Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) has great dogs & cats available for adoption every day. A partial listing is available on their website, and provides an overview of their procedures here: http://www.nycacc.org/Adopt.htm
The best way to adopt from AC&C is to pre-fill the AC&C Adoption Questionnaire (see link above), then physically go to one of the three full-service shelters (“Care Centers”) and adopt the dog/cat of your choice directly.
The shelters will adopt to out-of-state people as long as you show up in person. They DO NOT allow adoptions over the phone and will not release the dog/cat to anyone but the adopter (you cannot send someone else in to adopt for you). People have driven to the shelter from Canada to adopt. It really is the best way to do it. Again, check the link above to see available dogs/cats online, access the Adoption Questionnaire, read about the behavioral classifications, see spay & neuter requirements, and find other resources including free initial vet exam and informational flyers.
The shelters are open 7 days a week. The Care Centers are open for adoptions from 12pm to 8pm Monday through Friday, and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday. Please try to get there an hour before they close, to ensure there is enough time to complete the adoption process.
To adopt an animal you must have a valid photo ID, be 18 year of age or older, proof of current address and, if you rent, your landlord’s contact information. If you have children living in your home, they must come to the Care Center and be a part of the adoption process. If you already have a dog in your home and you are adopting another dog, you may be required to bring your pet to the Care Center. You should make sure your own pet is up-to-date on vaccines, including the optional Canine Influenza vaccine, before bringing them into the shelter environment (or bringing a dog from the shelter environment to your home). Also keep in mind that you may not be able to leave with your new dog or cat that day. Sometimes, the animal you are adopting will need to be spayed/neutered first, or be signed off by a vet. They will try to accommodate out of state adopters as best they can.
If an animal has an Upper Respiratory Infection, it will not be able to have spay/neuter surgery before it leaves, so you will need to leave a $150 deposit. That deposit WILL be refunded as soon as you show proof that it was done. If you pay by credit card, the refund will go back on your card. If you paid with cash, they will send a check. Credit card refunds are generally much faster so you may want to keep that in mind.
***A NOTE ON UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS*** – Most animals that leave the shelter do have an upper respiratory infection, or kennel cough. This is not something to fear and it should not deter you from adopting. Most times, it is just a “cold” and it will clear up within 10 days. The shelter will give you antibiotics when they release the animal to you. While it is contagious to other dogs or cats, most people avoid the spread of this upper respiratory infection by keeping their animals separated for the first few days and not sharing water bowls for at least a week or two. Many owners report that even with occasional minimal contact, their currently healthy animals did not catch it. Unless you have very young pup or kitten, a very old or medically-fragile pet, a URI should not develop past a “cold” and is not a reason to NOT adopt.
Adoption fees vary — please contact the Care Center for fees on specific animals.
Fees include pre-adoption medical care and vaccines, deworming, spay/neutering and one free follow-up visit to specific veterinarians (see the link above for participating vets). If you live in New York City, please add $8.50 to the above fee for your new dog.
Again, plan on adding $150 IF the dog is not already spayed/neutered.
LONG DISTANCE ADOPTERS
If you are within a few hours from the Care Centers, you are not “long distance.” Please take a day and drive to them. It is always better to meet the animal you are going to have in your home and make sure that it is a good fit. All too often, a dog or cat arrives at its new “forever home,” yet is removed the next day because it was “too big,” “too hyper,” “not perfect.” Do not let that happen. A few hours of your time is worth the endless love you will get in return!
If you are beyond a few hours from the Care Centers, the adoption process becomes a bit more complicated, but not impossible. If adopting a dog, the first thing to determine is whether your city has “Breed Specific Legislation” (a ban on certain breeds). The last thing anyone wants is to send a dog somewhere just to have it confiscated and killed. A good source is: http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org/pages/BSL-Map
ADOPTING THROUGH A RESCUE GROUP
There are currently 218 rescues that are approved to pull shelter animals from the NYC ACC, and these are called New Hope Partners. The current list of New Hope Partners is available here: http://www.nycacc.org/NHPartners.htm. , The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, an organization that supports the coalition of rescues, additionally qualifies many New Hope Partners as Alliance Participating Organizations (APOs). A list of APOs is available here: http://www.animalalliancenyc.org/about/apos/atoz.htm There is also a listing of active CAT and DOG rescues on our page.
It is best to start calling around to the rescues BEFORE you decide on a dog or cat. Talk to them, fill out their application, and see what their requirements are. Find out if they would be willing to work with you. Many require a home visit and will need you to reach out to rescues in your area to assist. Do not expect the New Hope rescue to do the work. Contact them, supply all your info (vet references, etc.) and give them a local rescue reference that will vouch for you (and do a home visit), they will be more open to helping you. It is also advisable to have a back up plan. What will you do if the animal cannot stay? Again, identify a local rescue that will work with you and assist if needed. This will make the New Hope rescue much more comfortable with a non-local adoption.
You will also need to look into transport and boarding– the animal must leave the shelter within a day or two and since many have URIs, they cannot get the required health certificate to travel across state lines until they have completed appropriate antibiotic treatment. Again, this is not the rescues job… there are boarding facilities in NY that will take animals from the ACC. Contact them and see if they have room: Bronx Boarding Facility: http://www.nycstopdoginc.com and, PA Boarding Facility: Arberdeen Kennels (610) 754-7731. Contact transport groups and see if they service your area.
Once you have been approved by a rescue, have boarding and transport set up, THEN you are ready to adopt.
Adopting an Animal that AC&C deems “At-Risk” – AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC ADOPTION
On June 7, 2012, AC&C implemented a new, online portal that enables potential adopters to register online and view a subset of the dogs that are placed on the nightly “To Be Destroyed” (TBD) list. The link explaining this new system and its requirements for reviewing available dogs and ‘reserving’ them for adoption is here: http://www.nycacc.org/PublicAtRisk.htm .
Key points regarding the new online portal:
You must register to use the system and log-in each time to see the available “At-Risk” animals.
If you want to adopt one of the featured dogs or cats, you click on that section, pay a nonrefundable $202 deposit ($200 + $2 “processing fee”)
You then have 48 hours to pick up your dog or cat.
*If changes to this system occur, Urgent will update this section.*
More information regarding adopting from the AC&C website, can be found here: http://urgentpodr.org/information/adopt-animal-from-acc-website/
Adopting an “At-Risk” Animal that is NOT listed in the new AC&C portal – RESCUE ONLY
If you decide to adopt a dog or cat that is on the “To Be Destroyed” list, you must act fast and contact a NEW HOPE RESCUE. Any animal on the list can be destroyed the following morning. See the section above titled “ADOPTING THROUGH A RESCUE GROUP”
More information regarding adopting an animal NOT on the AC&C website, can be found here: http://urgentpodr.org/information/adopt-an-animal-not-on-acc-website/
CALLING THE SHELTER
Due to “system upgrades” you can NOT get a live person anymore when you call the shelters. You must call 311 (212-639-9675 if outside of NYC) to inquire about an animal.