Annual Report 2016

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"We are passionate about caring for animals…I am proud to be a member of the Animal Services Team."
~Debbie Christian, Volunteer Coordinator

Animal Care: Our mission. Everyday.


Director John Skeel joined Sonoma County Animal Services in June 2015. Since taking the helm, he and his dedicated team have carefully balanced the needs of the County of Sonoma's municipal shelter with the changing nature of the animal care field.

Director's Message

Managing an operation that covers more than 1,576 square miles and cares for more than 3,200 animals every year comes with incredible challenges and responsibilities. Fortunately, I have a team of professional, dedicated animal services staff who bring a wealth of experience, passion and commitment—which is critical in this field.

During 2016, we focused on shelter-wide enhancements designed to improve the care and welfare of the animals while creating a more welcoming space for our community. By improving the environment for both animals and people, our goal is to give our animals the best chance of being adopted as quickly as possible.

Our vision over the next few years is to continue to develop effective strategies to implement best practices in animal care, reduce the overpopulation of animals through programs such as Love Me, Fix Me, and regularly engage the community to bring greater awareness about animal ownership and responsibilities.

This annual report is just a snapshot of what Animal Services does in a typical year. I welcome your inquiries and involvement, and look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at our shelter. Thank you for supporting Sonoma County Animal Services!

How Many?


Shelter: Animals Who Received Care

3,235 total animals
2,425 strays
474 owner surrenders

Spay & Neuter: Surgeries Completed

5,723 Love Me, Fix Me spays and neuters - our low-cost clinic that began in 2013
886 low-cost clinic (for owned pets)
844 shelter animals
50 days the mobile clinic was loaned to partners

Homes: Found for our Animals

1,151 adopted
1,092 returned to owner
251 fostered
406 transferred to rescue partners

Our Team


Field: Officers & Services

9,295 calls officers responded to in the field
44 minutes average call duration
211 pets returned to owners (in the field)

Community: Events & Work

18 mobile adoptions
16 outreach & education
312 volunteers
19,108 volunteer hours

Who is on Our Team

14 shelter & operations
13 field officers
11 client relations & outreach
2 veterinarians
1 behaviorist
1 director

Our Generous Supporters


Friends of Sonoma County Animal Services
We are so grateful for your gifts

Our supporters helped us raise $92,313 in the 2015-2016 fiscal year* to directly fund the care of large and small domestic animals and livestock at the shelter and throughout Sonoma County!

In 2015-2016, donations were made through the Animal Welfare Fund, Large Animal Rescue and Love Me, Fix Me low-cost spay and neuter program. Initial work also began for the Field of Dreams.

Visit and click "Donate Now" for more information and giving.

The new Field of Dreams Capital Campaign raised over $70,000!**

New Disaster & Emergency Response Fund created!**

*The fiscal year for Sonoma County Animal Services was June 30, 2015-July 1, 2016.

**Denotes fund created during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Before Adoption


Before adoption, all animals receive:

  • full physical examination
  • microchip
  • spay/neuter surgery
  • vaccines (including rabies)
  • heartworm or FIV/FELV test
  • dewormer
  • flea treatment

The average cost of these services is $350-$450 per animal.

The cost of care for a healthy shelter animal is about $219 per day.*

Animals receiving treatment can cost an additional $100 per day.

*This figure does not include the cost of labor.

An Adoption Story

Have you met Prince George?

In May, following up on a call from the Santa Rosa Police Department, our field officers rescued a severely emaciated and neglected pup. This little guy was so malnourished he'd faint if he got too excited. Despite years of poor treatment, he was so sweet and charming, earning himself the name Prince George the Magnificent. And that is where his new life began!

We found him an experienced foster home where Prince George was loved and cared for. He grew to a healthy weight, was crate-trained and house-broken, learned basic cues and training, and showered everyone he met with kisses and wiggles.

