The adoption process

Our adoption process is designed to match you with the right pet, the first time. Our team are experts at rehoming animals who have specific needs that match your lifestyle, to ensure every adoption placement will last a lifetime.

Before you adopt

Carefully consider what type of pet would fit into your lifestyle. The following questions are a great place to start.

  • How much time each day can you devote to a new pet?
  • Do you have the physical fitness level required for the pet you want?
  • Can you afford to cater to all the basic needs of a new pet?
  • How will you be able to pay for vet fees if your new pet gets sick?
  • Do you have existing pets or children to consider?
  • Will a pet fit into your lifestyle?
  • Does your home have the space to accommodate the pet you want?
  • Are you allowed to keep pets at your current address, could this be a problem in the future?

Owning a pet is a great experience, but it’s also a big responsibility and can be a 10-15 year commitment. It’s important you feel confident in your ability to care for your new pet throughout the lifetime.

Choosing your new pet

If you’ve decided to adopt a pet, visit the online RSPCA Victoria adoption centre to see our available animals. Most will have had a behaviour assessment and you can read about their personality and needs in the online bio. Please read each bio carefully, our staff are well trained in matching pets with new homes and want what’s best for you and your new companion.

How to apply

You no longer need to submit an online application to adopt a dog, puppy, cat, kitten or small animal.

Walk-ins are welcome at our Burwood East and Peninsula locations: 
Burwood: Opening hours: 10am – 4pm
Peninsula: Opening hours: 10am – 4pm

For our Warrnambool and Wangaratta locations, please call the RSPCA shelters to book an appointment to meet our available animals:
Warrnambool: 03 5561 2591, opening hours: 10am – 4pm
Wangaratta: 03 5722 2874 , opening hours: 10am – 4pm

For livestock or poultry located at our Burwood shelter, please register your interest by email to For livestock or poultry located at our Peninsula shelter or offsite, please register your interest by email to Horses and Livestock Team

Adoption fees

Adoption fees can vary on the individual animal and the needs they have. Adoption fees only cover a fraction of the animal’s cost of care before adoption. Below is a rough guide to adoption fees.

  • Puppies under 6 months: $600 – $1,200
  • Kittens under 5 months: $225 – $400
  • Adult dog: $450 – $1,200
  • Adult cat: $140 – $400
  • Rats, guinea pigs and rabbits: $30 – $80
  • Senior animals: No Fee!
  • Poultry – $20 – $30
  • Ponies and horses – $150 – $1,000
  • Livestock – $45 – $60

*discounts are available for adopting in pairs.

After adoption

It’s finally time to take your new buddy home. Although this is a very exciting time, please appreciate that it can be very stressful for your new pet. Stay calm and give them plenty of time to adjust to their new life with you.

We have a post-adoption service to support you after you bring your new pet home and work through any challenges you may face. Remember, some rescue pets have been through a lot, so please be patient in the first few weeks, or even months, after adoption. You’ll be going on adventures, snuggling on the couch and building that special bond between you in no time.

Adopt a pet