South West Somerset Branch

Our Adoption Process

Our Opening times are – Monday to Sunday 10am -1pm and 2pm - 4pm We are closed Wednesday’s

You can contact us on 01823 490333

Dog adoption process

Initial Enquiry – Getting in Touch
Please be aware that you need to make an appointment to see a dog. This is important as
we are very busy and may not have time to deal with your enquiry if you just arrive without an appointment. It also ensures that we have plenty of time to meet your requirements. You may want to have a look on our website before making your appointment. This is updated regularly and has basic information about all the dogs who need a ‘forever home’.

You can contact us on 01823 490333

First Appointment
An appointment would normally last an hour but can be longer if necessary (this has be
arranged prior to the first appointment). We will have a general chat about your lifestyle and what type of dog you are looking for. We will then match you to a dog here at the kennels or in foster care that we think may be suitable

You are not able to look around the kennel blocks as this creates a great deal of stress for
the dogs

The next stage will be introducing you to the dog for the first time. Please be aware that if the dog is in foster care you may need to make another appointment. We will then narrow it down to the animals which are most suitable for you.

Meeting and Greeting
You will be asked to take the dog for short walk and you may spend as long as like with the
dog. There are areas inside and outside where you can sit and have a cuddle. This is
especially good for the nervous dogs and oldies who may take longer to interact with you.

When you have decided on the dog for you the next stage will be for the dog to meet the
rest of the family including children and any other dogs in the household. We have a large compound area where we will do a slow introduction with children in a controlled environment. We are NOT allowed to let children under 16 walk the dog.
The introduction to another dog will involve:
- A parallel walk keeping both dogs at a distance
- The dogs will then take it in turns to have a sniff of each other’s bottoms (while still
- When both dogs are comfortable we can then gradually bring them closer together until
they are walking side by side.
- The next stage is an off lead introduction in our compound area (some dogs may need
more than one on-lead introduction before an off lead introduction). The calmest dog will
be let off lead first and allowed to have a little wander and a sniff. The other dog then will
be let off after an appropriate time. They will have supervised playtime where we can
intervene if necessary. We do ask for children to stand quietly at the side while the dogs
are interacting. We also ask for no toys and treats to be involved at this stage
If the introduction has gone well and all parties are in agreement, the next stage will be
reserving the dog. If it has not gone well we may suggest further introductions or advise on
another dog.

Reservation, Deposit and Home Visit
1. When reserving a dog you will need to put down a £75 deposit (this is non-refundable
and needs to be paid by cash or card)
2. You will then have a home visit carried out by an RSPCA volunteer. They will be in contact with you within 3- 5 working days from when you reserve the dog to arrange a convenient day/time to come and see you. They will have a general chat with you and check that the garden is secure.
3. You are very welcome to come up and see or walk the dog you have reserved whilst you
are waiting for the home visitor to contact you.
4. When you have had the home visit the RSPCA volunteer will contact us (normally the
same day) and we will ring you to arrange for you to collect the dog.
5. Sometimes there are delays so please be patient with us as we do our best to ensure the
process is completed as quickly as possible.

Going Home
Adoption – You will fill out all of the adoption paperwork and then all the dog’s information, including the vaccination card, will be passed over to you. The animal will be fully vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. You may have to bring the animal back for an hour/day if we cannot get all of these done in time. You will also have to pay the rest of the adoption fee which is another £75. You are now fully responsible for this animal
When rehoming a dog you will be asked to sign a contract stating that if you can no longer keep the animal, for whatever reason, you will bring them back to us. We like to retain an interest in the dogs we have rehomed so if there are any problems we are always happy to help so please do not hesitate to contact us. We will do our best to help you resolve any problems.

After the Adoption
You will have another home visit from an RSPCA volunteer to ensure the dog is settling in
and all is well. This is called a post home visit and usually occurs approximately three
months after the adoption.


Cat and Small Animal adoption process

The adoption process for cats and small animals is very similar.
1. Initial Appointment: This will involve taking your details and discussing which cat/small
animal is most suitable for you. We will then take you to the cattery/small animal
enclosure so you can meet them.
2. Introductions: We ask for all members of the family to come and meet and greet. If
everyone cannot come for the first appointment then we will book another one for them.
It is especially important to bring along young children who will be in contact with the
3. Reservation, deposit and home visit: The next stage is reserving the animal. For cats
the reservation payment is £30 and for small animals it is £15. We can accept cards or
cash. You will then have a home visit from an RSPCA volunteer. This will normally take
place 3-5 working days from reservation. As soon as we hear back from them we will
contact you to arrange the adoption appointment.
4. Going home: You will now fill out the adoption paperwork. We will give you the
vaccination card and you will need to pay the final adoption fee (£30 for cats and £15 for small animals). The cat will be fully vaccinated, neutured and microchipped. The small animal will be neutured and vaccinated if needed. You may have to bring them back if we can’t get all this done in time. There will also be an RSPCA post home visit 3 months after the adoption to ensure the animal is all settled in.