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San Diego Humane Society

Reclaiming Your Pet

How to Reclaim Your Pet

If you find your pet here on our database of found animals, follow the process below to reclaim your animal.

Where to Go

It’s best if you come in person to the shelter location where your pet is being held to identify. We recommend arriving by 4 p.m. to allow plenty of time for processing. If you do not have the below documentation, still visit the shelter so that our staff can assist you through the process of reclaiming your pet.

What to Bring

  1. Proof of ownership: ​​​​ Paperwork identifying the animal as yours may include: veterinarian or adoption paperwork, microchip paperwork, license history, detailed sales receipt or photos as a last resort.
  2. Photo ID: Bring your government issued photo ID.
  3. Proof of rabies vaccine and license: All dogs are required to leave the shelter with a valid rabies vaccine and license. Please bring any records with you when you come in. 

Common Questions

Why do we vaccinate all dogs and cats when they enter the shelter?

Your dog or cat was vaccinated upon intake into the shelter. Because the risk of infectious disease is higher in a shelter environment, and our goal is to protect the dogs and cats coming into our care, our policy is to vaccinate them as soon as possible. Dogs are given DHPP and rabies vaccines, and cats receive FVRCP and rabies vaccines. This policy is based on the recommendations and guidelines from many national veterinary organizations, including the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association. These organizations produce vaccination guidelines used widely by the veterinary industry, and they include recommendations for owned animals in homes as well as those in animal shelters.

Please note that if your pet was already vaccinated prior to entering the shelter, receiving this additional round of vaccines is not considered harmful. Our primary goal is to protect your pet and the other animals in our care.

Reclaim Fees

Impound Fees

Fee Type Fee Title Fee
Impounds Fowl $40.00
Impounds Dog, Cat, small animals $40.00
Impounds Sheep, Goats. Medium animals $40.00
Impounds Equine, Bovine, large animals $60.00
Impounds Dog at large 2nd time $50.00
Impounds Dog at large 3rd time $75.00
Impounds Unaltered Fee - Dog & Cat* $150.00

*The unaltered fee is inclusive of state unaltered fees.
**El Cajon has a "Facility Maintenance Fee" that will apply to all impounds, relinquishments and adoptions at the El Cajon Campus. 

Dog License Fees 

License fees are an investment in the health and safety of our pets. These small fees also assist San Diego Humane Society in providing care to stray and homeless animals and further our efforts to eliminate animal cruelty and neglect. If your city is not listed, please click here for information on where to purchase your dog license. More information about licensing in our Jurisdiction can be found here

FEES BY CITY:

  1. Carlsbad, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach
  2. Vista
  3. Oceanside
Fee Type Fee Title A B C
Dog Licenses Altered, one year license $18.00 $15.00 $15.00
Dog Licenses Altered, two year license $33.00 N/A N/A
Dog Licenses Altered, three year license $45.00 $40.00 $40.00
Dog Licenses Unaltered, one year license $36.00 $50.00 $50.00
Dog Licenses Unaltered, two year license $66.00 N/A N/A
Dog Licenses Unaltered, three year license $90.00 $100.00 $150.00
Dog Licenses Adopted Dogs: 1 time exempt $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Dog Licenses Late fee $20.00 $20.00 $20.00
Dog Licenses Transfer fee $10.00 $5.00 $5.00
Dog Licenses Tag replacement $10.00 $5.00 $5.00
Dog Licenses Change of ownership $10.00 $10.00 $10.00

Dog license fees are non-refundable.  

Late Fees: Failure to obtain a license, or to renew the license by the expiration date will result in a late fee.
Alteration (Spay/Neuter): Dog licenses for unaltered dogs are charged at a higher rate. For a list of low-cost spay or neuter services in San Diego please visit sdhumane.org/alterations.


 

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