Shelter Support Program

Adoption & Shelter Information

white german shepherd looking out of kennelEvery day, hundreds of lost or abandoned dogs arrive at Los Angeles area shelters. A small percentage of these pups are reunited with their owners, and the rest become available for adoption. While many people assume that shelter dogs are “damaged” or “problem” dogs, this simply isn’t the case.

Our shelters are filled with friendly, loving dogs of every breed, breed mix, age, and size. Many of them already have some house, leash, and obedience training. Those who don’t are usually eager to please, and with a little positive reinforcement and patience will quickly learn these life skills.

Shelters are a great resource for people looking for a new four-legged family member, but finding the right match can sometimes seem daunting. After all, faced with a sea of cute faces, all longing for a permanent and loving home, how do shelter visitors know which dog is the right fit for their family?

Thanks to the vision of shelter Manager Lance Hunter and to the generosity of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center now has meet-and-greet areas, in which your entire family and current pets can spend time together  in a relaxed and quiet setting.

United Hope for Animals has teamed up with the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center to help take the guesswork out of the adoption process.

UHA volunteer Adoption Coordinators, who socialize, photograph, and walk the shelter’s homeless dogs, are available to work one-on-one with adopters to match them with a dog whose personality and temperament best fits with their environment and lifestyle.

The process is simple: After an initial consultation with a UHA Adoption Coordinator, who is trained to listen carefully to your family’s needs, we will schedule an appointment to introduce your family to one or more shelter pups, in a low-stress, cage-free environment.

Thanks to the vision of shelter Manager Lance Hunter and to the generosity of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center now has meet-and-greet areas (pictured here), in which your entire family, including current pets, can spend time with prospective new family members in a relaxed and quiet setting.

If you decide to adopt, your Adoption Coordinator will be available afterward to answer questions by phone and email, including questions about housetraining, leash training, and feeding, in order to help make your new dog’s transition into your home as smooth as possible.

Common Questions

adoption coordinator meeting with a familyWhat are the advantages of working with a UHA Adoption Coordinator?

UHA Adoption Coordinators work to provide a personalized adoption experience. Adoption Coordinators are trained to listen carefully to your family’s needs and are available by appointment to work one-on-one with you during your visit to the shelter. Adoption Coordinators have interacted personally with many of the shelter’s dogs, and can facilitate meet-and-greets between the shelter’s dogs and your family. Once you adopt and bring your new pup home, your Adoption Coordinator is available to answer questions via phone and email to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Where is the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center?

The Baldwin Park Animal Care Center is located at 4275 N. Elton, Baldwin Park, CA 91706.

Do I have to make an appointment or can I just drop by?

There are two ways to adopt a dog from the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center via the UHA Shelter Support Program. If you are interested in a specific dog advertised for adoption, we recommend that you visit the shelter as soon as possible. The shelter cannot hold dogs, and the dog you are interested in may be adopted at any time.

The Baldwin Park Animal Care Center’s hours are Monday-Thursday 12 PM – 7 PM and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM. If you’d like to call ahead to check the status of a specific dog, you can reach the front desk at 626-430-2378. Please be sure to have the dog’s impound number (example: A4151226) on hand when calling or visiting the shelter.

If you are interested in working one-on-one with a UHA volunteer Adoption Coordinator to find the right match for your family, we ask that you make an appointment so that we can give you our undivided attention at the shelter. Please tell us a little about yourself through our Matchmaking Questionnaire, and an Adoption Coordinator will contact you shortly to talk with you further and arrange an appointment.

Where should I park?

During the shelter’s busiest hours, finding a spot in the parking lot can be difficult. If you are unable to find a space on the lot, street parking is available on Ramona Blvd (Elton’s cross street). Do not park on Elton. If you do so, you run the risk of having your car towed.

What experience should I expect at the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center?

worker at the Baldwin Park Animal ShelterThe Baldwin Park Animal Care Center is one of six Los Angeles County shelters, and is responsible for animal control in nine cities and 29 unincorporated areas. On any given day, Baldwin Park shelters upwards of 350 dogs of every breed, age, and size, as well as cats, rabbits, turtles, and sometimes even pigs and horses. Visitors are welcome to walk through the shelter to view the available dogs, housed in buildings 1-4.

