Sacramento County is setting up a pet adoption center in Fair Oaks intended to increase the odds of finding new homes for dogs and cats waiting at the busy animal shelter on Bradshaw Road.
The Board of Supervisors last week approved a plan by animal care officials to operate a satellite center in a Petco store at 8840 Madison Ave. The county is getting a $100,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to get the center up and running.
Petco has outfitted 1,200 square feet in the store for the program, including a reception area, adoption counseling work space, kennels and exercise areas for dogs, cat habitats, and food preparation and cleanup areas, according to a county report. The operation will be staffed by a county animal care worker assisted by volunteers, the report said.
The county will sign a deal with the store to sublease the space for $1 per year, the report said.
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“We’re waiting for the contract language to get fine-tuned,” animal care director Dave Dickinson said. “We’re hoping to open this month, but it’s too early to tell.”
The adoption center will be open at least five hours daily, seven days a week, and have as many as six dogs and eight cats from the county shelter available for adoption, officials said. All of the animals would be healthy, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. The center will not accept stray animals or operate as a full-fledged shelter, Dickinson said.
The satellite center will provide a convenient place for residents north of the American River and Highway 50 to adopt pets without having to drive to the Bradshaw Road shelter, which houses as many as 500 animals and is often crowded with visitors, Dickinson said.
Petco and other pet supply retailers are partnering with local shelters and rescue groups around the country to increase adoptions of dogs and cats, said Jennifer Fearing, a Sacramento advocate for the Humane Society of the United States. Many such retailers host “adopt and shop” events that bring pet lovers and shelter animals together.
“If someone adopts an animal in the store, they’re not going to leave without also getting a bowl, a collar and a first bag of food,” Fearing said. “Programs that pull animals out of city and county shelters are having extraordinary success.”
An adoption program that the Sacramento SPCA operated for two years at a Petco store on Arden Way near Exposition Boulevard folded a month ago because of difficulty in getting enough people into the store to adopt animals, Sacramento SPCA Chief Executive Officer Rick Johnson said. But he welcomed the county’s planned center and praised Petco for its support of adoption programs.
“I’m excited for the county to have that opportunity in Fair Oaks,” Johnson said.
Sacramento County officials are counting on success at the Petco store, which is in a busy shopping center near Madison and Hazel avenues that includes a grocery store, fast-food restaurants, a deli, an ice cream shop, and retailers selling clothes, fabrics and pool supplies, county officials said. The center draws heavy traffic from surrounding residential neighborhoods in Fair Oaks and Orangevale.
The satellite adoption center “would be a calmer place” than the Bradshaw Road shelter, Dickinson said.
“A lot of times at the shelter, there is a tremendous amount of people coming, so there is a wait time,” he said. “A lot of people have a hard time seeing the vast number of animals there, and it’s hard to pick just one because they want to adopt them all.”
Call The Bee’s Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Davila.