Rehoming a pet

Is there a fee to rehome a pet from NAWT?

Yes, we charge a rehoming fee to help towards the cost of the animal’s care during their stay with us. However, in return for your rehoming fee you receive a loyal companion who has been fully vet-checked, wormed, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and has free insurance for their first 4 weeks in your care. You will also receive ongoing support and advice from the animal care team at the centre, should you need it. We believe that all of these factors combined offer great value for money in return for the modest fees we have to charge. Prices vary between species from £30 for a Guinea Pig, £65 for a rabbit, £120 for a cat and £250 for a dog. Rehoming fees for birds and field animals can vary and these can be discussed with the relevant Centre Manager.

I have a young child and would like to introduce a pet to my home, but some of your animals can't be rehomed with children under a certain age. Why is this?

There are various reasons why some animals may not be suitable to live with younger children, which will include a behaviour seen in their last home or whilst going through the assessment process at our centre. The safety of you, your family and the animal are our top priority so we do everything we can to find a perfect match for every family looking to rehome a pet. This can sometimes mean the process may take longer than people initially hope, but eventually we hope to send every family home with the perfect companion to suit their lifestyle and home environment.

I've seen an animal on your website that I'd like to rehome. What should I do next?

We ask you to complete a homefinder from through the website. Once this has been completed it will automatically be sent to the centre where the animal is staying. If the pet is a good match for you and still available, a member of the rehoming team will get in contact with you asap. The team will give you lots more detail about the animal you are interested in and discuss what you’re looking for in a pet. Following this initial conversation, if the pet is a good match then you can arrange an appointment to come along and meet the animal in person and discuss the next steps in the homing process.

What happens after I have reserved an animal?

After you’ve reserved the animal you would like to rehome, you may be asked to return to the centre to visit them and spend some time getting to know them. You may also be asked to bring other members of your family or household along to meet the animal to ensure everyone gets along. If you are rehoming a dog then you will also be asked to bring along any other dogs in the household to see how they get on in an introduction at the centre.

Is there an age limit for people NAWT will rehome to?

Absolutely not. NAWT provide a tailor-made rehoming service, so no matter the age of the new owner, we always do what we can to make sure we find a match for everyone looking to rehome from us.

After I take my new pet home, will I receive any ongoing support?

Absolutely! We never stop caring. We are always eager to hear how our previous residents are getting on in their new homes, and we expect that many new owners may think of questions further down the line, which they didn’t think to ask within the rehoming process. So please call us, it’s what we’re here for! Whatever question or problem you may have, you can almost guarantee that we’ve heard it before so you’re not alone and we want to help. We can even assist you with further training if you have rehomed a dog who you think would benefit from some more reward-based training outside of the centre. Please ask us, and we will do all we can to help you.

What if i change my mind?

Sometimes, for many different reasons, rehoming a new pet simply doesn’t work out. We will always accept an animal back into our care and we ask that you come to us first if you make the tough decision to return an animal. They will be welcomed back into our care with lots of familiar faces that will help to settle them back in.

Giving up my pet

Can I receive updates on how my pet is getting on after I hand them over?

You are more than welcome to contact the centre to find out how your pet has settled in. However, due to limited resources, we are unable to provide written or photographic updates when the animal has been rehomed.

How do I start the process to relinquish my pet?

The first thing to do is to call your local centre for advice. Our friendly team are impartial and will be happy to talk you through the process. They will need to ask you a selection of questions about your pet, in order to give them the best chance of finding a home that suits all of their needs. Our centres may have waiting lists so they might not be able to accept your pet immediately, but they will do their best to work with you to ensure a smooth process for both you and your pet. If you are relinquishing a dog then the team will need to carry out an initial assessment on the dog, which can take up to 20 minutes. The team will advise you if the pet can be admitted to the centre for homing, join our home direct scheme or, in some circumstances, discuss alternative options if we are unable to help rehome your pet.

Is there a fee to give up a pet to NAWT?

We understand that the decision to give up a beloved pet is an incredibly tough one, and there are varying circumstances that might lead to someone making this decision. Therefore, we don’t charge a set fee to anyone who needs us to offer their pet an opportunity to be rehomed. All we do ask is that you make a donation, if you are able to, which will go towards the animal’s future care costs during their time with us.

My pet has medical issues. Will you still take them?