Some people, however, express concern that they will find the shelter environment emotionally overwhelming. If you feel the same, by working with a UHA Adoption Coordinator, you need go no further than the shelter’s front office. Situated across the parking lot from the shelter are quiet and shaded meet-and-great areas, as well as the shelter’s Dream House, which offers a living-room-like atmosphere. These areas provide low-stress, cage-free settings in which to get acquainted with some of the shelter’s dogs, and an Adoption Coordinator can meet you here to facilitate the introductions.

What do I need to do in order to work with a UHA Adoption Coordinator?

Just tell us a little about yourself through our Matchmaking Questionnaire. An Adoption Coordinator will contact you shortly.

What kinds of dogs will I find at the shelter? Can you find a particular breed for me?

Baldwin Park shelters dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes – including many pure-bred dogs for which you would pay top dollar at a pet store or breeder. With over 300 dogs to choose from, ranging from puppies to seniors, and toy to large-breeds, you can regularly find pure and mixed-breed Basset Hounds, Beagles, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Cattle Dogs, Chihuahuas (long and short hair), Chows, Cocker Spaniels, Corgis, Dalmatians, Daschunds, Dobermans, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Havenese, Huskys, Italian Greyhounds, Jack Russells, Labs (and even Labradoodles), Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Miniature Pinchers, Papillions, Pekinese, Pit Bulls, Pointers, Pomeranians, Poodles (toy and miniature), Pugs, Rottweilers, Schnauzers, Shar Peis, Shepherds, Shih Tzu, Schipperkes, Staffordshire Terriers, St. Bernard’s, Terriers (all sizes), Viszlas , Weimerainers, and Yorkies – just to name a few. Whether you are looking for a specific breed or just a friendly mutt, let a UHA Adoption Coordinator know and we will help you in your search for your new companion.

I see a dog I want to adopt. Can you hold it for me?

Due to the shelter’s high intake of animals, it cannot hold pets. If you are interested in adopting a specific dog, we encourage you to head straight to the shelter. The Baldwin Park Animal Care Center’s hours are Monday-Thursday 12 PM – 7 PM and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM. If you’d like to call ahead to check the status of a specific dog, you can reach the front desk at 626-420-2378. Please be sure to have the dog’s impound number (example: A4151226) on hand when calling or visiting the shelter.

Can I bring my dog to the shelter for a meet-and-greet?

We recommend it! Thanks to the generosity of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, the shelter now has a wonderful meet-and-greet area in a calm, quiet space across the parking lot from the shelter. While your dog cannot enter the shelter, a UHA Adoption Coordinator can facilitate a meet-and-greet in this area. We recommend that your dog be up-to-date with his or her vaccinations.

Can I bring my kids to meet the shelter dog?

We recommend it! The best way to see if a dog will be a good fit for your family is to introduce her to all members of the family.

If I work with a UHA Adoption Coordinator, how many dogs can we meet?

Adoption Coordinators are available to introduce you to one or more dogs in order to help you find the right match for your family. In our experience, it’s not a question of if you find a dog to adopt at the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center, but which of the shelter’s adoptable dogs will join your family.

If I decide to adopt, how much does it cost?

painted wall of a dog jumping up to smell a butterfly at the Baldwin Park Animal ShelterAdoption fees, payable directly to the shelter, are as follows:

Adoption Fee Days at Shelter Spayed/Neutered
$100 fewer than 11 days altered by shelter
$80 more than 10 days altered by shelter
$50 fewer than 11 days altered prior to intake
$30 more than 10 days altered prior to intake

In addition to the spay/neuter procedure, the adoption fee includes one set of vaccinations (DHLPP, Bordatella, and Rabies) and a microchip. The fee does not include a license, and you should consult with your local licensing authority for more information on obtaining a dog license. The shelter accepts cash or check.

UHA Adoption Coordinators are volunteers and offer their time and assistance at the shelter free of charge. Any donation you would like to make to the UHA Shelter Support Program is tax deductable and will be put towards medical care for the shelter’s special-needs dogs and other UHA-sponsored shelter projects to improve the lives of the shelter’s animals.

If I adopt, can I take my new dog home the same day?

