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Animal Adoption FAQs

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How much does it cost to adopt an animal?

Dog Adoption Fee: £125

Cat Adoption Fee: £75

We also require all our young dogs and puppies to attend training classes with their new owners. You will be asked to register and pay for a course of lessons with your local animal trainer before taking your new animal home. A receipt from the trainer will be required.

Once the adoption fee is paid, the animal will be put ‘on reserve’ for you, ensuring no one else can view or adopt them while they are still in our care.

The adoption fee includes neutering, microchipping, first vaccination, flea and worm treatment, full vet check and behaviour assessment and a starter pack of food.

Whilst our fees may seem substantial, they only go a small way to covering our costs. The Mayhew is a charity solely funded by the generosity of the general public and on average spends £1000 on each animal that comes in for rehoming. This cost covers veterinary treatment and care, food and accommodation while the animal is with us. Some animals are very lucky and are only with us for a short time, whilst others stay in our care for many months whilst they are recovering, before going up for adoption.

Do I get to meet all the animals at the Mayhew when I visit?

Potential adopters will be able to meet individual animals which are judged to be suitable for their particular circumstances by an adoption officer.

We will not reserve an animal unless we feel it is the right match for your circumstances. If you are interested in an animal which is already reserved you can keep an eye on our website in the event the animal becomes available for adoption again.

Can I take the animal home with me on the first day that I visit?

No. Before you can take the animal home, we will need to carry out a home visit and the animal will need to have a final veterinary heath check.

If you choose an animal that you would like to adopt and which we agree is a suitable match, we will reserve the animal for you. Payment is also taken at this time.

Do I need to visit The Mayhew before I can reserve a cat or dog?

Yes. We will only place a cat or dog on reserve once we have met and discussed the animal with you in person at The Mayhew. If a cat or dog is in a foster home we will place the animal on hold after a successful interview, until you are able to visit him/her in their foster home.

Why do I have to visit The Mayhew?

It is very important to discuss your interest with our Adoption Officer and then meet suitable animals at The Mayhew.

Due to the large number of abandoned and stray animals we deal with on a daily basis we are unable to discuss individual animals by phone or e-mail with every potential adopter, as we are a charity with limited resources.

If you are seriously interested in adopting one of our animals, please visit The Mayhew as soon as you are able during our opening hours.

Will all the animals up for adoption online be available to meet on the day?

Usually yes, however occasionally new animals may have come in that aren’t online yet, or animals have been reserved and not yet taken offline. This is especially the case during busy periods, weekends and Bank Holidays.

Also, some of our animals can be in a foster home rather than residing at The Mayhew itself. If this is the case, you will be given the foster carer’s details and can then arrange a meeting once you have discussed the animal with the Mayhew Adoption Officer. Depending on the foster carer’s availability this may mean visiting the animal on a different day, either at The Mayhew or at the foster home. If the animal is on foster the details will usually be written on the individual animals’ web page.

Do you adopt to families with small children?

We are happy to rehome our animals with young children providing the animal has been assessed as suitable to live with young children and that the parent(s) are happy to teach the children how to respect and treat animals. Children will also need to visit The Mayhew to meet the animal before adoption. Details will be written on the individual animal’s webpage.

I work full/part-time will this affect my chances of adopting?

We are happy to rehome our animals to people who work part-time and full-time providing the animal has been assessed as suitable to be left alone for longer periods. Details will be written on the individual animal’s web page.

The maximum time we advise for one of our dogs to be left alone without a break on a regular basis is 4-5 hours. Cats can be left alone for longer if their assessment shows this to be possible. Think about this carefully as this adoption decision could affect the next 10+ years of your life.

Potential adopters who work full-time will either need to; introduce us to the person willing to care for the animal during the day; provide us with proof of a professional animal walker or a letter of permission from your work place manager if your plan is to return home during your lunch break.

Potential adopters who work full-time will not be suitable to adopt single or pairs of kittens under 6 months. If you work full time, you must have a cat flap or get one fitted before we do a follow up visit.

Do you adopt to people living in a flat or who have no garden/outside access?

We are happy to rehome dogs to committed people regardless of whether they have a garden or not, or if they live in a flat. If an individual dog needs to live in a house or ground floor flat with a garden, details will be written on the individual dogs’s web page.

We occasionally have cats which need to be kept indoors and are happy for these to be rehomed to people who live in accommodation with no garden/outside access. These may be elderly cats or cats with health problems. We would not adopt a young cat or kitten without direct access outdoors as we believe they should be given the opportunity to explore and be independent.

Do you adopt to people outside London?

We are happy to rehome our animals anywhere in the UK providing potential adopters are able to carry out a minimum of two trips to The Mayhew in London, however, please note your home visit may take longer to arrange.

Why do I need a home visit?

Our home visits are extremely important as we need to ensure that all potential owners and their environment is conducive to a happy life for our animals. It is also a second opportunity for you to ask for advice and information on caring for your new pet.

Do you adopt to families with another animal?

We are happy to rehome suitable animals to people who already own animals that are comfortable living with other pets, but they would need to meet before we agree to the adoption. If you have a dog, please bring it to The Mayhew when you come in to meet us.

We cat test all of our dogs so if one of our animals is suitable to live with cats this will be written on the individual animal’s web page.

If you already have a pet which has not yet been neutered this will need to be done before reserving a Mayhew animal. If your pet has not been neutered due to health issues you would need to provide a confirmation letter from your vet.

Do we have to have our other pet animals neutered before we adopt?

Yes if you already have a pet which has not yet been neutered this will need to be done before reserving a Mayhew animal. If your pet has not been neutered due to health issues you would need to provide a confirmation letter from your vet.

Do you adopt to people living in rented accommodation?

You will need to provide us with either proof that you own the home you live in, or provide us with a permission letter from your landlord, council or housing trust.

If you live in rented accommodation, the adoption process will be vastly speeded up if you can bring an approval letter when you first visit The Mayhew to view the animals.

Are there any age restrictions for adopting an animal?

You need to be over 18 years of age to adopt an animal from The Mayhew.

If there is an increased chance your pet might outlive you, we will ask to meet the person who would take them on.

Can I adopt an animal and keep it outside?

We expect our dogs and cats to be treated as part of the family and therefore have full use of the home as well as the ability to go outside. At no point should the animal be intentionally left outside.

We do not rehome dogs as guard dogs.

How much time will I get with my potential pet?

There is no limit on the time you can spend getting acquainted with suitable animals before you reserve and we encourage you to spend as much time with them as possible.

Before adoption, you will be encouraged to take dogs out for long walks, and spend time with them in their cabin or take them home on day trips.

Before taking your new cat home, you will be encouraged to spend time in their cabin, get to know them and bring in blankets and toys to get acquainted with the smells of their new home.

Will my potential animal have any health or behavioural problems?

All of our animals are fully health checked and temperament tested. We are always completely honest with adopters and will make it very clear to you if the animal you are interested in has any health or behavioural problems. There are, however, no long-term guarantees. Any animal can develop a health or behavioural problem at any point in their life.

We are here to offer guidance throughout the animal’s life however if you adopt an animal from The Mayhew you will be required to register them with your own local vet and seek direct help from a professional behaviourist if needed at any point. Veterinary and behaviourist fees can be expensive, so for this reason we strongly recommend pet insurance.

What if I can't cope with my new arrival?

It is normal to have some anxiety in the early stages of your adoption. Please call us on 020 8962 8000 to discuss any issues you may be experiencing and we will do our best to help and support you.

Due to our rigorous adoption procedures and advice given we rarely need to take animals back into The Mayhew but in exceptional circumstances we will take in any animals which you can no longer care for.