Oakland Animal Services is Oakland’s only open admission shelter, helping over 6,500 homeless, lost and injured animals annually. Since 2020, OAS has undertaken a significant restructuring to save more shelter animals’ lives. By focusing on returning lost pets, increasing adoptions, expanding foster programs and supporting people in keeping their pets, OAS has decreased euthanasia for dogs 17% in 2019 to less than 6% in 2022 and has not had to euthanize dogs for space since 2019. The historically low euthanasia rate has been maintained in 2023, despite a dramatic increase in animal intake.
Overcrowding has become an epidemic for shelters across the country, and in Oakland dog intake has been increasing over several months. The housing crisis has resulted in a significant increase in the number of people who are losing their housing and/or are no longer able to afford their pets. From January to April 2023, OAS took in 223 more dogs, a 24% increase, as compared to the same period in 2022. There is now an urgent need to find 75 big dogs a home by Sunday, May 14, 2023.
OAS is asking the community to save an animal's life by adopting a dog. Those who want to help but cannot adopt are encouraged to foster a pet, which will help address the immediate crowding crisis.
“The changes we have made in the last three years, as well as the tremendous community support that we have received, has made it possible to maintain a historically low euthanasia rate for dogs, but our work is growing harder. We feel for the people who come to OAS every day because they can no longer keep their pets. We need the help of this community to make sure every one of these great dogs finds a new family,” said Ann Dunn, Director of Oakland Animal Services.
On Saturday, May 13, OAS is holding an adoption event called “Playgroup Rockstars”, in coordination with 30 other shelters nationwide. From noon-5pm 40 super sociable dogs will be in the play yard throughout the event, so you can see some of the most playful pups in action. Playgroups are a great way to see the social styles of dogs and see who might be a great a fit for adoption.
In addition, OAS is extending adoption hours on Thursday, May 11, from noon to 7:00 pm, and Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13, from noon to 5:00 pm and Sunday, May 14, from noon to 3:00 pm. Adoption fees for big dogs are being waived through this time. Staff and volunteers will be available to help with matchmaking and expediting the adoption process.