This page was last updated at 11:31 AM on Wednesday, May 20th, 2020. 

Dear Friends of the San Francisco SPCA,

Thank you for making all of our lifesaving work possible. We cannot continue to save lives without you. Governor Newsom recently updated his stay-at-home order to clarify that animal care facilities, including animal shelters are essential services.

We are doing everything we can to keep our staff healthy so we can continue to be here for you if your beloved pet needs urgent care and to be here for our shelter animals.

Here is the status of our programs and services:

Hospital: Currently, we are open for sick, urgent, and emergency care only. (See Telemedicine below for non-emergency veterinary issues.) Our urgent care hours are: Pacific Heights Campus 7am-10pm, 7 days a week; and Mission Campus 8am-6pm, 7 days a week. Our online pharmacy and pet supply store is open 24/7.

Please note: facial masks are required for entering our buildings. 

Telemedicine: Telemedicine appointments by phone or online video are now available through both our Mission and Pacific Heights Campus hospitals during Monday through Saturday 8:30am-5:00pm. Just call 415-554-3030 for an appointment.

Behavior: Telemedicine appointments by phone or online video are now available for all problem behaviors. Visit our Behavior Specialty page for more information or call us at 415-554-3074 to schedule an appointment.

Adoptions: Our Adoptions Center is currently closed due to the San Francisco shelter-in-place order, but our lifesaving work continues. Stay tuned for updates.

Spay/Neuter Clinic: Currently, we are not offering spay or neuter surgeries.

Foster: Many of our shelter animals are now in loving, temporary foster homes. Our dedicated staff continue to take care of all of the remaining animals in our shelter. If you have signed up to foster an animal, we will be in touch with you soon.

Community Services: Walk-In Wellness Clinic and Mobile Vaccine Clinics are temporarily suspended.

Animal Assisted Therapy: We have suspended in-person AAT visits, and we’re moving toward video sharing to bring the healing power of animals to those who need it most.

Donations: During this difficult time, we need your support to continue our lifesaving work. Help animals in need today. Make a Donation

Volunteer Programs: We have temporarily halted Volunteer Programs in our shelter, including postponing Volunteer Info Sessions. We look forward to welcoming new volunteers to help us care for cats, dogs, and the people who love them in the near future. When Volunteer Info Sessions return, you will find their upcoming dates posted here.

The Sido Program: Since the San Francisco SPCA saved Sido the dog from unnecessary euthanasia in 1979, we have helped thousands more cats and dogs who outlived their guardians. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sido program continues to offer pet guardians peace of mind regarding the future of their cats and dogs. Click here if you are interested in learning more and signing up for the Sido Program.

Check out our COVID-19 FAQs below for answers to the top questions we are hearing from our community. Get the most updated information by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Facebook, InstagramYouTube, and Twitter.

Latest COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Resources

Have questions about our services, our response to the shelter-in-place mandate, or how animals are impacted by COVID-19?

How You Can Help

So many of you have reached out asking how you can help. Your compassion shows no limits.

Right now, monetary donations made online are most needed, as they allow us to quickly meet the most pressing needs. Your support will save animals during and after this crisis.

If you would like to donate pet food or other essentials, please visit our In-Kind Donations page for more information and links to our Amazon wish lists. Due to the public health order, please don’t bring items to our locations.

Please know all of the cats and dogs are safe in foster homes or our shelter during the shutdown.

Thank you for everything you do to support animals in need, and make our life-saving work possible!

Keep Your Pets Safe in a Disaster!

Click for tips on how to keep your furry friends safe during natural disasters and other emergencies.


This FAQ was last updated at 8:04 PM on Wednesday, April 29th, 2020. 

As COVID-19 becomes more of a reality for all of us, please know that we are still your trusted and longtime partner, and we are doing everything in our power to be here if your pet needs medical care during this crisis. 

