Adopt a Pet

A cute sleepy puppy resting on a girl’s shoulder

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While we would like to be able to find homes for all the animals in our facility, there are certain guidelines that we must follow. Please contact us by phone (281) 999-3191 with any questions about our adoption policies or guidelines. To be adopted:


  • Stray animals must stay here a minimum of three working days to allow the rightful owners to locate them.
  • Animals must not show any sign of aggression while in our care.
  • Animals must appear to be in good health and medically suitable for spay or neuter surgery.


What is included in the adoption and what is the process?

Cats and dogs (both) are microchipped, dewormed, spayed or neutered and come with: 

  • A collar
  • Rabies vaccination and tag
  • A Harris County annual license tag
  • The medical history while in our care

Our adoption application to:

can be completed in advance, but must be approved in person at our shelter during regular adoption hours. Bring it in to meet with one of our adoption counselors. 

We accept cash, American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover. Checks are not accepted at our facility. 

Adopters are strongly encouraged to take their pet, along with the medical history, to the veterinarian within three days for follow-up exams and vaccination boosters. We provide a list of veterinarians that will provide the first exam free of charge.

What is the return policy?

All animals placed in our adoption program are evaluated for health and temperament. Because the animals in our shelter are often stray, with no known medical history, it is possible that some may not show signs of illness until several weeks after adoption. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to take your new pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible to follow up on all necessary vaccinations. Should your new pet become ill, we do offer a two-week health guarantee for adoption animals if that animal has seen a veterinarian within the first 72 hours of the adoption. The adoption fee can not be refunded, but you can choose another pet within six months of the return.

Which animal should I choose?

Adopting a pet is a serious, lifelong commitment, so please choose your pet carefully. We suggest that you consider how much time you have to spend with a pet and how much space you have in your home/yard for a pet. Are you looking for a quiet, laid-back lap cat or a feisty, ready-to-play dog? Will your landscaping survive the normal digging behaviors of a lab puppy? Once you have an idea of what type of pet fits your lifestyle come in and talk with one of our adoption counselors. They will be happy to help you find the right pet.

How do I prepare before I adopt?
A few suggestions to help prepare for a new pet:

  • Be sure other pets you have are currently vaccinated before bringing home a new pet.
  • Find a veterinarian if you do not already have one.
  • Prepare other family members and discuss the responsibilities associated with having a new pet in the home.  It's important that everyone be in agreement with the decision to adopt.
  • Evaluate your home and yard to be sure it is safe for your new pet.  All dogs and cats in unincorporated Harris County are required by law to be confined in their own yard or on a leash at all times.  When adopting a dog, check your fence to be sure it is secure enough to keep your new pet from escaping. 
  • If you are adopting a cat, the safest place to keep them is inside the house.  If allowed to roam, cats can be injured by loose dogs, hit by a car or exposed to diseases that could harm the cat and/or family members.
How do I adopt a pet?

You need to fill out our adoption application and meet with one of our adoption counselors. The application can be completed in advance, but must be approved in person at our shelter during regular adoption hours.

How do I adopt a cat at PETCO River Oaks?

The Harris County Animal Shelter offers cats ready for adoption at Petco in River Oaks at 2110 South Shepherd, Houston.  Adopters will be considered on a first come, first served basis.

When you’ve chosen a cat for adoption, bring the card hanging from the cat cage (showing the six digit animal ID number) to our animal shelter at 612 Canino Rd. in Houston during the following shelter hours to process your adoption.

Monday – Friday
1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – Sunday:
11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

It has been dewormed, spayed or neutered and comes with:

  • A collar
  • Rabies vaccination and tag
  • Harris County annual license tag 
  • Microchip information 
  • A cardboard carrier to take them home

Bring the receipt to the store manager at Petco and they will release your new pet.