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  • How adoption works

    Considering adopting? Before visiting Mayhew, we recommend you read this page carefully.

    Our adoption process

    There is a lot to consider before adopting a new family member and Mayhew can help find the perfect pet for you. All our animals receive thorough behavioural and health assessments before they are ready for rehoming. This includes microchipping, vaccinations, neutering, defleaing and worming.

    If you would like to adopt one of our dogs or cats, follow these five steps:

    1. Find an animal

    Visit the animal rehoming pages on our website to see who is available for rehoming. If you see an animal that might be right for you, please fill out our dog application form or our cat application form.

    2. Assessment

    Our team will assess your requirements and try to match you with the right animal. If there is a good fit, you will be contacted by our animal adoption officer to have a virtual interview.

    3. Meeting

    If you are being considered as an adopter of one of our animals, a member of our team will be in touch to arrange a meeting. To adopt a dog, you will need to meet them in person at least once before adopting. To adopt a cat, you may meet via a video call if needed.

    4. Rehoming fee

    If you are successful in your interview, you will pay the rehoming fee for that animal. We will then reserve the animal for you. Read more about adoption fees.

    5. Home visit

    Once you have found your perfect pal, we will conduct a home visit. This is to make sure your home is suitable for your potential new pet and to meet other members of your family.

    6. Collection

    We will arrange a time for you to come and collect your new best friend from Mayhew.

    Adoption process FAQ

    What is the current adoption process

    Please click here to find out all about our current rehoming process for dogs and cats. You will also find our cat and dog adoption application forms on this page.

    Why do I need a home visit?

    Home visits are very important. They ensure that the environment will be suitable and that our animals will have a happy life.

    About you FAQ

    Can I adopt if I have small children?

    Some of our animals will be suitable for families with young children. We make this decision as part of the animal’s assessment. Parents must be happy to teach the children how to respect and treat animals. For further details, please look at the individual animal's online profile.

    I work full time/part time. Will this affect my chances of adopting?

    We are happy to rehome animals to people who work part-time and full-time. Each animal undergoes an assessment to decide how long they can be left alone for. Details for this are included in each animal's online profile. The maximum time we advise for dogs to be left alone without a break on a regular basis is 4-5 hours. Cats can be left alone for longer if their assessment states this. Think about this carefully as a pet could affect the next 10+ years of your life.

    If you work full-time, you will need to either:
    - introduce us to the person caring for the animal during the day
    - provide us with proof of a professional animal walker
    - provide a letter from your line manager allowing you to go home during your lunch break

    If you work full-time, you will not be able to adopt kittens under six months, and you must have a cat flap fitted.

    Can I adopt if I live in a flat or have no garden/outside access?

    Dogs - We are happy to rehome dogs to committed people regardless of whether they have a garden or not, or if they live in a flat. Some dogs may need to live in a house or in a ground floor flat with a garden. If this is the case, details will be on the dog's online profile. Cats Most of our cats will need outdoor access. They should have the opportunity to explore and be independent. Sometimes, we have cats that will not be able to go outdoors. These cats can be rehomed to people that do not have a garden or outside access. These cats may be elderly or have health problems.

    Can I adopt if I live outside of London?

    Yes! We are happy to rehome our animals throughout the UK.

    Can I adopt if I already have an animal?

    Some of our animals will be suitable to live with other dogs or cats. Your pet must be comfortable living with another animal and must meet them before adoption. If you have a dog, your dog will need to meet the Mayhew dog before we can complete an adoption. At this time, it is unlikely that we are able to rehome our cats to households with dogs.

    All our animals are assessed to determine whether they can live with other animals. Each animal’s profile will state whether or not they can live with other pets.

    If you already have a pet which has not yet been neutered, this will need to be done before reserving a Mayhew animal. If they have not been neutered due to the health issues, please provide vet confirmation.

    Can I adopt if I live in rented accommodation?

    Yes you can adopt if you live in rented accommodation. You will need to provide a permission letter from your landlord, the council or housing trust. You must have this letter before/at the time of application as you will be asked to email this in straight away if your application is successful.

    Do you have any age restrictions for adopting an animal?

    You need to be over 18 years of age to adopt an animal from Mayhew. If there is an increased chance that your pet might outlive you, we will ask to meet the person who would take them on.

    Can I adopt an animal and keep them outside?

    We expect dogs and cats to be treated as part of the family. They must have full use of the home as well as the ability to go outside. At no point should you leave the animal outside. We do not rehome dogs as guard dogs.

    Your new pet FAQ

    Will my potential pet have any health or behavioural problems?

    Our animals receive a full health check and behavioural assessment. If we discover issues during this process, we will always inform you. We will make it very clear to you if an animal has any health or behavioural problems. There are no long-term guarantees. Any animal can develop health or behavioural problems at any point in their life. Mayhew is here to offer guidance throughout the animal's life but if you adopt an animal from us, you will need to register them with a local vet. If required, you will need to seek help from a professional behaviourist. Fees for these services can be expensive, so for this reason we recommend pet insurance.

    What if I can’t cope with my new pet?

    It is normal to have some anxiety in the early stages of your adoption. You can call us on 020 8962 8000 to discuss any issues and we will do our best to help and support you. It is rare that we need to take animals back into Mayhew as our adoption process is very thorough, however we will always take back any Mayhew animals you’re no longer able to care for.

    If you are successful in your interview, you must pay the rehoming fee on that day.

    This means that the animal is reserved for you. Other potential adopters cannot view or adopt that animal. 

    The fee includes neutering, microchipping, vaccinations, flea and worm treatment and a vet check. A full behaviour assessment and a starter pack of food is also included. We require all of our young dogs and puppies to attend training classes with their new owners. You will need to register and pay for a course of lessons with a local class before taking your animal home. We will need to see a receipt from the trainer. The adoption fees go a small way to covering our costs. We spend an average of £1,000 on each animal that comes in for rehoming, which covers their veterinary treatment, food and accommodation. Mayhew receives no government funding and relies upon the generosity of the general public.

    Not the right time to adopt?

    Please consider making a donation to Mayhew. We receive no government funding and your donations allow us to take care of dogs in need.

    Become a foster carer

    Could you foster a dog or cat? Mayhew are looking for volunteers who are able to provide a temporary home to our rescued animals.

    Contact us

    Contact us

    Call us to arrange an appointment