frequently asked questions

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If you do not see an answer to a question here, please contact us.

adoptions faq

Berkeley Humane is an Adoption Center for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies only. We do not accept small pets, wildlife or farm animals. While Berkeley Humane does not accept the surrender of stray pets, we may accept owner surrenders of puppy and kitten litters of two or more. 

Because Berkeley Humane is strongly committed to relieving animal overpopulation in our community, the animals in our shelter are transfers from our local municipal animal shelter partners in an effort to open up space for their incoming animals and reduce euthanasia. While Berkeley Humane does not accept the surrender of stray pets, we will accept owner surrenders of puppy and kitten litters of two or more. 

Because of the collaborative spirit and mutual respect that exists between the shelters in our community, Berkeley Humane does not use the term “no-kill” to separate ourselves from our open-door shelter partners who are under the pressure of space and/or time constraints. We are committed to ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in the East Bay, and we know that the pet homelessness problem extends beyond any one shelter to the way animals are valued and cared for in our community. Please spay and neuter your pet(s) and practice responsible pet ownership to ensure that you do not contribute to pet homelessness. Berkeley Humane is committed to offering low cost spay/neuter options as well as connecting individuals with other non-profit clinics in the area. Please visit our Spay The Bay page for more information.

Berkeley Humane does not use length of stay as a criterion for euthanasia. We care deeply about the quality of life of the animals in our charge; and not only are they guaranteed a space in our program until they are adopted, we are also committed to providing the highest quality of care during their stay. Animals in our care are euthanized only for behavior issues that cannot be managed safely or medical conditions that are untreatable.

Adjustments to our adoption process have been made because of COVID-19.

Please consult our Adopt page for up-to-date animal listings. Berkeley Humane is open for adoptions Fridays through Sundays from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM at 2700 Ninth Street in Berkeley. We are closed on major holidays that fall on Fridays.

Many of our adoptable animals are housed in foster care during the week when we are not open to the public. Some adoptable animals are available for adoption directly from their foster home and may be available for meet-and-greets outside of normal adoption hours (by appointment only).

Yes. According to California law, all animals must be spayed or neutered before they can be adopted. At Berkeley Humane, all animals are spayed or neutered before they are made available for adoption.

All of our animals also receive veterinary and behavioral evaluations, vaccinations, microchip, heartworm testing (dogs over 6 months), FeLV/FIV testing for cats (at the discretion of the veterinarian), heartworm preventative, flea and tick preventative, and de-worming.

Our adoption package includes adoption counseling and follow-up calls, a take-home adoption packet, temporary collar, ID tag, temporary leash or carrier, a certificate for a free examination at a local veterinary hospital, $250 worth of medical care at a VCA Animal Hospital, and a discount on your first training class for dog adopters.

Adjustments to our adoption process have been made because of COVID-19.

Thank you for considering adoption! Read more about our adoption process here. If you see an animal on our website you are interested in adopting, come visit him/her during adoption hours. If you don’t have a particular pet in mind, we would be happy to answer your questions during our adoption hours or via phone or email. Our staff is especially skilled at matching your needs and expectations with the needs of our animals. You can reach an adoptions specialist by calling (510) 845-7735.

Every animal adopted from Berkeley Humane has received a thorough medical examination, preventive care, and treatment for any medical conditions that are discovered. In our care, the animals also receive good nutrition, enrichment, exercise, training and socialization. As you can imagine, it can be quite costly to provide all of this for an animal, and they don’t arrive with wallets! The money collected from adoption fees offsets only a small percentage of the actual costs we incur to care for animals. Many adopters make a donation on top of their adoption fee to help cover these costs. Even small donations make a big difference in helping us save lives.

All of our animals receive veterinary and behavioral evaluations, spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchip, heartworm testing (dogs over 6 months), FeLV/FIV testing for cats (at the discretion of the veterinarian), heartworm preventative, flea and tick preventative and de-worming. Our adoption package includes adoption counseling and follow-up calls, a take-home adoption packet, temporary collar and ID tag, temporary leash or carrier, a certificate for a free examination at a local veterinary hospital, and (for dogs) half off your first training class with us.

