Wood Green are extremely proud to have been the focus of an eight-part documentary series on Channel 4 called The Dog House. The programme offered a fascinating insight into how we match homeless dogs with the perfect new owner – sparking beautiful friendships. Approximately a million people tuned into each episode, and the reaction was amazing!
Over the course of the series, we shared exclusive behind-the-scenes content which you can access below. This includes interviews with staff about the dogs who featured and advice about some of the topics raised on The Dog House. Enjoy!
In episode one, we met Tiny, a terrified terrier who came to us after his owner went into care. He was joined by child-friendly Cairn terrier Daisy, and lovable Staffie Zeus, who were similarly both looking for their perfect forever homes.
In episode two, we met Bear, a two-year-old ex-puppy mill Pomeranian who arrived at Wood Green in the hope of finding his forever home. He's joined by lovable Staffie Bailey, and the adorable Knobby, a Chihuahua puppy, who similarly were looking for their perfect matches.
In episode three, ten German Shepherd puppies overran our meeting pen in the hope of finding a forever home. They were joined by Casper, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a lot of love to give.
In episode four, an excitable French Bulldog, Buddy, arrived at Wood Green in the hope of finding his forever home. He's joined by stray Labrador Leah, and nervous Collie Kimmie, who similarly were looking for their perfect matches.
In episode 5, we met Bobo, a cute terrier puppy who is looking to find a family and a new home. He's joined by Ruby, a Lhasa-cross who was grieving for her owner, who had sadly passed away, and was hoping to find a companion again.
In episode 6, we met young labrador Loki, who is hoping to find his match with nurse Sharron. He's joined by lovable puppy Bluebell, blue-eyed Husky Indie, and nervous terrier Midnight.
In episode 8, poorly Harmony the lurcher arrived at Wood Green as a stray with a broken tail. Nervous and in need of a lot of love, could she find the perfect match? Small but confident collie-cross puppy Joey, and nervous toy-poodle Gizmo, are also looking for the perfect match.
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Role: Pet Advisor
Pet/s: 2 cats, a Ragdoll and a Moggy, and 3 dogs, a Parson-Russell-cross, Pug-cross, and Yorkie-Cross.
Favourite thing about working at WG: Seeing dogs go home with their forever families!
A funny moment: In the Welcome Centre office, we were looking after a puppy called Cookie. Cookie liked to sit on the desk with us, which was fine, but unfortunately Cookie managed to delete all of our Welcome Centre emails. We eventually retrieved them...phew!
Love: Reading and Medieval history
Role: Team Leader Dog Section
Pet/s: Bo, a dog, and Mushu, a cat
Favourite thing about working at WG: Lots of learning opportunities with all the new dogs and people you meet every day
A funny moment: Filming with Harry the Doberman, when he ran off with the microphone cover
Love: Nature and being outdoors
Role: Dog Rehomer
Pet/s: Fuego, a Chihuahua
Favourite thing about working at WG: When you get to see the dogs go home
A funny moment: Bear the Pomeranian’s cute cuddles
Role: Team Leader Assessment and Rehoming
Pet/s: Dexter, a German Shepherd, Dee Dee, a cat and Yugi, a kitten
Favourite thing about working at WG: Meeting interesting dogs and people every day
A funny moment: Trying to leave the meet between Tiny and his potential owners but he didn’t want me to leave and clung to me, it was a bit embarrassing!
Love: Playing the guitar
Role: Pet Advisor
Pet/s: 3 dogs, Lily, a Jack Russell Terrier, Gingie, a crossbreed, and Betty a Beagle-cross.
Favourite thing about working at WG: Every day is different and you are always learning surrounded by an amazing team of like-minded people.
A funny moment: A few near misses with mic packs falling out of pockets and almost down toilets!
Love: Long dog walks, baking, and eating cake.
Hate: Sitting still, smelly crisps, and cheese!
Role: Dog Rehomer
Pet/s: Ernie, Springer Spaniel
Favourite thing about working at WG: Being outside and being around dogs all the time
A funny moment: Trying to get Kimmie, a shy Border Collie out of a bush when the crew were trying to film her. It wasn’t funny for Kimmie but in the end we had to see the funny side.
Hate: Working outside when it’s raining
Role: Section Manager Dog Rehoming
Pet/s: Elsa, a Labrador
Favourite thing about working at WG: Happy endings for our dogs
A funny moment: Watching a family meet 10 German Shepherd puppies and seeing their joy at laying on the floor with the puppies climbing all over them.
