Surrendering your pet

RSPCA Victoria cares for many surrendered pets every year, rehoming them with owners that will love them as much as you wherever possible. RSPCA Victoria runs adoption services, so if you ultimately decide to surrender your pet, they will be in safe hands while a new home is found.

Other options to surrender

Giving up a family pet is never easy, but in some cases it’s the best option. Each circumstance is unique and there are many factors to consider before making the decision to surrender your pet. It can be hard to know if you’re doing the right thing, so RSPCA Victoria is here to help.

Take a look at the most common reasons people surrender their pets and advice on what to do if you’re struggling to find a way to stay together.

1. Talk to the whole family

It’s never going to be an easy conversation, but it’s good to talk to everyone in the house about surrendering your beloved pet. If you’re living the bachelor life, talk it through with someone you trust. If you don’t know who to talk to, call the RSPCA Victoria team for advice – sometimes problems can be solved with a conversation.

2. Help with behavioural issues

If you’re thinking of surrendering your pet because of unwanted behaviour, there could be an easy fix. RSPCA Victoria has great resources on general training topics. Often problems such as aggression, spraying, barking and digging can be solved by desexing and additional training.

3. Short on time

Pets do require a lot of your time and energy, but there are ways to lighten the load:

  • If you share your home with friends or family, see if anyone can help
  • Work commitments often take up considerable time, but working from home could mean you can swap the commute for time with your fluff buddy
  • If it’s hard to stay motivated to walk your dog, see if you can join a group in your area
  • Dog walking services can be an affordable way to exercise your pet when you can’t.

4. Financial problems

Pets can be very expensive if they are sick or injured, especially if you don’t have pet insurance. RSPCA Victoria vet clinics offer payment plans for veterinary treatment to get your pet the help they need in an affordable way. There are also affordable pet insurance plans, so no surprise vet bills in future.

5. An escape artist

Having to repeatedly find your lost pet can be frustrating and costly. Rather than surrender your pet, consider escape-proofing your yard with fences and netting, or constructing an enclosure. Sometimes boredom is the underlying problem, so enriching the life of your pet could help them to stay put.

6. Moving house

There’s so much to think about when moving house, especially if you’re going overseas, but it doesn’t have to mean you have to give up your pet. Pets are incredibly adaptable to changes in their environment and will probably thrive in your new home. Advance planning is key, so start early so nobody is left behind.

7. Landlord issues

Changes to the Rental Tenancies Act in Victoria means a landlord cannot unreasonably refuse a tenant because they have pets. You can take the matter to VCAT if they do.

8. Personal crisis

Sometimes a personal crisis makes it feel like you can no longer care for your pet, but this could be a time you need each other the most. There are many charities waiting to help, so please don’t suffer in silence.

9. Rehome your pet yourself

If you can’t keep your pet, perhaps there is someone you know who can help. Whether temporarily or for good, giving your pet to someone you both know and trust is often a better option.

10. Don’t abandon your pet

If you’re out of options, please bring your pet to RSPCA Victoria, or any local shelter. Abandoning or neglecting your pet causes them distress and they can become a danger to themselves and others. Abandonment also uses RSPCA Victoria’s limited resources.


You and your pet’s wellbeing

Sometimes having a pet just doesn’t work out the way you planned. The team at RSPCA Victoria knows that sometimes surrender is the best option, so will support you in your decision without judgement.

Surrender your pet with us

You will need to book an appointment to surrender your pet to RSPCA Victoria. Get in touch to start the process and get your beloved pet into a new home as soon as possible.