Statistical data for Berkeley Humane is available on the About page.

spay & neuter faq

why spay & neuter?

Your spayed or neutered pet will not produce unplanned litters of puppies or kittens who end up in shelters. Nationwide, 7.3 million dogs and cats enter shelter systems every year. Of those, 2.7 million are euthanized¹. In a decade, just one unspayed cat will have 3,200 descendants², so spaying and neutering your pet will significantly reduce animal overpopulation!

Spayed and neutered pets have fewer medical conditions, which means you will pay less in both veterinary bills and in pet insurance premiums. Spayed and neutered animals also require 20% fewer calories than intact animals, so you can save 20% on pet food!

Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to suffer from an array of painful, costly, and sometimes fatal conditions involving the reproductive system, including:

  • Pyometra: infection of the uterus affects 25% of unspayed female dogs, and can cost thousands in emergency treatments without promise of recovery.
  • Mammary Cancer: breast cancer affects 26% of unspayed female dogs, and can easily spread to the lungs without aggressive, prompt, and expensive treatment. Female dogs spayed before the first heat cycle only has a 0.5% chance of getting breast cancer³.
  • Dystocia: when pregnant mothers cannot pass the babies through the birth canal, emergency caesarian section must be performed to save the pregnant mother’s life. Often, the babies will not survive this condition.
  • Testicular Cancer and Tumors: testicular tumors occur in dogs more than in other species, and can be minimized with early neutering.
  • Perianal Tumors: perianal tumors are gland tumors most commonly found near the anus of older, unneutered males. It is the third most common type of tumor in unneutered males, and may require surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. 95 percent of perianal gland adenomas will disappear after neutering.
  • Prostatic Hyerplasia: prostate disorders are found in 95% of male dogs by 9 years of age. Neutering at an early age inhibits testosterone and reduces its adverse effect on the health of the prostate.

Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to be driven by mating behaviors and less likely to display associated and often undesirable behaviors, such as:

  • Urine-marketing and leaving foul odors inside your home.
  • Aggressive and territorial behavior towards other pets, children, and adult humans.
  • Humping furniture, other pets, or guests.
  • Roaming or running away from home in order to find a mate.
  • Yowling that keeps your family and neighbors wide awake during spring and summer nights.

Spayed females do not go into heat, nor do they experience estrus (cat equivalent of menstruation). Neutered males also produce less discharge from the reproductive organ.

MYTHS AND FACTS

Fact: Dogs and cats reproduce out of instinct driven by hormones. Once those hormones are gone, they will not miss their reproductive organs. Pets do not have a sense of “manhood” or “womanhood” like humans do.

Fact: Dogs and cats driven by hormones will break out of the house in order to mate. Not only will your pet still have a chance to reproduce, he or she may be in danger of cars or serious fights against other territorial animals.

Fact: If you want your children to see the miracle of birth, please foster a pregnant animal or a litter of “bottle baby” kittens or puppies from a local shelter or rescue organization. Not only will your children experience new life, they will also learn to be socially responsible by volunteering, and gain awareness of the pet overpopulation problem.

Fact: You will save money on pet food when you spay and neuter your pets. Pets will only gain weight if you feed them more calories than they need and are not provided with enough exercise. Spayed and neutered animals require 20% fewer calories than intact animals. That’s $20 back in your pocket for every $100 you spend on pet food!

Fact: Your pet might become happier! Spaying and neutering can reduce mating behaviors such as aggression, urine marking, running away from home, and the frustration of unfulfilled instincts.

Fact: Your pet will live a longer, happier life after they are spayed or neutered³. The procedure itself has a very low complication rate and is performed routinely by veterinarians. Pets who are spayed or neutered live on average 1-3 years longer than pets who aren’t. Unspayed females have a 26% chance of getting mammary cancer and a 25% chance of getting potentially fatal uterus infection. Unneutered males are at risk of getting testicular tumors, perianal tumors, perianal hernias, and other dangerous diseases.

