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 one we have in our care that you think fits your lifestyle!

Some dogs are great escape artists, some would jump over fencing, some may go through hedges and gaps, some can even open gates (yes really). We ask that if you are looking to take a dog into your home, you explore your garden, check out how your dog could escape if it wanted to. A dog can easily clear 5′ fence panel – some would never dream of it, but for some – its part of the game to find the great outdoors. Be mindful of things close to fencing that your new dog would jump onto to get over. A dog would enjoy a nice stepping stone, like a bench to help them get over – should they wish to.

To put our minds at rest, we ask that you send in photos of your home and garden (including all the perimeter fencing for dogs) and where you have planned for your new pet to live. Please send these to dogs@rainrescue.co.uk (for dog photos) and cats@rainescue.co.uk (for cat photos).

Dogs and cats will need somewhere that they can call their own. Even if they eventually chose to lay on the settee (if you don’t mind that). They really do appreciate their own bed and bedding.

Once you submit your on-line enquiry form, and we have received your photos, on of the team will be back in touch by phone or email. Be sure to keep an eye on our email coming in – sometimes it can end up in the Junk folders. If you haven’t heard anything within 2-3 days, please email us on the above emails.

Step two

Match and Meet

Based on all your information, photos, and preferences and our understanding of the cat or dog in our care, we’ll set about assessing the suitability of you and your potential new companion. If we identify something that we don’t think is right for you or for your new pet, we will talk to you about it and suggest another if we have one more suitable in our care.

Even if the animal you originally opted for turns out not to be suitable, just be patient, and keep checking the website as dogs and cats come into our care all the time.

During Covid, things are very different and we will discuss with you how you can meet your new pet. As restrictions are lifting, we are allowed to do viewings again at the centre for the dogs as they can be done in the outside space. We are still not able to do this for cats and the public cannot visit the cattery. We have rehomed throughout Covid and have had very few that haven’t worked out. As we chat over the phone together, collectively, we have found that we usually get a good idea if you and your new pet are right for each other

Step three


Once everyone’s happy (it may take more than one dog visit or chat), 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. We will contact you within a few days and a few weeks. We ask that you keep in touch with us and if you need any help or advice to come back and talk to us, we want whats best for the dog or cat we have rehomed to you and we want whats right for you. We will do all we can to make it work.

Adoption fees are clearly shown on their adoption pages. The adoption fees we ask barely (if ever) cover all that the charity has spent on the dog or cat. Some of them can cost hundreds – some thousands of pounds. A few, may not cost that much at all but thats rare. To ensure that the charity is here to help the next dog or cat that needs us, we ask for an adoption fee.

We prefer adoptions to be made online by a link we can send you or you can pay by debit/credit but you can pay by cash if necessary.


ADOPTION FEES ARE NON REFUNDABLE:- Should we assess it to be in the best interest of the animal that it be returned to us, we may be able to offer a 50% refund, If something didn’t work out right with this specific animal then we would wait until another compatible match was available for you from the centre.


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 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.