FAQs

We’ve been here for 86 years- here are our most common questions!

Would you like my old towels/sheets/pillows?

Yes and no. We love donations of clean, undamaged flat sheets, towels and blankets without stuffing. Unfortunately we cannot accept pillows or blankets with stuffing (e.g. doonas) as they are shredded to pieces by the dogs in the blink of an eye! Find our full donation Wishlist, here.

How can I donate?

Thank you for thinking of us! You can donate in person at the Refuge, over the phone (9381 8166) or via our website here.

How do I adopt a dog and how much does it cost?

Check out our full adoption process with the adoption steps, what you need to bring on the day, adoption fee info and more FAQs on our adoption process page, here.

I LOVE retrievers/poodles/corgis, can you get in touch when a specific breed arrives to the Refuge?

Unfortunately not. We get so many enquiries everyday from people looking for specific breeds. Even if we had the resources to collate these enquiries and create a waitlist, it goes against our philosophies to recommend a dog based on look alone. Sure, we understand people have breed preferences, but our dogs must be fully behaviourally and medically assessed before we can recommend them to suitable homes. If you do have a breed preference, please note this on your online questionnaire and our adoption team can absolutely keep this in mind when hunting for forever homes for our latest arrivals. It’s also best to keep a close eye on our website which is updated live with new doggos!

There’s never any puppies on your website but I always see them in the adoption album! How do I adopt a puppy?

Ready for chaos? We regularly get litters of tiny tornados, aka puppies, through the Refuge gates. These pups head straight into foster homes so they don’t spend any time in scary kennels. When they are almost ready to adopt, we review existing applications to set up adoption appointments. So if you are interested in a pup, please submit an adoption questionnaire here and wait for us to get in touch!

Why do you never have any small dogs on your website or social media pages? Is there a waitlist?

Small dogs arrive at the Refuge in far fewer numbers than large dogs, and there is a much higher demand for them. While we do sometimes list them on our website, the vast majority are not promoted as we already have a huge backlog of awesome homes that have already applied. For us to list them online would just cause more disappointment for unsuccessful applicants. If you are interested in a small breed dog, please complete our adoption questionnaire here and we can keep you in mind for future mini arrivals!

Do you have any hypoallergenic dogs?

Did you know there’s actually no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog because all dogs produce the same proteins. Some breeds are low shedding, but unfortunately the vast majority of the time we have little history on our dogs, meaning we can never be 100% sure of their breed mix. While we can have a best guess, we can never guarantee a rescue dog is non or low shedding.

Why are so few of your dogs suitable for young children?

We get versions of this question every day. The short answer is- we want to set everyone, our dogs and their new families, up for success. When it comes to placing dogs into home with small children, there are two main reasons why we always err on the side of caution. The first is that we often have little to no history on the dogs. We don’t know if they have ever seen a child before, let alone lived alongside one. Our experienced trainers do their very best to assess the dogs based on the observable behaviours there dogs exhibit here at the Refuge. We will never take the risks when sending dogs home with children, and regardless of the history- dogs should never be left unattended with children. Which brings us to the second main reason- children, especially little ones, have a special type of enthusiastic love. We can’t expect a young child to always be gentle with a dog or read a dogs body language in the same way an adult would. Many of our dogs are shut down, timid and unsocialised. They have all just been through an enormous change. They need calm, patient homes where they can decompress from kennel life and only be approached on their terms while they settle in. Even some of our young puppies arrive extremely timid, making them unsuitable for homes with young children.

Why are so few of your dogs suitable for full time workers?

When it comes to full time workers- we always suggest a 2 week decompression and settling in period even if a dog is used to being left for long periods. Where we have no history, again we always want to set everyone up for success. Stressed dogs in new environments can often become anxious when left alone- especially if it is for long periods soon after arriving home. They may be destructive in the home, or worse- escape. The last thing we want is to suggest that a dog will be a-okay when you go back to work Monday morning, only to have you come home to a destroyed lounge and half the curtains missing. Rescue dogs take a long time to settle in, consistency, stability and patience is the key to success. They will all take weeks, some will take months and some may even take years. More company in the early months often leads to a better success rate long term.

Can I board my dog in your kennels?

We have a dedicated boarding facility where your dog will be pampered during their stay with us. Our Staff are dedicated professionals and we offer a truly caring environment. As dog lovers, we will care for your dogs like our own. Please find out more about boarding here.

I need to surrender my dog, can you help?

Needing to re home your dog is often a very emotional and challenging process, we always do our best to help and approach every surrender with compassion and empathy. This year in particular we have been inundated with surrender requests, so please, whatever you do- do not leave it until the last possible moment to get in touch. We often have a 1 week+ wait time due to limited kennel space and a backlog of requests to help. Please also ensure your dog is up to date with vaccinations. If we take in a surrender that is not up to date, the poor dog will need to spend a week in our isolated quarantine kennel until they are protected and ready to join the adoption floor, unnecessarily delaying their chance at finding a new forever family. Please also understand not all dogs are suited to the kennel environment. Once you have submitted your surrender form, your dog may be conditionally approved, but they must still be assessed by our trainers here to make sure they will be able to cope in kennel around so many other dogs and new people. Find out more about our surrender process here.

Do you need volunteers? Can I come and cuddle the dogs?

We love our volunteers! Find out more about volunteering here. Our volunteers are so special because they go through vigorous training with us so they are up to date on our safety protocols. Our main priority here at the Refuge is to keep everyone, human and doggie, safe. For this reason we have a thorough induction and onboarding process for new volunteers, as well as upskilling workshops. The majority of our volunteers are not permitted to interact with every single dog that enters the Refuge. So while yes, we DEFINITELY need our amazing volunteers and regularly onboard new dog loving friends, one off cuddle sessions are unfortunately not permitted.

How do I foster a dog, and can I do a foster view to adopt?

We also love our foster carers! You can find out more about becoming a valued member of our Foster army here. Unfortunately, we do not offer foster view to adopt on our dogs except in very rare cases. We have tried it in the past, and unfortunately in most cases it led to very adoptable dogs being left in limbo while their prospective owner ummed and erred and then decided not to adopt. This is confusing for a dog and meant they missed out on so many wonderful, suitable homes. While we do send lots of our dogs into foster care for a much needed short term break from the kennels, dogs visible to the public on the adoption floor have a far greater chance of being adopted quickly.