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Volunteer at an event or shelter and make the world of difference.

Pillow Paws

While we do our best to make life in the shelter enjoyable for our dogs, nothing beats a sleepover in a cosy home.

As part of the Pillow Paws Program, we require volunteers like you to take our shelter dogs home for one to three nights. We ask that you spend your time with our dogs adventuring, exercising and playing, giving them much-needed respite from the shelter environment.

Enrichment is incredibly important for a dog’s mental and physical health, so your help is not only much appreciated but crucial to their wellbeing.

Whether you’re looking to adopt or just want to volunteer your time, Pillow Paws is a fantastic way to get to know more about the dogs at RSPCA NSW.

Please note that this program has been suspended due to COVID-19. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Availability: Monday to Sunday

Times involved:  Pick up from 9:30 a.m. and drop off by 3 p.m. on the agreed return date.

Location: Sydney Shelter

Get involved: To avoid disappointment, be sure to contact our Sydney team on (02) 9770 7575 to make sure we have availability before coming down to the shelter.

Pillow Paws Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Only a certain number of our dogs have been assessed and cleared for a Pillow Paws sleepover. Depending on availability, you may choose which dog you’d like to take out of the select group. To view all dogs available for adoption, click here.

Once you arrive at our Sydney Shelter, we’ll introduce you to your dog and facilitate a meet and greet to ensure you’re a good match. Then, after you’ve signed some paperwork, you’re free to take your furry friend on an adventure!

Yes, RSPCA NSW will lend you a harness, lead, toys and bed and give you enough food required for a one-night stay.

Each dog has their own requirements regarding other animals – some will be friendly with dogs and others will be a little more hesitant. Check with our shelter staff to see if there’s an animal available who is happy to play with other pooches. This will require you to bring in your dog for a meet and greet before you embark on the sleepover.

At the moment, we only offer the Pillow Paws Program at the Sydney Shelter (located in Yagoona).

Not necessarily! While there may be dogs who are eligible for both programs, some who are available for Doggy Day Out are not suitable for the Pillow Paws sleepover-style excursion. Refer to each animal’s adoption profile for their specific requirements.

You can care for one of our Pillow Paws pups for one to three nights. Participants in the program are required to pick up the dog from 9:30 a.m. and bring them back to our Sydney Shelter no later than 3 p.m. on the agreed return date. If you are interested in extending the dog’s stay, please contact the Sydney Shelter before the agreed return date.

Pillow Paws carers may not take any of our dogs to off-leash parks or beaches. Instead, we recommend taking the shelter dog on a dog-friendly hike or walk in a nice, natural area. They must be kept on a harness lead in public at all time.

Absolutely! In fact, we’d love it if you did. The Pillow Paws Program was not only designed for our dogs to get enrichment out of the shelter, but also to help people like you find their forever friend. Please talk to our staff about adoption once you return the dog to our shelter.