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the Jurisdiction of the
San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare

To update this list, please e-mail the compiler, Commissioner Bill Hamilton.



The San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare meets on the second Thursday of each month (except December) at 5:30 p.m. in Room 408, City Hall. Meeting agendas and minutes.

The Animal Commission is an advisory body and makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, who are ultimately responsible for all policy decisions and development. Thus, the Animal Commission has no control over actual legislation or issues administered by other City, state or federal departments and agencies, private citizens, public or private companies or nonprofits. This list offers resources that may be more appropriate for issues and problems that members of the public sometimes bring before the Animal Commission. Additional resources are provided as a public service.

Note that San Francisco's "Sunshine Ordinance" mandates that the meetings of all city "policy bodies," including commissions, departments, boards, subcommittees, standing committees and working groups, be, with rare exceptions, open to the public, have agendas publicly viewable at least 72 hours beforehand, and allow public comment.

The following non-City resources are not endorsed by the San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, or the City and County of San Francisco.




Animal Welfare Codes (state and local)

Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies
Animal Adoptions
Disaster Preparedness for Animal Caretakers
Dog Bites/Vicious and Dangerous Animals/Investigations and Hearings
Domestic Violence Involving Animals
Feral/Homeless Cats
Free or Low-cost Pet Food/Pet Food Allowance
Free or Low-cost Spay/Neuter/Veterinary Services for Dogs and Cats
Homeless People with Pets - Veterinary Services/Pet Food
Lost Pets
Military Veterans
Park Land/Natural Areas
Veterinary Emergencies (after hours)
Veterinary Emergencies (training)
Wildlife




Animal Welfare Codes (state and local)

San Francisco Municipal Codes Relating to Animals
Article 1 of the San Francisco Health Code includes most of the animal-related laws in the City/County.

California State Laws Relating to Animals
429 code sections refer to animals. You can search for specific laws in the state's California Law database.

The Hayden Bill and its Background
Senate Bill 1785 was signed into law on September 22, 1998 and has been amended several times. It regulates, among other things, how California shelters should deal with stray and owner-surrendered animals.

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Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies

The California Department of Fish and Game
Call the toll-free Cal TIP Hotline at (888) 334-2258, extension 3, if you see ongoing violations of the state Fish and Game Code, including:
  • The sale of any illegal mammal, bird, fish or crustacean in markets or restaurants
  • Poaching
  • The sale of illegal animal parts or products (like bear gall bladders and bile powder or rhinoceros horn)
  • The polluting of bodies of water
Other contacts: Regional office: 7329 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 944-5500; fax: (707) 944-5563; Regional Manager: Rob Floerke, (707) 944-5517; Executive Secretary: Kathy Geary, (707) 944-5517. You may also e-mail Lt. Liz Schwall.
ACC's animal control officers will still respond to emergencies and reports of animal abuse in San Francisco: (415) 554-9400.

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC)
The city's municipal, open-door animal shelter, 1200 15th Street (at Harrison), in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Public/lobby hours: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Thursday - Tuesday; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Wednesday. Kennels open at noon daily. Closed holidays and for quarterly staff development days. Free parking. Call (415) 554-9400 for animal-related emergencies; (415) 554-6364 for nonemergencies.
Responsible for:
  • Impound, shelter, redemption and adoption of San Francisco's stray, injured, abandoned, unwanted, neglected and mistreated animals, wild and domestic
  • The enforcement of all state and local animal control and welfare laws
  • The investigation of reports of animal abuse
  • The sale of dog licenses (also available at the San Francisco Treasurer/Tax Collector's window in City Hall and online)
  • Assistance (guide/signal/service) dog ID tags (requires a written statement from a licensed health service provider and the signing of an affidavit.)
  • Referrals to other animal organizations or service providers
  • Volunteer programs
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Animal Adoptions

Pets Unlimited
2343 Fillmore St. (at Washington); free limited parking; phone: (415) 563-6700
Private nonprofit that offers dogs and cats for adoption.

