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.

View JHS hours & directions »

All JHS pets are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and heartworm tested (dogs) prior to adoption.

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

If you are interested in adopting, you are welcome to stop by our Adoption Center at 8464 Beach Blvd. and look around. We are open 7 days a week: 12-7pm on weekdays and 10am-5pm on weekends.

Standard Adoption Fees For Cats:

  • Cats 6 months of age or older = $50
  • Cats under 6 months of age = $100

Standard Adoption Fees For Dogs:

  • Dogs weighing 30 lbs or more and dogs 6 months old or older = $50
  • Dogs weighing under 30 lbs or puppies under 6 months old = $150

Many pets have sponsored adoption fees!

Additional Fees & Costs:

  • The purchase of heartworm prevention is highly recommended for dogs over 6 months of age. The cost is $60 for a 6-month supply. If you’d prefer, you may purchase up to a 1-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 and neuter services 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.

Payment Methods Accepted:

We process adoption fees via contactless mobile payment. Please plan to pay via credit card.


Pre-adoptions are available for pets for a variety of reasons including – but not limited to – pets who are on a 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 team. There is no difference in pre-adoption pricing vs. regular pricing.

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

What do our adoption fees cover?

The adoption fees that we collect help us provide food, shelter, important medical care and vaccinations for the animals at JHS. 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

Wondering what to bring with you when you come to JHS to adopt?

  • Please bring a current ID and either cash or card.
  • Be prepared to spend at least 1 hour with an Adoption Counselor to process your adoption.
  • Bring a leash and collar (no choke collars or chains) if you plan to adopt a dog or a 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. Our team can help facilitate a pet-to-pet introduction. Please make sure your current pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date.

You must be at least 18 years of age or older to adopt.

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.

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


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All JHS adopters also receive:

  • Access to at-home training via our partners at GoodPup.
  • A coupon for a free Papa John’s pizza.
  • A variety of Petco coupons, perfect for your first shopping spree for your new family member!

PFP badge x squareJHS is a proud partner of Pets for Patriots, a national organization aiming to end animal homelessness in the United States while giving our military Veterans and their families the greatest “thank you” of all: the extraordinary love of a companion pet.

To participate, Veterans must first join Pets for Patriots and pre-qualify. Get started now »

Adoption benefits for Pets for Patriots members:

  • Reduced adoption fee of $20
  • A one-time $150 pet retailer gift card to help buy pet food, supplies, and essentials, for use online or in-store (courtesy of Pets for Patriots)
  • Exclusive discounts from high-quality pet e-tailers to help adopters save money on pet health insurance, treats, pet food, medication, and supplies from trusted brands (courtesy of Pets for Patriots)
  • A 10% discount at Pets for Patriots veterinary partners for pets adopted through the program and $10 off each visit or purchase at VIP Petcare Community Clinics (courtesy of Pets for Patriots)
  • Pre-adoption and post-adoption counseling and support through Pets for Patriots

Pets eligible to adopt through Pets for Patriots:

  • Dogs or cats 2 years of age or older
  • Special needs dogs or cats of any age
  • Dogs and cats who have been at JHS for 6 months or more
  • Dogs of any age weighing up to 40 lbs or more at the time of adoption

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 a 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 the “Advanced Search” option at the top of the page
  • 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

For more information, contact the Adoptions Department:

Email: [email protected]

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