The RSPCA is to open advice and adoption centres in some Pets at Home stores in what the two organisations are calling a "major" advance for animal welfare.
The RSPCA and Pets at Home are to work together in a move that could see what the organisations call "major" advances in the welfare of pets.
The deal will see the RSPCA open advice and adoption areas in some Pets at Homes stores and may mean the charity could use the stores to rehome unwanted animals.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: "At a time when we are seeing increasing numbers of animals being abandoned, the potential of a long-term relationship could be enormous, from increasing rehoming by the RSPCA, as well as helping to educate people about animal care and welfare.
"We clearly have many areas in common, so together [the RSPCA and Pets at Home] could bring benefits for countless animals. [We] both have a strong interest in happy and healthy pets. Now the work begins to explore what else we can achieve together."
Both the RSPCA and Pets at Home hope and expect the partnership to have a range of potential animal welfare benefits through:
Pets at Home chief executive Nick Wood said: "At Pets at Home, we are passionate about pets and their welfare is our top priority. This partnership will see us working with the RSPCA on several exciting projects during the next few years.
"We know the RSPCA's messages don't always reach every animal owner. Some people are simply not interested in campaigns and animal welfare information.
"Whether we are providing direct advice in stores or through RSPCA leaflets and booklets, this partnership could enable us to get our advice to them, and that could make a huge difference to an animal's life."
It is expected that the first RSPCA area will open this autumn in Pets at Home's flagship store in Stockport, Cheshire. There are already plans for further openings in Newport, St Helens and Norwich.