Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions section. We have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you answer a query that you might have. If for some reason your query is not answered please see our full list of contacts where you should be able to re-direct your query to. We hope this helps you.

shape-img shape-img

Frequently Asked Questions

1 - Our Location, Contacts & Opening Hours

Location: The DSPCA shelter is based in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.

Contact: You can view our full contact list HERE

Normal Weekly Opening Hours: The shelter is open to the public Tuesday – Sunday from 12-4pm. You do not need an appointment to visit the shelter on days we are open to the general public. It is open on Mondays for scheduled appointments only.

You can bring your dog along to the shelter on your visit but you can not bring your dog into the dog rehoming kennels or the cattery so please make sure you have someone to look after your dog should you wish to look at the cats and dogs available for adoption. Dogs are NOT permitted to be tied up and left unsupervised is any area of the shelter.

2 - Reporting Animal Cruelty

If you wish to report suspected animal cruelty in the Dublin area then please complete the cruelty form HERE

Please note that all information supplied is completely confidential.

3 - I found a stray dog / cat / other

If you have found a stray dog / cat / other please try to bring it to a local vet to see if it is microchipped. Please also complete all the details of the animal that you have found straying HERE

4 - My pet is missing

Sorry to hear that your pet is missing. Please click on the link below and complete all your pets details so that we have them on our data base Lost & Found Pets

5 - I would like to adopt a pet from the DSPCA

Thank you for choosing to adopt. You can view all the animals available for adoption, register your interest to adopt and read our adoption process HERE

The shelter is open to the public Tuesday – Sunday from 12 until 4pm and you do not need an appointment to visit.


6 - I need to rehome my own pet

Our main priority is helping the sick, injured and cruelly treated animals. We can help families who can not care for their pet anymore. There is a form that must be completed which you can find on this page of our website HERE Please note that there is a waiting list for owner surrenders and an assessment will be carried out for all dogs prior to taking in your pet.

7 - I would like to become a DSPCA Foster

Thank you for considering becoming a DSPCA foster. Please click HERE for information and how to register.

8 - I would like to become a DSPCA Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in becoming a DSPCA volunteer. Our volunteers are very important to us and running of the shelter. For more information and how to apply click HERE

9 - Can I visit the Pet Memorial Garden?

Yes you are very welcome to visit the Pet Memorial Garden

The garden is open to the public to visit Tuesday – Sunday between 12-4pm

Is the garden dog and child friendly?

Dogs and children are welcome. Dogs MUST be kept on lead at all times. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all time. There is no running or playing in any area of the garden or on the rainbow bridge. The garden is a peaceful place where pet owners can reflect and have a quiet moment.

Can I bury my pet ashes in the garden?

No, the garden is not suitable for burial. however please contact us to find out how you can book in a memorial service.

How can I find out more about how to honour my pet in the garden?

There are lots of ways to honour a loved and lost pet in the garden. Click HERE to read more.

10 - DSPCA Mobile Vet Clinic - Reduced vets fees for those in receipt of Social Welfare

The DSPCA run a Mobile Veterinary Clinic in 2 locations in the Dublin area only. This service is available to those in receipt of certain social welfare payments. The mobile clinic is by appointment only. For more information and to see if you qualify for this service please HERE

11 - There are FERAL cats / kittens in my garden

Stray Feral Cats
Stray cats living in your garden/premises are mostly feral cats. Feral cats are cats that cannot be touched or handled by people. Unfortunately, if the cats are feral we can not take them for rehoming as they are not suitable to be in a home environment.

Please note It is not permitted to bring feral cats to another location and release them as this is classed as “abandonment” under Irish legislation. The most productive thing to do for feral cats is to have them neutered as this will prevent further increase in the local feral cat population.

If the kittens are tame (they can be handled by humans) and they are seven weeks old or older, we can collect them from any part of Dublin. We do have a waiting list to take in kittens. Please email your details to info@dspca.ie and someone will contact you when we have room to take the kittens in.

Taming feral kittens
If the kittens are feral and you would like to try to tame them you will need to start feeding them. Start off by feeding them while you stay in the garden and every day get closer to them. Eventually, you should be able to hold the food bowl while they feed from it. At this point, you should make a fake hand (a glove on a stick) and start to stroke them while they are feeding. When our shelter calls you to say they can collect the kittens they will need to be in a box/carrier so the kittens will need to trust you in order for this to be successful.

