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Adoption Fees

Effective September 18, 2015

Dog Adoption Fees
Cat Adoption Fees
Adoption Fee Discount Programs
Adoption Fee Facts
How to Pay

At DHA, we value every animal equally and consider all to be priceless. Some of our adoption fees vary and are dependent on many factors including age, size, breed, behavior, medical condition, and public demand.

Higher adoption fees for animals that are easy to place gives us additional resources to provide extra help to other animals in our shelter, such as those that may require more specific medical treatment, behavior training, or those who simply have a more difficult time finding the right family and take a little longer to find their forever home.

Our adoption fees make caring for the animals in our Center possible. We provide veterinary care to each of our animals prior to adoption and incur those costs as soon as the animals enter our facility, regardless of how long they stay with us before finding their forever families. Adoption fees offset these costs and enable us to provide high-quality care for each and every animal who passes through our doors.

Prior to adoption, each dog and cat at DHA has been examined by our veterinarian, received age-appropriate vaccinations, dewormed, treated with flea and tick preventative, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. Rabies vaccinations are given to animals over three months of age. All dogs are tested for heartworm, and cats are tested for FIV and FeLV.


Puppies (under 7 months of age) $350 to $450
Adult Dogs (7 months and older) $175
Senior Dogs (7 years and older) $75
Special Needs Dog (any age) $50

A collar and leash (or carrier for small dogs) are required to bring your new dog or puppy home. Adopters should purchase the appropriate item(s) in advance to bring to the adoption appointment.

In addition, every Delaware resident who owns a dog must have it licensed or risk incurring fines. City of Wilmington and New Castle County dog licenses can be purchased at the shelter during the adoption counseling session. Residents of other counties and out-of-state adopters will need to purchase a license separately. Please see our dog licensing page for more information.


Kittens (under 7 months of age)
   One Kitten
   Two Kittens
Adult Cats (7 months and older)  
   One Adult Cat
   Two Adult Cats
Senior Cats (7 years and older)  
   One Senior Cat $40
   Two Senior Cats $80
Special Needs Cat (any age) $25

An appropriate carrier is required to take your new cat or kitten home. Adopters should purchase one in advance to bring to the adoption appointment.

Adoption Fee Discount Programs

DHA is able to offer the following adoption fee discounts through two very special programs:

Senior Citizen Discount

Senior citizens age 60 and older are eligible to receive a $50 discount on the adoption fee for dogs 3 years or older and cats of any age through the Pets for the Elderly program.

Military Service Discount

DHA is able to offer $25 off adoption fees to Pets for Patriots members who adopt a dog or cat two years old or order, a dog weighing over 40 pounds regardless of age, or a special needs pet.

How to Pay

We accept cash, checks, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. Payment is accepted at the end of your adoption counseling session.

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