Rehoming a pet

Is there a fee to rehome a pet from NAWT?

Yes, we charge a rehoming fee to help towards the cost of the animal’s care during their stay with us. However, in return for your rehoming fee you receive a loyal companion who has been fully vet-checked, wormed, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and has free insurance for their first 4 weeks in your care. You will also receive ongoing support and advice from the animal care team at the centre, should you need it. We believe that all of these factors combined offer great value for money in return for the modest fees we have to charge. Prices vary between species from £30 for a Guinea Pig, £65 for a rabbit, £120 for a cat and £250 for a dog. Rehoming fees for birds and field animals can vary and these can be discussed with the relevant Centre Manager.

I have a young child and would like to introduce a pet to my home, but some of your animals can't be rehomed with children under a certain age. Why is this?

There are various reasons why some animals may not be suitable to live with younger children, which will include a behaviour seen in their last home or whilst going through the assessment process at our centre. The safety of you, your family and the animal are our top priority so we do everything we can to find a perfect match for every family looking to rehome a pet. This can sometimes mean the process may take longer than people initially hope, but eventually we hope to send every family home with the perfect companion to suit their lifestyle and home environment.

I've seen an animal on your website that I'd like to rehome. What should I do next?

We ask you to complete a homefinder from through the website. Once this has been completed it will automatically be sent to the centre where the animal is staying. If the pet is a good match for you and still available, a member of the rehoming team will get in contact with you asap. The team will give you lots more detail about the animal you are interested in and discuss what you’re looking for in a pet. Following this initial conversation, if the pet is a good match then you can arrange an appointment to come along and meet the animal in person and discuss the next steps in the homing process.

What happens after I have reserved an animal?

After you’ve reserved the animal you would like to rehome, you may be asked to return to the centre to visit them and spend some time getting to know them. You may also be asked to bring other members of your family or household along to meet the animal to ensure everyone gets along. If you are rehoming a dog then you will also be asked to bring along any other dogs in the household to see how they get on in an introduction at the centre.

Is there an age limit for people NAWT will rehome to?

Absolutely not. NAWT provide a tailor-made rehoming service, so no matter the age of the new owner, we always do what we can to make sure we find a match for everyone looking to rehome from us.

After I take my new pet home, will I receive any ongoing support?

Absolutely! We never stop caring. We are always eager to hear how our previous residents are getting on in their new homes, and we expect that many new owners may think of questions further down the line, which they didn’t think to ask within the rehoming process. So please call us, it’s what we’re here for! Whatever question or problem you may have, you can almost guarantee that we’ve heard it before so you’re not alone and we want to help. We can even assist you with further training if you have rehomed a dog who you think would benefit from some more reward-based training outside of the centre. Please ask us, and we will do all we can to help you.

What if i change my mind?

Sometimes, for many different reasons, rehoming a new pet simply doesn’t work out. We will always accept an animal back into our care and we ask that you come to us first if you make the tough decision to return an animal. They will be welcomed back into our care with lots of familiar faces that will help to settle them back in.

Giving up my pet

Can I receive updates on how my pet is getting on after I hand them over?

You are more than welcome to contact the centre to find out how your pet has settled in. However, due to limited resources, we are unable to provide written or photographic updates when the animal has been rehomed.

Can you offer me any support after I hand over my pet?

Yes. NAWT are the first animal rescue in the UK to have staff complete the ALLY® People and Pet loss accredited training course, and we are registered as ALLY® Supporters. Working together to form a network of support across all our centres, trained staff help owners prepare, manage and adjust to the loss of their animal.
If you would like access to our ALLY Support service, please email or find out more about the service here.

How do I start the process to relinquish my pet?

The first thing to do is to call your local centre for advice. Our friendly team are impartial and will be happy to talk you through the process. They will need to ask you a selection of questions about your pet, in order to give them the best chance of finding a home that suits all of their needs. Our centres may have waiting lists so they might not be able to accept your pet immediately, but they will do their best to work with you to ensure a smooth process for both you and your pet. If you are relinquishing a dog then the team will need to carry out an initial assessment on the dog, which can take up to 20 minutes. The team will advise you if the pet can be admitted to the centre for homing, join our home direct scheme or, in some circumstances, discuss alternative options if we are unable to help rehome your pet.

Is there a fee to give up a pet to NAWT?

We understand that the decision to give up a beloved pet is an incredibly tough one, and there are varying circumstances that might lead to someone making this decision. Therefore, we don’t charge a set fee to anyone who needs us to offer their pet an opportunity to be rehomed. All we do ask is that you make a donation, if you are able to, which will go towards the animal’s future care costs during their time with us.

My pet has medical issues. Will you still take them?

We treat each animal as an individual case and always strive to do whatever is best for him or her. If your pet has a chance of living a happy life with the correct medical treatment, and if we’re able to provide that treatment, then we will still consider offering them a place in our care. It’s important that you give the centre team as much information on your pets medical history as possible, so that they are able to provide appropriate care.

What if I change my mind after I relinquish my pet?

