Where to Adopt a Dog, Cat, or Pet in Sacramento

If you're looking to adopt a pet in Sacramento, CA, we can help! From where to adopt to the adoption process and even adoption fees… we will give you all the details you could need.

If you live in Sacramento, CA, and are ready to add a new fur baby to your family, congrats! There are several things you'll want to know ahead of time about the adoption process, locations to adopt from, and adoption fees. But we can help guide the way.

Adopting a pet from a shelter is a wonderful way to give an animal a second chance and provide them with a loving home. So let's get your adoption journey started today.

Sacramento Skyline in Summer With Bridge and Trees

What Do You Need to Adopt a Pet in Sacramento, CA?

To adopt a pet from an animal shelter or rescue in Sacramento, you will need to meet certain requirements. Every shelter is different, but this can include providing proof of identification, filling out an adoption application, answering a questionnaire, and possibly undergoing a home visit.

Since the requirements will vary from one shelter to another, it's important to check with the specific shelter you are interested in. Here are the typical pet adoption requirements from most animal shelters and rescues.

  • Age minimum to adopt

To adopt a pet from a shelter, you must meet the age requirement set by the specific shelter. This may vary, but you will typically need to be 18 years or older. However, some shelters may require you to be 21 or even 25 years or older. You will also need to present a valid ID when adopting.

  • Fill out the online application

Before you can begin the adoption process, you will typically need to fill out an online application on the animal shelter's website. This application will ask for your contact information and may also inquire about your home situation, experience with pets, pet-parenting style, and the size of your home and yard. This information is used to ensure that you are ready to care for a pet and to help ensure the safety and well-being of the animal.

  • Cost of adoption fees

There is a cost to adopt a pet from a shelter. This fee covers the expenses associated with housing, feeding, and caring for the animal, including staffing, insurance, mortgage, utilities, and medical care. The fee you pay may seem high, but it is significantly less than the actual cost of caring for the animal until it is adopted. Non-profit shelters and rescues often rely on volunteers and donors to help cover these costs.

  • Have a "meet and greet"

Before you can adopt a pet, you may be required to participate in a "meet and greet" with the animal. This allows you to interact with the pet and see how you get along. It is also helpful to bring any family members or current pets you have to the meet and greet.

  • Home visit

In some cases, the shelter or rescue may also require a home visit to ensure that your home is suitable for a pet. This step helps prevent any future pet returns to the shelter.

Cost to Adopt a Pet from an Animal Shelter in Sacramento, CA

The fees for adopting a pet from a shelter in Sacramento, CA, may include the cost of spaying or neutering the animal and any necessary medical treatments, as well as the cost of microchipping. Some shelters offer reduced fees for certain groups, such as senior citizens or military personnel, and may also have discounted prices for senior pets, pets who have been at the shelter for an extended period, or for adopting multiple pets at once.

The adoption fees at Sacramento animal shelters can vary, so it is important to check with the specific shelter you are interested in to get the most accurate pricing information. Remember that it is always a good idea to inquire about adoption fees before falling in love with a particular pet.

Sacramento Cat Being Adopted

Sacramento SPCA

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Adult Dogs (7 months and older): $110
  • Puppies (under 7 months): $200

Kittens and adult cats

  • ​Adult Cats (7 months and older): $60
  • Kittens: $100


  • Rabbits: $45
  • Other Smalls vary by species

Sacramento County Animal Care Services

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Adult Dogs (1 Year & Older​): $50​​
  • Puppies (Up to 11 Months): $75​

Kittens and adult cats

  • Cats and Kittens: $50
  • A Pair of Cats/Kittens​: $75​


  • Rabbits: $25​

*Veterans: Waived Dog & Cat Adoption Fees with Eligible ID​

*Long-Term Pets (at the shelter 30 days or more): Waived Adoption Fees

City of Sacramento Animal Care Services

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Adult Dogs (over 6 months​): $100 (current special price: $25)
  • Puppies (6 months & under): $150

Kittens and adult cats

  • Adult Cat (over 6 months​): $75
  • Kittens (6 months & under): $100


  • Rabbits: $35
  • Pair of Rabbits: $50
  • Hamster or Guinea Pig: $10
  • Rat or Mouse: $5

Hospice Pet Adoption

  • "Our non-profit, Friends of Front Street Shelter, will cover the costs needed to provide care to keep the animal comfortable as well as end-of-life services when the time comes."

*Adoption fees waived for military veterans for all pets

Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Adult Dogs: $250
  • Puppies: $300

Kittens and adult cats

  • Adult Cat (1 year or more​): $120
  • Pair of Adult Cats (1 year or more​): $200
  • Kittens (under 1 year): $150
  • Pair of Kittens (under 1 year): $225

*Discounts: 20% off for senior citizens (65+) and veterans (with valid ID)

Sacramento Dog and Woman Smiling

Where is the Best Place to Adopt a Pet in Sacramento, CA?

