Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together a list of our most frequently asked questions.

If this doesn’t answer your question, get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

I'm in love. What is the adoption process?

That’s fantastic! You can find all the information on the Adoption Process here.

I have another dog - can they meet first?

Absolutely, this is encouraged.

We recommend you meet the dog first, and arrange a second visit with your dog/s. It’s a good idea for the meeting to be in a neutral environment, where both dogs can feel comfortable without being territorial.

Please note – if puppies have not completed their vaccinations, they will not be able to meet your dogs until they are fully vaccinated.

I am interstate, can I adopt?

Absolutely. Let us know you’re interstate and we’ll arrange a quote for travel. We recommend and use Dogtainers Cairns for the transport of our animals. All costs associated with the travel are the responsibility of the adopter.

Do I need to update the microchip registration?

All dogs are microchipped with Cairns Animal Rescue details initially. There is a transfer of microchip form included in your adoption pack, which will need to be lodged with the Australian Animal Registry (AAR).

Do I need to register them?

All dogs need to be registered with the local Council. There is a form included with your adoption pack.

Alternatively, as an approved rehoming agent for the Cairns Regional Council, Cairns Animal Rescue has been given the ability to complete and collect the animal registration fees associated with your adoption. The fees collected are donated to us by Cairns Regional Council.

What if we change our mind, or our situation changes?

We understand, sometimes things just don’t work out. We have a lifetime return policy. Please complete the Surrender form.

Can I get my dogs history?

Unfortunately we can only give you what we’ve got. Sometimes we are able to give some history when they’ve been surrendered, but often the dogs come from situations where we just don’t have any history on them.

Besides – it’s a new life, new beginnings – who needs to remember the past!

Can we pay off the dog?

No sorry, payment must be received in full prior to adoption. We believe having the funds to pay for your dog is a part of the responsibility of being a pet owner.

Can we pay and pick up in a few weeks?

Speak to us about your situation, but generally, we’re at capacity and holding onto a dog for longer takes up space for another rescue dog.

Can we do a meet and greet at our home overnight?

No sorry, as you can understand – these dogs have been through a lot and need a safe, stable home.

Taking them out of their foster carers’ environment for a night can sometimes be more harmful to their confidence.

Is there a 'cooling off' period?

Yes, there’s a two-week (14-days) cooling off period if things don’t work out and you want to return the dog.

What if our situation changes, can we return the dog?

We understand sometimes things just don’t work out. We have a lifetime return policy, you can surrender the dog, here.

Do they have to be de-sexed?

Yes. All dogs will come desexed unless they are too young, and then will be done when they are old enough.

As a rescue, we see so many animals that come to us from situations that could have been avoided if the mother dog had been desexed.

Do they get all their vaccines before we pick them up?

Most of the time, yes.

With some puppies, they may need to complete their vaccinations after you adopt them. If this is the case, we will have made appointments with our preferred vet and you will need to take them to the appointment.

Vaccination cards will be included in your Adoption pack.

Where do the dogs come from?

Everywhere and anywhere! Our dogs may come from a pound after doing stray time, they could be surrendered to us, or they’re rescued from communities – which we like to call FNQ specials.

Will they come with a bed, lead and collar?

No, sorry, these everyday items become expensive with the number of dogs we rescue. These are often purchased from the foster carer’s own pocket.

Besides, we’re sure you’ve already bought all sorts of toys and bedding for your new family member!

How long do they take to settle in?

Like humans, all dogs are different. It can take as little as a week, or as long as a few months for them to settle in.

Be patient and work at building the bond with your new pet. Time heals all wounds!

How long until I can take them out in public?

Puppies are not completely covered by their vaccinations until 10 days after their second dose.

We recommend keeping the puppy safe in your own environment until they are completely protected by the vaccinations.

Can I change the food they eat?

Generally it’s best to keep them on the same food they’ve been eating with the carer for two weeks, and gradually transition them to the new foods.

This allows their bellies time to adjust to the new food and reduces the risk of upset tummies!