Why should I trust NZCR to rehome my Chihuahua? Ten reasons you should rehome via us!
1. NZCR is a registered New Zealand Charity
This means that we are regulated and have the obligation to report our financial information each year to the Charities Services. Not all “charities” are registered. It is important to know when you donate to a charity, or surrender your dog to a Rescue that they are registered and therefore doing all they can to be transparent to the public about their activities or financial information. The charities register is easily accessible by all members of public and you are able to search by Rescue name.
We do not recommend re-homing your dog to strangers on Facebook or TradeMe, or even to those purporting to be from “a Rescue” without searching their details first! When you send your dog to us, you know you have selected a reputable and legitimate charity and are able to have peace of mind that your dog is in the safest hands possible. We are able to keep you updated on their progress (if you wish for us to do so).
2. We specialize in Chihuahuas (and crosses), we adopted out almost 40 within our first year and over 100 to date!
We are a breed-specific rescue with a team of Chihuahua-knowledgeable experts. Chihuahuas are unlike any other breed and have their own unique requirements and medical issues. We are able to identify those issues and their causes and refer between our network of staff who medically assist or mentally rehabilitate these dogs. Our team are very knowledgeable and passionate about the breed and doing all we can to assist dogs in need.
3. We provide comprehensive medical care.
If your dog needs medical treatments, we are still happy to take them in, but please do let us know so we can make plans for their care. We de-sex, vaccinate, microchip, flea and worm and register with the local Council all dogs that come into our care. We also regularly go above and beyond to provide dentals and/or costly orthopedic treatments (such as physio or surgery for patella luxation) in order to ensure dogs live a pain-free life. Anything the dog needs, we will cover. We do not adopt out any dogs until we are certain that they are medically fit.
4. We have a team of knowledgeable, loving and experienced foster carers available to address any negative personality “quirks” or behaviors.
We do not euthanize dogs for temperamental or behavioral issues. We take our commitment to the trust dogs very seriously and work with them to rehabilitate them into confident, well-adjusted family pets where possible. If they cannot be safely homed they stay at "Chihuahua Rescue HQ"as part of our permanent pack! There are some dogs which will always be wary of strangers and less-confident. However, we assess all of our dog’s needs to ensure that we can accurately match the dog with an owner that will be supportive, understanding of their needs and ensure they thrive.
5. We are Chihuahua people.
All of our team have their own pack of Chihuahuas. Our Trustees, vet and some of our fosters have been dog exhibitors, registered with DogsNZ and rescuers of Chihuahuas (privately) for a number of years before beginning NZCR. Many of our foster carers are experienced animal behaviorists and trainers. We also have fosters who have fostered Chihuahuas internationally for decades and are well-versed in sorting out any unsavory behaviors.
Our vet, Dr Tonkin is New Zealand's one and only accredited Chihuahua breeder, who health tests and DNA tests all dogs prior to breeding. Dr Tonkin also specializes in the breed, she is the President of the Dominion Chihuahua Club and breed health liaison officer for Chihuahuas reporting to DogsNZ (formerly the NZKC).
We know chihuahuas as well as love them! We are aware of the health issues they face, their breed tendencies and how to help them and figure out what they need best.
6. All breed Rescues are for all breeds, but Chihuahua Rescue is for Chihuahuas (and Chihuahua crosses) specifically!
Many all breed rescues have people who love Chihuahuas too - what's not to love! Maybe they have even owned one or two. But owning one doesn't make you an expert. Our team is immersed the breed in a multitude of different ways (as above) constantly researching and liaising with experts who have bred, shown and assisted Chihuahuas for years. Your dog will be in the very best hands when placed with our Rescue because we have structured it with only one breed in mind!
7. We can help you organize transport if required
Worried about how to get them to us? message us and we can discuss the options with you. As a small charity, we appreciate former owners contributing to transport costs wherever possible, if feasible.
8. We support you through the process
We understand "letting go" can often be a process and you may be anxious when your dog leaves and comes into our care. If you ever would like an update on a dog while in our care, please email us. We are able to get updates from the foster carer when they are with us and provide you with this update.
9. We care about all of the dogs.
Each dog is important to us. No matter the age, pedigree or issues they suffer. We love them all and will do our best for each and every one... Yes, even the grumpy ones! We care about their mental well being as well as their physical well being.
