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How is PLL governed?

We are a privately owned and operated nonprofit shelter. Our kennels are licensed by Sonoma County Animal Services who are the municipally operated animal shleter for the whole county of Sonoma. As part of our licensing, we are formally inspected every year and have to comply with strict reporting criteria in order to retain our licensed status. All animal welfare organizations across the state of California are licensed and inspected in this way to ensure high standards of care. You can read the Sonoma county regulations here:


How Pets Lifeline Works with Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS)


  • SCAS approves our kennel license annually and is our partner in animal welfare.

  • Pets Lifeline accepts animals that are brought to the shelter, but we are not animal control for Sonoma City or Valley.  

  • SCAS is the Valley’s local Animal Control Department and answers calls to pick up strays which they alone decide which shelter they take it to.

  • If an animal is deemed dangerous, we call upon our SCAS partners expertise. 

  • Legal situations such as animal abuse where the animal is protected only when held by a county agency with an Animal Control department. (Sonoma County, North Bay Animal Services, etc.)

  • To aid in adoption, Pets Lifeline transfers animals in from SCAS and occasionally transfers animals to SCAS.  

  • SCAS has a 24/7 veterinarian on staff in case of severe medical issues.



Why SCAS is a Great Shelter and our Partner 


Many county or municipal shelters get labeled as kill shelters for no other reason than they are the government-run animal control. Many of these municipal shelters are in fact doing a great job working with their network of partners to not only meet requirements for no-kill but many times exceed them. SCAS stands out as a great county shelter that is staffed with caring animal lovers, helping over 3000 pets a year. Sonoma County strives to keep animals off the euthanization list to the best of their ability. 


While SCAS is required by law to take in all stray animals and provide Animal Control Services to the entire county, they also maintain a limited admission status for owned animals by carefully managing their intake of animal surrenders to always ensure space. They also regularly transfer animals out to their network of partners to help them find a forever home and keep space available.   


From the SCAS Website:

Sonoma County Animal Services is a limited admission shelter. We never euthanize for space.

Only if an animal is suffering from severe, untreatable medical or behavioral conditions will humane euthanasia be considered.

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