Animal Services Services

Services

Aggressive and Dangerous Animal Response

Animal Services’ officers investigate and address reports of aggressive or dangerous animals that represent a risk to public safety or that have been involved in an attack on a person or another animal.

Animal Adoption

Are you looking to adopt a cat? Or to adopt a dog? Or perhaps even a rabbit or chicken? Stray animals that have not been reclaimed by their owners and those that have been surrendered to the shelter are available for adoption to the general public. Individuals looking to add a new family member are encouraged to visit the shelter during normal kennel hours.

For more information, check out our Shelter Services page for a the listing of adoptble animals currently at our shelter.

Animal Bites, Quarantines, and Rabies Control

California State law requires that any domestic mammal that has bitten a person, or that has potentially been exposed to rabies through contact with a wild animal, be quarantined and observed for signs of rabies infection. Depending on circumstances and a case-by-case assessment, Animal Services establishes and maintains these quarantines either at the animal owner’s home, a veterinary facility, or the Animal Services shelter.

Animal Euthanasia

Animal Services provides euthanasia services to the public for animals whose quality of life is no longer sustainable or whose behavior represents a safety risk to their owners and those around them. Please call in advance to schedule this service.

Animal Welfare and Abuse Investigations

Animal Services officers investigate and address reports of abused or neglected animals. Officers also respond to reports of ill or injured animals without an owner.

Assistance Animal Identification Tags

Animal Services issues Assistance Animal Identification Tags for animals which meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of an assistance animal. To qualify for the issuance of a tag, an animal must be individually trained to perform a specific task or specific work function for a person with a disability.
  
For dogs that qualify, this tag also serves as their license tag. Animals that do not meet the definition of an assistance animal may still qualify as therapy animals and be entitled to certain accommodations. However, there is no specific tag or identification issued for these animals.

Cat Trap Rental

There is no law restricting cats from roaming at large and Animal Services does not actively trap or remove stray felines. However, the Division encourages efforts of rescue groups and private individuals to trap and neuter unowned or community cats and then return those animals to their home area. These efforts have been shown to be an effective means of controlling and limiting the growth of stray cat populations. 

On the other hand, Animal Services does not recommend the removal of healthy community cats, as other cats will usually move into the area to fill that vacancy. Removing the resources which attract strays and spaying or neutering community cats has been shown to be a much more effective means of controlling and reducing the growth of stray cat populations.

Cat trap rentals are available through Animal Services for county residents engaged in trap, neuter, and return efforts as well as for those residents needing to capture and remove ill, injured, or aggressive cats from their property.

Commercial Animal Operation Permits

All businesses which keep or maintain animals for sale or other commercial purposes such as animal boarding and breeding are required to maintain a Commercial Animal Operation Permit with Animal Services. Permits are issued on a calendar year basis and must be renewed annually.

Custodial Impound

Animal Services provides temporary kenneling for animals taken into custody in association with emergency medical or public safety responses.

Disposal of Animal Remains

Animal Services accepts the remains of deceased household pets from the general public during normal kennel hours.

Dog Licensing

All dogs over 4 months of age and residing in the county for more than 30 days are required by law to be licensed through Animal Services. In order to obtain a license, dogs must have a current rabies vaccination. Licenses can be purchased online, by mail, or in person at the Animal Services office. Discounts and extended licensing intervals are offered for dogs that have been spayed or neutered.

Hobby Breeder Permits

Individuals selling domestic pets for more than $50 are required by code to first obtain a Hobby Breeder permit from Animal Services. Permits are issued on a calendar year basis and must be renewed annually. Permit applications may be obtained on line or by contacting Animal Services directly.

Humane Education

Animal Services provides speakers and presentations for schools, educational and service groups, and other organizations on topics such as responsible pet ownership, benefits spay and neuter, animal safety, and other community animal concerns.

Multiple Animal Permits

Residents of San Luis Obispo County’s seven incorporated cities are limited in the number of animals in which they can keep. While there is some variability between cities, this is generally no more than three (3) dogs and three (3) cats for each residential home. Individuals may seek an exemption to this limitation by requesting a Multiple Animal Permit from Animal Services. Permit applications may be obtained online or by contacting Animal Services directly.

Nuisance Animal Investigations

Animal Services officers investigate and address complaints regarding animal nuisance problems, such as excessive noise or chronic leash law violations.

Pet Microchipping

Microchips provide an effective, permanent, and reliable means of identifying your animal. Microchips implanted by Animal Services are automatically registered in a national microchip database. It is important, however, that pet owners ensure their information is updated if they move or change phone numbers.

Rabies Vaccinations

Animal Services provides low cost rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats to the public. These vaccinations are provided at the Animal Services shelter during scheduled vaccine hours (see below). The Division also holds occasional vaccination clinics at locations around the county.

Report a Found Animal

If you have found a lost animal, it's important to remember that there is probably a worried owner looking for it somewhere. Taking it in off the street is the first step in keeping the animal safe and helping it get back home. But, there are still several more things which need to be done. If you are unable to locate the owner within 24 hours, contact County Animal Services and let us know you've found a stray animal. We'll dispatch an officer to pick it up during normal business hours and do our best to reunite it with its owner.

Report a Lost Pet

Discovering that your animal has gotten loose and gone missing can be a frightening and traumatic experience. However, it is important not to panic as there are several steps you can take to help increase your odds of being reunited with your lost pet. The likelihood of successfully finding your animal will be significantly improved if you act swiftly and if you remain persistent in your efforts. Animal Services receives and maintains a log of animals reported as lost or found from around San Luis Obispo County. Lost animal reports are also forwarded to our officers in the field to help identify and reunite lost pets with their owners.

Reuniting Stray Animals with Owners

Animal Services works hard to match impounded and found animals to lost pet reports filed with the division. Many times, our staff is able to reunite animal owners with a missing pet before it ever makes it in to the shelter.

Animal Services also maintains an on line listing of all the animals currently in our shelter and owners looking for a lost pet are encouraged to check there daily. Because descriptions of animals may vary, however, it is important for the owners of lost pets to come into the shelter and look for their lost animal frequently.

Animal Services also provides a number of other resources and information to aid pet owners in finding a missing animal. For more information, check out our Lost and Found Animals page.