What We Do

We provide care

We help provide Shelter, Adoption and Foster Care services at rehoming centres in all six states. These centres have jointly found homes for millions of lost, abandoned, surrendered and mistreated animals and provided veterinary care to animals whose owners could not afford their medical treatment. Staff and volunteers come to work each day to save lives and work hard to find good homes for the animals in their care. They deliver enrichment programs to reduce the stress animals can inevitably face when coming into a shelter environment. Our rehoming centres have extensive fostering programs and dedicated teams of volunteers providing loving homes on a temporary basis, until new permanent homes can be found.

To find out about Pet Adoption, click here

Why adoption works

  • Adopting a pet from a responsible shelter, rehoming centre or rescue organisation is a highly ethical option. It is a powerful and practical way to improve their life and for the new owner to experience the proven benefits of nurturing and caring for an animal.
  • Adoption is an important part of the solution to reduce pet overpopulation, along with comprehensive laws and programs for desexing, microchipping and education.
  • By acquiring a puppy or kitten from other sources, buyers may unwittingly provide an incentive to irresponsible breeders who over-breed in conditions that do not ensure the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of animals.
    Adoption reduces euthanasia of otherwise healthy and rehomable animals.
  • AWLA’s state member shelters, re-homing centres and rescue organisations work hard to achieve a suitable match between the pet and owner. This provides the foundation of a strong and committed relationship.

Pets need adoption

An animal may need adoption for many reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Unexpected animal pregnancy.
  • Relationship break-up.
  • Owner cannot find pet-friendly rental housing.
  • Owner moving interstate or overseas.
  • Owner passed away or is moving into a nursing home.
  • Financial reasons.
  • Owner is allergic to the animal.
  • Animal is found wandering and is unclaimed.

Value and benefits for the animal and the carer

Adoption from responsible shelters, re-homing centres and rescue organisations brings challenges and commitments for the new owner, but these are far outweighed by the proven benefits to both them and the animal. Some of the benefits are:

  • Animals who are desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, wormed, parasite treated and vet checked – a saving for pet owners and a safeguard for animals.
  • Access to a wide selection of mixed and pure breed animals, who come with valuable information about health and personality.
  • Adult animals who may already be well socialised and trained.
  • The advantages inherent in adopting an adult cat or dog for those who prefer not to take on the rigors of a puppy or kitten.

For more information on How To Adopt A Pet in your state, click here.

Lort Smith
Sydney Dogs & Cats Home
Dogs Homes of Tasmania

To find out about becoming a Foster Carer, click here

What is foster care?

Foster carers give shelter animals the opportunity to temporarily spend time in a safe and loving home environment. It is a chance for the animals to experience, enjoy and learn from the care and attention that is lavished on pets with permanent homes. This nurturing and loving support is provided until the shelter animal is ready to be adopted. The number of shelter animals is growing and the need for more foster carers is greater than ever. Every animal in a foster home is one less that shelter staff and volunteers need to assist, creating a greater capacity for other animals to be welcomed into care.

Why do pets need foster care?

Animals are fostered out for many reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Puppies and kittens who are too young and/or underweight to be desexed and made available for adoption.
  • Pregnant animals awaiting the birth of their babies.
  • Mothers with newborn litters.
  • Animals who aren’t coping in the shelter environment.
  • Animals in need of nurturing in order to recover from injury or illness.
  • Animals with non-aggressive behavioural problems and who need. rehabilitation to be considered suitable for adoption.
  • Emergency care animals that are awaiting their owner’s return from a hospital stay.
  • Emergency care animals who are in need of a safe haven during domestic violence.
  • Legacy animals whose animals have passed away.
  • Animals who cannot be housed at a shelter because of limited facilities.
  • Animals who have to be evacuated during community emergencies such as bushfire, cyclone and floods.
  • Black tag animals who are awaiting the outcome of a court case.

Value and benefits for the animal and the carer

Each foster animal brings challenges and commitments, but these are far outweighed by the benefits to both the animal and the carer.

Benefits for the animal:

Fostering provides consistency for animals in a quiet, low-stress setting, and offers more opportunities for socialisation. This enrichment of the animal is achieved through family and environmental contact, learning toys, training time, play time and diverse experiences. Together, they produce a well-socialised and healthy animal that is ready to be adopted.

Benefits for the carer:

Taking an animal into the home, caring for them, and watching them become happy and healthy is very rewarding. Even short-term care offers the carer a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that they have played a lifesaving role in an animal’s life.

For more information on How To Become A Foster Carer in your state, click here.

Sydney Dogs & Cats Home
Dogs Homes of Tasmania
Lort Smith

We support people

We support the thousands of Australians who share their lives with companion animals. Research tells us that protecting and strengthening the human-animal bond brings real benefits to pets and people. We work to maximise those benefits.

To find out more about the Human-Animal Bond and AWLA’s campaigns in this area, click here

We use our national voice

We use our national voice to lobby government for legislation and policies which will improve life for animals. Our focus is companion animals, but we are committed to advocating for the responsible and humane treatment of all animals.

To find out more about our policies and positions, click here.

We share knowledge and rally support

We share knowledge and rally support to develop and promote programs that deliver high welfare standards for animals.

To find out more about our programs, click here.