Animal Information

​Tip: One way to help your pet return home quickly is to make sure they wear I.D. tags, as well as being micro-chipped. Tags help neighbors return your pet safely and help pets stay out of  shelters. Tags are nominally priced at local pet stores.

Read the tips from the animal welfare organization or to see tips, please click a category link and then select a topic; the tip will appear below of the category list. ​​

collapse Category : Animal Behavior, Training and Tips ‎(6)
Bird Information

Please visit Parrot Connection ​Website:

Cat Behavior and Training

Cat Beh​avior Topics and Resources from Sacramento SPCA

  • Aggression Between Family Cats
  • Before You Declaw Your Cat
  • Cat Aggression Towards People
  • Cat Toys – Choosing and Using Them
  • Cats and Scratching
  • Cats Indoors or Outdoors
  • Dealing with Litterbox Issues
  • Fearful Cat
  • Introducing Cats
  • Keeping Roaming Cats Away
  • Tags Are For Cats Too
  • The Vocal Cat
  • Up All Night: The Cat Who Wakes You
  • When Your Cat or Kitten Plays Rough
Dog Barking

Barking Dog Tips

  • Spend as much time as possible with your dog.  Bring your dog inside with you whenever possible and keep him in at night.  Take your dogs for a daily walk, teach the tricks, take obedience classes together. "Doggie day care” can help when you are away for extended periods of time.
  • Entertain Your Dog. Provide a child’s wading pool or a place to dig and stuffed toys or a ball.  Specially designed balls and toys or bones to chew on help keep your dog entertained.  Your pet supply will have many options.
  • Seek the Assistance of a Behaviorist. Ask your veterinarian, the Sacramento Dog Training Club (916) 482-5194, or the Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs (916) 483-3602 for assistance in locating an animal behaviorist.
  • Use a Training Aide. There are two types of anti-barking training devices-static shock collars and citronella spray collars and both can be purchased at most pet supply stores.  Carefully follow the directions as provided by the manufacturer and contact them if you have questions.

Helpful Pet Education Link

Dog Behavior and Training

Dog Behavior Topics and Resources from Sacramento SPCA

  • Aggression Handout
  • Aversives and Deterrents for Dogs
  • Barking
  • Canine Rivalry
  • Chewing and Destructive Behavior
  • Children and Dogs Together
  • Cleaning Pet Stains and Odors
  • Crate Training for your Dog or Puppy
  • Digging
  • Dog Parks
  • Dog to Dog Introductions
  • Dog Toys and How to Use Them
  • Escape Artist
  • Fear of Thunder and Loud Noises
  • Fearful Dog
  • Helping Kids Avoid Dog Bites
  • Housetraining Your Dog or Puppy
  • How to Get Your Dog to Behave
  • Inside Dog or Outside Dog
  • Introducing Cats and Dogs
  • Jumping
  • Leadership
  • Pets and Your New Baby
  • Puppy Chewing
  • Puppy Development and Socialization
  • Puppy Nipping, Biting and Rough Play
  • Separation Anxiety Handout
  • Submissive and Excitement Urination
Even Friendly Dogs Bite
Rabbit Information
collapse Category : Animal Problems ‎(5)
  • There are major issues associated with illegal cock-fighting, including property destruction, gambling, drug dealing and animal cruelty. It is important to report activities so County officials can investigate. Learn more about cock-fighting...

Dead Animals in the Roadway
  • Customers in our service area can call 916-368-7387 to have animals in roadways removed. Calls are prioritized, and public safety is our top priority; it may be several days before the animal can be removed.

  • Information on Disposing of Dead Animals from Sacramento County Waste Ma​nagement and Recycling:​

    • Animals weighing less than 15 pounds may be deposited in County refuse containers. Dead animals over 15 pounds or animals disposed in quantity should be taken to a rendering plant, veterinary clinic, pet cemetery or buried on the owners property. Animals previously used for medical purposes are not acceptable for disposal.

Dead Birds

Problem Cats

Unlike dogs, cats are not easily contained by fences. There is no law in the unincorporated County  against cats being outside and we cannot respond to calls about loose cats.

