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Adoption process

Matching the right people to the right dog is important to us at RSPCA, that's why we have an adoption process. Take your time to think about what type of dog you are after, and what type of dog is right for you and your family.

Once you have spotted that special friend, an adoption assistant will talk to you about that particular dog, its needs, and its background. We will want to know about how the dog will live, so photos of your backyard are a good way of showing us about your lifestyle. We also ask about other family members and pets, and are happy to arrange a meet and greet with you and your existing pets. Above all else, our interest is in the welfare of the dog and making sure that it finds a 'forever home'.

Each shelter will require an adoption application form to be filled, and an additional 24-hour cooling off period can be required to give you the opportunity to ensure you have made the right decision. An interview can be arranged with an adoption officer to ensure that the best possible match has been made after this cooling off period.

Search for a dog or puppy

Selecting your dog

An RSPCA shelter is a fantastic place to start your search. You will find animals available for adoption that are medically and behaviourally sound, are perfectly healthy and sociable, and are simply waiting for a new home and a loving family.

A great place to start is the RSPCA’s Smart Puppy and Dog Buyers Guide, for all the information you need before you bring a new dog or puppy into your home.

Read the guide

Caring for your dog or puppy

Bringing a new dog or puppy home is a wonderful, exciting experience. It is very important that you take the time to help your new family member feel safe and comfortable in its new surroundings, so the whole family can enjoy this new relationship. You also need to be ready to begin the process of educating your dog, and be prepared to provide for all of its feeding, health, training and exercise needs.

Find out everything you need to know about caring for your new dog or puppy on the RSPCA’s Knowledgebase.

Visit the knowledgebase

Love is Blind

Many breeds of dog have exaggerated physical features, which means they can’t breathe, walk or give birth normally. Many have chronic and painful ear, skin and eye problems. These problems prevent many dogs from having a normal and comfortable life.

This results from breeding to pedigree ‘breed standards’ that focus on appearance rather than selecting traits that are best for the dogs’ health and well-being.

That’s a real concern for owners. No one wants to be blind to the suffering of their much-loved pets.

When choosing your pet, it’s important to understand the specific needs and potential health issues that could affect certain breeds.

Find out more

RSPCA Pet Insurance

Like any member of your family, your pet can unfortunately and unexpectedly become ill or suffer an accident. Even expenses for annual routine care like vaccinations, teeth cleaning and flea, tick and worm control can come as quite a shock.

Imagine knowing your pet can be treated, but that it will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. With RSPCA Pet Insurance we may be able to assist with the cost of the very best veterinary treatment, which your pet deserves.

Learn more about RSPCA Pet Insurance
Adopting a dog or puppy | RSPCA Australia Home

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