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC)
[See contact info and hours under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.]
Offers dogs, cats, kittens, puppies, small mammals, birds and reptiles for adoption (and, in some cases, for fostering until a permanent adopter can be found). Note that over a dozen rescue groups and individuals also partner with ACC to adopt animals at risk for euthanasia due to reversible medical or behavioral conditions and, when those animals are ready, put them up for re-adoption. Check with ACC for a referral to one of these groups if you cannot find a compatible pet at ACC.

The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (The SF/SPCA)
2500 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103; free parking; phone: (415) 554-3000
Private nonprofit that offers dogs and cats for adoption and fostering.

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Disaster Preparedness for Animal Caretakers

Office of Emergency Preparedness, City and County of San Francisco
72Hours.org

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC)
[See contact info under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.]
Pet Disaster Plan


See also "Veterinary Emergencies (training)" below.

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Dog Bites/Vicious and Dangerous Animals/Investigations and Hearings

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC)
[See contact info under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.]
Dog Bite Report Line: (415) 554-9422


The San Francisco Police Department's Vicious and Dangerous Animals Unit


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Domestic Violence Involving Animals

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC) - Safe Pets Program
[See contact info under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.]
If there are any animals who would be unattended or exposed to possible abuse in the home of a victim of domestic violence, a domestic violence shelter rep contacts ACC and transmits an emergency animal sheltering application. ACC picks up the animal(s) and places them in protective custody at ACC while the owner looks for safe housing. The pet(s) receive a medical exam and any needed treatment, including vaccinations. Costs of housing, food and care are on a sliding scale, but no pet is turned away for lack of funds.

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Feral/Homeless Cats

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC)
[See hours and contact info under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.]
Tame, friendly or socialized homeless (stray) cats should be brought to ACC for a five-day holding period to give their owners an opportunity to reclaim them. After that, ACC staff evaluates the cats medically and behaviorally. If they are deemed adoptable, ACC puts them up for adoption. If not, they may be offered to The SF/SPCA or to a partnering rescue group for rehabilitation and re-adoption.

The SF/SPCA Feral Cat Assistance Program
Call (415) 554-3071 for recorded information. If after listening to the recorded info you still have questions or need assistance call (415) 522-3539 for the Feral Cat Assistance Program Coordinator:
  • Vaccination and spay/neuter surgery for San Francisco's feral/homeless cats at no charge to their caregivers.
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Free or Low-cost Pet Food/Pet Food Allowance

Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program
California Department of Social Services, Office of Services to the Blind, 744 P Street, MS 6-94, Sacramento, CA 95814; phone: (916) 657-2628 or TTY: (916) 651-6248; e-mail. Click here for applications and additional information.
A monthly payment of $50 to eligible physically disabled persons who use a guide, signal or service dog, to help pay the costs of their dogs' food, grooming and health care. Eligible individuals must meet all of the following criteria:
  • Live in California.
  • Be blind, deaf, hard of hearing or disabled.
  • Use the services of a trained guide, signal or service dog.
  • Receive benefits from one or more of these programs:
    - SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
    - SSP (State Supplementary Payment)
    - IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services)
    - CAPI (Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants)
    - SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) (SSDI recipients must also meet federal poverty guidelines)
PAWS/Pets Are Wonderful Support
645 Harrison St, Suite 100, San Francisco, CA 94107; (415) 979-9550; e-mail
Free food for the pets of those with an AIDS diagnosis or disabling illness diagnosis. Provides animal food, litter and many other services to those with an AIDS diagnosis or disabling illness diagnosis and proof of low-income status (e.g., SSI or state disability).

Pets of Military Veterans
See "Military Veterans " below.

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC)
[See contact info and hours under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.]
Free food for pets of the homeless. Collects pet food donations in its lobby. Pet food donated to ACC is also distributed by Vet-SOS and the Haight Ashbury Food Bank for the pets of homeless people.

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Free or Low-cost Spay/Neuter/Veterinary Services for Dogs and Cats

The Animal Welfare Association
Toll-free: (888) 616-9663
Subsidized spay/neuter surgeries of dogs and cats (and occasionally emergency procedures) for low-income and disabled people, on a case-by-case basis and when sufficient funds are available.

Friends of Roman Cats "St. Francis Fund"
Vet bill assistance for feral cats. Assists in funding the vet bills of Bay Area feral or homeless cats in a managed colony, on a case-by-case basis and when sufficient funds are available. Fill out the application on their site (linked above), then call Susan Wheeler at (415) 334-8036.

