A Note about our Adoption Fees

Here at SCAR, we believe in keeping pets together with the people who love them.

For those that, for whatever reason, do find themselves in our care, however - we will do whatever it takes to ensure they find their loving second chance with a family who adores them.

To help each of our four-legged friends find their loving homes, our Adoption Fees are, therefore, based on a sliding scale. What does this mean?

When we have animals in our care who we know will have a harder time finding a home, (senior animals, pets with medical needs, behaviour cases, etc) their fees will be reduced and/or they will receive funding for any treatment and care they require to provide them with their lifesaving second chance.

Therefore, highly desirable animals or breeds (e.g. puppies, Poodles etc) may have an increased adoption fee to offset these costs. This is because highly adoptable animals rarely struggle to find homes regardless of their cost. Therefore, the increased fees can be used to directly help our “harder to place” animals, by allowing us to reduce their adoption fees and remove one of the barriers that might stop someone from choosing that animal as a part of their family.

This sliding scale simply helps us provide increased adoption opportunities for ALL of our animals. So, when you adopt a pet with a higher adoption fee, not only are you making a life-saving difference for the animal you are bringing into YOUR family - you are also helping to save the lives of less fortunate pets as well!

Why are these animals at a shelter? What's wrong with them?

Nothing! We do not think there is anything wrong with any of our animals, even those who may need a little more medical and behavioural support before they are ready to find their new homes. We value all animals for their inherent qualities. Instead of euthanising animals that need an extra helping hand, we choose to work to rehabilitate them until they are healthy, happy, and suitable to be rehomed.

We also have a lot of healthy, adoption ready animals in our care, who for no fault of their own need a hand to find their new people.

Why aren't older animals free?

Often older animals require more extensive veterinary work than younger animals (such as dental work, blood tests, lump removals etc.) so an adoption fee is essential to ensure we can cover the costs of their needs.

Why do puppies and kittens cost more to adopt than adult animals?

Puppies or young kittens tend to cost more to adopt simply because they are typically with us for longer and therefore cost us more to prepare for adoption. Often the young animals we take in are orphaned when they are tiny babies, or they have some pre-existing condition such an infectious illness that we treat to get them healthy and ready for their new home.

Especially during the warmer months, it is not uncommon for SCAR to have cared for kittens from before birth all the way through until they are old enough to be desexed, vaccinated and are ready to head out into the world on their own – that process can take 3 months!

We are incredibly grateful for our foster carers who take animals into their own homes so they can grow up in a home environment. This gives every baby the best chance at becoming a great pet and also allows us to keep adoption fees affordable for the adopters.

What happens if the animal I adopt gets sick?

As part of the adoption package, your new pet has a 7 day health guarantee for shelter related illnesses only. If the animal becomes unwell during this time we will cover all vet bills when the animal is seen by a SCAR approved veterinary clinic only. If the animal has hurt itself by other means, such as jumping off a chair, that is not covered. Please contact us ASAP if your newly adopted pet becomes unwell for a list of SCAR approved veterinary clinics. SCAR cannot cover the costs of any emergency vet treatments if you take your newly adopted animal to a vet clinic other than those that haven been advised to you by SCAR management

Can I return the pet I adopt?

Of course! We are here to support you and our animals, so we don’t see adoption returns as failures, but rather as a great opportunity to learn more about our animals.

We do our best to minimise transitions for SCAR animals and will provide you with all the information and support to give you and your new family member every chance to develop a great relationship and stay together. However, we also understand that sometimes the animal that you have fallen in love with is not the right fit once you get them home.

We do require that any adopter who is having settling in issues, or thinks that the animal may not be a great fit for them, gets in touch with us early so that we can help you. Please use the Please contact our Adoptions Team, or just give us a call at the shelter and have a chat to someone who can help! Of course, we want to hear from you when things are going well too, as this makes our day!

Please never think that our team will judge or think anything negative about any questions you have or any decision that you make. Our policy on returns is:

  • Once you adopt an animal you are given a 7-day trial period to see how the animal settles into your home and if they are a good fit for you and your family. If you choose to return the animal within this seven-day period for a justifiable reason, we will refund you 75% of your adoption fee.
  • Once you adopt an animal you are given a 7-day health guarantee, which guarantees the good health of your new pet for those 7 days. If anything happens in this 7-day period to your animal health wise, that may be linked to their time with SCAR, we will cover their medical care at our veterinary clinic, or if you choose to return your pet, we will refund you the full adoption fee.

