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Adopting from us FAQ

Each year, we find loving new homes for more than 10,000 animals. We're comitted to helping you find a companion that is a perfect match for your family, home and lifestyle.

All of our adoption animals are health and behaviour checked, desexed, vaccinated, microchipped, and up to date with flea and worm treatments, which is all included in the adoption fee.

Please see below for some frequently asked questions about adopting from the RSPCA.

How long does the adoption process take?

Adoptions can take up to 90 minutes, so please make sure you allow enough time for this when you visit us. You can get a head-start on the adoption process by completing our adoption questionnaire and bringing it along when you visit one of our adoption centres.           

Please note that increased waiting times are likely during busy adoption periods, such as weekends and holidays.

How much does it cost to adopt an animal?

Please view our adoption fees.

Can I put an animal on hold?

Animals may be put on hold on a case-by-case basis. Holds may be arranged at the discretion of adoption staff.

Can I have an animal transferred to a closer RSPCA adoption centre?

Due to resource limitations, we are usually not able to transfer animals between RSPCA adoption centres. In some cases, arrangements may be made under exceptional circumstances. Transfers may be arranged on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the shelter supervisor.

Can I adopt from interstate?

If you live interstate and are interested in adopting a particular animal from RSPCA Victoria, please contact the relevant RSPCA adoption centre directly to discuss. This possibility depends on the individual animal and whether it will cope with interstate travel, along with your ability to travel to Victoria to go through the standard adoption process.

Alternatively, we are sure your state or territory RSPCA will be happy to help you find your new companion.

Can I adopt if I live in a rental property?

It is important you seek approval from your landlord before making the decision to adopt. When you visit us to adopt an animal, please make sure you bring a copy of your lease or a letter from your landlord, along with his/her contact details.

Can I bring along my existing pets?

If you want to adopt a dog and already have one at home, it will be very important that you bring your dog along when you visit us so we can make sure they get along with each other.

Cats are fairly susceptible to stress, so if you want to adopt a cat and already have one at home, please do not bring your existing cat along when you visit us. Instead, our adoption staff will have a chat with you and help you find a cat that is likely to be a good match for your existing cat.

If you want to adopt a rabbit and already have one at home, it will be very important that you bring your rabbit along when you visit us so we can make sure they get along with each other.

If you want to adopt a guinea pig and already have one at home, it will be very important that you bring your guinea pig along when you visit us so we can make sure they get along with each other.

To ensure the introduction of your new pet is likely to be successful, we recommend getting your existing pet desexed. RSPCA vets will be happy to provide further information and advice.

Can I bring along my family or housemates?

It is important to bring along as many members of your household as possible so they can meet the animal you are interested in. It is especially important that any children in the household come along to meet the animal to make sure they are comfortable interacting with it, and to ensure your potential new pet responds well to them.

In some cases, it will be necessary for all members of the household to meet the animal before an adoption can be approved.

Can I take home my new pet on the day of adoption?

In most cases, you will be able to take home your new pet on the day of adoption. However, if the animal is not yet desexed, or requires a veterinary or behavioural consultation prior to adoption, the animal will remain in the care of the RSPCA until this takes place.

What if there is a problem with my new pet?

All of our animals are health checked before they are made available for adoption. However, if your pet develops a medical issue within two weeks of the adoption that is related to its stay in the shelter or is shelter-related, such as cat flu or kennel cough, an RSPCA vet will provide advice and treat your new animal free of charge.

What if I don’t find my perfect match?

Finding your new family member takes time and should not be rushed, so please do not feel disappointed if you cannot find your pawfect match on your first visit. New animals become available for adoption every day, and we are committed to helping you find your new pet.

What if I am not a suitable match for a particular animal?

RSPCA adoption officers are dedicated to helping our animals find their perfect homes. Some of our animals have specific needs, so it is important that we match them with families that will be able to meet their behavioural and/or physical needs.

If our Adoption team do not feel that a particular animal is suitable for your circumstances, they may refuse the adoption. However, we have many wonderful animals waiting to find loving new homes, so in this scenario, our team will do their best to suggest another adoptive pet that will be a better match.

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