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A Day in the Life of a Rehomer at Border Collie Trust

Ever wondered what a rehomer does in their average day?  Aaron of Border Collie Trust in Staffordshire, tells us.

Hi everyone.

My name is Aaron and I’ve been working here at BCT for just over five years. I started with weekend work whilst completing my college course in Animal Care and Management and once I had finished in 2010 was offered more hours. Within six months I was trained as a Rehomer which enabled me to balance out the heartbreaking cases you see come in with having a hand in helping them meet the public and watching them head off to their new homes. This is the most rewarding part about working with rescued dogs. I hope this brief rundown of my routine will give you a small insight into an average day at the kennels.


8:20 – I arrive at the kennels ready to start the day, giving myself 10 minutes to catch up on yesterday’s goings on and switch on all the computers.

8:30 –I then find out where I am working this morning as we have three kennel blocks. The main rescue block which houses up to 40 dogs, the special needs or puppy block which houses seven dogs and we also have a boarding block of 14 kennels. This supports the work we do as a rescue kennels and provides much needed income.

8:40 – After making sure the dogs have been given their breakfast I and the team then begin to take the dogs that are clean overnight for a short walk so they can go to the toilet.

9.00 – After the last dog has been taken out, we then fill the buckets ready to start scrubbing out the kennels.

9.10 – Rachel (kennel manager) then comes through to tell me we have six new arrivals who have been transported to us from Ireland – she needs help unloading them off the van. So I temporarily put down the cleaning equipment and go to meet the new residents.

9:20 – After we have unloaded them and taken them for a short walk so they can stretch their legs and have a wee, we settle them into the kennels just in time for a late breakfast.

9:25 – I finish just in time to help check in a new boarding customer; we head over to make sure his owners have signed the correct forms and are happy with his feeding and walking arrangements. The owner then informs me that her dog is on medication so she is then asked to fill out a medication sheet whilst I write up a quick timetable so not only myself but the other staff are all aware of his medication and when he needs to be given it.

9:30 – I head back over to rescue to continue cleaning duties.

9:50 – My block is clean including drains and the aisle. I’ve put away all my equipment and tidied up and now have 10 minutes spare to go and have a cuddle with our new residents.

10:00 –I greet our volunteers who have popped in for the morning to take out some dogs. We are very lucky to have a handful of volunteers who pop down once or twice a week regularly to walk the dogs and give them that extra little bit of love and attention. After a quick catch up and introducing them to some dogs they can take out, it’s time for tea break.

10.10 – Time for a “Brew and a Biscuit” or two.

10:25 – Rachel and I then begin to assess the new arrivals. This is important so we can determine which dogs are suitable for which homes. We begin by bringing them out individually and weighing and micro-chipping them all. We then do what I call “top to tail check” so it’s a health assessment beginning with their eyes, ears and teeth, followed by coat, paws and then just a check to make sure all their limbs are in good order. This enables us to see how comfortable they are being handled which is massively important to rehoming them later. We then see if they will interact using treats and toys, also how they interact with our resident cats that live on site. This again is important to the homing process because these are the things some people look for when they want to adopt a new dog. Upon taking them back through to their kennels we worm each new arrival and put new collars on them.

11.25 – Whilst assessing all the dogs we have written down each detail on an “initial assessment” sheet which is then later recorded on to a database on the computer, giving each dog a folder of information.

11:30 – In order for the dogs to then go on our website they all need photographic identification. It is my job to take them out individually and try to get a photo of each dog that shows off their best qualities, which is far more difficult than it sounds. Collies do not love to sit still.

Tarn (1746 x 2075)

12:00 – The photos have all been taken and it’s now time to upload/transfer them on to the computer.

12:10 – I then go over to boarding to help the team take out the remainder of the boarding dogs on their afternoon walk and sort out any washing.

12:30 – Lunchtime has arrived and it’s time to go and take my own dogs out and grab a bite to eat.

1:50 – I arrive back at the kennels just in time to say goodbye to one of our residents who is about to leave with his new owner.

2:00 – Time to start up again; all the dogs in our care now go out for their afternoon walk. All the dogs are given a weekly health check and this can often be done at the same time

3:00 – I’m just heading inside with one of the last dogs and notice some customers coming down the drive. When I come through I recognise them straight away. They reserved a dog last week and are coming to collect her today. I then invite them to take a seat and start to run through all the dog’s paperwork. We then talk about the dog’s routine and things to expect for the first couple of days and give them advice on how to handle certain situations if they happen to occur in the home. After all the information has been given to them, there are just a few routine forms to fill out and sign. Then before I know it I’m saying goodbye to yet another one of our residents. Perhaps one of the most emotional but rewarding parts of the day.

4:00 – It’s time to feed all the dogs, administer any medication to those who may require it and take them on a last walk.

5:30 – As the end of the day approaches I sort through any paperwork that has been generated and cash up, finishing all the information the office require to complete their tasks.

6:00 – Home time, and my own dogs to walk of course.

Aaron Wootton-Smith

If you would like to help Border Collie Trust GB, either by rehoming a dog, sponsoring a dog or just donating, then please go to their website at Border Collie Trust.

May 23, 2014 This post was written by Categories: Dog Advice Tagged with:
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