Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between El Paso Animal Services and the Humane Society?
El Paso Animal Services is a municipal animal shelter operated by the City of El Paso with animal intake of about 27,000 per year, whereas the Humane Society is a limited-admission not-for-profit organization run strictly on donations. However, we are both working together, along with other local and national rescue organizations, to make El Paso a lifesaving community!
Are you a no-kill shelter?
In 2016, Mayor and City Council approved a reform plan to move El Paso Animal Services to become a no-kill shelter. Since then, we have implemented numerous lifesaving programs, improved operations and implemented new policies and procedures to push us to this no-kill goal, and have currently save an average of about 87% of the pets that have come into our care. We strive to provide a lifesaving outcome for every pet that come into our care, but as an open-admission shelter we do provide humane euthanasia for pets truly suffering from extreme injury, illness or those that pose a threat to public safety. Find out how you can help save the lives of El Paso’s pets here.
How do I report Animal Cruelty?
If you believe an animal is being abused or neglected, call 311 to make a report. Please provide as much information as possible as it will assist officers in their investigations (photos and videos preferred). If animal abuse is in progress, call 911. You can also report animal abuse to the EPPD Animal Cruelty Unit by calling (915) 212-0800.
What is a stray hold?
Many of the pets that come into our center are strays and we hold them for a certain amount of time to allow their families a chance to find and reclaim them before they can be adopted. Stray-holds for pets are three days without a tag or microchip, and six days for pets with a tag or microchip. After this stray-hold, pets are then generally available for adoption, transfer to a rescue partner, etc.
How do I License/Register My Pet?
You can license your pet at most veterinary offices, or you can purchase a license for your pet at the Animal Services Center seven days a week from 11 am to 6 pm. You can also email a copy of your pet’s recent Rabies certificate to email@example.com, and call us at (915) 212-8741 to make a payment of $12.50, or mail in a copy of your pet’s Rabies certificate to 5001 Fred Wilson Ave., El Paso, TX 79906 along with a check for $12.50 made out to City of El Paso Animal Services. If you have questions about licensing your pet, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What areas do you service?
Our Animal Protection Officers respond to calls within the areas of El Paso city limits, however stray pets from El Paso County, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Fort Bliss will be brought to the Animal Services Center. To report an animal-related concern or emergency within the city of El Paso, call 311.
Are your pets vaccinated?
Dogs entering our campus are vaccinated on intake with one DHPP (distemper/parvo) vaccine and a bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine. Cats entering our campus are vaccinated on intake with the FVRCP (rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia) vaccine on intake. At the time of their spay/neuter surgery (depending on age), or before leaving our facility, cats and dogs are vaccinated for rabies.
Is there a limit to the number of pets I can have in the city limits?
There is no limit to the number of pets you’re allowed to own within El Paso city limits. However, it is important that no matter how many pets you have, that they all are well-cared for, healthy, have a good standard of living, and are all compliant with the city ordinance — meaning they are microchipped, vaccinated and have their yearly city license.
There is a deceased animal on my street—who do I call?
You can contact 311 and the Environmental Services Department will pick up the animal.
There is a dog in my neighborhood that barks constantly, what do I do?
You can make a noise complaint by contacting 311 at anytime.
How can I apply for a job at El Paso Animal Services?
All job opportunities are available on the main City’s Human Resources website at www.elpasotexas.gov/human-resources.
What do I do if I find a lost pet?
More than likely, the pet you found has not wandered too far from home, and is probably from your neighborhood. To help save space for a pet in need at the shelter, we first recommend the following to help them find their families:
- Take the pet to a local veterinarian, Petco or an El Paso Fire station to have the pet scanned for a microchip.
- If the pet has a microchip, you can attempt looking up the owner’s information using this free microchip lookup tool.
- File a “Found Pet Report” on our website or by calling 311.
- Check the Pet Finder Map to see if the pet you found matches any of the pets on the “Lost Dog/Cat” tab.
- Post photos on local Lost & Found Pets groups on Facebook and other social media sites like Nextdoor.
- Hang flyers in your neighborhood, at local grooming and pet shops, and at local veterinarian offices.
- Contact our Community & Pet Support team at EPASFoundPets@elpasotexas.gov or (915) 212-8715 for resources and information on our Finder to Foster program.
What is the Finder to Foster Program?
The Finder to Foster program is a new program that allows anyone that finds a lost pet to foster that pet in their home while we are searching for the pet’s owner. This will keep the pet from coming into our already-crowded shelter, and instead wait to be reunited with their family in the comfort of your loving home. If you find a pet, we encourage you to visit us our Pet Resources team at the shelter as quickly as possible so that we can scan the pet for a microchip, post their photo on our website and Pet Finder Map, and provide you with any supplies or resources that you may need to foster that pet for a few days. Our Finder to Foster program is completely free, and helps save lives by keeping a kennel open at our shelter for another pet that has nowhere else to go!
For more information on our Finder to Foster program and how to help a found pet reunite with their family, visit our Found Pet Resources page.
What is included in an adoption?
All dog and cat adoptions include their spay/neuter procedure, microchip, age-appropriate vaccinations, city license and 30 days of free pet health insurance from 24PetWatch.
