Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control

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Adopting a Pet

boy petting dog woman holding cat rabbit

Thank you for your interest in adopting one of our adorable animals. Your kindness will be repaid countless times by the love and affection of your new family member.

If you see an animal here on our website that you are interested in adopting, It is necessary that you visit the animal care center in person to view the animal. Since animals have unique and individual personalities, this helps ensure the best possible match between you and your new pet.

When you arrive at the animal care center and you see an animal you want to adopt, write down its animal ID number (posted on the outside of the animal's kennel) and ask a volunteer or staff member to check its availability. You may place a Commitment to Adopt on the animal. CTA’s are only taken in person at the animal care centers. 

Please note that we hold all stray animals for four days (in addition to the day of its arrival) in order to give pet owners an opportunity to look for their lost pet. Once an animal has passed its holding period, it will be made available for adoption. CTA’s may be placed on animals that have yet to pass the stray period so that when the stray period passes, it can immediately be adopted. 

family with and adopted pet

If the animal has been surrendered to one of our animal care centers by its owner and is already sterilized, you may be able to take the animal home the same day. If the animal needs to be spayed or neutered, you will have to wait until after the spay/neuter surgery is complete. In the meantime, however, the adoption paperwork can be processed.

Available animals that are already spayed or neutered may be adopted that day. If an available animal has not yet been spayed or neutered, the animal care center is required to perform the surgery before the animal goes home. In these cases, you will be required to complete your adoption paperwork and pay all fees, and then return after the surgery is completed. In most cases the surgery is performed the next day but sometimes it may take a day or two longer, particularly if there are weekends or holidays involved. 

All animals adopted from one of our animal care centers are eligible for a free veterinary exam (within five days of adoption) by any participating member of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association. A list of participating veterinary locations can be found here.

man and woman with an adopted pet

Our adoption fees vary, depending on how long an animal has been in our care. If an animal has been in our care ten days or less, the adoption fee is $50. If the animal has been in our care more than ten days, the adoption fee is $30.  In addition to the adoption fee, the sterilization fee for a dog is $50 and $40 for a cat and the microchip fee is $15 (includes national registration). Additional charges may include fees for licensing (for those living within our service areas) or pain medication (dependent on whether the animal needed to be spayed/neutered).  Please see our home page for promotions and discounts on adoption fees.