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Adoption Process
  Shelter adoption is an exciting and economical way to add a loving pet to your family. The Animal Welfare and Enforcement shelter takes in approximately 6,000 stray, abandoned, and surrendered animals annually. When animals arrive at the shelter, their health, condition, and temperament are evaluated. Healthy and even-tempered animals are available for adoption to good homes.

Household frequency of adoption may be restricted to ensure animals are going to appropriate homes.

All stray animals are scanned for a microchip so they can be reunited with family if at all possible. Animals with microchips or an owner info tag are placed in an ownership hold for 10 calendar days to allow owners time to reunite with their pet.

Animals of unknown ownership or voluntarily surrendered are held for three days in which the shelter is open to the public. During this time, families and individuals over 18 are encouraged to visit and interact with the animals. Families are encouraged to bring current pets for the visit to check compatibility. When planning to adopt your chosen furry family member, an adoption hold should be placed, but the adoption can only take place after the hold expires. Holds can be placed in person during shelter hours.

After the holding period expires, animals that don't already have an adoption hold are available for rescue or public adoption. Rescue organizations are required to be licensed with the State of Georgia Department of Agriculture and provide permission for individual pulls, per animal in advance.

The animal will be scheduled for spay or neuter surgery, microchipped, and vaccinated. After surgical recovery, the pet goes immediately to the adoption floor to be available for adoption and go to their forever home in most cases.

  • This is an open-admissions shelter, meaning most animals are accepted.
  • We attempt to find appropriate adoptive homes or rescue groups for all animals in our care.
  • Animals may be refused or euthanized if they are injured, diseased/infectious, aggressive, and, as a last resort, to prevent overcrowding in accordance with Gwinnett County’s Animal Welfare Ordinance Section 10-36.
  • This is a serious decision based on staff experience, training, and knowledge, and often in consultation with other resources.
  • We strive to provide a safe and healthy environment for all animals.

Available Pets

Click here to view the available pets at the Animal Welfare & Enforcement Shelter.    Available Pets

Adoption Fees
Adopting a pet from the shelter is relatively inexpensive and includes spay/neuter, microchipping, and vaccinations. Animal Welfare and Enforcement promotes adoptions with frequent specials. Ask about discounts for veterans (with proof) and seniors (age 55+).  Residents must be at least 18 years old to adopt.

Canine adoption: $90 
Feline adoption: $30
Impound/reclaim: $35/animal (plus boarding fees, if applicable)
Domestic boarding: $10/animal, per day
Livestock boarding: $15/animal, per day
Trailer fee: $35 per trip
Rabies quarantine: $200/animal (plus impound fee of $35, if applicable)
Dart fee: $50/animal
Owner surrender fee: $25/animal
Dead animal disposal: $7/animal (domestic animals only)

Pet Owner Responsibilities
Adopting a pet from the shelter is a great joy, but comes with great responsibility. Consider the amount of time and effort a new pet will need versus the amount of time available to meet those needs before adopting. Keep in mind that animals need shelter, food, water, medical care, and love and attention. Pets require more than basic food and water. Younger animals enjoy high-energy households and can be playful, but will need time and attention for proper training. Older animals; however, will enjoy a calm, quiet household.  


  Your veterinarian can assist with recommended feeding, preventative medications, temperament management, and vaccinations. Plus, they can be a good resource for boarding, flea treatment, grooming, and more. Gwinnett County Ordinances requires dogs and cats to wear current rabies tags. Check out the Gwinnett County Animal Ordinances for more information on responsible pet ownership, tethering, barking, and other related topics.

Dogs can be loyal, cuddly, protective, and eager to please, but need someone at home to take them out regularly and take them for walks; visit for dog parks and walking trails. A fenced yard and doghouse may be available, but your new best friend may annoy the neighbors by barking.

Cats tend to be more independent and nocturnal; some indoor cats never go outside, making them good pets where no one is home during the day. Cats will need a carrier and generally use a litterbox instinctively, as long as it’s kept clean.

Adopting a new pet from the shelter is an exciting time. Pet ownership is rewarding and the companionship is well worth the time and effort.

Rescues and Animals Needing Rehabilitation
Some animals are determined to need extra care, which include those that are too young or frail to be adopted, injured, or ill. Animal Welfare and Enforcement partners with many local rescue organizations licensed by the state of Georgia Department of Agriculture to place these animals where they will receive special attention they need.

Often, through the hard work of the rescue organizations, these animals can be placed in good homes after they are rehabilitated. Email for more information.