Rescue Helpers Unite is an online community where animal rescues & volunteers work together to help animals.

circles_lrg_dog3Many animal rescues rely on help from volunteers. Without this they would not be able to save the lives and find new homes for so many of the UK's homeless animals.

We’re a non-profit organisation managed by unpaid volunteers, and our service is completely free for both rescues and volunteers.

Since 2007 we’ve been working with rescues from all over the UK, and we’re proud to say that our members have helped tens of thousands of rescue animals.

We help animals by transporting, homechecking, fostering, fundraising and more!

How RHU works with rescues

Our online forum home page

We work online via our forum. This is where rescues post their requests for help and we contact volunteers in our county databases.

Using the forum, Rescues and volunteers can contact each other direct using our Private Message (PM) system, or can chat with the whole community in our public chat areas.

We also share many of the rescue requests on Facebook and Twitter so you can follow us there for updates.

Rescues also post their animals for adoption and fundraising appeals and events on our online forum which we help to share by posting on our dedicated adoption website and on our RHU Twitter and RHU Facebook accounts.

The homechecks needed section on our forum

Animals needing rescue backup, working with dog pounds & poundie volunteers

We welcome Local Authority dog pounds, veterinary workers and volunteers to post homeless animals needing rescue backup on our forum, where rescues can find out more information and where possible offer to take animals in to their care.

''Pound Helpers' (volunteers working with local dog pounds) share details of homeless dogs needing 'rescue backup' and appeal to rescues to help, and RHU volunteers often help transport the dogs in to rescue, sometimes travelling quite a distance to get to their rescue space.

Best practices in animal rescue

We promote best practices in animal rescue - in order to request help via RHU rescues need to register their details with us, which will then be checked by RHU Staff. We'll only work with rescues that provide proper backup for their animals, which we believe means:

  • All animals must be given lifetime backup, meaning that if necessary the animal will be returned to the rescue at any time during it's life
  • Where possible all animals must be neutered/spayed prior to rehoming, or this must be included in the rehoming agreement (where applicable, unless not possible due to medical reasons)
  • No rescue animals to be bred from under any circumstances
  • Where possible all animals must be vaccinated prior to rehoming/fostering (where applicable, unless not possible due to medical reasons)
  • All new owners must pass a home check prior to the rehoming of the animal (this applies to all types of animal)
  • Animals should be assessed before going to foster or forever homes, and in particular, dogs from the pound should be thoroughly temperament assessed and vet checked prior to going to a foster or forever home

About RHU and our history

Our community was started back in December 2007 and was one of the first animal rescue volunteering communities of it's kind.

"Sadly for as long as I can remember I have seen rescue pleas to save animals that are due to be put to sleep through no fault of their own & people offering their pets “Free to a good home” due to circumstances beyond their control or just because the animal “sheds too much hair”, “has grown too big”, “eats too much”, “takes up too much time” or possibly just because they have become bored with them! The reasons/excuses are endless but so often the sad outcome is pain, suffering & death for the innocent animal.
Although there are many replies to these pleas from people genuinely wanting to help quite often the distance between the animal in need & a place of safety were too great. I have seen animals given away free and then passed on for a profit. I then read a very disturbing story about a gorgeous DDB pup that had been given away and then subsequently died after being used as a fighting dog.
As one person I realized there was little I could do to help the vast majority of animals in need…..but maybe if a group of caring animal lovers & rescues could come together to form a network of volunteers then we could help save more animals from suffering & destruction."

- RHU's original creator, Kathryn

We're a non-profit organisaton

We're a completely non-profit organisation run by unpaid volunteers. Thanks to the kind donations of our members we're able to pay for high quality website hosting to keep our system online and running smoothly.

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