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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the Shelter hours and when are the Animal Service Officers Available?

*Please Note:  The shelter's walk-in adoption hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 11am - 3pm. Consider licensing online or emailing for animal/licensing questions. For Adoption inquiries, please email or

The Shelter Office Hours are:

Monday - Friday, 10 am – 5 pm 

Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm

Sunday & Holidays: Closed

Mobile Adoption Event Locations: Pet Supplies Plus (Woodland) and Growing Groves Plant Shop (Davis)

2. What areas of Yolo County does Animal Services assist?

Animal Services serves the cities of Woodland, Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, and the University of California Davis campus, as well as the unincorporated areas of Yolo County such as Esparto, Yolo, Guinda, Knights Landing, Dunnigan, Madison, and Brooks.

3. What kind of services do you provide?

The Animal Services staff is available to provide pet adoptions, redemptions, rescues, licensing, appointments for dog and cat rabies vaccinations, and appointments for low-cost vaccinations for dogs and cats.

​In addition to these services, we investigate barking and noise complaints, inspect kennels, pick up loose and contained animals including livestock, respond to animal bites and attacks, rent traps, and provide welfare checks on animals. Often we are called upon to provide emergency services and transport for other rescue personnel who are not equipped to move animals, such as the Fire Department, CHP, and Health Department. Some services require a fee.

4. What kind of animals can I adopt at the shelter?

Animal Services handles many types of animals, but our adoption program is mostly limited to dogs and cats. Other animals which are defined as pet animals by State code such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and reptiles, are made available to their individual rescue programs for care and placement in appropriate homes.

5. I want to adopt an animal. What should I expect?

After you have met and chosen a pet to adopt you will have a 20-minute consultation during which time you will be given information about adopting your pet. You will be asked some questions about your home life including: Do you already own pets, do you have a fenced yard, etc.

These questions are asked so we may provide guidance to help make the pet’s transition into your home as successful as possible. We will provide you with as much information as we know so you can choose the best pet for your family. We treat each pet’s and each adopter’s needs individually. We suggest each family member and other dogs in your home meet a dog prior to adoption.

Adding a new family member to your home for the rest of its life is an important decision. Most adopters spend 60-90 minutes at the shelter or return for multiple visits. Please bring proof of current residence such as payment statement and/or PG&E or water/trash bill.

6. My animal was impounded. What do I need to do?

If you have lost your animal, please check​ for a list of pets at the shelter. 

If you do not see your animal on our site, please email our lost pet team at to file a lost report. 

If you see your animal on our site, please write down the Animal ID and call our office at (530) 668-5287. In order to redeem your animal, you need to bring in your driver’s license or ID card, and veterinarian records for the animal to show proof of current vaccinations and spay/neuter status. If such paperwork is not available, please allow extra time for the redemption. Once the appropriate fees are paid (impound, boarding, vaccination, license, etc.), your animal will be released.

7. I need to license my dog. What do I need to do?

We would be happy to provide you with a copy of a license application by mail, fax, or online.  Our online licensing website is You may also come to our shelter facility during business hours.

New license (not renewal) applications are also available at the West Sacramento and Davis Police Departments and the Westside Veterinary Clinic in West Sacramento. Current rabies vaccination is required in order to get a dog license. Licenses can be purchased for the term length of the rabies vaccination for your convenience. All dogs in Yolo County are required to be licensed. Cat licensing is optional. Additional fees will be charged for a late license.

Feel free to email our licensing team at if you have further questions. 

8. I would like to volunteer. Who do I contact?

Some of the services our volunteers perform include providing kitten foster homes, kennel enrichment, adoption guidance, staffing mobile adoption events, fundraising, and promotional assistance. We also offer internships for students who want to learn the business of progressive animal sheltering.

  • You can sign up to become a volunteer online at You will be given the option to sign up for one of our orientations. After you have had your orientation, you will be directed along the appropriate route to volunteer for different areas of the shelter. We are always in need of volunteers for dogs, cats, laundry, kennel cleaning, and office help.

  • Minors:  You must be 18 to volunteer on your own. However, minors can volunteer with a parent for certain volunteer positions. Orientation will clarify which positions are open to minor and parent/guardian pairs.

7. would like to surrender a pet

  • Normal surrender: Yolo County Animal Services handles owner surrenders by appointment only as we are a small shelter with limited space. We recommend reaching out and posting  to friends, family, coworkers, and the public to see if anyone may be interested in adopting  your pet. We also recommend contacting the rescue organization or breeder as they often will take back the pet if it’s not working out. Please check out our website at for tips on rehoming your pet. We also ask that you email us at with a few good pictures of your pet as well as your contact information and a bio of the pet explaining the pet’s name, age, gender ,and personality. Then we can help you get started with creating a courtesy post to go on our adoptable pet page explaining why your pet needs a new home. Once we receive your email we will add you to our list of owners requesting surrender so that if a space opens up at the shelter, we can contact you. The fee to surrender a pet to the shelter is $25.

  • Surrender for euthanasia due to age/sickness/aggression: Yolo County Animal Services handles euthanasia requests by appointment only to ensure that we have a staff member available to perform the euthanasia when the pet is brought in. Typically appointments are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 10 am-12 pm. The fee for euthanasia is $55. You are not allowed to be present for euthanasia. If you would like that option, we recommend reaching out to the Sacramento SPCA at as they do offer in-person end-of-life services for pets. If you are surrendering a pet for euthanasia due to a behavior issue, it must be approved by a supervisor before an appointment can be issued.

9. I accidentally had a rooster in my clutch of chicks

  • Unfortunately, Yolo County Animal Services does not have a proper facility to house roosters. We do recommend reaching out to the store or person you purchased the chicks from to see if they will take the rooster back. In the worst-case scenario, the rooster can be surrendered to Yolo County Animal Services for euthanasia.


