Skip to main content

Adopting Pets in Austin

published on August 28, 2013

Austin Texas cat adoptionAdopting a pet from an Austin shelter not only guarantees a friend for life who will always be happy to see you, it saves the lives of two animals. The first animal saved is the one adopted, and the second animal saved is the one who is able to take the shelter space of the pet who found a home. Austin is known for its life-saving shelters full of happy, healthy pets waiting for a furr-ever home and does a fantastic job at providing many services – like spay/neuter surgeries, microchipping, medications, and check-ups – for nominal fees to help ease barriers to pet companionship. Here are a few of Austin’s options for pet adoption.

Austin Humane Society

Founded in 1952, The Austin Humane Society, located in north Austin close to homes in the Crestview neighborhood, is a community resource that promotes compassion toward animals. AHS is Austin’s largest and oldest no-kill, non-profit animal shelter. AHS is dedicated to preventing the euthanasia of dogs and cats through life-saving adoption programs, spay and neuter programs, and serving animals and people in times of crisis. Adopting an animal at AHS is a simple process, with adoption counselors ready to help every step of the way. To adopt an animal at AHS, browse the animals online or just stop in during shelter hours. Fill out an adoption application, then get to know the animals by playing with them, taking them for a quick walk, or just sitting with them. Once you’ve decided to adopt, fill out the paperwork onsite and go home that day. Adopting an animal from AHS includes current vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, microchipping and chip registration, de-worming, free wellness exam after adoption, heartworm test, basic life skills training for dogs, socialization, dog food sample, and local pet store and pet services discounts.

If you’re interested in volunteering with AHS, a wide variety of opportunities for people wanting to make a difference in the lives of animals are available. Volunteers help save the lives of thousands of animals each year by assisting in the direct care of animals, fundraising, reaching out to the community, and fostering animals in their home. Contact AHS to learn more about registering as a volunteer.

Austin Pets Alive!

austin pets aliveAustin Pets Alive! is a nonprofit organization run almost exclusively by volunteers. APA!’s work contributes to Austin’s title of the largest No-Kill city in the nation. The organization focuses on helping the healthy and treatable pets at risk of being killed in a shelter. They rescue dogs and cats that are at the greatest risk, providing them care within their own shelter or with one of hundreds of foster families, and adopting them out. Whether the animal is a three-day-old kitten; a one year old puppy with ringworm; or a 14 year old cat, APA! will help find them a place to call home. To adopt a pet from APA!, browse their available pets online, or come to an adoption event to meet the pets. APA! often has animals to view at its South Congress location, close to luxury homes in Barton Creek. APA! encourages prospective adopters to spend a lot of time with their potential new pet. Once the right pet is found, fill out the application and meet with an adoption counselor. The adoption fee varies per pet, depending upon age, breed, and medical/behavioral conditions, and the fee includes spay or neuter surgery, heartworm test on dogs over 6 months, first or more vaccinations, first or more de-worming treatment, microchip, personality evaluation, one month of pet health insurance, and FeLV/FIV testing.

In addition to adoptions, APA! offers Pet Help for behavior issues. APA! is building resources in Austin to help pet owners experiencing problems with their furry friends, before the problems become too large and the owners consider surrendering the animal.

Austin Animal Center

Austin Animal Center, the largest municipal animal shelter in Central Texas, provides shelter to 23,000 animals annually and services Austin/Travis County. The goal of AAC is to place all adoptable animals in forever homes through adoptions, foster care, or rescue partner groups. This facility accepts stray and owned animals regardless of age, health, species, or breed. To adopt an animal from AAC, view adoptable animals online or visit the shelter, then spend time getting to know the homeless animals to pick out your favorite (or favorites!) Meet with an adoption counselor to ensure a good fit, and sign a Pet Care Agreement, followed by arranging for spay/neuter surgery and post-surgery pick-up. The $75 adoption fee includes spay/neuter surgery for healthy animals that are more than three pounds, all vaccinations the animal is old enough to receive, including a one-year rabies vaccination, HomeAgain Microchip, and an adjustable nylon collar.

Many opportunities exist for Austinites to help out AAC. Depending on your interest, skill set, availability, and reason for wanting to help, there is a place for all potential volunteers, whether at AAC, at home, in the community, or with one of their Partner Agencies.

Read about Austin’s Dog Parks!

Return to Moving to Austin

Austin Home Price Estimate


What's your home worth? Use our instant home price estimator to get an idea of what your home might sell for on the market today.