Animal Rescue in Swindon
Our guide to what you can do to provide a refuge for an animal that would otherwise have nowhere to go
There are few things in life more rewarding than owning a pet – but helping to find a home for a homeless animal is one of them!
Many people’s first thought when looking for a pet is to consult the small ads or contact a professional breeder. But there are always lots of animals in need of re-homing that will fit the bill just as well. And the satisfaction of knowing that you have given a fresh start to an animal which, through no fault of its own, found itself with nowhere to live, is a great bonus for many animal lovers.
Do not assume that all would-be pets looking for a new home are ‘problem animals’. Some do require re-homing because they have been abandoned or mistreated, and therefore need some TLC and special attention to return them to full health and help them over their trauma, but others are simply the victims of circumstance.
Cats, for instance, can suddenly find themselves with nowhere to go because of the death of their elderly owner. Many animals become homeless because their owners realise they are no longer able to give their pet the quality of life they deserve, and part with them only after a great deal of hearthache.
The bad news is there are always thousands of animals in need of re-homing at any one time, but the good news is there are lots of charities and other animal-loving groups who dedicate their time and energy to finding new homes for pets. And, as you will see if you visit the websites of these organisations, they often have plenty of success stories to tell about animals that have been adopted and are enjoying a new lease of life.
Below are details of some of the organisations which are working to re-home animals in Swindon, Wiltshire and the south-west.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
The RSPCA’s website features named and pictured animals available for adoption – some of 70,000 animals they find homes for every year. Would-be adopters can search the site by entering their postcode, but you can also visit rescue centres and meet animals looking for homes through the:
North Wiltshire branch
This Swindon-based charity was founded by a married couple and is dedicated to the welfare of west highland white terriers and finding good homes for unwanted ones.
The website features some of the dozens of ‘westies’ that have been re-homed, and includes lots of information for future adopters.
Labrador Rescue Trust
This trust is based in Bridgwater, but is concerned with re-homing labradors across the south-west, including Swindon (where the contact is Christine Warman, phone 01793 497346). Over the years the trust has helped no less than 8,000 dogs – all of which are placed after a home check. They will not allow dogs to go to homes where they are left for more than four hours a day.
Teckels Animal Sanctuaries
Swindon Borough Council has a Dog Warden Service which collects stray dogs and tries to reunite them with their owners. Where this is not possible, they try to re-home the dog instead.
The availability of dogs varies, so contact Alison Waine or Glyn Eamus on 01793 466080 or email@example.com for the latest information on dogs that need a new home.
DogsBlog is a website that is dedicated to re-homing dogs nationwide and works on the principle that “the ‘right’ dog is not necessarily the nearest dog”. It has so far re-homed 14,000 dogs and lists around 2,500 others that are looking for adoption now.
National Great Dane Rescue
Based in Calne, this long-established charity has its origins in the 1960s and has re-homed thousands of dogs over the years. They do not release any dogs for adoption until the dog has been thoroughly assessed and would-be owners have undergone a home check.
Retired Greyhound Trust
Greyhound and Lurcher Welfare Rescue
Phone Gaby or Colin on 01793 322602
This organisation is dedicated to the welfare, rescue and re-homing of dogs across the south of England, and has a regional office in Wroughton. As is the usually the case with these two breeds, most of the animals they rescue are ex-racing dogs that are no longer wanted. Some have been well-treated, others not.
Rottie Rehab is a small rescue centre in Chippenham that is concerned only with rottweillers – “this beautiful but misunderstood” breed which are happy, loyal and intelligent. Their website has a list of named and pictured dogs for adoption, and they charge a minimum fee of £150 to cover neutering, vaccinating and microchipping, plus flea and worm treatments.
Wiltshire Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue
01264 852 616
Swindon and District Animal Haven
This is a family-run refuge for various animals on a farm at Wootton Bassett. They take in dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and non-domestic animals, such as poultry, including rescued battery chickens. Visitors looking to adopt a pet are always welcome.
Blue Cross is a national charity that finds homes for cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits and horses. Their website offers the chance to re-home pets according to location, and you can also visit its adoption centres – the nearest to Swindon being at Burford and Lacock. All animals handled by Blue Cross are given what they call “a full MOT” before they are released for re-homing.
CottonTails Rescue is a Westbury-based charity which finds new homes for rabbits and guinea pigs. Their website features named and pictured animals that are ready for adoption. Rabbits are re-homed as compatible pairs, although they also re-home single animals “for match-ups with your lonely bunny, if required”.
Wessex Ferret Club
Ferrets make surprisingly good pets as – despite their reputation - they are not wild animals. Indeed, they are covered by the Pet Animals Act. They are happy and playful and appreciate handling as they get older. As carnivores, they require a high-protein, high-fat diet, and they need to be allowed out of their cage for at least an hour and a half a day, during which they require supervision. The Wessex Ferret Club is based in Dorset but finds homes for ferrets in Wiltshire and across the south of England.
Thames Valley Boxer Rescue
UK Animal Rescuers
This national website features links for all kinds of groups involved in rescuing and re-homing a wide range of different animals. It has comprehensive information – for example on centres which organise the adoption of specific dog breeds.
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