Skip to content
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 nearly 10,000 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.

After the holding period expires, the animals that are not held are available for public adoption or rescue. Rescue organizations are required to be licensed with the State of Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Once a pet has been selected and the adoption fees are paid, the animal will be scheduled for spay or neuter surgery, microchipped, and vaccinated. After surgical recovery, the pet goes home with their new family!

  • 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 ($30 adoption fee + $60 veterinary fee)
Feline adoption: $30 ($10 adoption fee + $20 veterinary fee)
Feline two for one adoption: $40 ($20 adoption fee + $20 veterinary fee)
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 use
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. Many resources are available online to help match characteristics of animals to compatible lifestyle of potential pet owners. Visit www.hsus.com for additional pet ownership information.

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.

  A veterinarian can assist with recommended feeding, preventative medications, temperament management, and vaccinations. Plus, they can be a good resource for boarding, flea treatment, groomers, and more. Gwinnett County 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 more.

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; plus, many dogs shed and chew. 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 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 AnimalRescue@gwinnettcounty.com for more information.