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updated 26/10/01
NCDL takes rehoming to the man in the street

FOR THE first time ever the public can meet rescue dogs virtually on their own doorsteps thanks to the NCDL's unique mobile rehoming unit.

Costing 90,000 funds donated by the Pet Plan Charitable Trust the seven and a half tonne lorry fitted with luxury kennels and air conditioning is designed to tour selected areas, carrying with it a small representative of NCDL stray and abandoned dogs currently seeking life long, loving homes. On board will also be a range of information and advice on all aspects of dog ownership.

Designed with the aim of rehoming even more dogs than ever, this whole new concept represents a unique way of taking dogs to those unable to travel to one of the NCDL's 16 nationwide rehoming centres - therefore missing out on the benefits of adopting a rescue hound.

However, no dogs will be actually rehomed directly from the "Dogmobile". If a member of the public sees a dog they like, they will then have to go through all the safeguards that the NCDL employs to ensure the dog is going to the right home, including filling in a rehoming questionnaire.

The 'dogmobile' launched at Trafalgar Square on Saturday October 10th this year.

If all goes well and the NCDL believes the potential new owners are suitable, then staff at the local Rehoming Centre will arrange a pre-adoption visit to their home to make a final check. The NCDL also provides post adoption advice and help if required. All NCDL dogs are vet checked, vaccinated, neutered, microchipped and behaviourally assessed before being rehomed.

At the helm will be former trucker Catherine Waiters who will be swapping Yorkie bars for Yorkie dogs as she drives the vehicle from town to town. Before coming on board with the NCDL she spent 17 years as a delivery driver and owns two rescue dogs of her own.

Catherine said: "The 'Dogmobile' represents a unique and powerful way of taking the charity on to the road, and so taking our extensive rehoming work to a new level. It means that many more people will now be able to enjoy owning a rescue dog. So far, public response to the vehicle has proved extremely positive, with people literally queuing up to get on a look around".

Inside the 'dogmobile' following its launch on October 10th. Photos by UNP

Last year the NCDL rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed more than 8,000 lost and abandoned dogs. The charity has a strict non-destruction policy and never destroys a healthy dog.

The pet Plan Charitable Trust was established by the founders of Pet Plan Ltd, the largest animal insurance company in the world. The Trust awards grants for funding in animal welfare and education, recognising the need for financial lifelines to many British animal charities.