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

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

How do I adopt a pet in San Jose, CA?

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, such as an age minimum, adoption fees, application, and interview. So before you jump in, check out the typical adoption process steps below.

  • 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 main 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.

San Jose Dog Getting Love at Shelter

  • 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 animals. 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 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 it's best for you to 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 that you currently own to come to meet this potentially new fur baby of yours.

  • Home visit.

This step is rare, but some of your favorite animal shelters and rescues will require a home visit before letting you officially adopt your new pet. Again, this is to be sure that your home life is a healthy atmosphere 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 San Jose?

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. Other costs may consist of 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 just in case your dog or cat get lost later on.

Every animal shelter and rescue will have different prices. 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 Jose Animal Care & Services

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies (under 6 months): $135

  • Adult dogs (7+ months - 6 years): $120

  • Senior dogs (6+ years): $65

  • Senior citizens adopting dogs 3+ years old: $40

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens (under 4 months): $100

  • Adult cat (4+ months - 6 years): $80

  • Senior cat (6+ years old): $35

  • Senior citizens adopting cats 3+ years old: $25

Other small pets

  • Rabbits: $20

  • Guinea pigs: $10

  • Hamsters & mice: $5

San Jose Street with Flowers

Humane Society Silicon Valley

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies: $375

  • Each additional puppy: $375

  • Adult dogs: $175

  • Each additional adult dog: $100

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens: $175

  • Each additional kitten: $100

  • Adult cats: $175

  • Each additional adult cat: $100

  • "6+ Club for Felines": $75

  • "Garden cats": $10

Other small pets

  • All rabbits: $70

  • Guinea pigs: $30

  • Each additional guinea pig: $10

  • Rats: $20

  • Each additional rat: $10

  • All hamsters: $20

Pawsitive Connections Dog Rescue

Puppies and adult dogs

  • All dogs: $300 - $400

San Jose Cat Waiting to be Adopted

Silicon Valley Pet Project

Puppies and adult dogs

  • Puppies (under 6 months): $405

  • Adult dogs (6+ months - under 7 years): $355

  • Senior dog (7 years and older): $205

Kittens and adult cats

  • Kittens (under 5 months): $155

  • Adult cats (5+ months - under 10 years): $130

  • Senior cats (10 years and older): $80

  • Pair of kittens (under 5 months): $205

  • "Back to School Kitten Special" (12 weeks or older): $50

*50% off discount for senior citizens who adopt senior pets.

*50% off discount for your second adopted pet (within 1 month of adopting the first pet).

*50% off discount for US Veterans with military ID.

*25% off discount for anyone who has previously adopted a pet from Silicon Valley Pet Project.

Where is the best place to find pets in San Jose, CA?

Numerous places throughout San Jose 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 Jose.

No matter where you choose to adopt from, do your research to ensure that it's an organization that truly 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 Jose.

San Jose Dog On Hike after Adoption


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 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. You'll be able to view pets from numerous animal shelters and rescues.


AdoptAPet.com is another online resource for finding adoptable pets in San Jose, CA. Like PetFinder.com, you can search for a new fur baby based on your location, whether you want a cat or a dog, plus the age, gender, and breed you're looking for. And they'll give you a little story about each pet's personality and temperament.

San Jose Animal Care & Services

The City of San Jose Animal Care & Services is a government-run organization that helps pet parents find lost pets, adopt new pets, and license their pets. Not only do they provide animal shelters, but they also have a medical operations department.

"It is the mission of San Jose Animal Care & Services to provide a welcoming and humane place for animals and those who care for them; to protect, educate and serve the public; to develop programs that improve the lives of people and animals; and to create opportunities for our community and supporters to help us succeed."

San Jose Dog Playing Tug of War

Humane Society Silicon Valley

Humane Society Silicon Valley was established in 1929. This organization offers public pet care services and education programs to enhance the animal-human bond. In addition, they provide adoption services, affordable spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and even microchipping.

And in 2017, they became the world's first "Model Shelter" by completing "all 543 standard-of-care guidelines put forth by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians to give animal welfare organizations a roadmap to improve their care of animals."

Pawsitive Connections Dog Rescue

Founded in 2010, Pawsitive Connections Dog Rescue is a no-kill, non-profit dog rescue based out of Kingsburg, CA. Most of their pets are pulled from overcrowded shelters in the Central Valley. "Our organization is all about people helping animals and animals helping people. Healing comes in many forms… Our group strives to make that connection between animals and people."

Silicon Valley Pet Project

Founded in 2014, Silicon Valley Pet Project is based in San Jose, CA. They focus on foster parent support, volunteer management, and on using the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley to find new adoptive homes for their pets through marketing and communications. "Silicon Valley Pet Project (SVPP) is dedicated to animal rescue by involving the community in new ways to help save the lives of homeless cats and dogs." And they are proud to have been "the first San Jose-based network partner of Best Friends Animal Society."

Adopt a pet in San Jose 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 need 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 Jose. 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 CTA Search San Jose CA

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

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