Civic Group
Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter

Socially conscious sheltering.

Years active: 12+

Leadership: Melanie Sobel, general manager

Their story: Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter is the only open-admission shelter in the region - that means they will not turn away any animal that comes to their doors. Each year, the shelter takes in about 5,000 stray, unwanted, abandoned, mistreated, neglected and injured animals each year. In addition to dogs and cats, that also includes rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, chickens and more. The shelter provides 24-hour animal rescue and operates two shelters, one in Watsonville and one in Santa Cruz/Live Oak. Since 2008, the shelter has operated its main facility on 7th and Rodriguez.

Fundraising focus: The shelter is launching a three-phase Campus Expansion project in 2020. Click here to find out more about the plan to reduce the number of animals needing Shelter housing and improve animal welfare beyond the Shelter’s walls. You can also donate funds, donate items, buy from the benefit shop and learn about legacy giving. Click here for more info.

We cannot adopt our way out of animal homelessness. We need to offer resources and education that work to get at the root of the problems we face in animal welfare.

— Melanie