Once healthy enough for adoption, we made him available. Then something wonderful happened—his foster mom adopted him! Katie had fostered dogs for years and celebrated each time they found their forever home. Prince George had brought so much joy, she couldn't let him go. See how happy they make each other in the photo below!

Prince George was adopted three months after being rescued and loves riding in cars, playing with his brother Diesel and going to work with his new forever-family.


Want to help animals like Prince George? Follow us on Facebook as "Sonoma County Animal Services"

Our Partners


We Work So Much Better Together

Partner Organizations
California Fish & Wildlife
California Highway Patrol
City of Santa Rosa
Cotati Large Animal Hospital
Fire Departments & Stations (83 county-wide)
Forgotten Felines
K9 Activity Club
King's Kastle
Paws for Love
Petcare Veterinary Hospital
REDCOM Fire & Ambulance
Pilots and Paws
Redwood Empire Veterinary Medical
Association (REVMA)
Redwood Veterinary Clinic
Santa Rosa Police Department
Santa Rosa City Attorney's Office
Sonoma County CHANGE Program
Sonoma County Horse Council
Town of Windsor
VCA Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park
Veterinary Referral Surgical Services (Dr. Russ Gurevitch)
VIP Petcare
Western Farm Center
Wikiup Vet Hospital (Dr. Erich Williams)
Windsor Police Department

County of Sonoma Collaborators*
Agriculture Department
Code Enforcement (PRMD)
District Attorney's Office
Regional Parks
Sheriff's Department

Love Me, Fix Me Veterinary Partners
Analy Veterinary Hospital
Animal Hospital of Sebastopol
Cat Hospital of Petaluma
Glen Ellen Veterinary Hospital
Guardian Pet Hospital
Lakeside Pet Hospital
Montecito Veterinary Center
Northtown Animal Hospital
Russian River Veterinary Clinic
Sonoma Valley Pet Clinic
VCA Forestville Pet Clinic
VCA Sequoia Valley Animal Hospital
VCA Westside Animal Hospital
Wikiup Veterinary Hospital

Community Foundation Sonoma County

*Animal Services is a section within the Public Health Division of the Department of Health Services. We are thankful for all our health partners in the County of Sonoma.

Rescue Partners

4 Paws Pet Rescue/Chihuahua Rescue
A Home 4 Ever Rescue
A Leg Up Rescue
A Passion for Paws
ABC Rescue
Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue
American Brittany Rescue
AngelDogs Foundation
Animal Care & Adoption Network
Animal Friends Rescue Project
Animal Place
Animal Rescue Recon
Bald is Beautiful & Small Breed Rescue
Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue
Bay Area Poodle Rescue
Big Dawgs Rescue
BONES Better Options for Neglected Strays
California Miniature Schnauzer Rescue
Cat Hospital of Petaluma
Central Coast Pug Rescue
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Relief & Rescue
Chow Chow Rescue
Copper's Dream Rescue
Countryside Rescue
Crest-Care. Inc.
Dog Adoption & Welfare Group
Dogue de Bordeaux Society
Dogwood Animal Rescue Project, Inc.
Double J Dog Ranch
Farm Sanctuary
Feline Rescue of Northern California
For the Love of Pete
Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County
FurEver Animal Rescue
German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California
German Wirehaired Pointer Club of Northern California
Golden Gate Basset Rescue
Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue, Inc. 

Golden State German Shepherd Rescue
Golden State Greyhound Adoption
Great Dane Rescue of Northern California
Great Pyrenees Rescue of Northern California
Green Dog Rescue Project
Greyhound Friends for Life
Group Education to Protect and Defend
Herd It Through the Grapevine
Home at Last
Homeward Bound CSP
Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc.
House Rabbit Society
Humane Society for Inland Mendocino County
Internet Miniature Pinscher Service
Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch
The Jindo Project
K9BFF, Inc.
Lake County Animal Services
Lily's Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary
Lost Hearts & Souls Horse Rescue
Marin Cat Connection
Marin Humane Society
Mendocino County Animal Care
Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue
Milo Foundation
Miniature Pinscher Rescue
Newfoundland Health and Rescue
Niko Rescue Foundation
No Boundaries Animal Rescue, Inc.
Noah's B'Ark North
NorCal Boxer Rescue
NorCal Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc.
NorCal Irish Setter Rescue
NorCal Pom Rescue, Inc.
NorCal Poodle Rescue
Northern California Animal Rescue Friends

