Shelter Eliminates Owner Surrender Fees for Animals in Santa Cruz County

Surrendering a Pet to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter is Now Free!

Starting July 1, 2015, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) will eliminate “owner surrender fees” for animals residing in Santa Cruz County. 

Too often, pet owners who no longer want their animal would either abandon the animal to fend for itself on the streets, or “get rid of” their unwanted animals through Social Media, where animals may end up in a compromised situation.

Earlier this year, SCCAS Animal Control Officers discovered someone had “disposed” of two live dogs by sealing them in double wrapped sand bags and throwing them from a moving vehicle near the dump like garbage.  The puppy died due to head trauma but his devoted and frantic mother chewed herself free from inside the sand bags, and pulled the puppy out, trying to revive him.

The mother dog, named Beverly by shelter staff, was transferred to placement partner organization Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE) and adopted into a loving home. “SCCAS deals with countless cases of animal abandonment each year,” says SCCAS General Manager Melanie Sobel. “Living beings shouldn’t be treated like garbage and we’re committed to preventing more of these tragedies by no longer charging pet owners a fee to bring their animals to SCCAS. We want to eliminate any possible deterrent that will prevent animals from ending up at a safe haven.”

Owner surrender fees ranged from $10 to $100 dependent upon the species. SCCAS takes in approximately $23,000 a year from owner surrender fees. To help offset the costs associated with housing and caring for unwanted pets, SCCAS has established the “Beverly Fund.” To donate to the Beverly Fund, please visit  

The SCCAS is a Safe Haven dedicated to rescuing, caring for and finding homes for animals in our community.

SCCAS is Santa Cruz County’s only Open-Admission animal shelter. Open-Admission means that the SCCAS takes in all stray, lost, unwanted, injured and mistreated domestic animals – including horses, goats, pigs, birds, fish, reptiles, rabbits, dogs and cats.

The SCCAS never turns away an animal that comes to its doors.

The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter wants to remind the public that it is an open door admission shelter which accepts all domestic animals, 365 days a year. SCCAS has two locations, 2200 7th Avenue in Santa Cruz and 580 Airport Boulevard in Watsonville.  The phone number is 831-454-7303 and website is

Melanie Sobel, General Manager, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter
2200 7th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Office: 831-454-7203
Fax: 831-454-7210

Watch Beverley's story here!