If you’re looking for a new furry family member, you’ve come to the right place! Here at the SPCA of Wake County, we specialize in making great matches between people and pets – ensuring a lifetime home for our amazing animals and a lifetime of love for you and your family. We’re sure you have questions, so we’ve tried to answer them here. If you read through this page and still have questions about adoption, call the Pet Adoption Center at 919-772-2326 and ask to speak with an adoption specialist.

Adoption FAQs

Q: What is involved in the adoption process?
A: Start by filling out an adopter survey. It will get you thinking about what you’re looking for in a new family member. Then meet with an adoption specialist to get your information on file and discuss your plans for a new pet, what you can expect from us before and after adoption, and any questions you may have. We have paper copies to fill out at the Pet Adoption Center, but, if you prefer, you can download an adopter survey to fill out at home and bring with you.

Please note, the adoption process can take between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on how many questions you have. You must be at least 18 years old and have a valid photo ID to adopt.

Q: When should I begin the adoption process?
As soon as you know you want to adopt from us! It’s best to get your information on file even before you’ve fallen in love with a pet. Your information stays on file for 6 months, giving you plenty of time to find your new addition. On weekends, staff is usually busy sending pets to new homes, so if you haven’t picked out a pet and are just looking to get your information on file, we recommend coming by Monday through Friday.

Q: What if there are certain things I do/don’t want in a new pet?
Like laid back cats? Want a dog that would make a good running partner? No problem! Our adoption specialists know the available pets and their personalities and can recommend pets we believe will be a good match for your lifestyle/preferences.

Q: After I’ve selected a pet, when can I take the pet home?
We try for same-day adoptions. If you already have your information on file when you meet your new best friend, be ready to leave together that day. If the pet is unable to leave that day (and you’ve already been through the adoption process), an adoption specialist can place the pet on hold for you until the pet is cleared to leave.

All dogs must leave on a harness/collar and leash. All cats must leave in a carrier. If you have what you need at home, great! Be sure to bring it with you. If you don’t, no problem! The SPCA Retail Store is conveniently located inside the Pet Adoption Center. You’ll find collars, leashes, and carriers, in addition to chew toys, treats, grooming supplies, and more! All proceeds support the SPCA and go back to help more homeless pets.

Q: Can I adopt the pet I saw in an SPCA social media post?
We frequently post puppies/kittens that aren’t yet ready for adoption. The good news is you can begin the adoption process even before a pet is ready to go home. To do that, you will need to come to the pet adoption center and speak to an adoption specialist. Your information stays on file for 6 months. If you have a specific pet in mind, let the adoption specialist know. If it’s possible to identify that pet (and you’re the first person to inquire about them), the adoption specialist can put the pet on hold for you so you’ll be contacted when the pet becomes available. (Please note, it is not always possible to identify a specific puppy/kitten from a photo…think 4 black puppies or 4 brown tabby kittens and you like the third from the left.)

Q: What if I see a pet online that I want to adopt?
Interested in a pet on our website? No problem! If you’ve already been through the adoption process, call and talk to an adoption specialist to make sure the pet is at the adoption center. If the pet is available when you call, we can hold the pet for you if you’re able to come that day to meet them. If the pet is in foster or not yet on the adoption floor, we’ll coordinate a time for you to meet them and hold the pet until then. Keep in mind that when you do meet, the pet is probably ready to go home that day.

Q: What if a pet I like already has a pending adoption?
A: An adoption may be pending for any number of reasons. Perhaps the adopter is bringing their kids or current dog to meet the pet. Perhaps the pet still needs to be spayed/neutered. Sometimes they go through, but sometimes they don’t. This is why we’ll allow three people in line per pet. If you’ve already been through the adoption process and you fall in love with a pet who has a pending adoption, speak to an adoption specialist about becoming a back-up. That way, if the first person does not take the pet, you’ll be contacted.

Q: What if I’m not sure I’m ready for a pet?
If you have some concerns about commitment, consider our Pet Dress Rehearsal program. Read about them here.

Come See Us

We can’t wait for you to visit us at our adoption center! All of our adoptable pets can be viewed by clicking on the images below (or on the left-hand menu) but there’s nothing like a face to face meeting to get the ball rolling. Our animals are amazing and visiting with them in person will give you a true picture of their personality. (And they’re kind of interviewing you too, right?)

Adoption Fees

  • Adult Dog Adoption Fees (7 months and older): $95.00
  • Puppy Adoption Fees (6 months and younger): $250.00
  • Adult Cat Adoption Fees (7 months and older): $45.00
  • Kitten Adoption Fees (6 months and younger): $150.00
  • Bunny Adoption Fee: $35.00
  • Guinea Pig Adoption Fee: $15.00

Post Adoption Resources

Is your new pet having issues adjusting to its new life? We are here to help. We want to do what we can to make your transition into pet-parenthood as smooth and successful as possible. We offer an online library with tips for working through common behavior troubles. Of course, some behaviors are more complicated and it may be best to consult a professional. We have tips for that too! Click here to read about our pet behavior resources.