About us

General FAQs

Where are your shelters located?

The Lost Dogs’ Home operates shelters and pounds in Victoria in North Melbourne, Cranbourne and Echuca (Campaspe).

Please visit our Contact us page for the location address of each shelter.

When can I adopt a pet?

The Lost Dogs’ Home adoption program operates seven days a week from the North Melbourne and Campaspe shelters. Please see our opening hours for more information.

Generally speaking, we have more animals available for adoption towards the end of the week, with Saturday being our busiest day for rehoming cats and dogs. Most people like to have Sunday at home with their new pet, to give them time to settle in.

What programs do you offer at The Lost Dogs’ Home?

We operate a number of proactive and positive programs, not only for the animals in our care but also for members of the community. These include:

  • National Pet Register, an Australia-wide pet microchip registry which offers free pet identification tags, discount microchipping and a 24 hour call centre
  • Volunteer and work experience programs
  • Foster care program
  • Training and education programs
  • Behaviour program for dogs
  • Post adoption training for dogs
  • General dog obedience training and socialisation services

In what capacity can I volunteer at The Lost Dogs’ Home?

The Home relies on volunteers to assist us in various areas around the Home, performing the necessary tasks required to help us in the daily running of the shelter.

The Home provides volunteer opportunities in the following areas:

  • National Pet Register
  • Dog walking
  • General administration
  • Events

The Home accepts volunteers from the general public, as well as corporate volunteers as part of company community programs. For more information please download our volunteer factsheet.

Who can be a Foster Carer?

We often have animals that are in need of extra attention and care before they are suitable for adoption. They may be underweight, recovering from surgery or illness, underage or participating in our behaviour program and simply need a place where they can relax, recuperate and receive one-on-one care away from busy shelter life.

The Lost Dogs’ Home has had a Foster Care Program in place for many years and it is currently in an exciting phase of expansion. It is an important and much-valued service that helps give many dogs and cats a second chance.

To become a foster carer, you must lodge an application with our foster care coordinator. The application process can take anywhere from 4–8 weeks, depending on the number of applicants we have at any one time.

To apply, simply download the foster carer application form and obtain all of the required supporting documents. Please note that applications which are not accompanied by supporting documents will not be accepted for further review.

You can submit the completed application either by post or in person to 2 Gracie Street, North Melbourne. You can also email them to pathways.team@dogshome.com. Our foster care coordinator will contact all applicants once your documentation has been received at the Home.

Successful applicants will be required to attend a training workshop prior to fostering. Workshops are held throughout the year and the foster care coordinator will notify successful applicants when the next one is scheduled to be held.

Our foster carers are provided with all the equipment, food and medication needed to care for their foster pet.

Download foster carer application form

Where can I enquire about a particular animal?

For any information on dogs and cats in the shelter – whether they are being cared for as a stray or are currently up for adoption – it is always best to contact the shelter directly. See contact information and hours of operation to locate the correct shelter.

Do I have to do the Pet Licence to adopt from the Home?

The Lost Dogs’ Home does not require people to pass the Pet Licence test to adopt, however, we do encourage it. The Pet Licence prompts potential owners into thinking about the costs associated with owning a pet, as well as the necessary commitments of obedience training, veterinary care, grooming and socialisation.

We believe it’s extremely important for all prospective owners to understand what is required to be a responsible pet owner before making such a big commitment. And for those who have owned a pet before, it is an opportunity to brush up on care recommendations and requirements of local councils.

Best of all, those who successfully complete the Pet Licence and bring in their certificate to The Lost Dogs’ Home are entitled to a discount off the adoption price of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.

How are animals assessed on arrival at the Home?

On arrival all dogs are checked for injuries and any concerning health conditions. They are vaccinated, checked for any ID and scanned for a microchip. An attendant then accompanies them to their allocated pen, providing them with blankets and enrichment toys. If it’s cold they will get a coat too.

All dogs have an observation chart on the pens where attendants providing daily care, can record their observations and interactions with the dog. The observation charts are not a grading system in any way, and allow for personable comments such as “friendly boy”, “sitting for treats”, “fearful at first will take treats”. Also recorded is other important information relating to heath, toileting and appetite are recorded.

If the dog is not claimed by their owner, they receive a behaviour assessment from the behaviour team and a medical examination from the shelter vet team. Each of these assessments takes around 20 minutes or so to complete. The behaviour assessment is led by our veterinary behaviourist and is designed to give us an idea of how the dog will react in different situations.

The information from these assessments, together with  the observation charts with the attendant’s contributions are collected and reviewed. The outcome of their assessment and the dogs ongoing needs, helps staff seek the most appropriate pathway for each dog – to ultimately find a new home.

Some dogs can go straight into the adoption program, where as those with health issues might need medical or surgical treatment and or foster care before they go to adoption.

Dogs with challenging behaviour problems might go into the behaviour rehabilitation program, this includes training with the Behaviour team and sometimes behavioural foster care. Some of these dogs can be in our care for several weeks.

If a dog has more significant behaviour issues, is not coping in a shelter environment or has other special needs we will contact Rescue partners to see if they can assist- often they can.

As an open door shelter we take in stray and unwanted dogs and cats who are gravely or terminally ill, critically injured and those with deep rooted behavioural problems such as aggression. We take every decision around their future very seriously and the staff at the Home are committed to working toward every healthy and treatable animal being reunited with their owner or adopted into a responsible, caring new home.

Sometimes, after in-depth assessment and consideration of all possible pathways we may find we cannot responsibly rehome an animal due to concerns around the individual’s welfare or concerns for public safety. Inevitably in these cases the Home must make the difficult and sad decision to euthanse those animals.