How to Adopt a Pet

Animal shelters are full. By adopting a pet you will bring joy and companionship into your home and make a space for another pet that may be at risk.

If you are thinking about adopting a pet, you should always do your research and contact your local registered charity, animal shelters. There are things you need to consider, such as:

Can you get written confirmation from your landlord showing they allow pets?
Are you able to go on with any training your pet may need?

Pets need company, dogs needs a couple of wee breaks and walks everyday. Can you provide that?

Do you have suitable access to the outside for exercise and toilet breaks?
If you work long hours, do you have someone that can help or can you afford a pet sitter/walker?
Can you afford insurance? Older dogs and some breeds may cost more to insure, e.g. flat-faced breeds. Any pre-existing medical problems may not be covered by insurance.

All the pets on Animal Adoptions UK are with registered British charities.
They are shown on charity websites that are free for any member of the public to view.


  • Google search registered charity animal shelters in your area.

  • Most charity websites allow you to select pets that can live with other pets or children, just tick the appropriate box on their search page.
  • Take time to look through the animals they have for adoption. Make sure you read their profiles thoroughly and research what each breed and individual dog needs.
  • When you find a pet that you want to apply for, complete the adoption form on the charity’s website and email it to them directly.
  • Be patient waiting for a reply. Many rescue shelters rely on volunteers and some pets receive hundreds of applications.
  • If your application is successful you will be contacted by a member of the rehoming team.
  • Questions that may be asked will be to make sure the right pet is matched with your home, taking in to consideration, how much time you have at home, experience you have of owning a pet, if you have children and if you have a secure garden. If you already have a pet, a vet’s reference may be asked for.
  • You will then be invited to meet the pet and any children or existing pets can also attend.
  • In some cases, if a pet is nervous, you may be asked to meet them a few times before taking them home, in order to build a bond.

When you adopt from a registered charity, your pet will come with:

  • A full health check
  • Up to date vaccinations
  • Your cat or dog will be neutered or you will receive a voucher to get your pet neutered.
  • Your cat or dog will be microchipped
  • You will receive advice regarding diet, exercise and specific needs for your individual pet.
  • Ask if the charity offers Rescue Backup. This means that should your circumstances change at anytime in the life of your pet, the charity would take your pet back. Registered charities should offer this.
  • The above is a guide to the adopting process but each individual rescue charity will have their own procedure. Please check on the charity’s website for their own criteria and process.
Check your local registered animal charities and also apply to….

Cats, dogs and other animals
England and Wales

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

England , Wales and Scotland

Cats, dogs and other animals