The best place for rescue dogs in Canberra


Mr Smiggle joined the Region Media office staff from the RSPCA. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

If your family is ready to welcome a furry friend into the home, why not make a real difference in the life of an abandoned dog?

Rescuing a dog from a dog shelter is one of the best ways to find yourself a pet. From puppies to older dogs, you’re sure to find the perfect pal for your living situation all the while giving a dog the loving forever-home they deserve.

To help you with your search for your new best friend, we’ve asked Canberra locals to share the best places in the region to rescue a dog. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

What makes a reliable rescue dog shelter?

Not sure what to look for when seeking out a rescue dog shelter in the Canberra area? No worries. Start by keeping an eye out for the following traits:

  • Ethical practices. First and foremost, it’s vital to work with a shelter that treats the animals with the care and respect they deserve.
  • The right kinds of dogs for your family. Maybe you’re exclusively looking for a young puppy. Or perhaps it’s an older dog you’d like to adopt. Some families might want a small dog, and others may prefer big dogs. Whatever your preferences, look for a shelter that rescues the types of dogs best suited to your household.
  • Microchips and vaccinations. When rescuing a dog, look for a shelter that ensures all animals are microchipped and vaccinated before they are passed on to their new owners.

The best places for rescue dogs in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Let’s introduce the best three places in the region for rescue dogs according to you, Canberra’s locals.



Having recently celebrated its 60th birthday, the RSPCA ACT is one of the most trusted names in animal welfare and pet rescue – including dog rescue. Committed to the health and wellbeing of all animals, the organisation’s Canberra branch offers a significant number of dogs for rescue.

The national website allows you to browse pets who are up for adoption across the country so you can locate and secure the perfect pup for your living circumstances. What’s more, when you pay your adoption fee, you can rest easing knowing your money is making a real difference in the lives of abandoned and injured animals.

12 Kirkpatrick Street
Weston ACT 2611

ACT Rescue & Foster

The team behind ACT Rescue & Foster protect abandoned dogs in Canberra and the surrounding regions from euthanasia by fostering them in their own homes. They do whatever it takes to give each and every dog the life they deserve to live. Adopt from ACT Rescue & Foster and free up much-needed space for other at-risk dogs to be rescued.

Queanbeyan Pound

The council-run Queanbeyan Pound is a great dog rescue option for those looking to help safeguard the wellbeing of local dogs that have not been claimed by past owners. All animals come de-sexed, vaccinated, microchipped, wormed, and treated for fleas – all that’s left to do is show your new furry friend some love.

There’s a lot that comes with providing the best care for your pet. Check out our articles on the best dog groomers, the best vets, the best emergency after-hours vets, the best dog trainers, the best pet shops and pet supplies and the best pet insurance for more helpful information on Canberra’s best pet services.

If you’re interested in finding somewhere for your pet to stay whilst you’re on holiday, our articles on Canberra’s best dog walkers and pet sitters, best dog boarding kennels and catteries, and best doggy daycares may be helpful.

Your experience with rescue dogs in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you adopted a rescue dog? Which shelter did you visit? Share your experience in the comments section below.

What's Your Opinion?

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2 Responses to The best place for rescue dogs in Canberra
scouserdog scouserdog 7:13 pm 26 Jan 21

Australian Koolie Rescue is also based just outside Canberra and has retired working dogs and unsuccessful working dogs for rehoming. They have a page on Facebook.

Ana Ana 5:06 pm 15 Oct 20

I’d be happy to adopt a dog who’s owner has had to go into a home or hospital or something similar.

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