What if my newly adopted SCAR animal doesn't get along with my current pets?

Most animals meeting for the first time will not be the best friends you would hope them to be, human relationships need to be built over time and it is no different in the animal world. Most settling in/teething issues can be avoided with slow and careful introduction of new pets and ongoing training can also help avoid further problems down the track. Our knowledgeable staff can advise you on the best way to introduce your new pets and assist with any initial settling in issues. Our adoptions do come with a cooling off period, but in most cases a new member of the family should be given at least 3 weeks to settle in.

Do you provide enrichment and training for your shelter animals?

Yes, we do! With the help of our fabulous team of shelter volunteers, all animals housed in our shelter receive daily 1-1 time with people, food enrichment, toys and other items to play with, and when necessary, tailored training to help them build the skills they need to become great pets.

Can I pay off the adoption fee via a payment plan?

All adoption fees are required to be paid in full at the time of adoption as we do not have payment plans.

Is there a discount for adopting two animals at the same time?

There is no discount for multiple adoptions; all animals have an individual adoption fee to cover the costs of their care.

Do you euthanize animals?

At Second Chance Animal Rescue, we pride ourselves on doing everything possible to give every animal that comes into our care a true ‘second chance’ at a happy ending. We do everything within our power to rehabilitate the animal physically, mentally, and behaviourally and then rehome them with a family who suits them, and they suit too!

However, there are times when despite our best efforts to rectify a situation, the most suitable option available to us is for an animal to be euthanised. For instance, if the animal is mentally or physically suffering, and we have tried everything in our power to treat them without success, euthanasia may be the kindest choice. SCAR is also community-minded, and we will not risk the safety of our community by placing animals with known histories of severe aggression. Our experienced team of vets, trainers, and shelter professionals work together to make every outcome a positive one; however, we do not believe any animal should suffer ongoing compromised welfare, and if we can not relieve the animal's suffering or create a safe outcome for an animal, sometimes euthanasia is the kindest option.

When I adopt an animal from SCAR do I need to transfer its microchip into our name?

All dogs and cats in our care have a microchip implanted before being adopted, the transfer of ownership is sent to the applicable microchip company for completion by SCAR at the time of adoption. We strongly suggest that you check with the relevant microchip database within a 6 week period after adoption, to ensure the transfer has occurred. We can provide you with the applicable microchip database contact details if needed.

Do I have to register my dog with my council?

Yes, it is a legal requirement as per council regulations to register your animals. You will need to contact your local council for further information.

Is the animal good with pocket pets and/ or livestock?

If we know that an animal is good with pocket pets (rabbits, guinea pigs etc) or livestock we will always let people know via the animal’s adoption profile. However, we do not have pocket pets or livestock at our shelter to test the animals with.

Can I put an animal on hold?

If you have contacted our shelter and have booked in a meeting with a particular animal we will hold onto that animal for the duration of your trip, however we cannot hold an animal longer than this.

Where are your animals from?

All of the animals in our care have either been rescued from a Victorian pound or have been surrendered by the owner for various reasons, such as they can no longer afford the animal, or they have had to move and cannot take the animal with them.

Do you adopt out animals that are not desexed?

No, all SCAR animals are desexed, vaccinated, microchipped, and given parasite prevention before adoption. Animals that find themselves in need of our help are destined to become great human companions, and we believe that desexing is just one step in helping set these animals up to succeed in adoptive homes.

Desexing also stops unplanned litters of puppies and kittens from being born, reducing the strain on our animal welfare system, preventing unwanted behaviours such as territorial spraying in cats, and protecting SCAR animals from any future risks associated with having babies!

Can I bring my cat in to meet a dog or cat I am interested in?

No, bringing your current cat into the shelter will only cause unnecessary stress to your cat and will not give a true indication of whether it will get along with the other animal. We do have histories on most of our shelter animals and will be able to let you know which animals have lived with cats in the past which may help you chose the perfect new companion.

Can I bring my own dog to the shelter to meet dogs?

Yes! We encourage that people looking at adopting another dog bring their current pooch along to the meet and greet; this to ensure that both dogs are compatible. However, we do require that your dog is fully vaccinated before the meeting to not only protect our rescue dogs, but your dog as well when entering the shelter environment.