Let’s Talk Strays

Blog Post

All of your local shelters, including the Sacramento SPCA, have modified their operations in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, creating some confusion and misinformation about what to do if you find a stray animal.

First, it’s important to know that where you found a stray matters.

  • You cannot take a stray found in the county to the city shelter and you cannot take an animal found in the city to the county shelter or to the Sacramento SPCA. 

Second, the condition and health of the animal will determine if any shelter can or will take in the animal.

  • Stray Healthy Cat: If you found a healthy cat (not injured or emaciated): put it back where you found it. You can find more information about why this helps stray cats here.
  • Stray Sick or Injured Cat: Take to a local vet or animal shelter for immediate medical care.
    • If found in the City of Sacramento (green street signs), call 311 to make an appointment to bring the animal to the City shelter on Front Street.
    • If found in the County of Sacramento (white street signs), call 311 or take to the County shelter on Bradshaw.
    • For Elk Grove, call (916) 687-3042 and in Rancho Cordova, call (916) 851-8852.
  • Stray Healthy Dog: Please be a part of the solution by housing the dog until you can locate the owner. Use the Found Animal Tips linked here. If you can’t house the dog, please call 311 to make an appointment with the appropriate shelter. Due to modified operations (reduced staffing & hours designed to ensure ongoing care of animals in the shelter), the City and County shelters and the Sacramento SPCA are not accepting healthy animals without an appointment.
  • Stray Sick, Injured or Aggressive Dog: Dial 311 and report an animal in danger or animal of danger to humans. Please do not approach the animal. Remember, even the friendliest of animals can bite out of fear or pain.
  • Owned Animals: If you need to surrender an animal you own (not a stray) and you are not able to rehome it on your own, call the Sacramento SPCA at 916-504-2851 to make an appointment. Due to reduced staffing & hours designed to ensure ongoing care of animals in the shelter, we are booked several weeks out for surrenders.

Thank you for helping the animals in our community! We understand this is a stressful time for everyone and we appreciate your patience as we ALL WORK TOGETHER to help lost animals find their way home.