  • In most areas of Sacramento County, you may only have four (4) cats. If there is a home with a large number of cats, report to 916-368-7387. 
  • Before reporting, attempt to solve the problem amicably with your neighbor. Inform them of your concerns, and give them an opportunity to solve the problem, such as keeping the cat indoors.
  • If the problem continues, here are some deterrent tips: 
  • Try a repellant spray (found at most larger pet supply stores).
  • Scatter orange or lemon peels or spray with citrus-scented spray around the area; cats generally dislike citrus.
  • Mix water and vinegar and spray at the base of trees and plants around the house.
  • Keep garbage cans covered to control rodents that may be a food source for feral cats.
  • Scatter pipe tobacco or coffee grounds in the area – cats dislike the smell.  Do NOT use cocoa bean shells; they can be poisonous to dogs and cats.
  • Try growing rue or scattering dry rue (an herb)- cats dislike the smell.
  • Soak strips of old towels or rags in perfume or cologne and keep near target plants.
  • Spray the cat with a hose or spray bottle every time you see it in your yard.
  • Cover your child's sandbox when it's not in use.
  • Build a rock garden in the area the cats use – make the surface uncomfortable for cats.

If all else fails, confine the cat when it enters your property, supply proper food, water and shelter, and bring it to the applicable animal shelter in your area. (If needed, use a humane cat trap. See below for a few local resources).

Note - there is no charge for bringing a stray cat to the shelter. The cat will be held for the required holding period and if no one claims the cat, or no owner can be found, the cat will be evaluated for adoptability and made available for adoption if it's a friendly/social cat.
If it is not adoptable, it will be euthanized.
However, please remember when bringing in a cat, even friendly/adoptable cats may be euthanized due to the high volume of incoming cats.

Local resources for humane cat trap​s:

  • Western Feed & Supply Store (Sacramento, Carmichael, Orangevale and Folsom)
  • Bradshaw Feed & Supply (Sacramento)
  • Sheldon Fee & Supply (Elk Grove)
  • Harbor Freight Stores (Sacramento)
  • We do not handle live wild animals including skunks, snakes, possums and deer.
  • We do assist with cows, horses and llamas. Call 916-368-7387 for more information.
  • The County Agricultural Commission has a trapper service that sets traps and picks up raccoons, skunks, possums and coyotes. To contact the Federal Trapper assigned to Sacramento County, call 916-875-6603 weekdays between 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. The trapper leaves the office at 8:30 and any calls coming in after 8:30 are processed the next day. The trapper charges a $25 fee for the trap and the first animal pick-up. Any additional animals picked up are $12.50 each. Wildlife Services - County Agricultural Commission.
  • List of Wildlife Organization Phone Numbers
  • Wildlife Care Association
collapse Category : Avian Information ‎(3)
Bird Flu/Dead Birds

Bird (Avian) Flu and Dead Birds

Chicken and Roosters in Sacramento County

Chickens and Roosters in Sacramento County

  • Zoning ordinances determine if you can keep chickens or roosters on your property.
What is a Zoning ordinance?
  • Counties adopt zoning ordinance (rules) to designate how land can be used. Zoning ordinances are designed to protect property owner rights and private property values by ensuring standards for public health, safety and welfare are in place. For many property owners, zoning's primary benefit is ensuring that potentially harmful, incompatible uses of neighboring properties will not threaten the value of their properties and their legitimate uses.
Can I keep chickens or roosters at my residence for personal use or consumption?
  • Your property lots must meet the minimum 10,000 square feet requirement to keep chickens and/or roosters.
  • Duplexes and half-plexes may not keep chickens and/or roosters under any circumstances. Single family homes may apply for a "conditional use permit" to keep chickens or roosters as a hobby for personal use or food; however the application cost is about $4,500 per address and does not guarantee the application will be approved. A renter may apply for the permit, but the property owner must also give permission in writing.

Why chickens and/or roosters are considered a problem?​

  • Chickens and/or roosters can disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood and strain relationships with neighbors. They can cause noise, odors, and attract flies and other nuisance insects. They make it difficult for neighbors to spend time in their yards, noise can disturb their sleep, odors force people to keep windows closed, and interferes with the enjoyment of their homes. 
If you have any questions regarding the "conditional use permit" and county zoning codes, please contact the Planning Department Public Information office at (916) 874-6221 or email at​.

