Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are you thinking about adopting a Pointer in need?


startnewlifeIt could be the best decision you’ll ever make. It’s also a big commitment with a great deal to consider.  We’ve compiled some of the typical frequently asked questions (FAQs) adopters ask during the process.

If your question isn’t covered here please get in touch. We’ll do our best to help.






What is your adoption criteria?
An adopter must be aged 18 years or over to apply to adopt a dog from Pointers in Need.

Our specific criteria depends very much on the dog, its background, age, and specific needs. However, we are clear that the best matches take place with people who are understanding, patient, consistent and have experience of dogs, and in particular, rescue gundogs.   Many of our Pointers are traumatised, having suffered abuse and neglect, which may have included starvation.  As such we need people that will be sensitive to this and act accordingly. Our dogs generally thrive in calm, loving homes where they are given the time, space and care they need to learn how to trust again.

What about exercise and outdoor space?
Pointers, especially when young, have considerable energy and exercise needs. They are also agile and nimble and those who are initially frightened, and/or with a strong prey drive, can be proficient escapologists. As such they need access to a safe, secure garden to exercise feely and this must be fully ‘pointer-proofed’.  This means no gaps in fencing, hedges etc, and secure fencing that they can’t jump over. Please consider this carefully as we cannot consider homes if these criteria are not met.
Are the dogs tested with other animals, such as cats or other dogs?
Pointers rescued outside of the UK are typically housed in shelters before being released into our care and transport to the UK. It is not generally possible to test them with cats but we will tell you if we can. However, those that are already in foster care in the UK are generally able to be tested with cats.  Please note that given their high prey drive, Pointers will generally chase a cat, unless they have been socialised at an early age not to do so. With former abandoned hunting dogs this is rarely the case.

Pointers are usually very sociable with other dogs. We will tell you about any exceptions to this. We do need you to be confident that any other dogs in your household have the right temperament to accept another dog into your home. This is essential for all the dogs that we rehome from overseas because in the majority of cases, they will be transported directly to the UK and there will not always be an opportunity for you to meet them beforehand. For Pointers that are in foster care in the UK, we will ask you to meet and bring your dog(s) as part of the adoption process so that everyone is happy that they will accept each other.

We have children, can we have a Pointer?
We have successfully rehomed many Pointers with families with children, and, from our own experience, can attest to how loving and tolerant Pointers are with youngsters.  However, we’re also clear that rescue Pointers need a calm environment with people who have  experience, skill and sensitivity to the dog’s behaviour.

So before you get in touch, please ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you knowledgeable and experienced with dogs, including rescue dogs, with their particular challenges and needs?
  • Are you experienced with Pointers or other gun dogs that may have a high prey drive?
  • How much time can you realistically devote to a rescue dog, one that will undoubtedly require a sustained level of focus and patience?
  • Can you juggle the conflicting demands of children and a Pointer and supervise them when together at all times?
  • Would you be able and willing to prioritise the time needed to manage the dog’s socialisation and ongoing training?
  • Are your children respectful of dogs, are they sensible and calm in their presence?  Have you taught them the basics such as not to share toys, approach a dog when it is eating or eat food in a dog’s presence?

If you have considered these issues carefully and believe that you are able to offer a suitable home, then please complete our pre-adoption form. You could also call us for an initial chat. It would be exceptional, however, that we would consider anyone with small children unless you can satisfy us that you have the requisite knowledge and experience.

How long will it take to get my Pointer?
This can vary considerably depending on where the dog is being kept and transport availability. Between four and eight weeks is fairly typical but it could be sooner. For overseas dogs, we only use reputable transport companies managed by people we know and trust. As soon as we have confirmed dates, we let you know.
Will the dog be vaccinated, wormed etc?
Yes, every dog coming to the UK will be vaccinated against rabies, wormed and innoculated for fleas and ticks. All the details will be in the dog’s pet passport which you will receive when he/she arrives in the UK.
Will the dog be tested for other diseases?
Yes. Depending on the country of origin, the dogs are routinely health checked for common conditions which, if detected, are treated before they embark on their journey to the UK. These are referenced in the pet passport and are not notifiable to DEFRA, the government department that registers dog importation.  If your dog does test positively for a condition, and requires ongoing treatment, we will speak to you about this so that you can make an informed decision.

