There are an estimated 6.3 million pet dogs in Australia. Is one of those dogs yours? If not, consider getting a fur baby from one of the best dog rescues in Victoria. Even if you already have a pet at home, you can forever change the life of a loving dog when you adopt from one of Victoria’s many shelters.
We’ve put together a list of the top dog shelters in the state so you can easily find your new companion. From Melbourne to Mildura, there are shelters dotting the Australian landscape — find yours today!
Before you scroll down this list of dog rescues in Victoria, check out: 4 Best Labradoodle Breeders in Victoria, Australia! (2023) and 4 Best Corgi Breeders in Victoria, Australia! (2023).
1. Second Chance Animal Rescue
Second Chance Animal Rescue was founded in 2008. The volunteers at SCAR are dedicated to ending pet homelessness in Australia, and they’re one of the top non-profit rescues in Victoria. Based in Craigieburn, the center has open hours when you can walk in and speak with the team about adopting a new dog.
Available puppies appear on the SCAR website. There are cats, too! View the pets, then click on the animal’s picture to learn more about his or her history, health, and the adoption fee.
Once you’re ready, contact the organization for the next steps. An End of Life outreach is maintained by the organization, so consider giving a home to a senior or special needs dog.
Low-cost vet services and educational programs are available through the SCAR program. If you have existing pets, or strays in your area, or just want assistance with your adopted family member be sure to reach out to Second Chance Animal Rescue for guidance.
Second Chance Animal Rescue Details:
- Location: Craigieburn, Victoria
- Phone Number: 039-357-0834
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: Second Chance Animal Rescue
2. Australian Working Dog Rescue
Working dog rescues have a unique mission, and typically they’ll pull dogs from retirement in law enforcement, the military, and service positions in an attempt to give them forever homes once they’ve fulfilled their responsibilities.
Many retired working dogs are still quite young. In some cases, a dog was set apart for work in service but was found to be unsuitable for work. These dogs still make wonderful companions! Dogs may have completed varying levels of training; be sure you discuss your pet’s details with the rescue before finalizing your adoption.
The adoption fee for your adult dog is $550 AUD, or you can bring home a senior dog for $300 AUD. Your pet will be vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and dewormed upon pickup. In most cases, your dog will have been well cared for and treated as a member of a loving family, pre-spoiled for your enjoyment.
Australian Working Dog Rescue Details:
- Location: Ballan, Victoria
- Contact: Australian Working Dog Rescue Contact
- Website: Australian Working Dog Rescue
3. Wodonga Dog Rescue
Wodonga Dog Rescue is next on our list of the top dog rescues in Victoria. They’re a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization that works closely with state- and city-run pounds to save dogs from death row or other unfortunate circumstances. Pups go into foster care until adoption.
WDR allows a search of dogs by age range, or you can view all available pets, then select a picture to view more information. A summary of the dog’s vet records and the adoption fee are accessible through the biography.
Most dogs will require that you pay an adoption fee of $350 AUD, though extenuating circumstances may cause this to differ. Foster families are welcome, and as a foster, you’ll have a chance to get to know whether dog ownership is right for you. WDR covers vet expenses. You’ll supply food, toys, and shelter.
Dogs are vet-checked, vaccinated, wormed, and spayed or neutered before they go home with a new family. You’ll get vet records during adoption.
Wodonga Dog Rescue Details:
- Location: Wodonga, Victoria
- Phone Number: 040-753-8922
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: Wodonga Dog Rescue
4. Homeless Hounds
Homeless Hounds is one of the top rescues in Victoria, and they foster cats as well. Despite the name of the non-profit organization, this group does not focus solely on hounds. You’ll find Beagles and Bassets, sure, but you’ll also have the opportunity to adopt Shelties and Shih Tzus!
Homeless Hounds has been in operation for just over a decade, and they take pride in the care their animals are given while in foster care. Your dog will have top-notch veterinary care and will be spayed or neutered, wormed, vaccinated, and microchipped before joining your household. You’ll receive vet records when you pick up your dog.
Potential adopters will fill out an application with Homeless Hounds. If your lifestyle and household are a good fit for a pup, you’ll hear back. A meet-and-greet will be scheduled and if all goes well you’ll be expected to pay an adoption fee. Prices appear on the dog’s biography page.
