Each year we rescue thousands of dogs who have been lost, discarded, abandoned, injured or neglected. Most are lost dogs who have not been reclaimed by their original owners. We do everything we can to find a loving and responsible new home for every adoptable dog or puppy. All of our dogs available for adoption have been spayed (females) or neutered (males). We strongly encourage you to spay or neuter your pets!

Search for Dogs Available for Adoption

Are You Ready to Adopt?

Owning a dog is both a joy and a responsibility. The decision to adopt a dog is a life-long commitment and shouldn't be made without careful thought and planning

To make sure you're ready to adopt, answer the following:

  • I've spent at least an hour with the dog or puppy I want to adopt. I've thought about it and this is the right dog for me.
  • I am able to have a pet in my current house or apartment, and the dog will be indoors with me.
  • I am aware my new dog will need some time to get accustomed to his or her new home.
  • I have introduced the new dog to all members of the household, including any present dogs. No one is allergic to dogs.
  • I'm aware of the financial requirements of owning a dog ~ the average cost is $800 annually.
  • I am aware my dog will need to see the vet at least once a year for a check-up and vaccinations.
  • I have or will buy all the things my new dog will need: food, bowls, a crate, a bed, ID tags, a license, monthly flea and heartworm protection, toys and treats.
  • I have the time to spend with my new dog, to give him the love, attention and training he'll need to be a great pet. I'll protect him and love him, and never leave him.

If you can answer "Yes!" to all these things, then you're ready!

Our Adoption Process

The first step to adopting one of our dogs or puppies is completing your adoption application. You must register for an account and/or log into our online system in order to complete and submit the adoption application. You may also fill out an application by hand.

Our Adoption Fees

The adoption fee for puppies and dogs under 5 years old is $123 (includes dog license, shots, spay or neuter, and microchip). Some dogs may be discounted to $73 including all dogs 5 years or older, and our Shelter Favorites who have been here longer than most.

We accept cash, checks or credit cards with proper identification at the Franklin County Dog Shelter for adoptions and license tags.

Things to Know Before You Visit

Start the paperwork first

We will ask you to complete your adoption application before allowing you to visit with any dogs or puppies. This will help us assist you in selecting a dog that meets your expectations. Some dogs require more training and exercise than others. Not all dogs are comfortable around children or other dogs. Some breeds, like pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes, may require additional effort by the owner to comply with certain local laws for responsible dog ownership.

Bringing along copies of your present or previous dogs' vet records, shots, etc. will speed up your new adoption process.

If you rent, bring along a copy of your lease showing that dogs are permitted and any breed or weight restrictions, or your landlord's phone number.

Read more about choosing the right dog for you and your family.

Bring all family members and allow enough time

Bring all family members along to meet the dog you are considering for adoption - this includes all kids. Your new dog will be part of the family, and we want to make sure it gets along well with everyone else who lives in the household. This also includes roommates, and their dogs.

Plan to come at least an hour or more before closing. It takes time select your new best friend, and several minutes fill out the necessary paperwork and process an adoption. Visits with dogs end one-half hour (30 mnutes) before closing each day...6:30 on weekdays, and 4:30 on weekends.

The shelter is generally very crowded between 5 and 7 pm on weekdays so please be patient as you may have to wait to see the dog you've chosen. Plan to come in early and allow a little extra time if you want to take the dog home that same day.

We also take dogs out of the shelter to various adoption events. If you are coming to meet one particular dog, you may want to call ahead first just to make sure the dog is here at the shelter, and not out at an event.

Visiting The Adoption Center

We have many dogs available for adoption, some are here at the shelter, and more are living in foster homes. When you arrive, check in with the lobby staff or volunteers and make sure we received your application. They will direct you to the adoption wards and real life rooms with available dogs.

Once you find a dog you like, remember the dog's name or cage number and return to the front lobby. We will call an adoption counselor to get the dog or dogs out for you to meet one at a time. We encourage you to spend several minutes in one of our new "get acquainted" areas with the dog you are considering to make sure that it is a perfect match. We will also ask you to bring in any existing dogs you have in the home to meet the new dog before finalizing your adoption.

Don't forget to check out our foster dogs that are also available for adoption, but may not be out on the adoption floor because they are living in foster homes.

Make sure your pets approve of the dog you've chosen

Once you have decided on a new dog to adopt, we will also ask you to bring in any existing dogs you have in the home to meet the new dog before finalizing your adoption. We have several "get acquainted areas" where the dogs can meet.

We also have shelter kitties who live here, so if your household includes cats you can introduce the dog you've chosen to a cat.

If you are looking to adopt a cat you will find many more available at one of these area cat shelters:

Finalizing The Adoption

While you are completing the paperwork and buying a dog license, the dog you are adopting will go to our clinic for a final physical exam. All dogs available for adoption have already been spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and given vaccinations. You will also receive a complimentary collar, leash and an information packet.

A veterinary technical will review the information on your dog's health record with you. We recommend that you take your new pet to a veterinarian of your choice within 10 to 14 days of adoption for a follow-up examination, especially for dogs that have been recently spayed or neutered.

After the Adoption

Congratulations on making the socially responsible choice to adopt a pet! Thank you for choosing to adopt a dog from the Franklin County Dog Shelter. We know there are many other places to find a new pet, and we appreciate your support and your decision to help a homeless dog.

We would love to hear from you about how your new dog is adjusting to your home, and if you would like to share some pictures with us for our Facebook page, those are always welcome! We only post first names to protect your privacy, but you can also let us know if you prefer not to use your first name either.

If you have any questions or concerns about your new dog, please do not hesitate to call or email us. We are here to help! We can offer suggestions for working on common behavior issues, and also offer several information sheets for common problems like housebreaking or crate-training.