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Department of Health Services

Sonoma County Animal Services

Animal Services Updates - November 1, 2019

Published: November 01, 2019

Animal Services mission continues to be providing high quality and compassionate care for our community’s domestic animals and livestock. In the wake of the fires, our work has been and will be focused on the rescue, recovery and reunification of animals affected by the fires and directing Sonoma CART to assist with large animal evacuations.

Field Operations

Field operations include all work done by Animal Services and their partners, and collaborators in the field.


  • Animal Services shelter maintained normal operations for the first two days after the fire started. We deployed our Mobile Animal Unit (MAC) to the Veterans Hall Building to provide temporary animal boarding for evacuees, animal food and supplies.
  • On the third day, we transferred out all adoptable and lost/found animals, none of the animals transferred out were animals from the fires. At that same time, we began intake of animals from evacuees providing no-cost temporary boarding. At approximately 6pm, we began evacuating our shelter population of approximately 75 animals to an off-site temporary location at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds. Our staff stayed (24/7) at the temporary location for 4 nights and 5 days.
  • A week after the fire started, after the mandatory evacuation orders were lifted, we re-populated our shelter closing the temporary location in Cloverdale.
  • We are currently closed to the public, awaiting inspection of our gas lines from PGE and our MAC unit and services offered to evacuees was closed down and brought back to the Animal Services shelter location.
  • We’ve returned to day dispatch operations running from 8am-5:30pm.

The focus of field work has been on rescue and recovery, welfare checks for animals left behind during evacuations, leaving food and water for animals in areas inaccessible to their families, and directing Sonoma CART to assist with transporting livestock to safe shelter and reuniting livestock and equine after the evacuation orders have been lifted. We are also delivering and directing Sonoma CART to provide veterinary care to injured animals in the field (mainly large animals and livestock).

The initial response in the field also includes the provision of animal care and supplies (food, bowls, carriers, etc.) at multiple evacuation shelters throughout Sonoma County.

Rescue efforts, welfare checks and other animal care needs will continue to be met as long as they are needed and can be requested by calling our shelter at 707-565-7100 during regular hours which are Tues-Sat from 9am-5:30pm. After hours, for emergencies and emergency services, please contact Sonoma Sheriff or CHP.

    Shelter Operations

    Shelter operations include the medical care, sheltering and reunification efforts of animals both large and small.

    • We wish to aid community in the animal reunification process by offering no-fees for costs of care. Community members can come by Animal Services, once we are open, and with proof of animal ownership and claim their pets.
    • We are currently reuniting lost/found animals and returning temporary boarding animals by delivering them to their homes upon request.
    • Our stray hold period will not be limited to the normal period during disaster recovery. We will identify stray hold periods once we determine what is feasible per shelter capacity, needs and requirements.
    • The shelter will serve as the triage and treatments center for animals injured in the fire, if needed and/or if necessary.
    • Veterinary care for animals affected by the fires is offered at no cost.
    • Animals in need of 24 hour veterinary care, or in need of intensive treatment for severe injuries can be transferred to our partners at 24-hour pet hospitals.
    • The shelter is also providing no-cost boarding for animals displaced by the fires (space is limited so please call ahead).
    • Our shelter is not at capacity at this time.


    Animals Services continues to provide regular updates to our community on our services as follows:

    • Our website and Facebook are the primary sources for public information.
    • The Facebook page will be used to promote stray/lost animals for whom we have no owner or cannot reach the owner, and to recognize and acknowledge the breadth of work going on in response to the fires across all areas of the shelter, field and its partners.
    • The website is a more static source of updates and information, including the current animal population at the shelter.
    • We are working with our local operations centers and joint information center to get up to date information to the media.

    Partnerships & Collaborations

    Animals Services’ work regularly relies on the collaboration of other shelters, rescues, veterinary medical professionals, and volunteers to provide the best animal care possible. The response to the fires is no exception and highlights the need and value of collaboration. We are grateful to work with the ASPCA, the California Veterinary Medical Association Medical Reserve Corp and Sonoma CART. We are also grateful for the assistance of Animal Control Officers from Lake County, Roseville, Freemont, Alameda County, Sacramento County, Palo Alto, Solano County, Butte County and many more. We thank the following for their assistance as well: Sonoma Horse Council, Sonoma Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, CAL-FIRE, local fire departments, and Santa Rosa Police and NorthBay Animal Services, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Humane Society of Sonoma County, Forgotten Felines, Pets Lifeline and Rohnert Park Animal Services and many other agencies.


    Any monetary donations can be made via our website. We are not currently in need of supplies, etc. and will update our online information if/when that changes.

    The Numbers

    • Animal Services officers have responded to approximately 1500+ calls and emails for service since the fires began—nearly 3x the normal call volume.
    • We are currently providing care for 90 animals including 48 animals we are providing no-cost temporary boarding for.

      Online Media

      A week after the fire started, our FaceBook page is:

      • Engaging with (or talking to) 29.1K people. Our weekly engagement is normally 2.5-3K people.
      • We’ve received 300 new page likes. We normally receive 25-40 new likes per week.
      • Our posts are reaching 162,480 people. They normally reach 25-50K people.