Sometimes a little trim is all it takes to change a life

You could just see Buster’s demeanor change as SPCA volunteer groomer, Peggy,IMG_1294 patiently and gently worked away with a metal comb. The little nine-year-old Shih Tzu mix really seemed to enjoy the attention, but it was hard to tell who was enjoying the grooming session more.

Peggy, a career Registered Veterinary Technician and trained groomer, has been volunteering her time at the SPCA weekly since 2015 and loves the experience.

“This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” says Peggy. “Working with these little rescue guys means so much to me.

“It is so rewarding to see their sad little faces start to brighten and their tails start to wag as they are being groomed. They feel better  –  and it shows,” added Peggy.

So many of the dogs (and cats) that come to the SPCA are in dire need of grooming prior to adoption. From full body shaves for extremely matted animals, to baths, trims and brushing for so many others, Peggy is changing lives and helping to get animals adopted every time she visits the SPCA with brushes in hand.

“I just love grooming and have endless patience with these little guys,” reflects Peggy. “And I have a special spot in my heart for homeless animals. These guys give me as much as I am giving them, and I feel so fortunate every time I come in to the SPCA to volunteer,” she says. “It truly takes a village to care for these animals and I’m proud to be a part of the team at the SPCA working to find great homes for homeless animals.”

Adopt Bueller

Bueller---faceBueller’s going home! The time has finally come for little Bueller to leave the nest. Although this time is bittersweet for those of us at the Sacramento SPCA, we are very excited to begin receiving your applications and learn how your home will be a great one for him.

Applications to adopt Bueller will be accepted from Thursday, February 18 to Thursday, February Bueller225 at 5 p.m. PT. The following forms and information are required to apply:

1. Sacramento SPCA dog matchmaker questionnaire
2. A brief letter explaining how your home and lifestyle will be well-suited for Bueller

Email or fax your full application to Sacramento SPCA Foster Care Coordinator Sarah Varanini by the deadline. Fax Bueller1number: (916) 394-5390.

You may also drop off your application at the Sacramento SPCA at 6201 Florin-Perkins Rd., 95828. Please deliver it to the front receiving building (follow the signs).

Although we’d like nothing more than to fulfill requests to meet Bueller prior to the processing of each application, please know that we are unable to given the number of animals we care for each day.

Applications chosen for consideration will be contacted the week of February 28. If we determine that the first applicant is not a good fit for Bueller or if the applicant decides not to adopt him, we will move on to the next preferred applicant.

When a match has been made, an announcement will be made celebrating the next step in Bueller’s life — his adoption — a success we couldn’t have achieved without your incredible support.

From all of us at the Sacramento SPCA, thank you for allowing our little Bueller to capture your hearts.


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Sundays are just for Ferals

20000th-feralAt the Sacramento SPCA we are known problem-solvers.  So, in 2007, as the number of feral cats entering the shelter continued to rise, a group of dedicated staff and volunteers decided to create a special day just for feral cats.

More than 20,000 spays and neuters later, “Feral Cat Sundays” are creating change in our community.  Four Sundays each month, surgeons, vet techs and a crew of volunteers (many of them UC Davis veterinary students) arrive at the SPCA spay/neuter clinic ready and eager to get to work helping homeless cats.

In addition to the special Sunday clinics, SPCA surgeons perform an average of 1,440 annual feral cat surgeries during regular clinic hours Monday – Saturday.  Since 2007, more than 10,000 of these additional surgeries have been performed – bring the number of feral and community cats altered to more than 30,000.

“Since we started our feral cat spay/neuter program, the numbers of kittens surrendered to area animal shelters has reduced dramatically,” says SPCA Chief of Shelter Medicine, Dr. Laurie Siperstein-Cook.  “We like to think that our trap-neuter-return clinics have played a role in helping to reduce the number of unwanted kittens being born in the Sacramento community,.”

Whether they arrive for a Sunday clinic, or are trapped and brought in during the week, feral cats are not only altered through the SPCA clinic, these cats are vaccinated, treated for fleas and ear-tipped to permanently identify them as altered.  In many cases, injured and sick feral cats are provided with basic treatment that allows the cats to be returned to their colonies not only altered but healthier than before coming in to the clinic.

To reserve one or more spots at a Feral Sunday clinic, e-mail us at or leave a message at (916) 504-2818.  The price for the Sunday clinics is $17 per cat and includes spay/neuter, a mandatory ear tip, FVRCP and rabies vaccinations, and a flea treatment.

Trapped feral cats may also be brought to the Sacramento SPCA Spay/Neuter clinic, Monday through Saturday without an appointment.  Space at these clinics is limited; therefore, we will only accept one trapped cat per person, per day.  Surgery spaces will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.  The price is $50 for a female and $35 for a male and includes spay/neuter, FVRCP and rabies vaccinations, and a mandatory ear tip.

Gray Muzzles Rule!

Gia collage

Gia, a 10-year-old lab/Mastiff mix, was originally brought to the SPCA for end of life services due to her age and an on-going infection that had never been treated by a veterinarian.  She was also missing the toes on one of her front feet due to a birth defect.

