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Where to Adopt a Cat or Dog in Johannesburg

Havana Dauncey
· December 25, 2023
Where to Adopt a Cat or Dog in Johannesburg

Bring Your Furry Friend Home

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Are you looking for an adorable and fluffy addition to your family? Adopting a cat or dog marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter, bringing more love, laughs and a bit more cleaning to your life.

Johannesburg is South Africa’s biggest city which unfortunately leads to a lot of homeless cats and dogs wandering the streets. Thankfully, there are a number of dedicated and altruistic animal rescue shelters that provide these homeless animals with food, shelter and medical services.

So if you’re looking for a furry friend, adopting a pet from a rescue shelter presents you with the opportunity to welcome a once-forgotten and unloved animal to their forever home, not only providing the love these animals deserve but also supporting local animal shelters to continue their incredible work.

To point you in the right direction, let’s take a look at the list of the top 8 places to adopt a cat or dog in Johannesburg (plus, a tip on how to secure the best pet transportation services to welcome your new pet home).


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A post shared by Sandton SPCA (@sandtonspca)

Found at multiple locations across the city, the Johannesburg Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) stands as a steadfast advocate for animal welfare. Beyond being a shelter, the SPCA offers crucial services that range from rescuing and rehabilitating animals in distress to engaging in educational outreach programs. Their multiple locations ensure its accessibility, playing a pivotal role in creating a community that values and protects the well-being of all animals.

The SPCA relies on the support of volunteers and generous individuals for its sustenance, be it through donations, volunteering time or providing a forever home to a furry friend. While the adoption process varies slightly depending on the location, here’s a quick look at the typical adoption process:

  1. Browse the pets available for adoption

  2. Visit the shelter to walk through the kennels and have a meet and greet with a few of the animals

  3. Complete the adoption forms and pay the adoption fee which ranges from R500 to R1 100 depending on the location and type of pet

  4. Schedule a home visit and let your potential new pet your children or other pets if you have

  5. Once your application is approved, you wait for your pet to be prepared for adoption with sterilisation, vaccinations, deworming and microchipping

  6. Welcome your newest furry family member to your home!

Location: Sandton, Randburg, Midrand and Reuven

Animals Available: Cats, dogs and other animals including pigs

2. Kitty and Puppy Haven

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A post shared by Kitty and Puppy Haven 🐶🐱 (@kittyandpuppyhaven)

Kitty and Puppy Haven is a pro-life sanctuary established in 2000 that’s dedicated to rescuing and rehoming cats and dogs in Johannesburg. With a mission rooted in compassion and care, this haven provides a safe and loving space for abandoned and abused animals. Committed to the well-being of every furry resident, Kitty and Puppy Haven focuses on rehabilitation and ensuring a seamless transition to their forever homes. Providing shelter, food and medical care to these animals, they rely heavily on volunteers and donations — they even have a wish list for those wanting to give a little extra.

The adoption process involves:

  1. Check out the pets available for adoption

  2. Visit the sanctuary to meet the animals and fill out the adoption application

  3. Make a booking for a home check

  4. Pick up your new pet once they have been sterilised, covered by the adoption fee of R1 500

Location: Midrand

Animals Available: Cats and dogs

3. Animal Anti-Cruelty League

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A post shared by Animal Anti-Cruelty League JHB (@aacljhb)

Situated in the heart of Johannesburg and with branches across the country, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) has stood as a defender of animal rights and welfare since 1956 and has grown to become the second-largest animal welfare organisation in the country. With a mission to prevent cruelty and alleviate the suffering of animals, AACL Johannesburg actively engages in rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming efforts. Through educational programs and community outreach, AACL Johannesburg strives to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership.

If you want to adopt from the AACL, here’s what you should know about the adoption process:

  1. Visit the shelter or check online to view the animals up for adoption

  2. Perform a home inspection to make sure your home is suitable for your potential pet

  3. Return to the shelter to fill out the paperwork

  4. Pay the adoption fee which is R780 for cats and kittens and R1 210 for dogs and puppies

  5. Pick up your new pet after they’ve have been sterilised and vaccinated

Location: Regent’s Park

Animals Available: Cats and dogs

4. Paws R Us

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A post shared by Paws R Us (South Africa) (@pawsrus_sa)

Paws R Us, a registered non-profit company currently in the process of becoming a public-benefit organisation, is a dedicated force in the rescue, shelter, networking and re-homing of dogs in Gauteng, South Africa. Founded in February 2011, the organisation operates from its Midrand facility and collaborates with a network of voluntary foster homes across Gauteng. With the mission of providing a safe haven for unwanted, abandoned and surrendered dogs, Paws R Us is committed to ensuring that every canine companion finds a loving forever home.

