Today I want to share our story of rescuing Zola, our 5-month-old Greek Harehound from Cyprus.
In case you’re a new visitor to my blog. (Hi, welcome!) My partner and I have been together for 7 years. We live together in our Victorian Terrace, with our Guinea pigs and Golden Retriever, Bramley.
Bramley is 6 years old. We re-homed him when he was 5 from a person who could no longer take care of him. We’ve had Bramley for just over a year and he is the love of our lives. Bram used to live with other dogs, so we knew eventually we’d like to get him a friend.
About Underdog International
Underdog International are a charity that rescues dogs from all over the world. They also educate children to treat animals with love and respect.
Their mission statement is to positively impact 1 million children and dogs. By 2025 they are aiming to have 800,000 children taking part in youth outreach programmes. 190,000 children benefiting from animal-assisted therapy and 10,000 dogs adopted into loving homes.
The adoption process
We submitted an adoption application so the charity had all our details on their system. The application form had standard questions about our living situation such as, do you own your home? do you have children? do you have other pets? How many hours a day will the dog be left? etc.
A few months passed until we heard from Underdog. Then one evening I received an email newsletter that listed approx 10 dogs that needed homes, and there she was…
When I showed Feargus he immediately picked out Zola.
Despite replying quickly I wasn’t convinced we would hear back, due to the volume of applications. But the next day I received an email from the head of adoptions stating that she had taken a look at our application form and was confident we were a good fit.
The next step was to pay a £50 deposit to secure her. This essentially pays for the admin and to take the dog off the website etc until the home check is carried out.
The next step was to have a home check.
The home check is an opportunity for the volunteer to ensure your home is suitable for the dog. They typically like to see a safe, enclosed garden, a dedicated place for the dog to sleep etc.
We completed our home check virtually due to COVID. It took approx 2 hours. Our volunteer ran through our application form with us and asked questions about Bramley, our experience with dogs and then explained the steps in the adoption process in a bit more detail.
Prior to the home check, I sent the volunteer photos of our home, including our living room, kitchen (where the dogs would sleep) and the garden, so she was able to clearly see the space. This made the process a lot smoother when showing our home on video too.
The following afternoon we received an email to confirm we had passed our home check, and I genuinely cried with happiness!
Forms & paperwork
The final step (and the most official) was to complete the paperwork. We had to share bills that proved we live at the address we stated. We signed our contract and paid the remaining fee.
To adopt a dog from Cyprus through Underdog International it costs approximately £650. This covers the adoption fee, the various vet checks, including the final ‘fit to fly’ check and the travel itself.
Once all the paperwork is complete, you’re good to go! It then becomes a waiting game until your new family member arrives. From the day we signed our contract and paid the remaining fees, it was approximately three weeks until Zola arrived from Cyprus.
I hope you found this blog post useful. When we were going through the process I was constantly watching Youtube videos and reading blog posts of people who have rescued a dog from abroad. I loved following their journey, so hopefully, you do too!
UPDATE: Zola is home! I will include some photos below of her first few days with us.
Head over to my Instagram for our regular pupdates!