If you’re a Victoria resident with existing pets, be sure to take a look at the low-cost spay and neuter program. In an effort to reduce pet homelessness in the state, this group has partnered with the government to provide accessible services.
Homeless Hounds Details:
PetRescue is a wonderful resource for Victoria residents who may not have a local shelter. This nationwide organization has a tool to match homeless animals with new forever families. Dogs and cats appear on the site, and all live under the watchful eye of a verified rescue.
You can find your new companion by choosing “VIC” as your location, then view the pictures of the beautiful, loving dogs. City locations appear below the picture, so you can find a local animal.
Clicking through the image will bring up a biography of the dog; read this carefully! Along with instructions to apply, you can learn more about the dog’s history, adoption fee, and more.
Adoption fees are set at the shelters’ discretion, and your dog’s medical history will be displayed. In almost all cases, your dog will be altered, vaccinated, wormed, and chipped for safety. Should you have any questions about a specific pup, contact the shelter. PetRescue is a third party and will be unable to answer your questions.
- Location: Nationwide
- Website: PetRescue
6. The Animal Rehoming Service
The Animal Rehoming Service is based in Melbourne, and they do things a little differently than the other Victoria dog rescues in our guide. This organization exists to match individual owners with new ones. Residents of Victoria who can no longer care for their dogs post them.
The history of each dog is unique. You’ll want to take care to learn about your dog’s history. Some were beloved family pets while others may have been victims of abuse or neglect. In most cases, these dogs are displaced due to a change in family circumstances, however, and are ready to integrate into your own household.
The adoption fees and the process will vary based on the individual rehoming the dog. Meet with the individual in person or conduct a telephone interview before you exchange money. Remember that anyone can post to this site, so you’ll want to take precautions.
Foster opportunities are available if you’d like to provide temporary shelter and care to a dog in need.
The Animal Rehoming Service Details:
- Location: Melbourne, Victoria
- Contact: The Animal Rehoming Service Contact
- Website: The Animal Rehoming Service
7. Tailwagz 2
Tailwagz 2 has a similar structure to the Victoria dog rescue listed above. They’re a nationwide organization that matches dogs with their forever humans, but they primarily feature dogs in shelters. In most cases, your dog will get care from a team of volunteers as opposed to an individual.
To adopt a dog, click the “ways to help” link on the menu bar. Choose from the highlighted rescues to see a list of available dogs. Choose the one you love, then apply to adopt! In most cases, you’ll need to let the volunteers know about your lifestyle, schedule, household environment, and existing pets.
The adoption process is determined by the shelter. If you have questions about the steps involved, please contact the shelter instead of the Tailwagz 2 team. Adoption fees, applications, meet-and-greets, and interviews may apply, and the Victoria dog rescue will happily lead you through the process.
Rescued dogs have differing — and sometimes unfortunate — backgrounds, but will have been cared for and rehabilitated to the best of the shelter’s ability. In almost all cases, your dog will be altered, vaccinated, dewormed, and microchipped.
Tailwagz 2 Details:
Frequently Asked Questions
Dog rescues are run by volunteers out of their private homes, while shelters typically have government funding and are set up in a public building.
Typical reasons for returning dogs to a shelter include health problems, behavioral issues, and high costs of care. Owners may feel too overwhelmed due to the dog itself or their own life circumstances.
Most dogs are surrendered between the ages of five months and three years.
Conclusion for “Best Dog Rescues in Victoria”
Families and individuals in Victoria know that dogs are popular pets in the state. Whether you currently have a furry friend or are just looking to add to your family, the best dog rescues in Victoria are eager to help match you with a pet that’s perfect for your lifestyle.
The shelters and resources in this guide will provide a good start in your search for a new companion. Take your time and learn about the organizations and about each adoptable dog. You’ll be well on your way to adding a loving companion to your home in no time at all.
For guides similar to this list of dog rescues in Victoria, check out:
- 4 Best Cocker Spaniel Rescues in Australia! (2022)
- 5 Best Small Dog Rescues in Australia! (2022)
- 4 Best Golden Retriever Rescues in Australia! (2023)
Before you bring home a dog, learn more by watching “The Meaning Behind 21 Strangest Dog Behaviors | Jaw-Dropping Facts about Dogs” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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