Pet Adoption

See animals at El Dorado County shelters:

Adoption Locations and Hours

West Slope

6435 Capitol Avenue
Diamond Springs, CA 95619
(530) 621-7631

Shelter services (adoptions, etc.)
Mon. - Sat.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Business services (licensing, permits, etc.)
Mon. - Fri.
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sundays and Holidays

South Lake Tahoe

1120 Shakori Dr.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 573-7925

Mon. - Sat.
9:30 a.m. to 12 noon and
1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sunday and Holidays

Adopter Responsibility

To adopt an animal you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old. Provide verifiable identification.
  • Provide exercise, food, water, shelter, vaccinations, medical care, grooming, identification, care and love for your new pet.
  • If you rent, provide permission for a pet from the owner or manager of your rental unit.
  • Adhere to state and local ordinances relating to animal care and control.
  • Complete an adoption application.
  • We do not test for feline leukemia and feline aids

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees for dogs include surgical sterilization, heartworm test (for dogs over 6 months), first distemper/parvo vaccination, deworming (as needed), flea prevention, rabies vaccination (if appropriate), microchip and a one-year license (for El Dorado County Residents).

Adoption fees for cats include surgical sterilization, first distemper vaccination, deworming (as needed), flea prevention, rabies vaccination (if appropriate) and a microchip. We do not test for feline leukemia and feline aids.

  • Dogs: $120 plus 1-year license fee of $23 (Note: City of South Lake Tahoe license is $34.50)
  • Cats: $42
  • Small Livestock: $40
  • Other Small Animals: $15
  • Horses & Other Large Livestock: Fees vary. Check with Animal Services

List of All Fees

Are You Ready to Adopt?

Adopting an animal from one of our shelters is a wonderful thing to do. However, bringing a new pet into your home requires an investment of your time, energy, and resources. Before adopting, please consider if you and your family are fully prepared to make this investment. In addition, being kind, gentle and generous with a newly adopted pet will help ensure that pet is happy and provide the most successful relationship between you.

Being kind means feeling empathy and compassion for another. When we feel empathy, we know how to make our pets feel good by feeding them when they're hungry, giving them water when they're thirsty, or not bothering them when you're tired.

A gentle person is careful never to hurt a pet. Gentle people learn to hold a pet so they feel safe and comfortable. Gentle people teach pets with encouraging words, and lots of hugs. Gentle people don't yell at their pets, hit them, or handle them roughly.

Generous people give time, money and love to others. They take time to interact, pet and play with their pets, walk their dogs, etc. Generous people give up TV or electronics time to be with their pet. Generous people spend the money necessary to keep their pets healthy and happy.

Tips for a Successful Adoption

The first few days after you adopt a new pet are the most critical. However, it can actually take several weeks and months before you and your new pet completely adjust to your new lives together. Being patient and having realistic expectations is important. The first 3 days/3 weeks/3 months guidelines below lay out the most important do's and don'ts after adopting a new pet.

First 3 Days: Decompress


  • Do allow your new pet to decompress for a minimum 3 days after bringing them home. This allows stress hormone levels in blood to go down.
  • Do use baby gates and/or a crate to create safe, calm area for new pet to eat, drink and rest.


  • Don't introduce your pet to lots of new people/non-family members in the first few days.
  • Don't bother newly adopted pet while eating; give the pet time to acclimate to its new home and to trust you.

3 Weeks: Building Trust


  • Do continue confinement/crate training when you're not home. See these tips on crate training
  • Do gently play with your pet to see what they enjoy doing. Be patient and creative.
  • Do use positive training methods. Consult trainer if there are issues.


  • Don't push your pet to do things they are uncomfortable with – build trust first.

3 Months: Settling In


  • Do find a way to consistently play with and exercise your pet. Take dogs on walks, play fetch, etc. There are many ways for you to enjoy time together.
  • Do join a training class for manners or fun.


  • Don't introduce any other new pets into the family until everything is nailed down with your recently adopted pet.

Lost your pet?

Tips to help find a lost pet.