If the dog you adopt has already been spayed or neutered, he or she will most likely be available to go home with you the same day. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, the shelter will schedule a spay/neuter appointment and you can pick up your new pup between 4-7 pm on the day of the surgery.

Dogs with kennel cough, the equivalent to a cold for dogs and very common in the high-stress environment of a shelter, cannot be spayed or neutered until they are well, and can go home with you with medication the same day. Kennel cough is easily treatable, and once your pup is well, you can make a spay/neuter appointment with the shelter.

Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control policy requires that dominant-breed dogs be temperament tested and adopters interviewed by the shelter before adoptions can be finalized.

If the dog you want to adopt has not already been temperament tested, the shelter will schedule this test, which may or may not be performed the same day.

In addition, a dog that interests you (in the case of a stray) may still be under a hold period because it has not yet been in the shelter long enough to see if the owner will come in to find the dog, or if a microchip is present, the shelter may try to contact the owner directly.

If I adopt, how do I know my dog is healthy?

Dogs receive a set of vaccinations (DHLPP, Bordatella, and Rabies), and are examined by a vet tech before their spay/neuter procedure. Dogs can have undetected medical conditions, and we recommend taking your new dog to your vet for a wellness exam. An initial exam is a good opportunity to establish your pet as a patient with his veterinarian, and many vets will honor a free first exam for dogs adopted from a shelter during the first five days. Any medications or treatments recommended by your veterinarian are not included in the exam.

There are discrepancies between your description of a dog’s age or breed and the information provided by the shelter. Why is that?

When a dog arrives at the shelter, animal control officers estimate and record the dog’s breed, sex, and age. When UHA volunteers interact with a dog at the shelter, sometimes we feel different breeds or ages might be more accurate. We invite you to make your own assessment during your visit to the shelter.

Will the dog I adopt be housetrained?

While we look for signs of housetraining in the dogs we meet at the shelter, it’s impossible for us to say definitively. Any dog entering a new home will need to learn about this new environment and will benefit from a refresher course on good house-training manners. For this reason, we recommend helping your new pup get off on the right foot by acting as if she isn’t housetrained and establishing a regular feeding and toileting routine. For more tips on housetraining, click here.

Where do the dogs come from? What’s the dog’s history?

The majority of the shelter’s dogs are picked up as strays and brought to the shelter. A smaller percentage is surrendered by their owners, who are often experiencing financial hardship, landlord problems, or whose lifestyle is no longer compatible with pet ownership. With consistency, structure, exercise, and, of course, love, shelter dogs will quickly adapt to their new homes.

What should I expect when bringing a new dog home?

Keep in mind that shelters are crowded and stressful environments for dogs, just as the equivalent would be for people. Your new dog may need a few days to adjust for her personality to truly shine.

The key to successfully transitioning a shelter dog into your home is helping them feel secure and learn the house rules through structure, consistency, and routine. This is especially important with housetraining. Any dog in a new environment will need to learn the ropes, so set your new pup up for success by working with her to prevent accidents. Take your new pup to the spot where you want her to use the bathroom at regular intervals and use praise and positive reinforcement when she is successful. Supervise your new pup rather than giving her free rein in your house.

It is also a good idea to monitor your new dog’s appetite, energy level, and stool. Kennel cough, as common at pounds and shelters like Baldwin Park as the human “common cold,” is easily treatable. Dogs who seem perfectly healthy when they leave the shelter can develop a kennel cough a few days or a week later. If your new dog begins to show signs of coughing – don’t worry, but do take her in to see her veterinarian for a check-up.

Finally, if your new dog has just been spayed or neutered, we suggest providing her with a quiet place to rest and recover away from other pets on her first night home.

Does the shelter euthanize dogs?

The shelter makes every effort to give all adoptable animals the opportunity to be placed in new homes, but must make space for incoming animals when necessary. United Hope for Animals is happy to be teaming up with Baldwin Park Animal Care Center to network on behalf of its homeless dogs in innovative ways.

If I meet a dog and don’t adopt him, what will happen to him?

United Hope for Animals volunteers and our friends in the rescue community will continue to advocate on behalf of that dog to try to find him the right home. We concentrate on making the right matches between pups and people, and encourage you to adopt only if the dog is the right fit for your home environment and lifestyle.

Donate Now to the United Hope for Animals Shelter Support Program