Steps to Adoption

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

*** For the safety of our visitors and your pets, please do not bring your pets to the shelter ***

Pet Adoption in 4 Easy Steps

  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. Go to the Service Window and an Office Specialist will assist you with the adoption.
  3. Pay the applicable fees. The typical costs include applicable adoption fee, spaying/neutering, microchipping, immunization and licensing. For those animals requiring sterilization, surgery will be scheduled on the next available date.  Adopted pets receive a free veterinary exam at participating Southern California Veterinary Medical Association clinics within 72 hours of adoption.  To find a participating vet, please visit 
  4. 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.

            Please Note: OC Animal Care adoptions are processed on a first come, first served basis.

Tips for Easy Adoptions

There may be several interested parties for some puppies, kittens or unique dogs and cats. In those cases, there is often a line of people at our entrance waiting to adopt first thing in the morning. Customers interested in taking one of these animals to their forever home, should be at the gate to our entrance no later than 8:00AM to pull a number, reserving your place in line. Although we do not recommend it, customers have arrived well before 6:00AM to wait for their new family member. After pulling your number at 8:00AM, you may then leave the shelter for a little bit, making sure to return no later than 10:45AM. Our staff will begin calling out numbers for that day promptly at 11:00AM. Please be aware that we will only call out a number twice before moving on to the next one if there is no response.

During a special adoption event, these procedures are subject to change.  Please see below and contact us at 714-935-6848 if you have any questions.

 Due to large customer interest on our “free” adoption event days, we may suspend the above practice. On these days, customers will need to stay in line until we open our gates at 11:00AM. Our Customer Service staff will come out to speak with you before we open. They will ask which animal(s) you are interested in adopting or visiting with that morning. For maximum efficiency, customers will generally be separated into 3 lines; one for dogs, one for cats or other animals and the last for those customers who just want to look at our inventory of animals before deciding to adopt. Customers in the dog or cat lines will be escorted by staff into the office in the order they appear in line at 11:00AM. Once these lines are in place, those wishing to walk through the shelter and view all of our animals will be able to enter. There are always a couple of Customer Service staff members walking around with lists of available animals during these events – feel free to ask them if the animal you are interested in taking home with you is on that list, or if there is another person in line ahead of you that may be looking at the same animal.

Exotic Pet Adoption

OC Animal Care frequently receives animals other than dogs, cats and rabbits that become 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.

OC Animal Care holds a drawing every Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 PM for those exotic animals that have become available for adoption. If you would like to be included in the drawing, you must arrive at the Care Center by 5:00 PM to place your name in the drawing. You must be present at the drawing to be eligible for the adoption. Should your name be drawn for the animal that you are interested in, you will be required to pay all fees at the time of adoption. Please bring your own cage or kennel for larger exotic animals. 

To view all exotic animals, please visit the Search Adoptable Pets page and see “Other". Please contact 714-935-6848 for information as to which exotics will participate in the current drawing for adoption.

Adoption Fees


Adoption Fees (City of Fullerton Only)