We fell in love with this sweet, older gal right away and, after talking with her owners about her medical situation and our thoughts about her adoption potential, Gia’s owners agreed to sign her over to us so that we could pursue treatment and ultimately adoption placement.

After her surrender, our veterinary team examined Gia and determined that her age wasn’t a problem and that her infection could be cured with proper treatment.  We also repaired an aural hematoma on her ear and she was off to foster care for recovery.

Soon it was time for Gia to find a new home.  Much to our delight, she wasn’t up on our website for more than an hour when she caught the eye of the Bilodeau-Carlucci family.  They immediately headed to the SPCA from the Bay Area to meet this sweet gal and a connection was made right away!  She was just the new companion they were looking for.

Soon after her arrival in her new home, we received the following message from Gia’s family:

“We absolutely love Gia.  She is just laying the cuteness on real thick!  She can’t get enough snuggles and we have plenty to give!  Thank you to all those who took part in making her who she has become.  She will be treated like the queen she is at her 10 young years-of-age.”

We love seniors here at the Sacramento SPCA and we place hundreds of these golden oldies in great new homes every year.  Like Gia, these senior animals often require some medical attention prior to adoption and these procedures don’t come cheap.  If you would like to help us care for other older animals like Gia, please consider making a donation to our Paws for Health Fund today and help us to help those who need us the most.

Giving Their Time for the Animals

Do you have an eye for fashion?  Are you a social butterfly?  Do you have a background in nursing?  Are you particularly fond of helping seniors?  Then we have just the job for you!

When you become a Sacramento SPCA volunteer, the possibilities are nearly endless.  From assisting our spay/neuter team with animals before and after surgery, to arranging fashions and helping shoppers find great deals at our Thrift Store, SPCA volunteers can be found giving their time and talent in nearly every area of the SPCA – both at the shelter and off-site.

In 2015, our more than 2,500 volunteers selflessly donated nearly 40,000 hours of their time to help animals in need.  They assisted at special events, walked dogs and brushed cats, assisted seniors and their pets at our monthly vaccination clinics.  Others stuffed Kongs with peanut butter and other goodies so that our shelter dogs would have a fun and delicious way to spend an afternoon.  Whatever your passion, whatever your talent or interest, there is a place for you among our dedicated group of SPCA volunteers.  If you are alread an SPCA volunteer – we thank you!  If you are interested in learning more about volunteering, visit  We hope to see you in 2016!


Fostering Hope

In 2015, the babies just seemed to keep on coming and, thanks to the SPCA’s dedicated groups of foster homes, we were ready for them!  Box after box and crate after crate, neonatal/unweaned kittens and puppies continued to arrive at the SPCA from early spring through the end of the year, and our staff and foster volunteers stepped up to care for them in record numbers.

Unweaned kittens and puppies are difficult animals to foster as they require almost around-the-clock care, and their survival rate is lower than it is for older kittens and puppies.  In 2015, with the influx of these tiny homeless animals, several SPCA staff members and a few of our longtime foster volunteers stepped up as our go-to bottle baby brigade.

Christmas Puppies

In late October, the Sacramento SPCA received a large box of eight two-day-old pit bull puppies.  Under normal circumstances, this would have been an extremely difficult litter to place in foster care.  However, four staff members agreed to take two puppies each to help lighten the load.  After weeks of late night bottle-feedings, the “Reindeer” pups, as they were called, grew up strong and healthy, and were adopted before the end of the year.

In 2015, more than 900 animals received the extra time and TLC they needed in foster care before being adopted.  From under aged kittens and animals recuperating from surgery, to timid animals in need of some time in a home environment to gain confidence, the SPCA’s foster families make a world of difference to hundreds of animals each year!

If you are interested in learning more about our foster care program, please visit


One in Four

Oreo, a nine-year-old Japanese Chin, was surrendered to the SPCA when his original Oreoowner became too ill to care for him.  When the little dog arrived at the SPCA, he had advanced dental disease.  He was thin and had a rather severe heart murmur.

In addition to the essential veterinary care that each animal receives, approximately one in four animals received by the Sacramento SPCA each year require some sort of more advanced veterinary care before we are able to place them up for adoption.  From broken, tattered limbs and other injuries to cases of heartworm and advanced periodontal disease, more than 1,500 animals received special medical care prior to finding their new families in 2015.

Thanks to a generous grant from the TS and KD Glide Foundation, the SPCA was able to purchase a dental x-ray machine that will enable us to provide animals with better oral care in the coming years.  Many older animals and very often small dogs, require major dental work before they are deemed healthy enough for adoption.  The SPCA’s new dental x-ray will make these procedures more efficient and effective, enabling us to further expand the medical services that we provide the animals in our care.

12314422_1083539901678843_7084279389647837890_oWith help from the SPCA’s shelter medicine team, little Oreo was immediately placed on a special feeding plan to help him gain weight and strength.  Soon, he was healthy enough for x-rays and a dental procedure in our clinic.  He lost several teeth in the process, but soon recovered and was placed in an amazing home with a family who loves him – missing teeth, heart murmur and all!

