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Adoptions and Rescue

The Gwinnett County Animal Shelter takes in approximately 7,000 to 8,000 animals annually.   Most have strayed from their homes or been abandoned. In 2015, approximately 88% of the animals impounded by the shelter were adopted, rescued, or reclaimed by their owners. Adopting an animal from the shelter can literally save its life, and pet adoptions are relatively inexpensive.  Animals, including those with special needs - injuries or illnesses that require extra care - bring great joy to the lives of their owners. 

The Animal Shelter may offer for adoption any animal of unknown ownership after having held the animal for three (3) days during which the shelter is open to the public.  If the owner is known, an animal will be held for a period of ten (10) calendar days, as provided in section I0-35(a).    If an animal is voluntarily surrendered to the Animal Shelter by its owner, the animal may be offered for adoption or rescue immediately. The frequency with which animals may be adopted and placed in any household may be restricted, in order to ensure that the animals are going to good homes.

To adopt a pet, you must be at least 18 years of age (ID required), and you must pay the required adoption fee. 

The shelter often houses a surprising number of purebred animals.  In addition, we are able to put citizens in contact with individuals or rescue groups who might offer assistance with locating specific breeds of animals.

People rarely bring fish, birds, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, or reptiles to the shelter, but the same procedures apply to all animals.

We urge you to visit the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter and consider adopting a pet.  Animals are available for adoption during regular kennel hours and various special promotions.

We work with many rescue groups that often find temporary or permanent homes for animals we can no longer shelter.

If you have questions, please e-mail us at

To view low cost Spay/Neuter resources as well as pet food banks, please visit

Gwinnett County Animal Welfare Fees
Adoption Fee:$90.00 total - $30.00 adoption fee + $60.00 veterinarian fee
Impound/Reclaim Fee:$35.00 Per animal (plus boarding fees, if applicable)
Daily boarding fee – domestic animal:$10.00 per animal, per day
Daily boarding fee – livestock:$15.00 per animal, per day
Trailer fee:$35.00 per use
Rabies Quarantine:$200.00 per animal (plus impound fee of $35.00, if applicable)
Dart fee:$50.00 per animal
Owner Give Up Fee:$25.00 per animal (Please see Owner’s Surrender Information in FAQ’s)
Deceased animal disposal:$7.00 per animal (domesticated animals only)
Senior Citizens:Citizens age 55 and older are eligible for reduced fees. The $30.00 adoption fee is waived and only a $30.00 veterinarian fee is charged.
County Employees:Every county employee is allowed one "Free Adoption" per calendar year.  This means that the $30.00 adoption fee is waived, the employee must still pay the $60.00 veterinarian fee.