RSPCA NSW successfully rehomes 736 animals in one weekend

RSPCA NSW’s Clear the Shelters adoption weekend rehomed 90% of available animals across the state. In total 2,654 animals across the country found their forever homes.

NSW: 736 animals adopted (90% cleared)
VIC: 532 animals adopted (96.7% cleared)
QLD: 943 animals adopted (93% cleared)
SA: 249 animals adopted (98% cleared)
WA: 86 animals adopted (71.7% cleared)
ACT: 108 animals adopted (93% cleared)

“We have seen amazing results over the past three days. Compared to a regular weekend, these three days were off the charts,” says Brendon Neilly, RSPCA NSW Executive Manager, Animal Care Services.

“When we look at the combined figures from around the state, we processed an adoption every two minutes.”

“This promotion is about convincing people to adopt and not shop or take risks with backyard breeders or online sellers. You really cannot put a price on finding forever homes for the animals in our care. It is such a worthwhile cause and investment of our time, energy and resources.”

Although adoption fees were reduced to $29, all normal adoption procedures applied. Every animal available for adoption had already been desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and completed vet checks and behavioural assessments. Some adoptions took hours and involved meet-and-greets with prospective adoptive families and fur-siblings, and consults with vets about health and medical considerations.

Research shows that lowered adoption fees, including free adoptions, have no negative effect on welfare outcomes for animals. Every ‘Clear the Shelter’ campaign is closely monitored and RSPCA NSW has found no increase in return rates for animals adopted during the campaign compared to regular adoptions, and welfare outcomes were found to be on par with regular adoptions.

RSPCA NSW remains committed to ensuring all animals have gone to their forever homes and conducts extensive check-ups up to six months after the adoption.

“The serious side of this weekend is, of course, that our doors are always open to help those animals that need it most. There are always animals in our care looking for a second chance.”

“The reality is that while this weekend has been a success, our shelters will not remain empty for long. We admit surrendered, sick, injured and abused animals every day. Protecting all animals great and small is an ongoing challenge,” says Neilly.

Keep visiting our adoption website to view all the animals being made available for adoption.

“All in all, it was a very successful, very emotional weekend for all involved. There were plenty of hugs, tears, smiles and handshakes when some of our long-term animals were matched with their forever families and finally walked out the shelter doors to their new lives,” Neilly added.

Here’s a snapshot of just some of the heart-warming stories from the weekend:



One of the more emotional stories is when Booka was adopted. Booka was left in an overnight cage in our Sydney Shelter with a heartbreaking note saying that his owners could not look after him. We did a push to try and locate his former owners with an offer to assist is the treatment of his skin condition. No one came forward and he had been in our care since June last year. Book finally found his forever home with new fur-dad Clint.

Melvin the cat getting adopted at Clear the Shelters.

7-year-old Melvin was adopted from the Sydney Shelter by new fur-mum Sophie, who was positively bursting with excitement. she said, “he looks like a scraggly lion, he’s gorgeous and although at first glance he looks like he’s struggled, and he has struggled, I’m really excited to give him a happy home because he’s a sweetie and he just wants to be loved.” He had been in our care since August last year, slowly recovering from his numerous ailments, but has now found an adoring new family.


Matt drove all the way from Canberra to be the first in line at the Sydney Shelter to adopt the lovely blue-eyed cross-eyed Heidi, a 7 year-old-husky, who had been in and out of RSPCA NSW care since November 2018. After a lengthy adoption process, Matt finally walked out with Heidi in tow, who was ready for the long drive to her new forever home.


Dumplin came to the Illawarra Shelter as a 6-week-old stray. She went into foster care but became ill with an upset stomach. Under the diligent care of our vets and shelter staff, she was nursed back to health and was able to find a forever home this weekend with Bailee.


Bonded kittens Diesel and Mango came into the Orange Shelter needing vet care. Thanks to our lovely staff, they were made available for adoption for a special family looking for companion animals for their 12-year-old boy. He fell in love at first sight with this curious pair. The two-and-a-half hour drive from Kandos to Orange was well worth the trip for this very happy little trio.

Bowie up for adoption

Apricot was a welcomed addition to her new family after Jennifer and Lewis had returned to the Hunter Shelter to find a fur-sibling for Bowie, a three-legged dog they had adopted  from the shelter only two months prior.

For all FAQs about the promotion, please visit here.


For more information, or an interview with a RSPCA NSW spokesperson, please contact RSPCA NSW Media
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