Photo by Anne Lowe

3839 Bradshaw Rd
Mon - Tues: closed
Wed - Fri: 12:30 - 5:30 PM
Sat - Sun: 12 noon - 4:30 PM
General - (916) 368-7387 (PETS)
Volunteer Coordinator - (916) 875-5848
Adoption Partner/Rescue services - (916) 875-7982
Spay-Neuter services - (916) 874-3499 (FIXX)
After Hours- Phone: 916-368-7387
Fax: (916) 875-5519
[email protected]
Facebook page

The Sacramento County Department of Animal Care and Regulation was established in 1964 to temporarily house stray animals. Since then the shelter has expanded dramatically to not only house stray animals, but also offer public services. About 15,000 stray animals enter the shelter yearly, coming in as strays, abandoned, confiscated for neglect or cruelty, or surrendered by their owner. Of these 15,000 animals, a majority consist of dogs and cats. However the shelter also hosts reptiles, rabbits, exotic animals, livestock and wildlife as well.

See also other local services & organizations.


The shelter has many animals available for adoption and will be glad to adopt an animal to anyone who is 18 years or older.

In order to adopt an animal from Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulations Shelter you must go through an adoption process. This adoption process is made to ensure that an owner makes the right choice.

First you must complete a Meet Your Match Survey that can be found on the website under the “Adoption process” link or is provided in the shelter. This form is similar to a questionnaire and asks questions about the kind of pet you are looking for. Before you are allowed to socialize with any of the animals you are required to complete this form. Once this form is completed or received, a volunteer will assist throughout the adoption process and will help find the perfect pet to match what was stated on the application.

Second, adopters are allowed to visit the pets and become acquainted with them. To make the adoption process easier for the adopter, each pet has an information packet that lists the personality of the pet and different traits they carry. This allows adopters to make the right choice and consider if the animal is right for them.

Third, the initial process begins and adopters meet with an adoption counselor to process paper work. Once the paper work is done adopters can proceed to the payment desk.

Unless the pet chosen is not neutered or spayed, new owners can immediately take their pet home. However if the animal is not neutered or spayed the animal must go through spay/neuter surgery. This usually is done within 1 business day. Once the surgery is completed, new pets will be allowed to enter their new home.


Volunteers are highly appreciated at the Animal Care and Regulations shelter as a majority of the workers consist of them. With the dramatic decrease in workers due to federal budget cuts, the work load around the shelter has increased and volunteers help fill that gap. Volunteers can do numerous jobs and often work along side the employees. Volunteer positions include:

  • Dog socialization
  • Dog walker
  • Cat socialization
  • Rabbit socialization
  • Horse and livestock care
  • Clerical assistance
  • Adoption counseling
  • Adoption Progress
  • Laundry
  • Shelter greeter
  • Fundraising
  • Sewing and Cooking
  • ...and many more.

In order to become a volunteer you must attend an orientation, which is usually held the beginning of every month. For more orientation details and dates visit the website and look under the “help the animals” tab to find the volunteer link. Once an orientation is attended you will be required to attend a training session (usually held the following week of orientation). The training sessions will vary with whichever animal you chose to work with. Once these two tasks are completed volunteers will be able to work in the shelter and help out!

Lost and Found Services

Animal Care and Regulation offers shelter to lost animals and will shelter them for a minimum of 72 business hours before they are evaluated for adaptability. The shelter will welcome any lost pets found within the county of Sacramento (except Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove). If you have lost your pet, the shelter website offers photos and descriptions of all their lost and found pets with the number the animal was given in the system. The website also offers a Lost Animal Form that can be put in a Lost Animal Binder in the Animal Care and Regulations Lobby. You can either deliver the form to the shelter personally, or via fax.

Low Cost Services

Sacramento County Department of Animal Care and Regulation offers many low-cost services including affordable vaccinations and micro-chipping every 3rd Thursday of the Month, $6 Rabies Vaccinations (animals must be 4 months or older), general health/disease vaccinations, heartworm testing, flea/tick preventatives, and even licensing. Also available for families with an annual household income of $35,000 or less is a spay/neuter incentive program.

