Opening Hours

Animal Viewing Hours:
(by appointment only)

Monday - Friday: 10am - 4pm
Saturday: 9am - 4pm

General Hours: 
Most Days: 9am - 5pm
Wednesdays:  10am - 5pm
CLOSED: Sundays and Public Holidays

RSPCA ACT Domestic Violence Program - ‘Project SAFE’

RSPCA ACT is calling upon the Canberra public for their help to support our domestic violence program ‘Project SAFE’. For over a decade, RSPCA ACT has been helping victims of domestic violence fleeing unsafe home situations by providing emergency boarding to their beloved pets.


We have been providing this service at no cost as we recognise the financial and emotional strain that comes from leaving a domestic violence situation. Furthermore, we are also concerned that if the pet does not leave a violent household, it too could become the victim of domestic violence. Unfortunately, the longer-term sustainability of this program could be at risk without some help from the local community.


RSPCA ACT does not receive any funding to run the program and has no intention of putting further financial burden on the people who use the service. The organisation wants to safeguard the program from expected future financial pressures and continue to help some of our communities most vulnerable. To do this we need the community’s help.



Project SAFE stands for Support for Animals and Families in Emergencies and is designed to be a safe haven and emergency short-term care for the pets of victims fleeing domestic violence. Animals that enter the Shelter under this program also receive a full vet check, vaccinations; as well as have other immediate medical needs met. While dogs and cats are the most common pet in this program, we have also helped other small animals.



Last year alone, RSPCA ACT spent over $35,800 caring for emergency boarding cases. We hope to generate support from the local Canberra community to continue running the program through regular donations. These monthly or quarterly donations will allow the program to continue to care for the various animals directly affected by domestic violence.


People can help by becoming a regular monthly donor to the program or by becoming a foster carer for animals in these situations.


To find out more please visit



According to a study by Domestic Violence NSW and The University of Sydney’s School of Veterinary Science, approximately 70 percent of women escaping violent homes also report pet abuse.


Unfortunately, most human shelters will not allow pets, and traditional pet boarding facilities charge a fee and are usually ill-equipped to provide the level of security required to deal with a violent partner that may be looking for the animal.


This concerning figure is exactly why we believe the continuation of Project SAFE is imperative for animal welfare in the ACT. RSPCA ACT Chief Executive Tammy Ven Dange stressed the importance of this program:


“We see a direct correlation between our mission to prevent cruelty to animals and helping pet owners in domestic violence cases.  By providing a temporary, safe space for a pet, we reduce the risk of an animal becoming the victim of cruelty or used as a manipulation tool by a violent partner – something our inspectors see too many times.


While we have been providing this free service for many years without telling the public, the reality is that we can’t meet the growing demand now, and there is a real concern about our ability to fund the program in future years. The Canberra community can really help us by volunteering as foster carers or by signing up as monthly donors.”  

Help us end the cycle of abuse and continue to make Project SAFE a safe refuge for those in need.


Please donate or become a foster carer by visiting