Adopting an animal


RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk & District Branch

Temporary Adoption Process for animals during Covid-19 Pandemic (w.e.f. 17/5/21)

The Animal Centre remains closed to the general public, but rehoming is still taking place within current national Covid-19 restrictions.

A strict adoption process has been approved by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) during the pandemic. This has been updated as Government Covid-19 guidance has varied and could be impacted upon by future specific local and / or national restrictions.

The process is as follows:

  • Under no circumstances should a member of public attend the Animal Centre without an appointment. This will only be arranged to collect an animal, or in exceptional welfare circumstances to meet & greet a dog.

  • 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 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 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 animals 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 animals not listed, (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 a 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 animal.

  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 the animal

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

  2. Animal Centre staff will arrange for you to meet the animal virtually. This will involve the exchange of video footage in the main via Facebook or other means.

  3. You will be asked to provide video footage of other animals that you own to help assess compatibility..

  4. If the animal virtual matching is successful (this is determined by staff), then a reserve may be placed on the animal.


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 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 delivered until this has happened.

  4. An appointment will be arranged with you for the collection of your animal.

  5. 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 delivered until payment has been received. 

  6. You will need to provide your own food and equipment. A limited number of items may be purchased when paying the rehoming fee if necessary and be delivered with your animal. 


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 cat collection you should bring a Cat Carrier with you and knock on reception door to let us know you have arrived.

  3. For dogs, you should bring your own collar and lead / harness and knock on reception door to let us know you have arrived. In exceptional animal welfare circumstances, multiple visits may be required before the adoption of a dog can be completed.

    From 17/5/21, collections will continue to take place predominantly outdoors, but there is some scope for indoor collections / meetings for up to 6 people or two households at a time, when that would help meet a welfare need. You must however continue to socially distance.


Step 5 - Ongoing Support

  1. Ongoing support can only be provided electronically. 

  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*)
    Dogs £150
    Cats £100

    *Charges may be significantly more for puppies and specific breeds


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.