before applying.

Adoption application form

Before completing this form, please make sure you have read and agreed to our Adoption Requirements.


Want to hear about others experiences of adopting from Oakwood?

Happily ever after...

Check out who has been adopted!