Applications for an animal are taken by staff as soon as an animal is impounded. Each approved applicant, regardless of whether an individual or a licensed rescue group, is provided priority in adopting or rescuing the animal on a first-come first-served basis. Once an animal becomes available (either because the stray hold period has expired or s/he was surrendered to the shelter by an owner), applicants may adopt or rescue the animal during a two-hour window, assigned in order of priority. Adopters or rescues that are not first in order of priority for an animal should call the shelter at the start of their adoption windows to determine whether the animal is still available for adoption or rescue. If so the adoption or rescue must be completed within the assigned time period. Because about half of our adoption applications fall through, it is worth putting an application on the animal of your choice, even if you’re not first in line!

Adoption process for individuals

  • Complete and submit an adoption application either in person at the shelter or by faxing it to Animal Control at 706-613-3545. (If you have a scanner, you can use a free online FAX service, such as, to fax; there is not an email option for application.) If you fax the application, please call the shelter at 706-613-3540 to confirm it was received and to receive an adoption appointment.
  • If adopting a dog, you should bring any household dogs to the shelter in advance of adopting to ensure it is a good fit. Owned dogs will be admitted to shelter facilities so long as they are wearing current rabies tags and a staff member assists with introductions to the shelter dogs. While we provide information concerning a dog’s apparent friendliness with other dogs (and, if reported, with cats), our opportunities to see the shelter dogs interact with other animals is limited and thus any adopter should take care to observe any conduct necessary to make an adoption decision.
  • Applications are reviewed by Animal Control staff for approval. Adopters will be given a 2-hour timeframe for adoption on the later of the day following application and the day the animal becomes available for adoption.
  • An adopter who does not have the first appointment for an animal should call at the start of his or her adoption timeframe to check whether the animal is still present at the shelter and available. If so, the adopter should come to Animal Control during the appointment window and complete the adoption paperwork.
  • If the adopted pet is already spayed or neutered, it can go home with the adopter.
  • If adopted pet is not yet spayed or neutered, Animal Control staff will schedule the appointment at a local vet. The animal will be transported to the vet by staff; it may not be released to the adopter’s custody until the surgery has been completed. The adopter is responsible for picking the animal up at the vet after the surgery and for paying the cost of spaying or neutering the animal and of any required vaccinations (ie, state law requires a rabies vaccination if the pet is old enough).
  • The adoption fee for dogs and cats is set by the county and includes basic vetting (including spay/neuter) as described on our Dogs or Cats page. The fee schedule as of 17 August 2020 is:
    • Cats (6 months of age or older): $25
    • Kittens (under 6 months of age): $50
    • Medium or larger dogs (6 months of age or older & over 25 pounds): $100
    • Puppies (under 6 months of age) and small dogs (25 pounds and under): $150
    • Dogs and puppies at the shelter more than 30 days: $50
    • At times, the Director may declare a “Special Event”, during which all adoption fees are $25. For more information about adoption procedures, call Animal Control at 706-613-3540 or go to the Animal Control website.

For rescue groups

  • Rescue groups must have a GA Dept. of Agriculture rescue license. (Outside groups may coordinate rescues with a local rescue group.)
  • FAX a current copy of the license to Animal Control, along with a Rescue Transfer Form and a list of people authorized to pull animals on the group’s behalf.
  • You may specify your group as a ‘last resort’ rescuer for an animal.
  • Your group is responsible for keeping in touch with AC on the adoption/rescue status of ‘last resort’ rescues.
  • AC is unable to ‘hold’ pets for rescue groups.

This is a brief description of the rescue group process. For complete info call Animal Control: 706-613-3540, or go to the Animal Control website.