Chicken Information
  • Interested in raising chickens in the unincorporated Sacramento County? The County Animal Shelter receives many chickens in a variety of breeds year-round, and many are in need of new homes. We've assembled some interesting websites to help you learn about this unique bird, its habitat and related Sacramento County ordinances.
Chicken Photo Chicken Photo Chicken Photo
Basic Information

County Codes


collapse Category : For the Pet Owner ‎(15)
Coping with the Loss of a Pet

Coping with the Loss of a Pet

  • After All, He was Only a Pet...
    (When Being Strong Hurts More Than Grieving Can)
    Copyright 2000. Dumb Friends League. All rights reserved.
  • The death of a pet is never an easy time. Whether it is an older animal, who may have been a part of the family longer than most of the furniture and some of the children, or a pet who has been with you for only a few years, the loss can be truly traumatic. And if the end comes through a conscious decision for euthanasia, other emotions become entangled with the basic sense of loss. Once it's over, you may prefer to think that the experience is behind you. Unfortunately, it is not.
  • There will be a hole in your household and in your life for a while, and for the first part of that "while" the hole may seem huge. There ARE ways to fill the gap. However, the loss itself is not something you can simply ignore, assuming that your world will adjust itself. Instead, you must deal with that something, just as you would deal with the loss of any other good friend. Yes, it is a different kind of relationship, but to behave otherwise is to try and change your attitude in mid-stride. You cannot expect yourself to think of your pet as a friend and then to dismiss those feelings as disposable because THIS friend happened to be an animal. It is NOT silly to miss your pet, and it is NOT overly sentimental to grieve.
  • Another difference lies in the always complicated idea of "what happens next". Many people, especially older folks, express a very real concern that they won't see their animals in the next life (whatever that may be) because they have been told that animals have no souls. Maybe you, like me, are a little unsure about what exactly " the next life" holds for any of us. However, if having a soul means being able to feel love and trust and gratitude, then aren't some animals better equipped than a lot of humans?
  • But still, he was a pet and not a person, and that makes it more complicated to sort out exactly what you are supposed to do and feel. Although we recognize the individual personalities in pets, that doesn't mean that they are just little people. The relationship you have with your pet is different from any human relationship you may have. We have the responsibility to care for animals and to learn from them. As we domesticated pets, they became dependent upon us for their needs. Part of caring for them, especially in a technologically advanced society, often means deciding when an animal can no longer live a happy life or even a content one.
  • When an animal is made a pet by a responsible, caring person, he is being given exactly what he needs and wants: his "creature comforts", companionship, and the opportunity to return the favor through loyalty and affection. Dogs, especially, are naturally eager to please the "leader of the pack", and the owner takes on that role. So the dog is never happier than when he knows that he is pleasing that person. When he is too old or too sick to respond in the way HE thinks he should, he can't understand why and feels the anxiety of failure.
  • Because their natural life-spans are shorter than ours, we usually outlive our pets. However, the life you shared cannot simply be abandoned. Don't deny yourself the thoughts, memories, and feelings that your pet's life deserves. You may decide to fill the hole with another pet. However, you can never replace the special bond you held with the one who is gone.
How do I prepare my pets for a disaster?
Keep Indoor and Outdoor Animals Safe in Cold Weather

Keep Indoor and Outdoor Animals Safe in Cold Weather

When the weather dips, you want to take extra precautions to ensure pets and livestock remain healthy by following simple guidelines:

  • Keep pets indoors when the temperature drops - Bring your pets indoors when the temperature dips below 40 degrees. Most dogs and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks. Many pets are social animals and happiest when they are indoors with you and your family.
  • When left outdoors, protect them from windchill - If your pet is an outdoor pet, they must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow comfortable sitting but small enough to hold in body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. These guidelines are recommended for small livestock such as sheep and goats. Rabbits kept in outside hutches also need protection from the wind and should be provided with a nesting box with extra bedding of straw or shavings.
  • Pets and livestock who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter - Keeping warm depletes energy. Check with your vet on how to best modify food intake to compensate for the expended energy.
  • Routinely check your pet's water dish - Make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
  • Check your car in the morning - Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, which may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
  • Keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) away from animals - Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family.

