Adoption Policies

ADOPTION UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CCAS has made changes to our adoption program to allow for virtual adoptions.

Virtual adoptions are now available, but by appointment only. Our staff and volunteers are standing by to provide additional information about our available animals, and to schedule appointments to process adoptions. 

For more information, please call 925-608-8400. You may submit a Pet Introduction Form once you are ready to adopt. You will need an Animal ID# to complete it, and you only need to submit one request. Once your request is submitted, a member of our team will be in touch with you to discuss next steps. Due to our limited staffing, your patience is appreciated. 

Please note that meet and greets may not be available at this time.

All animals can be made available on any given day and time. Potential adopters may check the status of the animal(s) in person, by phone or online at the Contra Costa Animal Services Department website. Animals that are available for adoption are located throughout the shelter. Please check the animal card for "available" status. See the volunteers or counter staff if you have questions.

Persons interested in adopting an available animal must pull the animal’s kennel card and bring it to the volunteer office for a potential adoption. An adoption questionnaire will be asked by the volunteer staff to provide guidance and support for potential owners.

Note: if the kennel card is not located at the kennel, the animal may be in the process of being adopted. If the animal and the card are missing it may be out getting acquainted with a potential adopter or being exercised. If this is the case, contact a volunteer or counter staff for more information. If you have any other questions regarding an animal adoption, please direct your questions to the front counter staff. Thank you for your cooperation and we hope your visit at the Animal Shelter has been a pleasant one.

PLEASE NOTE: In cases where available animals have more than one interested adopter who arrive simultaneously, management reserves the right to hold a lottery to determine first right of adoption. The selected adopter will be given first right to adopt the animal of choice.

Final Transactions 30 Minutes Prior to Closing

CCAS asks all members of the public and transfer partners to be at the front counter to process final transactions no later than 30 minutes prior to closing (4:30pm on Tu, Th, Fri, Sat., and 6:30pm on Wed.). Please make note of this update as you prepare to pull animals from our Martinez and Pinole shelters.

30-Day Get Acquainted Period


You have a thirty (30) day trial period to get acquainted with your new pet and make sure that he/she is a proper "fit" for you and your family. We want this to be a happy situation for both you and your new pet, so if you encounter issues regarding behavior, please contact the Admissions Coordinator to see if we can provide you with support or other assistance in resolving the issue.

If you decide to return your pet to the shelter, you will need to do so by making an appointment with our Admissions Coordinator within that thirty (30) day period by calling (925) 608-8440.

Return Policy/Exchange Information

All adoption fees are forfeited if you return your adopted pet. However, you have the option to exchange the adopted pet for another pet in our shelters. If you return the pet after the thirty (30) day period, a surrender fee is required.

If your pet should die due to illness during the trial period, a veterinarian verification will be required for a full refund of adoption fees. Fees and deposits are NOT REFUNDABLE if the animal runs away, is lost or is given away, or if the animal is injured, killed or euthanized due to injury.

Free Physical Exam

Within 72 hours (Sundays and holidays excluded) of adopting your new pet you may take your pet to a participating vet for a free exam. Please check with your vet’s office to see if they offer this service and if an appointment is needed.

Important: There will be a charge for all vaccinations, medications, and/or supplies. If the animal is sick, have the veterinarian state the problem on the bottom of your receipt and sign and date it. Bring the animal, along with the signed receipt and all other paperwork, to Animal Services within 48 hours after the exam for a refund of your adoption fees or exchange. Any fees accrued at the vet are non-refundable

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do I have to pay for a license for a cat? Why do I have to spay/neuter the animal I adopt?

Answer: County Ordinance 416-8.016 states "Dogs or cats may not be sold for purposes other than keeping of pets, and may not be sold without first having been licensed, neutered or spayed, and vaccinated against rabies, or a fee therefore having been deposited. State Law requires that all animals adopted from a shelter be spayed or neutered.

2. Why do I have to microchip my animal?

Answer: The Animal Services Department policy is to microchip all animals before they leave the shelter. By micro-chipping your pet, you give your pet the best possible chances of being returned to you if it gets out. A microchip ensures permanent identification that cannot be lost.