Your browser does not support JavaScript! Coronavirus - SARS-CoV-2 and animals
Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

You may want to go for a virtual walk in the woods while your here.
Just click on the player below. Perhaps close your eyes and think of better days.
It's 30 minutes of tranquility in a time of great stress.
(Something pleasant in the background as you read the information on this page while listening!)

Coronavirus statement and information. SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19)

To make a donation towards our running costs due to the Coronavirus restrictions follow this link
Information about animals and Covid 19 and protective measures further down this page

Current situation regarding our activities in the UK


This information will be updated from time to time as the situation progresses.
Latest update 13th April 2020.

What we cannot do
All our rehoming services continue to be suspended, including taking applications to adopt dogs. As things stand at the moment we expect to be taking new applications after
May 1st when our office opens on Tuesday May 4th.

Please scroll down to see and variations to this status in different countries in the UK and the expected changes to this policy in the three different mainland countries.

Our office opens from 2pm to 5pm Tuesdays to Thursdays for other enquiries.

There are exemptions under all current lockdown restrictions for charitable and voluntary activities but these exemptions are meant for essential activities & key services that benefit humans who are suffering hardship.
Adoption of a dog is not the sort of activity these exemptions were designed to permit.
It is not an essential activity or key service.
Any movement or contact carries an unacceptable risk of spreading the virus. Dogs in our care are safe and will be well looked after until we are able to place them in new homes once this situation ends.

If you call or email about adopting a dog you will be asked to call back when circumstances allow.
We will not be able to help you now or advise you when we will be able to allow adoption in the future. Circumstances are beyond our control or ability to predict - unfortunately.

 Keep an eye on this page for updates as they occur.


What we can do

In some circumstances we may be able to bring dogs into our care if they are at risk of euthanasia or those that are in need of rescue due to welfare reasons under Covid sage conditions.
Our ability to take in dogs is limited by the spaces we have to accommodate them in each of the three mainland devolved countries. We cannot cross borders or move dogs across borders - yet.


In some circumstances we are able to provide support and assistance to elderly, infirm, disabled or ill people who cannot fully look after their dog. This includes, but is not limited to, walking dogs, delivering essential goods such as food and medicines and taking dogs to vets and/or returning dogs home from vets.
This service is wholly dependent of having a volunteer close enough to perform these duties.

We are able to offer support for people with Border Collies who are suffering hardship as a result of the pandemic. Small grants are available towards costs of dog food or veterinary care.
Grants depend on the financial circumstances of the applicant, based on evidence they supply.
Successful grants will be paid directly to the supplier of goods or services, i.e. Vets or pet shops, etc.
This service is available in England, Scotland and Wales.

We are able to offer behavioural and training advice via our advice line every Thursday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm.

This service is available in England, Scotland and Wales.


We are able to provide information on a variety of subjects relating to dogs and take enquiries about taking in dogs or adopting dogs during our normal office hours between 2pm and 5pm Tuesdays to Thursdays.

This service is available in England, Scotland and Wales.


If you have a dog to re-home and your situation is not urgent we can place your dog on a waiting list.


Status in different countries of the UK


Our rehoming activities in England are suspended and we are not taking on new applications.
Under the current plans published by the English government we would expect to open to new applications from 1st May but we will not know if we will be able to carry out home visits or re-home dogs until after the review on 17th May.

If volunteers are available we may be able to help as outlined in 'What we can do' above.



Our rehoming activities in Scotland are suspended and we are not taking on new applications.
Under the current plans published by the Scottish government we would expect to open to new applications from 1st May and would expect to be able to carry out home visits after the 17th May.
Re-homing of dogs will be possible after June 1st if all travel and border restrictions are lifted.

We have no dogs currently fostered in Scotland.

Crossing the border is still prohibited under most circumstances but may change on 17th May.

If volunteers are available in Scotland we may be able to help as outlined in 'What we can do' above.


Our rehoming activities in Wales are suspended and we are not taking on new applications.
Under the current plans published by the Welsh government we would expect to open to new applications from 1st May onwards but there is no indication as to when we would be able to start home visiting or re-homing dogs at this time.

We have no dogs currently fostered in Wales.

Crossing the border in either direction is now allowed.

If volunteers in Wales are available we may be able to help as outlined in 'What we can do' above.




Further information on related subjects



The general situation regarding dog rescue

A lot of people contacting us are confused about mixed messages they are getting from various sources.

This may help clarify what is going on.

In this current situation no-one can claim or imply they are 'carrying on as normal' when circumstances are such that no one can, or is.

The fact is that not many dogs are being referred to any rescue organisation at the moment so few are available for adoption.