We do rehome dogs with leishmaniasis, a common condition found in dogs in southern Europe. Several members of our team have dogs with the condition living life to the full.  Please see our leishmaniasis information leaflet for more information. You can also download a case study of Solana (the beautiful black Pointer featured on our Adoption page) who lives with our founder, Claire.

Will the dog be neutered/spayed?
In the majority of cases, the dog will be neutered or spayed in advance of travelling to the UK. There may be some instances, however, when this does not happen, typically if a dog is scheduled to travel in the UK very quickly or if the dog is too young.  In both cases, it is a term and condition of adoption with Pointers in Need that you will have the dog neutered by a registered veterinary surgeon in the UK at the earliest opportunity when deemed safe to do so. Very occasionally, some of our oldie Pointers are deemed too mature in years or fragile for surgery. If we reach that conclusion following our assessment, we will discuss that with you.
Will the dog be microchipped?
Yes, as a legal requirement, since April 2016, all dogs must be microchipped.  Microchip details will be in your Pointer’s pet passport and they will be registered with PetLog with your details as the main contact.

This applies for the lifetime of the dog, so it is really important that:

1   you keep us up to date with your address and contact details, and

2   you call us immediately if your dog is lost or stolen.

Please contact us for details about this.

Can I change the microchip details to my name?
Yes.  Whilst Pointers In Need retain the actual ownership of all Pointers it helps, the law states that the microchip must be in the name of the person where the Pointer normal resides. If you have any questions about this, please speak to us about this.
Will I own my Pointer?
In common with most rescue organisations, you will become the registered adopter, and Pointers in Need retains ownership. This ensures that, in the unlikely event of a problem necessitating the removal of the Pointer, we have the ability to do this.  This is clearly explained in the adoption agreement which all prospective adopters must sign and return to us before an adoption can take place.
I need help with training – how do I go about this?
In the first instance, please get in touch. There’s a lot of experience amongst the team and our wider network and we are very happy to share and help as much as possible.  You may also consider taking your Pointer to a local class or club and taking part in programmes such as the Kennel Club Good Citizenship scheme.  We only recommend reward-based training that use positive reinforcement methods.
What happens if my circumstances change and I need to rehome the dog?
Please contact us immediately. We will arrange a time and place to meet you and collect the dog. If you have someone in mind that you believe would be suitable, then we are happy to consider this. But it would require a formal assessment and homecheck as would any adoption.

Please be aware that it is in direct convention of our adoption agreement for an adopter to re-home or sell one of our Pointers. The dog remains the property of Pointers in Need at all times.

I have a Pointer that I need to rehome
Please get in touch using our contact form or give us a call. We will have a chat to you about your Pointer and take you through the next steps. You will need to complete a transfer of ownership form which sets out the terms and conditions of the transfer of your dog to Pointers in Need.

Please note that we will never pay for a dog, irrespective of the circumstances. The funds we raise as a not for profit organisation are focussed exclusively on rescuing and finding loving new homes for Pointers.

Have you got some further information to help me?

Yes we have lots of information – here is some helpful information about the breed and some basic information about rescuing a beautiful Pointer – these are all PDF files:

Rescue Information | Pointer Breed Information | Keeping your Pointer safe

Please contact us if you need any further help or require more information

If you’d like to adopt a Pointer or join our fostering team, Bob and the team will do a happy dance! Or help us to home check prospective adopters? We need experienced people to join our team so please get in touch.

There are many other ways you can help these noble dogs. Please make a donation or buy something fabulous from our online shop.  You can also register with easyfundraising – this brilliant idea raises money for Pointers in Need while you shop online and you don’t a penny extra.   Meantime, please collect your stamps! It’s an easy way to raise much needed funds for our dogs.

Thank you.