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Our 5 Favorite Animal Shelters in Adelaide

Our 5 Favorite Animal Shelters in Adelaide

Active Preventive Programs: For us, it’s crucial that the animal shelters are consistent and progressive when it comes to the programs that they employ both to educate the public and to protect animal welfare.

Educational and Volunteer Programs: It’s important for us that these shelters also work towards community education campaigns about animal welfare and protection against abuse, abandonment, and cruelty.

In addition to this, volunteer programs are also assessed.

Healthcare and Hygiene Program: We put emphasis on the shelter’s programs for the animal’s healthcare and hygiene.

Most, if not all, animals entering the shelter are not in the best shape. So, it’s important that they are thoroughly screened for any ailments and expertly nursed back to health. 
Skilled Professional Care: It’s important for us that the animals are taken care of by professionals who show skilled and compassionate care. This is crucial to ensure that animals are not just sheltered and fed but also genuinely cared for.
Cleanliness: It’s important that the shelters are well taken care of and regularly sanitized for possible foster prospects and for the protection of the animals’ well-being.
Adoption Process: One of the end goals of animal shelters is for the reentry of stray and at-risk animals into society by adoption. It’s important to us that the adoption process is smooth, secure, and thorough.

1. Hahndorf Interim Animal Shelter Inc. 

Hahndorf Interim Animal Shelter Inc. Homepage

Services: Animal shelter, pet adoption, volunteer program

Website: https://www.hahndorfshelter.com.au/

Address: 60 Martin Rd, Hahndorf SA 5245, Australia

Contact Details: +61 8 8388 7514

Operating Hours: 

  • Thursday to Saturday: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Closed on Sunday to Wednesday
Google reviews score4.1/5
Total reviews4.1/5
Score consistency4/5
Active/preventive programs4/5
Educational and volunteer programs5/5
Healthcare and hygiene program3/5
Skilled professional care4/5
Adoption process5/5


  • Provides shelter for animals with deceased masters
  • Volunteer programs for 16 years old and up
  • Run solely by local community support
  • Informative website
  • Friendly and skilled staff


  • Unprofessional management team
  • Facilities are not well-kept
  • Not a no-kill facility anymore

Hahndorf Interim Animal Shelter Inc. has been providing a sanctuary for animals since 1997, and they have endured and flourished through decades because of loyal and consistent community support and volunteerism.

They have strong community backing because they always find a way to keep the community engaged through their volunteer programs and advocacies.

One of the advocacies that we especially appreciate is their PATSHELP wherein they take in pets while their owners are transferring to retirement or nursing homes, being treated in a hospital, or in some cases because their owners have died.

Their commitment to sheltering these animals and re-homing them—sometimes even providing extensive medical care if they have been neglected—is admirable.

The shelter also employs the help of local volunteers who are as young as sixteen years old to lend them a hand in gardening, feeding animals, and cleaning catteries.

However, people were quick to see their management poorly handle their dealings and relationships with the community and other potential adopters. We found that this is because the founder, who is the heart of the shelter, has recently passed.

As they are under new management, they have a lot to improve in upholding the standard of care and connection they foster with the community.

There are also now instances when they advise and support euthanasia for cats who contract feline AIDS. This is in stark contrast to their original conviction as a no-kill facility.

In addition to this, their facilities are not well-kept. This is abundantly evident in their kennel area.

On the flip side, their website, in our opinion, is worth checking out if you want a concise guide on choosing a pet and some of the things you should consider preparing for when you decide to adopt one yourself.

2. Paws & Claws Adoption

Paws & Claws Adoption Homepage

Services: Animal shelter, animal rescue, community volunteer programs

Website: https://www.pawsandclawsadoptions.com.au/

Address: 21 Magill Rd Adelaide South Australia 5069

Contact Details: +61 416 364 228

Operating Hours: Open all week: 8 am – 8 pm

Google reviews score4.1/5
Total reviews4.1/5
Score consistency4/5
Active/preventive programs4/5
Educational and volunteer programs4/5
Healthcare and hygiene program4/5
Skilled professional care4/5
Adoption process2/5


  • Provides sheltering services to animals across South Australia
  • Pets are socialized
  • Professional and knowledgeable staff
  • Hot weather policy
  • Transparent adoption policy and fees


  • Excessively lenient adoption screening
  • No specific address to visit
  • Unresponsive at times

When you get to browse through Paws & Claws Adoption’s website, the first things you will be greeted with are their pet profiles that are up for adoption. We were immediately enamored by how adorable they looked!

