Foster Adventures

Freckle-face cutie Scrappy: “He seems really comfortable living here, and has come out of his shell… He absolutely loves getting attention and being around people, even if it’s just me sitting next to him (he makes sure at least part of him is touching me) while I work. He seems more interested in people and dogs than objects/environments, and would rather have a good cuddle session than go for a run. But we still have a lot of fun playing fetch indoors. He’s a wonderful walker (in ideal conditions), and generally quite attentive to me which makes it easier to train him. He’s such a sweet boy and I feel so lucky to be able to look after him during this time!”

Pecan Sandy has been such a joy to have in our home these past 3 weeks! She has perfect manners when we’re making our food, rolls over for belly rubs, cuddles in our lap, and naps with her favorite stuffed toy. She has become much more confident in the house and seems to be overall loving life!”

Nala and Bella…Both of these little ladies have the sweetest of dispositions! Bella (the bigger sister) is more adventurous while Nala (the petite sister) is a bit more reserved. Though they are both on the shy side, they quickly come out of their shells for food and treats! Some of their favorites include romaine lettuce, parsley, cilantro, fennel, pear, strawberries, and, of course, carrots! They love to snuggle together in cozy spots, groom each other, and loaf around, but will explore the house when given room to roam. They are skittish (as prey animals tend to be in general), but allow gentle pets especially while snacking on treats. They’ll thrive in a home that provides continued socialization to help them get comfortable with human companions. They are gentle and completely non-aggressive (no biting, growling, etc.), have not chewed on any non-food items (like wires, furniture, etc.), and are litter-tray trained. They are also pretty much the cutest little furry beings on the planet!

Playful gent Shakespeare is looking for love! His foster says: Shakespeare is a fun-loving and affectionate guy! He has a lot of playful energy and is capable of some high-level gymnastics when he is motivated to catch his toy. He loves to curl up next to his foster for affection and love, which really gets his purr motor going. He enjoys scratching posts and interactive wand play as well as independent game playing with pom poms and mouse-shaped toys. By day, this clever 3 year old cat prefers to be busy and active. By night, this little sweetheart prefers to sleep in his foster’s bed.
Shakespeare can get overstimulated, so he’ll do best with an experienced adopter ready to play, play, play, in an adult only home. Per his previous owner, he’s not a fan of dogs. Shakespeare is FIV+ but is still positively adoptable!

Shaka is easy going and a joy to be around! He is known to spend most of the day curled up in his bed next to one of our desks while we are working, either sleeping or chewing on one of his toys. He’s very loving and affectionate. He often thinks he’s a lap dog and will try to crawl into your lap whenever he can! He is energetic during play and generally well-mannered on walks, usually wanting to stop and sniff though on occasion has shown favorability towards a brisk power walk. Shaka knows “sit” and “come” and has been making some progress with learning “stay” and “down”. Shaka has been very friendly with everyone he meets, dog and human! When he sees a dog on the street he generally gets excited and wants to say hi. He can be a little mouthy during play but is great when given the option to channel his energy into chewing toys. He’s been a well-mannered boy in this home which is quiet to moderate in activity. He’s a smart and loving boy likely to make a great addition to a home prepared with consistency and some structure for his day-to-day.

Chrissy and her adorably huge ears are comfy cozy in her foster home!

Fun Activities for Kids & Adults During SIP

Train your cat to high-five!
You know your cat is smart. They can read your mind and manipulate you to serve their goals. Why not spend some quality quarantine time training them to impress your friends with tricks? If your cat loves treats, you can probably teach them to high-five in no time. A great activity for kids and kitties!



Match the dog to their person!
For those who enjoy a good coloring book and love dogs, download and print this Dog Activity Book, shared by the SFACC B&T team. Includes, word games and loads of great info about dog behavior. A fun learning tool for kids and adults!

Changes in SFACC Procedures During COVID-19

Starting on April 11, 2020, San Francisco Animal Care and Control will provide special “Kitten Care Kits” to people who find underage kittens on their property and have the ability to care for them. 


Update from Executive Director Virginia Donohue…

As we are all aware, the world has changed dramatically in the last three months. The urgency of the pandemic requires that we rethink how we operate to keep staff, volunteers and animals safe. In light of the seriousness of the pandemic, University of California at Davis and University of Wisconsin have teamed up to make a broad set of recommendations on how animal shelters should operate in these tumultuous times.

As with every other aspect of the pandemic, information and best practices evolve. We pledge to stay up-to-date on it all for the best possible outcomes for the animals in our care, our community members, volunteers and staff. Most importantly, we must take the shelter in place order seriously. Every time you leave your home, you put yourself and other people at risk. As an organization, we cannot support or promote any activity that jeopardizes human health.

