Where to Adopt a Dog, Cat, or Pet in Seattle, WA

Are you looking for a great place to adopt a pet in Seattle, WA? We've got the info for you! From where to adopt, to adoption fees, to adoption requirements… we'll help you every step of the way.

How do I adopt a pet in Seattle, WA?

If you're ready to find your new furry addition to the 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 get started, check out the typical adoption process steps and requirements below.

Age minimum to adopt.

Each rescue or shelter has an 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 home, size of yard, etc.

The main purpose of this is to make sure 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.

Seattle Dog Playing on Beach

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 from the shelter. 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 must 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 arrive at the shelter for your new pup or kitten, the shelter or rescue will want you to spend a little time with the pet. Their picture may look adorable online, but it's best for you to actually 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 maybe even other pets you currently own to meet this potentially new fur baby of yours.

Home visit.

This step is rare, but some 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.

How much does it cost to adopt a dog in Seattle?

As stated above, there are many expenses that every animal shelter and rescue has to pay for while they provide proper care for all their furry friends. 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.

Each animal shelter and rescue will have varying adoption fees. So it's best to check out the details on their website ahead of time—before you get attached to a particular fur baby. For example pricing, check out some of the fees for the animal shelters listed below.

Seattle Cat Playing in Box

Seattle Humane

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies under 6 months: $450

  • Dogs 6+ months and over 25 lbs: $275

  • Dogs 6+ months and under 25 lbs: $325

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens under 6 months: $175*

  • Kittens 6 months to a year: $150*

  • Cats 1 to 7 years: $100*

  • Cats 7+ years: $50

*10% discount when you adopt a pair of kittens or cats under 7 years

Other small pets

  • Rabbits & Chinchillas: $50

  • Guinea Pigs: $20

  • Rats, Mice, Gerbils & Hamsters: $15

Seattle Animal Shelter

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies under 6 months: $375

  • Dogs 6+ months: $275

  • Senior (11+ years) or special needs dog: $100

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens under 6 months: $125

  • Cats 6+ months: $75

  • Two kittens: $200

  • Senior (11+ years) or special needs cat: $35

Other small pets

  • Guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, etc.: $15

  • Domestic fowl and common birds: $15

  • Common reptiles: $15

  • Rabbits & ferrets: $40

  • Chinchillas and sugar gliders: $65

  • Farm animals, iguanas, tortoises, rare reptiles, and rare birds: cost varies

Ginger's Pet Rescue

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies and purebreds: prices vary depending on the breed

  • Locally surrendered dogs: $595+

  • Dogs from California or Texas death row: $995 - $1150

  • Dogs from Taiwan or Iran death row: $995 - $1250

  • Dogs from Korea: $1250 - $2450

Seattle Skyline with Dog Walkers

Where is the best place to get a dog or cat in Seattle?

There are numerous places to adopt a new cat, dog, or other small pet in Seattle and the greater metropolitan area. This pet-loving city has multiple humane societies, animal shelters, and rescues. No matter which place you choose, you'll find many loving cats and dogs ready for their new forever home.

Seattle Humane

Seattle Humane was founded back in 1897 and celebrated "125 years of saving lives and completing families" this year. They are one of the region's leading shelters in animal adoption, welfare, and education. And they rely heavily on generous donations to continue their excellent work in the community for pets and parents.

Their core values are compassion, accessibility, innovation, responsibility, and teamwork. And they are more than just an animal shelter. They "are a community resource center, providing adoption services, a pet food bank and support for pet owners, low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and wellness exams, humane education for all ages and more."

Seattle Animal Shelter

Seattle Animal Shelter is a government-run and funded animal shelter. They offer a wide variety of adoptable animals, from dogs and cats to chinchillas and reptiles and everything in between. In addition to pet adoption, they provide other services such as animal control, animal surrender, pet adoption, care resources, and pet licenses. They even have a spay and neuter clinic.

Dog Gone Seattle

"We are a Seattle area foster-based rescue dedicated to saving homeless dogs and dogs at risk for euthanasia in our community and beyond." This non-profit organization relies heavily on its community of volunteers, foster pet parents, adopters, and generous donors to do the work they strive to do.

They are a foster-based dog rescue, and they are dedicated to saving homeless dogs in high-kill shelters across Washington. "We believe every dog deserves a chance at a forever home, and we aim to make a difference in the lives of these deserving animals, one dog at a time!"

MEOW Cat Rescue

MEOW Cat Rescue, located in Kirkland, WA, is a non-profit organization that specializes in rescuing and rehoming cats. They are known for their "no-kill" policy, meaning they do not euthanize any cat unless it's suffering from an untreatable medical condition. What sets MEOW Cat Rescue apart is their dedication to helping cats of all ages, including seniors and those with special needs. They also offer a variety of resources for cat owners, such as behavior advice and low-cost spay/neuter services.

Seattle Dog Smiling for Camera

Emerald City Pet Rescue

The Emerald City Pet Rescue was founded in 2013 by Vivian Goldbloom. This animal rescue's mission is to save homeless, abused, and neglected pets from high-volume shelters all across the country.

"We pride ourselves on providing the best medical care possible for our rescued animals and rehabilitating hard-to-adopt animals to help them increase their chances of finding loving homes." This non-profit organization is run by a team of staff and volunteers dedicated to rehabilitating, training, housing, and caring for these animals.

Homeward Pet Adoption Center

Homeward Pet Adoption Center, based in Woodinville, WA, is one of the leading non-profit, no-kill animal shelters serving the Greater Seattle Area. They specialize in finding homes for cats and dogs that have been abandoned or surrendered by their previous owners. What makes Homeward Pet unique is their comprehensive approach to animal welfare, which includes medical care, behavior training, and post-adoption support. They are committed to ensuring that every pet finds a forever home where they will be loved and cared for.

Ginger's Pet Rescue

Ginger's Pet Rescue is one of the largest non-profit pet rescue organizations in Washington state, specializing in death row dogs. "Our mission is to give homeless animals with no hope the life they deserve through rescue, foster, and adoption."

They are a foster-based rescue and rely solely on adoptions and donations to be able to care for the 100+ dogs they have at any given time. "We take in dogs from local families in need, in state and out of state shelters, and we also work with overseas rescue groups on occasion."


PAWS, located in Lynnwood, WA, is a champion for animals—rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people. They specialize in both domestic animal adoption and wildlife rehabilitation, making them unique among animal welfare organizations in the area. Their commitment to creating a world where all animals are respected and protected is evident in every aspect of their work.

Forever Home Dog Rescue

Forever Home Dog Rescue is a non-profit organization that serves the Seattle and western Washington area. You can view all of their adoptable pets on their page on AdoptaPet.com. This rescue uses a combination of shelter housing and foster housing and receives dogs from both owner surrender and other overcrowded shelters.

What is the best animal rescue website?

Before you visit an animal shelter or rescue in person, you can search online from the comfort of your own home for adoptable pets in your area. You'll be able to view pictures of cats, dogs, and other small pets from numerous animal shelters and rescues.

You can even filter through the available pets to find the type you're looking for based on species, gender, breed, size, age, and whether or not they are good with children and other pets. Check out the many fantastic, reputable websites listed below.

Seattle Dog at Park with Family


Adopt a Pet


PetSmart Charities

Rescue Me

Adopt a pet in Seattle today!

Now that you've seen just how many places there are to adopt a pet in Seattle 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 in Seattle. 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 Seattle, WA

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

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