Adopting from The Ark

The Very Beginning

The adoption of any animal is a major commitment and there are lots of factors to consider to ensure both you and your new friend have the very best beginning.  Should you be considering adopting a cat or dog, the RSPCA has produced comprehensive booklets for a cat or dog which is recommended you read before submitting an application.

Please see the links below to download and read this important information:

Pre-Adoption Booklet – Cats

Pre-Adoption Booklet – Dogs


Please browse our animals for adoption and once you have seen an animal that you are interested in, click on the Application Form button at the bottom of each individual animals page to start your adoption journey. 

Due to the high numbers of applications that we receive daily, regrettably we will not be able to contact everybody. Please keep looking on our website because we will have the perfect pet for you as soon as possible.

The staff will talk to you about the animal you are interested in and will discuss any behavioural problems/health concerns over the phone before inviting you to come in and meet with them.


Depending on the individual animal you are hoping to adopt, you may be asked to meet with the animal on more than one occasion. Some of our animals take a little while to get used to new people and we want to make sure that you both have a positive experience before you hopefully head home together. 

On your first visit you will be asked to provide proof of ID confirming your name and address and if you live in rented accommodation we will need to see a letter of permission from your landlord. 

To adhere to the current COVID – 19 guidelines, when you arrive, please knock on the main reception door, wear a face covering, sanitise your hands and adhere to socially distancing rules. 

A member of staff will assist you.

Home Check

Every animal will require a home check. Which could be virtual or face to face. Depending on the current situation the appropriate process will be explained to you.

To ensure the welfare of our animals and also you as an adopter we are unable to rehome until all checks have been completed.

On completion of the above and previous stages, an adoption date and time can be arranged through our reception team.

Adoption Day

Hooray, the time has come to take home your new friend!

When adopting a dog, to comply with current legislation please bring with you a collar, ID tag and lead.

When adopting cats and small furry animals please bring an appropriate carrier with you.

We do sell a range of donated carriers and equipment, which you can purchase from our reception, however please check that these are available in advance of your adoption day.

The final part of your journey is to read and sign the adoption paperwork, pay the adoption fee and then leave with your new forever friend.

Post adoption we are still here for you should you need any advice, help or support, we are always happy to help.

Why is your rehoming criteria so strict?

We assess all animals as individuals and sometimes we have very little information available about their previous lives and we have to base our assessments on what we see whilst they are in our care. We have to make sure that we keep all of our animals, you and your families safe when adopting from us. We do adopt to families with all aged children, as long as we can find a suitable match. 

Do you pass animals on to other shelters?

We occasionally move some animals to other shelters if we feel this will give the animal the best chance at a new home or other shelters who might have more experience caring for exotic and rare species.

When do you put animals to sleep?

We never put a healthy animal to sleep. We do have to make some difficult decisions when the welfare of an animal is compromised, but this decision is never taken lightly and is always made by a registered veterinary surgeon or a qualified behavioural specialist.

In Our Care Every Animal Receives:

  • A full health check
  • Preventative treatment (worming, flea treatment, vaccinations)
  • Neutering if it is in the animals best interest
  • Microchipping (dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets)
  • Regular behavioural and physical assessments
  • Basic training (sometimes this will be in more depth)

Once Adopted You Will Receive:

  • A full vet history from our vet team – including information about any ongoing medical conditions which you will be responsible for
  • Basic behavioural advice
  • Copies of all behavioural assessments whilst in our care
  • 4 weeks free insurance (please note you need to activate this within 48hrs of adoption)

Additional Information:

  • With puppies and young dogs certain problems, such as hip dysplasia, may not be apparent at the time of adoption and without knowledge of the parentage we cannot detect genetic problems.
  • We aim to identify all health problems, but are unable to guarantee an animal’s health. Nor are we able to accept responsibility for any health problem which develops after the animal has left the shelter. Adopters are responsible for their pets future healthcare, and adopters agree to this as part of the adoption procedure.  We strongly advise you to arrange permanent pet insurance cover against the cost of veterinary treatment.
  • We review the behaviour of all animals during their stay here and ensure that they’re suitable for rehoming, however we are not able to guarantee how an animal may behave once in your domestic environment, which is very different from the kennel situation they live in whilst they are with us.