Victoria RSPCA, Greyhound Adoption Program, Lost Dogs See Rise in Surrenders

Animal adoption centers across Victoria are at a crossroads as the number of adopted animals in shelters exceeds the number of families willing to adopt.

The RSPCA Victoria, the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) and The Lost Dogs’ Home are among the animal relocation organizations struggling to keep up with animal supplies in search of a home.

These organizations saw record adoption rates during the pandemic as families searched for a furry friend to accompany them through the state’s many lockdowns.

However, due to the rising cost of living, the return of employees to the office and a number of other factors, that success has since reversed itself, with the RSPCA recording a surge in pets being turned in since the start of the Christmas season last year.

At the end of 2021, RSPCA shelters across the state were registering a total of 50 abandoned pets per month, but that number has tripled since then, with 150 abandoned pets being housed in shelters every month.

Meanwhile, GAP has found such a large number of abandoned greyhounds in its shelters that it has urged dog lovers to consider keeping a beagle to reduce the burden on the system.

“France (sic), we need your help! We have so many brats who are looking for a permanent home and no one wants to adopt them,” GAP said in a Facebook post.

“Our kennels are bursting at the seams with long buoys (sic) and girls.”

Earlier this month, The Lost Dogs had over 40 companion dogs looking for a permanent home, and the number of cats in his care was double that.

“While we are sharing this update, over 80 cats are available for adoption or waiting to be placed in an adoption center,” The Lost Dogs wrote on Facebook in late June.

“Unfortunately, they are constantly overlooked in favor of kittens. While it is wonderful that so many families have opened their homes and hearts to a kitten in need, our adult cats deserve a home too.”

Meanwhile, RSPCA Victoria Animal Care Manager Nadia Peiris said dogs of all age groups are being turned in.

“The (number of) incoming puppies is mind blowing,” she told 9 News.

“During Covid, we probably saw one puppy in all two years. It really shows you the dilemma we’re in.”

In addition, the number of unclaimed pets is also on the rise, with about a third of the dogs placed in the care of the RSPCA due to being lost or abandoned, despite the organization finding the dog’s owner.

“When we call the owner to let them know the dog is at the shelter, we hear people say, ‘Oh, we’d just like to give the dog away,'” Ms Peiris said.

With adoption rates at pre-pandemic levels in some organizations, shelters are doing their best to encourage animal lovers to consider adoption before buying their pet from a breeder.

The Lost Dogs’ Home has previously lowered its adoption fee, while GAP has launched a new campaign where the next 100 greyhounds adopted will receive a free pair of houndproof longpants to keep them warm in the winter.

“From (tomorrow) the next 100 adopted greyhounds will be coming with their super cute pair of long johns as part of our #longjohnsforlongdogs campaign,” GAP wrote on Facebook.

“A bonus bar of chocolate for those adoptees who show up in their own pants or overalls!”

The RSPCA will also launch a new adoption campaign in August to encourage more animal lovers to consider adoption.

“If anyone is considering adoption, please call our customer service, book a time to come and see our animals,” Ms. Peiris said.

“We have a lot of stuff ready to go home.”

To adopt a pet, each organization has its own adoption processes and fees. Pets are up to date with the latest vaccinations and are fully checked by veterinarians.

Each pet also requires that its future owner meet certain criteria based on the animal’s needs, personality, and temperament.

For example, not all GAP greyhounds are cat friendly, while some RSPCA and Lost Dogs pets are not always suitable for a family with small children.

But with so many pets available for adoption, all shelters strive to find the perfect match to suit the needs of every person and animal.

For more information go to, or to find your next perfect companion.

Originally published as Victorian animal shelters are struggling to keep up as surrender rates rise and adoption rates fall.