10. I want to surrender my rabbit/guinea pig/ small mammal/ bird/reptile

  • Unfortunately, Yolo County Animal Services does not have a proper facility to house these small animals long-term. We do recommend reaching out to the store or person you purchased the animal from to see if they will take them back. In addition, we recommend you reach out to local rabbit /small mammal/ bird rescues to see if they may have someone willing to take your pet in. A quick google search can help you find local rescues in your area. You can also post on Craigslist or Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in rehoming your pet.


11. I have a nuisance animal issue

  • Dog Barking: Please fill out and turn in an animal complaint form which can be found on our website under the tab Forms & Fees. The form is called Animal Complaint Reporting. Once we have received the complaint form we begin our nuisance barking protocol. If this is the first time the barking issue has been reported, or if prior complaints are more than six months old, then the owner is issued a warning letter and an advice packet on resolving the barking issue. You will also receive a copy of the warning letter and packet. If after two weeks of receiving the packet, the noise is still an issue you can follow up with another complaint form. On the second complaint within a six-month period, a second letter is mailed to the owner, and an officer is assigned to contact the owner to go over the barking issues and try and resolve the problem. If the barking is still an issue after two weeks of receiving the second letter, then you can follow up with a third complaint form. On this third complaint, you do have the option of having an animal control officer cite the owner on your behalf for the noise complaint.

  • I want to remain anonymous: For the first two complaints and warning, we do not state who has filed the complaint to the dog owner. However, if the noise issue progresses to the point of a citation being issued, then the owner has the right to fight the citation in court where you may be called as a witness.

  • Gap in complaint forms: If at any point there is a lapse of more than six months between complaint forms turned in for noise issues, then we do consider the issue resolved. If more complaints are issued for the same address and it has been more than six months from the last, then the process starts over and the new complaint form is treated as though it is the first complaint received for that address.

  • Frequently Loose Dogs: Please fill out and turn in an animal complaint form which can be found on our website under the tab Forms & Fees. The form is called Animal Complaint Reporting. Once the form is turned in to our office we provide a few options for you.

  • Warning Issued: If you would just like an animal control officer to contact the dog owners and try to resolve the issue, we can issue them a warning regarding the loose dogs and go over county code regarding dog leash laws and licensing laws.

  • Citation Issued: If the dogs are frequently loose and prior warnings have not resolved the issue, an animal control officer can cite the owner on your behalf for the animals being at-large. If a citation is issued, the owner does have the right to fight the citation in court and you may be called as a witness for the incident. A citation can be issued on just the first complaint form.

  •  Dogs are actively loose: In addition to the complaint form process, you can also call dispatch at (530) 666-8282 to report the dogs when they are actively loose. If an officer witnesses the dog loose, they could cite the owner on their behalf instead. If the dog is brought to the shelter after being loose, the owner would need to pay impound and licensing fines for redemption. Please note, however, that unless the dog is acting in an aggressive manner or is sick/injured, callouts after business hours for stray dogs are generally not approved.

  • What is considered loose/unleashed: Dogs are allowed to be loose/off-leash on their owner’s property, even if there is no gate or fence blocking the dog from public areas. However, the dog would be considered off-leash once it steps off the property and onto a public or private area such as the sidewalk or neighbor’s yard.

  • Animal Welfare Concern (not feral cats): If you know the address of the pet’s location, please call our dispatch line at (530) 666-8282 to request a welfare check.

  • Dogs Kept Outside: While there are no laws barring dogs from being kept outside, dogs are required to have access to food, water, and shelter. If the pet is lacking any of these, an officer can contact the owner to go over proper animal husbandry.

  • Dog is kept tethered: For the most part, dogs cannot be left alone tethered to a single post. However, there are some forms of tethering, when done on multiple posts, that are allowed. If there is concern the dog is tethered incorrectly, an officer can contact the owner and inform them of proper tethering laws.

  • Dog kept in car: If there is a dog left in a car on a hot day, please call dispatch at (530) 666-8282 and report the car’s location so an officer can check.

  • Possible Animal Abuse: If you know the address of the owner and pet, please contact our dispatch line at (530) 666-8282 to request a welfare check. In addition, please fill out and turn in an animal complaint form detailing what you witnessed. If you have any videos or pictures, please provide them. The animal complaint form can be downloaded from our website at under the tab Forms & Fees. The complaint form is called Animal Complaint Reporting.

12. Feral Cats:  

  • I hate cats/I want them removed: Catching and euthanizing is an endless proposition and doesn’t work. Feral cats choose a location because there is a food source and shelter. Removing feral cats from a location is very ineffective as it opens a territorial void for more unaltered cats to move in, starting the breeding cycle all over again. This method has proven ineffective because the food source (feeders, dumpsters, garbage, rodents, etc.) usually remains. With Trap/Neuter/Release, nuisance behaviors can be drastically reduced or eliminated. Neutered cats typically don’t yowl late at night or fight over mates, so noise is greatly reduced. The odor from male urine spray is mostly eliminated because testosterone is no longer present, and spraying to mark territory may stop entirely. Altered cats, no longer in search of mates, may roam much less frequently and become less visible. Because they can no longer reproduce, over time there will be fewer cats, which in itself will result in fewer nuisance behaviors, complaint calls, and a reduced impact on wildlife. To prevent community cats from entering areas where they’re unwanted, such as yards or gardens, residents can try blocking access to shelter areas and securing garbage containers. If these solutions don’t work, many humane cat-deterrent products are available in stores and online. Potential deterrents include automatic sprinklers.

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