Adopt FAQ


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.