Local Wildlife

In Santa Cruz County, we are blessed with incredible animal diversity — in our companion animals, and among the wild creatures that inhabit our backyards, beaches, and forests.  For example, raccoons, opossums, and skunks exist in every neighborhood in Santa Cruz County, and have adapted very well to the arrival of humans in rural and previously undeveloped areas of their habitat. Each and every animal serves a specific purpose in our local ecosystems, and not one is insignificant.

Because all animals need us to help protect them, the Santa Cruz SPCA’s “All Creatures” humane education program teaches children to respect all animals in our community, from the giant blue whales that swim off our coast to the tiny insects that live in our yards. It’s important to remember that we share a habitat with our wild neighbors and even if they become a nuisance, we should treat them with kindness and respect.

We also provide connections to organizations, such as Native Animal Rescue (NAR), that can provide advice on co-existing with wildlife and help you deal with uninvited animal guests.

Who to call if you find injured or ill:

Marine Mammals

Marine Mammal Center

In Santa Cruz County, report a distressed marine mammal:

Outside of Santa Cruz County, report a distressed marine mammal:

Rescue Instructions

Sea Birds

Capitola City and Beach

New Brighton State Beach

Sea Cliff State Beach

Sunset State Beach

Manresa State Beach

Oiled Birds

Oiled Wildlife Care Center Wildlife Reporting Hotline
Rescue Instructions

Native Animals (birds, squirrels, racoons, etc.)

Native Animal Rescue
1855 17th Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

*Call ahead and leave message about what you will be bringing and when.

*Bring the animal directly to Native Animal Rescue (address above).

Adult Mammals (deer, mountain lion, etc.)

Santa Cruz County Animal Services
2200 7th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
831-471-1182 (after hours)

Shelter Location

2601 Chanticleer Ave.

Santa Cruz, CA 95065

(P) 831-465-5000 (F) 831-479-8530


Hours of Operation

Mon & Tues - CLOSED

Animal Browsing Wed to Sun 11am - 5pm

*PET FOOD PANTRY - Fridays 1:00pm - 3:00pm

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