Of course, this is largely because of how well they are cared for in their foster homes. Not only are they trained to be sociable pets, but they are also under sound foster programs.

We appreciate that they commit to compassionately and thoroughly looking after animals under their care. This is evident in how every pet they allow for adoption goes through numerous vet checks, desexing, and even microchipping.

They also provide a two-week trial period before dog adoption and adoption support to ease the process for adopters.

To go even further, they have a hot weather policy specifying under what weather conditions can the animals only be released for adoption and transported to their forever homes.

However, despite their promise to be accountable for the animals they find homes for, they have excessively lenient adoption screening that puts these animals they cared for at risk of finding abusive and neglectful new owners.

On top of this, if you plan on making a visit to check on their available pets for adoption, you may find it hard to find their location. This is because they do not have one place to visit, as they operate through foster homes rather than one big facility.

This means that their available cats and dogs are fostered across the state. It would be difficult if you have a busy schedule but you still want to meet all potential pet adoptees.

This could have been better if they are prompt in responding to digital inquiries or phone calls, but they can be unresponsive at times. This makes it difficult to communicate with them all the necessary details before committing to adoption.

We still, nonetheless, recommend checking them out because of their professional staff service and guidance alongside their transparent and affordable adoption policy and fees.

3. Animal Welfare League

Animal Welfare League Homepage

Services: Animal shelter, foster care services, animal boarding, volunteer programs

Website: https://awl.org.au/

Address: 1/19 Cormack Rd, Wingfield SA 5013

Contact Details: +61 8 8348 1300

Operating Hours: 

  • Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am – 3 pm
  • Closed on Mondays
Google reviews score4.5/5
Facebook reviews score4.4/5
Total reviews4.45/5
Score consistency4/5
Active/preventive programs4.5
Educational and volunteer programs4/5
Healthcare and hygiene program5/5
Skilled professional care4/5
Adoption process3/5


  • Dog and cat boarding
  • User-friendly website
  • Offers thorough guidance in raising, fostering, and adopting animals
  • Pocket pets available
  • Transparent with governance and financials
  • Extensive volunteer program


  • Can be pushy when attending to prospective adopters
  • Staff service leaves a lot to be desired

The Animal Welfare League stands true to its name. They advocate for animal welfare while also allowing for consistent community education and engagement through various programs.

Their website is user-friendly to help you learn more about their pets available for adoption, volunteer projects, and basically everything you need to get in the loop regarding their shelter’s services.

Of course, included with these is comprehensive guidance in raising, fostering, and adopting pets found on their website.

In addition to this, to show their total commitment to animal welfare, they have made their annual financial and governance reports accessible there as well.

In regards to their services, they offer pocket pet adoption for people who are interested in caring for rabbits.

They also offer dog and cat boarding if you need to go out of town for a few days or need to attend to an emergency.

One issue that we feel might discourage some people from supporting the shelter is that the staff can tend to be pushy when they are in talks with potential adopters.

This is because they try to haggle with them regarding the fees they need to pay for adoption just to have them adopt a pet or at times pressure them to make donations they can’t afford. This may come across as being desperate to clear their kennels.

We feel that this can be achieved better if they just focus on offering their extensive guide in adopting and raising pets for new owners.

Moreover, their staff service leaves a lot to be desired because they can sometimes come across as rude and impatient. 

On the flip side, they have a lovely and approachable roster of volunteers who continue to make the shelter worth supporting and backing.

