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Department of Health Services

Sonoma County Animal Services

What We Do

Our Vision & Mission

Sonoma County Animal Services is committed to serving the public in the care and well being of animals, both domestic and livestock, throughout the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County and the City of Santa Rosa.

Our mission is to create a balance between the population of domestic animals and responsible homes to care for them within the County of Sonoma.

  • Protect the health and safety of people and animals.
  • Investigate and prosecute animal cruelty, abuse and neglect.
  • Educate the public about responsible domestic animal ownership.
  • Reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neuter programs.
  • Provide a safe environment for animals in need.
  • Place adoptable animals into caring homes.

What kind of shelter are you?

Sonoma County Animal Services is a open admission shelter. We never euthanize for space or time. While we accept animals regardless of breed, age, medical history or behavior, we carefully manage the intake of owned animals to ensure space for all animals in our care. This means that there is often a waiting list for an owner to surrender an animal to us.

What kinds of animals do you care for?

At the shelter, we primarily care for dogs and cats but we also shelter and re-home rabbits, guinea pigs, small rodents, goats, pigs, sheep, peacocks, ducks, chickens, and birds. Our Animal Control Officers also manage cows, donkeys, horses, other livestock and more while out in the field. We work with local partners to provide care for these animals.

How do animal arrive at the shelter?

Stray and loose animals are brought to the shelter by our animal control officers and caring residents.

Owned animals that can no longer be cared for by their owners are surrendered to us during their owner-surrender appointment.

Who cares for the animals and what do they do?

Animal control officers return stray animals to owners or bringing them to the shelter, rescue and care of injured or distressed animals, perform rabies control, investigage reports of animal abuse and neglect, and enforce animal regulation laws and ordinances.

Animal health technicians work closely with our veterinarian to keep our animals healthy, and with our behaviorist on behavior modification. They are also responsible for the intake of animals and for adoption counseling with potential adopters. 

Animal care assistants provide daily care for animals and the shelter, and are in charge of cleaning, feeding and watering all our animals.

Customer relations staff interact with almost everyone who comes to our shelter or reaches out by phone. They are here to help find information, claim a lost pet or adopt a new one.

Volunteers play a critical role in socializing and enriching the lives of our shelter animals. Learn how to become a volunteer!

What happens once an animal is at the shelter?

Once an animal is in our care, we work hard to provide it with the best quality of life possible in our shelter. Animals receive life-saving medical care, vaccinations, are spayed or neutered, and receive regular attention, enrichment and care from our staff and volunteers.

If an animal comes in as a stray animal, we try to reunite them with their family. If no family can be found, we can begin to work with that animal to help them become a candidate for adoption.

  • Only if an animal is suffering from severe, untreatable medical or behavioral conditions will humane euthanasia be considered.
  • We find every adoptable animal in our care a loving forever home.