Our adoption process

We want all the dogs and cats we rescue to find a new home, but we also want to make sure it’s the right home for them. Our three-step process helps us get this right while making it as simple as possible for you to adopt. For your information, we don’t have visitors just coming to view our dogs and cats without a prior appointment. From an animal welfare point of view, walking around looking at homeless dogs and cats is very stressful for them and for you. They don’t show themselves off to their best. We have found over the years that by using our ‘Matching’ process, we get the right dog or cat for the right home and the right home for the right dog and cat.

You can help us make sure the match works by putting careful thought into the responsibility you will be taking on. And not just you – everybody at home should understand what will be involved before you apply.

Ready? Explore all the animals looking for a home today…

Step one


Once you’ve decided you’re ready to adopt, let us know you’re ready to take the plunge. It’s as easy as filling in one of our forms, where you can give us your details and also tell us which of the animals has caught your eye. Don’t worry if you’re not sure – we’ll help you find the right match!

To make sure our animals move into the right environment, we’ll also need you to email dogs@rainrescue.co.uk or cats@rainrescue.co.uk with photos of your home, garden (including fencing for dogs), and current/past pets so we can make sure we find the right environment for every animal.

Once this is all done, we’ll be ready to process your application and you’ll be one step closer to adoption! 

Step two

Match and Meet

There are two parts to this section, but the good news is that we’ll take care of the matching.

Based on all your information, photos and preferences and our extensive knowledge of the animals in our care, we’ll set about assessing the suitability of you and your potential new companion. If we’re not sure about the dog or cat you have chosen, we’ll identify who we think would be the best match for you.

Even if the animal you originally opted for turns out not to be suitable, we’ll do everything we can to find a dog or cat who will be the very best companion for you. If there’s no suitable match right now, be patient – we have new animals arriving all the time.

During Covid, things are very different and we will discuss with you how you can meet your new pet.

Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of rehoming advice to help you prepare.

Step three


Once everyone’s happy (it may take more than one visit), you’ll be ready for the final, magical step of officially adopting your new companion! We’ll make sure you have all the information and advice you need for when you first introduce your cat or dog into your home, and we’ll be in touch soon after to check how things are going.

All our dogs have an individual price and this is shown clearly on the dogs website page. Cat adoption fees will be shown on each cats page. This ensures they come home with all they need and covers some of the costs we incur in ensuring your pet is healthy, happy and house-ready before their adoption (see below for more details). We prefer adoptions to be by debit/credit but you can pay by cash. All the dogs and cats cost the charity more than any adoption fee covers.

REHOMING FEES ARE NOT REFUNDABLE. Should we assess it to be in the best of interest of the dog or cat for it to be returned to us we may be able to offer a refund, minus an admin fee of £25 to go towards the time already spent with your adoption.


Although you will be responsible for the wellbeing of your new companion after adoption, a Rain Rescue animal will always be a Rain Rescue animal, so we’re here if you need us. We have lots of advice on our website but if you’re struggling you can always call our small team of animal lovers on 01709 247 777 (between 11am-3pm). Leave a message if you can’t get through and we’ll try to get back to you or you can email dogs@rainrescue.co.uk or cats@rainrescue.co.uk for help and we will come back to you as soon as we can.