It has also become more difficult to import dogs from abroad which makes it difficult for any rescue that relies on those sources.
Some rescue websites are showing few dogs. Others claim they have many available but also claim they are 'under assessment' so they are unable to offer these dogs for adoption. This is known as 'Keeping up appearances'.
The fact of the matter is that most people with dogs they would normally need to re-home are selling their dogs on the internet.

The General situation regarding coronavirus

We urge everyone to stay within the law and do more than just follow advice regarding Covid-19.
The advice is to help us all help each other - make that a priority
The sooner we all comply with these restrictions the sooner the crisis will end but if some people continue to act as though these restrictions don't apply to them it will go on and on. The most recent new variant will make non-compliance even more dangerous (and stupid).
A vaccine will help in the long term but we need to comply until then to save as many lives as possible.

It is said there are three 'types' of people now causing the spread of the virus.
These are the 'ignorant', the 'conspiracy theorists' and the 'selfish, pig headed'.

Unusual Circumstances
We are getting far more applications to adopt dogs than requests to take dogs in.
In the 44 years the charity has operated we have never come across circumstances like these.
In part this is due to a high market demand for dogs that has pushed up prices of puppies to a level many cannot afford.
The demand and price hike has also encouraged people to sell their unwanted dogs rather than gift them to rescue organisations.
Puppy farmers, non charitable Rescues and CIC registered commercial rescues are exploiting this situation for gain by breeding or importing dogs from abroad. Ireland is a popular source of stock for these.
Importation of dogs from Eire and Northern Ireland is logistically simpler and when illegally carried out, more difficult to control and detect. Buyers should be aware that in many cases imported dogs carry risks and support profit making concerns rather than charity.
More information here

Office operating times
Due to a shortage of volunteers we are running restricted office hours.
After 4th July 2020 and until further notice our office will be open between
2pm and 5pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Found one of our dogs?
If you have found one of our dogs running stray or;
You are a client who has adopted a dog from us and you have an emergency or;
You are someone who is looking after a dog on behalf of a client of ours who has become ill -
please contact us at any time, leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


The Coronavirus pandemic has had a serious impact on our fundraising abilities.
All the events we would have attended have been cancelled.
Events where we would have had supporters being sponsored have been cancelled.
We cannot take in or rehome dogs.
Other than voluntary donations, our income streams have dried up but we still have dogs to feed and care for and other outgoings to cover.
Times are difficult for all of us but if you are able to spare something to help us be here after the pandemic, please give a donation.

You can scan the QR Code with your phone or use the form below that.

Under the donation box is some information about the virus, some statements explaining our activities during the crisis and some information about how it can affect peoples relationships with their dogs.
If you can help us, thank you. Either way, please be careful, follow the NHS guidelines and government instructions, look after each other and your faithful friends and stay healthy.

covid qrcode

Coronavirus information. SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19)

Discovered in the 60's it infects a number of animal and bird species. One strain that infects humans is HCoV-229E (the common cold).
The strain causing the current pandemic causes a disease called Covid-19.
It attacks the respiratory system in humans causing a form of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
This current strain is known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
It is highly contagious, often debilitating, sometimes very acute and occasionally fatal without the right intervention and care.
The lockdown we have been through and the restrictions we are subject to at this time are designed to be an effective intervention against the spread of the disease.

How will SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) affect our pets?

In the past authorities have categorically stated that there is no evidence that domestic companion animals such as dogs and cats can become ill or infectious due to exposure to this form of Coronavirus, however as time passes this is proving to be incorrect.

There have been early cases of domestic dogs testing positive as carrying the virus which were initially ignored, followed by a case of big cats (Tiger and Lions) at a zoo testing positive and displaying respiratory symptoms. This was also initially played down.
Some research has shown that cats can be infected and can pass on the infection to other cats. In this instance there is 'evidence'.
There has been a recent case of a cat being infected here in the UK.
Very little is known about the transference of Covid-19 from humans to animals and Vice Versa.
The statement that there is 'no evidence' needs to be viewed in the perspective that there has been very little research into this aspect of the spread of the virus and 'evidence' is only arrived at by formal and methodical research.
As a consequence any statement of 'no evidence' should be understood as another way of saying 'we just don't know'.

Not so long ago, in the Netherlands, cases of Covid 19 were found in Mink at fur farms. Respiratory symptoms were common and there were fatalities. This was well known locally and some residents demanded the Mink be culled.
Due to a subsequent high incidence of Covid 19 in owners and workers at the farms additional testing revealed a high number of Mink were infected and mass culling have been carried out.
Large numbers of Mink kept in cramped conditions is thought to be the reason for such a high incidence of infection.
As dogs are also known to be susceptible it is equally possible that puppy farm bred dogs or imported dogs would carry the same risk. There is 'no evidence' of this because there have been no methodical studies so 'we just don't know'.

