FAQs

A: The quickest way to register to adopt an animal is to download our form (available at the end of step 3) and email it back to us.

If you can’t download the form, or you have specific access requirements, please contact us and we will pop a form out in the post to you. We can also assist you on the phone, but we kindly ask that you use the online form if you are able.

A: Everyone’s journey to adoption will differ depending on their situation, the amount of animals we have available for rehoming in the centre at that time, and the animal’s needs. But we will always strive to be as quick as we can with the process.

It may take around 2 weeks for us to get in touch with you after you’ve submitted your form, but you should receive an automatic email reply from us when you have emailed your application form (please check your junk email too!) so please don’t worry if you don’t hear from us straight away, and we kindly ask that you avoid the urge to chase us for a response. We will reply, we promise!

In addition to inviting you to meet your potential new pet we will also need to see video and/or photos of your living arrangements.

The adoption date will depend on how long your future pet will take to get to know you – some will need a little extra time to feel confident with you before heading home.

A: It’s great to hear you’ve seen an animal you like! The first thing you need to do is register (please read through all the information available and follow steps 1 – 3 available here before filling in our forms).

We need you to register first so that we can see if you are a match for the pet you are interested in. Please do bear in mind that you may not be the perfect match for each other, every animal in our care is assessed using any history that may be available to us, as well as their assessments whilst in our care. We use their profiles and the information you submit when you register to find the perfect match – whilst this may not always be the first pet you spotted online, we know that we will find the best pet for you and your lifestyle – meaning happy pets and happy people!

A: We aim to match you up with a pet that is best suited to you and your family. When we assess our pets (dogs, cats and smalls) we take into consideration any information we have from their previous owners and their behaviour with us to determine what age of children we feel they would be suitable for.

Some of our pets are not suited to living with children, and should you have your heart set on a particular pet on our website that is sadly not right for your family, we will discuss this with you during your registration and do our best to find the right pet for you and your family.

A: What exciting news, congratulations! We’d advise that if you’ve got a new baby on the way, it is best to wait a while before adopting. Let the dust settle after the new bundle of joy has arrived and then have a look at adding a pet to your growing family.

A: If you’re moving within the next 6 months, we recommend you wait until after you have moved and settled in before rehoming. Particularly with dogs, as it can take several months for a rescue to completely settle in with it's new home and family. If you’re moving soon, this change in your new pet’s environment can be very stressful for them.

Please register with us once you’ve settled into your new home and we’ll be happy to help you find a pet to help fill those new rooms with toys, food and fluff!

A: If you have plans to go on holiday in the next 3 months (lucky you!), then we’d ask you don’t adopt until you’re back, unless a member of the household is staying home and can care for your new pet.

A: When adopting a small pet (e.g. bird, gerbil, rabbit) or exotic pet you will still be required to fill out an application form and make an appointment, just like with our larger animals.

A: We do lots of work to ensure we know the animals in our care as well as we can, what they like, what they don’t! Their history, as well as their attitude to different situations and other animals and so on. All of this information makes up their animal profile. Whilst we’re always happy to talk about the pets in our care, it is vital that we ensure a perfect match for you and for the animals in our care, and for this reason we do prefer that you register first and provide us with information about you and your lifestyle – this helps us to ensure we are able to find a great match for you (as well as potentially suggest other pets in our care who could be your pawfect match).

A: Before our animals are ready to be adopted many go through lots of training and behavioural assessments to ensure they are ready to go to a new home.

They also receive a health check-up, neutering, vaccinations, flea and worm treatments, microchipping and more from our skilled Clinic Veterinary staff. All this, (along with all the other costs of running Bristol’s oldest animal rescue centre) mean that we ask you to pay an adoption fee for your new pet. The adoption fee is a contribution towards the costs we incur to look after the animals whilst they are with us.

We would also greatly appreciate any future donations or support you could offer us so that we can continue helping, healing and rehoming for many years to come.

Adoption fees*

• Dogs: £150

• Cats £100

• Rabbits £40

• Ferrets £40

• Guinea Pigs £20

• Birds £15 plus depending on species

• Other small animals (e.g. Rats & Hamsters) £5 plus

• Exotics/Reptiles - £25 plus depending on species.

* These prices are subject to change

A: You will also get a courtesy call from us a few months after the adoption has taken place to see how it’s all going. You’re also welcome to call us beforehand if you have any questions at any point – we are here to help.

In the unlikely circumstance that you feel it sadly is not a perfect match between you and your new pet, please let us know and we can try and help to resolve any problems. Sometimes just simple changes are needed. Such as, where their bed is and how much exercise they’re getting, etc.

If after seeking our advice and trying our tips things still aren’t going well and you’ve decided you’d like to return the animal, please call us and we’ll arrange a time for you to bring the animal back.

Please don’t feel embarrassed about this, sometimes it just doesn’t work out and we will never judge you for bringing an animal back after trying your best to make it work.


A: If we’ve been unable to find you a match this time we’ll send you an email to let you know. We will then keep your form on file for 6 months, meaning if you see a new animal you are interested in within that time you won’t need to fill out another form (unless your circumstances have changed). All you will need to do is give us a call and let us know which animal you are interested in, and then we can check your compatibility with the animal that you like.

A: We kindly ask you to not arrive early to your appointment as we can no longer allow people to wait in our reception area. The best place to wait will be your car (if possible) as the area by our door is not under cover and by a busy road.

A: We currently do not allow people to foster our animals.

A: This depends on the kind of pet you’re after. For most small animals like birds, hamsters and gerbils (and exotics) a flat is absolutely fine. You may also be able to adopt a house cat.

However, unless you live on a ground floor flat with direct access to an enclosed garden or outdoor space you might not be able to adopt a dog or cat from us.

A: If you’re renting a property you can adopt. However, you will need to submit proof of permission from your landlord to have pets. This can be a letter, either from the landlord directly or from the council/housing association. We will also accept a tenancy agreement if it clearly states that pets are permitted in the property. However, if you already have a pet at this property additional confirmation will be required to confirm you are allowed multiple pets.

A: If you’re looking to adopt a dog, sadly no. But if you’re on the hunt for a new feline friend you may be able to depending on the location of the property. For example, the busyness of nearby roads, the age of the cat, etc. Small animals like guinea pigs and rabbits need an outdoor area that they can enjoy in the nicer weather. However, rodent like animals and ferrets would be fine without a garden.

A: We will happily take applications from people who already have an animal in the house. However, the process varies slightly depending on what type of animal you are looking to adopt. For example, if you already own a dog and are looking to adopt another, the dogs will need to meet each other on site before proceeding any further with the adoption. This would be the same with rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs.

With cats, to avoid causing the unnecessary stress of wrestling them into a carrier, we don’t require introductions to take place before the adoption. But you will be given advice on the best way to introduce them to each other at home.

You may also be asked to provide proof of vaccinations where appropriate before bringing your pre-existing pet onsite.

If you can’t find the answers you are looking for please contact us.

Thank you for your interest in adopting an animal in need from Bristol Animal Rescue Centre – we really appreciate your support.

Are you ready to take a look at the animals in our care looking for their forever home? Then please click here and get ready to fall in love!

Not quite ready – why not find out about Volunteering with us, or perhaps you could make a donation to keep us helping, healing and homing animals in need in Bristol.