The shelter also offers temporary boarding to pets whose owners are going through a short term hardship. If you are struggling through foreclosure or have a home disaster that leaves your pet with no where to stay, Animal Care and Regulations will house your pet free of charge until you are settled and your pet has somewhere to stay. For more information contact the shelter via phone or email.

Fund Donations

Animal Care and Regulations of Sacramento County greatly appreciates donations of supplies or tax-deductible funds. They accept any amount of money from 20 dollars to 1,000 dollars and will even tell you directly where your money is going. For example,


  • Buys grooming supplies to help neglected animals.
  • Vaccinates one animal.


  • Provides special beds for shelter cats and dogs.
  • Provides shelter with leashes and treats to walk and train shelter animals.


  • Purchases a bucket of toys for our dogs and cats.
  • Fills the gas tank of one of our rescue vehicles.


  • Provides special food for underage or ill animals.
  • Spays/neuters two dogs and four cats.


  • Allows for medical needs for sick or injured animals.
  • Buys one complete set of surgical instruments.


  • Provides a month of transportation costs for a rescue vehicle.
  • Provides a severe medical surgery for a shelter animal.

To donate a tax-refundable finacial donation, please make checks payable to Sacramento County Animal Care 3839 Bradshaw Road Sacramento, CA 95827 or visit the website and go to the link titled "help the animals", click on the donate link, and follow the Donate Now paw. This link will lead you to a page that will allow you to enter your information and place a donation.

Item Donations

Supply donations are very important and are a great benefit to the animals. The shelter has a wish list of items that would be greatly appreciated. The wish list includes:


  • Kongs
  • Dog/cat toys
  • Cat scratching posts

Food and treat items

  • Pet food (Science Diet brand cat/kitten, dog/puppy, canned/dry)
  • Peanut butter (for Kong stuffing)
  • Hotdogs (for Kong stuffing and training treats)
  • Treats (dog, cat, rabbit, Guinea Pig & exotic bird)
  • Kitten & puppy formula (KMR, Esbilac, 2nd Step)
  • Kitten & puppy feeding bottles
  • Timothy Hay (for our rabbits)

Comfort and Care items

  • Blankets, bedspreads/comforters * (please, no sheets or clothing)
  • Towels
  • Dog & cat beds (new or gently used)
  • Heating pads, hot water bottles, humidifiers (for sick animals)
  • Grooming supplies (dog, cat & horse)
  • Puppy potty‐training pads

Other Items

  • New dog leashes, collars and harnesses
  • New cat collars (safety/break‐away type preferred)
  • New litter boxes and litter‐box scoopers
  • Cat litter (clay or clumping type)
  • Beverage cans (for recycling fundraising program)
  • Digital cell phones (for recyclingfundraising program)
  • Used printer cartridges (for fundraising recycling program)
  • 10‐20 gallon & larger storage totes
  • 1 to 5 gallon plastic food storage bags
  • Dryer static sheets

If you would like to make a donation, donations can be dropped off during regular business hours.

Bark Park Dog Park

Bark Park is a gated dog park located right outside the shelter that is open to the public. Bark Park is open seven days a week from 8 a.m to dusk. The park is separated into two sections for small dogs and for big dogs. It is equipped with dog drinking fountains and has plenty of space for the dogs to run around and play. The dog park is intended for dog owners to allow their dogs to play and get exercise off their leash, as well as socialize with other dogs.


Information on this page can be found at

This report was written for Cynthia Linville's English 1A class at CSUS Sacramento, fall 2011.

2011-11-05 22:20:42 - I attended the November new volunteer orientation. The orientation lasted two hours from 10 a.m to 12 noon, and was very informative. I am very interested and excited to become a volunteer and am looking forward to my training Saturday, November 12. Once the orientation was over, I took a tour of the shelter and was very impressed. It was clean, spacious, and the animals were all very healthy and happy. Most importantly everything was well organized and was easy to find my way around. While I was looking around I noticed a large amount of people visit the shelter as it was pretty busy. People were adopting animals, and buying items from the store located in the front of the shelter. The volunteers definitely help out a lot and were all very helpful. I almost wanted to adopt a dog myself! I look forward to my volunteer experience there and can't wait to socialize with the dogs. —Jasmin Suazo (Sac State Student)