About the Department

Why Adopt from Us?

Wide variety of pet choices

Low adoption cost

All animal spayed/neutered

Health check for all adoptions

Help an animal in need

How can I see the animals at your animal care centers?

Beginning August 1st, animals will be available for viewing by appointment at each of the seven animal care centers. You will be able to self-schedule an appointment on our website and select from available slots. During your appointment visit, a staff member of volunteer will assist you and you will be able to view all animals that are “Ready to Go Home” that day. This means they are spayed or neutered, off stray hold and have gone to dog playgroups at least once (for dogs over 35 lbs.).  Animals will be available first-come, first-served.  We are confident this enhanced experience will allow potential adopters to view and adopt animals in a way that is accessible and maintains animal health and wellbeing. Click here to self-schedule an appointment. Our call center is available 24/7 if you do not have access to the internet. Walk up appointments will be accommodated as available.

All our animals are posted on our website automatically when an animal enters a care center. https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/view-our-animals/

What is the Adoption Process?

When you arrive for your appointment, you will be given a number. You will be able to walk through the center to view animals that are marked as “Ready to Go Home.” A staff member or volunteer will be available to introduce you to the pet to see if it’s a perfect match. Once you have selected an animal for adoption, you will proceed to the front customer service area to process your adoption. The first person to complete the adoption will be able to take the pet home.

How much does it cost to adopt an animal?

The adoption fee for a dog, cat or other animal includes vaccinations, microchip, and spay or neuter if not already altered when it came to the care center.  Check our website and social media to find out about any adoption promotions during which fees are discounted.  Note that the adoption fee does not include dog or cat license fees, which are minimal but mandatory and vary depending on the city or area where you live.

Adoption fees:

Type of animal Adoption Fee Other fees License fee (in our service areas)
Dog $50 ($30 if in the animal care center for more than 10 days) Spay/neuter: $50

(plus pain medication, if needed: $10)


Microchip: $7.50

Cats $50 (check website for frequent discounted adoption promotions) or $30 if in the animal care center for more than 10 days Spay/neuter: $40

(plus pain medication, if needed: $10)


Microchip: $7.50

Rabbits $15

What does Rescue Only mean?

Rescue Only means that the medical or behavior team has determined that the animal needs additional rehabilitation and recovery prior to being adopted into a home. In those instances, adoption is reserved for the 389 Adoption Partners registered with DACC. These are 501(c)(3) nonprofits that operate to help adopt animals from shelters. These animals are not available for adoption to the general public. To learn more about our adoption partners visit https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/become-an-adoption-partner/

How do you determine whether a dog is Rescue Only?

We look at each dog who comes into our care as an individual, taking into consideration all the information we receive from the previous owner or person turning in (if the dog is a stray) as well as the behavior the dog exhibits while they are with us in the animal care center. We make observations of their behavior during their medical intake exam and then let them settle into the new environment. All dogs over 35 lbs. are taken to playgroups after they have been in the care center for a few days. During dog playgroups, staff observe the dog’s behavior with the handlers and the other dogs. Based on the behavior observed and the information gathered from their prior home a recommendation is made on the type of home they would be best suited for. This may include a recommendation for an adult only home, a home without other animals, a calm home or a Rescue Only designation. The Rescue Only designation may be because the dog has a documented bite history and/or there is behavior observed that needs additional rehabilitation prior to public placement. This designation is not based on breed.

How can I foster an animal?

We are always in need of temporary fosters for the animals in our care. Visit https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/become-a-foster-caretaker/ to learn more and sign up for a virtual training. Keep in mind that we need help with large breed dogs, adult cats and underage kittens.

What happened to the Commitment to Adopt (CTA) process? And Interested Parties (IPs)?

We learned that 60% of CTAs and IPs did not show up to adopt the pet, which meant that animals were staying longer in the animal care centers. Removing CTAs and IPs will allow potential adopters to meet and take home an animal the day if it is “Ready to Go Home.”

What is Managed Intake?

