Frequently Asked Questions
For questions not answered here, please email us and we will get back to you as soon as we can!
- Where do you get your animals?
- How are you different from the other local animal shelters?
- Where are you located and how do I get there?
- What should I do if my pet is lost?
- What happens if my dog/cat is brought to the animal shelter?
- What does it cost to get my dog/cat out of the shelter?
- What if the owner doesn’t reclaim an animal?
- How can I keep my pet from being lost?
- Do I have to license my dog and if so, why?
- Where can I license my dog?
- Am I required to have my animal spay/neutered?
- How can I get my pet spay/neutered?" ?
- What can I do about my neighbor’s barking dog?
- What can I do about feral cats in my neighborhood?
- Can I volunteer at the Animal Shelter?
Q. Where do you get your animals?
A. Salinas Animal Services (SAS) provides services for the City of Salinas, and as of July 18, 2011, also provides animal sheltering to the City of Marina. The animals in our shelter are found within Salinas or Marina city limits by an animal control officers,a private citizen, or are surrendered by a resident of those cities. We do not accept animals from other jurisdictions. (However, once animals are moved into adoptions, persons from outside the City limits are more than welcome to adopt from us.)
Q. How are you different from the other local animal shelters?
A. SAS is operated under the City’s Police Department. The other animal shelter on Hitchcock Road (Monterey County Animal Services) is operated by the Monterey County Health Department and services the unincorporated areas of Monterey County. The SPCA for Monterey County (on Highway 68) is a private, non-profit shelter which accepts owner-surrendered animals and strays from areas of the Peninsula and south county cities. While we all shelter animals, have adoption programs, and do work cooperatively; we operate separately and independently of each other.
Q. Where are you located and how do I get there?
A. The Salinas Animal Shelter is located at 144 Hitchcock Road. We are the second shelter on Hitchcock Road. Our hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
From the Peninsula:
Take Highway 68 towards Salinas. Turn left at Hitchcock Road and continue down Hitchcock for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn right down the small street when you see the sign which says “Animal Shelter”. (If you come to a stop sign, you have gone too far). Continue to the END of the road and we are just past the gate.
From HWY 1, take the Reservation Road exit in Marina. Follow Reservation Road through Marina, towards Salinas (about 8 miles) and turn left on Davis Road. Turn Right on Hitchcock Road. Turn left left at the first little street (you’ll see signs for “Animal Shelter”. Continue to the END of the road and we are just past the gate.
From HWY 101, take the Laurel exit and turn right. Make the first left onto Davis Road headed south. Continue straight (several miles) through Blanco/Davis intersection and turn left onto Hitchcock Road. (Yes, you are headed into the fields). Take a left at the first little street (you’ll see signs for “animal shelter”. Continue to the END of the road and we are just past the gate. You can also take Main Street headed south and turn right onto Hitchcock Road. Turn right down the small street after you see signs which say “Animal Shelter”. (If you come to a stop sign, you have gone too far). Continue to the END of the road and we are just past the gate.
Q. What should I do if my pet is lost?
A. Start looking IMMEDIATELY! Don’t wait for your pet to come back on it’s own. Canvas your neighborhood, calling out for your pet. If they normally respond to a treat jar or favorite squeaky toy, bring it with you. If you don't find your pet within a maximum of 2 days, call us at (831) 758-7285 or come to the shelter to file a lost pet report. We check these reports before animals are euthanized. But don’t stop there! Make signs to post all over your neighborhood and surrounding blocks. If there are any stores which will allow you to post your sign, do that too! You can also check online on websites like Craigslist, which has been helpful at reuniting lost pets with their owners.The more people that know your pet is missing, the more eyes are looking out for it.
We suggest you check the shelter within 2 days of losing your pet and at least every 3-4 days after that. Since animals with no I.D. are only held for 3 business days, the more you look, the better chance you have of finding your pet. Make sure to check other area shelters since animals often wander through different jurisdictions. Again, animals found within the city limits of Salinas and Marina will come to our shelter. (Monterey County Animal Services or the SPCA of Monterey County would have stray animals from other jurisdictions.)
And if you do find your pet, please let us know. We like happy endings too!
Q. What happens if my dog/cat is brought to the animal shelter?
A. When animals are brought to the shelter either by an officer or a private citizen,we first look for any identification, tags, licenses or microchips. Please note that all animals that can be safely handled are scanned for microchips. If information about the owner is located, we will attempt to contact the owner to pick up the animal. If the owner can’t be reached by phone, a letter is sent notifying the owner of the animal's location. Animals found to be wearing identification are automatically held longer than those animals without any information.
As part of the intake process, animals are given vaccines to help reduce the chance they’ll catch kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection. They are also are briefly examined for other general health problems. Once they are entered into the computer and have had their photo taken, they will be placed into our stray animal holding areas. Our website updates every hour so new animals will be listed on our website soon after entering the shelter.
Stray animals are held for3 business days before they may be placed up for adoption, transferred to a rescue group or euthanized. This does not include the day they first arrive or the days we are closed. Please do not wait to look for your pet at the shelter if it is lost!
Q. What does it cost to get my dog/cat out of the shelter?
A. Fees can vary depending on the circumstances, such as whether the animal is spayed/neutered, licensed, currently vaccinated, and how many days it has been impounded. Animals that are spayed or neutered, licensed and vaccinated have reduced fees. Also, the sooner you come looking for your pet, the less you will owe for daily boarding fees.
