Information for adopters

Thank you for taking the time to consider whether or not the adoption of a Budadog would be suitable for you. It is a decision which should not be taken lightly and this is why we ask you to take the time to read the below information about our project.

A dog that has been rescued is given a second chance, quite literally. To adopt a homeless dog is an act of extreme kindness and generosity. That said, however noble and kind it is to adopt a homeless dog one must always bear in mind the aspect of the dog which is unknown! Many of our dogs have suffered neglect and in some cases mental and/or physical abuse of which we will never know and can only make an educated guess. In some cases the level of trauma is evident in the animals behavior, in others it is less obvious. However obvious it is, the fact that the dog might have suffered trauma should never be forgotten.  This is why our motto is that

 "An unwanted dogs life cannot be saved by love or good intentions alone. Nor is it saved on the day it is rescued. The dog must be salvaged every day of its new life through the guidance, understanding and communication from its owner."

When considering adopting a dog with an unknown past you must think closely about wether you have the time and resources necessary to offer the dog a stable, safe and knowledgable environment for the rest of its life.
At budadogs we are not under the disillusioned impression that all dogs can be saved. A lot of dogs have suffered so much in their lives and cannot be brought back to society without serious scars on their souls.  However the magnitude of dogs left at shelters and kennels in Hungary is enormous and a large quantity of these dogs are adoptable. Our intentions are to offer a second chance to those dogs.
I would also like to mention here that not all the dogs have suffered. Many dogs are left at the pound due to owner death, illness and in many cases the owner cannot afford veterinary bills. What is important to realize is that in most cases we simply do not know what has happened in the dogs life prior to rescue.

How do we choose a Budadog?

Our first encounter with the dog is generally a photograph, a date and a couple of sentences about the dogs demeanor at the Budapest city pounds database. This give us very little information, but we can scrape together a general idea of the dogs exterior, some idea of the state of physical neglect and approximate size. The date gives us an idea of how long the dog has been at the city pound and wether or not it is in danger of euthanasia.  We also take into consideration the dogs attitude to the camera and bodylanguage. The fear generated by kenneling at such an institution and any pain the dog might be experiencing usually factors in so again, the information is very general.

Upon arrival at the city pound we ask for the dog to be removed from the kennels. At this point we look closer at the dogs attitude to us,  aproachability and general conduct, expression and form. We also see the dogs attitude to another dog. Again, the noisy kennel environment and high stress levels present are factored into our evaluation. If we believe the dog to be appropriate we remove it from the pound.

Upon leaving the dog is micro-chiped and rabies vaccinated. Upon arrival it will have received combined vaccination and de-worming.
After taking the dog from the pound we generally place it in a private kenneling facility where we pay a daily fee. Here the dogs are kept in large kennels on straw with houses and heating in winter. Ordinarily the dog is kept here for anywhere between 2 days and 2 weeks while we go about finding it a suitable fosterhome. Sometimes they go directly into fostering.

Budadogs fostering program.

Our fostering program is crucial to the Budadogs Project which would not be possible without the great help, time and effort from our volunteers. The fact that people are willing to foster allows us the opportunity to help the dogs in this way.
Our fosterparents are mostly students who take the dogs into their home until they are adopted. Mainly they are students of the international Veterinary Medicine program at Szent Istvan University in Budapest, but we also have volunteers from the general medicine program at Semmelweis and other schools in the area. The fostering period is usuall between 2-5 months, depending on the animals vaccination record. (There must be a 120 day lapse of time between the last rabies shot and the blood titre test for rabies antibodies).

Once in fostering we start to build up the dogs physical health record. The dog is bloodtested and treated for any other health problems it might have, spanning from broken limbs to borrelia, which is treated with antibiotics.  We routine-test our dogs for Borrelia(Lyme disease), Babesia and Dirofilaria/Microfilaria.
Once in fostering the dog also starts to show us its personality and how it functions in society. We build up an understanding of the dogs disposition and temperament which allows us to make an informed decision as to whether the dog as a) adoptable and b) to whom it is suitable for adoption.

 The fostering process is what gives us an insight into the dogs demeanor and how it will function in society. That said, the time of fostering is limited and there are never any guarantees for how the dog will function in its final enviroment. We realize the limitations to the process. This is why we stress that one should never “forget” that a dog has lived a life previous to rescue which might affect the dogs behaviour patterns and it may have scars which might never completely heal. A new owner should be aware of this prior to adoption.


Worst case scenario  - What happens if the dog does not adapt?

When giving a dog a second chance at life it is important to be realistic. We can have all the good intentions in the world and our work can be so wholesome, so focused and so correct but the dog might still be too affected by previous life experiences to manage the adaptation and functioning in society required of him/her. In this case it is important to be honest with oneself and the dog. There is only so much one can do and the dogs quality of life must be taken into consideration. In such a case it is better to let the dog die than to prolong its misery. In such a case the dog is simply “broken”, and no matter how much you might want to you cannot help it. A dog might also have functioned well in fostering but might not adapt to its new home environment. This is a chance on must be willing to take.

How do you adopt a dog?

If you have come to the point where you decide that you are capable and resourceful enough to offer a new life and home to one of Budapest`s unwanted souls then the procedure starts.
Upon contacting us you will receive an information letter with a questionnaire that should be filled out and returned to us. The information we are seeking is your living situation, previous experience with dogs, household routines etc. In this way we can help find a dog suitable to your home and lifestyle.
Some of our dogs have been advertised, in which case we make a decision together with the dogs foster-parent as to who would be the most suitable adopter.
After deciding on a dog you pay a deposit (total rehoming fee is 4500 NOK) and the dog is kept in fostering until it is ready to travel. During this time we will update you with information and photographs of the dog. The rehoming fee goes towards covering the dogs costs while in fostering and also costs related to transport (vaccinations, bloodtests, passport, flight etc).

When the time is close to travel we start the preparations. One of our representatives will fly the dog to Oslo and arrangements are made to meet you at a suitable time and place. Sometimes the timing is not optimal in which case we have temporary fosterhomes in Norway who can look after the dog until you are able to collect it.
I hope this gives you a clear insight into our project. If you have any questions or would like further information please email us at budadogs@gmail.com or use the contact sheet.

Anouska G. Andenæs