Where to Adopt a Dog, Cat, or Pet in San Antonio?

Ready to adopt a new fur baby? Great! We'll help you find the best places to adopt in San Antonio and give you a little info about what to expect when you're adopting.

How do I adopt a pet in San Antonio, TX?

If you're ready to adopt a pet and bring them into your home and family, there are a few things you'll want to know ahead of time. Each animal shelter or rescue will have its own requirements like age minimum, adoption fees, application process, and the interview process. So before you jump in, check out the typical adoption process steps below.

San Antonio Dog Near Riverwalk
  • Age minimum to adopt.

Every shelter has its own age minimum. Sometimes it's 18 years and older, but other times they'll require you to be 21 or 25 and older to adopt from them. And every animal rescue or shelter will require you to show a valid ID.

  • Fill out the online application.

Most animal shelters will have you fill out an application on their website before starting the adoption process. Not only will this ask for your basic contact information, but they'll usually ask about your home situation, pet experience, pet-parenting style, size of the home, size of yard, etc.

The primary purpose of this is to ensure that you're ready for life with a pet, to ensure the safety and well-being of the pet, and to help avoid any pets being returned to the shelter later on.

  • Cost of adoption fees.

Yes, there is a cost to adopt a pet from a shelter. You may wonder why—since you are rescuing them into your home and taking them off the shelter's "hands." However, these animal shelters and rescues are typically non-profit organizations that spend a lot of money on housing, feeding, and caring for the pets. They have to pay for staffing, insurance, mortgage, utilities, medical care, and surgeries.

The fee you have to pay may seem high, but the price it costs them to properly care for your pet until you adopt them is much higher. This is also why non-profit animal shelters and rescues often ask for help from volunteers and donations.

  • Have a "meet and greet."

Before you show up and pay for your new pup or kitten, the shelters and rescues want you to spend a little time with the pet. Their picture may look adorable online, but you should spend time interacting with this cat or dog to see how you get along. And it's helpful if you bring any spouses, partners, kids, or even other pets you currently own to meet this potentially new fur baby of yours.

  • Home visit.

This step is rare, but certain animal shelters and rescues will require a home visit before letting you officially adopt your new pet. Again, this is to ensure that your home life is healthy for a cat or dog. It's the final step in their care for this animal. And it helps prevent animal returns to the shelter.

San Antonio Cat Waiting for Adoption

How much does it cost to adopt a dog in San Antonio?

As stated above, there are many expenses that an animal shelter or rescue has to pay for while they provide proper care for your future fur baby. This includes—but is not limited to—food, water, shelter and facility costs, walks and playtime, toys, supplies, waste cleanup, bathing, staffing, transportation, any medical care needed, spay or neuter surgery, training, and some shelters will even provide microchipping—in case your dog or cat get lost later on.

Every animal shelter and rescue will have different prices, which sometimes change. It's best to check out the details on their website or call in ahead of time to ask before you get attached to a particular fur baby. For example pricing, check out some of the fees for the animal shelters listed below.

San Antonio Animal Care Services

Puppies and adult dogs

  • All dogs: $86

Kittens and adult cats

  • All cats: $34

*50% off discount with valid ID for military personnel, first responders, teachers, seniors who adopt pets 8+ years old, and volunteers from San Antonio Animal Care Services.

San Antonio Riverwalk

Animal Defense League of Texas

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies (under 6 months): $200
  • Adult dogs (6+ months): $60

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens (under 6 months): $100
  • Adult cat (6+ months): $30

San Antonio Pets Alive!

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies (under 7 months): $200
  • Adult dogs (7+ months): $85

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens (under 7 months): $125
  • Adult cat (7+ months): $75

San Antonio Humane Society

Puppies and adult dogs

  • All dogs: $50-$135

Kittens and adult cats

  • All cats: $35-$70

*Fees vary for "Guardian Angel" and "Ambassador" pets.

Cute Adoptable Puppy in San Antonio


Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies (starting cost): $300
  • Adult dogs (starting cost): $250

Kittens and adult cats

  • All cats (starting cost): $150

Homes for Pets

Puppies and adult dogs

  • All dogs: $165

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens (under 1 year): $75
  • Adult cat (1+ years): $50

*Purebreds or special cases of dogs or cats may have higher fees.

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

There are numerous places throughout San Antonio that offer pet adoption. But to help point you in the right direction, below are our top 6 favorite places to adopt a pet in San Antonio.

No matter where you choose, do your research to ensure that it's an organization that genuinely cares for the pets as best they can. Whoever you give your money to is who you are supporting. So let's make sure to support the best, most loving, and most ethical animal shelters in San Antonio.


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 view pets from numerous animal shelters and rescues. You can filter through the available pets to find the type of pet you're looking for based on species, gender, breed, size, age, and whether or not they are good with children and other pets.

San Antonio Animal Care Services

The City of San Antonio Animal Care Services is a government-run organization. It's "the largest, open admission, municipal shelter in South Texas. Serving San Antonio residents, ACS resides on a 14-acre campus boasting a variety of programs and services aimed at encouraging responsible pet ownership and compliance in our community." They are dedicated to encouraging responsible pet ownership through education, enforcement, and community partnership.

San Antonio Adoptable Dog Laying Down

Animal Defense League of Texas

"The Animal Defense League of Texas takes in rescued cats and dogs, provides medical treatment, nutrition, and shelter in a safe, live release facility until they are matched with their forever families." This is San Antonio's largest and oldest no-kill shelter. And they focus on responsible pet ownership through education and empowerment in the community.

San Antonio Pets Alive!

"Our mission is to provide the programs and services needed to eliminate the killing of at-risk animals due to lack of space, adopter or foster." San Antonio Pets Alive! is a non-profit organization that has saved more than 63,000 cats and dogs since it started in 2011. They focus on saving high-risk animals from being euthanized.

Animal Rescue Connections

Animal Rescue Connections, based near San Antonio, focuses on trapping, neutering, and returning (TNR) feral cats to help control the stray cat population. What sets them apart is their dedication to educating the public about the importance of TNR and responsible pet ownership. They also work to find loving homes for kittens and friendly adult cats rescued from the streets. Their efforts have significantly reduced the number of homeless cats in the area.

San Antonio Humane Society

The San Antonio Humane Society has been around for 70 years. They are a non-profit organization and a no-kill shelter. They hope to see the end of pet overpopulation and a community where pets are treated with respect and compassion in their permanent, loving homes. Their mission "is to protect and improve the lives of dogs and cats by providing shelter, care, adoption, rescue, spay/neuter programs, and community education."


"SNIPSA is an organization formed by a group of veterinarians and caring individuals dedicated to helping homeless and unwanted animals in San Antonio and the surrounding area." This organization doesn't have its own shelter. But instead, it depends on volunteers to foster pets until they find their new forever home. SNIPSA focuses on saving pets from kill shelters whose "time is up."

Homes for Pets

Homes for Pets is a non-profit organization focused on saving pets' lives in the Schertz, TX area. They "provide foster care and facilitate adoptions of homeless pets, support the staff and animals in the city shelter, and provide community education about responsible pet ownership."

Adopt a pet in San Antonio, TX, today!

Now that you know the best places to adopt and what to expect from the pet adoption process, it's time to search for your new fur baby! There are so many adorably sweet cats, dogs, and other small pets who are in need of a new home and are looking for someone just like you to be their new pet parent.

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 in San Antonio. We'll also help you find the best local pet care professionals near your home. With all of these resources, you will be set up for pet-parenting success!

Find Local Pet Care CTA Search San Antonio TX

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

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