4. Furever Farm

Furever Farm Homepage

Services: Community education programs, volunteer programs, rural overnight stays

Website: https://fureverfarm.org.au/

Address: 148 Gogel Rd, Rockleigh SA 5254

Contact Details: +61 434 842 621

Operating Hours: Available upon contact

Google reviews score5/5
Facebook reviews score5/5
Total reviews5/5
Score consistency5/5
Active/preventive programs4.5/5
Educational and volunteer programs5/5
Healthcare and hygiene program4/5
Skilled professional care4/5
Adoption process5/5


  • Especially caters to farm animals
  • Spacious sanctuary
  • Minimal adoption fee
  • Extensive volunteer programs
  • Overnight stay offering
  • Fundraising events


  • No specific operating hours
  • Occasional slow response times 

Furever Farm is a place that is close to the hearts of many locals in Adelaide. This is because they especially cater to rural animals that are rarely given any care because they are rarely domesticated.

This is why this animal shelter has taken a vow to stand for them and provide the necessary care and needs they have been deprived of.

Their sanctuary for farm animals is vast and spacious, allowing for safe and unrestrained close encounters with visitors. 

They also have meaningful fundraising events, like wine tasting, that are inclusive of the local communities and suburbs nearby. 

If you plan on volunteering your time with them, they can use extra hands on animal care alongside feeding the nearly 80 farm animals they have under their care.

As for adoption, the animal profiles they put up are concise yet comprehensive. They also offer affordable adoption fees.

However, we feel that their availability is confusing because they don’t have specific operating hours, so it would be best to give them a call prior to your visit.

Furthermore, this inconvenience is aggravated by their occasional slow response times to queries.

Nevertheless, we assure you that your visit to the farm will not be wasted especially if you plan on having an overnight stay there to have unique farm animal encounters and living experience in a rural area.

We recommend Furever Farm if you want to immerse and educate yourself about the importance of sheltering rural animals and seeing them in their true nature.


RSPCA Homepage

Services: Animal shelter, lost and found, animal rescue, desexing program, welfare inspectors, community education

Website: https://www.rspcasa.org.au/

Address: 25 Meyer Rd, Lonsdale SA 5160

Contact Details: +61 1300 477 722

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 10 am – 4 pm
  • Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays
Google reviews score4.4/5
Total reviews4.4/5
Score consistency4/5
Active/preventive programs5/5
Educational and volunteer programs5/5
Healthcare and hygiene program5/5
Skilled professional care5/5
Adoption process3/5


  • Animals are compassionately cared for
  • Helps out pets and families in domestic violence cases
  • Offers a pet-friendly venue locator
  • Pet insurance available
  • Extensive community education programs
  • Welfare inspectors


  • Difficult to reach sometimes over the phone
  • Staff aren’t thorough with adoption guidelines
  • Unprofessional on scheduling

RSPCA is a renowned animal shelter that compassionately cares for the homeless and neglected animals.

They have an extensive community education program that teaches about relevant animal welfare issues like cruelty, force-free dog training, puppy factories, and even bushfires that often happen in Australia.

The shelter also helps out pets and families in domestic violence cases. They provide free shelter and care for pets with owners who are trying to flee from domestic violence. 

They also provide these services for hospitalized owners.

If you have suspicions that a pet owner in your area is neglectful of or abusing their pets, they have welfare inspectors to help you out.

Pet insurance can also be availed from RSPCA. Talk about a one-stop animal care center!

On top of this, they offer a pet-friendly venue locator app that helps out owners discover establishments where they can go and bring along their pets. 

What we don’t like, however, is how their staff is not thorough in going through adoption guidelines and the lack of a legitimate step-by-step procedure they go through with potential adopters.

This is evident when a client was complaining about how the staff in charge of attending to rehoming pets does not even ask the potential adopters about their current circumstances and preferences.

If you are particular about schedules, you will not appreciate how at times they can cancel schedules at the last minute or have yours moved at a later time.

This can be a pain especially when it’s difficult to reach them over the phone.

Nonetheless, their devotion to bringing top-notch care and advocating for meaningful endeavors are some of the things a lot of locals deeply appreciate and continue to pledge support for.

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