Be assured that we have protocols in place to address the variety of health and safety issues at hand. While we have always ensured the highest levels of cleanliness and sanitation, we have updated our guidelines in direct response to the emergence of COVID-19 as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

We are here:

  • Pacific Heights and Mission hospitals remain open for sick, urgent, and emergency care. We are currently deferring all wellness and non-urgent cases until the shelter-in-place order is lifted. If you are sick and your animal needs medical care, please do not come directly to our hospital. Instead, call us at 415-554-3030 and we will make arrangements to provide care.
  • To offer assistance to you, our doctors will be available for telemedicine appointments to help with non-urgent conditions, general questions and as well as medication refills. To schedule a telemedicine appointment, call us at 415-554-3030.
  • Should you need a prescription filled our team will be available and your doctor can refill your meds through our online pharmacy. Please call 415-554-3030 to speak with a specialist.
  • For insulin and critical eye care medications, please call in ahead so we can have it ready for you.
  • The SF SPCA has an online store that is an excellent resource for any pet supplies and supports our work.
  • As we approach the end of the shelter in place directive, we will contact you with options for accessing wellness and non-urgent (but important!) care. 
  • Our Adoptions Center will be closed through the end of the shelter-in-place order in San Francisco. The shelter team is placing animals in foster homes so they receive love, attention and exercise during the shelter in place directive.


We recommend all staff and volunteers adhere to CDC personal hygiene protocols.  We have also increased the frequency and level of cleaning at both our Mission and Pacific Heights campuses. We are adhering to the Governor’s, SF mayor’s and SF department of Health and Emergency Services guidance including suspending large gatherings. We have temporarily suspended volunteer visits with our Animal Assisted Therapy program, cancelled mobile vaccine clinics.  

Our teams are well attuned to biosecurity measures to keep animals disease free in our shelter/adoptions and hospital.  In addition to our normal high standards of cleanliness and biosecurity for our animals we’ve instituted routine sanitation of public spaces and shared workstations. 

We are continuing to monitor local and federal health agencies for guidance to ensure our actions align with their recommendations.

On April 21, the CDC and USDA announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in two pets in the United States. Two cats in New York state have tested positive and exhibited mild respiratory signs. The cats are not from the same household but each lived with a person positive for COVID-19. Both cats are expected to recover.

Some pets (cats, hamsters and ferrets) might develop mild illness if exposed to a person with COVID-19 but there is no evidence pets can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to people.  

Until more is known about this virus, if you are ill with COVID-19 you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just as you would restrict your contact with other people. When possible, have another member of your household care for any animals while you are sick. If you have a service animal or you must care for your animals, wear a cloth face covering; don’t pet, share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet, service animal, or other animals. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. (Source: AVMA)

We recommend following the CDC guidelines for pet owners who are sick with COVID-19.

The virus interacts with animals the same way it does with surfaces. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or animal that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this is not thought to be the way the virus spreads. Source: CDC

It’s important to have plans for your pets regardless of the type of emergency. You should stock up on food, medications, and flea/tick prevention for your pet; ensure your pet is updated on their vaccines and antiparasitics/dewormers; and check that their microchip information in accurate.

It is best if your pet can remain in its home or with a friend or family member. If that isn’t possible you may need to board your pet.  We advise that you call and make sure your animal has the vaccinations/preventives required for a stay.

Your animal may be treated at our hospitals. Please notify us in advance of your appointment so we can follow certain protocol upon your pet’s arrival.

Yes, you can still walk your dog, but is important to maintain social distancing and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. The CDC recommends walking dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals. The CDC also advises against going to crowded dog parks our public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

Check with your dog walker or trainer regarding their protocols.  In most cases the answer is yes—and keep social distances.  This is also a good time to work in small classes or individual sessions to hone your pup’s skills.

Please contact your veterinarian to request necessary medicine which may be able to be ordered through our online pharmacy.

In addition to our normal high standards of cleanliness, we have increased our frequency and level of sanitizing our campus and have hand sanitizers and public restrooms so clients can sanitize their hands.

We can certainly reschedule for a later date or cancel if you prefer. During this time, we are waiving appointment cancellation fees.

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