    Guidelines have been adapted with permission from The Humane Society of the United States.
Lost Pet Tips

Lost Pet Tips

1. Notify the facilities below that you have a lost pet. The primary animal care facilities in our area are:

Visit all local animal facilities at least once every three days. Do not rely only on phone inquiries. Talk to newspaper and postal carriers and diligently search for at least one month.

2. Distribute fliers within a one mile radius of where the pet was lost. Good locations are veterinary hospitals, grocery stores, schools, laundromats and churches. Flier should include date and place where pet was lost, type and breed of pet and your telephone number. Do not put your name on the flier.

3. Place an ad in the lost and found section of the local papers including the Sacramento Bee (321-1234), Penny Saver, and neighborhood publications. Include any information included in your flier.

4. Use caution and take a friend when responding to a 'found' pet tip. Once you are reunited, remove all fliers.

…And don't forget, pets wearing license identification tags are returned home much quicker!
Pet-friendly Apartment Listing
Planning for Your Pets in an Emergency

Planning for Your Pets in an Emergency

Keeping your pets safe during floods, storms and other emergencies is important, and it's advisable to take steps now to insure their safety. Here are a few things you can do to prepare in advance:

  • Secure a pet carrier that allows your pet to stand up and turn around inside. Train your pet NOW to become comfortable with the carrier.
  • If your pet is on medication or a special diet, find out from your veterinarian what you should do in case you have to leave your pet alone for several days. Secure an extra supply of medications.
  • Make sure your pet has a properly fitted collar that includes current license and rabies tags, including an identification tag that has your name, address, and phone number. Micro-chip your pet.
  • If your dog normally wears a chain link "choker" collar, purchase a leather or nylon collar with identification tags in case you have to leave him alone for several days.
  • Keep your pet's shots current and keep the records in a quickly retrievable place; keep a copy in your family’s Disaster Go Box.  (Most kennels require proof of current rabies and distemper vaccinations before accepting a pet)
  • Contact motels outside of your area ahead of time to find out if they will accept pets in an emergency.
  • When assembling emergency supplies for the household, include items for pets:
    • Extra food (The food should be dry and relatively unappealing to prevent overeating. Store the food in sturdy container
    • Kitty litter
    • Large capacity self-feeder and water dispenser
    • Extra medications

      (Adapted from the Federal Emergency Management Agency website)
Positive Reinforcement: Training Your Dog or Cat with Treats and Praise
Preparing Your Pet for Baby's Arrival
Protect Your Pet From Being Stolen!

Protect Your Pet From Being Stolen!

(Adopted from The Humane Society of the United States)

The theft of pets is tragic. There are many ways to steal pets, and unsupervised animals are the most vulnerable of all. You can protect your pet from being stolen by taking a few precautions:

  • Keep your pet on a leash whenever you take him/her on a walk.
  • Make sure your pet is always on a leash or in a carrier when in a car to ensure that your pet does not get loose.
  • Never leave you pet unattended in a parked car or tie your pet outside a store while you run inside—it takes only a few seconds for someone to steal your pet.
  • Neuter or spay your pet to curb his/her desire to roam and to eliminate the incentive for those stealing animals for breeding.
  • Make sure your pet wears a collar and identification at all times: ID, rabies and license tags can deter thieves by showing that your pet is not a stray. Ask your local animal shelter or veterinarian if backup methods of identification (tattoos or microchips) are available in your community.
  • If your pet is missing, be ready to supply your pet’s license information and an accurate written description to help authorities identify your pet.
  • Report suspected incidents of pet theft to your local animal—control agency and local police to put them on the alert and help them establish patterns of pet theft.
  • If you suspect pet theft is occurring in your area, start a neighborhood watch. The more eyes there are looking out for pets, the better.
  • Despite federal legislation protecting companion animals, pet theft remains a serious problem. If you would like more information, write to the Companion Animals Section, The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L. St., NW, Washington, DC 20037
Protecting your Pet During Extreme Heat

Protecting your Pet During Extreme Heat

Extreme heat can be deadly for your pet.  Cats and dogs do not have the ability to sweat; they cool their bodies off by panting and through the pads of their feet, so when the weather is extremely hot it is much harder for your pet to cool off.  Here are some tips for keeping your pet safe this summer:

  • Never leave your pet in a parked car, unventilated garage or other enclosed areas for any length of time.  A car can reach 120 degrees in just minutes; even if the windows are slightly open the car can still reach 102 degrees.  A dog's normal temperature is 101.5 degrees; at 120 degrees your pet can suffer from heat exhaustion and die and at 107 degrees brain damage occurs.

