Brisbane City Council’s animal rehoming centres have experienced a huge surge in fostering enquiries as residents sought a new best friend to keep them company during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said in the past 12 months, 98 per cent of animals taken home on a fostering basis had then been adopted by their foster family and given a forever home.

“There were 456 animals that found their way into a foster home that would otherwise been left in a kennel or cattery,” Cr Schrinner said.

Cr Schrinner said Council’s two animal rehoming centres – Warra Rehoming Centre in Bracken Ridge and Willawong Rehoming Centre in Willawong – operated by the Animal Welfare League Queensland, were about to receive a $1.5 million makeover.

“Our rehoming centres have facilitated thousands of adoptions over the years and residents visit and adopt from them knowing they are giving an animal a second chance,” he said.

“The Warra Rehoming Centre has already found homes for more than 581 animals this year and the upgrade will make it even easier to form a bond with a potential pet with  a new interactive space for face-to-face contact with adoptable animals and an engaging new retail shopfront for locals to visit for information.

“Willawong Rehoming Centre has provided homes for more than 138 animals this year and the upgrade will include 20 additional kennels, and purpose-built safety features to protect staff including swivel doors and feeding trays.”

Cr Schrinner said fostering was a great way to take the pressure off of animal rehoming centres, while also making sure people make the right decision when choosing to adopt a special mate.

“While cats and dogs are still the most common pets to adopt, the rehoming centres care for a surprising range of animals. In the past 12 months, our rehoming centres have welcomed eight horses, 18 birds, 11 cattle, 11 goats, 31 guinea pigs, four pigs, and two sheep,” he said.

“Most of these animals come into our centres as strays but end up being reclaimed by the owner, moved into our adoption program or are transferred to a specific farm animal rescue group to find suitable homes.”

Cr Schrinner said pet populations across Brisbane had increased by more than a quarter since 2014, and prior to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, the rehoming centres had experienced a surge in animal adoptions.

“This is a perfect time to remind the community to ensure they look after their animals by keeping their registrations with Council up-to-date, microchipping them, and ensuring their pets receive health checks as needed.

“We can often reunite lost animals with their owners because they have been registered and microchipped – and this of course makes for a happy ending for everyone.”

Both centres remain operational with restricted access to people who have found a stray animal, lost an animal, are making an adoption or foster enquiry, have recently adopted an animal and require assistance or need to reclaim a pet.

Construction works on the Warra Rehoming Centre will commence in July 2020 and are expected to be complete by late August 2020. Construction works on the Willawong Rehoming Centre is underway and is expected to be complete by mid-September 2020.

For more information, visit Council’s website at or call Council on 3403 8888.