San Diego Humane Society and SPCA

The Adoption Process

  1. View available pets
    Browse our website or visit the animals in person at our San Diego Campus, Oceanside Campuses, Adoption Center inside of the El Cajon or Oceanside Petco, or at one of our Mobile Adoptions events!  For locations & hours see this page»
  2. Meet the animals and an Adoption Counselor
    Once you've selected an animal (or two!) that you're interested in adopting, you can spend time getting to know them in our Interaction Rooms or outdoor Play Yards. At our San Diego and Oceanside Campuses, you'll have the opportunity to meet with one of our Adoption Counselors who are trained to help make the best match for you. To assist in this process, you are invited to fill out a "Save a Life" form either in advance of your visit on in person. Each pet has received a medical examination and/or a behavioral assessment to help determine the best home for that pet.    

  3. Complete the adoption
    When you've found a great match, it's time to complete the adoption process! You'll have the opportunity to ask the Adoption Counselors questions about training and for tips on helping your new pet adjust to your home. If you'd like, we offer the service of introducing your new dog to your current dog. Just bring your dog with you if you intend on adopting that day and we'll be glad to help with the introductions.

    If the pet has any medical conditions or behavioral issues we will arrange a pre-adoption consultation with one of our veterinarians or behavior trainers. Some pets may also require a post-adoption consultation to ensure the pet is adjusting well to his new home. 

    Please note:   In order keep the stress levels in our animals as low as possible, dogs are not allowed in the adoptable animal viewing areas. Please bring a family member or friend to "dog sit" in the lobby while you stroll the adoption gallery and meet prospective pets.

Adoption Guarantee:

We are proud to offer an Adoption Guarantee in case your adoption does not work as planned and you need to return your pet to San Diego Humane Society. Adoption Guarantee:  Love your new pet…or let us know.  We’ll make it right.  

Adoption Fees:

All adoption fees collected assist in the daily care and on-going needs of each animal admitted to the San Diego Humane Society.  Adoption gift certificates are also available for purchase.

Depending on the type of animal, the fees may include spay/neuter, current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification, a certificate for a free veterinary exam, a certificate for 30 days of medical insurance from TruPanion, and a license if residing in Oceanside and Vista.

  • Adoption Superstars - $25 regardless age for dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens
  • Senior Dogs and Cats (7 years old and up) - $25
  • Dogs (7 months to under 7 years old) – $95
  • Cats (7 months to under 7 years old) – $65
  • Puppies (6 months and younger) - $195
  • Kittens (6 months and younger) - $125
  • Small Pets: Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Large birds, & Reptiles - $25
  • Small birds & Rodents: Canaries, Parakeets, Finches, Mice, Rats, Hamsters - $5
  • Livestock – fees vary based on species
  • Senior Adoption Program (Adopter 55+) – $0 (Fee is waived) Read more about the program»
  • Dog Buddy Adoption (Adoption of another dog at the same time or within one year of the first adoption): 
    • 2nd adult dog - $5
    • 2nd puppy - 50% discount
  • Cat Buddy Adoption (Adoption of another cat at the same time or within one year of the first adoption):
    • 2nd adult cat or kitten - adoption fee is waived
  • Military Pricing:  25% discount (with proof of service)
  • Animal Welfare Partner fees – $0 (Adoption fee is waived)
  • Independent 501c3 request fees:  $50.00

The SDHS reserves the right to hold special animal adoption promotions wherein prices may be reduced or waived altogether.  These promotional campaigns will be advertised to the general public and honored during the promotional dates only.  Following special adoption campaigns, adoption pricing will revert to original pricing until further notice.


Get special animal stories, news, deals, and more.




  Please leave this field empty

Already registered?
Sign In >