We have designed and constructed a small-animal adaptive SPECT imaging system as a prototype for quantifying the potential benefit of adaptive SPECT imaging over the traditional fixed geometry approach. The optical design of the system is based on filling the detector with the object for each viewing angle, maximizing the sensitivity, and optimizing the resolution in the projection images. Additional feedback rules for determining the optimal geometry of the system can be easily added to the existing control software. Preliminary data have been taken of a phantom with a small, hot, offset lesion in a flat background in both adaptive and fixed geometry modes. Comparison of the predicted system behavior with the actual system behavior is presented along with recommendations for system improvements.