Adoption Philosophy

We believe in setting our dogs up for success! We have been operating since 1935 and over the years have gathered much information about why dogs are surrendered and how to find each one the right forever home to suit their needs.

We believe our policies are incredibly important in maintaining a happy, healthy dog and creating a long-lasting bond with human and canine. Everything we do is in the best interest of our four-legged friends, which is why we follow the below policies.

Outside Dogs

We have a strict policy when it comes to owners who are looking for an outside-only dog. We will not re-home a dog that is destined to spend his/her life outdoors. Sadly, many dogs who are surrendered to us have previously spent their life outside and have not been included as part of the family, which is one of the reasons they are easily given up.

Whilst this is a disputed topic, we have seen common behavioral traits from dogs who have been outside-only dogs, or who have spent most of their time outdoors. Outside-only dogs display behaviors such as: digging, excessive barking and whining, escaping and other destructive behaviors along with generalized anxiety. We feel that all dogs should be treated like a member of the family…because they are!

Training Methods

Training is a big part of owning a dog. We ONLY recommend positive reinforcement, which works towards setting your dog up for success and then rewarding good behavior only. You should never scold or hit your dog when they are displaying undesirable behaviors – positive reinforcement methods can address most common behavior issues in dogs.

To find out more information about positive reinforcement training, please visit:

Training Devices – Choker Chains, Shock Collars & Anti-Bark Collars

We do not believe in using choker chains, shock collars, prong collars, anti-bark collars and other various training collars (some of which are banned in other States) for training dogs. These so-called training devices punish a dog for their behavior, are often ineffective, cause pain and distress and can cause further behavioral issues down the track. But most of all, do not address underlying issues.

Rental Properties

Are you renting? If so, you will need to consult your landlord and provide written approval to have a dog kept on your premises prior to coming to the Dogs’ Refuge Home from your property manager or provide a copy of your rental agreement proving a dog is allowed.

We also ask that while you are renting please consider your long- term commitment to your dog. If you move house frequently you may find that your next landlord is unwilling to accommodate pets. Being unable to find a rental that allows pets results in many surrenders of beloved dogs to rescue groups.

Multiple Dogs On Your Premises

If you are looking to house more than two dogs on your property, you will need to obtain council permission. Please note: depending on your local council, this can take 4+ weeks to obtain approval. We recommend you gain this approval before visiting as we cannot place dogs on hold.

Female Pairs

One of our policies is that we don’t re-home female dogs to a home that already has a female dog residing on the premises.

Studies have reported that female pairs are more likely to fight than male-to-female or male pairs, and female pairs are more likely to cause serious injuries sometimes resulting in a fatality.

The simple explanation for this is put down to hormones. Hormone changes can adversely affect a female dog’s mood and can predispose them to acts of aggression even if they have never been aggressive before.

Hormone changes cause irritability, anxiety and nervousness. These changes, and their disposition toward aggression, can make female dogs unpredictable with other female dogs.

For this reason, in the interests of the welfare and safety of the dogs, we rarely re-home a female dog into a home with another female dog.

In some cases, and at our trainer’s discretion we will sometimes re-home a female pair, but this generally depends on age difference, breed, temperament and the history of each dog.