Bring a Griffon into your life!
In Spain, but also in France, Griffons are a forgotten group of dogs. They often end up in pounds and rescue kennels with little chance to be ever adopted because they are deemed unfit for a life as family pet. While in other, more northerly countries in Europe, they are little known either and there are only a few breeders of griffons. Yet, more and more people there discover these amazingly friendly and smart dogs.
Instead of buying with a breeder, many people prefer to adopt a dog from abroad. And, of course, there are people who specifically look for an adult griffon, as a companion to the one(s) they already have. On this page, we will explain how an adoption from Spain or France works. From the adoption itself, the requirements like passport, chip and vaccinations, etc, to transport. Of course we can lend a hand in helping you organize an adoption.
For an adoption from Spain, there are several possibilities, depending on where the dog is.
Rescuing a dog from a kill shelter
If a dog is in a kill shelter, we need help from people or organizations to go there in person and get the dog out. We usually only know more about a dog after it is saved: behaviour with other dogs, cats, kids, and of course its state of health. After a dog is save, it will be provided with a chip and passport plus the vaccinations required for travelling abroad, worm and flea treatment, and blood tests will be done for ‘Mediterranean diseases’ (although these are uncommon in the Atlantic region, where most Spanish griffons are found, due to the colder climate),. They will also be neutered. Once out of the perrera (kill shelter) the dog will either stay at a rescue shelter, a foster family, and if these both are not available, we will need to find a dog hotel or similar where the dog can stay until the waiting period of 21 days after the rabies vaccination are over and the dog can travel.
Adopting from a rescue organization
If a griffon is already in a non-kill shelter, a rescue kennel, or in a safe place like a foster family because a rescue organization is already taking care of the dog, the procedure is more or less the same, except that there is no need to find a foster or place where he can stay awaiting travel. Usually they have a little more info on character, behaviour and health of the animals in their care.
There is one caveat: not all rescue organizations in Spain will let a dog travel abroad. This is because they have seen too much abuse, abandonment, dogs found or kept in the worst of conditions and dead puppies found in garbage containers and plastic bags. One simply cannot blame them that they want to meet the adopters, do a home check and keep in contact with the adopters and their dogs. The good news however, is that many of these organizations will take the chance to let their dogs travel abroad because they know that in Northern European countries people treat dogs much better, or because they already have some good experiences with adoptions abroad, or because there are people abroad can do a home check for them and will make sure that contact is maintained between adopting families with the shelter of origin.
Once a dog is safe and ready to travel, there are several options for transport. For the UK only transport by road is available. Flight buddies who take a dog with them on their way home is possible for most other European countries, but not for the UK. By air, a dog can only be send to the UK as freight, and that is quite expensive. Flight buddies to other countries are sometimes hard to find, so for Germany, Holland or Belgium transport by road is often a safer option, because you have a fixed date and no need to pay yet an extra month of staying in a dog hotel. Ticket prices for a dog vary between €50 and €175, depending on the carrier, and you will also need to arrange a IATA-approved travel bench which costs around €90. Transport by road should be around €150-200 to NL, B or D. Genrally it will cost you around £300-350 to adopt a dog and have transportation to the UK. Sometimes a dog will need to travel within Spain in order to be picked up from a depart location, and this will cost a bit extra.
Another option is adopting from a rescue organization in your own country that arranges everything for you, including transport. They often have dogs with foster families before they get adopted, so much more is known about their behaviour and needs. Unfortunately, there are very few of these organizations that help dogs in the North West of Spain were most griffons can be found… Most organizations work from the Mediterranean areas
Adoption from France
For France things are slightly more complicated. In most cases, you need to go there in person. The SPA’s, as the official shelters are called there, want to meet the adopter, see their passport, etc. There is a French Griffon adoption group too on Facebook: Un Toit pout nos Griffons
We can help
We are in contact with several rescue organizations, and a number of transport companies and can help you arrange things. We post the dogs we wish to help on our groups on Facebook, where you can contact us.
Adopt a Griffon
Griffon Adoption UK
If you live in the UK and are interested in adopting or fostering a griffon, please check the site of Griffon Adoption UK, were you can find a list of adoptable griffons that are ready to travel or already in foster in the UK.