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

For dog adoption applications, all sites continue to operate on an adoption-by-application model. When browsing our available animals, applications to adopt can be submitted by clicking the blue ‘Apply Online ’ button and following the prompts. We book adoption meet and greets once an online application has been submitted, and you can expect a call or email from us within 48 hours of submitting your application.

You no longer need to submit an application to adopt a cat, kitten or small animal.
Please give our friendly Customer Care team a call at your local RSPCA shelter to book an appointment to meet our available animals:
Burwood: 9224 2222 (Opening hours: 8am – 5pm)
Peninsula: 5978 9001 (Opening hours: 9am – 5pm)
Warrnambool: 5561 2591 (Opening hours: 10am – 4pm)
Wangaratta: 5722 2874 (Opening hours: 10am – 4pm)

Walk ins are also accepted however subject to availability on the day.

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