Table 3

Examples of quotes given about the experience of adopting a rescue dog from abroad, from an open question

Positive perceptionsNegative perceptions
‘Overseas rescuers stay in touch, become friends, want to see you and the dogs happy. It's a personal experience and as adopters you are made to feel appreciated and part of a great big rescuing family.’‘It was with us one night, jumped a 7-foot-high wall and escaped. Took 2 days to find it and capture it. We were conned.’
‘Dog has bronze and silver canine good citizen awards.’‘Believe false passport.’
‘Dog now therapy dog.’‘Vet estimated age 9 months. Passport says 6 years.’
‘The organisation lets you foster them until you decide it is the right dog and are ready to adopt.’‘It was both financially and emotionally draining.’
‘My Romanian rescue is absolutely gorgeous. It’s like she knows she has been given a second chance and she is so loving and such a good girl.’‘I was conned. The dog has epilepsy, was told we could get his pills for 5 Euros from Spain. Not the case at all.’
‘A truly rewarding experience and have made many new friends through this process. Would do it all again.’‘I was told by them that he had a full behaviour assessment and he was great with children, other animals and people, but is slightly scared of men. In reality, he is terrified of all strangers … he acts more like a fox than a domestic dog.’
‘Definitely recommend as the rescue have supported me throughout the last 3 years of having dogs from them. Any questions they always answer and I know I can call them at any time for advice.’‘Hard to make contact with the agency to ask questions but I guess they are busy. Alarmed that there are no follow up calls or contact of any sort after money is paid.’
‘I could choose the dog from the comfort of my own home…When out walking and talking to fellow dog walkers, most have no idea that this can all be done online via Facebook, PayPal and email. The dogs are even delivered to the door.’‘I would say NEVER adopt a dog from abroad. Like us you can bring in diseases that shouldn't be here. There are many dogs here that need homes and having a dog with active Leishmania is no fun at all.’
  • Example quotes volunteered by respondents and selected by the researchers to illustrate the typical and interesting submissions. In addition, a random sample of 100 responses were coded and quantified (due to time constraints), of which 40% of respondents recommended adopting from abroad. 23% stated they would recommend the organisation that they used and 14% expressed that they were happy with the ongoing support provided by the organisation. 22% expressed that their dog had challenging behaviours, yet 25% said their dog had settled well. 12% recommended that anyone considering adopting from abroad should do proper research; similarly 7% said ‘ensure you have experience’ and 7% said ‘have realistic expectations, in particular concerning behavioural work needed’.