How rehoming works2018-08-19T06:12:27+00:00

Thank you for your interest in rehoming a dog from the RSPCA Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Branch.

We want as many people as possible to be able to re-home a dog from us – what’s important is matching you and your family with the right dog. Below you can find information about what steps to expect during our rehoming process along with lots of other useful information. We hope to see you soon!

View our dogs

1. Register for your perfect match

To start the rehoming process you will need to visit the animal centre where you’ll be asked to complete an application form. During your visit you will be able to view the dogs and we can give advice on how to find the right dog for your circumstances. Some of our dogs, for example, may still need help with toilet training and learning to be left alone, so need to be matched with someone who has the time for this. Others may not be used to living with children and therefore may not be suitable for a young family. We’ll discuss with you any specific needs that your chosen dog has, and suggest any adjustments to your home, garden or lifestyle that may be needed. We are looking for life-long, permanent homes for our dogs and we need to be sure you can provide such a home. This means we have to ask questions about your personal circumstances, including your ability to meet routine and emergency vet bills. No appointment is needed to come and view the animals and you are welcome to visit the animal centre as many times as you need to find the dog that is right for you.

2. Getting to know your chosen dog

Once you’ve found your perfect match, then it’s time to get to know each other! If you have any other dogs or family members, you will need to bring them along for a further visit to ensure the whole family is happy with the decision and that the dogs get on with each other. We will normally hold the dog of your choice for 48 hours. This will allow everyone to come along and agree to the new addition and for you to provide any permission needed from the property owner where the dog will live. All members of the household, including any existing dogs, must come to the animal centre before a dog can be reserved. We do require proof of vaccination for existing dogs before mixing can take place. All existing dogs in the household need to be vaccinated and, depending on the circumstances, may need to be neutered as the RSPCA Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Branch promotes responsible pet ownership.

3. Home visit

One of our home visitors will visit your home to discuss your new dog with you. Your home visitor may give you tips on adjustments to your home and lifestyle that will help you and your new rescue dog settle into a safe, secure and happy life together. This could include information on preparing your home and garden, removing any potential hazards and shopping for the right collar and lead, identification tags, food, bed and toys. We may also arrange a post adoption visit to see how your new dog is settling in.

4. Collect your new dog

When everyone is happy that your chosen dog is the right dog for you, and that your home is suitable and ready for its newest addition, it’s time to head back to the centre to have your new family member officially adopted to you! You will receive lots of useful information to help get your new dog settled in. Your new pooch will be microchipped, neutered, vet checked and fully vaccinated, as well as having up-to-date flea and worming treatment.  You’ll also receive four weeks’ pet insurance cover with Petplan absolutely FREE. This is all included in the one-off adoption fee, so adopting a rescue dog is not only great for animal welfare, it’s also brilliant value for money too!

Adoption fees | Dogs over 6 months from £175 | Puppies under 6 months from £250 | Dogs over 8 years old from £140. Our dog adoption fees include a £15.00 voucher to spend in our on site pet food and accessories shop.

These fees do not take into account the feeding, veterinary treatment, loving care and attention our dogs have had during their stay at the animal centre.

Why rehome from us?

Though there are many places you can find dogs or puppies for sale, we recommend giving a rescue dog or puppy the chance of the happy life they so deserve.

“We adopted Beauty from the RSPCA Chesterfield Animal Centre. I constantly tell everyone that bringing her into our lives has been one of the best things we’ve have ever done. Thank you for helping Beauty, and giving us the chance to offer this wonderful dog a new start and a good chance at the life she so desperately needed and deserved.”

– Cheryl & Andy | November 2017

Help and support for adopters

Introducing a new dog to your home will be exciting, rewarding and at times, challenging. It may take quite a while for your new rescue dog to settle into life with you, but don’t worry, if you do encounter some tricky bits, you’re not alone. Once you’ve adopted your new rescue dog, we’ve prepared lots of free online content for you about dog welfare and advice.

Remember, we’re still here for advice and support. Please get in touch with the animal centre and we’ll do our best to help with any questions you may have.

Important information

Please be aware that information relating to the temperament and behaviour of our dogs has been based on observations of them whilst in our care. Please note that there may be differences in behaviour observed in an animal centre environment compared to in a home environment. Any background information or history from before our dogs came into our care has been provided by third parties and will be shared by us in good faith. We cannot give any guarantee to the validity of the information provided or how one of our dogs may behave or react in a new home.

Veterinary responsibilities

Please be aware that after the adoption, you will become legally responsible for obtaining and funding all future veterinary treatment for your new rescue dog. This includes treatment for any pre-existing condition(s) and/or any conditions that your new rescue dog may have contracted at the animal centre and applies whether or not the symptoms were present or made known to you prior to adoption.

Frequently asked questions about rehoming

A dog on hold means that someone is potentially interested in this particular dog, but further action is needed before it can progress to a reserve. Other family members and/or existing dogs may need to meet the dog. It may be that written permission from the property owner where the dog will live needs to be obtained, some adjustments to the home and/or garden are could be needed or someone is simply thinking about the dog to decide if they would like to proceed any further. We will normally put a dog on hold for 48 hours.

Once all the above has been completed a dog can then be reserved and the home visit process can start.

No, not at all. Our animal centre is open six days a week (closed Mondays), including weekends and Bank Holidays (but excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day). You are welcome to visit the dogs at the animal centre at any point during our viewing hours of 11.00am – 4.00pm.

