Field Services – "Committed to Serve”
Sonoma County Animal Care and Control, a division of the Department of Health Services
Animal Care and Control is responsible for the enforcement of city and county ordinances and state laws pertaining to animals, primarily domestic. These include licensing and vaccination requirements as well as stray animal, dangerous/vicious, and nuisance provisions. In addition, the animal control officer plays a lead role in the enforcement of cruelty regulations. Animal Care and Control provides animal control services throughout the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County, and within the city of Santa Rosa and the town of Windsor.
Duties and Priorities
In determining enforcement priorities, several factors are taken into consideration such as public safety, animal safety and available resources. The following is a list of some of those services provided by enforcement staff that are considered priorities:
Dangerous and Vicious Animal/Bites: Immediately responding to reports that an animal has either bitten a person or is menacing the public.
Animal Cruelty: Checking on the health and well being of animals reportedly being neglected or physically abused.
Responding to Requests for Service: Assisting other agencies in impounding or identifying the location of dangerous or vicious animals; enforcing animal-related ordinances; investigating complaints (PDF: 58k) (leash law, noise), impounding stray and surrendered animals; and providing customer assistance and service.
Patrolling for Stray Animals: Impounding stray animals before they can become a threat to the residents of Sonoma County or to themselves on the streets or neighborhoods.
Public Education: Taking a proactive approach in teaching and encouraging responsible pet ownership. Promote the importance of the leash law, population growth, and pet licensing through a combination of enforcement and education. Gaining voluntary compliance is the goal of any effective enforcement program. In order to achieve this, the public must be knowledgeable not only of ordinances but of the consequences of noncompliance as well. Information regarding animal care and maintenance is available from the Animal Control Officer.
One of Animal Care and Control’s top priorities is to attempt to reduce animal related violations and achieve an increase in voluntary compliance. This goal will be achieved by vigorous enforcement, public education and positive reinforcement for responsible pet owners who abide by the law.