Want to adopt a dog from the Wake County Animal Center? Here’s how it works.

Angelina Katsanis/akatsanis@newsobserver.com
·2 min read

With the Wake County Animal Center running out of space for dogs and asking the community for help, you might be looking to adopt.

Here’s how to do it and what you can expect:

  • The Wake County Animal Center is at 820 Beacon Lake Drive in Raleigh and the adoption floor is open every day from 12 to 6 p.m. (Except for major holidays, including Independence Day).

  • You must be at least 18 years old and have a valid government-issued ID in order to adopt.

  • You don’t need an appointment to find a furry friend. Come in any time during opening hours and walk the adoption floor to see if you connect with any puppers available.

  • You can also take a look at all the dogs up for adoption online at www.pets.wakegov.com/gallery. Note that dogs up for adoption online but in foster care will not be at the shelter.

  • On the floor, each dog will have a sheet with their name and other details on the door of their kennel, in addition to a bucket of treats. Make sure to give a treat to each dog you walk by.

  • If there’s an animal you’d like to interact with more, you can ask staff to help make that happen. You are required to interact with any animal you’d like to adopt.

  • If you find the one, go to the front desk with their name and ID number for next steps. You’ll have a conversation with someone from the center to make sure it’s a good fit and that you’re prepared and know what to expect.

  • Then you’ll be required to pay an adoption fee. Most dogs come with a $95 fee, but the center’s “long-timers,” or dogs who have stayed there for 15 days or longer, have a reduced fee of $25.

  • The animal must be spayed or neutered before leaving the center. So if your soon-to-be pet isn’t, you can have that done at the center, where the service is included in the adoption fee.

  • Also, dogs who entered the shelter as strays must complete a mandatory Stray Hold period before their adoption can be finalized. You can put a deposit down to adopt a dog in Stray Hold, and if the pet’s owner does not reclaim them before the period ends, the adoption process can move forward.

You can find more information on what to expect and how to prepare at www.wakegov.com/departments-government/animal-services/pet-adoptions