Adopt FAQ

NOTE: Pet Adoptions are currently being completed online. Your first step is to complete an application for a specific pet. Applications are reviewed Wednesday through Sunday. Thank you!

Adoption Fees

Brown Chihuahua with Big Ears

Dog Adoption (4 months-5 years)

Underdog (6 years & older)

$30 Off Bonded Pair
Reduced Fee for Adopting Bonded Dog Pair

Puppy Adoption (3 months & younger)

Grey and White Cat with green eyes laying on its side

Cat Adoption (2 months-5 years)

Undercat (6 years & older)

$220 ($110 each)
Purrfect Pair (2 cats or kittens)

White bunny with black patterns on ears and around eyes

Rabbit Adoption

Rats & Hamsters

Guinea Pigs


Other Animals

Adoption fee includes

  • Spay/neuter surgery (dogs, cats, & rabbits)
  • Pain management medication (rabbits only)
  • Age and species-appropriate current vaccinations and microchip (registration not included)
  • Health examination by spcaLA medical staff
  • Certificate for free health examination by participating VCA Animal Hospital
  • No enrollment fee for Trupanion pet insurance*

Are you an adopter 60 years of age or up? Speak to your adoption counselor. You may qualify for a reduced adoption fee thanks to a grant from Pets For the Elderly.

Please note: adoption fees may vary based on adoption specials, subsidies, breed appearance, length of stay, and other factors. Additional fees may apply for medication and e-collars.


  • Proof of address
  • Valid, government-issued identification.
  • Copy of lease and/or landlord’s phone number
  • Payment (spcaLA accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express)
  • Family members to meet new pets
  • Adequate time and patience! The adoption process can take 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete an application and speak with an spcaLA Adoption Counselor.


  • Adoptions are done on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. If several parties are interested in the same animal, spcaLA will enter them into a ‘lottery’ and begin the adoption process with the first name drawn. Please note: we are unable to verify arrival time prior to our opening. As such, if multiple groups arrive for the same animal prior to opening time, spcaLA will use the lottery system regardless of place in line.
  • Once an adoption application is approved, you will be required to bring current family pets to meet the new pet. This rule always applies to dogs and sometimes to cats. Please be prepared to show proof of current vaccines for your resident pet(s).
  • If an animal has NOT been spayed or neutered, he/she will not be released until after the surgery has been performed.
  • spcaLA reserves the right to refuse service to anyone and may deny adoptions at their discretion.
  • Additional fees may apply for medication and e-collars.

Common Questions About Adopting

Why should I adopt instead of buying a pet?

In our community, there are too many wonderful, sweet and healthy pets and too few owners. By choosing to adopt, you are helping to end the pet overpopulation crisis!

I've heard that the only way to ensure my pet is loyal to me is to adopt a puppy or kitten, is that right?

A pet doesn’t have to be a puppy or kitten to be a loyal companion. Older animals have a lot to offer. Often times older dogs are already housetrained and leash-trained, and older cats may be litter box trained.

What do I need to do as a responsible pet owner?
  • Give your pet nourishing food, clean water and adequate shelter
  • Provide veterinary care for your pet (regular check-ups, vaccines, flea control, emergency treatment, etc.)
  • Obey licensing, leash and other laws related to pet ownership
  • Housetrain your pet, and ensure that litter boxes and other waste areas are cleaned regularly
  • Exercise your pet daily
  • Provide basic obedience training for your dog & consult a trainer if your pet exhibits behavior issues
  • Keep your pet groomed and free of painful mats, overgrown nails and other painful conditions
  • Provide a safe place for your pets to stay while you’re on vacation or in the event of an emergency
  • Give your pet love and attention when she needs you, and not just at your convenience
I'm interested in a purebred, do you have those?

Yes, in fact about 25% of shelter pets appear to be purebred animals. But remember, the breed appearance of an animal is just that – appearance. It doesn’t indicate or guarantee lifespan, temperament, disposition, lineage or actual breed.

What's the lifespan of a shelter pet?

Dogs, cats and rabbits can live 10–20 years. Some birds can live up to 100 years! It’s important to make sure you’re ready for that kind of commitment when you adopt.

What's the best type of shelter pet to get?

The best type of animal – age, breed appearance, species, activity level – is dependent on you. Shelter pets, like people, have different needs and personalities. Do you have kids? Are you active? Do you want to spend a lot of time training, or get involved in a dog sport like agility? We will help you find the right pet for your lifestyle.

How long does the adoption process take?

Bear in mind, it could take you several trips to one of our adoption centers to find the right pet for you. Once you do, you’ll need to have everyone in the household meet your new pet (including resident dogs in most cases), fill out an application and go through the adoption process with one of our professional adoption counselors. This can take an hour or more. Remember, you’re adding a new family member!

Do you provide support after I adopt?

Yes, spcaLA will follow up with you to see how everything is going with your new family member. And, you’re always welcome to visit our Animal Resource Library for information on topics like welcoming your new pet home, pet safety, behavior issues, and more! spcaLA pet adoption counselors can also help with any questions you may have or call our FREE Animal Behavior Helpline at (888) 772-2521, ext 260. In addition, we offer a variety of dog training classes.



Shelter pets’ breeds and ages are characterizations based on appearance, and are not meant to indicate or guarantee lifespan, temperament, disposition, lineage or actual breed.

*Terms and conditions apply, ask your adoption counselor for more information.

Adoption Partners

VCA Animal Hospitals

Pets for The Elderly