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.