Raining Cats and Dogs

The city of San Jose’s Department of Animal Care & Services is the place to seek out regarding all things animals. Actually, San Jose provides animal services for other neighboring cities too, including Cupertino, Los Gatos, Milpitas and Saratoga on a contractual basis.

Residents often call about barking dog complaints, a roaming dangerous animal, stray animals and, sadly, dead animal pick up. Last year, there were over 22,000 calls made to the animal services department. These calls initiated staff to go to the scene of where the animal in question was, and 93 percent of the priority calls were visited in one hour. (An aggressive dog, for example, is a Priority 1 call.)

Outside of service calls, the other main function of the department is operating the animal shelter on Monterey Highway. Over 17,000 domestic animals were provided shelter last year with over 3,400 adoptions. The sheltering of dogs increased slightly while cats dropped. Many credit the spay/neuter services provided at the shelter for the reduction in cats. A neighbor of mine has trapped approximately 30 cats and brings them in to be spayed/neutered and then releases them back where she found them.

The goal of the shelter is to have a high Live Release Rate, which means animals are adopted instead of euthanized. For public shelters, a very successful goal is 80 percent. San Jose is at 70 percent, which is actually the best it has ever been and much higher than the national average of 36 percent.

The license amnesty program approved by the Council resulted in over 7,000 more pet licenses and brought in approximately $350,000 in fee revenue. One good reason to license pets is the ability to reunite a lost pet with a pet owner. In the standard tradition of the state of California neglecting local government, the city of San Jose is owed more than $2 million for unfunded state mandates by Sacramento.

Overall, there are approximately 90 million cats and 75 million dogs in the USA. Animals are like family to many of us and they play an important role in our lives. A discussion with the Animal Care Services Department and Humane Society, plus a related documentary, will be held Monday, March 12, at 6:30pm at San Jose City Hall.


  1. An informative post Council member Pierluigi, thank you.

    I have had a couple intereactions with the SJ Animal Care Services Department and found them to be very responsive, given their limitted resources.

    It really is important that we are treat animals the best we can, and think before getting an animal that requires ongoing good meals and quality care. This should not be an impulsive purchase. Far too many animals are later “dumped” because the owner could not or would not take care of it. This includes the cute little “bunny rabbits” and “baby chicks” that are thoughtlessly bought and sold around Easter time. (How about chocolate bunnies and chicks instead?)

    Again, thanks for the thoughtful post. Time permitting, the San Jose Animal Shelter may be a great place for me to start putting in a few volunteer hours every month.


  2. Your Pedestrian and or Philistine knowledge of Animal Control operations is nothing can be likened to an Old Testament Biblical Plague. But, please volunteer to care for God’s creatures.

      The good and honorable city employees assigned to Animal Control have one of the toughest jobs in the city. You do not have a clue as what they are compelled to do.

        What no one needs is the pathetically insecure sweetening of a serious ongoing situation that you bellow from the depths of your congenitally uniformed position on the matter concerning the animal world with reference to animal control operations, their funding requirements and the need to be shifted to a “restricted use fund” while saving God’s creatures in the process.

      Please continue to “paint utility boxes” and don’t stop politically “kissing” all the political rumps in District 3, for you would be lost without the aforementioned embracement that serves to keep your uninformed opinions in the neighborhood midst because I don’t want you to have a bad day.

    David S. Wall

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