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Adoption Guide

The Maryland SPCA has wonderful pets to choose from. All pets have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and have received flea and other parasite treatments. While the animals stay with us at the MD SPCA, our staff and volunteers work hard on enriching their lives through daily walks outside for the dogs to feline aromatherapy for the cats to playtime for the puppies. This is all done to ensure each animal makes a smooth transition into its new home.

Steps to Adopt from the SPCA:

Before you Arrive:

Make sure your apartment is pet-friendly. Check with your landlord about pet policies. If you need to find a pet-friendly apartment, please contact the Maryland SPCA adoption center for a list of resources.

To make the adoption process go a little quicker, here's a list of what to bring:

  • Lease, if you currently rent or landlord contact information
  • Any family members or roommates to meet the animals
  • Photo ID with current residence (If your address has changed, please bring proof of residence such as a piece of mail that includes your name with a current address.)

*For those from out-of-state: Bring proof of home ownership or if you lease, a leasing agreement.

Selecting a Pet:

Please read the following pages before arriving at our adoption center:

Adding to Your Pet Family Adopting Multiple Pets Policy

Visit our Adoption Center during our open hours:

(Please note TO MEET a pet you must arrive 15 minutes prior to closing.)

Monday: 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
​Tuesday: 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 12 to 5 p.m.
Thursday: 12 to 5 p.m.
Friday: 12 to 5 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Talk to our staff members. They are very familiar with each animal and can give you good insight into which pet is right for you.

You can also go online to our Available Pets pages and see the pets that are currently available for adoption.

Applying for a Pet:

Once you have selected a pet you would like to adopt, you will need to fill out an adoption application. You will then meet with an Adoption Counselor to discuss the pet's medical and behavior history and how the pet fits with your lifestyle. Depending on how busy the MD SPCA is, the interview process could take up to an hour. A downloadable* pet application is available for you to fill out ahead of time and bring with you.

Heading Home with Your New Pet:

Please read our Adding to Your Pet Family page! After the interview process, you are able to take your new pet home in most cases (depending on if the animal has had his/her spay/neuter surgery). To make sure you are prepared for that first night at home, here is a helpful list of what to have at home:

  • Food
  • Leash (for dogs) *We provide collar and ID.
  • Bowls
  • Litterbox and litter (for cat)
  • Bed
  • Crate (for dog)
  • Transport carrier (for cat) *We provide a temporary carrier, but consider purchasing a hard or soft cat carrier for future use.

Pet Licensing Information:

Every pet should be licensed. If your pet is ever lost, the license could help reunite you. Contact one of the groups listed below to license your pet.

BARCS 410-396-4688 / http://baltimoreanimalshelter.org/services

County Office Bldg. 410-887-3630
Baltimore County Animal Shelter, Baldwin 410-887-5961
Any Baltimore County Full Service Library

*A current rabies vaccination certificate is required.

Adoption Fees:

Fees include spay/neuter surgery and first vaccinations. Note: The Maryland SPCA does not accept personal checks for adoption fees. We do accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

  • Medium and large dogs: $125
  • Small dogs: $250
  • Puppies (under 6 months): $250 + $75 required training class fee:
  • Cats: $55
  • Kittens (under 6 months): $100

Plus, there is a required $25 Pet ID Package. This includes a microchip, collar, and personalized ID tag. The retail value of the microchip service alone is $35-60. A Baltimore City pet license, required for all Baltimore City adopters is $10.

Adopt two cats or kittens at the same time, and the adoption fee for the second pet is half price!

LUCKY 7: Do you have lots of time and lots of love to offer an older dog or cat? Consider welcoming an older pet into your home. Special donors have made it possible for us to waive the adoption fee on select cats and dogs who are seven years of age or older. There is still a fee for licensing and micro chipping.

SPECIAL NEEDS: We also adopt out special needs dogs for reduced fees.

Happy People, Happy Pets

We here at the Maryland SPCA are dedicated to making great matches. Our philosophy is Happy People, Happy Pets! If you find your adopted pet is not the right match for you, we encourage you to return the pet for a full refund of the adoption fee within 30 days of adoption. Please contact us at 410-235-8826 to make an appointment to return the pet. 

Like people, dogs and cats have their own personalities and it may take some time for their true personality to emerge. We want to ensure our adopters have adequate time to get to know their new pet in a home environment before making a lifetime commitment. If the match doesn’t work out, that’s ok! Our philosophy benefits everyone. The adopter is providing us with valuable information about the pet’s behavior in a home, which will help us make a better match for that pet. The pet has a mini-vacation from the stress of shelter life. We will continue to assist the adopter in finding their perfect match.