Hate: Being late
Wood Green have been transforming pets’ lives for 95 years. From humble beginnings, we have grown into one of the UK’s largest pet charities. Today, across three locations, we help and rehome 8,000 pets in need every year, and support people to be the best pet owners they can be – all thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
Wood Green’s dog kennels are not open to the public.
Every year, we take in hundreds of dogs at our site in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire. The reasons they come to Wood Green are varied. Some are unwanted or abandoned, some are suffering from medical conditions or behavioural problems, and others are strays whose histories we know little about.
We take our responsibility for the wellbeing of these dogs very seriously. Whatever their background, we provide all the care they need and do everything we can to find them a loving new home.
The experience of being placed in a kennel can be extremely stressful for any dog. For those who have come from a good home, it’s a world away from what they’re used to. The companionship, routine and home comforts they once enjoyed are suddenly gone.
We strive to minimise stress for every dog in our care by responding to their individual needs – helping them feel safe, relaxed and happy. This includes getting them out of the kennels as much as possible if they’re not coping well. Since closing our kennels to the public, the dogs are generally much happier during their time with us.
If you’re interested in rehoming a dog from Wood Green whilst visiting our site in Godmanchester, please speak to a member of the team in our Welcome Centre. They’ll have a chat with you about what you’re looking for in a dog, and let you know if we have any that are suitable matches. If we do, a meeting with the dog/s will be arranged. If not, we can still help you on your journey to finding the right dog, and will always be here for any advice you might need.
Channel 4’s The Dog House, filmed at Wood Green, offers a fascinating insight into how we match homeless dogs with perfect new owners. However, what you see on TV is only a snapshot of each dog’s story.
Every dog who arrives at Wood Green is unique, with their own background. Some need urgent medical treatment; others might need behavioural training. And some just need love and care while we find them a forever home. Of course, it isn’t possible to show the full extent of this support in an episode of The Dog House. We get to know each dog in intricate detail, sometimes over weeks, and the rehoming process itself often takes a number of conversations and meetings - there's a lot that goes into giving each dog the best chance of a happy future!
Wood Green’s centres are currently closed to general visitors, but we have been able to start safely rehoming some of our pets by inviting people to our sites on an appointment basis, or by taking pets directly to their loving new homes. All staff abide by social distancing rules throughout the rehoming process and in their other day-to-day work.
If you would like to rehome a pet from Wood Green, please visit the ‘find a pet’ section on our website. Here you’ll be guided through some questions that will help us decide whether we have any pets that are a perfect match for you. For more information, please email email@example.com or call 0300 303 9333.
If it's not possible to keep your pet at home anymore, we can help. It can be difficult losing a much-loved member of the family, but we’ll make it as simple and painless as possible.
Please contact our Pet Support Team here. Alternatively, call 0300 303 9333 between 8am and 4.30pm, seven days a week. We’ll make you an appointment here at Wood Green to come along with your pet, and talk you through the next steps.
We were thrilled to have the chance to share our message with such a wide audience, but we were not paid by Channel 4 to take part in the programme. We continue to be extremely grateful for any donations we receive from our supporters, as they allow us to keep our doors open to pets in need.
We’re sorry for the wait. We receive a large number of enquiries, and have seen an increase since the airing of Channel 4’s The Dog House, which features our charity. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can – thank you for your patience.
At Wood Green, The Animals Charity, we give homeless and vulnerable pets the greatest chance of a positive future – a second chance at life. And we put all the care, training and love into making that a reality.
But when we have done all we can to help a pet overcome a serious medical condition, severe behavioural problem, or both, a decision has to be made about putting them to sleep. This involves our team of experts assessing each pet for quality of life and, for those with behavioural problems, the risk to other pets and people.
We have a duty to consider the welfare of every pet in our care. In extreme cases, euthanasia will be considered – and is a decision that is never taken lightly.
If you have any press enquiries, please get in touch by calling 0300 303 9333 and ask to be put through to the communications team. Alternatively, you can reach individual members of the team with the following extension numbers or by email: Catie Allwright (extension 1237), or Nicole Perez on 07856 240 152.
For any out-of-hours media enquiries, please contact Justin Morris on 07588 803 279.