Pet Adoptions

Wake County Animal Center

Are you looking for a new best friend? Trusty companion? Exercise partner? Lap Warmer? You're in the right place! Take a look at the wonderful dogs, cats, and little critters that are available for adoption - your match might be just a few clicks away!

Adoption Gallery

The adoption gallery includes all animals that are available for adoption, as well as those on stray hold that may not be available for adoption.

View Animals!

Visit Us

The adoption center at 820 Beacon Lake Drive in Raleigh is open every day from noon to 6 p.m. We invite you to come interact with our adoptable pets in-person.


How to Adopt

  1. Before Adopting a Pet. This is a great guide to make sure you’re ready to bring home a new furry family member.
  2. View Adoptable Pets. The Wake County Animal Center Adoption Gallery shows all the animals that are currently available for adoption through WCAC.
  3. Meet The Pets. The first real step is to meet with a pet in person. The adoption process cannot be started without first meeting a pet in person. You must place your hands on a pet without a barrier between you (meeting a pet from outside the kennel is not adequate to start a life-long commitment).
    • Come to the adoption center. The adoption center is open every day from noon to 6 p.m., except for holidays.
    • Meet an animal in foster care. To meet with an animal in foster care, submit an inquiry through the pet’s profile on the adoption gallery. The foster parent will communicate with you via email and set up a meet and greet if you both agree their foster pet may be a good match for you. After a successful meet and greet, the foster parent will inform WCAC.
  4. Start the adoption process.
    • To adopt, you will need a valid photo ID that shows you are at least 18 years old. You must be able to take the pet home on the day they are ready to go. Adoption fees can be found here: Fees & Refund Guidelines.
    • Pets that are on stray hold cannot go home with a new family until after their hold is over. The adoption process can be started during stray hold but cannot be completed until the hold is over. Any pet may be reclaimed by their owner at any point during their stay.
  5. Get Ready. The Preparing for Your New Pet  page has important information like post-surgery recovery instructions, what food we feed, and much more.

Adoption FAQ

Can I bring my pet from home to meet pets at the adoption center?

No. For everyone’s safety, pets on our adoption floor are not able to meet with privately owned animals.

How do I know if these pets will get along with my pets at home?

You don’t. Even if we know that a pet has previously lived with or met other animals with no issues, we cannot predict how they will react to new pets in a new environment. To set everyone up for success, we have some helpful information for introducing new pets to your home and other pets: How to Introduce a New Pet to Your Home. Not every pet will be a great match for every home and family, so if the adoption is not going well, please contact us, we are here to help.

Why can’t I bring my adopted pet home now?

There are two common reasons why you may have started the adoption process but cannot take your new pet home immediately.

  1. The animal is on stray hold, which is the length of time a pet is held to give their owner the chance to find and reclaim them.
  2. The dog or cat needs to be spayed or neutered. This is required before the adoption is finalized.
  3. On rare occasions, a pet may become sick or have some other issue preventing them from going home or having surgery.

Does a dog or cat have to be spayed or neutered before adoption?


Can my vet perform the surgery?


Why can’t I adopt?

There are a few reasons why adoption may be denied. They include:

  • Unpaid animal control citation(s) or fees
  • Unsatisfied bounced check to the County
  • Surrendered a pet within the previous 6 months
  • Over our limit for the number of pets in your home
  • Reported to us by Animal Control Authorities
  • Indicated to staff you are planning elective cosmetic surgery on your adopted pet
  • Made comments to staff about harming your adopted pet
  • Previously abandoned a pet
  • Previously surrendered a pet due to allergies