At the Santa Cruz SPCA, homeless animals are given safe harbor until the day they meet their adoptive match. In most cases, this takes just days or weeks, but in others, it can take months and even years. Because of the home-like shelter environment and many dedicated volunteers at the SCSPCA, the longer term shelter animals are nurtured, enriched, and socialized during their extended stay with no pressure of a time limit. However, nothing beats a real home, especially in time for the holidays!

That is why the Santa Cruz SPCA is launching the Home for the Holidays Challenge, beginning October 30st and ending on December 31st. During this nine-week period, nine of the longest-term shelter pets will be introduced to the public through the SCSPCA’s Facebook and Instagram accounts on a weekly basis through bios, photos, and videos. The public is challenged to share these social media posts and spread the word far and wide. Their story only has to reach one special set of eyes!

Adoption fees will be waived for each of the selected animals, and the adoption will include spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchip and registration, and a certificate for a free veterinary visit. We will also be including a training package (specific to the animal’s needs with a local trainer), as well as a gift basket from Bed & Biscuits/Groomingdales,

Each of these animals has so much companionship and love to give — someone is really missing out! If you’d like to take part in the Home for the Holidays Challenge, make sure to follow us on Facebook ( and Instagram (@SantaCruzSPCA), watch for the weekly posts, and please share and re-gram away!

Week 1: Celine

Celine will go ahead and kick this thang off like the diva that she is! She’s really not that much of a diva, she’s just reached the age (8yrs +) where she knows who she is and what she wants. To her, the idea of making any major change is rather unnecessary. After EIGHT MONTHS with us, she’s in need of a home ready to accept her for the little Miss that she is.

Good thing her little Miss-ness is pretty darn easy to have around! Celine is quiet, house-trained, great with cats, great with other dogs, and only requires a few short potty expeditions a day. She prefers to lounge around the house in the comfiest spot she can find or post up outside in the sun for a thorough solar charge. She’s an independent spirit who enjoys peace and quiet — so an adult-only home would be preferred. She truly enjoys people as well as a nice cuddle session. However, don’t get too handsy until she’s ready. Also, follow the old saying of “let sleeping dogs lie.”

Other than a little arthritis in her elbow, Celine is a healthy girl with freshly cleaned teeth. Her adoption fee is on us — eight months in the shelter is too long. It’s time for Celine to find a friendly face to call her own. Let’s get this post in front of the right one!

Watch her VIDEO!



Week 2: Nacho

Eight-months ago we met a dog with only a number for a name and a smile like a Colgate model. Now his name is Nacho and he’s STILL got that award winning doggy grin. But he’s also still here. This handsome 6 1/2 year-old Corgi/Cattle Dog mix should be in a home by now! A home where he can chase tennis balls all day and hang with people who will open their laps to his 30 pound body and pretend it fits. He’s looking for adventurous days and cuddle filled nights. Let’s see if we can’t find just that!

Nacho is shaped like a muscular burrito with lamb-chops for legs. He’s a great small/medium size with the stamina of a much larger dog — but you can pick him up! He’s also a pretty strong guy, both physically and mentally, and will need an equally strong person willing to take the lead.

In classic Cattle Dog fashion, Nacho has a bit of a prey drive and would not do well with cats. He’s also very selective about his dog buddies and may need to be the only dog — however, he has peacefully coexisted with larger female dogs so the right doggy mate is key. Nacho would prefer an adult-only home. He’s just not a fan of the kid thing.

He may have a few stipulations, we know. Those stipulations make it a little harder to find the right home, we know. But, this week we are going to do our best to show you how amazing our little hunk of Nacho goodness really is!

Watch his VIDEO!

Week 3: Copper

On week #3 we bring to you another EIGHT-MONTHER (apparently it’s a trend) who came to us as a stray from a different shelter oh so long ago. Copper is a 6 1/2-year-old Pug/Chihuahua — we call this adorable blend a “Chug” — who’s about 20 lbs. and just a real sweet guy. He requires a five minute warm-up, get to know you, how do ya do, and then he’s all yours. He’s a serial bonder and never forgets a face!

