Deciding to Adopt

Thank you for considering adopting a homeless pet from the Seattle Animal Shelter! Before beginning the adoption process, it is helpful to take some time to reflect on your choice and think about what kind of pet would be the best match for your family, home and lifestyle.

In addition to adoption fees, there are many ongoing costs associated with pet ownership, such as:

  • Seattle pet license: If you reside in the Seattle city limits, you must purchase a two-year altered pet license at the time of adoption, and renew or purchase licenses for other pets in the home. Visit our online licensing portal to check your pets' licensing status and purchase or renew licenses.
  • Other pet licensing: If you reside in King County, you must purchase a one-year license for your new pet. See Regional Animal Services of King County Pet Licensing for fees and more information.
  • Supplies: leashes, collars, toys, bowls, litter, crates, etc.
  • Food and treats: Some pets are picky or have medical needs that require specialized and more expensive foods.
  • Routine and emergency veterinary care.
  • Training and socialization.
  • Boarding and care for pets when you travel.
  • Grooming.
  • Damage that the pet may cause to your home or property.

Consider the following questions:

  1. Are there any financial restrictions around having pets in your home, such as pet deposits or pet rent?
  2. Are you expecting major lifestyle changes over the next several months or years?
  3. Can you set aside funds for unforeseen expenses, such as medical care, and/or purchase pet health insurance?

Consider whether your household (and each person in it!) is ready for the changes in lifestyle and time commitment that come along with pet ownership:

  • Are your property and home ready for a pet?
    • Are fences secure?
    • Are there ways to exclude a pet from areas in your home that are unsafe or easily damaged?
    • Do you need permission from a landlord or property manager to have a pet, and are there any breed or size restrictions on pets in your home?
  • Do you or other household members have allergies to pets?
  • Consider your potential pet's energy level and exercise requirements. Do you want your pet to be part of an active lifestyle, more of a couch potato, or somewhere in between?
  • Do you travel often, and will you need to arrange care for your pet when out of town?
  • Is everyone in your household ready to be part of a new pet's life, including:
    • Feeding.
    • Training. (Don't forget potty training!)
    • Cleaning up pet waste and enclosures.
    • Socialization.
    • Providing interaction, exercise and enrichment.