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. We work to achieve this balance by:
- Protecting the health and safety of people & animals
- Investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty, abuse and neglect
- Educating the public about responsible domestic animal ownership
- Reducing pet overpopulation through Spay/Neuter programs
- Providing a safe environment for animals in need
- Placing adoptable animals into caring homes
Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) is an Open Admission Municipal Shelter. We never euthanize for time or space. 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. Please visit our FAQ page for more inforamtion on SCAS.
Animals arrive at our shelter primarily as a stray. Good Samaritans often bring stray animals directly to the shelter. Our Animal Control Officers also pick up animals in the field (dependent on circumstances). We sometimes receive animals under other criteria as well: abandoned, deceased owner(s), hospitalized or incarcerated owner(s).
Owned animals that can no longer be cared for by their owners are subject to a wait list. It is suggested to contact the shelter as early as possible to hold a place on our Owner Surrender List. A staff member will then contact you when there is availability to set up an appointment for surrender. Please note: It is highly recommended to seek out other resources as our wait times vary and can be months out. Please see our Re-Home Your Pet section for more details and resources.
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 necessary vaccinations and have their picture taken to be posted on our website. Then, the animal will be on hold for 7 calendar days, 10 days if the animal has identification. Livestock animals are on hold for 14 days, giving an owner time to claim the animal. Once an animal’s hold has expired, they are behaviorally assessed for adoptability. After their behavior assessment they are potentially medically evaluated, spayed/neutered (if necessary), and potentially moved forward for adoption. Once up for adoption the animals remain adoptable- we do not euthanize due to time or space.
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 work to find every adoptable animal in our care a loving forever home
We have dedicated staff who all play a role in providing care for the animals and services to our community.
Animal control officers are primarily responsible for picking up stray animals out in the field. These calls can vary from roaming animals, sick or injured animals or assisting the public with aggressive animals. Animal Control Officers manage and perform routine Rabies control measures. They also investigate reports of animal abuse and neglect, and enforce animal regulation laws and ordinances.
Animal health technicians work closely with our Veterinarian providing medical treatments and assisting with surgeries and exams. They also are responsible for the flow of an animal’s stay. They manage the intakes, assessments, adoptions, and connecting with our rescue partners. They also provide training and support to our Volunteers.
Animal care assistants provide daily care to our animals. They are responsible for feeding, providing water, and cleaning the animals every day. Standard disease control practices and attention to detail play a key role in their daily functions.
Customer relations staff interact with almost everyone who contacts the shelter. They primarily answer phones and assist public members in our lobby. They process licensing, rabies certificates, adoptions, owner returns and donations. They are here to help find information and direct the public to information and resources they are seeking.
Volunteers play a critical role in socializing and enriching the lives of our shelter animals. See our Volunteer section for the various roles our Volunteers contribute to our shelter.