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Where to adopt a cat or dog in Melbourne

Where to adopt a cat or dog in Melbourne

If you’re looking for the perfect place to adopt in Melbourne, there are many organizations where you can make a difference.

Have you been looking for a new home companion? Adopting a cat or dog is a big decision, and it’s important to consider whether it may be the right choice for your family. So, how do you know if the shift is right for you?

Why adopt a pet instead of buying one?

There are many benefits to adoption compared to buying from pet shops or breeders. What positive changes can you make?

Adopting a pet is less expensive

In comparison to buying from a pet store or breeder, adopting can cost as little as $120, with microchipping, desexing, vaccinations, and a pet pack included. Buying from a breeder can go up to $8000, depending on the breed you’re looking for.

You’re saving animal lives

Many dogs and cats have been waiting for adoption for a long time or have had a bad history with a previous owner. On top of that, adopting can prevent an animal from being euthanized, as shelters sometimes lack the resources to hold any more pets. Ultimately, you’re saving a life.

Support local organizations

Unlike buying from a breeder, adopting a dog or cat from an organization allows you to help not only the animals but future pet owners, too. You can support the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of abandoned pets at risk.

What to consider before adopting


When adopting a dog or cat, you need to consider your lifestyle. If you work long hours, do you have time to tend to their needs such as nutrition, bathing, vet check-ups, socialization, and outdoor exercise? Do you work interstate or overseas? Animals are a big responsibility, so factor in whether one will work around your way of life.

Home environment

Your home environment needs to be suitable for a dog or cat, and this involves quite a few changes. You need a home free of hazards, a toileting area for a pet, a clean, quiet space they can rest, and easy access to toys to keep them content. For example, you don’t want a home that is too loud if you’re adopting an older pet.


Adopting a pet is inexpensive compared to buying from a breeder, but you still need to consider the overall finances. Dogs and cats are part of your family, after all.

According to Money Smart, a dog costs up to $1627 a year, while a cat costs up to $960 a year. This doesn’t include trips to the vet, pet insurance, pet essentials such as collars and toys, flea or worming medications, pet food, pet accommodation, or grooming services, so understanding your weekly budget is essential.

Breed of choice

Breeds determine animal behaviors and needs, such as energy levels, quantity of food, cost of grooming if they’re long-haired, and genetic conditions.

For example, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is more prone to heart problems and is a clingy, quiet breed, whereas a Husky or German Shepard is more on the energetic side and requires hours of exercise per day.

As for cats, the Ragdoll is recommended for first-time cat owners, and the Siamese is considered the jealous type towards other pets. Consider what pet matches your personality.

The best places to adopt in Melbourne

The Lost Dogs Home

As well as being a great place to volunteer, The Lost Dogs Home in Cranbourne West has welcoming, caring, staff and great facilities, so you’d be adopting from a place that loves what they do. There is also a North Melbourne center.

The shelter has a medical team for providing treatment to injured dogs or cats, and a behavior program for anxious or neglected dogs. Animals are trained to be confident, offering enrichment, and readying them for new homes. Lost or stray pets are also kept in care, rehomed, and rematched to a suitable owner.

The Lost Dogs Home

920 Thompsons Rd, Cranbourne West VIC 3977

+ 03 9702 8055

Monday-Thursday 10 AM–5:30 PM, Friday 10 AM–4:30 PM, Saturday-Sunday 9:30 AM–12:30 PM

RSPCA Peninsula

RSPCA Peninsula is one of many shelters across Melbourne and is an organization that actively fights to protect animal rights. The RSPCA is a wonderful option if you’re planning to move to Melbourne City, as you can fill out an adoption form for a dog or cat online.

Not only can you gauge whether or not the adoption is for you, but the RSPCA also has fundraising activities, accepts donations, has animal care courses, and emergency pet assistance, and can assist you with RSPCA pet insurance.

RSPCA Peninsula

1030 Robinsons Rd, Pearcedale VIC 3912

+ 03 5978 9000

Monday-Friday 9 AM–5 PM, Saturday-Sunday 9 AM–4 PM

Australian Animal Protection Society

The AAPS is dedicated to the protection of animals of all shapes and sizes. They also offer a range of vet services such as pathology and advanced dentistry, grooming services, and op shops where you can support them.

Cats and dog adoption fees vary, but both include desexing, vaccination, microchipping, and a 2-week health check. If your online application is successful, AAPS will set up a time for you to meet your furry friend!

Australian Animal Protection Society

26 Aegean Ave, Keysborough VIC 3173

+ 03 9798 8415

Monday-Saturday 10 AM–4 PM, Sunday 11 AM–3:30 PM

Lort Smith Animal Hospital

The Lort Smith Animal Hospital believes that every animal deserves a happy, healthy life, and they have a number of vets and nurses to ensure animal well-being and protection.

They offer dog training, rehabilitation, and vet services such as pet insurance, emergency welfare assistance, a Pet Legacy Program, Pet Protector Program, community partnerships, and encourage pet therapy and on-site volunteering. If you have a lot to give and want to adopt a cat or dog in need, Lort Smith has dozens of ways you can help.

Lort Smith Animal Hospital

22 Villiers St, North Melbourne VIC 3051

+ 03 9328 3021

Monday-Sunday, 8:30 AM–7 PM

Second Chance Animal Rescue

Second Chance Animal Rescue is a not-for-profit organization that relies on donations to do their work, this rescue offers a second chance for cats and dogs to find their forever home.

With a community animal hospital with low-cost vet care, a boarding cattery, a pet food pantry, and a pet safe house, and also offer 1-1 training, puppy preschool, and puppy primary school.

Second Chance Animal Rescue

23 Grasslands Ave, Craigieburn VIC 3064

+ 03 9357 0834

Tuesday-Saturday 9 AM–4:30 PM

The Animal Rehoming Service

In business for over 20 years, the Animal Rehoming Service has found homes for over 1000 pets across Melbourne and continues to do so.

The service offers fosters for homeless animals and locates them a permanent home, provides vet care such as desexing and vaccinations, and provides ongoing support for dogs or cats to those who have adopted.

The Animal Rehoming Service

Church St, Brighton VIC 3186

+ 0409 213 131

Monday-Friday 9 AM–5 PM, Saturday 9 AM–1 PM

Save a Dog Scheme

Save a Dog believes in saving animals, not euthanizing them, and standing as a leader for the no-kill movement. In 2015, they saved 98.6% of dogs and 96.3% of cats, and you can be part of it.

All dogs and cats are microchipped, vaccinated, wormed, desexed, vet-checked, and have behavioral assessments. You can also donate to assist with animal vet fees or medication, so you can do more than adopt an animal in need.

Save a Dog Scheme

36 Weir St, Glen Iris VIC 3146

+ 0418 389 810

Monday-Sunday 10 AM–4 PM

Melbourne Animal Rescue

The Melbourne Animal Rescue started in July 2012 and has saved over 800 dogs and cats. Adopting an animal here would make a world of difference.

The rescue is a community foster care network, so they don’t have a shelter, however, as an adoptee you would be contributing to the rehabilitation, socialization, medical treatment, diets, training, and behavioral modification of cats and dogs.

Melbourne Animal Rescue

PO BOX 2053, Bennettswood VIC 3125

Transport your new furry friend safely

At Upmove, we care about transporting your family safe, and that includes newly adopted furry companions.

Our moving companies are fully qualified to get from point A to B, so you can trust that your pet pal will be moved to your new home safely. Contact us for a personalized quote on how we can meet your moving needs.

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