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Agricultural Division - Animal Care & Control

Field Services – "Committed to Serve"

Stories from the Field

Henry and ChristinaHenry's Big Adventure Ends at Home
At Sonoma County Animal Services, our field officers respond to dozens of calls each day; many of these calls are about stray dogs. Every case is special and all the officers have great stories to tell. But this particular tale of a particularly elusive dog, a particularly persistent community, and a particularly tenacious search must be shared.

Read Henry's story...

Our Services:

  • Animal Care and Control Officer Shield - Sonoma County California Enforcing local and state animal control laws that protect people, animals and property
  • Investigating animal bite reports and rabies control cases

  • Transporting sick or injured stray animals to locations that can provide aid

  • Patrolling busy streets for stray, injured and abandoned animals

  • Enforcing licensing and vaccination laws

Click here (pdf) to file an animal-related complaint.

Our Programs

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.

Performance Measures

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.

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