Do you need to rehome your dog?

Feb 17, 2019

People need to rehome their dog(s) for many reasons – a change in family circumstances, change in accommodation, moving interstate/overseas or simply because they can’t afford to keep them anymore. Deciding that you need to rehome your dog is a difficult decision and this can be an emotional time.

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ARF’s primary focus is on dogs at imminent risk of euthanasia – this usually means dogs in the pounds.

There are a number of things you should do before contacting the Pounds or RSPCA:
• If you got your dog from a breeder, try contacting the breeder to see if they can help with rehoming.
• If your dog is a specific breed, contact a rescue group specific to that breed. They often have waiting lists of people wanting that type of dog.
• Desex your dog. Your dog can then not be used for backyard breeding and is more likely to find a good home.
• Make a start on trying to re-home the dog yourself. Advertise him or her on local noticeboards, with friends, in dog clubs.
Team Dog have some great advice for people needing to rehome their dogs here and here.
• The Canberra Dog Rehoming List Facebook page helps people rehome their dogs and has had good success in finding dogs new homes.

The ACT RSPCA can in some circumstances accept surrendered dogs; more information on this is here


If you’ve tried these options but have run out of time for rehoming, you can surrender your dog to the pound. Both the ACT’s Domestic Animal Services (DAS) and Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council Animal Management Facility have low euthanasia rates and excellent relationships with rescue groups. ARF assesses the dogs at DAS and Queanbeyan each week and we do everything we can to find them a place in a rescue group, either locally or interstate. ARF has assisted in the rescue and direct adoption of thousands of dogs from these pounds.

Unfortunately the pound is a scary place for most dogs and this may mean your dog displays behaviours which are not conducive to them being adopted. There are also times that Rescue groups do not have the resources to rescue your dog and if the pound is full, your dog may be euthanased after seven days. Please consider all other options before surrendering your dog to the pound.

For more information on the local pounds and RSPCA shelter please see: Local Pounds and Shelter

Finally, be realistic. If you have explored every avenue and have had no success in finding a new home for your dog, then it might be kinder to take your dog to the vet and have him or her put to sleep while you hold them. Please never abandon your pet. This is one of the cruelest fates any domestic pet could meet. The danger, fear, and suffering they will encounter are heartbreaking even if they manage to survive at all.

Local Pound and Shelter Dogs needing homes

Feb 16, 2019

Click on the headings to see the dogs on  the  websites

Domestic Animal Services Canberra (DAS)

PHONE: 132281

Address: Mugga Lane,

Symonston ACT     

OPEN 10am–3pm Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat

10am–5pm Thursday.

Closed: Wed, Sun and public holidays


Queanbeyan Pound

PHONE: 02 6285 6269

Address: Cnr Ellerton Drive and Old Sydney Road, Queanbeyan

OPEN Monday to Friday

Between 8.30 and 10am or 4 and 5pm

Saturdays between 1 and 5pm



PHONE: (02) 6287 8100

Address:12 Kirkpatrick Street
Weston (off Cotter Road)

Animal Viewing Hours: 

Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm
Saturdays: 9am – 4pm

What should I do if my dog is lost?

Jan 31, 2017

1. Act immediately

  • Check and post on Facebook in particular Canberra Lost Pet DataBase
  • Contact Domestic Animal Services, the RSPCA, Queanbeyan Pound and vet clinics. Leave a full description of your pet, your name and contact details. We suggest that you go to these places and check for yourself – see below for contact details.
  • Do a letterbox drop in your area.
  • Put posters in shops, vet clinics, bus stops, on power poles, community noticeboards, school noticeboards. Stick a poster to the back window of your car.
  • Advertise in daily and weekly newspapers. Contact local radio stations – many run free announcements.

2. Search the neighbourhood thoroughly

  • Search sheds, garages, buildings, parks, schools, waterways, construction sites. Do a complete door-knock, returning to houses where no-one was home later and ask every single passerby – you never know who may have spotted your dog.
    • If you have a local Neighbourhood Watch group, enlist their help.
    • Ask the Postman – they go to every home and could be a great help.
    • Ask school children – they WALK the neighbourhood, and can be a great resource. They may also know if the dog is in someone’s backyard.

3. Visit animal shelters in person

  • The ACT Pound (Domestic Animal Services), the RSPCA, and the Queanbeyan Pound are three different organisations. Check all shelters in person every couple of days. It is important to go in person as their description may not match yours. Carry documentation such as registration, microchip number, pedigree papers, vaccination certificates, photos etc.
  • Domestic Animal Services – Mugga Lane, Symonston ACT 2609 – (02) 62072424
    DAS website
  • RSPCA – 12 Kirkpatrick Street (off Cotter Road) Weston ACT 2611  (02) 6287 8100
  • Queanbeyan Council Pound – Old Sydney Road, Queanbeyan NSW 2620 – (02) 6298 0269
    Queanbeyan Pound

Why do dogs need to be rescued?

Mar 7, 2014

It’s a sad fact that there are too many unwanted dogs and not enough homes.

Many people worry about adopting an older dog from a shelter or rescue organisation because they believe the animal will have behavioural or other problems. But, the truth is that most dogs in pounds and shelters are perfectly normal, well-behaved dogs who are there through no fault of their own!

  • Dogs get accidentally lost from gates being left open.
  • Dogs get frightened by thunderstorms and fireworks, escape, and then become lost.
  • Inappropriate dogs are chosen on impulse, and later dumped or handed into the shelter.
  • Their companions just lose interest in them.

Dogs lose their homes for many different reasons, most of them having nothing to do with problems of the dog, but rather with those of the person giving them up. The top ten reasons* people surrender their dogs are:

1. Moving

2. Landlord not allowing pets

3. Too many animals in household

4. Cost of pet maintenance

5. Owner having personal problems

6. Inadequate facilities

7. No homes available for litter mates

8. Having no time for pet

9. Pet illness

10. Biting

[*US Study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS)].

Older dogs can also have many advantages over puppies, such as toilet training, no chewing and a known temperament. The most important thing is to find the right type of dog to suit the individual. Most dogs become unwanted because people don’t do enough research or thinking about the right sort of dog (if any) to suit their lifestyle.

For general tips and hints see the About ARF page.

How much does an ARF dog cost?

Oct 21, 2013

ARF dogs are microchipped, desexed, vaccinated, wormed and health checked.

To help cover our costs, ARF asks an adoption fee of:

Puppies aged under 16 weeks (C3 vaccination) – $400 – includes $100 contribution to puppy classes

Dogs aged 16 weeks to 8yrs (C5 vaccination) – $350

Dogs aged over 8yrs (C5 vaccination) – $150

The adoption fee contributes to veterinary and other standard rescue costs, although many of our dogs also require additional veterinary care for injuries or illnesses they have when we rescue them. This adds considerably to the vet costs associated with rescuing and re-homing each dog, and the rest of the money we need is made up from fundraising and donations.

Our foster carers also contribute large amounts of their own money to save and foster dogs. We are totally non-profit and all our members are volunteers.

Donations to help us with costs are always very welcome and appreciated.

Also see:

For general tips and hints see the About ARF page.

Please contact us if you would like any further information.