Once you sign your pet over to us and complete the necessary paperwork, we take legal ownership of the animal. If we then go on to rehome that animal to a new owner, they then become the legal owner of the animal. Once the animal has been rehomed to a new owner, we are unable to return them to you should you change your mind. We take each situation like this on a case by case basis, so If the animal is still in our care and available, and a change in your initial circumstances means you may be in a situation to take your animal back, then this is something you would need to discuss with the Centre Manager as we will always make our decisions based on what we feel is best for the individual pet.

What will happen when I arrive at the centre to handover my pet?

Once we have taken your pets details and have a space in the centre to offer them, someone will call you to arrange an appointment for you to come in and hand your pet over. Many people can find the visit to the centre a nerve-racking and upsetting experience, and we completely understand. This is why each of our centres strive to provide a safe environment, free from judgement, where an owner can say goodbye to their beloved pet in their own time. When you’re ready, there will be a small amount of paperwork to complete to pass over ownership of your pet to NAWT, and then someone from our animal care team will show them to their rehoming unit within the centre.

Volunteering at NAWT

Do I have to give a certain amount of time each week?

Whether you want to donate one shift per week, offer a full day or simply as and when you can fit it in, there will be a role for you!

Some of our roles will require a four hour shift, but there will be others which will offer different time frames. We have a range of different roles at our centres and shops throughout the week, including weekends, to ensure there is something for everyone!

Do you offer Work Experience?

Yes, we occasionally have work experience opportunities available at both our rehoming centres and our charity shops. Please contact your local centre or local charity shop for more information.

I am a refugee, can I volunteer?

Yes, so long as you have refugee status.

I am an asylum seeker, can I volunteer?

Yes, if you are applying for asylum, you can volunteer.

I am currently receiving Job Seekers Allowance, will volunteering affect my payments?

You might be volunteering to increase your skills and confidence in order to move into paid employment. You can therefore carry on claiming Job Seekers Allowance whilst you volunteer so long as you are applying for jobs. Obviously we will be supportive of this and will be flexible around your timings.

I can’t see any roles available, can I still apply?

Unfortunately you can't. Our volunteer availability is updated regularly so if you can’t immediately see anything which appeals to you, then please check back in few days time when the current roles will have been updated.

I have a criminal record. Can I still volunteer?

Having a criminal record with spent or unspent convictions, doesn’t necessarily preclude you from volunteering. The Centre Manager or Shop Manager will talk to you about this and it will be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Is there a probation period?

Your induction will last for approximately six shifts. During that time we will ensure we give you all the skills you will need to safely and competently carry out your role and pass your probation. If we feel you need a bit more time, that’s fine. We will work with you until you are comfortable in what you are doing.

Is there an age limit?

We have a minimum age requirement of 16 in our centres and shops. There is no upper age limit so long as you are fit and healthy.

What if I don’t like my role. Can I change it?

Yes of course. We want you to have a really enjoyable time when you are with us so if you are doing something you realise is not for you, then we would look to see what else you might like to do instead to ensure your volunteering works well for both of us.

What skills and experience do I need?

For the majority of our roles, you don’t need any previous skills or experience as we will give you the training you need.

What we are more interested in is a willingness to get involved and either a love of animals and/or retail, depending on where you want to volunteer.

If we do need any specific skill set, we will list this on the role profile.

Will I get Training?

Yes. All roles will require some form of training. If you are in a shop you will receive different training than if you were with our animals. Rest assured we will give you training, including an induction, to help settle you into your role.

Leaving a gift in your Will

Can I leave NAWT a specific sum of money?

Yes you can. A specific sum (or pecuniary legacy) is the simplest form of legacy. You can also protect the value of your gift by directly linking it to the cost of living, so that it doesn't reduce over time.

Can I leave NAWT specific items?

Again these gifts are very welcome. You can leave the National Animal Welfare Trust items such as property, antiques, jewellery and stocks and shares.

Can I remember a specific branch or adoption centre?

Yes. However, we advise you only express a wish for your legacy to go to a particular branch or adoption centre. By expressing a wish, the charity Trustees will have the discretion to apply the legacy to our general funds if the one you have named has since closed or changed its name, allowing us to maximize your gift and help as many animals as possible.

Can I save tax on my estate by leaving a legacy to charity?

Yes. Gifts made to charities are exempt from inheritance tax, which may reduce the tax your executors would have to pay.

Can Scottish law affect my legacy to the National Animal Welfare Trust?

Yes, Scottish laws relating to Wills do differ in some areas and we would strongly advise you to speak to your solicitor who will be able to advise you and ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Can the National Animal Welfare Trust be my Executor?

The National Animal Welfare Trust would be happy to act as the executor or co-executor of your Will should you wish. If you would like to discuss this please contact our Legacy Administrator

How often should I update my Will?

Solicitors normally advise you to review your Will every few years to make sure that it reflects your changing circumstances.

What type of legacy most benefits the National Animal Welfare Trust?

A residuary legacy benefits NAWT the most because it is not lessened by the rate of inflation. A residuary legacy is the residue or remainder of your estate after other specific bequests have been made.

Will you look after my pet should I die?

National Animal Welfare Trust will be happy to care for any pets that survive you. You can be safe in the knowledge that we will care for your pets until a suitable new home is found, however long that takes.