Here’s a breakdown of the adoption process at Paws R Us:

  1. Visit the shelter and choose your new fur baby

  2. Arrange a personal meet and greet

  3. Complete all the adoption documents in person

  4. Plan a home check or lifestyle meeting

  5. Pay the adoption fee of R900

  6. Prepare as your dog is delivered to your home

Location: Midrand

Animals Available: Dogs

5. Dogtown SA

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Nestled in the Hennops mountains, Dogtown SA is a serene haven for dogs rescued from challenging situations. With a specialised rehabilitation area and a team of 10 full-time certified trainers and behaviourists, Dogtown SA stands as a true rehabilitation centre. These professionals work tirelessly to transform the lives of dogs with special needs, ensuring they become well-adjusted and ready for a happy, loving future.

Adopt a dog from Dogtown SA in 4 quick and easy steps:

  1. Fill out the online adoption application

  2. Submit your home check videos and supporting documents

  3. Pay the adoption fee of R1 000 which includes sterilisation, micro-chipping, deworming, flea and tick treatment, testing and vaccination

  4. Go for a meet and greet at Dogtown

  5. Get ready for adoption day when your new family member is delivered to your home

Location: R511 Schurveberg

Animals Available: Dogs

6. A New Hope Dog Rescue

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A post shared by A NEW HOPE DOG RESCUE (@a_new_hope_dogrescue)

A New Hope Dog Rescue is committed to providing the best possible life for dogs in its care. With spacious, social runs and heated sleeping spaces, the shelter ensures a safe haven for dogs of all breeds, ages, shapes and sizes. Championing a pro-life philosophy, the shelter places no time limits on a dog's stay, focusing on rehabilitation and finding suitable, loving homes. A New Hope Dog Rescue emphasises sterilisation, adoption and community education programs, relying on public funding and community support to continue making a lasting impact in the lives of these deserving animals.

Let’s take a look at the adoption process:

  1. Complete the adoption application form and email it to them

  2. Conduct a home check

  3. Pay the adoption fee (depending on the age of your dog) which includes sterilisation, vaccinations, deworming and micro-chipping

  4. Pick up your new adopted pet

Location: Walkerville

Animals Available: Dogs

7. Kitty Shelter

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A post shared by Cat-a-holics Kitty Shelter (@cataholics_kitty_shelter)

Kitty Shelter is a non-profit, no-kill cat welfare organisation that has been dedicated to improving the lives of unwanted and abandoned cats and kittens in Johannesburg since 2000. Operating without government funding, the shelter relies on the kindness of Gauteng's animal lovers for support. Through a network of volunteers and foster families, Kitty Shelter provides a loving environment for kittens, promoting socialisation and essential life skills. The shelter's foster care program ensures these feline companions experience the warmth of a home environment while receiving necessary medical care.

Here’s what you need to know about adopting a kitty from the Kitty Shelter:

  1. Complete the online application form

  2. If accepted, you’ll be sent the adoption agreement to sign

  3. Pay the adoption fee which ranges from R750 to R1 200 depending on the age of the cat

  4. Pick up your new cat from their foster home

Location: Victoria

Animals Available: Cats

8. Woodrock Animal Rescue

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A post shared by WOODROCK ANIMAL RESCUE (@woodrockanimalrescue)

As a leading non-profit, pro-life shelter in South Africa, Woodrock Animal Rescue stands as a beacon of hope for over 500 animals, ranging from dogs and cats to donkeys, pigs and more. Founded in 1992 by Nicholas and Stella Meldau, the organisation's ethos revolves around education and sterilisation. Woodrock dedicates itself to rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming homeless, abused and neglected animals. Nestled in the scenic Hennops River Valley, Woodrock Animal Rescue remains one of South Africa's oldest and most dedicated pro-life domestic animal rescue centres.

The Wood Animal Rescue adoption process includes:

  1. Visit the shelter to meet the animals available for adoption

  2. Arrange a meet and greet with any pets you already have

  3. Complete the adoption application

  4. Pay the R200 non-refundable holding fee

  5. Have a brief home inspection

  6. Pay the adoption fee ranging from R950 - R1 700

  7. Collect your adorable new pet within 5 days

Location: Hennops River Valley

Animals Available: Cats, dogs, goats, donkeys, pigs, chickens, rabbits and geese

Looking for a Trusted Pet Transport Service to Bring Your New Pet Home?

If you need a little extra help getting your furry new friend to their forever home, Wise Move is here to help! Wise Move is a moving company platform trusted by thousands of South Africans that connects you with local pet transport services that understand the care and attention your pet deserves. And you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank with affordable prices !

Make sure your new pet has a smooth transition home with Wise Move.

Bring Your Furry Friend Home

Pet transport service trusted by thousands of pet owners. Door to Door Transport. Any Pet Type. Fixed Prices.

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