Fees & Refund Guidelines

Dog sitting in the grass

Adoption Fees

Dog & Cat Adoption Fees

All dogs and cats will be spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

  • Dogs – $95
  • Cats (under 5 years of age) – $45
  • Cats (5 years of age and older) – $15

If an adult dog or adult cat has been in care for more than two weeks, adoption fees are reduced.

  • Dogs – $25
  • Cats – Name Your Price

Adult Cats for Senior Laps

  • Cats over 3 years of age adopted by individuals who are over 60 years of age – $10 adoption fee

Little Critter Adoption Fees

Birds (small) – $10

Birds (large) – $50

Chickens – $5

Chinchillas – $45

Ferrets – $45

Guinea Pigs – $15

Hedgehogs – $45

Rabbits – $20

Rodents (rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils) – $10

Farm Animal Adoption Fees

Please note: Per North Carolina General Statute 68-20, livestock must be posted for public auction and can be seen on WCSO Public Notices. If auction is unsuccessful, the adoption fees are as follows:

  • Small Farm Animals (pig, goat, sheep) – $25
  • Large Farm Animals (cow, llama, alpaca) – $100
  • Horses – $500

Military Discount – Thank you for your service!

Individuals with official ID card proof of military service (active or inactive) will have a $10 discount applied to all adoption fees.  

Reclaim Fees

Dogs & Cats (with PROOF of being spayed or neutered)

1st Reclaim –  $55

2nd Reclaim – $80

3rd Reclaim – $155

(Please note that daily care fees will also be applied.)


Dogs & Cats (that are not spayed/neutered or don't have proof of being spayed or neutered)

1st Reclaim – $105

2nd Reclaim – $155

3rd Reclaim – $305

(Please note that daily care fees will also be applied.)


All other animals

Little Critters – $25

Small Farm Animals (goat, pig, sheep) – $25

Large Farm Animals (cow, llama, alpaca) – $50 + transportation cost incurred

Horses – $50 + transportation cost incurred

(Please note that daily care fees will also be applied.)

White cat laying down

Earn Discounts as a Responsible Pet Owner! 

  • As a way to promote Responsible Pet Ownership, if your pet is unaltered at the time of reclaim AND you have your pet spayed or neutered within 30 days of reclaim, Wake County will REFUND you 50% of your reclaim fee (upon receipt of proof of spay or neuter by your veterinarian).
  • If your pet is microchipped AND your contact information is up to date, the first reclaim will be discounted 50% – this applies to the first reclaim only.

Daily Care Fees

Information on Daily Care Fees

When animals are reclaimed by their owners after being held by the Wake County Animal Center, due to being stray, quarantined, under protective custody, or any other reason to be held, the owner will be responsible for the daily care fee for each day their pet is held.

Fees by Species

Dogs – $10/day

Cats – $10/day

Little Critters (ferret, rabbit, rodent, etc.) – $6/day

Farm Animals/Chickens boarded at WCAC – $10/day
**Farm animals that need to be cared for off site due to size or species requirements will be charged the daily care rate assessed by the off-site facility.**

Animal Control Running-At-Large Fines

Information on Fines

Fines are imposed when the Wake County Animal Control Ordinance is violated. An animal found at large is in violation of the Ordinance and may be picked up by an animal control officer. For those found running at large and, therefore, in violation of Wake County Animal Control Ordinance Section 91.07, a citation will be issued and fines charged.

Fines Per Offense

1st Offense (Running at Large) – $100

2nd Offense (Running at Large) – $150

3rd and subsequent offenses (Running at Large) – $200

Refund Guidelines

White dog in field with head tilted

If you paid with cash or check, the refund will be mailed from the Wake County Finance Department and should be received within 30 days of the request. Credit card payments can be refunded in person or over the phone; you must have the same credit card that was used at payment.

Adoption Fee

The full adoption fee may be refunded if the pet is returned within 21 days for any reason.

  • Wake County WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MEDICAL BILLS.  All adopted pets should be taken to a veterinarian within 7 days of adoption for a health check and follow-up to the initial vaccines and deworming started at the shelter, as well as to obtain heartworm preventative and flea/tick preventative.
  • No refunds will be given if an animal runs away or is stolen.

Reclaim Fee

  • If a pet has been spayed or neutered since reclaim and proof is provided, half of the reclaim fee can be refunded.
  • Wake County WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MEDICAL BILLS related to an animal that has been reclaimed.