New Adoption Fees And Incentives At County Shelters

On July 28, 2009, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved changes to fees for services provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC). The Department has not raised its fees for a number of years, and as such, the increase in certain fees was needed to offset escalating operating costs. Fee structures for other services were streamlined to provide more efficient public service.

The new adoption fee for dogs and cats is $50. This price includes the animal’s initial vaccinations and microchip implantation with national registration. While the previous adoption fee was $10, vaccinations and microchip registration were extra required charges that would generally price the adoption at approximately $38. The new adoption fees have been standardized to better align with other animal control agencies in the Southern California region. DACC’s adoption fee is still lower in comparison to most other animal control agencies.

Spay and neuter fees have also changed. Previously, the fees ranged anywhere from $30 to more than $100 depending on the size and gender of the animal. The revised spay and neuter fee has been standardized to $50 for any dog and $40 for any cat.

The combined adoption fee and spay and neuter fee would bring the cost to adopt a dog that requires spay or neuter surgery to $100. Cats requiring spay or neuter surgery would be priced at $90. These fees apply to animals that have been at the shelter for 10 days or less.

In an effort to adopt out animals that have been at the shelter for more than 10 days, DACC is offering an incentive to potential adopters. The adoption fee for these animals is lowered from $50 to $30 after 10 days in the care of the shelter. An even greater benefit is that spay and neuter fees for these animals will be paid by the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation’s SAVE program. The total adoption cost for these animals, excluding an animal license which varies by jurisdiction, would be $30. The goal of the Animal Care Foundation’s contribution is to give these animals a better chance of finding a new home. This new incentive will not only encourage potential adopters to adopt animals less likely to be adopted, but will also help decrease the risk of those animals being euthanized because of overcrowding.

DACC believes that these new fees will not prevent any individual from adopting a pet. The current fees continue to be lower than fees charged by other agencies. Moreover, the incentives for animals that have been in the care of the shelter for 10 days should increase adoption opportunities for many more of these adoptable pets. We strongly encourage you to consider visiting one of the County’s six animal shelters when you consider adopting your next pet.

For more information and a complete list of our new fees visit our website at or stop by your local animal shelter.