We Did It! The Impact We Made Together in 2020!


Who could have predicted a year ago where we would be today? 

With the hard work of our shelter staff, dedicated volunteers and the compassionate commitment from you - our community - we were able to take all of 2020's lemons and make the sweetest lemonade!

Wendy Welling, our Executive Director notes: "As we reflect on the last year I am proud to say that we were able to make an impact for many animals and their people, despite the challenges thrown at us. I am honored to work with such an amazing and dedicated staff who never lost sight of their “why”. It’s because of them and because of you, our animal loving community, that we’ve been able to make this year count. Thank you!"

We measure our success with numbers, but we never, ever forget that each number represents an animal saved, reunited with its loving family or united with a new loving forever family. We couldn’t have saved and healed these lives without YOU.

2020 Incoming Animals -

Surrendered: 195

Stray: 457

Transferred in: 1,030

2020 Outgoing Animals -

Adopted: 1405

Reclaimed: 149

Transferred out: 214 (this is a direct correlation to our deeply valued partnership with Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) receiving all underage kittens from SCAS jurisdiction, and our willingness to temporarily help any animal even if it is not suited for our adoption program)

2020 Live Release Rate - 98% (this means that, thanks to you, we saved 98% of the broken, frightened, traumatized, lonely, hungry, adorable, loving, soulful, magical, amazing little lives entrusted to our care.)

We could not have done it without you!

THANK YOU for being such a treasured part of our beloved HSSC family!! ❤️


❤️🐾 Ready to bring home your new fuzzy family member? Click here to see how!! 🐾❤️


News from our Shelter Hospital and Community Vet Clinic


Our Veterinary Department began 2020 with ambitious goals....

In the public spay/neuter clinic, we hoped to boost surgery numbers by 25%. The Community Veterinary Clinic had shifted gears to accept more surgery referrals and dentistry cases than the previous year. On the shelter side of things, intakes were expected to increase by 25%, leading to a higher number of shelter animals that would require medical care.

During the first two months of 2020 we were on track – shelter intakes were up, spay/neuter numbers had increased by 43%, and the number of CVC surgeries and dentals had nearly doubled. Then came COVID-19; shelter intakes were suspended, the public spay/neuter clinic was forced to close its doors, and the CVC refocused its mission to provide urgent care only. We had to reinvent ourselves practically overnight and create new protocols to work together without putting each other and our clients at risk.

The main surgery and treatment area was modified to make social distancing possible, and a one-way flow of traffic was mapped out to minimize contact between staff. New sanitation and disinfection protocols were implemented. Because of COVID-related drug shortages, our anesthetic protocols had to be adapted to use only veterinary-specific drugs. Paperless systems were set up, and patient intake and discharge were moved outdoors at curbside, with staff wearing full PPE. Thanks to the resiliency, adaptability, and creativity of our team, we were able to continue the important work ahead. Our goals were adjusted in keeping with our new reality. By year end, the numbers spoke for themselves:

Our Shelter Medicine team:

·   Handled 277 appointments

·   Submitted 242 sets of labwork

·   Took 147 radiographic studies

·   Completed 52 dentals

·   Treated 92 medical cases

·   Performed 730 spay/neuter      surgeries and 32 other surgeries

Our Community Veterinary Clinic team:

·   Performed 1,872 exams

·   Completed 122 dentals

·   Performed 175 surgeries with 40   spay/neuters added on

Our Public Spay Neuter Clinic team:

·   Performed 1,217 spay/neuter  surgeries on public animals

A grand total of  2,001 spay/neuter surgeries were completed at HSSC in 2020 even though the public spay/neuter clinic was closed for 2-½ months! 

We couldn’t be more proud of the focus and dedication shown by the entire veterinary department despite the challenges we faced, and we can’t wait to see what we are able to accomplish in 2021!


Even as we continue to adapt and respond during pandemic times, HSSC's Shelter Medicine and CVC programs are providing lifesaving procedures and surgeries. We are so grateful to have such dedicated medical professionals caring for the animals who need it most.

Any gift you can spare right now will do a world of good for our shelter animals and allow our medical and animal care teams to continue saving these precious lives.



Foster Focus


Fostering ringworm kittens means the difference between homeless and home. ❤️

Ringworm is still a pretty scary word in shelters. Oftentimes, they don't have the resources required to treat it. It's a lot of work for staff and volunteers, and the cats don’t get to spend as much time with people as they’d like. Ringworm is also highly contagious and can spread to other animals (and people) if not handled properly.

HSSC has a progressive program and a dedicated group of amazing fosters who are willing to take ringworm into their home and treat it. This is a messy, smelly job that involves bathing the cat, medicating the cat, coming to HSSC weekly for appointments, and a ton of cleaning. It may not be glamorous, but it is truly lifesaving! These committed volunteers socialize and play with them every day, and help these vulnerable animals so often euthanized in other shelters.

