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San Diego Humane Society

Adoption Process

Consultations with an Adoption Counselor can be conducted virtually (over the phone) or in person. Our adoption counselors are trained to help make the best match for you and can answer any questions you may have. View this tutorial for more detailed information about the adoption process. 

San Diego Humane Society Adoption Process Steps

Get Started

Visit, we have a lot of great community resources in addition to listing all our available animals. So, take some time to explore.

Available Pets

View available pets at Scroll down and you will see pictures of our available for adoption animals. Please allow some time for all the photos to load. If you have specific criteria in mind, you may use the filters to adjust to results. For example, you may search for pets a a specific campus, choose a type of animal and/or view animals based on age or size. Click load more pets to continue your search. Please check back often as our site is updated throughout the day. 

You may also search by Animal Name or Animal ID (the number included on the thumbnail photo) if you have a specific animal in mind. 

To learn more about a particular pet, simply click on their photo to arrive at the Pet Profile Page. This page shares more detailed information about the pet including their breed their adoption fee and a little bit about their time with us at San Diego Humane Society. 

More information about animals available for adoption at San Diego Humane Society found here

Click Adopt Me

If a pet looks like the one for you, click on the "Adopt Me" button found on the right hand side of the animal's Pet Profile Page. This will begin the process of creating an Adopets account. (Hint: After creating an account, you may “save” more than one animal to come back to later.)

Please Note: This button only expresses your interest in adopting and this step does not guarantee the adoption.  

Email Verification

You will need to access your email account to verify your Adopets account. 

Schedule a Virtual or In-person Adoption Appointment

Once you have verified your account, you will receive another email from Adopets with instructions to schedule your virtual or in-person adoption appointment using our Setmore scheduling software. Adoptions are first-come, first-serve based on this appointment so it is in your best interest to choose the earliest available appointment for your phone call. Scheduling an appointment is not a guarantee that the pet you have expressed interest in will be available at that time.

Please note: We offer same-day and next-day appointments. If no appointments are available, please check back as more are added at midnight for the following day. Appointments may also open up at any time because of cancellations. We recommend checking back regularly if you are unable to make an appointment.

Please have the animal ID (AID) number available when you start your appointment. It is a good idea to have some backup animals listed in case the one you are interested is no longer available. This number can be found on the Pet Profile Page.

Adoption appointments last between 20-40 minutes. Please have a smartphone, laptop or other device with an internet browser to complete this step. Accommodations can be made, please contact the resource center for more information at 619-299-7012.


Once you have decided to move forward with adopting, another email will be sent to you by the adoption counselor with the adoption contract and online payment process. 

Animal Introductions

Please note that, due to COVID-19, San Diego Humane Society is only able to complete dog-to-dog introductions (where an adoptable dog in our care meets a potential adopter’s resident dog) in special circumstances. These circumstances are based on the behaviors displayed by the dog(s) in our care or by the owned dog. Before bringing a second pet into your home, we recommend assessing whether this will enrich your current pet’s life. We’re here to help! Our adoption counselors can answer questions and provide guidance during your pre-adoption phone call or in-person appointment.

Tips for dog-to-dog introductions at home

Tips for cat-to-cat introductions at home

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