12 - There are stray friendly cats in my garden

If there is a friendly stray cat hanging around your garden 9 out 10 times he/she has an owner. Please reach out on Social Media (community page) to see if anyone owns the cat and bring it to a local vet to check for a microchip (there should be no cost to check for a microchip)

If you have no luck after we can help rehome stray cats once they are not feral (you can pet, touch and handle the cat). You can complete a Stray Cat Surrender Form but please note that there is a waiting list and we will be in touch when we have space. You can find the form HERE

13 - I would like to donate items to the shelter

Thank you for thinking of us, we are extremely grateful! Please see below a list of items that we can and can not accept. Donations can be dropped up the shelter Monday – Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

We can accept – Please make sure all items are washed and clean.





Cat toys

Cat scratching posts/boards – Must Be new In Box

Dog toys

Pet beds – Must Be new In Box (NO Plastic Beds or Soft

Dog collars

Dog leads (not retractable leads)

Pet carriers (please make sure they are in working order, safe and secure)

Unfortunately we can NOT accept any of the following:

Teddys/soft toys with beading as a filler





Duvet covers

Used cat scratching post

Pillows cases

Couch cushions

Sleeping bags

Old carpet

Pieces of foam

Dog kennels

Rabbit hutches/hamster cages/gerbil cages/bird cages

Pet Food: Unfortunately we can not accept cat or dog food. All the cats and dogs in the shelter are on specific food and a sudden change in their diet can cause diarrhoea.

14 - I found a bird on the ground

Between April and September it is common to find birds on the ground as this is “Fledgling Season”. Some young birds can almost be the same size as some adult birds.

Why is he on the ground?

He is at the stage where he is now old enough to leave the nest but not quite ready to fly. It will take anything from a few hours to a couple of days before he takes full flight but in the meantime the parents will be close by waiting on their young and will protect them when possible and as best they can. All dog owners should keep their dogs on lead and away from all fledgings.

What should I do?

Unless there are any obvious signs of injuries (blood/cuts on his body) just leave the fledging where is it. Please DO NOT feed him as his parents will purposely stop feeding him now to encourage him to fly up to them to get food.
I can see visible signs of injuries, what should I do?
Please only contact us by EMAIL if there are visible signs of any injuries. Please include a photo of the fledging and we will get back to you ASAP. Email HERE

15 - There is an injured fox in my garden

Most of the time foxes will sleep in the garden and seem to be injured as they don’t move too much however if you walk towards the fox they will often jump up and run off. If the fox cannot run away when approached please contact our call centre on (01) 499 4700 or email info@dspca.ie

16 - There is a fox and her cubs living in my garden

As with many other wild animals foxes live among us in Dublin including the city centre and have done so for many years. Generally, the DSPCA do not call out to remove them unless they are sick or injured.

Unfortunately, as the fox is a wild animal if he/she is sick/injured we are only able to help when the animal is not mobile or is contained in a small enclosed area, if he/she can run away we simply will not be able to catch it.

If you find an abandoned fox cub unable to leave an enclosed area with no mother present, try to help it on its way by placing a chair or something similar against the wall but if the cub is still trapped please call us.

Please note if a vixen has had her cubs in your garden she will move them on when the cubs are bigger, she will not stay in your garden long-term. Foxes do not attack humans however we advise not to get too close as this will frighten her, especially when protecting her cubs. Do not feed her or her cubs as this will encourage her closer to your house and do not leave out rubbish bags that she or her cubs can pull apart.

When the cubs are bigger they will play (like puppies) in your garden when you are not around, this can sometimes result in the cubs chewing up children’s toys like small footballs and other plastic/soft toys so be mindful of this and put the toys away after use.

17 - I am concerned about a horse

If you have seen a horse(s) that you are concerned about, please email info@dspca.ie with the exact location, time, date and any photos.

18 - I need to report a dead animal

Your local County Council are responsible for the removal of deceased animals on council land however if the animal is on private land there is no service provided by the council.

19 - I dropped an injured animal to the shelter, can I get an update?

Please email info@dspca.ie and we will do our best to update you. Unfortunately our system may not have updates for injured birds.

20 - I'm going away on holidays, can you mind my dog?

The DSPCA have a wonderful Pet Hotel that can care for your pet while you go away on holidays. It is a very busy hotel and places book up very fast so please give yourself plenty on time to book your pet in. To book and read more click here

21 - Do you have training classes for dogs?

The DSPCA has a wonderful training academy for dogs of all ages and breeds. To see all the dog training classes available and to see dates and locations, Click Here

22 - Are the DSPCA running any kids summer camps this year?

The DSPCA run camps throughout the year. To read more and to book a place please click here.