Where to Adopt a Dog, Cat, or Pet in Dallas, TX

Are you wondering where the best place to find pets in Dallas is? Well, you've come to the right place! We'll give you all the insider info you need to find your new furry best friend.

Dallas Dog with Leash

How do I adopt a pet in Dallas, TX?

If you want to adopt a pet in Dallas, there are a few things you'll need to know first. Before you begin your search to find your new dog or cat, make sure you understand the process and requirements of the animal shelter or rescue that you want to adopt from. Below is a list of the general guidelines for the process to adopt from most shelters.

  1. Age minimum to adopt. You must be at least 18 years of age or older to adopt a pet. And some shelters or rescues will require the adopter to be at least 21 or 25 years of age. You will also need to bring a valid driver's license or ID and provide proof of your address. To find out the age requirements ahead of time, you can check the shelter's website or call in ahead of arrival.

  2. Cost of adoption fees. It costs quite a bit for these shelters and rescues to care for all of their animals. Not only do they feed and shelter them, but they'll give your pup or cat medical care, vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, and sometimes they'll even microchip the pet if they go missing in the future. For pricing examples, check out the section below about the cost of adopting a pet.

  3. Have a "meet and greet." Before adopting your new pet, you will typically do a "meet and greet" in person and spend a little time together. This will help you both see if you would be a good match. It's also helpful to bring your whole family along — spouse, children, and even your other pets — to see how everyone gets along.

  4. Home visit. This is much rarer, but some animal rescues will require a home visit before you can adopt your new pet. This helps ensure that your family and home are suitable for taking care of your new cat or dog. Not only does this help to verify the safety and care of the pet, but it also helps prevent returning pets after adoption.

How much does it cost to adopt a dog in Dallas, TX?

Each animal shelter and rescue will have slightly different adoption fees based on their financial needs to care for these pets. Remember that these fees help pay for their building expenses, staffing, insurance, etc. But it also pays for your new cat or dog to have housing, food, toys, a clean space to play and sleep, medical care, vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, and sometimes a microchip — in case they get lost in the future.

Check out the examples below to get a general idea of what to expect. And always call ahead or check out the website of the location where you want to adopt from before arriving. This way, you'll know what you're getting into before you fall in love with your next fur baby.

Dallas90: Dallas Animal Services

"Adoptions are currently free at Dallas Animal Services."

Dallas Pets Alive!

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies (under 6 months): $250

  • Adult dogs: $200

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens (under 6 months): $150

  • Adult cats: $100

Dallas Skyline at Night

Dallas Dog

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies (under 12 months): $400

  • Adult dogs: $260

  • Senior dogs (8 years and older): $125

  • Flat-nosed breed dogs: $550

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens (under 12 months): $200

  • Adult cats: $100

  • Senior cats (8 years and older): $75

*There is a refundable $100 deposit on animals that have not been spayed or neutered. You will receive a refund if the animal is spayed or neutered by 6 months of age.

Operation Kindness

Puppies and adult dogs

  • All dogs: $205

Kittens and adult cats

  • All cats: $155

Dallas Cat Waiting for Adoption

Where is the best place to find pets in Dallas, TX?

There are numerous places to choose to adopt a pet from in Dallas, TX. Our list below is just a good starting point. But wherever you decide to adopt your new fur baby, please do your research ahead of time. Check out their process, prices, and make sure they are a respectable and reputable organization that genuinely cares for the well-being of each and every individual animal that comes through their doors. Your purchase of a pet is your financial support for whichever organization you choose.


PetFinder.com is the perfect place to search online from the comfort of your home for all the adoptable pets in your surrounding area. You'll be able to see cats and dogs from numerous animal shelters and rescues. And you'll be able to filter through the available pets to find the type of cat or dog you're looking for based on gender, breed, size, age, and whether or not they are good with children and other pets.

Happy Dallas Dog After Adoption

Dallas90: Dallas Animal Services

Dallas90 is an adoption service run by Dallas Animal Services. "Dallas90 is a community outreach campaign designed to generate support of and participation in Dallas Animal Services' effort to find positive outcomes for all healthy and behaviorally sound pets, which we believe exceeds 90% of our shelter population." This government-funded and government-run organization seeks to "lead the nation in compassionate care of animals" while finding them new, loving, forever homes.

Dallas Pets Alive!

Dallas Pets Alive! is a non-profit organization run mainly by volunteers and is dedicated to finding new adoptive homes for every single dog so that one day, all of north Texas is a no-kill area. "Our mission is to promote and provide the resources, education, and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals in North Texas. We take an innovative approach to animal rescue and believe in creating a paradigm shift in the way our community views animal rescue."

They try to rescue and help healthy and treatable dogs at their partner shelters at the most risk for euthanasia. And they work to provide resources and assistance for pet owners with significant pet problems that typically lead to surrender.

DFW Rescue Me

DFW Rescue Me is a volunteer-run organization that focuses on saving dogs from euthanasia in Dallas area shelters. They provide medical care, training, and foster homes until permanent homes are found. Their unique "Justice Fund" program provides care for severely abused animals, giving them a second chance at life. They also host regular adoption events throughout the city.

Dallas Dog

"Dallas Dog rescues the hurt and abandoned, rehabilitates the broken, and reforms the community through education to eliminate animal neglect." They are dedicated to helping families in their community feel supported — even during times of hardship — to help give their fur babies the security of a loving forever home.

Operation Kindness

Starting in 1976, Operation Kindness has been on a mission to see "a world where all cats and dogs have loving and responsible homes." Their mission is "to care for homeless cats and dogs in a no-kill environment until each is adopted into responsible homes and to advocate humane values and behavior." And they do this by creating programs that offer affordable veterinary services in under-resourced communities and shelters.

Paws In The City

Paws In The City is a non-profit organization committed to ending overpopulation, abuse, and neglect of Dallas dogs and cats. They specialize in rescuing animals from high-kill shelters and placing them in foster homes until they are adopted. Their unique "Top Dog" program provides training for dogs with behavioral issues, increasing their chances of adoption.

Dallas Dog Outside

Adopt a pet in Dallas, TX, today!

Ready to adopt your new cat or dog? Now that you know what to expect and where to go… What are you waiting for? Many amazingly sweet cats and dogs need a good, loving, forever home to call their own. And that home could be yours!

At Local Pet Care, we're here to help you not only find the best places to adopt but also the best dog-friendly restaurants in Dallas, the best dog parks in Dallas, and even to help you find the best local pet care professionals right in your neighborhood. With all of these resources, you will be set up for pet-parenting success!

Find Local Pet Care in Dallas

For more great articles about dog-friendly activities and pet-parenting advice, check out the Blog at LocalPetCare.com.

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