Eddie in his basket being stroked by a member of the team

Our adoption process

Every year we find new, caring homes for thousands of homeless pets. Each pet is different, so when you apply to adopt a pet our team will look at whether you're able to offer them everything they need.

How to adopt a pet from Blue Cross

1. Start your search

Have a look at our pets currently looking for their new home. Take a look at the pet profiles to learn more about their needs and whether they are a good match for you.

We are not currently open for walk-in appointments but if you are unable to complete your application online you can contact your local centre.

2. Express your interest using our online form

When you find a pet you think is a good match, you can immediately start a rehoming application by clicking on 'Rehome me'. Our rehoming centres review applications in the order we receive them.

3. We'll keep you updated on your application progress

You will then receive three emails from our rehoming team:

  • After you fill in and send your form, you will get your first email confirming we have your application
  • A couple of days later, you will get a second email confirming a date by when we will let you know whether or not you are a potential match for the pet
  • By the date given, we’ll email you to tell you whether you’re a potential match, or if unfortunately you’ve been unsuccessful this time.

Because we review applications in the order we receive them, some applications are unsuccessful simply because there were suitable matches ahead of them in the queue.

4. We’ll call you

If you’re a potential match, and the pet is still looking for a home, we’ll call you to talk to you about any requirements that the pet may have and what they are like.

5. You'll be invited to meet the pet

Each pet is different. We may host a virtual meet, invite you to our rehoming centre or bring the pet to you. However you meet, we’ll talk you through everything beforehand.

6. Taking your pet home

Each pet is different. We may bring the pet to you or you may be asked to visit the centre to collect them. 
We'll also arrange payment by credit card or bank transfer for your new pet which goes towards the cost of your pet's care while they were with us.

How much does adopting a pet cost?

Before collecting your pet, we will ask you for a fee. This goes towards some of the costs of caring for them during their stay with us. This can include things like food, vet checks, vaccinations and neutering.

How much you'll pay depends on the species and age of the pet:

Dog

  • Less than six months old – £400
  • Six to 12 months old – £300
  • One to five years old – £250
  • Five years old and older – £200

Cat

  • Less than 12 months old – £150
  • One to five years old – £125
  • Five years old and older – £100

Guinea pig

  • £35 (pair £60)

Rabbit

  • £60 (pair £90)

Rat

  • £15 (pair £25)

Mouse

  • £10 (pair £15)

Gerbil

  • £10

Degu

  • £20

Chinchilla

  • £45 (pair £75)

Hamster

  • £10

After you've adopted your pet

When you take your new pet home, that’s not the end of the journey for us. Our Behaviour and Training Service offers practical help and support, and our free pet advice webpages cover a range of topics to help you and your pet enjoy a happy life together.

Why don't Blue Cross have more dogs on the website?

Our team goes above and beyond to make sure that pets are ready for their new homes. Every dog is different. Some dogs are in our care for days and some for months. But, increasingly, we're seeing dogs needing more support from our team before they're ready to be rehomed.

Due to lockdown restrictions, many pets are coming into our care with complex behavioural problems and some pets will have pre-existing medical issues. This can mean working with our expert team and volunteers for a bit longer.

We hope you'll understand if this means you see fewer dogs on our website than you would expect. But we're always working to support you in your search and we update our website as soon as a dog is ready to be adopted.

Rehoming a horse from Blue Cross

Our horses are rehomed on a loan agreement, which is a little bit different to adopting another pet. Read more about rehoming a horse.

What if I need to give up my pet?

Whatever the reason for giving up a pet, we know how difficult it can be. Please always contact your nearest Blue Cross centre. One of our team will ask you some questions and let you know if we are able to help. Or, if you need to give up your horse, please email us and we’ll be in touch.

Find out how we can help if you need to give up your pet.

Rehoming a pet during Covid-19

We are committed to following government guidelines to keep our people, pets and customers safe. We've adapted our rehoming process and will continue to review and update this process if guidelines change.

— Page last updated 08/07/2022