our story

Project Underdog Rescue is a small but mighty community-based, not for profit, animal welfare charity established in 2015 and founded by Fear Free certified veterinary nurse, Eva.

“I felt like I could do more for animals who were so often misunderstood and deemed to be too difficult.”

Completely reliant on their network of volunteers, Project Underdog Rescue helps combat the increasing number of animals unnecessarily euthanised within Australia. With a small group of highly skilled animal professionals on their team (including an in house veterinarian and force free behaviour trainer), they focus on rescuing animals who require more specialised support due to complex medical and/or behavioural challenges. These animals often require extensive intervention and resources and will be in foster for many months as they work tirelessly to get them ‘adoption ready’.

“Every animal deserves a chance to live a life full of love and happiness, even those considered different.”

Project Underdog Rescue’s mission is to create a future where no animal is ever abandoned, separated from their loving guardian or unnecessarily euthanised.

“We recognise that animals are sentient beings and as such we are committed to a force free, evidence based approach when it comes to their treatment and care.”

Their animal rescue program is one of their major initiatives but they do so much more than that now: they operate Melbourne’s first Fear Free Certified mobile vet clinic where they provide specialised care that is tailored towards the needs of anxious pets; they run community outreach programs that support the most vulnerable members of the community by providing critical care to their pets in times of need; they actively advocate for the use of humane and ethical behaviour methods and educate animal guardians on best practice, science-based animal care.

“We take a holistic approach when it comes to animal welfare and hope that through our work we can reduce the number of animals mistreated, neglected, surrendered and unnecessarily euthanised.”

we do things a little differently

Foster Homes

There is no denying that pounds and shelters cause unavoidable anxiety for pets already experiencing a considerable amount of stress and fear; this is why all our animals are placed in loving foster homes.

There are astronomical benefits to housing animals in foster homes. It is not only the ideal environment for animals to recover from medical procedures or traumatic events but it’s also a low stress environment for human interaction and stimulating healthy socialisation. Foster care is an invaluable chance for us to discover each individual animals’ personality and provide him (or her) with any training that they may require.

Most importantly, having animals in real homes gives them the best chance of success for a smoother transition into their forever home.

Special Needs & Palliative Care

We don’t turn our backs on those who may be a little different. We take on special needs animals that require that little bit of extra help, patience and understanding.

We also rescue senior animals and those who have been diagnosed with terminal conditions. As such, we aim to provide them with a loving and nurturing home with one of our palliative foster carers for the final stages of their lives. Here, they are made comfortable and experience love and warmth until they show us that they are ready to cross over the rainbow bridge. At which point, we arrange for them to be humanely euthanised, usually at home with their foster carer right beside them.


Gold Standard Care

We understand that the animals we rescue are individuals and come with their own set of unique needs which is why we have hand-picked the professionals we work with based on their skills, experience and core values. We believe that if we can address any major medical and behavioural issues while in foster care that each animal will be given the best chance at success in their forever home.


All our animals, adopters, foster carers and volunteers are family to us. Our leadership team is available around the clock to offer support whenever it’s required. That service doesn’t change post adoption either. We will always love and care for every animal who comes through our organisation and if a PUR Alumnus needs us, we will be there. Some of our best friends are people who have adopted animals through us and that is testament to our commitment to you.


The Perfect Match

We are dedicated to ensuring that we match each of our animals to a suitable foster home, and to a perfect forever home, in an effort to eliminate the chances of ever seeing them displaced again. Our long-term foster carers understand and appreciate that their fosters will stay in their care until a perfect forever home is found.

We have a four-step application process for adoption, which includes an online questionnaire, an over-the-phone screening, a meet and greet and a residential property check. The animals in our care rely on us to get it right for them, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

Outreach Programs

We understand that sometimes life doesn’t go to plan but that shouldn’t mean you have to lose your furry companion. After all, pets can play a vital role in our physical and mental wellbeing. We assist people experiencing hardship to keep their pets, through our outreach programs.

In addition to providing support for people experiencing adversity, our programs also supports our mission in reducing the number of pets unnecessarily euthanised. If we can keep pets out of the pound system in the first place, then we are tackling the issue of pet homelessness from both angles.