Dog adoption

Dog Adoption 

  • Questions to ask a shelter/rescue group
  • Dog adoption ready check list
  • Shelters and rescue groups
Dog adoption Image of puppy

Copyright: WSPA

Sadly, there is a constant stream of surrendered and abandoned animals to shelters, pounds and rescue groups.  The RSPCA alone received nationally 131,522 animals in 2011- 2012.  During that year, 32.4% of dogs and 39.1% of cats were re-homed.  PetRescue has over 7500 pets listed for adoption on any one day.

Giving a pet a second chance can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.

There are animals of all ages, puppies and kittens as well as mature dogs and cats that are looking for their forever home.  Fostering can be a great way to introduce a pet into your life.

There are many benefits to adopting an older dog.  You are not starting from scratch with a more mature dog. They usually know some basic commands and toilet trained.   You’ll have less work and fewer surprises!  PETA has eight reasons to adopt a doggie.

Questions to ask about dog adoption

  1. What is the dog’s history? If it was given up by a previous owner, what was the reason?  It may be difficult to get this information but it is worth a try to find out why the dog was surrendered or abandoned.
  2. How old is the dog?  If it is a puppy, how has it been socialised with other animals and people?
  3. Is the dog comfortable with children and lots of activity or is it more a suited to a quiet adult only household?
  4. What is the dog’s temperament and energy level?
  5. Has a behavioural assessment been done?
  6. What are the physical and behavioural needs of this particular dog/breed?
  7. If you have a multi-pet household, how will the newcomer fit in?
  8. Is the dog toilet trained?
  9. Is the dog in good health?  What information is available about its vaccinations and medical history?
  10. Has the dog been de-sexed?

Your dog may have been living at the shelter for a long time and not used to indoors.  Ask for advice on how to help your new doggie to adjust to his new home.

Dog adoption ready checklist

A re-homing organistation should offer a doggie that is a good match with your household.  A dog ready for adoption should have the following completed:

  • health checked
  • vaccinated
  • de-sexed
  • microchipped
  • flea and worm treated
  • house trained
  • personality and energy level assessed

Dog adoption shelters and rescue groups

The standard of animal care and knowledge varies across shelter/rescue groups.

The RSPCA Adopt a Pet, The Lost Dogs Home and the Animal Welfare League are among the larger shelter organisations located Australia wide.  They have a wide range of dog breeds ready for adoption.  The Lost Dogs Home rescue and care for over 21,000 abandoned, injured and lost cats and dogs every year.  It has a Pet Licence Test for potential pet owners which involves reading the relevant Handbook and taking an online test of 25 questions.

PetRescue is a not for profit online service that finds new homes for lost and abandoned pets.  It has a searchable directory of rescue pets from around Australia.  PetRescue supports over 650 re-homing organisations of which 77% are rescue groups that run foster care networks.   This means that the majority of the pets listed for adoption are living in people’s homes. The advantage to the adopter is that the personality of the pet are known.  For example, if a foster dog is happily living with kids and granny or a foster cat is living with dogs, then the rescue organisation will know that these animals can be matched to that kind of household.

If you are looking for a particular breed, you could try organisations such as Dogs NSW who can direct you to specific breed rescue groups.