Pet care support: free resources for pet owners and organisations supporting vulnerable people

We believe education is the key to building community capacity and creating lasting change. That’s why RSPCA South Australia has developed a series of free resources aimed at educating pet owners about animal needs and welfare, as well as the importance of emergency planning.

Emergency planning is especially important for vulnerable pet owners to ensure that their animals are always looked after. For example, when the owner is temporarily unable to care for them due to sudden onset of illness, hospital stay or other personal matters. 

Our main goal is to promote positive and preventative animal care practices that will in turn support good human and animal welfare. 

In addition, RSPCA South Australia in collaboration with Feros Care, an NDIS partner in the community, developed resources for organisations and individuals that provide support to vulnerable pet owners who may need assistance in caring for their pets. 

Please share the resources with your friends, family, neighbours and professional networks!

Do you, or does someone you know, need assistance with caring for a pet?

Guides to caring for pets

Wanting to know how to ensure your pet lives a happy and healthy life?

You can find some handy information about caring for different pets and their basic needs in these accessible fact sheets:

Your animals will need to be cared for while you are on holidays, in hospital or unable to care for them. Make sure that you have a contact list for your temporary pet carers. 

The Emergency Wallet Card and Pet Plan Template may help you prepare.

Are you thinking about getting a pet? Our budgeting tools and pet checklist may help you decide. 

For more information on preparing for pet ownership, visit:

For educational resources for students and teachers, visit the RSPCA South Australia Education Portal

​Are you supporting a vulnerable pet owner?

Guides for people and organisations supporting pet owners needing assistance in caring for their pets

Ensuring Animals Matter – Supporter Guide

RSPCA South Australia has worked with Feros Care, an NDIS partner in the community, on the development of this guide. The goal of the guide is to help organisations better support people with disabilities and other vulnerable individuals to care for their pets and to ensure there is a robust emergency care plan in place should it be required. By adopting pet-inclusive practices as part of their support for clients, organisations will, in turn, help vulnerable people exercise choice and control in their lives. 

This guide includes an Emergency Pet Plan template, which once complete, provides all the information required to care for pets if an emergency arises. 

Government of South Australia handbooks for responsible pet owners:

Have more questions? Search the RSPCA Knowledgebase for the latest articles on issues related to all animals. 

Be the first to know more – for regular updates and access to new resources, please join our eNews mailing list.

Other sources of information and help

Some local councils offer pet support programs.

Contact your local council to learn more.

To find out more about how your local council can set up its own Pet Support Program, RSPCA South Australia has compiled a detailed toolkit. Much of the information contained in this toolkit is based on the successful Companion Animal Program run by the City of Charles Sturt. 

Download our free toolkit to help your council get involved. 

For assistance with desexing your pet, please contact the National Desexing Network or C.A.T.S. (Cats Assistance To Sterilise). 

For affordable microchipping options, please contact Chip Blitz

If you cannot get your pet to the vet, please contact a mobile vet service. Here are some mobile vet services operating in the Adelaide metropolitan area:

Alternatively, here are some online vet services.

If you are in need of financial assistance for veterinary care for your pet, please consider these options:

If you are receiving a payment from Centrelink, please contact:

  • Centrelink/Centrepay – ask them if they can assist with your vet bills.
  • VetPay – on 1300 657 984 for payment plan assistance and information on costs associated with this service.
  • No Interest Loans (NILS)

If you are not a Centrelink recipient, you may wish to contact:

  • VetPay – on 1300 657 984 for payment plan assistance
  • AfterPay/ZipPay – offered by participating clinics only. Please see the relevant websites for vets available in your area and costs associated with these services. 

Please be aware there are costs associated with the above services.

Ensure you research your options in advance so you know where to take your pet if you require urgent veterinary assistance. 

Additionally, some rescue groups may be able to offer assistance. Search the PetRescue Knowledge Base to find your local rescue and crisis support groups or to find short or long-term foster care for your pet.  

If you have exhausted all options and have no means of obtaining the funds required for emergency medical care, please contact the RSPCA Welfare Hotline on 1300 4 777 2 for further advice.

Please note, RSPCA South Australia does not accredit or endorse the businesses listed on this page. These business details are provided for information only. 

This project is supported by a grant from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. RSPCA South Australia acknowledges and thanks the Government of South Australia for supporting this project.