10. We thoroughly vet our applicants to make sure our dogs go to the very best of people.
When applicants apply for one of our dogs we interview them, meet with them and their families, property check and ensure a 1 month trial is completed before we deem dogs "adopted".
We also ask our Adopters to sign an Agreement which clearly states, if the dog cannot live with them any longer, it is to be returned to the Rescue. We consider ourselves as owing an obligation to the dog that it will always have somewhere to go back to. Of course, we do try to ensure homes are forever but if anything were to come up, the dog is always able to come back to us, no questions asked.
What fees are involved if I rehome via NZCR?
There is no fee - no matter what kind of medical care the dog requires. If able, you are more than welcome to make a donation to the Rescue at any time.
We do appreciate contributions to transport costs (if out of Canterbury) and you are able to do so.
Why do you place them into foster care? Can they go directly to a home?
We like to get to know the dogs, their quirks and personality traits and any issues that need to be attended to in order to find their very best match. This takes time so we have one of our team members foster them and consider what their "adopter requirements".
We also complete any medical care, vaccines, de-sexing, dentals etc. while dogs are in foster care so that once dogs are adopted all their health issues have been attended to. We also work on training and behavioral matters while dogs are in foster care. Our fosters are a team of Chihuahua-knowledgeable experts. We also have a trainer on the team and many of our foster carers are experienced animal behaviorists and trainers. We are well-versed in sorting out any unsavory behaviors.
Will I get updates?
We are happy to update you while the dog is in our foster care and let you know once they have been adopted. Please note - we cannot breach the privacy details of the Adopter and provide any information without their consent.
We also understand if you would prefer we did not provide any updates. Please let us know your preference and what suits you best. Some find that updates make the process more difficult and we understand this.
In terms of updates after adoption - We can note on the profile that you would like to receive updates. However, this ultimately is the choice of the new Adopter as the dog will become their pet. All of our new owners/adopters are thoroughly vetted and home-checked. We are very strict with who we select as an adopter. However, some Adopters choose not to maintain contact and we respect their autonomy. We cannot force a new owner to maintain contact with you and/or provide an update. This is also not the purpose of our rescue - to act as a communication centre. You need to be sure about rehoming prior to surrendering your dog.
Can you keep my details and reasoning private?
Absolutely! Former owner details are not released to anyone outside of our team without consent. But we are also happy to keep the reasons for surrender confidential. Please let us know your preference.
How quick is the process?
Once we receive your email and/or form, we aim to have the dog placed with one of our team members within a couple of days to a week. We understand many would like to get the process over with quickly.
Can I talk to someone at NZCR about rehoming - I'm not sure?
Absolutely! please email us and a Trustee will be in contact with you for a no-obligations chat about our Rescue and the process.
We are happy to answer any queries you may have.
Do you take on more than one dog at a time?
Yes, we have rehomed pairs or multiple dogs prior. If this is your wish, please let our Managing Trustee know who can discuss this with you. If the dogs are great together we seek homes for them both to go to. We only separate dogs if it is best for their mental or physical well-being.
Do all dogs have to go to Christchurch?
Our Trustees, experienced foster carers, dog trainer and our medical team (including Chihuahua specialist vet) are based in Canterbury. We transport all dogs coming into care, to our base here in Christchurch. We do not have any satellite rescues around other locations.
We understand it may be difficult to "let go" of the dog and have it move islands but we assure you, we are experienced in dealing with all types of rescue dogs and will take great care of them. We can also provide updates as noted above.
How do I get the dog(s) to the Trust?
As noted above - We transport all dogs coming into care, to our base here in Christchurch. We do not have any foster homes in other locations. If you aren't located close to Christchurch, we will need you to consider transport arrangements for the dogs (either by plane or pet bus) continue reading below.
Please note down the transport details on the rehoming form. Consider:
- Whether you would like to arrange transport yourself, or have us do so.
- Are you in Christchurch and able to meet us somewhere? Or live close by and travelling to Christchurch to do the drop off?
- Would you prefer the dog to be flown (plane) or driven (petbus)?
- Do you have an airplane approved crate? (see below for more info)
- If not, are you planning to purchase one or hire one?
- Are you able to transport the dog to the airport OR pick up location?