Northern California Border Collie Rescue
Northern California Bulldog Rescue
Northern California Sled Dog Rescue
Northern California Weimaraner Rescue
Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA
Persian & Himalayan Cat Rescue
Petaluma Animal Services
Petaluma Pet Pals
Pets Lifeline, Inc.
Pug Rescue of Sacramento
Puppy Lifesaver, Inc.
Purebreds Plus Cat Rescue, Inc.
Rattie Ratz
Redwood Empire Cage Bird Club
Rescue for North Bay Beagles
Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue
Rocket Dog Rescue, Inc.
Rohnert Park Animal Shelter
Russell Rescue, Inc.
San Francisco Samoyed Rescue, Inc.
San Francisco SPCA
Save A Bunny
Schwartz Family Animal Welfare Foundation
Scottie Rescue Fund of the San Francisco Bay
Scottish Terrier Club
Sequoia Humane Society
Sierra Pacific Great Pyrenees Rescue
Song Dog Rescue, Inc.
Sonoma Humane Society
Southern California Dachshund Relief, Inc.
Southern California Pomeranian Rescue, Inc.
Sunshine Haven
Washoe Valley Pet Pantry
We Care Animal Rescue
Westie Rescue of Northern California
Westie Rescue and Placement of Northern California
White Kitty Foundation
Wildlife Fawn Rescue

Your Money Matters



Shelter: $1,921,113
Field: $1,722,660
Licensing: $1,541,873
Spay & Neuter: $103,654
Grants: $35,000

Revenues are generated by the services provided to the City of Santa Rosa, Town of Windsor, unincorporated Sonoma County, and to animals in and out of the shelter.

Fundraising revenue is allocated to the program or services it specifically funds within shelter, field, or spay and neuter.*


Shelter: $2,464,373
Field: $2,719,005
Spay & Neuter: $144,598

Expenses reflect all costs associated with caring for animals in the shelter, out in the community, through services provided within our jurisdiction, and to Sonoma County residents in general.*

Rabies control is included in Field Services.

*All financial data is from the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Recommendations & Rules

Keep us all safe!

  • RABIES is Real. Vaccinate all domestic dogs and cats, never handle wildlife, and report animal bites.
  • LICENSING Means Love. Help us keep you and your animal safe. All dogs over 4 months old are REQUIRED BY LAW to be licensed in our county and state.
  • MICROCHIP is a Must. A license and microchip is the best way for us to identify (and return) your lost companion.
  • SPAYING & NEUTERING Saves Lives. Sterilized pets live longer, are less likely to run away, and can have more gentle dispositions.
  • NO COMPANIONS in Hot Cars. Do not ever leave your pet in a hot car. New laws effective January 2017 protect animals against this kind of cruelty. Always call your local law enforcement if you see an animal in distress.

What Goes on at the Sonoma County Animal Shelter?


The SMART train whistle and airplanes flying overhead are familiar sounds at the Sonoma County Animal Shelter located off Airport Boulevard in northwest Santa Rosa. But that is all background noise for the good work that goes on every day at the shelter.

Want to know what really goes on everyday? Take a look below for responses to some of the most common questions we get about what goes on at the Sonoma County Animal Shelter.

How does your work day begin?

"Each day is different but we're here to help people. I send officers all over the county to help people with their animals and to mediate or resolve issues."

~Kim, Animal Control Officer

"Each morning in the treatment room we triage. Every day is different and challenging. We do 5- 15 surgeries a day and at least as many examinations. We teach, support, and communicate with staff, volunteers and members of our community. Each day we make a huge difference in the lives of the animals under our care. It is a privilege to work with so many dedicated and compassionate people who care for and love these deserving creatures."

