How To Adopt

Questions about how to adopt a pet?

Here you’ll find an overview of our process, fees, tips and other helpful information about adopting a pet.

View our available pets!

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JHS Adoptable Pets are:

  • Spayed or Neutered prior to adoption
  • Vaccinated
  • Microchipped
  • Heartworm Tested (Dogs)

How to Adopt

Adopting a dog or cat from the Jacksonville Humane Society is a wonderful experience!

Please bring and wear a face mask when you visit JHS.

Please follow the directions posted on our front doors to sign-in when you arrive. This will help us monitor the number of people in the building to ensure safety. Assistance is available at the front desk or with the outside attendant.

Facial coverings (masks) and social distancing are required at JHS. JHS reserves the right to ask clients to wait outside to assist with public safety at any time.

We are doing our best to allow as many visitors and keep everyone safe. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this adventure together!

Fees & Pricing

Standard Adoption Fees For Cats:

  • Cats 6 months of age or older = $50
  • Cats under 6 months of age = $75

Standard Adoption Fees For Dogs:

  • Dogs weighing under 30 lbs. or under 6 months old = $125
  • Dogs weighing 30 lbs. or more and 6 months or older= $50
  • Many dogs have sponsored adoption fees!

Additional Fees & Costs:

  • The purchase of heartworm prevention is highly recommended for dogs over six months. The cost is $60 for a six-month supply. If you’d prefer, you may purchase up to a one-year supply for the dog you adopt.
  • The city of Jacksonville requires all adopters under the age of 62 living within Duval County (excluding Jacksonville Beach) to pay the city licensing fee at the time of adoption for any pet that has received its rabies vaccination. The cost is $20. This city license fee funds low-cost/free spay neuter for our community.
  • All dogs must go home with an approved leash and collar; all cats must go home in an approved carrier. You may bring these items in with you, or we have them available for purchase at the time of adoption.


Pre-adoptions are available for pets for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, pets who are on stray hold or pets who are not yet altered. If you see a pet that you’d like to adopt, please speak to our adoption staff. There is no difference in pre-adoption pricing vs. regular pricing.

View any available special adoption programs and off-site events>>

Adoption Fees Cover:

The adoption fees that we collect help us provide food, shelter, important medical care and vaccinations for the animals. Each adoption fee includes the following for your new pet (retail value is approximately $400):

  • Cost of spaying and neutering
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchip
  • Heartworm Test (Dogs)
  • Monthly flea, tick, and parasite prevention

Helpful Hints:

  • Please bring current ID and either cash or credit.
  • Be prepared to spend at least one hour with a counselor to process your adoption.
  • Bring a leash and collar (no choke collars or chains) if you plan to adopt a dog, or a plastic carrier for cats and kittens. These items may also be purchased from us at the time of adoption.
  • You are welcome to bring your own dog if you are adopting another. Please make sure vaccinations are current.
  • If your potential new best friend hasn’t completely convinced you during your visit to JHS, we offer commitment-free sleepovers on most adult pets. Just ask our staff about this option.

Healthy Start Certificate from VCA:

All adoptions will include a Healthy Start Certificate from our partners at VCA. The Healthy Start Certificate includes a free health exam (must be scheduled within 14 days of the adoption) and free 14-day follow-up care for the following conditions ($250 maximum coverage):

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Diarrhea or vomiting of infectious origin
  • Internal parasites
  • Ear and eye infections
  • Suture removal
  • Kennel cough
  • Common skin conditions
  • Urinary tract infections

Breed Label Statement
The Jacksonville Humane Society believes that each dog is an individual and should be treated that way, so we’ve decided to stop identifying them by breeds as of January 1, 2017. Much like people, dogs have unique personalities and lovable quirks. The truth is that when a dog comes in, our staff typically just make their best guess about breed based on the physical characteristics they see. This is a pretty inexact science when you consider that a dog has approximately 20,000 genes and less than 1% of those determine what they look like. Appearance is only one tiny piece of the genetic puzzle. The majority of dogs that enter our shelter are mixed breed and to arbitrarily label them based on looks seems unfair to dogs and adopters. Looks don’t equal behavior. Besides, it doesn’t really matter once you lock eyes and fall in love with your new best friend. Love is love. We invite you to meet any of our dogs to learn about their individual personalities so you can find the perfect dog for you.

Are you looking for something specific? We do not have waiting list, but you can set up email alerts using our automated system. To receive a Pet Alert email when a dog or cat that matches what you are interested in is placed up for adoption go to

  • Select “Finding A Pet Advanced Search”
  • Enter the criteria for your preferences and select “Search”
  • The results page will provide an option to enter your email address to receive a Pet Alert message when an animal meeting your criteria is posted to the Petango website
  • Adoptable animals from our shelter are included on Petango so this will include our dogs and cats at the Jacksonville Humane Society