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What is the RSPCA's position on working with Rescue Groups?

Article ID: 613
Last updated: 07 Jan, 2015
Revision: 2
Views: 3530

Due to the scope of the unwanted companion animal problem there is pressure on RSPCA shelters to find sufficient suitable homes for all eligible animals in their care. RSPCA member societies work with rescue groups in various ways in order to maximise positive welfare outcomes for our shelter animals.

Position Paper A7 Working with Rescue Groups (attached) outlines national guidelines for when and how the services of a rescue group might be engaged to assist an RSPCA shelter with rehoming. It covers general principles, arrangements, circumstances for utilising rescue group services and criteria for choosing a rescue group.

A rescue group is defined as a not-for-profit group or organisation that rehomes companion animals. A rescue group may operate as a shelter and/or foster care network.

The RSPCA may work with a rescue group in two ways: to help rehome animals and/or to provide foster care:

  • Rehoming involves permanent transfer of ownership from the RSPCA to the rescue group where the rescue group will rehome the animal.
  • Fostering involves the RSPCA retaining ownership of the animal and utilising the rescue group’s foster care network which may act as an extension of the RSPCA’s own foster care network.

The welfare of each individual animal is prioritised when making decisions about the placement of an animal. Please see the attached information for further details.


This website provides general information which must not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for specific professional advice, including veterinary advice. We make no warranties that the website is accurate or suitable for a person's unique circumstances and provide the website on the basis that all persons accessing the website responsibly assess the relevance and accuracy of its content.
Attached files
file PP A7 Working with Rescue Groups.pdf (222 kb)

Also read
document RSPCA Policy A02 Acquiring a companion animal
document RSPCA Policy A04 Adoption of RSPCA animals
document RSPCA Policy A05 Euthanasia of companion animals
document RSPCA Policy A06 Breeding of companion animals

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