Pet Adoption Information

How do I prepare for an adoption?

Thank you for considering adoption for your new family member!

Whether you’re looking for a dog, cat, rabbit or even pig, check out this checklist (coming soon) for how to prepare and things to consider while in search for your new best friend.

We at OC Animal Care love all breeds. We understand that visitors may search for a lost  or forever pet based on appearance or a "looks like" breed. Any description of pets with respect to breed is solely based on visual appearance. The actual breed of any pet may be different than its “looks like” designation. OC Animal Care makes neither a guarantee nor representation as to the true breed of the pet nor any connection between the described breed and the pet’s temperament.

In most cases, OC Animal Care has no access to information about the behavioral history of the animals in our care. Additionally, animals may behave and react differently to stimuli in shelter environments than in a home environment. Lengthy housing in a shelter environment may result in additional stress to animals, resulting in some negative behaviors. Please contact your veterinarian for potential medical or training resources after adoption.

In order to give your new pet the best opportunity for success in your home, we recommend they remain supervised as they acclimate to their new environment. New pets should be restrained during initial encounters with humans and other pets and should not be left alone with small children. Use careful judgment in allowing greater independent interaction between your new pet and other pets and people, particularly children. Remember, protective instincts may only surface when your pet acclimates to the home and identifies your home as its territory.

As with any living creatures, pets may have unidentified medical conditions or develop conditions in the future. Additionally, due to the incubation period of certain diseases, it is strongly advised that you keep any newly adopted pet away from all other animals for a period up to two weeks. We also recommend that you not take your new pet to any public place (veterinary office/hospital excepted) for at least a two-week period.


What animals does OC Animal Care have for adoption?

OC Animal Care is one of the largest shelters on the west coast, with housing for over 400 animals. There are a variety of species to choose from when looking for a new pet. The shelter offers dogs, cats, bunnies, birds, small animals, and other exotic pets for adoption. On any given day, about 20% of the dogs and cats are available for immediate adoption. If you are looking to adopt, check out our Adoptable Pets page, sign up for Pet Match by Email or stop by the shelter and visit our available animals.


What is a Deposit Hold?

For most shelter pets, OC Animal Care allows for potential adopters to place a non-refundable $50 ‘Deposit Hold’ on a particular pet. This Deposit Hold allows the potential adopter to have the first option to adopt when that pet has met its legal retention period and is made available for adoption. Potential adopters are allowed only two deposit holds at a time her household with a max of two deposit holds per year.

If the original owner comes in to claim their pet, the deposit holder is able to roll over their deposit onto another animal within 90 days before it is forfeited.

Deposit holders will be notified what day they are to come in to finish the adoption process. If the deposit holder does not come in to adopt the pet on the first day they are available for adoption, they will forfeit their deposit and the pet will be made available for adoption on a first come, first serve basis.

Not every shelter pet is available for deposit holds.


What is ‘Retention Period’ and how long does it last?

The Retention Period is the time legally required for OC Animal Care to hold on to an animal so that their family has a chance to come in and find them. Retention Periods can vary and last anywhere from 4 days to more than 30 days depending on that animals particular situation.


What are the steps to adoption at OC Animal Care?

Thank you for choosing to adopt!

Here are a few easy steps to complete your adoption.

1. Visit the Animal Care Center or Adoptable Pets page and select one of our available pets. Available pets have met the minimum required retention period allowed for owners to have their pet returned to them and have been made available for adoption.

2. Fill out the Pre-Adoption Questionnaire. This form will help our staff learn more about you and your household so we can help you find a good fit for your family.

3. Go to the Service Window and let the Office Specialist know you are interested in adopting the pet. You will need the pet’s unique Animal ID number listed on the website or on their kennel card. Once you have tuned in your Pre-Adoption Questionnaire they will give you a visiting pass and direct you to the visit waiting area.

4. All adopters must visit with the pet they are considering prior to completing the adoption process. Our staff will evaluate the visit and help you determine if this is the right pet for you by providing more information about the pet.

5. Once you have completed your visit you will be directed to our Adoption Center to complete the adoption process. You must pay all applicable fees and will be provided necessary paperwork. If your newly adopted pet has to stay for surgery, you will be required to return to the Animal Care Center when notified that your animal is ready for pick-up.


How much does it cost to adopt? And what does it include?

All fees are bundled and include the adoption fee, microchip, vaccinations, sterilization, and all veterinary services including anti-parasite treatment.

Adopted pets also receive a certificate for a free veterinary exam at participating Southern California Veterinary Medical Association clinics within 72 hours of adoption. To find a participating vet, please visit http://www.scvma.org/find-a-vet/

Adoption Fees
Adoption Fees for animals impounded or relinquished within the City of Fullerton


Do you have any discounts for Seniors or Military Members?

Yes!

Click here to visit our webpage on these programs!


How do I adopt an exotic pet?

OC Animal Care frequently receives exotic pets that are made available for adoption. These exotic animals, such as non-venomous reptiles and exotic birds, are held for a minimum of seven (7) days to allow owner redemptions. Please be advised that not all exotic pets will be made available for public adoption as some of them require permits to own. Exotic pets are subject to the same adoption process as other shelter pets, this includes Deposit Holds.
To view all exotic animals, please visit the Search Adoptable Pets page and see “Other".


What if it doesn’t work out with my new pet?

If your new pet does not work out for any reason, you are able to come in for an exchange within 30 days of adoption. OC Animal Care does not offer refunds for returned pets. If you would like to return your pet after 30 days you will need follow the owner surrender process and pay all applicable owner surrender fees.


I recently adopted a pet, do you have any resources?

Spay / Neuter FAQs
Spay / Neuter After-Care for Cats and Dogs

Disclaimer for Adoptable Animals

Updating of the adoptable animal information on our site is continuous. Photographs and/or descriptions of our animals are added to and deleted whenever an animal is adopted, returned to its owner, etc. Animals featured on our web page are available for adoption on first come first serve basis.

Due to mix breeding, description information may vary from photographs.

While every effort is made to keep website information current, we cannot guarantee that animals listed on these pages will be those that are available when you visit the Animal Care Center to adopt a pet. 

OC Animal Care does not reserve animals for adoption by telephone or e-mail. You must come to the Center to adopt an animal and refer to the animal's Pet Identification number when inquiring about a particular pet.

Note: California law requires that all adopted dogs and cats be spayed or neutered before leaving our Animal Care Center.