Thanks to you, San Francisco's live release rate in 2015 was 93 percent! This incredible accomplishment was only possible because the San Francisco community rallied together on behalf of homeless animals.

Both the San Francisco SPCA and the City of San Francisco have achieved major milestones over the last year, which have translated to countless lives saved. The steps we've taken toward Vision 2020 – our plan to end animal abandonment in San Francisco by the year 2020 – have helped San Francisco continue to gain recognition as one of the most progressively humane cities in the world.

Here are some notable keys to this success:

Our Relationship with San Francisco Animal Care and Control

In 1994, the SF SPCA signed an adoption pact with San Francisco Animal Care & Control (ACC), agreeing to take any adoptable animal that ACC offers to us. The Pact helped San Francisco become the first No-Kill city in America, and today we're continuously going above and beyond the agreement to help as many ACC animals as possible.

Last year, we accepted 1,514 animals from ACC, over 70% of which had behavior or medical issues. 

Surrender Prevention

Our Client Contact Center associates have been trained to work with community members who call wanting to surrender their pet. If their reason for relinquishment is something we can help with, we can provide medical and behavior resources to keep animals in their homes and improve people’s relationships with their pets.  In 2015, we were able to help about 150 families work out issues with their cat or dog, keeping those pets out of the shelter.

Focus on the “Hard Cases”

Our Behavior Team continues to work to increase the number of animals we consider to be “adoptable”.  This means accepting animals that will require extensive training because of their behavior issues, including shy Chihuahuas, undersocialized cats, and overly enthusiastic pit bull types.

Celebrating Our Successes

We hope that you will join us in celebrating these accomplishments, and if you'd like to learn more about our results and successes you can do so here. Because of your continued support we've been able to save thousands of lives, and San Francisco continues to be the safest major city for companion animals. Without you, our work wouldn't be possible.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where do the animals in your shelter come from? 

Over half of our cats and dogs come from San Francisco (either from SF ACC, our outreach programs, or direct surrenders).  The others come from out of county shelters, where we are able to relieve some of the pressure on high-kill shelters. 

Do you take pit bulls from out of county?

Helping San Francisco animals, including pit bulls, is always our first priority. Occasionally, when our staff is deeply moved by the story of a pit bull from outside San Francisco, we'll make an extraordinary exception and transfer that dog to the SF SPCA. Generally, these dogs have suffered unthinkable trauma, abuse, or neglect. Last year, we transferred three pit bulls from our partner shelter, Stockton Animal Services, so they'd have a better chance at finding a loving home. Fortunately, these exceptions have helped save even more lives.

If I donate, how do I know my money is going to help animals?

The SF SPCA has the highest rating of any large animal welfare organization on Charity Navigator, which  is an independent website that rates charities based on their success, transparency, as well as how efficient and effective they are at using the donations they receive.

Of the 288 animal welfare charities that have been rated, the SF SPCA received the highest rating of any large organization ($13.5M+ budget). We received the highest possible rating in both of Charity Navigator's main categories.

What are you doing in Stockton? 

In November 2012, we began offering assistance to Stockton Animal Services (SAS) with the intention of improving shelter conditions and saving as many lives as possible. SAS is jointly operated by the City of Stockton Police Department and San Joaquin County. The SF SPCA's support began just five months after the City of Stockton filed for bankruptcy.

The goal of providing SAS with aid and assistance is to help Stockton become the first No Kill city in the Central Valley by ensuring that animals receive veterinary care, improving sanitation policies and procedures to reduce or eliminate disease in the shelter, and sharing best practices. We've achieved incredible results over the last two years, and the live release rate has increased from 31% to 82%! That means thousands more lives are being saved each year.