Fact: It will not benefit your pet in any way to have a litter. In fact, it could harm her. Waiting after the first heat cycle to spay your pet will increase her risk of mammary cancer. Pregnancy can put your pet at risk of dystocia, which is a difficult birth caused by a small pelvis, a poorly positioned fetus, or insufficient uterine contractions. Dystocia often means your pet will need a caesarian section, which can cost thousands of dollars. Many breeds and lineages have very high rates of dystocia.

donation & funding faq

Berkeley Humane is supported through the generosity of our community. We are an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit located on the same street corner in West Berkeley since 1933. We are not affiliated with, nor do we receive regular funding from, any national animal welfare organization or any federal, state, or local government agencies.

We’re so glad you asked! Thank you for considering a donation to support the life-saving efforts at Berkeley Humane! You can make an online donation to support a program that best fits your area of interest. Or, you can make a payment over the phone at (510) 845-7735 x233. You can find more information about in-kind donations and other creative ways to support us in the “Donate” section of our website.

As a private, nonprofit organization, Berkeley Humane works cooperatively with publicly funded municipal shelters throughout the region and other local groups to save all healthy and treatable animals throughout the Bay Area. In Berkeley, our closest partner and friend is Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS). BACS provides animal control field services, enforcement of city ordinances related to animals, impoundment of stray pets, and investigation of animal-related neglect, cruelty, nuisance, and bite cases.

The majority of Berkeley Humane’s animals come to us from municipal shelters that are often overcrowded and under-resourced. We primarily focus on supporting the challenging to place, older, and medically needy animals in municipal shelters in order to allow them to make space for incoming animals and help to lower their euthanasia rates. Berkeley Humane features an Adoption Center, operates a shelter-only veterinary hospital; Spay the Bay (spay/neuter clinic) vaccination, micropchipping, and deworming clinics; a dog training program; and several other community programs that support pets and their families.

We also often a lifetime guarantee to take back any animal adopted from our program and we accept owner surrenders of puppy and kitten litters of two or more. More information here.

We are not affiliated with and receive no ongoing funding from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Amercan Humane Association (AHA), Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS, Berkeley’s public shelter), or any other local, state, or national organization. Donations made to national groups are not dispersed to local shelters, including Berkeley Humane.

We are not affiliated with any animal rights organizations. Although we greatly value our community members committed to ending animal suffering, Berkeley Humane’s mission is to first and foremost rescue and rehabilitate homeless dogs and cats in the East Bay, and place them into loving homes. We pull companion animals from under-resourced shelters, provide necessary medical and behavioral care, and connect them with people who will love and care for them.

This important work is accomplished through thoughtful, sustained efforts to connect with our community through a range of efforts designed to be inclusive and welcoming to the widest population possible. Our organization believes that every individual can contribute to building a more humane world. We know that in order to accomplish our mission, individuals and organizations must respect one another and partner together. We hope that our collective efforts will contribute to a more compassionate world for people and animals alike.

You can sign up here to receive regular updates and newsletters from Berkeley Humane.

Statistical data for Berkeley Humane is available on this page.

other faqs

As a private, nonprofit organization, Berkeley Humane works cooperatively with publicly funded municipal shelters throughout the region and other local groups to save all healthy and treatable animals throughout the Bay Area. In Berkeley, our closest partner and friend is Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS). BACS provides animal control field services, enforcement of city ordinances related to animals, impoundment of stray pets, and investigation of animal-related neglect, cruelty, nuisance, and bite cases.

The majority of Berkeley Humane’s animals come to us from municipal shelters that are often overcrowded and under-resourced. We primarily focus on supporting the challenging to place, older, and medically needy animals in municipal shelters in order to allow them to make space for incoming animals and help to lower their euthanasia rates. Berkeley Humane features an Adoption Center, operates a shelter-only veterinary hospital; Spay the Bay (spay/neuter clinic) vaccination, micropchipping, and deworming clinics; a dog training program; and several other community programs that support pets and their families.

We also often a lifetime guarantee to take back any animal adopted from our program and we accept owner surrenders of puppy and kitten litters of two or more. More information here.

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities, from working with the shelter animals, to providing foster care, to assisting with special events and administrative tasks. To discover all the wonderful ways to get involved at Berkeley Humane, please visit the volunteer section of our website.

All potential volunteers attend an orientation before getting started. It’s easy to view our schedule and register for one of our volunteer orientations on our website.

