How to Adopt

When you adopt from the Animal Defense League of Texas, you do not save just one life; you save two! How do you ask? You would be saving the pet that you’ve decided to adopt, and that would open up a kennel for us to save another unwanted, neglected, abused or abandoned pet in San Antonio. By adopting from ADL, you are helping solve the problem.

Things to know when looking to adopt from ADL:

  • View our adoptable pets by clicking HERE
  • We ask that everyone signs in at the adoption center before viewing the pets that are available for adoption. There is some valuable information that we’d love to share with you.
  • If you are currently renting, please make sure you have checked your deposit requirement as well as breed and size restrictions outlined by your property owner.
  • If you are considering adopting a puppy or kitten and have existing animals at home, please bring proof of vaccinations.
  • Please consider a meet and greet with your owned animals before adopting. When bringing a pet for a meet and greet, please bring proof of vaccinations. Please make sure you bring your pet on a leash.
  • We stop accepting adoption applications at 6:30 pm to allow us enough time to complete the adoption by 7 pm. Our Pet Service Specialists stop filling out adoption slips at 6:15 pm, so it is best to get here before 5:45 pm to be able to adopt same day.
  • Our adoption process takes at least 30 minutes, depending on the pet’s medical background and additional conversations that may be necessary to ensure all parties are comfortable with the pet going home. During this time, the legal adopter’s full attention is necessary. Adopting with the whole family is recommended so everyone is on the same page about the new household pet. However, to avoid distractions from the important conversations about your new pet, be prepared to have a second adult to watch over any current household pet or younger kids that are too excited about their new furry pal to sit through the process!
  • If you have any questions or if you’d like to meet a pet, ask one of our kennel staff members for assistance.
  • We have a Seniors for Seniors program! The Seniors for Seniors program places senior cats and dogs (over 8 years of age) with senior citizens who are 60 years of age or older, allowing participants to discover the joys of having a cat or dog in their lives.

Adoption Fees:

  • Dogs: $75.00
  • Puppies under 6-months: $150.00
  • Cats: $40.00
  • Kittens under 6-months: $125.00

Additional Fees:

  • Per city ordinance: When in a public place, all canines must be restrained on a collar and leash, or in a carrier, and all felines must be restrained in a carrier. Therefore, you may bring your own sufficient collar, leash, or carrier to avoid the additional costs, or purchase them from our retail store. All proceeds go right back to the pets in our care!
    • Dog collars range from $5-$15 depending on size
    • Dog leashes are $12
    • Cardboard cat carriers are $10
    • Plastic cat carriers start at $42


Spay/neuter surgery, age appropriate vaccinations, microchip, internal and external parasite treatment, a starter bag of Heritage Ranch by H-E-B pet food and more! Fees may be different during adoption specials. Call 210-655-1481 for details or view our Calendar of Events for current specials!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am interested in adopting an animal from your shelter. How do I do this? What is required?

A: We invite you to come to the Animal Defense League to meet and spend at least 30 minutes with the animal you are considering to see if this is the one who best fits your home, family, and lifestyle. If you are interested in adopting the animal, you will need to complete an adoption application at our adoption center. An adoption counselor will review the application with you to help ensure that the animal you have selected will be a good match. A potential adopter must be at least 18 years of age.

To facilitate the adoption process, please note you will be asked for the following information/items for most adoptions:

  1. Current state or federal photo identification (such as a drivers license or state I.D. card)
  2. If renting, the name and phone number of the apartment complex, owner, or property manager.
  3. If you are under 18 and living at home with a parent or guardian, they must be present for the adoption process.
  4. Veterinary records of any animal owned currently or within the past five years.

Q: Can I take a pet home the same day?

A: In most cases, yes. Once you have completed the adoption interview and have been approved, it will take approximately 35 minutes to complete the adoption paperwork so you can receive your new pet.

Q: Is there anyway to hold the pet for me until I am able to come meet them?

A: All meet and greets are conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis. ADL does not place holds on pets and cannot guarantee the pet will still be available at the time of your visit. If the pet you were interested in is pending an adoption after a successful meet and greet, our pet services staff would be happy to introduce to other available pets.

Q: I have a dog at home and am looking for another one. Is there anything special I should do?

A: Yes. We suggest bringing your pet along on a leash (please do not use a retractable/flexi leash) with proof of Rabies and DHPP vaccines so we can arrange for the pets to meet. Like people, not all dogs (yours or ours) like every other dog they meet. Issues can and have occurred when bringing a new dog into a home. Our goal is to spot any problems ahead of time to prevent the heartache of a returned adoption for both you and the animal.

Q: What does it cost to adopt from ADL and what is covered?

A: The adoption fee for our companion animals vary. Please check with the Adoption Center at the time of adoption or when you first arrive at the Animal Defense League Adoption Center.

Please note: If a pet has its Rabies vaccination, most Cities and Counties require a Pet License. If you reside in San Antonio or an unincorporated area of Bexar County, a microchip is required for licensing. There is no fee required but you will need to register the microchip in your name after adopting.  Your adoption counselor can explain the process.  For other cities and surrounding counties, you will need to see your local city/county office for required tags and related fees. Please note that failure to get a pet license can lead to a fine.

Q: What does ADL’s adoption fee include?

A. Each animal ready for adoption from ADL has the following:

  • All have been spayed or neutered.
  • All have had an incoming physical examination: This is a basic entrance exam only; we recommend you have your veterinarian check out any new pet coming into your home.
  • All have had an annual (DHPP or FVRCP) vaccination or an initial booster for puppies and kittens.
  • All have had a rabies vaccination if old enough.
  • Dogs have had a Bordetella vaccination (guards against kennel cough).
  • Dogs have had a Heartworm test (if seven months or older).
  • Dogs are current on Heartworm prevention.
  • Cats have had an FIV test (if six months or older).
  • Cats have had a Feline Leukemia test.

Q: Do you have other types of animals for adoption?

A: No. The Animal Defense League only has dogs and cats as resident animals.

Q: Can I adopt a pet who has not been spayed or neutered?

A: No. All of ADL’s animals have been spayed or neutered. The majority of pets available for adoption at ADL came here as unwanted or stray animals. It is our mission to stop overpopulation.

Q: We have some questions about the animal; is there someone at ADL who can help answer them?

A: Yes. Our Animal Care Specialists work with these animals every day and will be happy to answer questions. In addition, our Shelter Manager and Certified Dog trainer will be happy to assist. In some cases, it may be required that you talk with our Shelter Manager or Trainer before the adoption to help ease the transition from shelter to home. Please remember, many of these animals come to us from the streets or unwanted homes and may need a little time and tender loving care to adjust to their new family.

Our goal is to help you find your new best friend and life-long family member. Please note that these are general adoption guidelines. Additional information may be requested before the completion of any adoption. The Animal Defense League strives to find the best family and match for each of the pets in our care. With the best interest of our animals in mind, we reserve the right to refuse any adoption.