The animal adoption program was designed to provide homes for pets who were found abandoned or lost.

Cruelty Investigation

Dare County Animal Control will investigate all reports of animal cruelty reported within the unincorporated areas of Dare County and in the towns of Manteo, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores and Duck regardless of the severity.

Dog Licenses

Section 91.15 of the County of Dare Code of Ordinances requires all dog owners to obtain a County dog license for the current calendar year, and keep it securely attached with the current rabies tag to the dog collar or harness. A Dare County Dog License Mail-In Registration form can be completed on-line and printed for mail-in with required documentation.

Lost and Found Pets

The Dare County Animal Shelter maintains a Lost & Found log of all pets reported to our facility. All stray animals brought to the shelter are crossed matched with this log in hopes of returning the pet to its owner.


The Dare County Animal Shelter and The Outer Banks S.P.C.A. in cooperation with your local Dare County Veterinarians offer a low cost spay/neuter program for county residents. Contact your local veterinarian for information on this program and eligibility.

Fostering – Enrich Their Lives and Yours!

Foster care volunteers provide temporary care for kittens, puppies, dogs and cats. Some animals may only need a home for several days, while others may need several months of care. By offering your time, energy, and home to an animal in need, you prepare an animal for adoption into a permanent home as well as prevent overcrowding in our shelter. The Dare County SPCA is always looking for foster families to help save more animal lives!

Foster candidates are carefully matched with foster homes according to the candidate's special needs and the foster parent's abilities. Whether you work full time or you spend most of your time at home, we'll help match you with a foster animal that fits your lifestyle.


Become a volunteer! We have a full time staff at the shelter but nothing pleases them more than to see the animals getting extra attention. Help with socialization, dog walking, training, laundry, bathing or cleaning of the kennels. We also have a garden to maintain and other administrative duties for those that want to assist in other ways.

Match Makers – The Match Makers will greet customers and answer questions regarding the adoption process. They will also take animals out of the kennels and cages to visit with potential adopters, answer questions about the animals, and try to find the best pet match.

Cat Cuddlers – Cat Cuddlers are responsible for nurturing, socializing and giving attention and affection to cats and kittens during their stay at the Animal Center, making them more comfortable on the adoption floor.

Fido Fitness – Fido Fitness provide the dogs with their daily exercise. The Center has a yard that the walkers can use, or you can walk around the block. Tired dogs are content dogs; content, calm dogs are more adoptable.

Dog Cuddlers – Dog Cuddlers provide socialization and affection to animals to young to walk, or dogs and puppies that are shy or fearful. Dogs and puppies that are confident and happy to be with people are more adoptable.

Off-site Event Assistants – These volunteers travel to off-site events to raise awareness about the shelter by handing out literature, answering questions about the shelter, helping with setup and takedown, transporting animals from the shelter to site, and handling animals at the site.

Marketing – Enjoy the challenges of marketing? Our Animal Center is always looking for ways to promote our shelter so that more people come out and adopt. This team also works to promote spaying and neutering animals, and help raise funds.

Clean Team – Do you like doing laundry? Love to organize or tidy?

Sponsorship - If you are not able to adopt or foster an animal, please consider sponsoring one! With a minimum donation of $20, you can offer help towards a specific animal’s adoption! We have many lovable animals that can really use your support.

Senior Cats for Senior Laps Adoption - The Senior Cats for Senior Laps adoption program matches adults cats age 3 and older with seniors. Because our adult cats have their rambunctious kitten years behind them, they make ideal companions in less active homes. And because they are homeless, they are especially appreciative of the love and attention that seniors can provide!

Please call the Shelter at 252.475.5620 for more details and schedule a one on one orientation!