Left to right: Unita Hanekom, Kimbal Mare with Fynn (adopted from TDH), and Laura Bertie
The Dachshund Haven is not a shelter. But it is an organisation where every decision made has a Dachshund at its heart.
This organisation is the culmination of four women combining their love of Dachshunds and the best of their animal rescue volunteering experience to make a difference. Since Dachshund Haven’s founding in May 2015, hundreds of dogs have found loving forever homes.
Rescue, rehome, educate and support
The Dachshund Haven has three objectives in our mission:
- Rescue as many Dachshunds as we can and rehome them with families who understand the breed;
- Educate the public on the breed and the dangers of buying or rehoming your dogs online or via social media;
- Support Dachshund owners by providing a platform where they can get advice on all the challenges their four-legged family member can bring.
All our work is done with donations, and we receive no government funding. We have some amazing supporters who privately donate monthly, as well as small businesses that donate a small portion of their proceeds from sales. Without these donations, for which we are truly grateful, we wouldn’t be able to keep helping these “little long dogs”.
Not a shelter
Dachshunds struggle in shelters; they are incredibly sociable little dogs that love being around people and other small dogs. Therefore, all of our Dachshunds stay with families in foster homes, mainly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, although we rehome all over South Africa.
Foster care provides a perfect opportunity to establish what each dog likes and dislikes so that we can place them in a forever home that stays forever. It also helps dogs needing extra socialisation and training.
We provide support to all our foster families and work together to ensure each foster dog is rehomed with the right family, based on their individual needs.
We have a WhatsApp group where we all discuss anything from the cute way a foster sleeps to how to happily integrate a foster into your family. Thanks to Cuberoute and Eukanuba South Africa we provide our fosters with good-quality food every month. We also carry all veterinary costs of the Dachshunds whilst in foster care.
Between May 2015 (when we launched) and December 2015, we rescued and rehomed 100 Dachshunds and Dachshund crosses. In 2016, 281 were rehomed, and in 2017 we rehomed 226 dogs. 2018 has been a tough year so far, with fewer adoptions; by July 2018, only 80 Daxies had found their homes. We have approximately 60 dogs looking for homes at any given time.
So, where do our dogs come from?
We rescue “little long dogs” from all walks of life, not just strays. In fact, most of our dogs come from loving families which are emigrating or downsizing and cannot take their Dachshunds with them. They don’t want to take their fur kids to shelters and don’t want to advertise them online, as they know this is a dangerous way to rehome dogs. So, they contact us, and we help them rehome their precious dogs.
Others come from backyard breeders – people who just let their dogs mate and have puppies until they’re at death’s door. These poor Dachshunds are often starving, full of ticks and fleas, with dull and coarse coats. However, with time and lots of love in our foster homes, they become happy little long dogs.
Finally, we also rescue dogs from registered commercial breeders who give us their unwanted “stock”: Dachshunds who can no longer produce healthy puppies; Dachshunds that are too big, too small, too long, too short... These dogs have been in kennels all of their lives, with very few interactions with people. These are the ones that take the longest to rehabilitate BUT are the most rewarding when they give you their first tail wag, or their first lick.
Our rescues range from tiny puppies to super frosty-faced seniors, and from registered pure-bred Dachshunds to cross breeds. We love them all and will always do everything in our power for them.
Adopting from The Dachshund Haven
TDH carefully matches each dog to the adopting family. If we feel a specific dog will not fit in with a specific home, we’ll discuss options with the adopter – ultimately, we need to ensure that our rescued dog will be safe, in an environment that suits them. It’s because of this that we have very few adoption failures.
An adoption fee is charged, which is flexible depending on the age and condition of the dog, and reduced when a family wants to adopt more than one dog.
Our home checks are strict but reasonable. Our rule of thumb is to ask ourselves: would we be happy for our own dogs to live in this home?
Senior Savers Club
The Dachshund Haven is very proud of our Senior Savers Club.
Senior citizens (over 60 years of age) can permanently “foster” a Dachshund over 10 years of age. The new owners are responsible for tick and flea treatment, deworming, etc., but we carry the “bigger” veterinary costs, such as medication, yearly vaccinations, dentals, etc.
These doggies stay in these homes until they cross the Rainbow Bridge or the owner’s circumstances change; the dog will then come back into our care.
Thank you for helping
We cannot do what we do without the families who foster for us, the volunteers who drive and collect dogs from one place to the next, the creative volunteers who manage our Facebook page and create posters for us, the public who share our posts, or donate funds... and the amazing people who choose to adopt, instead of shop.
We are always in need of fundraisers, fosters, volunteers and donations, so if you think you could be part of our amazing organisation, even for a second, please contact us.
If you would like to donate, our banking details are:
Branch code 101232/189905
Account number 1127096737