Shelter Policy and Legal Services (Shelter PALS) establishes a new area of law and policy to empower California shelters with legal support and education to bring compassionate care to companion animals.

The current state of shelter law and policy is insufficient to address important companion animal welfare issues in California.

The SF SPCA Shelter Policy and Legal Services (Shelter PALS) provides legal and policy aid to California shelters through collaborative efforts of in-house and pro-bono attorneys and other experts.

While we are currently working with a handful of shelters across the state, we aim to roll this effort out statewide.  We are currently accepting donations to extend this life saving legal effort.

Shelter PALS is the country’s first and only legal aid organization dedicated exclusively to the needs of animal shelters. 

Shelter PALS leverages the expertise of the best minds in animal welfare, and channels significant legal aid to animal shelters. We champion policy change and counsel shelter clients to reduce imbalances of expertise and resources that result in poor outcomes for animals.

We believe it’s possible for every animal shelter to get access to quality legal help. Join us as Shelter PALS improves the lives of animals in California and creates a roadmap for change nationwide.

Not ready to register as a Shelter PALS client yet? View our free shelter resources.

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Does your shelter need legal help now?
Click here to register your shelter.

Meet the Team

Lindsay Tang
General Counsel

Bruce Wagman
Lead Counsel

Barbara Schmitz
Animal Welfare Advocacy Counsel

Shelter PALS Advocacy Legislation

Authorize telemedicine practice for veterinarians – ACTIVE

AB 1399, will authorize telemedicine practice for veterinarians with a current California license.  The use of veterinary telemedicine will significantly reduce animal suffering, alleviate financial and logistical barriers to veterinary care, improve

Legislative Win on Prescription Extension Waivers

Prescription refills associated with a veterinary-client-patient-relationship (“VCPR”) are normally valid for only twelve months after an animal patient is last seen in-person by a veterinarian.

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SF SPCA – Mission Campus

201 Alabama Street
San Francisco CA 94103

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