Best Places to Adopt a Pet in the Sacramento Area

July 15, 2011 5:03 PM

By Juliet Farmer. Trying to find a pet to fit your lifestyle can be a challenge. If you’ve ever found yourself asking if the dog in question is going to get along with your cat, or if that eye-catching feline will enjoy apartment life, we have some places you can turn to for help. From the city-run animal shelter and the local branch of the SPCA, to smaller local rescuers, there’s a place in the Sacramento area that has the purrfect pet for you.

Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary

Juliet Farmer

Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary

6001 Folsom Blvd.
Sacramento, CA
(916) 556-1155

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary is a no kill, cage free animal rescue group that houses animals, fosters, and even looks out for feral cat colonies in the area. Happy Tails also provides medical care to the animals it rescues, including the ever-necessary spaying/neutering. Adult cats one year and older can be found at the Happy Tails “Patricia L. Holmes Adoption Center” on Folsom Blvd., and other cats, kittens and even dogs are living in various foster homes in the area until they are adopted. Adoption fees are $45 for cats 1 to 8 years of age (fee waived if you adopt two simultaneously), $25 for senior cats 9 and up (fee waived for second senior cat adopted at the same time), $65 for kittens under 1 year old ($35 for second kitten at the same time), and $95 for dogs of all ages. If you’re 65 or older and want to adopt a senior pet (8 or older), the fee is $25.

Adopt a Kitten

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Sacramento SPCA

6201 Florin-Perkins Road
Sacramento, CA
(916) 383-7387

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) is probably the most well known place to adopt a dog or cat in Sacramento. But if you’re looking to adopt a pet that doesn’t answer to Fluffy or Fido, you’re also in luck. The SSPCA often has rabbits, hamsters, iguanas, guinea pigs, rats, and many more critters available for adoption. The SSPCA offers lots of help choosing pets, including behavior evaluation of the pet in question, “matchmaking” (based on your expectations and lifestyle), adoption counseling, and acquaintance areas where you can get to know your prospective pet or introduce your pet to a prospect. Adoption fees are $100 for dogs, $85 for cats, and free for people 60 or older adopting a pet age 5 or older. The adoption fees for other species vary. Adoptions fees for dogs/cats include spay/neuter if necessary, first round of shots, heartworm or feline Leukemia virus test, microchip, first year license, access to the SSPCA behavior helpline, and a certificate for a free veterinary office visit.

guinea pigs

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

City of Sacramento Animal Care Services

2127 Front Street
Sacramento, CA
(916) 808-7387

Hours: Wednesday – Friday 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Monday & Tuesday). The City of Sacramento Animal Care Services helps reunite lost pets with their owners, but they offer more than just pet-finding services. They rescue animals in locked cars and pets suffering abusive or negligent conditions, help with nuisance problems like barking dogs, and investigate dog bite complaints. They also run rabies vaccination ($5) and microchipping ($20) clinics, and, of course, adopt out pets of all shapes and sizes. Dog adoption fees are $85, cats are $65, rabbits are $35 for one or $50 for two, guinea pigs and hamsters are $10 each, and rats and mice are $5 each. Dog and cat adoption fees include spay/neuter if necessary, rabies and necessary cat- and dog-specific vaccinations, heartworm or feline Leukemia testing, microchipping, a one-year license (if you reside within the Sacramento city limits), a free health check-up voucher, a dog or cat collar, and a bag of dog or cat food.

Greyhound Friends For Life

Shana Laursen

Greyhound Friends For Life

364 Coventry Rd.
Kensington, CA 94707
(800) 446 - 8637

Greyhounds are a unique breed of dog. Because of this, adopting a greyhound is a bit more complicated than walking into a facility, choosing one, and leaving with the greyhound in tow. While there are hoops to go through (including a home visit or two), the payoff is big, because greyhounds are lovely companions. Greyhound Friends For Life is a “halfway home” for such retired/rescued greyhounds, with lots of (fenced in) wide-open space for the greyhounds to romp and play while they wait to be adopted. The adoption fee at Greyhound Friends For Life run $300, and includes spay/neuter, temperament profiling, a health exam, deworming, rabies and other core vaccinations, tick titer testing, a collar and leash, transportation (from a racing state), adoption follow-up and telephone counseling, and a teeth cleaning. Some greyhounds are adopted straight from a track, others are placed in foster homes until a perfect match home is found for them, and still others live at the facility in Auburn until they find a forever home.


Don Emmert/Getty Images

Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc.

7495 Natomas Road
Elverta, CA
(916) 655-1410

Love golden retrievers and golden/labrador mixes? Then look no further than Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, where displaced, abandoned and homeless goldens and golden mixes get a new leash on life. No matter the age or health, Homeward Bound takes in the breed from all over northern California, offering a comprehensive adoption program for those dogs who qualify, and a sanctuary for those who do not. Homeward Bound rescues golden retrievers and mixes from shelters as well, working closely with area shelters to ensure that the breed is protected and cared for. Adoption fees, ranging from $200 to $350 depending on the age of the dog, include a thorough veterinary exam, spay/neuter if necessary, vaccinations, and a heartworm test.

Juliet Farmer was born and raised in Sacramento, where she resides with her husband, two cats, and rescued greyhound. She is a freelance writer who regularly writes about food, pets, health and wellness, entertainment, and more.

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