We treat each animal as an individual case and always strive to do whatever is best for him or her. If your pet has a chance of living a happy life with the correct medical treatment, and if we’re able to provide that treatment, then we will still consider offering them a place in our care. It’s important that you give the centre team as much information on your pets medical history as possible, so that they are able to provide appropriate care.

What if I change my mind after I relinquish my pet?

Once you sign your pet over to us and complete the necessary paperwork, we take legal ownership of the animal. If we then go on to rehome that animal to a new owner, they then become the legal owner of the animal. Once the animal has been rehomed to a new owner, we are unable to return them to you should you change your mind. We take each situation like this on a case by case basis, so If the animal is still in our care and available, and a change in your initial circumstances means you may be in a situation to take your animal back, then this is something you would need to discuss with the Centre Manager as we will always make our decisions based on what we feel is best for the individual pet.

What will happen when I arrive at the centre to handover my pet?

Once we have taken your pets details and have a space in the centre to offer them, someone will call you to arrange an appointment for you to come in and hand your pet over. Many people can find the visit to the centre a nerve-racking and upsetting experience, and we completely understand. This is why each of our centres strive to provide a safe environment, free from judgement, where an owner can say goodbye to their beloved pet in their own time. When you’re ready, there will be a small amount of paperwork to complete to pass over ownership of your pet to NAWT, and then someone from our animal care team will show them to their rehoming unit within the centre.

Volunteering at NAWT

Do I have to give a certain amount of time each week?

Whether you want to donate one shift per week, offer a full day or simply as and when you can fit it in, there will be a role for you!

Some of our roles will require a four hour shift, but there will be others which will offer different time frames. We have a range of different roles at our centres and shops throughout the week, including weekends, to ensure there is something for everyone!

Do you offer Work Experience?

Yes, we occasionally have work experience opportunities available at both our rehoming centres and our charity shops. Please contact your local centre or local charity shop for more information.

I am a refugee, can I volunteer?

Yes, so long as you have refugee status.

I am an asylum seeker, can I volunteer?

Yes, if you are applying for asylum, you can volunteer.

I am currently receiving Job Seekers Allowance, will volunteering affect my payments?

You might be volunteering to increase your skills and confidence in order to move into paid employment. You can therefore carry on claiming Job Seekers Allowance whilst you volunteer so long as you are applying for jobs. Obviously we will be supportive of this and will be flexible around your timings.

I can’t see any roles available, can I still apply?

Unfortunately you can't. Our volunteer availability is updated regularly so if you can’t immediately see anything which appeals to you, then please check back in few days time when the current roles will have been updated.

I have a criminal record. Can I still volunteer?

Having a criminal record with spent or unspent convictions, doesn’t necessarily preclude you from volunteering. The Centre Manager or Shop Manager will talk to you about this and it will be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Is there a probation period?

Your induction will last for approximately six shifts. During that time we will ensure we give you all the skills you will need to safely and competently carry out your role and pass your probation. If we feel you need a bit more time, that’s fine. We will work with you until you are comfortable in what you are doing.

Is there an age limit?

We have a minimum age requirement of 16 in our centres and shops. There is no upper age limit so long as you are fit and healthy.

What if I don’t like my role. Can I change it?

Yes of course. We want you to have a really enjoyable time when you are with us so if you are doing something you realise is not for you, then we would look to see what else you might like to do instead to ensure your volunteering works well for both of us.

What skills and experience do I need?

For the majority of our roles, you don’t need any previous skills or experience as we will give you the training you need.

What we are more interested in is a willingness to get involved and either a love of animals and/or retail, depending on where you want to volunteer.

If we do need any specific skill set, we will list this on the role profile.

Will I get Training?

Yes. All roles will require some form of training. If you are in a shop you will receive different training than if you were with our animals. Rest assured we will give you training, including an induction, to help settle you into your role.

Leaving a gift in your Will

Can I leave NAWT a specific sum of money?

Yes you can. A specific sum (or pecuniary legacy) is the simplest form of legacy. You can also protect the value of your gift by directly linking it to the cost of living, so that it doesn't reduce over time.

Can I leave NAWT specific items?

Again these gifts are very welcome. You can leave the National Animal Welfare Trust items such as property, antiques, jewellery and stocks and shares.

Can I remember a specific branch or adoption centre?

Yes. However, we advise you only express a wish for your legacy to go to a particular branch or adoption centre. By expressing a wish, the charity Trustees will have the discretion to apply the legacy to our general funds if the one you have named has since closed or changed its name, allowing us to maximize your gift and help as many animals as possible.

