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DOG Adoption

Thank you for your interest in saving a life by adopting a dog! Dog adoption is a wonderful way to add to your family, save a life, and even save money!

We bring in 20-40 new pets most days, and we need YOUR help to save them! If you don’t see a dog you’re interested in today, check back tomorrow—our listings are updated constantly! We care for so many different dogs with many types of temperament, personality, sizes, and ages. There’s no need to buy a dog from a breeder or pet store when you can save a life at Memphis Animal Services!

We invite you to browse through our online listings of adoptable dogs any time of the day or night or come see us at 2350 Appling City Cove any time during our adoption hours to adopt a dog.


Some dogs are already available for adoption, and some dogs are being held to see if their owner reclaims them. For dogs who come in stray, we are legally required to hold them for three days to give a potential owner a chance to reclaim. For dogs who have not yet completed their stray hold, you will see a date that they become available for adoption if they’re not reclaimed by their owner. You can pre-adopt dogs who are still on their stray hold. See below for details.


For dogs who are available for adoption now, just come to the shelter during adoption hours ASAP to meet them and hopefully adopt! You’ll need your driver’s license as well as the adoption fee in the form of cash or card (we don’t accept checks) to adopt a dog.


For dogs who are not yet available for adoption, you can pre-adopt them. Pre-adoptions must be done in person at the shelter and will be canceled if an owner reclaims or anything else occurs preventing the dog from being adopted. Pre-adoption fees are not refundable in the event an adoption isn’t completed, but will remain as a credit on your account toward another adoption.


Dogs on the urgent list (typically meaning they have some type of behavioral or medical challenge)

Adult dogs (over 5 months) over 30 lbs

Small dogs 30 lbs & under
Puppies under 5 months


• Spay/neuter

• Microchip

• Vaccinations for rabies (if old enough), distemper, parvo, and bordetella

• Deworming treatment for hookworms and roundworms

• Heartworm test (if old enough)

• Heartworm treatment medications (if heartworm-positive and deemed a good candidate by vet)

• Collar

• Leash

• Customized ID tag


If you visit us, we invite you to walk through our dog rooms to view all currently adoptable dogs. If you need more information about a certain dog or advice about what type of dog would be a good fit, you can ask any of our staff or volunteers for assistance. We invite you to spend time with dogs you’re interested in to see who you connect with.

Once you’ve reached a decision on a dog to adopt, a staff member or volunteer will retrieve the kennel card and proceed with you to the reception area where you can fill out the adoption contract. There may be a short consultation session. Once the contract is completely filled out, you’ll give it to a Customer Care Specialist to process your adoption.


It’s a good idea to ask what information we have about a dog, but in many cases, we simply don’t know. We rely on previous owners and finders to tell us what they experienced with the dog, and the majority of our intakes come in through our animal services officers, who have spent very little time with the dog before bringing them to the shelter. If we don’t have behavioral history from the dog in a home, we have to go on what we see in the shelter, which can be very unreliable. If you have dogs you’d like to get information on before deciding whether to plan a visit to meet them, email us at

We always recommend that you bring all family members to meet any potential new dogs. If you’re adopting a dog, bring the family including your dog(s) provided they’re current on vaccines and in generally good health.

Since we have limited information about how these dogs are with children and other animals, it’s SO important to introduce them properly. We think the information below is really helpful in making great introductions:

Introducing new dog to existing dogs

Introducing dog to children

Introducing new dog to cat

Here in Memphis, the animal shelter is no longer like the “dog pound” you’re used to hearing about in movies and in pop culture. Among other important roles we play in the community, we are a dog shelter and dog adoption center, and we work very hard to find loving homes for every pet possible. We hope you can provide one of those homes!