Adventuring with his human is LIFE to this guy. He’d be so dang happy to carry your water bottle and trail mix for miles and top it off with a wave watching cuddle or a top of the mountain snuggle. Other dogs? He loves meaningful one-on-one friendships with them but the whole “dog park” thing freaks him out a little. Surface conversation isn’t his thing. Copper would love a home with adults and probably only older children (8yrs+). Youngsters aren’t his fav as he’s not big on the unexpected hellos, ear pulls, eye pokes, or tail tugs — and literally every part of him hates being picked up. He won’t sass or anything, just goes all stiff and rigid and then treds water vigorously while in your arms. You could say he likes to remain grounded — unless he jumps up next to you and then cuddle time is on.

Copper is a curly tailed love-chug who’s looking for a new life — starting with a HOME! Adoption fee waived and trial period available.

Watch his VIDEO!



Week 4: Barkley

Ten months ago, Barkley and his ‘brows came over to us from the Salinas area. He was originally picked up as a stray but because he had a chip, hopes were high that he would be reunited with his owner! Unfortunately, after multiple attempts to contact said owner by phone and mail, Barkley remained at the shelter and was never reclaimed. 🙁

Fast forward to now and he’s a staff favorite! Mr. Bark-man is one of our most intelligent, affectionate, and playful pups. Why is he still here after ten months? Well, he’s a Terrier — for sure. And with all that’s good and wonderful in these energizer doggies, their wily ways are not for everyone. BUT, for the people who they ARE for — they are the BEST.

Once you’ve forged a Barkley bond, you’ve got a spunky soulmate who will learn any trick you can teach. Your lap will never be cold, your side will never be left, your floor will never be without at least eight toys, and your life will never be boring!
Barkley’s least favorite thing is being startled by fast moving people, dogs, and things. Because of that he’d do best in an adult-only home. Have another dog? Let’s do an intro! He can be a bit picky but would probably enjoy a roomie. Otherwise we are sure he’d love to have his people all to himself!

Barkley’s adoption fee is on us! The most important thing for us is to see this guy in a happy home for the holidays — and beyond!



Week 5: Elsa

After NINE MONTHS with us, Elsa rules the cat room with a furry fist. She tells us what time the food is to be served, WHAT food it should be, who’s turn it is in the outdoor cattery, how long they should be there, and which cat volunteers are to do what, when, and with whom. The girl’s got opinions.

Prior to her cat room reign, this 2 1/2-year-old orange cream pie was surrendered by the extended family of her previous owner who had passed away. She was very withdrawn, four pounds heavier, and felt that the issuance of a swift swat was always appropriate. She did not want to be here — and that was that. Luckily, over the months we have gained Elsa’s approval and she’s now generally outgoing, often playful, and ALWAYS full of personality. She’s four pounds lighter and feelin’ good! Now she needs a real home.

Elsa would be great as an only cat, however, she could also probably learn to exists alongside a more submissive buddy cat and/or a cat-friendly dog. She’d prefer an indoor-only home stocked with a variety of comfy places for her to park her puff. If you have a thing for opinionated ginger-snaps of the female variety, she’s here! She’s been here. For nine whole moons. We will even waive her adoption fee to change that!



Week 6: Jet

Sometimes the old guys just can’t catch a break. That’s how nine-year-old Jet feels after spending ELEVEN months with us. Inside that little grey muzzled package is the perfect dog just waiting to be discovered by the perfect person!

Jet found himself in the shelter system after his owner was sent to prison for a lengthy sentence. He came to the SCSPCA with his eyes nearly crusted shut, his teeth in terrible shape, and his body covered in fleas. The poor guy got some relief after a hefty flea treatment, an extensive dental cleaning, and an eye exam. After cleaning his eyes out, we found thick corneal scarring from old untreated abscesses. He now has the equivalent of eye callouses and they get in the way of proper tear production. The fix? Artificial tear ointment and over-the-counter eye drops twice a day. Both of which are inexpensive and available at your local drug store. No biggie.

Now on to how amazing our Jet is! He’s house-trained, loves meeting new people (children too!), does well with most other dogs, is perfect on the leash, loves the car, and is athletic and adventurous but also mellow and snuggly too!

During his time with us, Jet befriended another wayward soul named Auggie and now they are BFFs. You’re gonna hear alot about Jet/Auggie in the coming days. Prepare your heartstrings. ❤ As per HFTHC usual, adoption fees are non-existent!