Animal Center to start adoptions by appointment after eight-week dog flu closure

Cat adoptions begin Monday; Dog adoptions to start Wednesday

We've made a correction to the article title. Dog adoptions will start on Wednesday, Dec. 6 instead of Tuesday.

Starting Monday, Dec. 4, the Wake County Animal Center is excited to resume adoption services for homeless pets who have been quarantined in the shelter since it first closure on Oct. 6. At the height of the canine influenza outbreak, 78 dogs were showing symptoms of the virus, but as of today, there are more than 100 healthy dogs ready for adoption. Four dogs passed away during the outbreak, two are finishing out their quarantine, but no new cases of upper respiratory disease have been reported since Nov. 13, allowing the center to ease restrictions and resume adoption operations.

“We’re so relieved that these efforts helped us to contain the virus and prevent even more animals from dying or becoming sick,” said Wake County Commissioner Vickie Adamson. “What we need right now from our local community is for them to adopt local and support local. These poor pets in our center have been waiting patiently and they now have a fresh chance to begin a healthy life with a new family.”

At this time, the center will not re-open for the public to freely enter the building and browse the animals, but potential adopters can now begin making appointments to meet pets they’ve viewed in the online gallery.

Anyone interested in adopting an animal should call the Wake County Animal Center at 919-212-7387 or email to schedule an appointment. The following schedule has been outlined for interested adopters.

Starting Monday, Dec. 4 – Cat Adoptions by Appointment Only

  • There are 13 cats and 20 kittens available for adoption.

Starting Wednesday, Dec. 6 – Dog Adoptions by Appointment Only

  • There are over 100 dogs available for adoption on the adoption floor and more waiting for space from the back rooms, which means we are over capacity. The center urgently needs to find home for at least 24 dogs to create room for Animal Control to bring in strays beginning in January.

Owner Surrender Suspension

Wake County Animal Center will continue its suspension of all owner surrenders until further notice. To assist individuals in rehoming their personal pets, the center has updated the Rehoming Your Pet page with tips and recommendations. Additionally, if you adopted your pet from a rescue or non-profit adoption agency, purchased your pet from a breeder or took ownership over from a friend, reach out to them.

“Since December 2022, we have been at full or overcapacity with dogs from the Wake County community,” said Dr. Jennifer Federico, director of the Wake County Animal Center. “As we have always said, the owner is the best advocate for their pet as they know them better than anyone, so they can find the right fit for them in a new home. If an individual adopted an animal from the Wake County Animal Center, we will always take them back as a return – no matter how long the adopter had the pet. We encourage other groups to do the same. So, before you adopt from an organization, make sure you know if they will take back their animal, without restrictions, if something happens that prevents you from keeping your pet.”

Animal Control

Starting January 2, Animal Control Units will return to full service including picking up strays within the community. 

Stray Animals Found by the Public

The center will continue its temporary suspension of taking in strays until after the New Year. Starting January 2, the public can bring in strays by appointment.

If someone finds a stray pet and cannot locate an owner, they should call the Animal Center at 919-212-7387 to schedule an appointment to bring the pet in. They will need to provide their information and information about the pet and should attempt to take the animal to a local veterinary clinic to have the pet scanned for the microchip. The clinic will do this for free.

Press Release