At Cleveland County Animal Services we strive to make the adoption process as seamless as possible. Our priority is making the best possible matches in order to find forever homes for shelter pets.  


All dog adoptions include: 


  • Initial medical exam

  • Initial deworming

  • Initial heartworm screening

  • DHLPP vaccination

  • Rabies vaccination and tag

  • Microchip ID and registration

  • Spay or neutering

All cat adoptions include:

  • Initial medical exam

  • Initial deworming

  • FVRCP vaccination

  • Rabies vaccination and tag

  • Microchip ID and registration

  • Spay or neutering

In order to adopt, you must have a valid, government-issued photo ID. This can be a driver's license, passport, or ID card. 

The release date and time is exactly 72 hours after an animal has been picked up as a stray. N.C. law requires this holding period in order to provide owners the opportunity to reclaim their lost pet. If an animal has been surrendered by the owner, the release date and time is immediate. If the release date and time fall during a time when the Animal Shelter is not open, the animal will be available when the shelter opens on the next business day.


Adoption Hours:

Monday through Friday 10 AM - 4 PM 

The shelter is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

In the following circumstances, staff may decline an adoption: 

  • Adopter appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Adopter has demonstrated the inability to physically manage the selected pet

  • Adopter has been convicted in criminal court for matters related to animal cruelty

  • Adopter has been cited for animal cruelty 

Adoption fees are $40 for dogs and $20 for cats.


In some instances, these fees are waived. Special adoption promotions occur from time to time and include a reduced fee adoption. 

On-going adoption promotions:

Pets for Patriots - Fee waived adoption for retired and active military veterans

Special Needs Pets - Fee waived adoption for pets with special needs

Seniors for Seniors - Fee waived adoption for residents older than 60 adopting a dog or cat eight years or older. 

Two for One - Cats prefer company. Adopt one cat and get the second a no charge. 


On July 1st, 2021, our fees for adoptions, transfers and redemptions will be changing. We felt that a change was needed that better reflected our mission and vision as well as the County Board of Commissioners strategic goals.

These changes are expected to shorten the overall length of stay of animals in our care, encourage shelter pet adoptions, and decrease expenses associated with extended housing. 

To view the pricing changes, click on the document below. 

Dogs at the Shelter
Cats at the Shelter