Our Rehoming Centre and How We Work

We are not a shelter.  We operate a small rehoming centre.  Our aim and objective is to properly socialize, handle, assess, rehabilitate, and thoroughly vet each and every animal who arrives into our care.  Our goal is to facilitate each animal’s transition from abandoned animal to family pet – so as they can more easily find their loving forever home.

To learn more about how our animals arrive into our care and where they come from please click here.

At our rehoming centre we work with 20 to 30 dogs.  Our puppies, kittens and cats are cared for by experienced foster families.  Although small this is a benefit as it means that we know all our animals very well, we are constantly bringing in new arrivals, starting the process, the vettings, the learning and socialization….  On average we rehome 350 animals in a year, which is the same as filling and emptying many a local shelter.

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Goals and Philosophy

Our dogs all learn proper behaviour.  They learn to walk on lead, they learn to play with friends, they learn to accept quiet time and how to be on their own.  They learn (and often re-learn) proper dog behaviour, much of which comes from being part of a “pack” where other well-adjusted social, friendly, happy dogs lead the way.

While the dogs are not living in a traditional home they are learning how to be well-adjusted, happy, social and flexible.  We are trying to ensure there are no bad behaviours, that the dogs are ready and willing for the next wonderful stage in their lives where they can have a loving family of their own.

Our philosophy is that we are their temporary caretakers.  Our goal is to prepare them for the next phase of their life as best as we are able as we can never offer the loving one-on-one family environment that they each crave and so deserve.

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How We Work At the Centre (Adult Dogs and Adolescents)

The dogs go out at 8:00 in the morning.   Some go into the fenced fields for playtime and some go into the larger pack and get to run around the whole Quinta (they have 2 hectares to explore).  Our dogs mix and match, whether they are male or female, small, medium or large, it does not matter.  One day they will have a few friends, the next day many more.   Our policy is to constantly stimulate them, to walk them (on and off) lead, to show them new things and give them new experiences.

At the same time, our dogs need to get used to what will be asked of them if living in a home.  It is possible some will be rehomed as an only dog, and many will be left on their own for short periods of time.  For this reason it is NOT always playtime at the Quinta.  They are shut in their kennels mid-day and also overnight.  They must learn to be quiet and go to sleep.

All the dogs are fed separately as we want to know if they are eating or not.  The animals health, their well-being, and also hygiene is a top priority at the Quinta – so there is always lots of cleaning going on!

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The Pack

We work with body language and our resident pack leader is Ginie.   It is she who introduces our newly arriving dogs into the pack, showing the pack that this new boy or girl is to be accepted and welcomed.

Although always supervised our dogs are allowed to be dogs, and amongst themselves they will figure out their status/rank in the pack.  Some of our new arrivals are often confused, but it does not take them long to adjust and leave behind any insecurities.

Pack behaviour is great to observe, and when the pack is stable and social it is also the truest way for a dog to learn.  When you see a dog whose name is called leave their friends and come running down the hill curious as to what is happening and whether or not there is something special awaiting, that is when you know that this is a happy, social, stable dog ready to move on to a loving family where they can finally get to be a part of so much more.

Rehoming

By working in this way we are able to assess each individual dog and his or her character.  Our adoptions are made very carefully, it is about finding the right match between owner and new animal, so that the adoption is for life and can be full of happiness for everyone involved.

To see a list of our animals seeking homes please visit Available Animals!