British Chihuahua Club Rescue Association
Registered Charity registration number 1094417
The object of the Association shall be to relieve the suffering and distress of
Chihuahua dogs in need of care, attention or rehoming as a result of ill treatment,
hardship, neglect or change of circumstances.
Trustees and Officers
The Association is administered by a committee of the Trustees made up of Mr James
Culverhouse (Chairman), Mrs Margaret Foote (Coordinator & Treasurer), Mrs Pam
Bungard, Mr Bernard Coxhead, Mr James Farrugia, Mr Graham Foote, Mrs Shelda Hornby,
Mrs Maureen Prentice and Miss Lynda Soper. The other Trustees are
Mrs Kathleen Culverhouse and Mrs Pat Keith.
When we are contacted by somebody wishing to rehome their dog, details are taken
and the list of prospective homes is checked. The relinquishing owner signs a
Relinquishment Form, giving up all rights to the animal, and we then proceed with
People wishing to adopt may find names and telephone numbers of BCCRA local contacts
printed in The Kennel Club 'Dog Rescue Directory', which is distributed to every
veterinary practice in the UK. Names, telephone numbers and email addresses
can also be found on the internet, on this and other dog-related sites. The
British Chihuahua Club may also receive enquiries from people looking to adopt a
rescue Chihuahua. In all cases, the enquiry is forwarded to the BCCRA
Coordinator and people are then asked to send a stamped self-addressed envelope for
a 'Rescue Adoption Registration Form'. The form can alternatively be
downloaded from this website at
and printed out by the applicant.
Once filled in and returned, the adoption form is filed, awaiting a
suitable dog. The list is not operated on a 'first come, first served' basis, but
rather concentrates on matching the dog to a home most suitable for its requirements,
for instance some dogs love the hustle and bustle of a family, whilst others prefer a
home on a one to one basis. Once a dog becomes available, the most
suitable-sounding home is contacted and a home-check is carried out by a member of the Club
living in the vicinity. If all is satisfactory, the dog is received and an adoption
form is completed in duplicate, one copy for the new adoptive owner and one for the
Rescue File. In some cases, where there is nobody available to do a home check
immediately, we may take a reference from the prospective home's vet and perform a
follow-up visit later (this only happens occasionally).
Elderly dogs are checked by a vet first and if there is ongoing
medication at the time of adoption, we may offer to help with this, depending upon the
circumstances of the new adoptive home.
Whilst we try to rehome dogs as quickly as possible, i.e. directly from
the relinquishing to the adopting home, it is sometimes necessary for
dogs to be fostered for a short period of time. This occurs in
emergency situations, such as the death of an elderly owner, or when a
dog is difficult in some way and has to be assessed before rehoming.
Our foster-homes are experienced volunteer Club members who offer
their services free or, if money is tight, a token amount is offered
to cover feeding costs. Naturally any veterinary bills arising during
the time of fostering are covered by the Club Rescue. We now have
foster-homes available in most parts of the country, as people are
very keen to help on this basis.
Transport is provided again by volunteer Club members, who will
collect and deliver dogs, either for rehoming or to foster-homes.
The Association pays volunteers a small mileage allowance, if
required. If large mileage is involved, the relinquishing and
adopting homes are asked if they would be willing to make a donation
towards fuel costs.
This is by far our most expensive item. As mentioned above, many of
our dogs are elderly and require medication such as heart-tablets etc.
and one cannot expect somebody who is taking on an old animal to pay
these bills as well, as many of these people are elderly and on very
limited incomes. Similarly, if a neglected dog comes in and needs
dental treatment, this can amount to around £150 (depending upon
area) and must be done before a dog is rehomed.
Including ourselves, there are ten Chihuahua breed clubs in the UK.
Some of them have limited funds in their rescue accounts (but none
large enough to apply for charitable status) and some could not
afford to run a rescue service. It is the practice of the British
Chihuahua Club Rescue Association to involve these clubs (all of whom have been
more than willing to participate) and offer support where needed. If, for
example, we hear of a dog needing
rehoming in an area covered by one of the other clubs, we would
organise and fund collection, delivery and veterinary bills for the
dog, but allow the adoption and possible donation to be carried out
on the paperwork of that club. All participating clubs use the same
paperwork formats as we do, but in their own club name. Many members
of the other Chihuahua breed clubs are also members of The British
Chihuahua Club. By involving the other clubs, our aim is to
provide a Chihuahua rescue network covering the whole of the UK, and
results are already most encouraging.
When homing a rescue dog we do not charge a specific amount of money, apart from
a £25 administration fee, but the new owners and sometimes the relinquishing
owners are usually happy to make a voluntary donation which may go some way towards
covering the other costs of providing the service. We are also required to
maintain investments built up from gifts, bequests etc. giving a sufficient level
of interest payments to provide the income needed to qualify for Registered Charity
status, and this gives us a certain amount of freedom to help without the specific
need to raise further funds for every case. Our members do, though, appreciate
that this cannot fully meet the ongoing daily expenses and rising medical costs of
rescue, and are very keen to participate in such fund-raising events such as breed
garden parties, rescue stalls and exemption dog shows. A licence for an
exemption dog show must be obtained from The Kennel Club, who only issue a licence
if the proceeds are for a registered charity.
Such fund-raising events may also have very definite
social benefits. Elderly people who have always had large breed dogs
find, in later life, that they are only able to cope with a toy breed,
therefore it is with such people that the majority of our rescues find
homes. The interest in the breed causes people in a particular area to
socialise and get together and one of the favourite pastimes is
organising items for sale in aid of Rescue, such as knitted blankets, toys
and Chihuahua coats and in some cases it gives people a feeling of
'belonging' and being useful and as such provides important therapy in
an ageing community.