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Process and Fees

Pet Adoptions

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Animal Adoption Procedure

The City of Mission Viejo Animal Services Center is a pro-humane shelter where stray animals are cared for until they are reunited with their owners or until they can be placed in new permanent homes. Stray animals that are brought to the center are held a minimum of 5 full days awaiting redemption by their owner.

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center provides an animal adoption program that includes the screening and review of an individual adoption application, to ensure responsible and long term homes for the animals in our care.

Current Pet Adoption Fee Schedule  
Adoption Fee $100.00
Rabies Vaccination $15.00
DHLPP Vaccination $15.00
Spay/Neuter Deposit (if applicable) $50.00
Microchip Fee $20.00
Bordetella Vaccination $15.00
Flea Control $15.00
Adoption Fee $50.00
FVRCP Vaccination $15.00
Spay/Neuter Deposit (if applicable) $40.00
Microchip Fee $20.00
Flea Control $15.00
Adoption Fee $50.00
Microchip Fee $20.00
License Fees For 1 Year
Dog Regular $70.00
Dog Altered $24.00
Cat $6.00
Cat Altered $4.00

Senior citizen rate: half of the above for up to 4 dogs 
Late Fee: $45 over 60 days delinquent

How Do I Adopt A Pet?

May we suggest that your first step to adopting any animal should be the selection of the breed of dog or cat that will best suit you and your family needs. It's always wise to do a little homework first, read books or magazines that give detailed information about the various attributes or deficiencies of the various breeds that are of interest to you.

Once you have narrowed your list of potential breeds and have decided on the approximate age group, you can begin your search for the dog, puppy, cat or kitten that's just right for you.

Hundreds of thousands of homeless animals find their way to Animal Shelters across the county. Because of this, we highly recommend that your adoption efforts start at one of these Animal Shelters.

Basic Facts

Mission Viejo Animal Services Center provides quality animal care and control to the cities of Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, and Rancho Santa Margarita. All stray animals impounded by the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center are required by law to be held a specific period of time. It is the Center's policy to exceed the prescribed stray holding period, therefore, these animals are held for a period of four (4) full working days (excluding the first day of impoundment and all legal holidays) and ten (10) working days (excluding the first day of impoundment and all legal holidays) if the animal is wearing a license or some form of identification. This holding period provides the opportunity for owners to relocate and redeem lost pets that have wandered away from their homes. Animals are made available for adoption following the prescribed stray holding period.

Animal Adoption Application

The adoption process begins with the completion of an Animal Adoption Application form. Applications can be completed at any time during and after the required stray holding period. NO APPLICATION will be approved for adoption until the animal has been held for the entire stray holding period.

Approved staff will make every effort to review and approve application forms immediately after the animal is made available for adoption. The center will take applications until the best suitable match is made for each animal. If more than one application is taken, the first APPROVED applicant will be notified that the adoption has been approved. The remaining applicants (if any) will be notified that they were not the first application approved when the animal is picked up from our facility. If an application is denied, we encourage the applicant to continue looking for another adoptable pet. Staff is available to counsel and assist during this process.

Completion of The Adoption Application

Every person interested in adopting an animal must complete an Adoption Application. Applicants do not have to be a resident of Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, and Rancho Santa Margarita but they must be over the age of 18. The information requested on the application form is vital in determining the best possible adoptable home. Therefore, an incomplete application can be reason to deny the application.

Adoption Requirements

To finalize the adoption process, the applicant must read, understand and sign a required Animal Adoption Agreement statement. The applicant will also be required to pay the established fees (see current fee schedule above) relating to pet adoptions.


Prior to passage of State Legislation (effective July 1,1999), The City of Mission Viejo adopted regulations that require Animal Services to spay or neuter all animals prior to being released through adoption. A spay/neuter deposit (established by City Council) must be collected in cases where the health, age, or an injury is a factor, otherwise NO ANIMAL will be adopted prior to being spayed or neutered.

License Requirements

Every person owning or having custody of any dog four months of age or older shall procure for the dog a city dog license. Such license shall be procured within 15 days after the date on which it becomes due. No dog shall be licensed without proof of an approved rabies inoculation. No license may expire later than the expiration date of the rabies vaccination. Each dog required to be licensed shall wear the current license tag assigned to that dog at all times.