Placer County Animal Shelter Overflows; how to adopt dogs

As the Placer County Animal Shelter in Auburn nears capacity, Animal Services is asking the community to adopt dogs and help reunite lost pets with their owners.

More than 90% of kennels are full, officials said in a statement Thursday, “with more dogs arriving every day.” Dogs are lined up in kennels or housed in overflow areas like exercise yards to accommodate the increase.

“We face a number of concurrent challenges that make it difficult for dogs to get through the door and into homes,” program manager Katie Ingram said in a statement.

Many adoptable pets wait longer to be adopted, further straining resources.

Shelter stays for dogs this year are about 25% longer than last year, officials said. Longer stays can be more stressful for pets and can cause potential behavioral or medical issues.

The majority of dogs available for adoption have already been at the shelter for 30 days or more, officials said.

To encourage adoptions, Placer County Animal Services is offering discounted $10 adoptions for dogs and cats through May 14.

The department will also waive “buy-out fees” for owners retrieving pets that have been impounded for the first time and will offer free spaying/neutering, microchipping and vaccinations for all trade-in pets. The shelter can even bring pets home if needed, officials said.

Many lost dogs are not picked up at the Animal Services Center, officials said, contributing to overcrowding. Half of the 14 lost dogs that arrived at the shelter last week have not been reunited. Lost pets can be viewed on the county‘s website.

If a member of the public finds a dog, the shelter recommends doing the following to help reunite the animal with its owner before bringing it to the shelter:

  • Hold the dog for at least 48 hours if you can. Lost animals that are detained are more likely to be reunited with their owners than animals taken directly to a shelter.
  • Knock on doors in the neighborhood where the animal was found or talk to residents.
  • Post flyers about pets found in the neighborhood and report the found pet online using,,, local Facebook groups and
  • Alert Placer County Animal Services at 530-886-5500 if you are unable to locate an owner and need shelter assistance.

“Saturday is National Adopt a Pet Day from a shelter, and if you might have been thinking about adopting, now is the perfect time, Ingram said in a statement. “Adopting a dog not only gives that animal a loving forever home, but also helps us reduce clutter at the shelter, which also allows for a better experience for the remaining animals.”

Members of the public who are unable to adopt a pet but are willing to adopt a dog can also email [email protected]

Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks covers equity issues in the Sacramento area. She previously worked at The New York Times and NPR, and is a former Bee intern. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was editor of the Daily Californian.
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