Adopt A Dog

Sacramento Shelter Pets Alive
Adoption Counseling Services

Thank you for choosing to adopt! Our goal is to assist families, their resident pets and our Stockton shelter animals in achieving positive outcomes for all. When you go through SSPA for adoption counseling, we can help you choose a dog who fits with your family’s needs and lifestyle.

Things to note:

  1. Dog socialization testing: We test large breed dogs with other large breed dogs. We are unable to test dogs with cats and small dogs. We also – for obvious ethical reasons – do not test dogs with young children.
  2. Adoption counseling: We conduct all adoption counseling via email, along with post-adoption support. When needed, we offer one-on-one appointments.
  3. Expectations: Stockton Animal Shelter is a high-intake, underfunded and under-resourced facility. The shelter operates with a veterinarian on average 4 days a week despite tons of animals coming in. When you adopt a shelter dog, you’re getting a wonderful companion who’s dog-tested, gets free spay/neuter, is microchipped, and has received bordetella and DHPP vaccinations, flea and deworming preventative, and a rabies vaccination if of age. For dogs that are four months of age or older, a one-year license is also included for City of Stockton or San Joaquin County residents. 

Common Issues for Adopters


How Our Counseling Works

Email counseling: After you send us your application, we will read it over, ask questions to learn more, and make recommendations based on our knowledge of the dogs we feature. In order for us to approve your adoption, we will need to feel your family and the dog are a good match. We want happily-ever-afters for dogs in which they become true family members and indoor companions. A good match takes into consideration how your lifestyle fits the dog and how many hours each dog can handle being unattended to by his or her people. And yes, we help out-of-town adopters, too!

Other Ways We Help

We can also provide resources and support for all stages of the adoption process. Whether you have questions about how to successfully transition a new dog into your home, introduce dogs to resident pets or solve behavioral issues after adoption, we are here to help our adopters succeed. Email us your questions to

Let’s Get Started

We’d love for you to take part in our adoption counseling process via email at Complete the application and submit it to get started!

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