Managed intake refers to a thoughtful process where admission to our animal care centers is reserved for the animals in the community that need it most – those who are sick, injured or too aggressive to be in the community. Other animals such as healthy, adult cats, those who have a home and their owners need help to keep them, underage kittens without a mother, and those that are lost and need to be reunited with their owners, normally stay in the community and don’t come into the animal care centers. Managed intake allows animal care centers to be a resource for the community, providing low-cost and free vaccines, microchips, spay and neuter and other services.

What do I do if I find a healthy, adult cat?

Most cats that are found outdoors are owned, free-roaming cats allowed outside or are cats with an unspecified owner who are cared for by a caretaker or group of caretakers. Like all animals that live outdoors, free-roaming cats settle where food and shelter are available. They are skilled at finding these things on their own. These cats may be adults or kittens and can be friendly or unsocialized. It is important to leave community cats in the community to promote efforts to stabilize the cat population. Removal of cats within a community has shown to increase the population numbers. Instead, by spaying, neutering, and managing the community cats already in an area, this helps stabilize the population and over time reduces their numbers. This in turn results in more resources for the cats, less disease, less fighting/nuisance behaviors, and decreases new cats entering a given territory.  Healthy, adult cats that are free roaming should NOT be brought to animal shelters. Shelters cause immense stress to cats and do not solve the problem of unwanted cats, because more will take their place. More than 50% of healthy, adult cats brought into shelters are euthanized. Instead, leave the cat where it is and find out more about spay/neuter resources here https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/spay-and-neuter/

If the cat is sick or injured, please go to your closest animal care center for assistance.

What do I do if I find kittens in my neighborhood or place of business?

Kittens have the best chance at survival when raised by their mom. When kittens are brought to an animal care center, they are prone to stress and exposure to illness, leading to failure to thrive and potential euthanasia as a result.  The mother is usually close by, either hiding from the human or out hunting. It is recommended to wait a few hours and watch for mom to return. Kittens that are being cared for are clean with full bellies. Check out the ASPCA’s Found Kitten Tool to determine whether the kitten needs help by visiting https://www.aspca.org/helping-people-pets/i-found-kittens-what-do-i-do

If the kittens appear healthy but the mother has not returned, please consider fostering the kittens in your home until they are old enough to be adopted (approximately six to eight weeks). DACC can provide kitten fostering kits for kittens found in our service areas. You can also call our outreach helpline at 661-575-2812 to register the found kittens as a finder foster and get veterinary medical care for them. If you are unable to keep the kittens as a foster volunteer, make an appointment with your local animal care center to discuss other options. For more information on kittens, visit our Got Kittens page https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/got-kittens/

What should I do if I can no longer keep my owned pet?

If you would like to keep your pet and are having trouble with veterinary medical care, housing issues, animal behavior or accessing pet supplies, reach out to our outreach team (if you live in our service area) by email at access2care@animalcare.lacounty.gov or by calling our communication center at   (562) 940-6898.

If you are still unable to keep your pet and need to rehome them, take these steps:

  • Reach out to friends, family members and other acquaintances to rehome your pet.
  • Use our Home to Home website (link here) to post your pet and connect with people who want to adopt.
  • If you are unable to rehome your pet on your own, schedule an appointment to talk to an admissions counselor at one of our seven animal care centers If you are unable to rehome your pet on your own, schedule an appointment to talk to an admissions counselor at one of our seven animal care centers (if you live in our service area).

What should I do if I find a lost pet?

Lost pets are more likely to be reunited with their owner if they stay in the area they are found. If you find a stray cat or dog, post fliers in the area, and on community apps like Next Door, Ring and Facebook. You can also take the pet to a shelter or veterinary clinic to get it scanned for a microchip. For a full list of resources, visit our Lost Pet page https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/if-you-find-a-pet/

How many animals do you take in per year? How many do you adopt out?

We publish monthly statistics on our website https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/animal-statistics/ that list animal intakes and outcomes. Note that we list data based on fiscal years, which run from July to June.

What can I do to help?

Follow DACC on social media and help spread the message about our programs – adoptions, lost & found, vaccinations, spay/neuter and more! We always need donations and supplies, find out more on our website https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/donate/. Learn more about volunteering https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/become-a-volunteer/

or becoming an adoption partner https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/become-an-adoption-partner/

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