Dog adoption

Photo: Copyright: WSPA

Sadly, there is a constant stream of surrendered and abandoned animals to shelters, pounds and rescue groups in Australia.  The good news is more people are considering dog adoption for a family pet.  PetRescue receives 250 searches a minute for a dog or cat!

Dog adoption not only gives a pet a second chance, it can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.  Fostering is another great way to introduce a dog into your life and help him rehabilitate ready for adoption.

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 have been toilet trained.   You’ll have less work and fewer surprises!  PETA has eight reasons to adopt a doggie.

Questions to ask a re-homing organisation 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 are 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?

A re-homing organisation should offer a doggie that is a good match with your household.  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.

Download our Fact Sheet and take it with you when you visit the animal shelter or rescue group.

Dog adoption ready checklist

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 involve 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 is 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.