Can I save tax on my estate by leaving a legacy to charity?

Yes. Gifts made to charities are exempt from inheritance tax, which may reduce the tax your executors would have to pay.

Can Scottish law affect my legacy to the National Animal Welfare Trust?

Yes, Scottish laws relating to Wills do differ in some areas and we would strongly advise you to speak to your solicitor who will be able to advise you and ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Can the National Animal Welfare Trust be my Executor?

The National Animal Welfare Trust would be happy to act as the executor or co-executor of your Will should you wish. If you would like to discuss this please contact our Legacy Administrator

How often should I update my Will?

Solicitors normally advise you to review your Will every few years to make sure that it reflects your changing circumstances.

What type of legacy most benefits the National Animal Welfare Trust?

A residuary legacy benefits NAWT the most because it is not lessened by the rate of inflation. A residuary legacy is the residue or remainder of your estate after other specific bequests have been made.

Will you look after my pet should I die?

National Animal Welfare Trust will be happy to care for any pets that survive you. You can be safe in the knowledge that we will care for your pets until a suitable new home is found, however long that takes.


What is the process of becoming a NAWT Foster Carer?


You will need to complete our initial enquiry form. Once this has been received we will give you a call to introduce ourselves. At this point we can start the process by going through the application form together so we can find out a bit more about you and the type of animal(s) you are looking to foster; this will enable us to find the perfect match for you.


Once we have found a suitable match, we will be in touch to plan a home check. On some occasions, for cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs, this can be carried out virtually; our preference will be to carry this out in person. This is in no way to judge your home. It is simply to ensure your home environment will be suitable and safe for your matched foster animal.


We would not expect you to take an animal you have not met, so we will invite you along to the centre so you can both meet to see how you get along. If you are fostering a dog, you will be able to take the dog for a walk so you can start to get to know each other. One of our team will be with you to answer any questions you may have. Potentially, you can take your foster animal home on the same day. We will also look at providing any training you may need to help with the process. This will obviously depend on the animal you are fostering and your level of experience; it could range from an hour through to a few sessions. All training will take place at the centre with a member of our team and be agreed with you in advance.


Once all the paperwork is finalised and you have had a successful meet, you can come and collect your new foster animal and take him/her home (if that has not already happened on Meet Me day). We will supply you with everything you need, such as food, bedding, toys and of course access to veterinary care when needed.

How long will I be fostering for?

There is no set time, and the length of stay will vary from animal to animal. Your foster animal will stay with you until we have found their forever home.

What happens if I am going on holiday?

We totally understand you will have holidays to take and other commitments. All we ask is that you let us know in advance so we can make alternative arrangements for the animal. It might be that we bring them back to the centre or place them with another foster carer while you are away.

If you have pre-planned commitments before taking on a foster animal, please let us know so that we can work around it in good time.

What will I have to do?

The main requirement to be a foster carer is to have a safe and loving space in your heart and home whilst we look for a suitable adopter. Depending on the animal you have, this could involve walking, feeding, socialising, training, and taking to veterinary appointments.

You do not need any previous experience, but please bear in mind that with rescue animals, we often do not know anything about their background, and they can often be stressed and anxious, and as a result, it may need a little more work, time, and patience on your behalf. And remember, we will give you training where required so you are well prepared.

Our team are always on hand to help and advise you.

How much will it cost me to be a Foster Carer?

We would not expect you to pay anything. We will supply you with everything you need whilst you have your foster animal with you. When you are running low on supplies, just pop down to your nearest centre to collect more. If you can give us a call beforehand, we will ensure we have it ready for you.

Regarding veterinary treatment and appointments, we will meet these costs and any such plans will be discussed with you. All you will need to do is drive your foster animal to the appointment(s) as agreed.

I have completed my application form, does this mean I will automatically be approved to foster?

As much as we would like to say yes, there are many factors to consider before we can look to finding a match. If, after reviewing your application we believe your current situation means we cannot at this moment in time progress, we will of course let you know why and hopefully you will be in touch again as and when your circumstances change so we can review your application. Thank you for understanding

Do I need to live near a centre to be eligible for fostering?

Our guideline is you should live within a 30-minute drive from your nearest centre. This means that the trips you will need to take will not be too onerous and should you need to get to us quickly, the distance you have to travel will be minimised.

I have young children at home, can I still foster?