Berkeley Humane provides public spay/neuter services by appointment only. Please visit our Spay The Bay tab for more information and to request an appointment.

Medical care for our shelter animals is provided through private donations made to the Hope Medical Fund.

Please visit the Train the Bay to learn more about our dog training classes and trainers, or to register for a class online. You may also call (510) 845-7735 x215.

Berkeley Humane believes strongly in the human-animal bond. People and their pets should remain together whenever possible. We offer several programs that are designed to help you care for your pet in your home.

If your pet has a behavior issue that you are having trouble managing, our Behavior Advice Line is a free service that allows you to call and speak one-on-one with a behavior & training staff member. Many times, we’ll recommend private consultations and classes for dog owners to help them learn how to address behavior issues.

We also operate a monthly Pet Food Pantry to provide pet food for qualifying participants.

Check out our other resources and pet care tips here or follow our blog for additional information.

We are not affiliated with and receive no ongoing funding from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), AmerIcan Humane Association (AHA), Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS, Berkeley’s public shelter), or any other local, state, or national organization. Donations made to national groups are not dispersed to local shelters, including Berkeley Humane.

We are not affiliated with any animal rights organizations. Although we greatly value our community members committed to ending animal suffering, Berkeley Humane’s mission is to first and foremost rescue and rehabilitate homeless dogs and cats in the East Bay, and place them into loving homes. We pull companion animals from under-resourced shelters, provide necessary medical and behavioral care, and connect them with people who will love and care for them.

This important work is accomplished through thoughtful, sustained efforts to connect with our community through a range of efforts designed to be inclusive and welcoming to the widest population possible. Our organization believes that every individual can contribute to building a more humane world. We know that in order to accomplish our mission, individuals and organizations must respect one another and partner together. We hope that our collective efforts will contribute to a more compassionate world for people and animals alike.

Because of the collaborative spirit and mutual respect that exists between the shelters in our community, Berkeley Humane does not use the term “no-kill” to separate ourselves from our open-door shelter partners who are under the pressure of space and/or time constraints. We are committed to ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in the East Bay, and we know that the pet homelessness problem extends beyond any one shelter to the way animals are valued and cared for in our community.

Please spay and neuter your pet(s) and practice responsible pet ownership to ensure that you do not contribute to pet homelessness. Berkeley Humane is committed to offering low cost spay/neuter options as well as connecting individuals with other non-profit clinics in the area. Please visit SpayTheBay.org for more information.

Berkeley Humane strives to be sensitive to myriad beliefs and concerns that surround the field of animal welfare. However, it is impossible to espouse the spectrum of opinions that are held by the many members of the animal welfare community, particularly concerning controversial matters. While the personal beliefs of our volunteers, donors, and employees are often extremely passionate on a variety of topics, it is our position to remain neutral on most issues, outside of companion animal welfare, especially if assuming an official position could hinder our ability to meet the needs of our rescued animals, fulfill the goals of our mission, or meet the fundraising needs of our organization.

While we encourage people to reduce their consumption of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy or other animal products—and when they do consume those foods, to support local farms that use humane and sustainable practices—we are not a vegan organization. Berkeley Humane will strive to ensure that vegetarian and vegan options are available at all sponsored public and private events and that meat, poultry, and fish options are available upon request or when we feel they are appropriate for certain types of events.

There are many things you should do to ensure your pet’s safety. We have made a checklist for you to follow. Review the checklist here!

privacy faq

Berkeley Humane respects the privacy of all of our donors. We believe in safeguarding personal information and ensuring that your privacy is protected. Your name, address and any other personal data you provide will be used by only Berkeley Humane to keep you informed of our activities including our classes, programs, special events, and funding needs. If at any time you choose not to receive these communications, you may contact us and we will gladly remove your name from our mailing list.

Berkeley Humane does not rent, sell, give away, or trade its donor lists or any information contained on those lists. Donor information is used by our organization for charitable purposes only as described above and will not be used by any entity outside of the organization unless we are legally required to disclose information to comply with applicable legal requirements and standards.

The Berkeley East-Bay Humane Society is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Financial contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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