The Process

  1. Visit our shelters and meet the animal or animals you’re interested in.

  2. Talk to an adoption specialist about your home, family, schedule, lifestyle, and previous pet experience.

  3. After you decide which animal fits you best, complete 20-30 minutes of paperwork.

  4. Take your new pet home the same day!

Note: We recommend arriving at the shelter at least an hour before we close if you intend to adopt a pet. View our hours →


24-Hour Hold Policy

We understand that you might need extra time to prepare your home for a pet. We allow holds to be placed on the animal that you’re interested in for up to 24 hours. To place a hold, we require a non-refundable deposit that will go toward the adoption fee. If you decide to not adopt the animal for any reason, the deposit will be kept as a donation and the animal will become available for adoption.

Animals 4 months old or older: $25 hold fee

Animals younger than 4 months old: $75 hold fee


Adoption Requirements

  • All information provided on your application must be up-to-date and accurate.

  • Those who rent must provide the property owner's contact information so that the pet policy can be verified.

  • When adopting a dog, everyone living in the household — including other dogs — must meet the animal. We will not move forward until everyone has met the dog.

  • When adopting a cat, rabbit, or other animal, everyone living in the household must agree to have a new pet. It is not required that all adults meet the pet, but all children living in the household must visit the animal before adoption.

  • There may be extra requirements or restrictions with certain animals. For example, some animals must be indoor only, require a backyard, or may not be suitable to live with young children or other animals. Talk with our adoption specialists to see if this applies to the animal you are interested in.


Adoption Fees

Dogs and puppies: $150

Cats and kittens: $125

Rabbits and other small animals: $10
(Rabbits and small animals are located at our Palo Alto location only.)

Additional fees

Refundable canine training deposit: $75
Dogs and puppies adopted from our Palo Alto and Redwood City animal shelters require a $75 training deposit that is refunded to you once you’ve completed training with your dog. Learn more about training here.

Dog licensing fee: Fee varies by length of licensing period.
Dog adopters who reside in Palo Alto, Los Altos, or Los Altos Hills will be required to pay a licensing fee. Learn more about licensing here.