How to Adopt a Pet in the Delaware Valley

Find out what sorts of things to consider and to have ready if you are planning on adopting a cat or dog in the Philadelphia area.

If you and you're looking for a new pet, there are many things to take into consideration to make sure the decision is right for you and for your family.

Typically, local shelters offer pets in all different sizes, colors, and ages; mixed breeds and purebred dogs and cats, as well as other small domestic animals. In order to ensure the shelters can find loving, permanent homes for these animals, most shelters have guidelines they follow. While each may be tailored to the town or county, you are likely to find many share the same requirements and recommendations.

A Family Decision

"When adopting a dog, all members of the family must meet the dog before the adoption is complete," says Justina Colgiano, the Director of Community Relations at Delaware County SPCA. "We look out for any allergies and how the animal reacts. It's a full family responsibility to take part in the new pet."

All Animals Must Get Along

Not only is it important for the humans to meet the dog, but the other dogs as well, says Rich Britton of Chester County SPCA.

"When a family chooses a dog, it's 'all-in' to make sure they all get along. It's important for the current dog to meet the rescue dog first."


In order to complete the adopting, you might be asked for the following:

Proof of home ownership, proof of rental agreement with pets allowed, veterinarian references if applicable, agree to have the animal spayed or neutered, and to return the animal to that shelter if you are unable to keep it.

Calgiano says while not required, there are a few things the Delaware County SPCA recommends.

"A fenced-in yard is not required, but there are certain specifications for breeds. We do strongly suggest a free-standing fence in all cases," she says.

Financial Responsibility

Britton reminds pet owners-to-be to take the financial aspect of pet adoption seriously, but reassures local shelters usually run specials.

"There are always great promotions for micro-chipping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinations where you see significant savings," says Britton.

In fact, Chester County SPCA is currently running the "Purrfect Valentine" special February 14 though 17, when you can adopt any cat 6 months or older for just $14. 

Calgiano says the Delaware County SPCA has specials too.

"We try to make it fun and give people incentive, such as free bed and blanket giveaways when we have the resources," she says.

For more information on pet adoption, visit each shelter's website, call, or stop in. Here are some of the shelters in our area you can check out.

Chester County

Chester County SPCA 

Dogs and cats available

Address: 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, PA 19380

Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Sat., Noon - 6 pm; Wed., Sun., Noon - 3 pm 

Main Line Animal Rescue

Dogs and cats available

Address: (Mailing) P.O. Box 89, Chester Springs, PA 19425

By appointment only

Pet Adoption and Lifecare Society (PALS)

Cats available

Address: PetSmart, 176 Swedesford Rd, Berwyn, PA 19312

Hours: Mon. - Sat., 9 am - 9 pm; Sun., 10 am - 6 pm

Rescue Dogs Rock Animal Rescue

Dogs available

Call 856-422-0380 or 610-869-3373 for more information 

La Mancha Animal Rescue

Specializes in Karelian Bear Dogs and Border Collies, but others if space available

Address: (Mailing) P.O. Box 656, Unionville, PA 19375

Email for more information - lamancharescue@comcast.net

Delaware County

Animal Rescue Foundation of Southern Pennsylvania (ARF SEPA)

Dogs and cats available

Address: 1167 West Baltimore Pike #222, Media, PA  19063

By appointment only

Animal Coalition of Delaware County

Dogs, cats, and rabbits available

Address: 3553 W Chester Pike # 144, Newtown Square, PA 19073

By appointment only

Delaware County SPCA

Dogs and cats available

Address: 555 Sandy Bank Rd, Media, PA 19063

Hours: Tue. - Sat., Noon - 7 pm; Sun, Noon - 4 pm 

Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals

Dogs and cats available

Address: 328 Upper Gulph Rd, Radnor, PA 19087

Hours: By appointment only

Pet Adoption and Lifecare Society (PALS)

Cats available

Address: PetSmart, 2940 Springfield Road, Broomall

Hours: Mon. - Sat., 9am - 9 pm; Sun., 10 am - 6 pm 

Animal Friends of Lansdowne

Dogs and cats available

Address: Petco, 520 W Baltimore Ave, Clifton Heights, PA 19018

Hours: Mon. - Sat., 9 am - 9 pm; Sun., 9 am - 7 pm 

Montgomery County 

Finding Shelter Animal Shelter

Dogs and cats available

Address: P.O. Box 723, Southeastern, PA 19399

Hours: By appointment

Kitty Cottage Adoption Center

Cats available

Address: 317 West Johnson Highway, East Norriton, PA 19401

Hours: Closed Mon. and Tues., Wed. - Fri. 11 am - 5 pm, Sat. and Sun. 11 am - 3 pm 

SPCA of Montgomery County

Dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, and guinea pigs available

Address: 19 E. Ridge Pike P.O. Box 222, Conshohocken, PA 19428

Hours: Mon. - Fri., 11 am - 4:30 pm; Sat., 10 am - 3 pm; Sun., Noon - 3 pm


Animal and Care and Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly)

Dogs and cats available

Address: 111 W. Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19140

Hours: Mon. - Fri., 1 pm – 8 pm; weekends, 10 am – 5 pm

The Morris Animal Refuge

Dogs, cats, and rabbits available

Address: 1242 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Hours: Mon., Tues., Sat., 11 am - 4 pm; Wed. and Fri., 11 am - 7 pm; Sun., 1 pm - 4 pm

Northeast Animal Rescue

Cats available

Address: PetSmart, 11000 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19116

Hours: Mon. - Sat., 9am - 9 pm; Sun., 10 am - 6 pm

The Pennsylvania SPCA

Dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, and guinea pigs available

Address: 350 E. Erie Ave  Philadelphia, PA 19134

Hours: Mon. - Fri., 9 am - 8 pm; Sat., 10 am - 4 pm; Sun., 10 am - 4 pm

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Dogs and cats available 

Address: 100 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106

Hours: Mon. - Fri., Noon - 7 pm; Sat., 11 am - 7 pm; Sun.,  11 am - 6 pm

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