These recommendations run counter to the soul of any animal welfare organization and are staggering to contemplate. However, with shelter-in-place orders in much of the country, we are placing a premium on human health and safety.

Spay/neuter surgery has been deemed not essential at this time. Shelters are being asked to place animals in homes and ask adopters to return for surgery when normal activity resumes. Veterinarians stress that while our mutual goal is population control, at this time elective surgery takes valuable protective equipment away from human health providers. It also exposes staff members to unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. SFACC is developing a system for virtual adoptions and for tracking animals who will need to be brought back for surgery.

Also, the national recommendation is that shelters no longer take in healthy kittens of any age. Advocates should not be leaving their homes to trap cats and kittens. This is not an essential function and violates the health orders that are in place. SFACC will continue to take in all animals who are ill or injured.

The guidance is based on concern for everyone involved and the extraordinary number of human interactions that take place in the care of kittens. We recognize that this will result in a surge of intact, homeless kittens. Even worse would be a surge in COVID-19 cases amongst the trappers, foster homes, kitten advocates, volunteers and shelter staff. All of the guidance can be found HERE.

If San Francisco residents find kittens in their yards, they can call SFACC and describe the situation. We will prepare customized kitten kits that can be picked up outside the shelter by appointment. This will allow residents to care for the kittens in place. If kittens are sick, injured, orphaned and unweaned, in immediate danger or the caller is unwilling to provide care, they can bring the kittens to the shelter.

SFACC is the only shelter in San Francisco that will take in animals whose guardians are hospitalized due to COVID-19 infections. We currently have three in-house, and are planning for more as the number of cases increases. To make room for them, we have more than 60 animals in foster care with fabulous volunteer families.

We expect the guidance to continue to evolve and we will adapt accordingly. Meanwhile we will be making plans for how to move forward after the crisis eases. We realize that we will have a lot of catch up work to do and hope that all of you will be there to help us.

Please stay in your homes and be safe.

Virginia Donohue, Executive Director

You can help SFACC keep Kitten Care Kits supplied by donating items from the shelter’s Amazon Amazon Wish List.

Friends of SFACC 2020 Rescue Grant Awards

Boise Bully Breed Rescue volunteer transported Luigi, an SFACC grad, to their shelter in Idaho where he was adopted soon after.

Each year, Friends of SFACC awards partner organizations with small grants to help them rescue all species of animals from SFACC. This aid keeps the adoption flow going and increases the shelter’s capacity to help more animals. Helping our partners also keeps the Bay Area (and sometimes beyond) rescue community engaged with our shelter and by including our animals in their own network, adds a potential adopter base.

The Friends of SFACC Board of Directors works closely with SFACC to develop a list of 501(c)(3) partners that are invited to apply for a grant, which generally range from $500- $2,000. “This year, we invited over 50 rescues to apply,” Friends Board Member Andrea Gremer told me. Thirty-one invited groups applied and all of them received a grant from Friends of SFACC for their great work in 2019.” (Last year, 20 groups received grants, so the program is expanding.)

Andrea explained that the grant awards are determined by several factors: the number of animals pulled from the shelter (including those with special needs), financial status of the rescue group, and overall impact on SFACC and the community. A group’s service to SFACC is not measured only by the number of animals it takes. Some animals might have medical or behavioral issues, or for some reason are being overlooked in the kennel. For example, Boise Bully Breed Rescue has taken a few of the dogs who were not doing well in a kennel. With the combined efforts of volunteers to transport the dogs from SF to Boise, all of them were adopted to their forever homes.

Some groups, like Muttville and Palomacy, have partnered with SFACC for years. Others are new, like Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue, which has stepped into the big shoes of SFROMP and is taking in wildlife. (I had to look up“Yggdrasil,” a mythical tree that holds all the world’s animals). Sonoma Reptile Rescue tops the list with 188 animals rescued from SFACC (they take other animals besides reptiles). Wildcare took the highest number of wildlife (161); Muttville is the top dog group, with 159 senior dogs, and Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue brought 45 cats into rescue in 2019.

Because of the shelter-in-place order, the annual grant presentation and reception could not be held, but Muttville shared their appreciation in writing:  “We are proud of and grateful for our relationship with SFACC and Friends of SFACC—a partnership that grows stronger each year.”

Here’s the complete list of groups who received awards for their work in 2019. *Ordered by the number of animals they rescued in 2019 from SFACC (top down).