PAWS/Pets Are Wonderful Support
[See contact info under "Free or Low-cost Pet Food/Pet Food Allowance" above.]
Subsidized veterinary care for the pets of those with an AIDS diagnosis or disabling illness diagnosis. Provides subsidized veterinary care, in-home animal care, dog walking, litter box changing, transportation of animals to and from their vet or groomer, foster care and yearly groomings to those with an AIDS diagnosis or disabling illness diagnosis and proof of low-income status (e.g., SSI or state disability).

San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC)
[See contact info and hours under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.]
Free spay/neuter of pit bulls to those who make an appointment by calling (415) 554-6364, ext. 3. Ask the clerk to be put on the appointment list. The mobile spay/neuter hospital currently comes once every two weeks and performs seven to nine surgeries per visit. There is no income requirement for pit bull owners, only that they be San Francisco residents. Surgeries are performed by a vet in a specially outfitted truck funded by San Francisco Bay Humane Friends, founded by Vanessa Getty and Amanda Brown Chang, members of the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.

The SF/SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic
Free spay/neuter of healthy dogs and cats under seven years of age owned by any of the following San Francisco residents IF they first make an appointment by calling (415) 554-3084:
  • Those over age 65
  • Those on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration
  • Those on General Assistance or General Relief (GA/GR) from the California Department of Social Services
  • Those with a documented low-income status (must complete a prequalifying application from The SF/SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic).
  • Those with no negative client behavior history with The SF/SPCA.

The San Francisco Veterinary Medical Association (SFVMA)
Low-cost rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats cosponsored with San Francisco Animal Care and Control [see ACC contact info under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.] Quarterly, typically the first or second Sunday of March, June, September and December at ACC, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Call for dates: (415) 554-6364, ext. 3. No reservation necessary. $5 per vaccination (cash only). Dogs must be over four months old and on leash, and cats must be over three months old and in a carrier. Vaccination certificates (required for dog licensing) are issued. No other vaccinations are provided.

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Homeless People with Pets - Veterinary Services/Pet Food

Vet-SOS (Veterinary Street Outreach Services)
Vet-SOS/San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, 1550 Bryant Street, Suite 450, San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 355-2248.
In cooperation with San Francisco Animal Care and Control, The SF/SPCA, PAWS and Pets Unlimited, a vet and assistant travel in a van around the city and tend to the medical needs of the pets of the homeless. Also distributes Pet Food and may offer the services of a professional animal behaviorist if requested. AMERS (under "Veterinary Emergencies" below) also works with Vet-SOS.

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Lost Pets

Friends of San Francisco Animal Care and Control (FSFACC)
The primary independent, nonprofit organization that raises funds for ACC and its rescue partners; P.O. Box 2443, San Francisco, CA 94126-2443; phone: (415) 822-5566; fax: (650) 757-7000; e-mail. Free/low-cost microchipping clinics, to speed up the reunion of lost and found microchipped pets with their caretakers. Free for San Francisco residents; a steeply discounted $15 for nonresidents; donations welcome. At San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC) [see contact info under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.] The second Sunday of February, April and June each year, 1-4 p.m. San Francisco dogs must be licensed. No appointment necessary. Click here for more info.
PetHarbor Online Lost Pet Search Service
  • See all the strays (lost and abandoned pets) at ACC, as well as animals available for adoption at both ACC and The SF/SPCA.
  • Search for your lost pet's photo and description online.
  • Post the photo, description and location of a pet you have lost or found online.

Protected Pet ID Computer Software
The American Institute on Domestic Violence's lost pet search software ($9.95 for a CD-ROM) helps you:
  • Prepare and organize your search from the moment you notice your pet is missing.
  • Design, print and e-mail posters of missing pets, including their photos.
San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC) Lost Pet Search Services
[See contact info and hours under "Animal Code Violations/Animal Emergencies" above.]
  • Lost pet phone service: (415) L-O-S-T P-E-T (567-8738)
  • Visit ACC in person to see if your pet might be there or to file a lost or found animal report. (A PetHarbor kiosk is also available in the lobby.)
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Military Veterans

