How to Adopt a Rescue Dog or Cat

Scroll down for information about our Trial Period, Deposits, Refunds and Trial Period, Need Some Advice, On Hold or On Trial, and most importanly Why Adopt a Rescue Dog or Cat?

Our Adoption ProcedureLucy

  • The first step is to look at the profiles of our available dogs and find one or more that you might want to adopt.
  • Either ring or email the contact person listed on the pet's description (email us if you can't reach them). The pet's foster carer can tell you all about the pet. They will also ask you about the sort of home you are offering in order to assess if it is a good match. They will ask you to either fill in our Adoption Questionnaire (Word format) or (PDF format) or ask you the questions over the phone.
  • Arrange to meet the pet, usually near the foster carer's home.
  • If that goes well we will arrange a property check so we can verify that your home and yard are suitable for the pet you've selected. (Sometimes we'll do the property check before you meet the pet).
  • If both sides agree, then you can adopt your new family member! When you pick up your new pet, you will be asked to:
    1. sign our Adoption Agreement,
    2. sign a NSW Companion Animals Register-Change of Owner/Details form, and
    3. pay the Adoption Fee by bank cheque or direct debit to Newcastle Permanent BSB: 650 000 Account: 503087208. Sorry, no personal cheques. *If paying by direct debit include the name of the pet and your surname as a comment. Make the transfer at least 24 hours before picking up your pet so we can confirm receipt. Also, please print a receipt and bring it with you.

    This is just a guide. Special arrangements and variations to the procedure are made when you live outside the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie area. Most of our pets are available for interstate adoption. Please contact us about this procedure.

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    Two Week Trial PeriodJazzie

    A two week trial begins on the day of adoption. If, at the end of the trial period, you are happy to adopt the pet, and we are happy to allow it, then we will file the change of ownership paperwork with council making you the legal owner.

    Approximately two to four weeks after the end of the trial you will receive the ownership documentation in the mail from council. Please check it to make sure all your contact details are correct. Remember to contact any NSW council if you change your phone number or address in the future.

    If you decide to return the animal within the trial period we will refund your Adoption Fee less a $50 admin fee or your deposit. This may vary if you adopted a baby puppy. Read details about deposits, trial period, and refunds.

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    Deposits, Refunds and Trial Periods

    If you are approved to adopt a dog but cannot take him or her home straight away you may want to leave a deposit so you don't miss out. If you need to return your dog before or after the trial period can you get a refund? Please read all these details on our deposits, trial period, and refunds page.

    Need Some Advice?

    If you don't see a pet on our website that you like, please check our site tomorrow, as we add new dogs and puppies very day. There are dogs and cats of all breeds, including purebreds, waiting in pounds and eventually your dream dog will become available. There is no need to go to a pet shop or breeder!

    Can't decide which one of our adorable pets would be best for you? We know their personalities and needs and can recommend one or more which will suit your lifestyle. Please email us and we can help.

    "On Hold" or "On Trial"

    If a pet on our website is marked "On Hold" it means they are temporarily unavailable for adoption. It may be because they are recovering from a cold, or maybe someone has paid a deposit on them*. They will either be available again soon or adopted soon. If you are interested in this pet, please ring or email the contact person in the ad and leave your contact details. If or when the pet becomes available you will be contacted.
    *Our holding deposit is 50% of the Adoption Fee and is not refundable if you change your mind. Deposit and refund details.

    If a pet is marked "On Trial" it means they have been adopted and are on their 2 week trial period. If you are interested in this pet, please ring or email the contact person in the dog's profile and leave your contact details. If the trial doesn't work out, you will be contacted.

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    Why Adopt a Rescue Dog or Cat?

    There are many good reasons why it is better to adopt a rescued dog or cat than to get one from any other source:

    • You know what you are getting. The dog or cat's foster carer can tell you all about their personality, preferences and needs. They can advise about the suitability of their foster dog or cat for your home.Dash
    • While in foster care, our dogs and cats have time to recuperate from being in the pound. Their health is assessed and are treated if necessary so they are healthy when they are adopted.
    • All our dogs and cats are desexed, vaccinated, and microchipped and have their flea and worm treatments up to date.
    • Adult dogs are also lifetime registered with the NSW Animal Registry.
    • If you adopt a puppy or kitten who was too young to be desexed before adoption, the cost of his or her desexing at our vet is included in your adoption fee. You must have the animal desexed before they are 5 months old. It is also your responsibility to register the animal after desexing, or no later than 6 months old.
    • While in foster care, they receive house training and basic obedience training.
    • All of our pets start out on a 2 week trial. If it doesn't work out, you can return the pet and get your money refunded less a $50 admin fee or your deposit if you paid one. Refund details.
    • If you are no longer able to keep your rescue pet at any time, even years later, we will help you rehome him or her, or we will even take him or her back.
    • We are always here to support you for as long as you own one of our rescue dogs or cats. If you have any questions or concerns at any time just give us a ring. We can help if your pet gets lost. We can help to arrange temporary or holiday care.
    • Pedigree pets often experience more health problems than the hardy cross breeds we mainly rescue.
    • If you don't have the time or dedication needed to raise and train a puppy or kitten then we are your best source of adult dogs and cats. You can skip past the house training, chewing, and chaos of a baby and choose an adult. Adults are already trained and their size and temperament are known …and you can teach an old dog new tricks!
    • It sets a good example for your children. Adopting a rescue pet presents a wonderful opportunity to teach your children the essential values of compassion, caring, and the selfless act of giving someone a second chance.
    • Most importantly, by adopting a pet rescued from death row at the pound, you are saving a life!
      • When you adopt a rescue pet from us, your pet's foster carer becomes available again and we can rescue another pet from certain death at the pound.
      • When you purchase a pet from a pet shop you are supporting the torture of dogs and cats in puppy and kitten mills. There are many horrific puppy mills right here in the Hunter region, selling puppies using classified ads and pet shops. When you see an adorable puppy or kitten in a pet shop, think about the life of exploitation and misery the mother and father of those pets must be enduring so the breeder and pet shop owner can make a dollar. Read about Australian puppy mills at Where Do Puppies Come From?
      • When you purchase from a breeder, whether a registered or backyard breeder, or a newspaper ad, you are encouraging more and more breeding of excess pets.
      • When someone can profit from breeding then they are encouraged to breed again and again. With so many unwanted but perfectly healthy and loving dogs and cats put down in pounds every day, it is cruel and irresponsible to deliberately breed more pets. It is why all our pets are desexed as soon as they are old enough (from 4 to 5 months). We don't want to contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.


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