The World Organisation for Animal Health is publishing information in the form of answers to questions about animals and coronavirus which can be read here.

It is also possible that any animal exposed to the virus may be able to carry it on their body or in their respiratory track for a limited period of time.
At this time the limited period is thought to be 72 hours.

It should be stressed that humans are the main vectors for the spread of Covid-19 and the pandemic is driven by human to human contact or proximity. There should be no danger of contracting the disease from an animal if you follow good hygiene and contact precautions and use your common sense and a certain amount of restraint when handling them.
It is thought, in most cases, animals are catching the virus from humans but in some cases it appears some species can pass it back.

The following advice to dog owners has been issued by DEFRA for people self isolating or infected with Covid-19.

Advice if you have symptoms of coronavirus and must remain at home for 7 days, 10 days or 14 days as a household

If your dog cannot exercise at home, you should ask someone outside of your household to walk your dog for you.
All non-essential trips to vets should be avoided. If your pet needs urgent treatment, you must phone the vet to arrange the best approach to meet your pets’ needs

More advice from DEFRA can be found here.


Advice if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus and are not required to isolate.

It is important that you prevent your dog from contact with other dogs and potentially infected surfaces and while outside of your home you and your dogs should remain at least 1 metre away from anyone, or any dog, you meet.
Unless you are in a private enclosure where no-one else goes it is best to keep your dog on it's lead at all times. Make sure you pick up after it.

All non-essential trips to vets should be avoided. Most vets are still only dealing with serious cases or working by appointment.
If your pet needs urgent treatment, you may take them, but must remember to wash your hands and remain 2 metres away from anyone outside your household.
You must call the vet before going to see them and follow their instructions on how to proceed.

Advice for those walking dogs on behalf of someone unable to do it themselves.

You may be helping to care for a vulnerable person or someone who is self isolating or still voluntarily shielding.
If this includes walking a dog for someone who is unable to leave their house you should remember to wear a face covering, wash your hands before and after handling the dog and keep 2 metres away from other people and animals, including when taking and handing the dog back to it's owner. (the 2 metre distance is an additional precaution due to the vulnerability of the person for whom you are walking the dog)
If you do this on a regular basis bring your own collar and lead and put it on and take it off the dog outside of the house.
Disinfect it when you take it home.

If you are using the dogs own collar and lead, disinfect them before handing them back to the vulnerable person.
Your responsibility is greater than it would be if you were walking your own dog as it is someone else's life that would be at risk if you were careless.

The following general advice is also suggested -

If you need to look after a dog known to have been exposed to the virus because it's owner has been admitted to hospital;

Quarantine the dog for 72hrs, preferably in its own home.
During this time, walk the dog as often as possible and let it into the garden of the property as many times a day as possible and ensure it has access to water at all times. Feed according to food manufacturers instructions.  You may need to restrict the dog to one room. This would best be a kitchen or utility room where you can put its bed, water bowl and any toys.
Spend as much time with the dog as you can spare. Dogs are social beings and need company.
We would suggest you wear a protective suit or old clothing over your normal clothes, a mask or handkerchief over your mouth and nose and disposable gloves when in the house and handling the dog and do not touch any surfaces in the house or the dogs lead, bowls or other items without having previously disinfected them* while still wearing protective items of clothing.
Keep a bin bag by the door you are using and dispose of any single use protective items on the way out. Take off and leave old clothing at the door to put on next time you enter.
When you get back home wash your hands and any exposed skin according to government instructions and make sure you do not touch your face until you have completed this task.

After the 72 hours is up, in theory, any virus contaminating surfaces on the premises should have died off - but don't take that for granted.
Put on fresh protective clothing and in particular disposable gloves.

Take the dog outside and shampoo it thoroughly (twice), rinsing copiously between and after shampooing, then towel dry.
Disinfect any item you intend to take home that the dog has been in contact with using an anti viral agent.
This includes, but is not restricted to, bowls, toys, collar and lead.*

If you used old clothing, bin bag all of it and take it home, empty the bag into a washing machine without touching the clothing and wash at 90 degrees with biological detergent along with the towel used to dry the dog. Dispose of the bin bag.
Put any disposable protective clothing etc. in a bin bag, keeping gloves on until last and incinerate if possible.
You may want to incinerate the old cloths instead of washing them. If you cannot, or do not wish to, incinerate any items you need to dispose of you should double bag them and seek advice from your local authority about collection and disposal.