The San Francisco Vet Center
Phone: (415) 441-5051. See the May 2005 issue of the San Francisco Vet Center Newsletter for more info. Offers two pet-friendly programs for military veterans, who must apply prior to adopting their pet:
  • A month's supply of free dog or puppy food to veterans
  • A rescue pet assistance program, which offers vouchers for adoption fees and limited veterinary care.
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Park Land/Natural Areas

Golden Gate National Recreation Area/The National Park Service/U.S. Dept. of the Interior
Documents; Contact page
Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123-0022; (415) 561-4700; fax: (415) 561-4750.
Determines such issues as off-leash dog exercise in the Presidio and Fort Funston. Note: As a federal organization the GGNRA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, rather than state or local "sunshine" laws.

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
Natural Areas Program (NAP)
McLaren Lodge, Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan Street, San Francisco , CA 94117-1898; contact page

Natural Areas Program Community Advisory Committee (NAPCAC), Park & Rec's subcommittee that developed the NAP; meeting agendas and minutes are available online for February to November 2003:
  • Manages "significant natural resource areas in San Francisco" for their natural resource values (wildlife, plants, soils and water) and recreational and educational uses. In the past there have been conflicts between this responsibility and the presence of domestic or homeless pets in the areas in question. In April 2006 the department completed the process of drafting a plan that, among other things, addresses these conflicts.
  • Governs Golden Gate Park and all the other public parks in the City.
Recreation and Park Commission
Phone: (415) 831-2750, fax: (415) 221-8034.
Meets twice a month (usually a Wednesday or Thursday) at 2 p.m., Room 416, City Hall. See Web site for dates.

Besides the Rec & Park Commission itself, the following three committees discuss issues relating to animals:

Dog Advisory Committee
Phone: (415) 831-2748
Meets first or second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the County Fair Building, Gallery Room, 9th Avenue & Lincoln Way.

Joint Zoo Committee
Meets the first Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. in Classroom 1 (Large), Lurie Education Center (Sloat Blvd. entrance), San Francisco Zoo. (No contact info provided online.)

Park, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC)
This 23-member committee meets the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., Rooms 34 or 421, City Hall.
Correspondence: Attention: PROSAC, c/o Julie Mark, Recreation and Park Department, 30 Van Ness Ave., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102; phone: (415) 581-2549; fax: (415) 581-2540; e-mail.
Some of its primary duties are to "serve as liaisons between the Commission and the residents, neighborhood groups and organizations dedicated to park and recreational issues in their districts."

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Veterinary Emergencies (after hours)

All Animals Emergency Hospital
6 p.m.-8 a.m., Monday-Thursday, and 6 p.m. Fri. - 8 a.m., Monday: 1333 9th Ave. (between Irving and Judah), (415) 566-0531; free parking lot; limited street parking.

AMERS (Animal Medical Emergency Response System) Animal Ambulance
24 hours: Animal "paramedics"; toll-free: (877) 426-3771; voicemail: (925) 261-9111.

Pets Unlimited
24 hours: 2343 Fillmore St. (at Washington); phone: (415) 563-6700; free limited parking.

San Francisco Veterinary Specialists
24 hours: 600 Alabama (at 18th St.); phone: (415) 401-9200; street parking.

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Veterinary Emergencies (training)

Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT)
A series of six class sessions (20 hours) taught by the San Francisco Fire Department:
  • Teaches hands-on disaster skills for humans.
  • Some series of NERT classes also emphasize animal safety and first aid in a disaster.
The Red Cross Pet First Aid Classes for Cats and Dogs
85 2nd Street, San Francisco; phone: (415) 427-8000
A four-hour course that teaches:
  • Emergency care procedures (until owners can take pets to a vet)
  • Tips for keeping pets healthy
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Wildlife

San Francisco Rescued Orphan Mammal Program (SF ROMP)
Wildlife Problem Helpline: (415) 350- 9453
For wildlife emergencies or if you see wildlife in distress, please call ACC at (415) 554-9400 immediately.
  • This volunteer-run nonprofit rehabilitates injured or orphaned wild mammals for release back into the wild, under license from the California Department of Fish and Game.
  • The helpline helps people humanely resolve wildlife problems.
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Last updated: 1/10/2014 10:24:54 AM