Getting a Rescue Dog from Wags N’ Wet Noses – My Experience

Exactly a month ago today, I was stood in a McDonald’s car park waiting for a van to appear. A van which held our new dog, a Pulin crossbreed who we named Forest. We had been waiting for almost two months for her to arrive in the UK, and we couldn’t wait.

We adopted Forest from Wags n Wet Noses, who are based in Hungary. We chose to adopt her from here as we know someone who got a dog from them a few months before us and only had positive things to say. We also struggled to get a rescue dog from the UK as we have two cats, and most UK shelters won’t give you a dog unless they had previously lived with cats, or are a puppy. We made the decision that despite not cat tested, Forest’s breed should be okay with cats and we would introduce them carefully.

The first day we got her!

We chose her from the photos on the Facebook page, then expressed interest and filled in the adoption form. They ask the standard questions – do you work from home, a secure garden, any other pets etc. We were then added to a group chat on 20th September, with some of the adoption team. They asked for videos of the downstairs and garden, seeing as they couldn’t do an in-person check. They also asked for two forms of ID. On 23rd September we were approved for adoption, having had the opportunity to ask loads of questions about her breed, temperament and history.

At the end of October, we paid her £350 transport fee. This of course covers her transport to the UK. She had also been spayed and had all the necessary vaccinations and health checks, including the 4D test.

We were given an estimated arrival date of 18th or 19th November, depending on where the van had to stop in the UK. Drops start from about midday and go on until about 10pm then restart the following day. We were added to a transport group on 16th November and given the rota on the 17th. Our Sheffield drop was planned for 9.30pm, the final stop, but we decided to drive a bit further to get her a couple of hours earlier. The rota was sent many times the day before and on the day, to make sure everyone would get to the right place at the right time. It was so exciting watching the earlier people receive their dogs and send photos to the chat.

We arrived at our designated spot and when the van drew up, we went over and were handed our dog, her paperwork and her passport. She was very confused and scared, but also very healthy and so cute. I imagine the people parked up eating their Big Macs were surprised to see dogs being handed out of a van!

Forest (was Leandra) in her transport cage! They send these photos when they set off in Hungary.

We got her into the car easily and she hid her head behind the car sling, very scared but calm. We got her home and she had a sniff around then sat on the sofa. She wanted to fall asleep but was too nervous to, so her head and eyes kept drooping in the cutest way. We also fed her some chicken and hot buttered toast (she refused to eat brown rice) and she drank a lot of water.

I will be doing a post soon to update you on her first month, but for now I can say that she is the sweetest little dog. She matched her description perfectly, and she has settled in very well. I can’t fault the team at Wags N’ Wet Noses, they answered every question we had and have continued to help to this day!

Before getting your dog I would recommend having a few things ready, but not too many. We bought her a bed, food bowls, a variety of toys and some flea/worm treatment which were all really useful. We also bought a collar which was too large and had to be given away, as we had just assumed she’d fit a medium but she actually has a tiny head! We bought a food subscription from Tails (one month free with this link!) to arrive the day before we got her as well, so we could start her transition. We also got some dental sticks and a lickimat from them! It took her a while to get used to the food but it really helped her stomach settle. It is also very cute with the personalised name and it’s what we’ve fed our family dogs for years so I knew it was good quality!

Have you adopted a rescue dog or are you thinking about it? Let me know in the comments! She also has an Instagram if you want to follow her journey!

Hazel x

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12 Comments

  1. December 18, 2020 / 10:49 pm

    This makes me so happy! I’m glad Forest has found a happy new home with you 🙂

    • December 19, 2020 / 8:31 am

      Thank you! We are so happy with her ❤️

      • Alistair Sawyer
        July 13, 2021 / 4:34 pm

        Hi Hazel we are looking to adopt from wags and wet noses but a bit concerned about just transferring money to people we have never met or spoke to or doing it by PayPal F&F. Would you mind if you could reply to this so I could talk to you about your experience pls? We have been accepted for a dog but just want to do checks as it’s a lot of money to me and my family
        Thanks
        Alistair

        • July 21, 2021 / 2:23 pm

          Hi Alistair, we chose to just do a bank transfer, we were worried at first but we needn’t have been! I assume you’ve been chatting to a few of the team about your chosen dog? Honestly, our experience was really good, they kept us updated the whole way between reserving and getting our dog, and when we took her to the vets they were happy with all her documents, tests etc, a lot of rescues from abroad aren’t as good with their tests etc apparently. Happy to answer any questions!

  2. March 29, 2021 / 10:32 am

    I’m so glad it’s working out. We have rescued Newfoundlands for 25yrs nearly always had two. Our last one died aged 8 November 2019 and I’ve been so distraught over her death and leading up to it, I’ve not been able to think about getting another. Now we feel ready and I’ve an older girl who hasn’t had anyone enquire about her, dont know why she’s lovely.
    My only worry is if we get her now, we are having work done on our house a loft conversion and outside the gable end rendered and a corner of the house dug up to secure the damp proof membrane. Then it will go up for sale and hopefully move to a place with 3-5 acres.
    I’m worried if we get her now she may get stressed with all the work, then moving her to a new house. I think it’s better to wait until we are ready to move.

  3. Jules
    April 8, 2021 / 7:58 am

    We have three Wags dogs and they’re all brilliant! Wendy and the team all have full time jobs outside of the Rescue work and, especially considering they don’t get paid for their hard work, their passion, commitment and overall huge hearts for what they do and the dogs they help save is so admirable.
    We have nothing but great things to say about Wags and Wet Noses, and we love our three dogs to bits. They’ve had a rotten start to their lives in Hungary but, thanks to Wags, they’ll have many many loving fantastic years ahead with us in the UK.

    • April 8, 2021 / 2:02 pm

      I agree, it’s amazing what they all do and don’t claim a penny for themselves! We can’t imagine life without Forest now. She is so healthy as well and the vets were so happy with the tests she’s had and all her paperwork.

  4. Ian Sterrett
    April 8, 2021 / 1:43 pm

    Absolutely over the moon that you have written this blog. We adopted Sandy from Wags ‘n’ Wet Noses and had the best experience ever! Having had Sandy for 15 months now, he has settled into the heart of our family.

    • April 8, 2021 / 2:00 pm

      Thank you! I thought it was important to write a true testimonial, as I struggled to find one when we were considering adopting Forest! We can’t imagine out lives without her now!

  5. Traysi
    April 13, 2021 / 3:33 pm

    I am so happy that I found this blog! I’ve just been told that I will be rescuing a Wags dog today! But then my mother said something to me that I never once considered;
    “Is this rescue even legit? Or are they a con? Scamming people from their hard-earned money!”
    And me being the anxious and worrying sort, I was PLAGUED with such doubt and thinking “Ah crap! Now what? Are they real?” And I did come across a blogspot post from “illegal trafficking” but that alone looked more suspicious to only be on blogspot and their fb page.
    So to come across this, and read part 1 and 2, and read the comments too, I feel much more at ease!
    Thanks for this!!

    • April 13, 2021 / 4:08 pm

      That’s so exciting! Congratulations on being accepted to adopt one of the dogs. I actually struggled to find anything except the article you mentioned as well, which is one of the main reasons I wrote this! I knew someone else who’d already adopted from them so that made me feel a lot better. I’d also recommend the Wags supporters and adopters Facebook group! Good luck with your new dog x

      • Rob Hopkins
        April 24, 2021 / 7:15 am

        We have just been accepted for a dog from wags and your blog was so so helpful, thank you for taking the time and effort to write such a detailed and informative blog. I imagine you will help a lot of people who like me where concerned about the legitimacy of the charity.