Wash your hands and any skin that was exposed during the above process with soap and warm water making sure that you do not touch your face until you have finished washing.

The dog and disinfected equipment should now be safe to handle and you can take the dog in and look after it at home.

If you think you may have been exposed to the virus by contact with a dog that could potentially be contaminated by the virus:

Make sure you remove and wash any outer clothing and any exposed skin. Do not touch your face until you have done this.
If your own dog has also made contact, before removing and washing your outer protective clothing, put on disposable gloves, shampoo your dog thoroughly (twice), rinsing copiously between and after shampooing, then towel dry.
Disinfect or dispose of the dogs collar and lead.
Remove and wash your outer clothing and any exposed skin. Do not touch your face until you have done this.

It is recommended that any dog that is known to have come into direct contact with a person infected by Coronavirus is quarantined for 72 hours.

Coronavirus cannot be contracted through the skin but may be picked up from infected surfaces by exposed skin. If you think you may have come into contact with a contaminated surface it is important that you do not touch your face until you have thoroughly washed your hands and the exposed skin, following NHS approved methods for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water.

If you take your dog outside of your property or own garden, when you get back you should consider the following precautions:

Follow the advice on how to shampoo the dog as given above, but before doing so it is suggested that you -

Minimise your contact with the dog. Wear disposable gloves and a face mask of some sort when in contact.
Avoid allowing the dog to lick you.
Shampoo as described above. Disinfect the dogs collar and lead. Wash the clothing you are wearing.

Wash your hands after touching the dog or any items it has been in contact with. Do not touch your face until you have done this.

Bear in mind that it is possible to infect yourself or your dog if either of you come into contact with any item that has been infected by the virus. An infected person may touch gate handles or other things you or your dog may also touch. Carry poo bags. If you need to touch a gate or handle use a poo bag over your hand.

This virus is very contagious, the new variant more so..

Inconvenient - yes,  but people die from Covid-19.  If you catch it you may not die but may pass it on to someone who does.........

Welfare of companion animals under current conditions -

If you think your pet is ill, contact your vet immediately but do not just turn up at the surgery.
Most vets are now taking normal precautions to minimise contact with people and each practice has it's own ways of doing this.
Look on their website or phone them and follow their directions. You can expect to be asked to stay in your car on arrival and phone them to say you are there. They will call you in when your turn comes or come outside to meet you.
Under these circumstances a vet is unlikely to make a house call.

* Something to bear in mind -

Covid-19 is caused by a virus - SARS-CoV-2.
Coronavirus will not be eliminated by anti bacterial agents so simple disinfection by an anti bacterial cleaner, spray or wipe will not kill it.
Look for products that state they can kill bacteria AND viruses.
Alcohol based products (60% for hand sanitising or 70% for surface cleaning) are effective but will dry the skin so moisturise afterwards.
Other agents are bleach (dilution level depends on strength) or Hydrogen Peroxide (between 0.5% and 3% solution) but neither of these agents should be used on the skin, human body or an animal.
Most effective is vigorous cleaning with soap and water to degrease the skin and wash away any contaminates but it is important to moisturise regularly.

Border Collie Rescue uses a disinfectant called Virkon-S. We have used this product during and since the 2001 Foot and Mouth epidemic.
It is a powerful anti viral and anti bacterial agent and is approved for the elimination of Corona Virus strains.
We use it in it's standard 1% solution to wash and disinfect dogs suspected of carrying a viral or bacterial infection and for standard washing of exposed equipment - we disinfected over 200 dogs using Virkon during Foot and Mouth.
We are very careful it does not get into a dogs eyes, nose or mouth that it is thoroughly rinsed off after 3 minutes by two separate soakings of clean water and we only use it on dogs once in every 14 days and then only if appropriate.
None of the dogs we have used it on have shown any adverse or allergic reactions.

During Foot and Mouth the people administering the washes often had some skin exposed to this disinfectant several times in 24 hours. Regular exposure like this did make the skin sore and dry but we felt no adverse reactions after one use.
We are not advocating the use of this product in this way and the manufacturers do not advocate the use of this product in this way.
Here, we are speaking only of our own experiences of its use.
Over the 10 months of Foot and Mouth we had no cases of transmitting the disease even though the majority of dogs we took in were from virally infected farms.
We can advocate the use of this product on any equipment suspected of being infected. Soak in a 1% solution for three minutes and rinse off.

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Border Collie Rescue is a UK based charity, working throughout the UK to Rescue and Re-home Border
Collies and Working Sheepdogs and Internationally to promote a better understanding of the breed and its Welfare.