Adoption fees

Thousands of animals in need of homes come through Animal Humane Society’s doors every year. Each has a different story to tell. Some are found as strays, while others are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them. Many are rescued from animal cruelty cases, and even more have traveled hundreds of miles from under-resourced shelters for a second chance.

No matter how they got here or where they came from, they’re provided with basic needs, individualized medical treatment, behavioral rehabilitation when necessary, protection, and most importantly love.

The total cost of caring for and rehoming animals amounted to more than $9 million last year.  Adoption fees help offset these costs, covering less than one third of the total. We rely on private donations and our own fundraising abilities to fill in the gap.

How adoption fees are set

We use a variable fee schedule to assign adoption fees. This fee schedule takes into account the animal’s age, breed, and size.

Some types of dogs and cats are less common and have a higher demand, so their fee might be higher. Other types of dogs and cats are more common, are older, or have special needs. A variable fee structure that assigns higher fees to certain high-demand animals ensures we have the funds to provide for other animals that have special needs and/or a more difficult time finding a new home.

An administrative fee — ranging between $5 and $22 — is applied to all adoptions. This fee covers some of the cost associated with processing adoptions and provides revenue that supports the animal adoption program and new initiatives at AHS.

If you need more time to complete an adoption, you can place an animal on hold for 24 hours for a fee of $30 for dogs and cats, or $10 for all other animals (note: puppies and kittens under six months of age cannot be placed on adoption hold). This taxable fee helps support the extra day of housing, staffing, and care needed for the animal.

Minnesota sales tax applies to all adoption, administrative, and hold fees.

What your adoption fee includes

Dog and cat adoption fees include:

  • A general physical examination and behavioral evaluation by our veterinary services staff
  • Canine or feline distemper combination vaccination and bordetella (canines only); age-appropriate canines and felines also receive a rabies vaccination whenever possible
  • Deworming medication
  • Flea/tick treatment, if needed
  • Canine heartworm test or feline leukemia test (if age appropriate and meets testing guidelines)
  • Spay/neuter surgery, if needed
  • 30 days of pet insurance through MetLife
  • Free follow-up examination by a participating veterinarian
  • 60-day return period
  • Free medications for the first 14 days (if needed)
  • Free collar and ID tag (and replacement tags for life!)

Animals at AHS are treated with Frontline or NexGard for fleas and ticks, and HeartGard for heartworms. These preventative treatments are a key part of maintaining the health of your new pet. Sign up now to receive discounts on Frontline, NexGard, and HeartGard products.

Rabbit, ferret, and chinchilla adoption fees include:

Rodent and bird adoption fees include:

Standard adoption fees

Dogs and puppies:
$129‒$767

Cats and kittens:
$39‒$317

Birds, rabbits, and other small mammals:
$9‒$199

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline