On the Road Again
How our Shelter Transfer Program Helps Animals in Need

Blog Post
Volunteer Alex Russell in our former transfer van

Did you know the Sacramento SPCA has a robust transfer program? Since 2016, we have transferred over 1,000 animals from shelters in California. Our regular partners include the County of Sacramento on Bradshaw, Lodi Animal Services, Stockton Animal Services and the City of Sacramento shelter on Front Street (who we visit weekly). 

How does this program help the animals? These transfers allow the overburdened shelters to have open kennels for incoming animals. This is incredibly important for municipal shelters who need space for strays loose in the community. Another bonus? Many times, a change of scenery is all it takes for an animal to find a home!


Thanks to incredibly generous grants from Petsmart Charities, we plan to expand our shelter transfer program even further! A $50,000 grant allowed us to purchase a brand-new transfer van, which nearly doubles the number of animals we can pull from a single location! This van recently made the trip down to Kettleman City, where we picked up 15 dogs from areas affected by Hurricane Michael. In the past, our small van would only have been able to pick up 6 or 7 dogs.

Staff Members Dan & Nate heading to Kettleman CityStaff Members Emily & Palina on a recent trip to the City of Sacramento Animal Shelter

An additional $51,821 grant from PetSmart Charities will soon completely renovate a new area at the Sacramento SPCA for intake and assessment of these transferred animals before they are ready to find their new families. As we discovered with the Hurricane Michael dogs, 10 of which tested positive for Heartworm, many of these animals need additional medical care or behavioral help before they can be placed up for adoption.

“Pet transport continues to play an important role in reducing pet homelessness and can provide a better chance for pets to find loving homes,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D. and president of PetSmart Charities. “We are thrilled to not only provide funding to support the transport of these pets from overwhelmed areas, but also increase the Sacramento SPCA’s capacity to provide quality care to pets on the journey to find their forever home.” 

Because of support of our community, as well as organizations like Petsmart Charities, we cannot wait to expand this program to help even more shelters and animals in California and beyond. Because as the old saying goes…”teamwork makes the dream work.”