Explore the work RSPCA NSW does to help animals and their owners in the community.

Community Homelessness Program

Unfortunately due to capacity issues we are unable to take on any new clients

RSPCA NSW strongly believes in the emotional, mental and physical benefits of the relationships between people and pets. For some homeless people, their pets may be the only positive thing in their lives. The idea of giving this much-loved animal up can cause major distress to someone already suffering hardship. Through our Homelessness program, we assist pet owners who are currently homeless. This includes pet owners who are couch surfing, sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation.

Services our Homelessness program offers include:

  • temporary foster accommodation and/or emergency pet boarding
  • financial assistance for veterinary treatment
  • financial assistance with impound fees

This community program was previously known as Living Ruff.

For more information, please get in touch with the RSPCA Community Programs helpline at (02) 9782 4408.
The helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. During weekends and public holidays, contact the RSPCA Contact Centre at (02) 9770 7555.

In addition, below are some human support services:

1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732

1800RESPECT is a free national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for people who have experienced or are at risk of family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Lifeline is a free counselling line providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Link2Home Homelessness – 1800 152 152

Link2Home is a state-wide homelessness information and referral telephone service providing information, assessment or referral to homelessness services and support in NSW.

Domestic Violence Hotline – 1800 656 463

The Domestic Violence Hotline provides 24/7 access to information, support and referrals to nearby services.

Ask Izzy

Ask Izzy is a mobile website connecting people in crisis with the services they need right now and nearby.

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636

Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, supporting people affected by anxiety, depression, and suicide.

13 Yarn – 13 92 76

13YARN provides crisis support 24/7 to yarn without judgement and offers a confidential, culturally safe space to yarn about any needs, worries or concerns.

Community Homelessness Program FAQs

Each situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and cost may depend on which services are required. Please contact the RSPCA Community Programs helpline (02) 9782 4408 or fill out the form below to see how we may be able to assist.

The Homelessness program is available throughout New South Wales. All enquiries come through our Sydney office, so more regional area enquiries may take longer to action.

No, this service is available to all pet owners and their pets who are couch surfing, sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation.

We accept referrals directly from those needing our help, as well as from family, friends, or services that may ask for assistance on their behalf.