    If heatstroke occurs:

    • Immerse the dog in cold water if possible

    • Place ice packs on its head or neck 

    • Treat the dog promptly and take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible

  • Exercise your dog in the early morning or evening hours, instead of during the middle of the day when it's the hottest.

  • Outside pets need a shady retreat to escape hot asphalt.  Your pet needs shelter to stay cool outside, and remember that older pets will be more likely to overheat in hot weather.

  • Keep fresh cool water available for your pet at all times.  Make sure the water is in a tip-proof-bowl and will be big enough to hold water for the duration of time you will be gone.

  • Keep your pet well-groomed, but resist shaving all of its fur because it's coat will prevent sunburn.

  • Ordinance 8.08.051 "No person shall leave an animal, wild or domestic, in any unattended motorized vehicle without adequate ventilation, in unhealthful conditions, or otherwise under such circumstances as to allow the animal to be subjected to extreme temperatures or other conditions which adversely affect its health, safety, or well-being."

Responsible Pet Ownership
Responsible Pet Ownership -- See this page
Sacramento Area Off-Leash Dog Parks


We recognize the benefits of “off-leash” time for your dogs, and have many options to give your pets space to run at various locations throughout the County. Please observe leash laws in all county facilities, and for off-leash opportunities, explore some of the sites listed below which have space set aside for just that purpose:

  • Carmichael Parks and Recreation District
    • Carmichael Park - 5750 Grant Avenue
  • City of Sacramento
    • Partner Park - 5699 South Land Park Drive
    • Bannon Creek Park - Bannon Creek Drive, off Power Inn Road
    • Granite Regional Park - Ramona Avenue, off Power Inn Road
    • Tanzanite Park - 2220 Tanzanite Park Way
    • Regency Community Park - 5500 Honor Parkway
  • Elk Grove Community Services District
    • Elk Grove Regional Park - 9950 Elk-Grove-Florin Road
    • Laguna Community Park - 9014 Bruceville Road
  • Fair Oaks Recreation and Parks District, partnered with F.O.R.D.O.G
    • Phoenix Park
  • Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Parks District
    • Westside Park - West 2nd Street
  • Sunrise Recreation and Parks District, partnered with P.O.O.C.H
    • C-Bar-C Park - 8275 Oak Avenue, Citrus Heights
Safety Around Animals

Safety Around Animals

  • Dog bites are a serious problem in our country, with more than 500,000 bites that require medical attention. Our shelter receives over 1,200 bite calls every year, all of which must be investigated as part of our public health and rabies control responsibilities. Sadly, children make up more than 60 percent of all dog bite victims. 
  • Though the majority of dogs are well behaved, even the cuddliest, cutest dog can bite if provoked. Educate yourself and your children about animal behavior, responsible pet handling, and steps you can take to address this problem. If you are bitten, follow dog bite instructions.
  • Child Friendly Dog Safety Information -- Download Brochure 

Helpful Links: 

Seasonal Tips

Seasonal Tips

Weather Related

  • Cold Weather Pet Tips
  • Hot Weather Pet Tips

Holiday Related

  • Easter Tips for Pets
  • July 4th Precautions
  • Halloween Pet Safety Tips


  • CPR and Heimlich Maneuver for Pets
  • Coping with the loss of your pet
  • Dog Parks
  • Protect Your Pet from Getting Stolen!
  • Responsible Pet Ownership
  • Safety around animals 

Successful Cleaning to Remove Pet Odors and Stains
Successful Cleaning to Remove Pet Odors and Stains
collapse Category : Wild/Feral Animals ‎(3)
Bat Information
Feral Cats
Finding Feral Cats – reference sites

Finding Feral Cats – reference sites