Pet Adoption

Thank you for considering pet adoption from our shelter! We strive to match our homeless shelter pets loving, forever homes.

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Please review the frequently asked questions related to our adoption process below and then browse the available pets.

Orange county animal services is currently open for in-person adoptions, with no appointment required.

As is the standard adoption protocol, animals are available on a first come, first served basis following interaction with the pet. animal services does not offer any holds for pets in advance of visiting the shelter in person.

Guests are strongly encouraged to view the available pets on the animal services website prior to entering, to have an idea of what animals they are most interested in meeting.

Please be advised the shelter concludes adoption interactions 15 minutes prior to close, to allow sufficient time for completion of adoption paperwork. visitors aiming to visit the shelter near end of day are encouraged to do so at least 30 minutes prior to close.

Visitors are required to observe cdc recommendations, including maintaining at least three feet of social distance from others and to wear a mask if unvaccinated.

We do not allow meet and greets between owned animals and shelter pets.

The shelter environment is stressful for pets. For that reason, any interactions conducted here may not be fully representative of how the animals will behave when sharing a home. Additionally, in an effort to mitigate potential disease spread, we do not recommend unnecessarily bringing owned animals into the shelter environment.

Animal Services instead recommends slow and controlled introductions between newly adopted pets and resident pets, after keeping them apart for at least a week to allow the new pet adequate time to decompress.

Make sure the introduction gets off on the right paw by following these tips from the Humane Society of the United States on introducing dogs and introducing cats.

Orange County Animal Services operates on a first come, first served basis to provide an equal opportunity to all interested adopters. We do not offer holds; we handle adoption paperwork following interaction with the pet.

The majority of our shelter pets arrive as strays with no known background. Others are surrendered by their owners who may provide a little or a lot of information. If there’s a particular pet you are interested in and would like to know more, please email us at, referencing the pet’s ID number, and we can share the information we know.

Due to the high volume of animals in our care at any given time, we are unable to provide extensive behavioral or medical screenings for pets prior to their departure. How they behave in the shelter environment may not necessarily be indicative of how they respond in a new home.

We cannot make any guarantees about the health or temperament of a shelter pet.

Our adoption contract requires adopters to keep newly adopted animals separate from resident pets for at least a week, to provide time for decompression. This helps the new pet adjust to the home and can better help friendships form among the animals. We also require adopters take their new pet to a veterinarian of their choosing, and at their expense, within 72 hours of adoption for a full screening. This helps begin the relationship between pet, owner and healthcare provider that will be beneficial for years to come.

Orange County Animal Services actually does not breed designate, as most of our pets arrive as strays and affixing breed labels to them would be a guessing game. Breed labels often come with misconceptions about a dog’s temperament or behavior that may not be accurate.

We do not offer any type of notification system, we instead recommend monitoring the website to see what pets may interest you and to keep an open mind. The more limitations for the ideal pet, for example female, small, housebroken, puppy, etc., the more difficult and longer it will take to find your forever friend.

Adopter must arrive prepared with a valid photo identification and a form of payment in either cash, credit/debit card or check.

Animal Services may disqualify an individual for adopting if they have recent animal-related citations, previous convictions for animal cruelty or neglect, have recently returned or surrendered a pet or have already adopted several pets within a short timeframe. Each situation is handled on a case-by-case basis following review of the information in our system.

The standard adoption fee is $55 for dogs and $40 for cats. The shelter frequently offers adoption promotions reducing those fees further. Check out our current promotions here.

The fee includes:

  1. Spay/neuter surgery, if pet is deemed medically eligible per staff veterinarian
  2. Initial vaccinations, including rabies vaccine and tag
  3. Microchip identification
  4. First deworming
  5. Heartworm test for dogs six months and older

Yes! We welcome you to visit our shelter and will gladly work with adopters from outside of our county and state.

However, we do not transport animals. It is necessary for interested adopters to visit the shelter in order to finalize their adoption.

Excellent question! We know you’re excited to get your new pet home, and so are we. Some animals have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped so are ready for immediate adoption following completion of adoption paperwork. Those animals are identifiable with the “Ready to Go Home” banner on our website.

Most of our pets arrive as strays though and have a legally required period they must be held in our facility, viewable to the public in case an owner may be out there looking for their missing pet. Once holds are satisfied, animals are scheduled to be processed through our clinic on the next available day.

Timing varies depending on each pet’s individual circumstances and on clinic availability. For that reason, we are not often able to give an exact day when the pet will be ready for pickup. As the adopter, you will be notified once the pet is ready for pickup and our staff will coordinate a pickup time with you.

Settling into a new home can be difficult for some pets. They may have been abandoned by their previous family, stuck in the overwhelming shelter environment for a period to then go to a completely different home with brand new caretakers. It’s understandable that some may need longer than others to adjust.

If you’re struggling immediately following adoption, please consider’s tips for the first 30 days following adoption here.

If you ultimately decide you cannot keep the pet, he or she can be returned to our shelter. If you live outside of Orange County and it has been more than 30 days since adoption, you will need to surrender the pet to your local shelter.

Pets can be returned to Orange County Animal Services with an appointment. To book an appointment please utilize this page.

Orange County Animal Services is proud to have an active foster care program and is always seeking to recruit new foster parents to the team. One must first register as a foster parent and attend online orientation before becoming eligible to foster. Once on board, the shelter sends out emails for select pets in need of foster care, those that are too young for adoption, sick, injured or in need of short-term socialization help. Most of the pets in need of foster care are cats and kittens.

The majority of pets in the shelter’s care are available for adoption and not in need of foster care, instead looking for a forever home.

Orange County Animal Services is thrilled to partner with VCA Animal Hospitals for the "Healthy Start" certificate program. This offer is available to every person who adopts a pet from Orange County Animal Services and includes a complimentary first health exam, within 14 days of adoption, at a VCA Animal Hospital. With multiple VCA locations through the Central Florida region, this is an excellent offer to adopters to help ensure their new pets are off on the right foot.

Animal Services requires adopted pets be seen by a veterinarian within 72 hours of adoption.

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