Adoption fees for dogs:

  • Dogs over 6 months from £175

  • Puppies under 6 months from £250

  • Dogs over 8 years old from £140

    These fees help us to cover the costs of caring for hundreds of dogs every year. Every dog adopted from the RSPCA Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Branch is:

  • Neutered (or comes with a neutering voucher)

  • Microchipped

  • Vaccinated

  • Vet Checked

  • Treated for fleas and worms

  • You will also receive four weeks’ free insurance with Petplan absolutely FREE. This is all included in the one-off adoption fee.

Owning a dog is a wonderful privilege, but with that comes financial and legal responsibilities. We are always very grateful for the offer of loving homes for our dogs, however your current financial situation could impact on your ability to adopt, or to adopt a particular dog considering its welfare needs.  

The RSPCA Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Branch has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure that potential adopters have the ability to meet routine and emergency vet bills along with any other financial commitments that come with owning a dog. In some circumstances, such as people currently unemployed, on low income and/or low income benefits, we may need to ask for further information and/or evidence of your ability to fund veterinary costs so we can be sure that you are able to meet your responsibilities in relation to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

We deal with each situation on a case by case basis but if after considering your individual circumstances and the information provided, we have any concerns about your ability to meet the costs of owning a dog, then unfortunately we would be unable to proceed with rehoming to you.

 Animal Welfare Act 2006

Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act places a duty of care on people to ensure they take reasonable steps to meet the welfare needs of their animals to the extent required by good practice. In short this means positive steps must be taken to ensure owners care for their animals properly and in particular must provide for the five welfare needs, which includes the need to protect an animal from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Further information about what this means in practice can be found in a specific Code of Practice produced by Defra (for England) and by the Welsh Government.


We do not recommend relying on another charity to help finance your existing dog’s veterinary treatment and careful consideration should be given to this, as the charity’s service could be reduced or withdrawn at any stage or you could find that you become no longer eligible.

If you plan to use the PDSA to help finance your veterinary fees, we strongly advise that you contact them first or visit their website to check if you are eligible to qualify for PDSA veterinary services and live within a catchment area of a PDSA service. 

Please note that from 1st November 2017 the PDSA has closed its Pet Practice scheme to new registrations. In the Chesterfield area this scheme operated in conjunction with Spire Vets. This veterinary practice is therefore unable to accept any new applicants for PDSA assistance with veterinary fees.

In light of the above, we are unable to adopt to anyone who would be dependent on the PDSA or another charity as the principal source of funding for veterinary treatment and you would therefore need an alternative means of meeting these costs should you wish to rehome a dog from our animal centre.


We would always recommend that pet owners consider taking out pet insurance. This will help you to cope financially with any unexpected bills. However, it is important to be aware that insurance will not cover preventative treatments such as vaccinations or flea and worm treatment and nor will it cover any pre-existing conditions that your dog has prior to the commencement of the insurance cover. You would therefore need to have sufficient funds to meet these costs and would also need to take account of the relevant excess (this is the amount of each claim the policyholder must pay) that applies to the insurance policy.

As long as you are permanently resident in the UK and you are able to visit the animal centre as many times as necessary to complete the rehoming process, you are welcome to rehome from our animal centre.

It is worth calling the animal centre in advance to ask for more details about any specific dogs you are interested in before making any lengthy journey.

Dogs cannot be reserved without meeting you as this is a key part of rehoming process. To get started, please visit the animal centre to complete a dog rehoming application form and find out more about the dogs available. If this involves a lengthy trip or you are interested in a particular dog, you are welcome to call ahead to enquire further about them.

We will reserve a dog until rehoming is complete, however, it is generally not possible to reserve or place a dog on hold for an extended period of time, such as until you return from holiday or move house. This could prevent the dog from finding another suitable home and restricting us from taking in another dog needing our help.

Every adoption is treated as an individual case, so while the process normally takes about a week, it can be shorter or longer depending on a number of factors, and this typical timeframe should not be taken as a guarantee.

The animal centre team will do their best to find a dog whose needs suit your circumstances from the start, many people find a match on the first visit and are able to take home the dog soon afterwards (following a home visit).

Some might need to visit the animal centre on more than one occasion to find a suitable dog, and occasionally dogs might need to get to know their new owners more gradually over several visits.

If you know there is a big event (moving house, going on holiday, a new baby) coming up soon, it’s best to start the process after everything has settled down, so that whenever you find your new dog, you’re ready for them.

At the RSPCA Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Branch we aim to promote responsible pet ownership as part of our rehoming procedures. All our dogs are vaccinated against common diseases and where possible, neutered.

If you wish to adopt a dog from the animal centre, any existing dogs must be fully vaccinated. We also strongly recommend that any existing dogs are neutered and this is an essential requirement if the dog you are interested in adopting is of the opposite sex and cannot be neutered before adoption (or in the case of a male dog not enough time has elapsed since castration for the dog to be guaranteed to be infertile).

Usually yes. We do not rule out homes without a secure garden or outdoor area, however this is likely to restrict the potential dogs suitable for you to adopt.

Our animal centre staff will always advise if a secure garden is needed for a particular dog or if any adjustments need to be made to your garden. 

Yes. If you live in private rented accommodation then you will need to provide the animal centre with written permission from your landlord stating that dogs are allowed to live at the property.

We do not require written permission for council or housing association properties.

We aim to publish new animals on our website twice weekly and update hold and reserve information daily.

However, please be aware that our rehoming pages may not represent all the animals we have staying with us and during busy periods information may not be 100% up-to-date.

Please feel free to contact the animal centre for the very latest information.