There are several places in Sacramento where you can adopt a pet from an animal shelter. You'll find humane societies, government-funded organizations, animal shelters, and animal rescues. Check out some of the most popular, reputable places to adopt a pet in Sacramento, CA, below. No matter which place you choose, many loving dogs, cats, and more are ready for their new forever home.

Sacramento SPCA

The Sacramento SPCA strives to create and foster a loving and compassionate community toward companion animals. They work hard to find new loving homes for the pets in their care by assisting in adoption and healthy pet caretaking. "Since 1892, we've worked to reduce pet overpopulation through affordable spay/neuter services, promote the humane treatment of animals through education and outreach, and assist pet owners through a variety of programs and services designed to keep pets and their families together for life."

Sacramento County Animal Care Services

Sacramento County Animal Care Services refocused its mission in June of 2013 to identify and meet the top goals and priorities of this department. Their three major objectives became: "Improve leadership team cohesion and communication; promote accountability throughout the organization; and create a positive, motivating and gratifying culture for all." They work with a staff team, volunteers, and partner rescue groups to find new loving homes for homeless pets, and to accomplish their goals of promoting healthy pet ownership.


RedRover is a unique organization that goes beyond traditional animal sheltering. They are renowned for their disaster relief efforts, providing emergency sheltering for animals displaced by natural disasters or rescued from mass cruelty situations. Additionally, RedRover offers financial assistance for pet owners facing economic hardship, ensuring that pets can receive critical veterinary care.

The uniqueness of RedRover lies in their educational programs, like RedRover Readers, which helps children develop empathy for animals through stories and discussion. They also have an extensive network of volunteers who are trained to handle various emergency response scenarios involving animals. RedRover's multifaceted approach to animal welfare makes them an invaluable resource within the Sacramento community and beyond.

City of Sacramento Animal Care Services

The City of Sacramento Animal Care Services values compassion and innovation, and they strive to see a community where "care and resources are accessible for all animals." As they work toward finding loving adoptive homes for all of the animals in their care, their mission is to "protect, preserve, and enhance the quality of life for both animals and people by strengthening the human-animal bond."

Sacramento Dog Outside

Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary

Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary is a non-profit "pet sanctuary and adoption program [that] provides loving, compassionate care for homeless animals, giving abandoned and mistreated animals the second chance they deserve." They rely on the generosity of volunteers, adopters, and financial donors to be able to provide life-saving help to the cats and dogs that need it the most.

Fosters & Paws

"At Fosters & Paws, we are committed to finding the perfect match for each of our adoptable dogs and for the families that are interested in adopting them." They are a non-profit group of passionate animal advocates who work hard to save every animal life that walks through their doors. They love each and every one of these animals and make it their lifetime commitment to finding new, loving adoptive families for each little fur baby.

NorCal Bully Breed Rescue

NorCal Bully Breed Rescue specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating bully breed dogs, such as Pit Bulls, American Bulldogs, and Mastiffs. They work tirelessly to improve the reputation of these often-misunderstood breeds by providing education on proper care and training. The rescue is dedicated to helping these dogs overcome past traumas and become loving, well-adjusted family members.

What makes NorCal Bully Breed Rescue unique is their comprehensive approach to rescue, which includes thorough health evaluations, behavioral assessments, and training programs tailored to each dog's needs. They also advocate for bully breeds and fight against breed-specific legislation, making them a crucial voice for these dogs in the community. Their passionate defense of bully breeds sets them apart from other rescues.

Sacramento Shelter Pets Alive

Sacramento Shelter Pets Alive is "a non-profit that serves as a safety net and support system for our region's shelter dogs and other pets, with a focus on the most vulnerable." They work with a combination of staff and volunteers to provide behavioral and rehabilitative programs to find both temporary foster homes and forever adoptive homes for all of the animals in their care. They also assist other rescues like Stockton Animal Shelter and are in need of extra funding and resources to help save as many lives as possible.

PetFinder.com & AdoptAPet.com

In addition to these shelters, you may also be able to find pets for adoption through online resources such as Petfinder.com or AdoptAPet.com. You can view pictures of cats, dogs, and other small pets from numerous animal shelters and rescues nearby. And you can filter through the available pets to find what you're looking for based on species, gender, breed, size, age, and whether or not they are good with children and other pets.

Adopt a Pet in Sacramento today!

Now that you've seen just how many places there are to adopt a pet in Sacramento and you know the potential fees and requirements for adoption, it's time to start the search for your new fur baby!

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 and the best dog parks and dog-friendly parks in Sacramento, CA. Plus, we'll help you find the best local pet care professionals right near your home. With all of these resources, you will be set up for pet-parenting success!

Find Local Pet Care in Sacramento CA

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

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