Pet Adoption

Click here to view the pets we currently have available for adoption.

The Shepparton Animal Shelter is an ideal place to visit if you are looking for a new animal addition to the family. The Shepparton Animal Shelter runs a very successful rehousing program for any lost animals looking for their forever homes.

Surrendered animals, or lost animals that are not claimed by their owners, enter the adoption process, which involves a veterinary assessment and behaviour review. All dogs and cats adopted will be vaccinated, microchipped, desexed and treated for worms and fleas.

Behaviour Assessment

The behaviour assessment aims to create a ‘snap shot’ of an animal’s behaviour whilst at the Shepparton Animal Shelter. While every effort is made to accurately describe an animal’s behaviour, an animal may behave differently in its new home environment. If you have any concerns with a animal that you have adopted from the Shepparton Animal Shelter, do not hesitate to contact the Shelter for advice.

Veterinary Assessment

Every animal available for adoption has undertaken a veterinary assessment to identify any current veterinary conditions or injuries. While an identified condition may not prevent the animal from being adopted, an ongoing condition may increase ongoing veterinary bills or may decrease the animal's predicted life span. We make every effort to accurately inform a potential adopter of any known conditions and the potential impact on the animal's future. If an animal has an ongoing veterinary condition, please consider carefully how the condition or issue will impact on you, before agreeing to adopt.

Adoption Process

The Shepparton Animal Shelter adoption process is designed to find the most suitable home for each shelter animal. Every animal is different and every home is different. An application may be cancelled at any stage of the Adoption process for any reason, as we aim to match an animal with its ideal family. If an application is declined, we are not obliged to provide a reason to you and all decisions are final.

Is adoption right for your family?

If you are interested in welcoming a new animal into your family, spend time conducting research into what is the most suitable pet for your family. Is it a puppy who requires dedication and time to train, a big energetic dog that requires daily exercise and a big secure yard, an older dog that spends lots of time sleeping, a kitten or an older cat or something a little different such as a rabbit, bird, ferret, guinea pig, pony or sheep? 

Things to consider include:

  • What are your housing arrangements? Do you live in a flat, unit, house with a big secure yard or are you on a farm with no fencing?
  • How much time can you spend with your new pet? Do you work long hours or are you at home?
  • What is your family dynamic? Do you have young kids, live on your own or are you looking to retire?
  • How will a new pet impact you and your family?
  • What animals do you have already? Would they welcome a new family member? Will they get along?
  • How would you describe your lifestyle? Are you active or spend more time at home? Do you love getting into the outdoors?
  • Do you love to travel? If you travel, who would look after your pet while you are away? Can you afford a boarding kennel when you travel?
  • Can you afford to take care of a new pet? How much will it really cost? Can you afford to feed it, provide shelter, adequate fencing or pay vet bills? In an emergency, how will you afford a vet bill? Will you pay for pet insurance?
  • What species and breed would suit your family?
  • If you are looking for a dog, are you after a pure bred or cross breed?
  • What size dog would best suit your family? A giant Great Dane, a small Chihuahua or something in between? Should it be an active dog or a quieter dog like a greyhound?

Adoption Application

Once you have decided on the type of pet, size and age, and if you wish to adopt an animal from an animal shelter, search the list of animals currently available for adoption. The list is updated regularly, so keep an eye out until you find your perfect new addition.

When you find an animal available for adoption that you are interested in adopting, please complete a Shepparton Animal Shelter Animal Adoption Questionnaire. A separate application is required per animal and we cannot accept applications for animals listed as lost animals as we are still searching for their owner. Please contact the Council office or Shepparton Animal Shelter if you require assistance with your application.

Complete the Animal Adoption Questionnaire

Once the Shepparton Animal Shelter has received your application, animal shelter staff will assess the information you have provided in your application. This process may take a couple of days, so please be patient. If you are selected as a potential adoptee, animal shelter staff will contact you to arrange a date and time for a ‘meet and greet’ appointment.

"Meet and Greet" Appointment

A ‘meet and greet’ appointment takes place at the Shepparton Animal Shelter and takes approximately 30 minutes. The appointment involves all family members that will live in the same home to meet and spend time with the potential new pet. If you wish to adopt a new dog/s and already have a dog/s, you will be required to bring them along to ensure that they all get along.  Please note that your dog/s are required to be vaccinated at least 14 days prior to visiting the Shepparton Animal Shelter. If the appointment is successful, the next stage is to obtain Council animal management approval.

Council Animal Management Approval

Shepparton Animal Shelter staff will contact your local Councils’ animal management department to confirm your details, the number of pets you may own. Staff may also request for an Animal Ranger to attend your property to confirm that the housing arrangements are suitable for the new animal.

Adoption Time

If the ‘meet and greet’ is successful and the local Council approves the application, animal shelter staff will contact the approved new owner to arrange for the adoption paperwork to be completed and the adoption fee to be paid. Only the person listed on the approved Animal Adoption Questionnaire can complete the adoption paperwork.  Please note that a person cannot adopt an animal on behalf of another person under any circumstances.

Whilst the paperwork is being completed, your new family member will have any required Veterinary procedures completed. We aim to have your new pet to you as quickly as possible however, this process can take a few days, depending on the type of procedure/s required. This time will also allow you to finalise arrangements for your new pet such as purchasing food, food and water bowls, shelter, bedding, collar and lead, carry box and hutch.


Once your new animal has recovered from any veterinary procedure, the paperwork has been completed, animal shelter staff will arrange for you to collect your new family member from the shelter.

Please ensure you bring with you either a collar and lead if you are adopting a dog or a suitable carry box so you can safely transport your new family member home.

If you are collecting a dog, it is recommended that you have two people – one to drive and one to help keep the new dog calm.

Adoption Pack

Upon collection of your new family member, you will be provided with an Adoption Pack containing information including:

  • Vaccination Certificate
  • Desexing Certificate
  • Microchip Certificate
  • Adoption Information booklet
  • Veterinary records regarding provided treatment and any known ongoing Veterinary conditions
  • Animal care brochures
  • Council registration for the current registration period if your new pet will live in the Greater Shepparton City Council area.

If you live outside of the Greater Shepparton City Council, you will be required to register your new animal with your local Council. The Shepparton Animal Shelter is required by law to notify your local Council of the adoption.

Adoption Guarantee

The Shepparton Animal Shelter offers the following adoption guarantee in accordance with the Code of Practice for the management of dogs and cats in shelters and pounds. 

If a dog, puppy, cat or kitten is not acceptable to a purchaser because of health, physical or other reasons (excluding accidents), which is supported by a statement from a veterinary practitioner, within seven days of purchase, the Animal Shelter will accept the animal back and refund the purchase price of the animal.

If a dog, puppy, cat or kitten is returned within three days for any other reason, the Animal Shelter will refund 75% of the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

If a dog, puppy, cat or kitten dies or is euthanased as a result of a disease that is traceable to the point of sale, the Animal Shelter will refund the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

If you wish to return an animal for any reason outside of the Adoption Guarantee period, the Shepparton Animal Shelter will accept the animal free of charge.