About Our Rescue Group...
The purpose of the Santa Cruz SPCA is to ensure the best possible quality of life for animals and to promote respect and reverence for all. We are a 501(c)3 charitable organization. All of our programs and services are supported through the generosity of our contributors. We do not receive any federal, state, or local government funding.
Our facilities are small, but our rescue work exceeds many shelters 3 times our size. We do an average of 60-80 adoptions a month, we have only 4 full-time employees and many dedicated volunteers to support our work. We rescue from other shelters that are forced to euthanize for space due to overcrowding. We also actively seek out special needs, senior, and neglected or abused animals in the hopes of giving them the opportunity for happiness they so much deserve.
The donations we receive are used for community programs in addition to animal care. We give out over 10,000lbs of pet food every month to low-income families and operate a Christmas give-away for poor families needing food, supplies, and sometimes spay/neuters for their animals. We have a senior pet adoption program that matches elderly pets with elderly people. We have a discount spay/neuter voucher program, a second chance fund for injured & sick animals who need emergency medical treatment. In addition, after the disaster of hurricane Katrina, we developed a disaster rescue program to help displaced pets.
During hurricane Katrina we did the fifth largest animal airlift in the nation. We reunited five pets with their owners and found loving new homes for the rest. Our efforts gained national media attention, and garnered the support of Ms. Doris Day, who funded the airlift that brought over 150 animals to our small shelter in Santa Cruz.
In March of 2008, the SPCA suffered a fire that destroyed our shelter and forced us to relocate. We are now back up and running, but still operating out of a small establishment. Our rescue work has gone unhindered, however, and during the summer fires in Santa Cruz County we rescued displaced animals, donated supplies to the county shelter, and supplied grants to affected families. We are a small operation with big dreams.
Our Adoption Process...
Our mission is to find the best possible homes for the animals in our care. Many of them have been through severe hardship, mistreatment or neglect, and that makes it even more important that we do our best for them. This means guidelines must be put in place because not every adopter is right for every animal. We try to do right by every person who comes our way looking for a new family pet, but sometimes we have to say ‘no’ to a potential adopter. Our animals do not have a say in where they go and since we speak for those who have no voice, we must do it well. Our declining an adoption application is no reflection on the adopter. Everyone who wants to adopt an animal from a shelter or rescue group is special because they open their homes to those in need. But, while we try to meet the needs of everyone, our clients are the animals - they have no one else. We appreciate your understanding.
*Get acquainted: We recommend no less than an hour of one-on-one time with the animal you're interested in, this helps to assure compatibility.
*Housing Requirements: If you rent, we require a copy of your lease or a letter from your landlord stating you are allowed to have the animal you are interested in. This letter needs to be on your landlord's letterhead, and with appropriate contact information to verify the pets-allowed policy.
*Bring your existing dog if you are adopting a second one: We want to make sure your existing pet loves your new friend as much as you do. Meeting on neutral territory will make the selection and introduction process that much easier. Please do not bring your own dog(s) into the building; this would put them at risk of exposure to communicable diseases. If you have cats at home, we will do a cat test with our feline shelter residents. Often dogs in a new environment will not display a prey drive towards cats during the first couple of weeks of acclimation. This test is only meant to indicate to us immediate failure if the dog shows aggression.
*All family members and/or roommates must meet the animal: Some small children are allergic to cats or dogs, but their parents are not aware of it yet. Some elderly family members can't handle the size or activity level of some of our canine guests. Some animals get along perfectly with one person, yet act aggressive toward another. Bringing everyone who will be a part of the family or the household is critical to the success of the adoption. We do not adopt animals out to anyone under the age of 21.
*A home check may or may not be required: Each adoption process may vary due to the needs of the animal and background of the applicant. If a home check is needed, a volunteer will contact you and set up a time to meet with you at your home at your convenience.
*Adoption fees: Kittens under 6 months of age are $150, cats over 6 months are $110. Puppies under 1 year of age are $300, dogs over 1 year are $200. All dogs in Santa Cruz County are required to be licensed, the license costs just $26 and is good for one year. License fees should be paid with a separate check made out to SCCASA. Our Adoption fees can only be paid by check, cash, or debit card. We do not accept payments and we cannot take credit cards. Adoption fees are all-inclusive: your new pet will be spayed or neutered, current to their age on vaccines, current on all age-appropriate tests needed such as heartworm for dogs, and FIV/FELV for cats. All pets will be de-wormed, de-flead and microchipped, with microchip registered at the time of adoption. We also include 30 days of pet health insurance and a free post-adoption well vet visit.
*The adoption process: We do not process adoptions within an hour of closing and we do not hold animals. The paperwork itself takes just a few minutes, but the adoption process could last up to 1-2 hours depending on the animal you want to take home and the availability of an adoption counselor. If you are adopting a cat you will need to bring a carrier.
** The Santa Cruz SPCA reserves the right to deny ANY adoption for ANY reason **
All of our animals must be spayed/neutered before they go home. If they are not already altered, you will be able to pick your new pet up within a few days. On weekends especially, there can be many adoptions going on so we ask for your patience if you have to wait during this step. Please note that most of the animals in our center come to us with unknown medical histories. The Santa Cruz SPCA makes every effort to adopt out only healthy animals; however, we cannot guarantee the health of the animal you decide to adopt.