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Reserving an Animal

Information about reserving an animal.
Woman with Dog

Lost Pets

Once received, Animal Welfare staff carefully research your request to see if we have your record in our database. If we find your record, we research the animals that you have registered with the City. If your registered animal matches the description of the animal requested on the Internet, we will place an official "Hold For Owner" on the animal and you will be contacted by one of our Animal Services staff. An official "Hold For Owner" indicates that the animal will be held at our facility and you will be the only individual that can reclaim your animal.

Adoptable Pets

Once received, Animal Welfare staff carefully research your request to see if the animal has been deemed adoptable. To ensure quick and proper handling of your request, we ask that you only submit interest requests on animals that have already been deemed adoptable by Animal Welfare. You can view these animals by visiting the PetHarbor site or by clicking the Adoptable Animals link on our homepage.

If the animal has been deemed adoptable an "Adoption Interest" memo will be placed on the animal. An "Adoption Interest" only ensures the animal will be held in our facility but does not guarantee that you will have the right or the ability to adopt the animal. If an individual who is physically present at our shelter is interested in this animal and the animal has been deemed adoptable, he/she has the right to adopt the animal even though we may have record of other interested adopters. An "Adoption Interest" memo is only valid through the next shelter business day. Once the shelter business day has closed, the "Adoption Interest" memo is no longer valid and the record of your interest is archived.

Animal Reclaim

The fees associated with reclaiming your pet can vary significantly and depend on whether or not your pet has been previously impounded, spayed/neutered, licensed or vaccinated and the number of days your animal has spent in our shelter. Other fees may apply when reclaiming your animal.

Please be sure to:

  • Have proof of animal ownership (vaccination or photo)
  • Have proof of vaccination (if applicable)
  • Have a valid driver's license or photo ID with your date of birth, and proof of your current address. Must be over 18 years of age.

Animal Services accepts payment by cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express.

About Animal Reclaiming

Seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Residents must bring proof of ownership to reclaim.
  • A valid Photo ID is required with proof of address if other than what is on the ID.
  • If your dog is spayed/neutered and has never been impounded fees will be waived.
  • Otherwise fees typically apply and must be paid at the time of reclaim.
  • Credit cards will not be accepted after regular shelter business hours.
  • All animals must be sterilized before release; if your pet is not already sterilized, it will stay at the shelter and have surgery on the next available date.
  • Some situations require special approval and must occur during regular shelter business hours.
  • Only animals that already have a valid intact permit or animals from counties other than Bernalillo, Valencia, Torrance, Santa Fe, Sandoval, or Cibola, will be released unsterilized.

Pet Adoption Information

Any time you adopt an animal from any animal shelter, there is a certain medical risk. Each animal is medically assessed when it is admitted to the shelter. An animal may be incubating a disease at the time of admission or adoption without showing any clinical signs of disease.

In order to be considered as a suitable adopter, we require the following:

  • You must be at least 18 years old; show a valid driver's license or photo ID with your date of birth; and present proof of your current address
  • You must have the knowledge and consent of all adults living in your household
  • You must be able and willing to spend the time and money necessary to provide training, medical treatment, and proper care for the animal
  • If renting, you must have the knowledge and written consent of your landlord
  • No more than six animals per household, of which no more than four may be dogs, are permitted in the City of Albuquerque

Adoption Fees

See our main Adoption page for information on Adoption Fees.


Animal Welfare Department Right of Refusal

Please understand that this is an adoption, not a "sale." The City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department reserves the right to postpone or refuse an adoption to persons not meeting the selected adoption criteria of our animals.