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the best places for you to find a pet

Clearly there are many different sources of dogs and cats in Australia. Where you eventually find your new best friend may be influenced by the type, breed and age of pet you want. Ideally you should purchase a pet from a source where you can be confident the pet will be friendly and healthy; and one that provides you with information and support to help you understand the care needs of the pet. 


Buying a purebred puppy or kitten from a registered breeder is a good way of getting exactly the type of pet you’re after. There are cat and dog breeder organisations in all states of Australia – purebred dog and cat breeders should be registered with a relevant organisation. Do your homework and buy from a responsible breeder who health tests their pets.

For a list of state based pure breed dog controlling bodies click here.
For information on breeders of cross-bred pet dogs click here.

To find out more about purebred cat breeders in your state contact Waratah National Cat Alliance and Australian Cat Federation.


animal shelters 

Animal shelters can be a great place to find not only puppies and kittens but also mature dogs and cats. Many shelters and pounds ensure pets pass a behavioural assessment before being offered for adoption. A good shelter should evaluate every dog and cat, and try to match them with an appropriate home.

Some of the larger national animal welfare organisations include the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League. There are also a range of other shelters and organisations such as The Cat Protection Society (NSW), The Cat Protection Society (VIC), the Lost Dogs Home and Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne. Many local councils run pounds and shelters, and have pets available for adoption. The free service Sheltermap can help you locate pounds and shelters in your local area.

For information on the benefits of rehoming a mature pet, go to the Re-homing an older cat or dog section.

on-line and other pet adoption services

There are many on-line services to help would-be pet owners locate suitable pets. PetRescue is a not-for-profit organisation that finds new homes for lost and abandoned pets. Their website includes an on-line, searchable directory of rescue pets from around Australia, making it easy for potential adopters to find and save a rescue pet. Most purebred dog breeds have rescue groups devoted to sheltering, fostering and placing dogs of that particular breed. If you have a preference for a specific breed and like the idea of helping a dog find a new home, this may be an option worth investigating.

The Greyhound Adoption Program finds pet homes for retired Greyhounds and operates throughout Australia. lists pure-bred, mature dogs and rescue dogs for sale.

pet shops

Along with pet supplies, some pet shops sell smaller pet species and also puppies and kittens. If you plan on buying from a pet shop, you should make sure you are dealing with an ethical trader that is selling healthy puppies and kittens of sound temperament.

Many of the pet shops in Australia are members of the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA), and must abide by the Association’s strict Code of Practice and Code of Ethics which demonstrate their professionalism and high standards.

PIAA members have access to expertise in all aspects of the pet industry. This means that you can ask a member for advice on any pet-related topic and know that they can source high-quality information. Most PIAA members display their membership certificate and/or a decal sticker so they can be readily identified.