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San Josè Animal Care CenterACS Overview
Animal Care & Services (ACS) is a full-service division that offers the community many valuable programs and services. Within ACS are four units:  Field Operations, Medical Operations, Shelter Operations and Administration. Although each unit is responsible for different aspects of ACS, they are dependent upon each other and work together cohesively to best benefit both the animals and the community.

Mission Statement
"It is the mission of San Jose Animal Care & Services to provide a welcoming and humane place for animals and those who care for them; to protect, educate and serve the public; to develop programs that improve the lives of people and animals; and to create opportunities for our community and supporters to help us succeed."

Service Area 
The City of San José created the Animal Care & Services division in 2001 in response to the Humane Society Silicon Valley's notification that they could no longer continue providing shelter and field service contracts for Santa Clara County. With the completion of the City of San José's new Animal Care Center in 2004, the City of San José itself is now providing shelter and field services for San José residents and for residents of Cupertino, Los Gatos, Milpitas, and Saratoga.

ACS Field OpsField Operations
This branch of the ACS is sometimes referred to as Animal Control. This unit is comprised of dispatchers and animal service officers.

Our Dispatchers answer thousands of calls each year from people reporting or needing help with stray, injured, lost, dead, nuisance or dangerous animals. They then prioritize the calls and dispatch our Animal Service Officers (ASOs) to the location where they do their best to resolve the various situations that occur each day. Trained ASOs conduct the following field services:

  • Enforce all animal control laws
  • File bite reports and quarantine suspect animals
  • Follow up on citizen complaints
  • Investigate all reports of animal abuse  
  • Patrol the city on a daily basis
  • Permit animal-related facilities
  • Pick up stray animals
  • Rescue animals in distress
  • Respond to animal-related emergencies
  • Transport injured or sick stray animals to receive emergency    care (day or night)







  • Medical Operations

    This branch of ACS is responsible for the health and medical care of all of the animals in the shelter. In addition, all of the adoption dogs, cats, and rabbits are spayed and neutered before being placed in Adoptions. This unit is comprised of Veterinarians, Registered Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants.

    Trained veterinary staff conduct the following services:

    •  Provide basic health screening for all animals including a preventative disease control program
    •  Vaccinate domestic shelter animals against diseases
    •  Spay and neuter dogs, cats, and rabbits for adoptions
    •  Provide additional surgeries for treatable conditions for adoption animals
    •  Microchip dogs, cats, and rabbits for adoptions
    •  Perform a physical exam on all eligible animals
    •  Monitor the health of the animals in the shelter
    •  Provide forensics reports for animal abuse cases
    •  Support the community Low-Cost spay/neuter clinic

    Interior of Animal Care Center



    Shelter Operations 

    This branch of ACS is responsible for the thousands of animals that are brought to the Animal Care Center by the public each year.  The unit is comprised of kennel and veterinary staff who work together to create an orderly and caring environment to best serve both the animals and the community.

    Trained shelter personnel perform the following services:

    • Provide food, water, shelter and a clean and comfortable environment for all shelter animals
    • Adopt out stray, unwanted and abandoned animals
    • Humanely euthanize animals the shelter cannot place
    • Provide pet lost and found services
    • Provide adoption and behavior counseling
    • Groom adoptable shelter animals
    • Provide information and education on pet owner/guardian responsibility and care
    • Maintain accurate records on all shelter animals
    • Oversee shelter and community Low-Cost spay/neuter clinic 

    Administrative Services

    This branch of ACS is responsible for facilitating support for both the ACS field and shelter units.  Administrative staff perform a wide range of integral duties, including:

    • Overseeing all ACS financing, budgets and databases
    • Selling dog and cat licenses
    • Providing customer service support
    • Recruiting, training and coordinating volunteers
    • Publicizing and promoting shelter animals
    • Implementing specialized ACS programs
    • Handling community and press inquiries
    • Organizing special events