Mary, one of our ringworm foster volunteers sent us these photos of Sophie and Lillian, two cuties she cared for through this program who have since been adopted into loving homes!


Healdsburg Happenings


Paying-It-Forward Adoptions!

January brought with it some AMAZING news. At a certain point this month EACH and EVERY animal available for adoption at our Santa Rosa and Healdsburg shelters had their adoption sponsored by a veritable pay-it-forward LOVE TRAIN of compassionate adopters, volunteers and lovely humans!!!

This means that, so far in January, over 20 animals were able to find their furever homes with sponsored adoptions!

We are blown away by and so grateful for the love that flows through our community! These thoughtful, loving, generous gestures opened the door wide to a beautiful new future for these fur-babies and their loving families.



Sponsor Spotlight


Poppy, an HSSC kitten fostered then adopted
by one of our Press Democrat employees.

The Press Democrat

The Press Democrat, our cherished local newspaper, is a beloved sponsor of HSSC. When asked about their connection to our cause, Community Relations Coordinator Karen DeLuca told us: 

"At The Press Democrat, we are dedicated to keeping our community connected and informed. Like the Humane Society of Sonoma County, our goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of local residents."

"In these challenging times, the connections that we share with our animals have never been more important. We encourage you to support local businesses, but when it comes time to add a furry new member to your family, please visit our friends at the Humane Society of Sonoma County. Adopt, don’t shop."

Thank you so much to the Press Democrat for your ongoing support!!


How You Can Help


We don't have far to go! To date we've raised almost $114,000 of the $125,000 we need to pay for our generator - that's just $11,000 short of our goal!

Thanks to loving, compassionate donors like you, we've made great headway in our campaign to raise money for an emergency generator that will power our Santa Rosa shelter's life-saving operations during emergencies and disasters.


And if you give to our generator fund today, your gift will be matched - dollar for dollar!

David & Mary Love stepped up (way up!) to help:  They are matching every donation up to a total of $25,000!

Please help us reach our goal and see the value of your kindness doubled!


HSSC Amazon Wish Lists

Did you know we regularly update our Amazon wish lists with items our shelters need to care for the animals on an ongoing basis? (Right now we really need Feliway, cardboard cat carriers and medical gloves!)

Our Santa Rosa shelter wish list can be viewed here.

Our Healdsburg shelter wish list can be seen here.

Also, you can make The Humane Society the beneficiary of your Amazon Smile purchases! It's quick and easy and 0.5% of all eligible orders made through https://smile.amazon.com/ goes to helping shelter animals. Every little bit counts- visit Amazon to sign up today!



There are so many ways to help the animals. ❤️

We receive lots of questions about estate planning - including HSSC in your will or trust is a wonderful way to ensure our lifesaving work continues into the future.

To learn more about this planned giving option, please click the button below and choose the Leave a Legacy tab. Or contact Priscilla Locke, HSSC Director of Development & Marketing, at (707) 577-1911 or by email at plocke@humanesocietysoco.org.


Join Us!


Two Shepherds Winery Annual Fundraiser for Arya’s Birthday!

Our friends at Two Shepherds Winery invite you to the 6th Anniversary of the fabulous annual birthday party for their dear pup, Arya. This delightful event, which raises funds and food for the Humane Society of Sonoma County, is going virtual this year!

Join us on January 30th from 4-5pm for a virtual tasting, farm animal tour and LIVE caricature drawings of the winery's own Bucking Luna plus one of your pets!

The event will also feature a special guest appearance by HSSC's own animal-assisted therapy dog and reigning winner of the national Ugliest Dog Contest, Scamp the Champ!!

This virtual extravaganza is open to all who make a donation to the Humane Society or purchase wine for the event via the Two Shepherds website. A Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration!

For more information and to register, click here !


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First and foremost, we want you all to stay safe and healthy. We will continue to post updates about
our programs and services on our website
here and on our Facebook page as COVID response

Your ongoing support enables us to continue our lifesaving work for the animals during this challenging time.

Together we are providing protection, compassion, love and care. We are so grateful for this
connection which inspires so much hope. 


HSSC's Santa Rosa Shelter:
5345 Hwy 12 West
| Santa Rosa, CA 95407
707-542-0882 | info@humanesocietysoco.org

HSSC's Healdsburg Shelter:
555 Westside Rd
| Healdsburg, CA 95448
707-431-3386 | info@humanesocietysoco.org


Humane Society of Sonoma County
Board of Directors 2020


Kati Aho, President
Kristen Trisko , Secretary
Darlene Brazil, Treasurer

 Jim Barnes, Sandy Chute, Johnny Drake, Chris Kittredge, Grace Lucero, Steve Maass, Maren McCloud, Marty Olhiser, Robert Quail, Danielle Sandoval, Vee Solter, Kelly Stromgren, Shannon Tracey, Tim Wingard

Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.

The Humane Society of Sonoma County never shares any contact information, including email addresses, with other organizations. Your privacy is always protected and very important to us.