The Adoption Process

Have you looked at the dogs available on our website?

Are you interested in adopting a rescue dog?

Step 1:

Complete an online Adoption Application here – this will be saved to our system (we will not contact you about your application; it is only saved to our system for later use)

Visit our home to view our dogs (we are open for viewing from 11.00 – 4.00; we close off our adoption interviews at 3.00pm to allow us time to feed and toilet our dogs)

Speak to our rehoming staff – preferably by coming in to see us and our dogs – and if we find your perfect match we can proceed to the adoption process


Adoption Process

This may take an hour or more. We need to talk to you and get a feel for your home, lifestyle and why you are looking to rescue and rehome one of our dogs. Once we find you a doggy match we need to introduce him/ her to all members of your family, including other dogs and cats!

To commence the adoption process we require:

  • Proof of landlord approval to have a dog at your home if you rent

  • Photo ID with your address on it – so we know you are who you say you are

  • Adequate funds for – adoption fee; any beds, leads, collars, dog food or other items you need to make your dog comfy in his or her new home

Please bear in mind that if we are very busy, we will try and see you but we take our matchmaking very seriously and cannot rush this. Our customer service team will let you know if there is a wait and if you would prefer you can come back when we are not so busy (our weekends are usually extremely busy!)


Why do you only save an application for 6 months?

Anything within your home environment or lifestyle may have changed after 6 months. You may change your mind about the type of dog you want; the behaviours you are willing to work with; how much time you want to spend exercising them 

Why can’t the staff at DRH call me about a dog that fits my requirements?

To put it simply, we rehomed more than 1,400 dogs last year. We receive up to 1,000 application per month. We are a not-for-profit organisation that does not have the staffing capacity to answer all of the enquiries and requests we receive 

Why is it taking so long for me to find my furry companion?

Some dogs get adopted really quickly (the lucky ones ?); not all dogs fit any home or environment – many of our dogs have had a rough start to life and may have some challenging behaviours or idiosyncrasies that are better suited to a specific environment and household. This DOES NOT mean that you are not a good home. It just means you and the dog you are interested in are not well suited. We want you and our dogs to be happy together furever. If you trust us to match you with a dog we think is the most suited to your home and lifestyle, we will try our best to ensure you are the perfect match for one another. 

Can I foster/ trial a dog before I adopt?

In short, no. We use foster carers to care for dogs with medical needs or who are not coping in kennel. There is no layby on our dogs as we want them to be adopted into their loving furever homes and this decreases that opportunity for them.

Please remember dogs can live for 15 years; it is a long term commitment that you need to seriously consider. If you decide you are ready and willing to commit for the long term you will be rewarded ten-fold for all the effort you put in.

Adoption Fees

Did you know that the Dogs’ Refuge Home is almost entirely self-funded. This means that our Adoption Fees are used to help cover some, but certainly not all of the costs associated with rescuing and re-homing our dogs. Unfortunately rescuing dogs and giving them a second chance is quite costly and without charging an adoption fee we wouldn’t be able to save the lives of thousands of dogs each year.

Our adoption fee helps cover pre-treatment vet works including sterilisation, vaccination, microchipping, flea and worming, behavior assessment, training and food expenses, however the cost to rescue and re-home a dog is considerably more than our adoption fee. We feel that every one of the dogs in our care is worth every cent we invest in them.

  • ADULT DOGS (ages from 6 months to 7 years) $480
  • PUPPIES (up to 6 months) $590
  • LONG-TERMERS – available for a special fee of $370 (includes one-on-one training sessions)
  • SENIOR DOGS (over 7 years) $370

PLEASE NOTE* To adopt a dog from the Dogs’ Refuge Home, you will need to have Permanent Residency or Citizenship.

Our Policy on Sterilisation

We sterilise all our dogs and only re-home dogs to families with an existing dog if that dog has been sterilised. There are a number of reasons why we do this:

Ethical reasons – we sterilise all our dogs to prevent “accidents”. Puppies born to families that have not sterilised their dogs might have trouble finding homes and can subsequently end up in shelters.

Behavioral reasons – dogs that have not been sterilised are more likely to show increased aggression towards other dogs. We will not re-home dogs into an environment where an unsterilised dog may act inappropriately towards the new dog.

Medical reasons – sterilisation reduces the risk of mammary tumours, which can be life threatening to female dogs, as well as tumours of the ovaries, uterus, cervix and pyometra. Castration in male dogs reduces the risk of prostatic disease and perianal tumours, and eliminates the risk of testicular cancers.

Our Returns Policy

Sometimes rescue dogs can take a while to settle in their new home, particularly if they have been with us for some time or are not accustomed to a good home life.

We accept back all our dogs unconditionally and our Adoption Agreement states that should your dog prove incompatible with your lifestyle, home environment or if your personal circumstances change, that you ALWAYS bring the dog back to us.

There is no time limit on returning a dog to us. If you are having difficulty with a dog you have adopted from us then please call the office and ask to speak with a trainer so we can try to offer some remedial training support to help settle your new dog in or correct undesirable behaviors.

A trainer can also help you decide if the dog is not a good fit for your home or requirements or refer you on to other training and obedience programs. Please always speak to us first before making any decisions about your adopted dog’s future.

PLEASE NOTE: It is NOT permitted to advertise your rescue dog privately through online means (Gumtree, Facebook etc). ALL Dogs’ Refuge Home dogs MUST be returned to our shelter should your circumstances change in the future.