Q. What if the owner doesn’t reclaim an animal?
A. If an animal is not claimed by it’s owner by the end of the stray period, it may be put up for adoption, transferred to a rescue group, or euthanized. There is no set time once an animal is available for adoption. We do our best to hold them as long as we can. If an animal is deemed aggressive or has severe health problems, and rescue is not viable, it may be euthanized.
Q. How can I keep my pet from being lost?
A. Always keep a current I.D. on your pet! Animals which get lost are more likely to find their way home if they have identification on them. (Remember, your dog is required to wear it’s license tag at all times). Also, you can consider microchipping your pet. It’s fairly inexpensive, has a one-time activation fee that lasts for the life of your pet. (Ask your veterinarian about this option or contact SAS for more information on where to get your pet microchipped.) All local animal shelters scan animals for microchips. As long as you keep your contact information current, we will be able to contact you should your pet become lost.
Spay or Neuter your pets! Since a majority of the animals which end up in animal shelters are NOT spayed or neutered, it is fair to say that by having your pet altered, you reduce the chance that it will wander away. Keep reading for more spay/neuter information.
Confine your pet! Dogs are NOT allowed to be off of your property at any time unless they are attached to a leash by a person who can handle the animal. Pets are not allowed to wander to the neighbors yard to do their business and come home when they feel like it. If there is a hole in the fence, FIX IT! Also, keep your cats inside. They live longer and can be kept safe and happy with a little extra attention on your part. It will also reduce the chance they end up at a shelter, injured in a fight, contract a disease, or get hit by a car. If you have questions about any of these suggestions, please contact the Salinas Animal Shelter at (831) 758-7285 for more information.
Q. Do I have to license my dog and if so, why?
A. Yes. All dogs over the age of four (4) months are required to be vaccinated for rabies and licensed. By having your dog licensed, it immediately tells us that it has a current rabies vaccination. Cats are not required to be licensed but are required to have a current rabies vaccination. If your pet is spayed or neutered, the licensing fees are reduced.
Why? Rabies is found within the wildlife of Monterey County, including within the City of Salinas. Any mammal can contact rabies including humans. Rabies is a fatal disease which we take it very seriously. Since our pets are more likely to come into contact with a rabid animal (typically skunks and bats in Monterey County), we found that by vaccinating them, we can better protect ourselves.
Q. Where can I license my dog?
A. Dog licenses may be purchased in the Finance Department at City Hall or at Animal Services at 144 Hitchcock Road in Salinas. You will need to bring proof that your pet has a current rabies vaccination. If your pet is spayed/neutered, you also need to bring proof to receive the discounted license. There are penalties for delinquent license fees. See our licensing page for fees.
Q. Am I required to have my animal spay/neutered?
A. The City of Salinas does not currently have a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. However, there are many benefits to having your animal altered (spayed or neutered). Speak to your veterinarian about the benefits and risks associated with spay/neuter.
Q. How can I get my pet spay/neutered?
A. There are several ways to get your pet spayed or neutered. First, simply call your veterinarian and make an appointment. Most vets prvovide this service and each clinic's fees may vary. We do recommend calling around to find a price you can afford. Make sure to ask them if they offer any discounted spay/neuter packages or "specials". The yellow pages are the best way to locate vets in this area.
If you need financial assistance, it may depend on where you live as to what's available to you. If you live outside the City limits of Salinas, please call your animal control agency for information on what's available to you.
If you live in the City of Salinas, SAS offers Spay/Neuter vouchers in the amount of $50 for male pets and $75 for females. These vouchers can be used at most vets in the Monterey County area and owners are responsible for fees over the vouchers amount charged by the veterinarian. Vouchers are good for two months after the date of ussiance. Residents can get the vouchers at SAS and must bring in a photo ID and currently utility bill. Dogs must have a current raboes vaccination and a current license (if your dog is not licensed yet, you will need to purchase a $10 six month voucher). Cats will need to have a current rabies vaccination before or at the time of surgery.
Q. What can I do about my neighbor’s barking dog?
A. The City of Salinas has an ordinance regulating noise. If your neighbor’s dog is barking and is becoming a nuisance to you, please attempt to talk to your neighbor first. Don’t wait until you are really frustrated! Often times, dog owners do not know their dog is barking during the day while they are at work. If speaking to your neighbor doesn’t help, call Animal Services. We will require you provide your information for oure records, only. We no longer accept anonymous complaints.We will first notify the dog owner (in the form of a letter) with tips on how to avoid a barking dog. If the situation continues, an officer will provide a courtesy warning to the dog owner indicating their dog is barking and causing a nuisance. After that, if the problem continues, you may request we issue a citation based on the city ordinance.
Q. What can I do about feral cats in my neighborhood?
A. Feeding feral cats is not allowed in Salinas city limits unless you intend to take responsibility for their overall care (spay/neuter, vaccinations, etc.) If you have feral cats on your property which you do not want to care for; you may trap the feral cat and bring it to the animal shelter. Traps may be rented at several local retailers. For more information, please contact Animal Services at (831) 758-7285. We are able to pack up trapped cats, Monday-Friday, as long as you call our dispatch line (758-7321) before 1:00 p.m.
Note: Cats (feral cats included) can start reproducing at only four (4) months of age! (And it doesn’t matter if they are related.) Please do not wait to bring us kittens until they are big. We have a better chance of being able to save them if they are little and can be socialized. The sooner we can work with them, the better chance they have at a long, happy life.
Q. Can I volunteer at the Animal Shelter?
A. YES! SAS depends on the dedicated volunteers which help enhance what we can offer our animals. Currently we are accepting volunteer applications in many areas for those 16 years of age and older. See our volunteer page for current opportunities or call (831) 758-7285 for more information. We do accept high school students needing community service hours.