Irrepressible Spirit, Unleashed Possibilities
They call us The Little Shelter That Could — a humble enterprise that, like the little engine of children’s book fame, chugs along with irrepressible spirit.
Like that little engine, our dream has come true — we’re officially in our new forever home — a modern-day safe harbor for the animals of Santa Cruz. The new shelter is contemporary, inclusive, and inspiring — a place for fresh ideas, fresh starts, and unleashed possibilities. Stay tuned for information on our Grand Opening Celebration later this year.
- Explore Our Future Forever Home
- How Can You Help?
- See Our Progress
- Why a New Shelter?
- Naming Opportunities
Our New Shelter at a Glance Our new forever home is nearly six times the size of our old shelter facility. It is designed to support animal rescue best practices and has room to save more animals, engage more people, and unleash more possibilities. LOCATION: 2601 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz SQUARE FOOTAGE: 7,092 • Modern ventilation and climate control systems
Shelter Details and Features
• Sustainable, cleanable surfaces
• 3,500 square feet of animal habitats
• Indoor and outdoor dog exercise areas
• Enclosed “catios” and group cat room
• 750 square feet of multipurpose gathering space for humane education and community events
• Multipurpose areas for animal assessment and training
• Dedicated dog and cat get-acquainted rooms
• Dedicated isolation rooms for animal care and recovery
• Separate spaces for adoption and intake/surrender
• Multipurpose area for on-site medical treatments, grooming, and storage
• 700 square feet for administrative use
• Staff/volunteer break room
• Sustainable, largely native landscaping
• On-site parking for 13 vehicles
LOCATION: 2601 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 7,092
• Modern ventilation and climate control systems
“We’ve been big fans of the Santa Cruz SPCA for going on two decades, and we won’t know of another nonprofit that is more resourceful and capable. For years, the SCSPCA team has held to its mission in a makeshift facility against a rising tide of demands. When we learned a more suitable home was in the plans, adding capacity for rescues and community engagement, we knew we wanted to be part of it. As proud caretakers of two adopted cats, we are reminded daily of the importance of SCSPCA’s mission, to both the animals and the humans of Santa Cruz.”
— Jill and Dan Dion, SCSPCA campaign supporters
“I have seen SCSPCA’s dedicated staff do so much for Santa Cruz with modest resources and a tiny building that can accommodate only a limited number of cats and small- to medium-sized dogs. In addition to rescue and adoptions, they have many amazing programs, from human education and food banks to veterinary assistance and disaster relief services. This big-hearted institution deserves a facility where it can achieve its full potential as a place that saves animal lives, teaches children and adults about compassion and care for pets, and brings people together around a love for animals.”
— Diana Magor, SCSPCA campaign supporter
“We got to know the Santa Cruz SPCA as volunteers after we lost our cat. We were so impressed by the great work done in a less-than-ideal environment. We were very excited to hear that a new facility was in the works, and we donated a portion of an inheritance to the project. Now that a new team is making this dream a reality, we look forward to increasing our financial commitment. Bravo to everyone at SCSPCA for their leadership and dedication!
— Linda and Bob Powers, SCSPCA campaign supporters
Watch the progress of our new home from beginning to end.
Watch Our Virtual Tours (Videos)
|Demolition of old property||See why we’re building a new shelter||October 2019 walkthrough|
|Drone video of new shelter||June 2020 walkthrough||July/August 2020 walkthrough|
Construction of the New Shelter
View the timeline for building our new shelter (click to enlarge)
If you’ve ever visited our current Chanticleer Avenue facility, you understand that every aspect of operation takes place within a crowded 1,200-square-foot facility that was clearly never meant to be an animal shelter. While it has the cozy “home-like” setting that is very therapeutic for the animals it also has severe space constraints and an aging structure. We simply cannot grow our lifesaving work and achieve our mission at the level our community deserves in our current building. Our outdated, rented facility is no longer cost-effective to repair. It has to be replaced. Although we take pride in providing every animal with excellent care, current best practices in shelter management just aren’t possible in a building as old as ours.