~Dr. Katie, Veterinarian

"My day starts on the phone answering questions about licensing, loose animals, and available resources for animals in our community. The best days are ones when we get to help adopt an animal into a new home or see an animal reunited with its family."

~Melanie, Customer Relations

How can I support Animal Services in my community?

Be an advocate—share the good work we are doing in person or on Facebook.

Be a responsible pet owner—spay or neuter, microchip, license, and vaccinate your companion.

Know your local animal ordinances and report violations in your area.

Adopt. Donate. Volunteer.


What kinds of animals do you care for?

60% Dogs
35% Cats
5% Other

Other includes: Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, pigs, other small mammals, birds and livestock.

Are you a "No Kill" Shelter?

We are working hard to help our community understand what ‘No Kill’ really means. ‘No Kill’ doesn’t mean animals are never euthanized. It refers to careful, responsible, thoughtful, and compassionate euthanasia for specific cases.

We believe in humane euthanasia for animals with severe, untreatable medical or behavioral conditions that we or our partners cannot sustain. We never euthanize for space. Our live release rate in 2015-2016 was 83.4%.

We approach each animal individually and develop a care plan to compassionately address each unique animal based on the needs of that animal.

We provide shelter, resources, care and protection to the county's residents and animals.

Why is Animal Services part of the County of Sonoma?

We have a responsibility to PROTECT animal and human health; INVESTIGATE and PROSECUTE animal cruelty, abuse and neglect; EDUCATE the community about responsible pet ownership (vaccinations, spay & neutering, etc.); and to CARE for homeless pets until they can be ADOPTED into their forever homes.

Being part of the county provides us with the resources and authority to do all of these.


What is the adoption process like?

  • View all our adoptable animals on our website.
  • Fill out an adoption application.
  • Visit the shelter to learn more about how your new companion would fit into your life.
  • Meet the furry, fuzzy or feathered friend with one of our trained Animal Health Technicians.
  • Already have a dog? We'll schedule a time for a dog-to- dog introduction to make sure everyone gets along.
  • Our Customer Service staff will take care of all the paperwork and fees before sending you home.
  • Send us updates—stories, photos, videos of your new companion enjoying life in their forever home!



We've worked hard to make sure our shelter is hospitable to animals and people alike. Take a look at what we've ACCOMPLISHED…

  • Calming music and sound system in kennel area
  • Misting system to controla temperature
  • New cat kennels in reception area

…and what we're PLANNING.

  • New play yards help increase adoptability
  • Acoustic tiles to lessen noise in kennels
  • Updated meet and greet areas

Let Us Help You Connect with Your Shelter


Just Ask Us

Lost a pet? Found a stray? Need to license your dog? Hope to meet your new companion animal? Seeking a low-cost spay or neuter option? Curious about local ordinances for animals? Sonoma County Animal Services can help.

Thank You for Your Continued Support

Sonoma County Animal Services compassionately cares for animals at our shelter, located off Airport Boulevard in Santa Rosa. We provide field services and are responsible for licensing and ordinance compliance in the City of Santa Rosa, Town of Windsor and unincorporated areas of Sonoma County.


Contact Information

Business Hours
*Dispatch Hours 8:00–5:30
Closed to public
Tuesday – Saturday
Adoption and Shelter Hours by Appointment Only
Phones 9:00AM to 5:30PM
*Dispatch Hours 8:00–5:30

*Dispatch is unable to answer financial questions. For assistance regarding licensing, billing and collection proceedings, please call during our phone hours to speak with customer relations staff. Due to high call volumes, there may be long hold times; we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We can also be reached by email:

Contact us by Phone
Sonoma County Animal Services
1247 Century Ct
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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Annual Report

Annual Report

Our 2016 Annual Report can be downloaded or read on our website.

Download our annual report.

2016 Annual Report
Read our annual report on our website