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Where to Adopt a Dog in London - Essential Living

Where to Adopt a Dog in London

Blog London Lifestyle

There are so many reasons to adopt a dog in London. Life is fast paced. When you get home from work there is nothing like the greeting and companionship from your pet dog, who is just beside themselves to see you!

Adopting a pet dog comes with a ton of benefits — number one, you’ll be saving a creature’s life. Aside from that, a healthy rescue dog may come with a little extra baggage, but we also find there is often gratitude that leads to a deeper connection with the animal. Besides, who doesn’t come with a little extra baggage?

It never hurts to save a couple of pounds either, which just so happens to be another benefit of adopting a dog. London has several fantastic animal shelters and humane societies to choose from, but before we dive into those, you must ask yourself a question:

Preparing for Fur-Parenting: Are You Ready?

A happy adopted dog

While there are many benefits to adopting a dog, it is important to understand that it’s a massive responsibility. You’ll need to ensure that you have enough time and space to spend with your new companion, or at least be able to afford reliable help in that regard. The more time you can spend with the dog, the better.

You also need to ensure that you are able to take the dog on ample walks, especially if it’s a larger breed. If you haven’t been raised with animals or dogs in the past, reach out to a friend who has for advice. Different breeds have different needs, so you will want to make sure to do your research on the specific breed(s) of pup you wind up with.

It’s also worth noting that rescue dogs may have various issues that require special needs. This is something that will be specific to the dog’s experience, but you need to be prepared. The shelter will tell you what you need to know.

Here’s a list of equipment you’re going to need:

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Doggy Bags
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Food

Getting a dog stacks up to being quite the investment! Make sure you are 100% ready to commit for (their) life before adopting any dog. Once you’re ready and you are positive that you will be able to commit the time, energy and work it takes — you’re going to need to find a place in London to adopt your dog!

So, if you’re asking yourself where to adopt a dog in London? Here are our top picks:


A sleepy dog adopted in London

Since its founding in 1860, many a rescue dog has found their forever home through the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (now just called Battersea). Originally opened as ‘The Temporary Home for Lost & Starving Dogs’, the organization was originally founded  in North London. It wasn’t until 1871 that this donation funded organization moved to its South London location across from Battersea Park.

In 1862, it was declared that ‘no dog of any description or in any condition be, on any pretence whatever, refused admittance into the home’. This is the compassionate spirit with which they’ve operated ever since. This organization, with the help of its supporters, has cared for over 3.1 million animals during its existence.

To ensure effective caring, Battersea uses a rigorous rehoming process. You must first register your information and answer a few questions before the rehoming team gets back to you. They will then assess your current living situation, experiences and preferences, to find out if they have a good match for you. This may seem protective, but ensuring a good pairing between pooch and person requires some examination, and is as beneficial for the would-be owner as it is for the dog.

The rehoming experts at Battersea know what they are doing, so they make a great place to start if you’ve never adopted a dog before.


All Dogs Matter

Young family with dog

Now here is an animal shelter that cares. All Dogs Matter is a charity that works in and around London to transform the lives of lost, unwanted, or abandoned dogs. Their work isn’t limited to the UK, either. All Dogs Matter even works to rehome stray dogs from overseas.

Through extensive partnerships with organisations such as local council authorities, foster carers, dog trainers and veterinarians, they network to rehabilitate and rehome dogs. This is another organisation that is dedicated to pairing the right dog with the right owner. Their dog-foster and adoption page is updated daily, so you can look through their website at each pup’s profile, and inquire specifically.

The office is located near Highgate, up on Aylmer Parade, however, please note that this is not where they keep the dogs! Most of the dogs are kept in foster homes until they are adopted, as this is a far more stable environment. It also allows for a more personalised approach to caring for and getting to know the dogs. The people at All Dogs Matter do great work and are committed. They are passionate about their mission to rehome and find dogs to adopt, good homes in London.

The Mayhew

An adopted puppy

The Mayhew isn’t just here to rescue puppies. This animal welfare charity has a vision of creating a society where people understand the importance and value of animal welfare. Their mandate is to promote animal welfare through a community-based approach. Offering veterinary care and education services both in London UK and abroad, they provide more than just a kennel.

This organisation is almost like a social justice society for dogs. They offer community support —helping people and animals stay together. They run adoption services for dogs in London as well as cats, and they even provide a community vet clinic. That means low cost or even free veterinary services.

The Mayhew isn’t just trying to address the problem by rehoming dogs. They are on a mission to inform and change the behaviours of people that affect animal welfare. This is an amazing organisation that offers a fresh approach to animal care. They actually look at the social issues on the person’s side that affect the welfare of the animal and create strategies to help.

If you’re looking for a good place to adopt a dog from in London, and you could use some support, The Mayhew just might be the place for you.

Dogs Trust

A close up headshot of a dog

Dogs Trust is another exceptional, long-standing dog adoption service in London. Whether it’s adoption or dog fostering you would like to do, they make a fantastic dog adoption organisation. Like others on the list, they have well over a century of doing what they do. They were founded in the 1800s, when people were more apt to be cruel to their dogs. Views of the time likened dogs to machinery: there to perform a task.

Founder Lady Gertrude did not see it that way and founded Dogs Trust in 1891 under the original moniker, the National Canine Defense League. This small, yet determined group campaigned against cruelty and for the welfare of dogs. It wouldn’t be until 2003 that the Dogs Trust would take the name it goes by now.

This society has done everything from change dog-related legislation to opening their Dog School, and are one of the UK’s top animal welfare charities. They also offer an option to ‘sponsor’ a dog — where you donate and receive regular doggy updates. If you read through the section on preparedness and found that you aren’t able to care for a dog, this might be something you want to consider.

Dogs Trust is a fantastic organisation to think about if you are looking to adopt a dog in London. Their school is a great resource and for £65, the 4-week course offered is quite reasonable.

Where to Adopt a Dog in London

Working from home with a dog

London is full of amazing places to get involved and support canines who need a second chance in life. Whether you need to rehome a dog or wish to foster, adopt, or even sponsor a canine friend, there are a number of great choices, no matter where in London you may live.

Adopting a dog can is one of the very few ways in this world that you can spend money and truly become richer. Rescuing a dog is a reward in life like none other, and with a little luck and a handy article at your disposal, you too can provide a forever home for a forever friend.

Essential Living and Dogs

At Essential Living, we’re advocates for #AdoptDontShop. We understand the benefits of a furry friend, which is why we offer pet friendly flats to rent in London.

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