Louie’s Long Road Home

Louie’s journey to his forever home was a long, sometimes frightening, and often confusing one – but one that ends happily.LouieThe once-timid Mastiff mix arrived at the San Francisco International Airport last (Summer/Spring) with nine other dogs rescued from a Korean dog meat farm where their fate was certain death.  Staff and volunteers from the Sacramento SPCA arrived at the airport to find Louie and the other dogs huddled in crates awaiting transport to a new life.  For 10 of the dogs, this new life would begin at the Sacramento SPCA, where they would spend the next several weeks learning to trust people, learning to walk on a leash, learning what it is like to romp and play with another dog.  Learning what it means to be loved and cared for.

SPCA staff and volunteers provide love and compassionate care to each and every animal that comes into our shelter, but their work with the dogs from Korea just might have had the most transformative results.  Day in and out, staff and volunteers cared for Louie and the other dogs, offering patient, gentle encouragement as they worked to teach the dogs the basics of “being a real dog.”  one by one, the dogs began to trust and they began to open up to human touch.  And one by one these dogs progressed and were placed into permanent homes with loving families.  Louie is now living with a gentle couple who continues to work with him daily, and he also shares his home with his new best friend, Cherry, who is teaching him life’s ropes from a canine perspective.

Nearly 4,500 once-homeless animals were placed with loving families in 2015.  These happy endings would not have been possible without support from our dedicated volunteers, wonderful supporters, loving adopters and compassionate staff.  Thank you for a year of second chances and happy beginnings.

The Never-Ending Kitten Season

EPS_8961Kitten season refers to the months where shelters like the SPCA see many underage kittens come through our doors.

This season typically runs from April to September, and during this time we often receive boxes of young kittens daily. This year, despite the fact that winter is fast-approaching, the weather has remained mild. Unfortunately, this unseasonably warm weather has resulted in the Sacramento SPCA receiving young, unweaned kittens into November.

Our foster program currently has more than 80 kittens in foster care…a number unheard of in November!

Interested in becoming an SPCA foster parent?  We are always in need of new foster parents who can help raise these young kittens and help get them ready for their new homes.  Visit our website for more information.

Got a full house already? We are also in need of supplies like meat flavored baby food and small litter boxes, which help young kittens grow big and strong! You can even order from our SPCA Amazon Wish List and save a trip to the store!

Unique gifts that keep on giving

Tired of giving tacky ties and other token gifts?  Are you looking for unique holiday gift ideas that give back?  Well, look no further.  The Sacramento SPCA has a gaggle of great gift ideas that are sure to please friends and family…and the animals win too!


Greetings!  Purchase a package of greeting cards (blank inside) featuring whimsical original artwork by local artist, Kat Moon.  All animals depicted were adopted from the Sacramento SPCA and proceeds from the sale of the cards benefit the SPCA.  Get a package of five, limited-edition cards and envelopes for just $8 at the SPCA Adoption Center.


Deck ‘em out in SPCA logo-wear and help those you love make a fashion statement! Choose from a variety of unique SPCA shirts, sweatshirts and more. Shop in person at the SPCA adoption center during regular shelter hours.

Honor a loved one with a custom tile, brick, personalized card or e-card.  Design (or let friends and family design) a custom tile to be displayed at the SPCA adoption center.  Honor or memorialize a beloved pet.  Use your creativity to tell a friend how much you care. Or send your holiday message in a card or e-card, featuring one or our many custom designs.  For information on purchasing a brick, tile or personalized card, click here or call (916) 504-2843.

Shop our boutique Thrift Store for gently-used bargains and a variety of holiday decor!  Visit the Sacramento SPCA Thrift Store at 1517 E Street in Midtown Sacramento and you’ll find holiday decorations, clothing, and plenty of great gifts for everyone on your list.  Call (916) 442-8118 or click here for hours and additional information.

Become a Constant Companion.  For as little as $5 per month, you (or a friend) can become a Constant Companion to the animals at the Sacramento SPCA.  Monthly donations help to make our work possible.  In 2015, with help from our monthly Constant Companion donors and others, the SPCA will find homes for thousands of animals.  We will spay/neuter more than 23,000 animals in our clinic.  We will provide assistance to senior citizens and their pets, and we will educate children – the next generation of humane leaders and pet caregivers.  By becoming a Constant Companion you, your family and friends are helping us to help those who need us most.  For information on making a monthly donation, click here or call (916) 504-2803.

Give the gift of membership!  For a minimum donation of $20, you can give someone a Sacramento SPCA membership.  Members receive a Sacramento SPCA decal, a one-year subscription to our Heartline newsletter, enrollment in our online community, and the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping to change lives for the better.  For membership information, click here or call (916) 504-2803.

For more information on these and other gift ideas that help the animals, visit or call (916) 504-2803.  Happy holidays to you, your family and friends!