- If not yourself, do you have a family member or friend who could transport the dog to the airport OR pick up location? If not, please advise us so we can make alternative arrangements.
- Are you able to meet the costs of transport? Of course, being a small charity with limited funds we appreciate the assistance if feasible. If not, we can discuss arrangements with you. Some former owners are only able to meet some of the costs and we appreciate that assistance.
Crates - If flying, dogs need a airplane approved crate:
- Please email us and confirm whether you have a "travel approved" crate.
- If you aren't sure whether the crate is approved, please read the AirNZ guidelines: https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/travelling-with-pets#cage-requirements
- Travel crates can be purchased here: https://www.pet.kiwi/product/airline-carrier/sg8205.aspx
- We could fly a crate to your destination (AirNZ charge $30)
For transport - please note we use the following pet exporters who also provide crate hire:
The companies we use to transport dogs are very experienced in dealing with anxious animals and rescue dogs. These companies do all they can to ensure the trip is not only safe, but as comfortable as possible for the dog(s). We often opt to fly dogs as this is a quick one hour flight (in a safe crate) and the journey is over. Dogs are not aware they are being flown and it is a much less stressful option then having them driven as it is much quicker. We have had great success in flying dogs to Canterbury who all have arrived safe and sound.
"Star Pet Travel"
Contact Betty and Desiree on 0800 PET TRAVEL
"Popular Pets Travel" (South Island Only, by bus):
Contact David and Ann on: (03) 3298 733, (027) 433 2236 and (027) 354 3371
"Pet Bus" (North and South Island, by bus):
Contact Karyn and Natasha on (027) 332 1991
We understand it may be difficult to send dogs off on a plane - but it is an easy process. Flights must be booked through a Pet Exporter. We can contact them on your behalf or you may choose to do so.
Once booked, all you need to do is arrive at the destination sent by the Exporter (either AirNZ cargo counter or perhaps an Agent of the Exporter) and provide the dog(s) and flight details. If the dog does not come with it's own crate, we will have one ready for you.
* It is possible the above companies may offer free crate hire if you confirm the dog is going to a rescue. But unfortunately, AirNZ have declined to provide any rescues with reduced charges for flights etc.
What about their possessions? What do I do with those?
AirNZ are very strict as to what can be allowed in the cages during travel. No harnesses or jackets are to be worn in the crate. They will allow a blanket as bedding and possibly a favorite toy tucked underneath.
Please send their vet books (if you have them) these can be handed to staff who will secure them to the crate. Same with their Council tags.
They won't need any other items - we have all of the other items: bedding, food, bowls, leads, harnesses, toys etc. to provide to them.
If you have surplus doggy items that are unopened (in the case of foods) and in good condition, please consider donating to a local rescue.
Can I see the dog when it goes to a new Adopter?
Will you pass on my details?
We generally advise that former owners "step away" for a while at least. This is to allow the dog to create a stable bond with their new owners and family. To keep seeing their old owner at this time confuses them and may hinder their ability to develop a stable, safe connection with their Adopter. While it is nicer for the former owner, it is actually damaging for the dog and adopter. For this reason, we do not advise you ask to visit the adopter and dog, if they have chosen to provide their details to you.
We can ask Adopters to email updates and pictures though, but this is completely at their discretion as their new owner. Again, we cannot force Adopters to keep in touch with former owners, many do like to move on with their lives and focus on the future with their new pet.
What do I send with the dog when I surrender it?
We ask that any vet books and council rego tags are sent. Anything else that you would like to send is fine. We can supply the dog with bedding, leads, collars/harnesses etc. It does help if you let us know the food they eat so we can get similar food so as not to upset their tummy with any changes.
I am going away for a set period of time, can you foster my dog?
Sorry, we only take in dogs that have been surrendered, need assistance and/or re-homing. We have limited foster placements and need to ensure these are retained for the dogs that do not have a family or owner. We only take in dogs that have been surrendered and no longer have an owner. Sorry, no exceptions, you will need to contact a home-stay agency or kennels.
I am concerned about the welfare of a dog, what do I do?
Sorry, we are not an enforcement agency and only able to take in / assist dogs from the owner or Animal Shelter. If you have any concerns about the welfare of any animal please contact your local SPCA and Animal Control Department who will be able to investigate and uplift if appropriate.