This is very much dependent on the animal you are fostering and the age(s) of your children. We will manage each application on an individual basis.

I have no previous experience of looking after animals, is this a problem?

We would not want to throw you in at the deep end, so we would ask you to go along to your nearest centre to spend some time volunteering with your chosen species. This is a great way to get to know the animals and start to build your skills and confidence. For the smaller animals such as cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs, this may only amount to a few hours. Dogs however may take a little longer and we would not expect you to take care of a dog until you, and we, were confident in your ability to look after them.

I work all day and my foster animal will be on their own. Is this ok?

With cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs we would say this is ok. We would not expect dogs, young puppies, and kittens to be left alone. Alongside that, animals who are recovering from surgery or require medication, will need closer monitoring.

I live in a flat with no outside space, can I still foster?

This is very much dependent on the animal you are fostering and the space you have available. We will manage each application on an individual basis.

I already have pets, is this a problem?

Animals can often live harmoniously with each other, but we will need to assess the animal you want to foster against what you already have before we can make this decision.

Can I let my foster cat/kittens go outside into my garden?

We would expect our foster cats and kittens to remain inside. If you already have cats who use their cat flap freely, our cats/kittens will need to be kept in a separate room.

Can I foster for two different rescues?

For some animal rescue charities this would not be a problem. With NAWT however, our foster animal(s) should be the only foster pet(s) in your home.

I am a returning fosterer; do I have to apply all over again?

The simple answer is no. You will need to complete a fresh foster placement form however because this is relevant to each animal, but your original application form will be valid. The only exception to this, is if you fostered some years ago. In which case, we will need information regarding your current circumstances to ensure we have the correct information to safely place a foster animal with you.

Can I have my family and friends over to meet my foster companion?

For young animals it is especially important that they are socialised properly, to encourage them to grow into well-rounded adults. For other animals, it could be extremely stressful for them to have lots of unknown people come into the home.

We always have the mental welfare of the animal at heart. As a guide, we would suggest keeping foster cats in a secure room of their own that they can go into when people visit, and that you make sure that they are not pestered if they want to hide away.

With rabbits and guinea pigs, again they will need a calm and stress-free environment they can retreat to for safety should they so wish.

For dogs, it may be that your foster animal is not comfortable with strangers, so we will ask that you keep visitors to the home to a minimum and follow our guidance when you do introduce them to someone new. (Guidance will be provided when we know which animal you will be fostering). Some dogs may love meeting new people, but it is still a good idea to let them settle in before introducing more new people into their world.

What do I do if a friend or family member wishes to adopt the animal(s) I am fostering?

If you know someone that would be interested in adopting the animal/s you are fostering, then please pass on our contact information so that they can get in touch to enable us to discuss this with them. We would also appreciate it if you could let us know that they are interested, so that we know that they are a genuine friend/family member of yours.

What do I do if I want to adopt the animal(s)s I am fostering?

If you feel that you would like to keep your foster animal, then please let us know so that we can look at moving you over to the adoption process. The same rules will apply to you that apply to other adopters, so you must not have any holidays booked for two months after the adoption date and you will of course need to meet the animals’ requirements.

What happens when my foster animal is ready to be adopted?

When an animal is ready to be adopted, their profile will be uploaded to our website. Our centre team will let you know when this date will be.

Any information you can give us on how they are in a home environment will be particularly useful, as a lot of our animals come in as strays, so we know very little about them.

We will ask you to provide us with clear and appropriate photos that we can use for their online profile. We do have a photo guide that we will send out nearer the time.

Once they are on the website, we will go through any applications and make sure that the potential adopters are the correct match for the animal. If you are fostering a dog, when a match is made you will need to bring them into the centre for their visits. A member of the team will conduct the visit (It is NAWT’s policy that fosterers and potential adopters will not meet), so if you can think of anything useful for us to pass on to the prospective owners then please do let us know.

There will usually be several visits required, so we will try to match up your availability and the prospective owners. If there are difficulties finding a suitable day, we will need the dog to come back and stay in kennels so that we can carry out the visits.

On the final visit the dog will go to their new home, so we would like you to bring in any favourite toys or blankets of theirs so that they can take them to their new home to help them settle in.

Cats and small animals will come back to the centre once they have a visit booked, and they tend to go home on the same day. We will let you know if that is the case so that you can bring their favourite toys and things in as well.

Regardless of the animal, we will of course give you notice of this so you can say your goodbyes to your foster animal.