Dog Adoption & Coronavirus (Covid-19 / Rescue Shelter Status)

We at recognise that the global Coronavirus pandemic is causing massive disruption to all areas of life.

Our sole focus is and always has been finding new homes for as many dogs in shelters as we possibly can.

Can I Still Adopt a Rescue Dog During Coronavirus?

Yes. You CAN still adopt a dog during this time. Let’s face it, if we don’t adopt any dogs for months, we’re going to have a domestic animal welfare crisis the like of which we have never seen before. Individual rescues will have their own policies & we are listing some on this page. However, we’ve spoken to many rescues who are adapting to this health crisis but still making it possible for people to adopt shelter dogs.

This page will provide rolling updates on all dog adoption / rescue shelter related Coronavirus (Covid-19) news as we receive them.

Important Information: Coronavirus & Dogs (your questions answered)

  • Can dogs get Coronavirus?
    Short answer, no
  • Can dogs pass on Coronavirus?
    Short answer, no – caveat, they can act as a transmission agent just like any other surface. Take normal precautions.
  • Should I consider rehoming my dog due to Coronavirus to protect vulnerable family members?
    Short answer, no. Absolutely no need to do this.

What Are We at Doing to Help Dogs in Shelters?

We have set up an urgent fundraiser to help thousands of dogs get adopted as quickly as possible.

If you can contribute or share the link, you will be helping directly to place dogs in to new homes during this crisis.

Contribute to Our Fundraiser

Coronavirus & Dog Adoption: An Opportunity to Turn a Crisis in to Something Positive for Thousands of Shelter Dogs?

The Coronavirus crisis, if we all work together, could be the greatest dog adoption opportunity in history for many people.

Always wanted a dog but couldn’t because you worked?
Maybe now is the time to adopt a dog.

Always wanted a dog but kids at school, busy lifestyle, holiday booked?
Maybe your circumstances have now changed and you can adopt a dog.

Always wanted a dog but needed your company to implement flexible working conditions?
This could be something you can now do.

Always wanted to get a dog but worried you wouldn’t be able to spend enough time with it in the early stages?
Maybe your circumstances now allow you to do this.

About to spend the next 6 months at home, with kids, run out of stuff to watch, need a massive great emotional lift and something great to focus on?
Bring joy, adopt a dog!

Worried about what happens when you go back to work and the kids go back to school in 6/18 months?
No problem. Your dog should be well settled by then. You will be no different to millions of people who have kids, jobs and a dog. It’s achievable. Concerned about getting veterinary treatment during the crisis? Emergency vets are always available and online veterinary consultations are now easier than ever.

Worried that shelters won’t be open or you won’t be able to find out what dogs are available?
Use – learn about the dogs, speak to the shelters directly. Organise a time to visit and see the dog you have identified or even ask shelters if they can facilitate video interviews.

If you can afford to own a dog, always wanted a dog but the time was never right. NOW could be that time.

The Coronavirus crisis could well be the greatest dog adoption opportunity in history and we can collectively turn an horrendous global crisis in to something positive for many thousands of homeless dogs.

Rescue Shelter Coronavirus Updates

The Dogs Trust Coronavirus Dog Adoption Policy
· Rehoming Centres will move to appointment-only system from 5pm on Friday 20th March
· Centres will be closed to walk-in members of the public during this time
· Charity is no longer taking charity shop goods at rehoming centres or shops to limit unnecessary contact and will advise when receiving new stock again.

Dogs Trust has today announced temporary changes to its activities following Government advice to limit non-essential contact. The UK’s largest dog welfare charity, which has 20 rehoming centres across the UK, has outlined plans to protect the health and wellbeing of its staff and visitors, whilst continuing to carry out the essential work of caring for and rehoming dogs.

Dogs Trust rehoming centres will move to an appointment-only system for potential adopters from 5pm on Friday 20th March and all centres will be closed to walk-in members of the general public until further notice. The charity will also run appointments for people who wish to give up their dog for any reason.

People who have a current reservation or are due to collect their new family member will not be affected and can contact their local centre by phone of they have any questions. The charity is also postponing all non-essential community events and has suspended Dog School training classes for the time being. Those wishing to donate any pre-loved items to the charity are asked not to bring donations to the centres or shops in person, until further notice.

The charity’s staff will be limiting all unnecessary social interaction, practising frequent hand washing with soap and sanitiser, and visitors will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before and during their visit. Adam Clowes, Director of Operations at Dogs Trust, said: “The health and wellbeing of our staff and our local communities is of paramount importance to us. We will continue to monitor and follow advice from the Government and are doing what we can to limit non-essential travel and contact.

The RSPCA Coronavirus Dog Adoption Policy
The RSPCA has 17 nationally run animal centres (listed below). These are now closed to the public and we have paused rehoming and fostering and will resume as soon as it is safe. Staff and volunteers will be focusing on giving love and attention to the hundreds of animals in our care.

South Godstone, Lockwood and Millbrook, Surrey

Leybourne, Kent

Gonsal Farm, Shropshire

Great Ayton, North Yorkshire

Felledge, County Durham

Blackberry Farm, Buckinghamshire

Block Fen, Cambs

Stapeley Grange, Cheshire

Southall Cattery, London

Ashley Heath, Hampshire

Southridge, Herts

Gonsal, Farm, Shropshire


Bryn-y-Maen, Upper Colwyn Bay


There are over 150 RSPCA branches, registered charities in their own right, which are part of the RSPCA family running vital clinics, rehoming centres and charity shops.

Centres and shops have closed to the public. Please check their websites, social media channels for details of any emergency services they may be operating.

The Blue Cross Coronavirus Dog Adoption Policy
Our rehoming centres are closed to the public for the time being and we aren’t able to take in or rehome pets. We are of course looking after all the pets we have on site at the moment and when we can start rehoming again and have room to take in any more needing our help then we of course will. Our Grimsby and Victoria animal hospitals are for emergency cases only, we have closed our Hammersmith and Merton hospitals and stopped our mobile clinic and ambulance services. Wherever possible we are doing clinical consults remotely.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Coronavirus Dog Adoption Policy
All three of our Battersea centres are now closed to the public, but many of our animals are now in loving homes or out on temporary foster with our staff and volunteers. Battersea are still caring for around 100 animals at our three centres and working hard to ensure each and every dog and cat continues to get the treatment, care, love, play and interaction they need.

Those wishing to rehome a dog or cat are welcome to fill out a rehoming application on our website and, as soon as we’re able, we’ll be reopening and working to continue finding new homes for our wonderful animals.

Dogwatch Coronavirus Dog Adoption Policy
We are continuing to home abandoned dogs throughout this difficult time. All the dogs here, in foster homes, will be from British pounds. We are continuing to find homes for overseas dogs during this time too, adopters will be given the opportunity to secure the dog they want to adopt, they will be reserved for them until normal transports resume and dogs can be transported to the UK Homechecks will be conducted via Skype or Facetime, proof or residency will be required (eg a utility bill).