The Adoption Process
The San Francisco SPCA strives to bring people and animals together through education and discovery. We consider important details such as a person's home, interests and lifestyle. Then we match those with an animal's social, exercise and training needs. Our goal is a loving home and a lasting bond. While we reserve the right to refuse an adoption, we make every effort to work with you to address concerns and to find the most appropriate companion animal.
We have two adoption center locations. If you see an animal that you’d like to meet, please note whether they are available at our Mission Campus (250 Florida Street) or our Pacific Heights Campus (2343 Fillmore Street).
Please plan on spending at least one hour for the adoption process. We’re confident that you’ll find it time well spent—and repaid with countless hours of enjoyment.
- Adopters must be at least 18 years old and present valid photo ID with proof of current address.
- Some adoptions require attendance at a training class.
- We encourage or may require all household members to meet the new dog or cat prior to adoption.
- If you have a dog and want to adopt another, please bring your resident dog.
- Written landlord approval, proof of home ownership and/or a home visit may be required.
We recommend that puppy adopters attend our FREE 1-hour Puppy Parent Orientation class, which is held several times a month on our Mission campus. Classes educate adopters about puppies and set them up for success. Attend an orientation and receive 50 percent off the puppy adoption fee.
Adoptions occur on a first-come, first-served basis beginning when the Adoption Center opens (no early arrivals, please). For same day adoptions, please make sure that you sign up at the front desk at least one hour before closing to ensure enough time to process the adoption.
Jump to a list of upcoming Puppy Parent Orientation classes and get pre-qualified today!
View all puppies currently up for adoption.
Standard Cat Adoption Fees
- $75 cats over 6 months
- $125 kittens under 6 months (fee waived for 2nd kitten adopted within 30 days)
Standard Dog Adoption Fees
- $150 dogs*
- $300 puppy adoptions for people who have not attended our free Puppy Parent Orientation class (puppies under 6 months)*
- 50 percent OFF puppy adoptions for people who have attended our free Puppy Parent Orientation class (puppies under six months, $150)*
Additional discounts may be offered for cats or dogs who arrived as bonded pairs. Double the love and inquire at the adoption desk for more information!
*At the time of adoption, San Francisco residents pay a $21 San Francisco dog license fee.
Standard Smalls Adoption Fees
- $50 rabbits
- $20 rats
We offer a trio of “adoption hold” services for your convenience. Hold fees may be paid with a credit card over the telephone by calling 415.522.3500 for Mission campus holds and 415.568.3058 for Pacific Heights campus holds.
- Meet and greet hold fee: $25
Place on hold — for a maximum of one day — an animal you see on our website until you can meet him/her and work with an SF SPCA Adoption Counselor. This hold ensures that the animal will be here to meet you, but it does not guarantee that you will adopt it.
- Daily hold fee: $25 per day
This hold — limited to no more than three days — is available to approved adopters who need extra time to prepare for their new companion's homecoming.
- Medical hold fee: $40
This hold enables you to place an animal on hold while we await the results of medical testing or diagnostics, schedule the animal for spay/neuter surgery or receive a final veterinary release. The medical hold does not guarantee that the animal will become eligible for adoption or that you will adopt it.
Hold fees are not refundable and cannot be applied to the adoption fee. The SF SPCA reserves the right to decline adoptions or help find you a more appropriate companion animal.
Planning to adopt a cat? To save some time, please fill out and print the Cat Adoption Profile and bring it with you to one of our Adoption Centers.
Planning to adopt a dog? To save some time, please fill out and print the Dog Adoption Profile and bring it with you to one of our Adoption Centers. If you already have a dog, you can fill out and print the Dog-Dog Introduction Profile as well.
New Adopter Assistance
- The SF SPCA provides a free first medical exam at either of our veterinary hospitals for new adopters who adopt from the SF SPCA or one of our Bay Area rescue partners. The free medical exam is a health examination only. Guardians are responsible for post-adoption expenses related to medications, vaccines, diagnostics or treatments.
- An appointment for the first free medical exam must be made within three days of adoption and proof of adoption is required.
- SF SPCA adopters also receive a 24PetWatch Insurance Policy, which covers a variety of illnesses and accidents that may arise in the 30 days following adoption. Visit the 24PetWatch website for more information.
- Download our Cat Adoption Handbook, Kitten Adoption Handbook, Dog Adoption Handbook, or Puppy Adoption Handbook, Rabbit Adoption Handbook, Rat Adoption Handbook.