Current challenges in our existing facility:
- Ventilation and climate control are inadequate. To reduce stress and control infection, we must keep our animal census low, which means we are unable to save more lives. And we simply have no room for larger dogs.
- Cats in our care lack optimal space for housing and socialization, which means we must limit our cat intake — in an era when cats need the most help!
- Adoptions and surrenders collide in one small reception area, with very little privacy. And with no dedicated area for medical care, we’re constantly repurposing space for recuperating animals.
- The shelter experience for visitors, staff, and volunteers is less than ideal, with inadequate work, meeting, and storage space, and limited parking.
- Last but not least, we have no community space to support humane education — our signature program and the key to our vision for addressing animal homelessness before it starts.
Learn about why Santa Cruz needs two shelters!
The Santa Cruz area is currently served by two shelters with different scopes, different funding, and different capabilities, working in partnership to address the shared challenges of animal welfare in our community. This model of a public and private shelter working collaboratively to help homeless animals is working superbly well and is effecting great change in many jurisdictions throughout California and across the country.
The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) is a publicly funded, full-service shelter that handles all aspects of animal care and control for Santa Cruz County. This includes animal rescue and control, licensing and regulation, basic veterinary care, and adoption services, with responsibility for protecting the health, public safety, and welfare of people and animals in the County.
Because the county shelter is supported by municipal funds, it is by definition an “open-admission” (or “open door”) shelter, bound by its public mission to take in all animals in need, regardless of age, health, or behavioral issues. As demand for space is high, the SCCAS works with its rescue partners to transfer animals when there is an overflow situation, or when animals with issues need more resources than can be allocated.
That’s where the Santa Cruz SPCA comes in: Dedicated to providing a safe harbor for animals in need — including dogs and cats that require extended shelter, care, or training — the Santa Cruz SPCA partners with the county to rescue more animals in our community and nurture them until they are ready for their forever homes. We almost never say “no” to dogs and cats from our county shelter.
As a privately funded shelter — which relies on the generosity of our community donors — we have the flexibility to keep our animals as long as they need to find their forever homes, and to provide the medical care, enrichment, training, and socialization to help them become confident, healthy, loving companions.
Enabling the county to turn over spaces to more animals in need, taking in challenged dogs and cats from the county shelter and nurturing them to increase their chances of adoption, never giving up on an animal in our care — that’s how the Santa Cruz SPCA collaborates with the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter to address animal homelessness. In our community, it’s a challenge that takes two dedicated enterprises, working in partnership.
Watch our video below by clicking on the photo!
|Cat Areas||Dog Areas||Outdoor Areas||Community Areas, Hallways, & Entrances||Workspaces, Animal Care, & Volunteer Area|
|Dog Wing - $250,000||Building Naming - $3,000,000||Volunteer Rm - $100,000|
|Get Acquainted Mtg Room $100,000|
|Community Rm - $1,000,000||Director's Office - $50,000|
|Condo Room - $50,000||Isolation Rm - $20,000||Shelter Operations Wing - $100,000|
|Isolation Rooms (2) - $20,000 ea||Intake Rm - $20,000||Dog Exercise Yards (3) - $25,000 ea||Shelter Operations Work Area - $25,000|
|Large Dog Habitats (8) - $15,000 ea||Administrative Offices (3) - $25,000|
|Cat Towers (7 of 8) - $10,000 ea||Std Dog Habitats (12) - $10,000 ea||Isolation Vestibule - $25,000|
|Condos (6) - $5,000 ea||Sm Dog Habitats (10) - $5,000 ea||Intake Vestibule - $25,000|
|Intake Exam/Treatment Area - $20,000|
|Habitat Maintenance Rm - $10,000|
Sign up for the latest updates on our shelter opening
Campaign Goal: $7.2
We are closer to the realization of our new shelter than ever before. It is the animals and the community members who will truly benefit the most from the completion of this project — so we are working hard to close the funding gap that remains. We need your help to Take Us Home! If you’d like to be involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-465-5000 x 19
The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.
Tax ID: 94-6171565
© 2017 Santa Cruz SPCA