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 offer same day adoptions to clients who are ready to bring a new companion home today! We are unable to offer holds, and animals are available on a first come, first serve basis for qualified adopters. In order to expedite your adoption, be sure to bring a valid, government-issued photo ID and proof of residence, as well as other household members who will interact with the pet, and obtain landlord permission.

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.

Adoption Requirements

  • 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.
  • Written landlord approval, proof of home ownership and/or a home visit may be required.

Click here for quick links to our adoption forms and handbooks!

Puppy Adoptions

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.

Adoption Fees

Standard Cat Adoption Fees

  • $125 cats
  • $200 kittens under 5 months (fee is waived for 2nd kitten adopted within 30 days)
  • All cats 7 years and up (seniors) have fee-waived adoptions!
  • Adult bonded pairs have fee-waived adoptions!

Standard Dog Adoption Fees

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 $23 San Francisco dog license fee.

The Life of Riley Fund

Supporting free adult dog adoptions for seniors! The Life of Riley Fund encourages people over 65 to easily adopt animals from the SF SPCA by underwriting adoption fees for seniors. Additionally, the fund will match adopters first year of enrollment in the Sido program

Pre-Adoption Paperwork

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. 

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.
  • Download our Cat Adoption Handbook, Kitten Adoption Handbook, Dog Adoption Handbook, or Puppy Adoption Handbook.