What is required to adopt?
All we require to adopt is to be over the age of 18 and to have a valid photo ID.
How long is the adoption process?
We follow the Adopters Welcome process, where we have a conversation with you, help you find the right pet for you, your family and your lifestyle, and answer any questions you may have. Our adoption contract is fairly simple and takes roughly 30 minutes or so, depending on the day or if there is a special event.
How do I adopt?
You can visit us at the Animal Services Center seven days a week from 11 am to 6 pm. You can view most of our adoptable pets on our Adopt page. If you’re interested in meeting a pet, our staff or volunteers will be happy to assist you in helping you find the perfect pet.
I have another dog at home, can I bring them in to meet the dog I want to adopt?
Absolutely! We always encourage meet & greets with your current pup and the one you want to adopt. Our adoption team facilitates meet & greets by appointment. For more information, email us at EPASadoptions@elpasotexas.gov.
Will the pet I want to adopt go home with me that same day?
It can vary depending on the pet. If the pet you’re interested in is already spayed/neutered and past it’s stray-hold, then more than likely they can go home with you that day. If they are not already spayed/neutered or still within their stray-hold period, then we might need to schedule your adoption pick-up at a later date, usually within 3 to 5 days.
Can I adopt a pet that is still currently on their stray-hold?
You can place an adoption hold on a pet that is still pending their stray-hold, however, if the pet is reclaimed by their owners, the adoption hold will be null and void and we will let you know that the adoption hold has been canceled.
How do I activate my pet health insurance free trial?
At the time of adoption, you will be given a phone number and an activation code. Please call 24PetWatch and enter your activation code to activate your 30 days of free pet health insurance. The insurance will go into effect 24 hours after you activate it. Do not hesitate to activate the insurance as your code will expire 7 days after adoption.
What should I know before adopting a pet?
As an open-admission shelter, most of the pets that come to us are strays, meaning we do not have much background history on the pet, such as health, behavioral or living history. Because of this, it is always a possibility with adopting that your pet may have contracted an illness before arriving at our center, and has not begun to show symptoms. Many animal diseases do not show symptoms for weeks or sometimes months after they have contracted a disease. This is why we always encourage new adoptive parents to ensure their current pets are up-to-date on core vaccines, register for their 30 days of free pet health care, and follow up with veterinarian within 7 days of adopting.
What if the pet that I adopted isn’t fitting in with my family?
Adopting a pet is always going to be a transition — your new pet has been moved from a stressful environment to a new, unfamiliar home with new, unfamiliar people and possibly other pets. It is always encouraged to give your new pet time to acclimate to you and its new home, and read up on tips to make their transition as smooth as possible. But we do understand that after awhile sometimes they still might not be fitting in with their new family. In this case, contact our Pet Retention office for more information and resources to help the transition, or to help you find a better fit for your family— (915) 212-8735 or email email@example.com.
Can I adopt more than one pet?
Yes of course! We’d be happy to help you find matches within the shelter, as well.
What is fostering?
Fostering is providing a temporary home to a pet, or pets, in need. Our foster program is completely free, and we provide all the food, supplies and medical care your foster pet(s) would need.
How long do I foster for?
It can vary on the pet(s) that you take, but usually it’s only for a 2 to 8 week period.
Can I earn community service hours for fostering?
Yes! Contact us at EPASfoster@elpasotexas.gov for more information on earning community service hours by fostering.
What should I expect when fostering?
Sometimes, you might be taking in pets that are potentially sick, or recovering from injury or illness. Because of this, we always encourage you to make sure your current pets are up-to-date on core vaccines, and keep your fosters separated, either in a spare room or bathroom, for at least a few weeks.
I’m not sure how to care for this pet, but still want to foster.
We’ll walk you through the process! If you’re interested in taking in bottle-fed kittens or puppies, we’ll provide any training you may need to help you successfully care for your foster pets.
What pets need to go into a foster home?
It can vary, but our greatest needs are for kittens and puppies that came in without mom that are too young to be adopted; kittens and puppies that did come in with mom and need a home environment to grow; injured pets; sick or recovering from illness pets; or pets that have been with us for a long time and need to be in a home environment for a while to thrive.
Can I adopt my foster pet?
Yes! If you’re interested in adopting your foster pet, please let our foster coordinator know as soon as possible and they can advise you on the adoption process.
Can I help find homes for my foster pet?
Yes! The goal of our foster program is to encourage and empower you to find adopters for your foster pets. Ask our foster coordinator on how you can help find loving forever homes.
How old do I need to volunteer?
We have a Kitty Reading Book Club program for ages 9-13 to volunteer with a parent or guardian, and ages 14-17 can volunteer with a parent or guardian.
Does it cost anything to join the volunteer program?
There is no cost for any of our volunteer programs.
Can I do my court-ordered community service at El Paso Animal Services?
Generally yes — please contact our volunteer coordinators for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I volunteer any time I want?
You can volunteer anytime between the hours of 11 am and 6 pm. If you’d like to volunteer outside these hours, let our volunteer coordinators know so they can give you more information on community programs.