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You’ve always managed to give your dog the medical care it deserves, but current circumstances make vet fees unaffordable. There are plenty of ways to reduce or manage medical costs.

Try These Tips

Consider alternative payment options

If you are struggling financially, talk to your vet about what service or treatment is the priority for your animal. Alternative payment options such as payment plans can help you pay for your pets veterinary care.

Services such as humm, VetPay, Pet Medical Crisis or Centrepay can allow you to avoid high upfront costs and pay off your pets treatment over time.

The availability of these services does not reflect any understanding of your personal financial situation. Please seek independent financial advice before committing to a particular service.

Purchase pet insurance

While insurance may not help in the current crisis, you should consider purchasing pet health insurance for future medical needs to help minimise vet and hospital costs.

Before purchasing any insurance, please ensure you read all of the policy’s the terms & conditions carefully. There are many insurance products available, varying from one insurer to the other. Make sure to check and understand the terms and conditions of your policy before you purchase it.

Negotiate a payment plan with your vet

Your vet may be happy to work out a weekly or monthly payment plan so that you don’t have to pay the entire cost up front.

Seek a second opinion

You could consider seeking out a second opinion from another vet, community vet clinics or animal welfare organisations. They may offer the services for less or even suggest an alternative approach.

Look for community vet days

RSPCA Victoria currently runs low cost vaccinations days in some communities around the state. In some cases these days will include a free health check.

Low Cost Vaccination Clinics
Council services

Some councils assist residents with desexing and microchipping, contact your local council to see if they offer free or discounted desexing and microchipping programs.

There are options available for easily rehoming your pet with new owners. It’s also important to prepare your pet for this change in their life.

What Can You Do?

Call the person you got the pet from

Responsible breeders may either assist you in finding a new home, or take the pet back to rehome themselves. Many rescue groups also state in their adoption agreements that they will take back an animal no matter how long has passed.

Contact your local vet

Some vets may assist in rehoming pets with either having their own rehoming program or allowing you to put up posters in the clinic.

Please note, if you advertise a puppy, kitten, dog or cat for sale or to give away in Victoria, you will need a source number from the Pet Exchange Register. This source number must be displayed on all your advertisements along with each animal’s microchip number.

Social media

Although we don’t endorse advertising your pet on buy, swap, sell pages, you could post your pet’s photo and profile to your friends and family on your private social media channels. Give a brief explanation of why you have to rehome your pet.

Please note, if you advertise a puppy, kitten, dog or cat for sale or to give away in Victoria, you will need a source number from the Pet Exchange Register. This source number must be displayed on all your advertisements along with each animal’s microchip number.

Friends or family

Some of the best homes are with people who already know and like your pet. Friends and family may be willing to offer your pet a new home or at least foster it for a while, so ask around your immediate circle first.

Lost and found services

If you’ve found a stray – there are lost and found services you can access.

Firstly, if the animal is injured, immediately take it the closest vet.

Otherwise, report the animal to your local council. They may have animal management services who can collect or accept the animal, or direct you to local shelters or vet clinics who can accept lost pets for reunification.

Out and about

Ask trusted people in your community if they would be interested in offering your pet a forever home.

Reputable rescue groups

Contact your local council or animal welfare organisations as they often work closely with reputable Rescue Groups who may be able to assist with rehoming animals via their shelter or foster care network.

Traditional media

Whether it be a classified ad, club newsletter or local flyer drop, there are people out there seeking a pet. Be sure to mention if your pet is desexed and don’t advertise “Free to Good Home” as this will ensure you’re only attracting locals with your pets best interest at heart.

Please note, if you advertise a puppy, kitten, dog or cat for sale or to give away in Victoria, you will need a source number from the Pet Exchange Register. This source number must be displayed on all your advertisements along with each animal’s microchip number.

Screening Applicants

Phone screening

You have every right to screen all potential new owners who enquire about your pet. Don’t let anyone rush or intimidate you. Think of it as an adoption, not a sale. Choose the person you think will make the best companion for your pet.

If someone responds to your advert, you should screen them over the phone before introducing them to the animal. This will help you rule out any unsuitable adopters early on.

To start, you might say: “This dog/cat is very special to me, and I am looking for just the right home for him/her. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions about yourself and your home?”

Meet and greets

Once you’ve chosen a family (or families) that you feel are good candidates, arrange for the potential new owners to meet the pet.

