If you have decided to adopt a rescue dog in Australia, we congratulate you! Not only will you be giving a dog a chance to a forever home, but your fee will also provide an opportunity for another to be rescued and may be adopted by someone else.
The good thing about Australia is that you have all the support required to find the perfect dog for you and your family from entire teams of professionals that have dedicated their lives to improving this aspect of our lives.
Adoption processes, whether through Australia’s RSPCA or independent shelters, are similar. Some might seem too strict, but remember the rules are set to benefit both you and the dog. They are important because they assess the compatibility between your lifestyle and your personality to that of your future dog—and by doing so, long-term relationships are established.
Before adopting a dog, you are encouraged to visit the shelters in your area. Even though most of them have daily updated databases with all the pets available for adoption (alongside successful adoption stories), meeting the dogs in person and getting acquainted with them is recommended.
Applying for Adoption
Even if you have not yet found the perfect dog for you, applying to become an adopter is needed. It is even more important if you think you’ve found “the one.” This is the first step in your adoption journey. Most adoption centers have standard application forms, in which you need to be completely honest about any aspect inquired there. It’s the only way the current caretakers will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Background and Home Check
Even though this is a standard procedure, you surely understand its importance. The wish to see a dog being adopted is the greatest one for any shelter member (staff or volunteer), but experience has taught everyone that checking a family’s history with pets, their financial possibilities, and future home conditions for the dog are needed, to ensure the dog will go into his forever home.
Choosing Your Dog
Impulse adoption is more common than one might think. It’s natural because some dogs have a great personality, they are real cuddlers, and they seem to match with any human they meet, but sometimes, issues appear not because of a dog’s behavior, but due to the lack of proper self-assessment from the adopter.
You might be working in a multinational company that requires a lot of traveling or many over hours. Leaving a large dog alone inside the house for many hours without entertainment could lead to unwanted chewing, scratching or loud barking.
You might be faced with neighbor complaints, and you could simply come back to the shelter, frustrated that you were not able to meet the dog’s needs. You do not want that.
That’s why every shelter has guidance counselors who can help you find the right fit for you, and you should take their advice. They know their job.
Under a standard agreement with the RSPCA, every shelter needs to allow a minimum of 24 hours, as a “cool-off” period. This period allows the potential owner the ability to return the dog if some incompatibility is found. Most shelters extend this period to several days, and they recommend you try and bond with the dog during this time. Bringing him back after a long period has more severe consequences on the dog, and no one wants that.
Once the “cool-off” period passes, you are the proud owner of an adopted rescue dog. Take care of him, and he will take care of you. If your adoption contract required periodical check-ups from the adoption center, use those to brag about your evolution!