Welcoming a new pet into your home is an exciting time and also a responsibility. Our goal is to help you find the best companion animal for you, and to make a lasting and happy match. San Francisco Animal Care & Control reserves the right to deny the adoption of any pet for any reason. Adopters need not live in San Francisco.
- Adopters must be at least 18 years old and show current government-issued photo identification.
- You must have a letter/lease that shows landlord approval, or proof of home ownership (property tax statement, mortgage statement, deed, or homeowners insurance).
- Adopters must pay an adoption fee, with certain exceptions. Senior citizens receive a discount on all adoption fees.
- Some adoptions require attendance at a training class and/or a home visit.
- Animal Care & Control reserves the right to deny the adoption of any pet for any reason.
The shelter is closed to the public on Legal Holidays (External Link) and Staff Development Days. Please plan to arrive at least one hour before the shelter closes to complete an adoption. Adoptions must begin at least 30 minutes before closing. All adoptions must be completed at the shelter.
- Meet SFACC basic adoption requirements as described in the previous section.
- Complete a People Pet Profile form at the shelter. Our staff will use this profile to discuss your past experiences with pets, your lifestyle, activities you might want to do with your new pet and the pet’s housing situation. And we’ll answer your questions.
- View the animals in kennels.
- Obtain a visitor pass from a Shelter Service Representative.
- A staff member or volunteer will facilitate a meeting with your potential new pet. To make the best match possible, please bring all household members to meet the new companion. Please bring your current dog(s) to meet a new dog.
- Certain animals, such as puppies and other dogs, can require proof of enrollment in a training class.
- A home check is required for some animals, such as “higher risk dogs.” Photos and videos can be sufficient (i.e. for out-of-county adopters) if other criteria are met.
- Pay the adoption fee.
- Go home with your new animal companion.
What Your Adoption Fee Includes
When you purchase an animal from a breeder you might pay anywhere from $500 to over $1,000 for your new pet. Your ACC adoption fee included the benefits listed. The fee also goes toward the cost of the care your adopted pet has received while at the shelter, which includes food, basic healthcare, lots of love, and in some cases, basic obedience training (dogs).
Senior citizens receive a discount on all adoption fees. Ask our staff for more information about Senior Citizen Discounts.
The adoption fee includes the following:
- Spay/neuter surgery (dogs, cats, rabbits, rats and mice, and male guinea pigs)
- 1-year dog license or lifetime cat registration
- Microchip (dogs, cats)
- Parasitic treatment and preventives (while at the shelter)
- Vaccinations required by law:
- Cats receive FVRCP, and if 3 months or older, a rabies vaccine.
- Dogs receive DHLPP, Bordetella, and if 4 months or older, a rabies vaccine.
- A free vet exam accepted by San Francisco veterinarians (after you bring your pet home).
NOTE: Although we take every precaution to assure the health of our shelter animals, no guarantee can be given regarding the condition of the animal you adopt. Medical bills incurred after adoption are solely the responsibility of the adopter.
Adoption Resource Library
You can download these learning resources, which are part of the adoption packet for every dog and cat adopted from ACC.
- Congratulations on Adopting Your New Dog! (PDF)
- Housetraining (PDF)
- Introducing Dogs to Kids (PDF)
- Introducing Dogs to Dogs (PDF)
- Dog-Cat Introduction Tips (PDF)
- Fearful Dog Tips (PDF)
- Training Referrals (PDF)
- Dog Resources (PDF)
- Congratulations on Adopting Your New Cat! (PDF)
- Litterbox Training (PDF)
- Keep Your Cat Indoors/Declawing (PDF)
- Dog-Cat Introduction Tips (PDF)
- Introducing Your Cat to a Resident Cat (PDF)
- Overstimulation (PDF)
- Cat Resources (PDF)