Read on for some of the impactful charities and animal shelters in Melbourne to support and adopt your next four-legged friend from!

The pandemic has put many charitable organisations at a great disadvantage, from massive donation cuts, to shrinking volunteer numbers and incentives for charity events, alongside many other unprecedented challenges. Over the past couple years, animal shelters in Melbourne, Australia were met with a stark decline in adoption rates, overflowing capacity and straining resources. 

Despite the overwhelming situation and never-ending budget cuts at these shelters, the majority of them have managed to stay running, and remain driven to putting out their best efforts in supporting local rescued and abandoned animals. 

While these organisations continue to serve our community, we can also do our part to support the cause! Nonprofits and charities are always in need of more assistance, and interested individuals can either volunteer their time to care for surrendered and abused animals, donate to help with the maintenance and operation of these facilities, or even adopt a new furry family member!

Animal Shelter in Melbourne

Pet adoption can significantly ease the pressure on shelters, while dramatically reducing the number of euthanised animals, offering them a new home and life! Ultimately, with more individuals opting to adopt their next pets, the demand for backyard-bred pups and kittens will in turn decrease substantially, making a greater impact for the community, and preventing the abandonment of “unwanted breeds.”

For those looking to make a difference and adopt their next pet, we have compiled a list of some of the impactful animal shelters in Melbourne with countless furry companions in search of a loving and healing sanctuary. Initiate change now and enrich your life by adopting a rescued animal and providing them with a forever home! 

Animal Shelters in Melbourne

Lort Smith Adoption Centre

On a mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome injured and abandoned animals, Lort Smith Adoption Centre began as an extended facility of the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, and now offers world-class veterinary services in Melbourne. The animal adoption centre has found great success since its launch, effectively rescuing and housing over 600 animals yearly, including around 500 cats, 80 dogs, and 20 other small pets, and saving them from being euthanised. 

Besides providing rehoming opportunities for abandoned animals, its parent organisation is committed to fostering and caring for those rescues, nursing them back to good health, and offering them necessary medical treatment. Driven by their philosophical approach to “never euthanise an animal” with the capability and a fair chance of being rehomed, the organisation remains hopeful in their charitable work and continues to pour large sums of capital and donations into rehabilitating and housing these little ones.  

Address: 25-35 Berwick Road Campbellfield VIC 3061

Opening Hours: Appointment Only 

Animal Shelters in Melbourne_Lort Smith Adoption Centre

Melbourne Animal Rescue

Up to 250,000 cats, dogs, as well as other smaller breeds are euthanised annually in Australia due to overflooding shelters and a rise in abandonment and pet surrendering. Focused on building a better narrative on animal rescue organisations in the neighbourhood, Melbourne Animal Rescue (MAR) was established in 2010 as a community foster care provider for abandoned pets and other rescues. 

With the help of their volunteers, they managed to successfully grow their network, and officially registered as a charity in 2015. Operating 100% on donations and volunteer aid, MAR heavily relies on their fundraising initiatives alongside fostering and adoption events. Individuals can facilitate their efforts by fostering, adopting, or by simply raising awareness of their cause! 

Address: Melbourne Animal Rescue, PO Box 2053, Bennettswood VIC 3125

Melbourne Animal Rescue


Second Chance Pet Rescue 

Every abandoned pet deserves a fair chance at rehabilitation and finding a loving home. Second Chance Pet Rescue (SCAR) has made that its mission and a reality for many abused and rescued cats and dogs in Melbourne through its community-based charitable undertakings since its inception in 2008. Ran by a diverse crew of veterinarians, devoted volunteers, and foster care professionals, the charity has rescued, rehabilitated, and housed numerous animals, with its foster care network extending over 100 local shelters, and over 100 volunteers situated at their Craigieburn kennel. SCAR has taken upon various other initiatives to educate and empower individuals to care for and foster their pets, while hosting fundraising events, and delivering services such as desexing, veterinary care, animal training, and more! 

To adopt with SCAR, one must fill out an application, attend an interview, and set up a meet and greet to find your newly beloved pet! 

Address:23 Grasslands Ave, Craigieburn VIC 3064, Australia

Opening Hours: Tues-Fri 9am-4:30pm

Animal Shelters in Melbourne_Second Chance Pet Rescue


Animal Aid

A safe sanctuary for lost, abandoned, and abused animals, Animal Aid takes a unique approach to rescued animals- the charity is driven to first, attempting to locate the initial homes of lost animals, experiencing great success in reuniting these pets with their owners! The organisation has observed a substantial amount of support from their animal-loving community and passionate volunteers, which has greatly aided in improving their total number of rescued and homed animals over time. 

To date, Animal Aid has rescued approximately 6,000 animals, rehabilitating and helping them heal and recover, before moving them on to their next chapter. 

Address: 35 Killara Road Coldstream

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun, 11am-4pm 

Animal Shelter in Melbourne_Animal Aid


Homeless Hounds Animal Rescue

A nonprofit animal welfare organisation based in Melbourne, Homeless Hounds Animal Rescue, was established in 2011, and has expanded its reach across Australia ever since. Their rescued animals are given the necessary medical attention, training and behaviour correction upon a comprehensive wellbeing assessment covered by the organisation. 

Alongside their many rehabilitative endeavours, the charity has devoted itself to raising awareness and sharing the importance of animal welfare and responsible pet ownership amongst local communities. The charity also provides rescued animals with correctional training and therapy, to bring them into good shape before placing them up for adoption, and finally, finding their forever home. 

For those interested in adoption, available dogs can be viewed on their website, while those interested in supporting Homeless Hounds are welcome to make a donation or volunteer. 

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm 

Homeless Hounds Animal Rescue


The Lost Dogs’ Home 

Home to over 16,000 reused dogs and cats, The Lost Dogs’ Home is one of the largest animal shelters in Australia. The no-kill rescue charity is committed to giving their animals a nurturing sanctuary, while actively searching to find their forever home. As the voice of unwanted strays, abandoned, and lost dogs and cats, the organisation is driven to educate people on responsible pet ownership through hosting regular workshops and their active advocacy for animal rights. 

With an incredible track record of rehabilitating, rehoming, and even reuniting lost and abandoned pets with their owners, as of 2021, the rescue home achieved up to 92% success rate. 

Address: 2 Gracie Street North Melbourne VIC 3051

Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-5:30pm; Fri 10am-4:30pm; Sat 9am-3:30pm; Sun 9am-12:30pm

The Lost Dogs’ Home


Stafford Rescue Victoria

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, widely known as Stafford, is a purebred dog originating from the terrier group, is mostly small to medium-sized, highly intelligent, and energetic. Unfortunately, Staffords are often faced with harsh treatment, from harmful and illegal breeding, to an unfair reputation for being labelled as dangerous and aggressive – which is primarily the reason why most are abandoned and displaced at birth, or in some cases, even after years of living with their owners.

Established in 2013 in Victoria, Stafford Rescue Victoria is a charitable organisation devoted to rescuing and rehoming abandoned and displaced Staffords. They actively advocate against the cruelty and stigma posed to the breed, educating and enlightening the public on the fun and homely side of Staffords. With great compassion and care for the dogs, their kennel is fully equipped to deliver to the needs of rescued Staffords and ensure the best care and nourishment of them. Moreover, they strongly believe in taking as much time as it requires to find the optimal match between a family and their rescued Staffies. 

Address: Stafford Rescue Victoria, PO Box 270, Woodend VIC 3442

Stafford Rescue Victoria



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