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RSPCA Programs

1. Safe Beds for Pets Program

The Safe Beds for Pets Program was established to provide temporary housing for pets of people who are seeking refuge from domestic violence and to address the link between animal and human abuse and child protection.

The Safe Beds Program is not a long-term solution to the housing of the pet, but it gives domestic violence victims peace of mind and allows them to secure their own safety and make arrangements for the future. 

It’s common practice for the perpetrator of domestic violence to lure family members back home by threatening to harm the pet. With the Safe Beds for Pets Program families can now leave domestic violence situations and not fear for the safety of their pets.

Who’s eligible for Safe Beds for Pets?

Safe Beds for Pets is specifically designed to help victims of domestic violence. In most cases, these animals are referred through to the RSPCA from a domestic violence counselling service.

For further information on this innovative program visit:

2. Living Ruff Program

Living Ruff Initiative:

Every day, right around Australia, there are people with pets without a place to call “home”. Often, this is through unexpected circumstances and for reasons beyond their control that may be very stressful and traumatic.

The RSPCA strongly believes in the mental, emotional and physical benefits of the relationships between people and pets. In the case of a person who finds themselves homeless, their pet is often the only positive thing in their lives during a time of uncertainty and disadvantage.

The RSPCA wants to provide a range of community outreach services for homeless pets and their people to help them remain together while they get back on their feet, and to be as healthy and happy as they can be.

It’s research has found that people facing homelessness place great value on the relationships they have with their animals, and that the idea of having to “give up” their pet/s is a cause of major distress to people who are already suffering hardship. 

Living Ruff Initiatives

  • Access to Food for Pets
  • Emergency Boarding and Foster Care
  • Access to Veterinary Services
  • Education
  • Outreach Services
  • Temporary foster accommodation and/or emergency boarding of the pet should the owner require medical treatment, respite or other assistance
  • Assistance with veterinary treatment at the RSPCA Sydney Vet Hospital
  • Assistance with pet grooming
  • Home visits to assist the elderly with basic pet care

For more information on this program visit:

3. Pets of Older Persons

The Pets of Older Persons Program (POOPs) assists socially isolated elderly people by offering assistance with their pets in times of crisis. The POOPs Program aims to keep pets and their elderly owners happy, healthy and together in their own homes for as long as possible.

POOPs was established by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) at St Joseph’s Hospital Auburn in 2003 to temporarily care for the pets of elderly people who were admitted to hospital. The RSPCA became involved to provide assistance with veterinary care and emergency boarding.

POOPs is based in Sydney but assists clients throughout NSW whenever possible through RSPCA NSW Shelters and Branches.