We strongly advise that you do not hand over your pet until you’ve seen the adopter’s living arrangements. It’s all too easy for people to tell you what you want to hear, rather than how it actually is. Request to see photographs of their home so you’ll be able to gauge their suitability as an owner.

Reference Checks

Let all applicants know you will be checking references and need to speak to their vet (if they’ve had pets before).

Meet and greet safety

If you’re meeting someone in person, arrange your meeting in a public, well-lit area during the day. Create and share a meeting plan with a trusted friend or family member.

Prepare your pet for rehoming

Desex your pet

Get your pet desexed which makes it more attractive for rehoming and to ensure the animal is not used for breeding for financial gain.

Desexing has other benefits, including:

  • Healthier pets: Desexed animals are generally less likely to suffer from disease and certain illnesses.
  • Preventing roaming & injury: Desexing commonly reduces behavioural problems such as roaming, aggression and mating behaviour. Reducing the desire to roam also decreases the risk of being injured in a fight or a traumatic accident such as being hit by a car.
  • Prevent unwanted litters: Dogs can become pregnant as early as 6 months of age, and cats by 4 months of age, so it is important to desex them before this time to protect them from unwanted pregnancies.
  • Longer life: Research also shows that desexed animals can actually live longer.


Clean and freshly groom your pet. Bathe your pet, trim nails, clean ears and groom their coat. Get out your grooming tools or get down to the grooming parlour.

Identify the ideal home for your pet

Make a list of what you feel is most important for your pet. What kind of environment do they need? Are they OK with children? Are they OK with other pets? What kind of people would suit his/her personality and energy levels.


While your pet is clean and freshly groomed, take his photo to place on posters and websites. A good photo plays a big part in helping potential adopters connect with your pet, so make sure your pet is relaxed and doesn’t look anxious or scared. Keep the photograph simple. Ideally, the pet should be looking at the camera, with a focus on the face and eyes.

Supply a care package

Providing a care package with all of your pets favourite items – food, toys, blankets etc will help them feel more at home during their first few weeks in their new home.


Prepare a pet portfolio or profile

Your pet portfolio should be positive but also truthful, feature the best things about your pet and give people an idea of your pet’s personality. Accurately describe the appearance, size and age of your pet.
– Include the pet’s name and a good photograph
– Mention that the pet is desexed
– Describe his/her nature and appealing qualities
– Define any limitations the pet might have (e.g. not good with cats or small children)
– Don’t forget your phone number and the times you can be reached.

Please note, if you advertise a puppy, kitten, dog or cat for sale or to give away in Victoria, you will need a source number from the Pet Exchange Register. This source number must be displayed on all your advertisements along with each animal’s microchip number.

Update the paperwork

Update your pet’s microchip details, council registration and change of ownership papers with the new owner’s details once the adoption/rehoming process is successful. If paperwork isn’t completed, you will remain the legal owner and potentially attract any fines.

If you would like to speak to one of our friendly staff about other options to keep your dog

Please complete the surrender prevention form if you’d like to dicuss other options to keep your dog.

I'd like to dicuss futher options

Contact your nearest RSPCA shelter to discuss surrender of your dog

Please note, RSPCA shelters currently have limited intake and we cannot guarantee that your pet will be accepted.

RSPCA Burwood East

Contact Number: (03) 9224 2222
Address: 3 Burwood Hwy, Burwood East 3151
Opening Hours:
Monday: 09:00 – 16:30
Tuesday: 09:00 – 16:30
Wednesday: 09:00 – 16:30
Thursday: 09:00 – 16:30
Friday: 09:00 – 16:30
Saturday: 08:30 – 17:00
Sunday: 09:00 – 16:30

RSPCA Peninsula

Contact Number: (03) 5978 9000
Address: 1030 Robinsons Rd, Pearcedale 3912
Opening Hours:
Monday: 09:00 – 17:00
Tuesday: 09:00 – 17:00
Wednesday: 09:00 – 17:00
Thursday: 09:00 – 17:00
Friday: 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday: 09:00 – 16:00
Sunday: 09:00 – 16:00

RSPCA Warrnambool

Contact Number: (03) 5561 2591
Address: 23 Braithwaite St, Warrnambool 3280
Opening Hours:
Monday: 10:00 – 16:00
Tuesday: 10:00 – 16:00
Wednesday: 10:00 – 16:00
Thursday: 10:00 – 16:00
Friday: 10:00 – 16:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 16:00
Sunday: Closed