Adopting an animal


RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk & District Branch

Temporary Adoption / Fostering Process for cats & dogs during Covid-19 Pandemic

Please note that we can only rehome to our local area (or adjacent areas, as long as they are in the same Tier of local Covid-19 restrictions, i.e. currently Tier 3 / Very High).


This is because Government current guidance is:  

  • you should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level area you are in or entering a very high alert level area, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey.

A strict adoption / fostering process has been approved by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) during the pandemic. This has been updated as Government guidance has varied and could be impacted upon by specific local restrictions.

The process is as follows:

  • Under no circumstances should a member of public attend the Animal Centre unless given an appointment to do so. An appointment will only be given to meet or collect an animal. During your appointment, you MUST NOT enter any of the buildings, including Reception. Social Distancing MUST be maintained at all times. Notwithstanding this, appointments to visit cats will be conducted in the Cattery Foyer.

  • The health & safety of our staff and volunteers is of utmost importance to us.  Unfortunately, we can't adopt out animals to homes where a member of the household is showing symptoms of, or has a confirmed case of Covid-19. 

  • Any potential adopter, or fosterer must be able to access the internet and be able to print & sign documentation / supply photos and / or videos and return all 'electronically'. You will not be allowed to adopt or foster if this is not the case, as no documentation can be exchanged, in person, on-site.

Step 1 - Initial interest / application

  1. You may only select a cat or dog listed on the the National RSPCA Find a Pet page (for animals at Southport) or our Facebook page Please do not send in ad hoc application forms for cats & dogs not listed on Facebook, (we will list others when they are ready for rehoming).

  2. We will use Facebook messenger, email and telephone to communicate with you.

  3. You must complete a Perfect Match Form for a CAT or DOG and email it to (applications will formally commence upon receipt of a properly completed form and be processed on a 'first come / first served' basis; triggering a 48 hours 'temporary hold' on the cat / dog.

  4. A member of staff will contact you to go through your application to ensure our basic criteria have been met and also to ascertain other information pertinent to your application and the Pandemic. During or after this conversation, you will either be progressed to Step 2, or your 'temporary hold' will be removed.


Step 2 – Matching / meeting the animal

  1. You must read through either the adoption or fostering documentation on the national RSPCA Website.

  2. Animal Centre staff will arrange a mutually convenient appointment for you to meet the animal.

  3. You will meet dogs in the Paddock and cats in the Cattery Foyer. Whilst visiting a cat you must wear a face covering or mask. Please bring one with you to allow the appointment to go-ahead. An alcohol based (and Covid-19 tested) hand foam will be outside the cattery entrance and must be used before entering the Cattery Foyer.  As the meeting of dogs is conducted outside, then coverings / masks will be optional at the present time. Please maintain social distancing at all times.

  4. You will be able to bring any other dogs (not cats) that you own to the above appointment to assess compatibility.

  5. Ideally, no more than 2 people (plus staff member) will be allowed to meet the animal at any one time, although all of those living at your premises should attend the appointment.

  6. If the animal meeting is successful (this is determined by staff), then a reserve may be placed on the animal. It may also be possible to conduct Step 3 before meeting some animals, allowing for a single visit / collection of the animal. This will be dependent upon the animal's assessment and you will be advised by staff accordingly.


Step 3 – Virtual home visit

  1. We will review your home location on Google Maps when possible.

  2. You will be asked to email photographs of the inside of your home, animal sleeping area, enclosure and rear garden as appropriate. Similarly a short video walkthrough should be provided.

  3. If approved, an adoption or fostering form will be emailed to you, for you to read, print and sign. You must scan / photograph the signed page and return this via email. Your animal cannot be collected until this has happened.

  4. An appointment will be arranged for you to come to the animal centre to collect your animal.

  5. For those adopting, you will receive a telephone call to take your credit / debit card details for the adoption fee. Your card must be in the adopter's name with its billing address the same as where you and the animal will live. Your animal cannot be collected until payment has been received. 

  6. You will need to provide your own food and equipment if you are adopting. A limited number of items may be purchased when paying the rehoming fee if necessary. Equipment will provided to those fostering, free of charge. Food will be reimbursed, by means of supporting VAT Invoice, if requested.


Step 4 – Handover of animals appointment

  1. There is a strict handover procedure in operation, so please follow any instructions given by staff during your handover appointment. Social distancing must be observed at all times.

  2. For dogs you should bring an appropriate collar and lead and for cats, your own cat carrier.


Step 5 - Ongoing Support

  1. Ongoing support can only be provided electronically. We will keep in touch with fosterers on a regular basis and any veterinary needs should be flagged up to the Animal Care Manager.

  2. If it becomes necessary to return an animal for any reason, a reversal of the handover measures must be strictly observed.

    Adoption Fees (from)
    Cats £100 Dogs £150



Click on the animal pictures below to see the animals that we currently have available


Geoffrey Cat.jpg
Marvin Dog.jpg

Adoption Procedure (during non-Covid-19 times)

Your Local RSPCA Charity requires forever homes

The adoption procedure involves completing a comprehensive questionnaire, meeting the animal (sometimes repeat visits will be required), one to one chats with staff and a home visit. We ask that all the family visit the animal at the Centre before a reservation can be taken. If you are adopting a dog and you already have one, you will also be asked to bring your existing dog to the Animal Centre to meet the new one. All owned animals should be up-to-date with their vaccinations.

Adoption Fees

Cats £100

Dogs £150

Hamsters, Mice, Budgies, etc Donation

These adoption fees are only a contribution to the costs of caring for, neutering, micro chipping and vaccinating our animals. You will also receive either 4 weeks free cover from Petplan or RSPCA for your new dog or cat (requires online registration to activate).

5 Steps to Adoption

  1. To help you to choose the right pet for adoption, we ask you to complete a questionnaire. We are looking for life-long, permanent homes for our animals and we need to be sure you can provide such a home. This means we have to ask questions about your personal circumstances, including your ability to meet veterinary bills. If you live in rented accommodation you will need written permission to own a pet at the property.

  2. Once you have met all of our requirements, you can then reserve the pet.

  3. A home visit will be carried out to check that your home is suitable for the pet you have chosen. Normally, the home visit will be carried out within a week but, often, it is much sooner than this.

  4. When the home visit and assessment have been successfully completed and the animal is ready to go home, our receptionist will contact you to come and collect him or her. There will be some final paperwork to get out of the way - then you can take your new pet home!

  5. A follow up visit may be carried out to make sure that you, your family and your new pet are happy.

All Rights Reserved © 2020 - RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk & District Branch
Charity Registration Number: 232258

The RSPCA Animal Centre, New Cut Lane, Southport, PR8 3DW