New UK Government approved guidelines allowing safe rehoming and fostering means animal charities can start finding homes for animals in England, the RSPCA says.

Frontline teams from charities, including the RSPCA, have continued to rescue animals throughout the crisis but they have been unable to find them new homes, meaning that thousands have remained in its care.

Now Defra has approved guidelines, put together by the Canine and Feline Sector Group, to allow animal welfare charities in England to rehome safely during the pandemic.

Polly is in the care of Greyhound Gap and looking for a new home

The RSPCA will start finding homes for the animals in its care using a new safe process in line with Defra-approved guidance for England, which includes:

– Completing adoption/inquiry forms online

– All adopters or fosterers must live within about an hour’s drive of the centre where the animal is being cared for

– All discussions will take place via phone or video call

– Adopters and fosterers will get to ‘virtually meet’ their potential pet with videos sent to show them their behaviour and give them a deeper understanding of their pet’s personality

– Home visits will be done virtually, through photos or video walk-through the home

-All pets will be transported to their new homes and handovers will observe social distancing

The RSPCA says its animal centres will remain closed to the public until further notice. Full guidance from the Canine and Feline Sectory Group is available here and recommended reading for relevant animal rescues.

The UK’s largest dog adoption website,, is trialling a video initiative to help rescues looking to begin using video regularly as part of its adoption process.

If you are a rescue looking to start using video or looking to adopt a dog and willing to take part in the trial, please contact by emailing here to take part.

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