Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a “no-kill” shelter?

Yes!  We are a limited intake/no-kill shelter. This simply means, we accept the  animals we choose to enter the shelter and we choose whom we want to adopt to. The no-kill designation rejects euthanasia as a means for population control and instead works toward reducing the number of animal’s born through special spay & neuter programs for low-income individuals/families. However, since the HSOTC is limited in the number of animals we can accept, we employ waiting lists of owners wishing to surrender their pets for adoption.

How many animals does the HSOTC house?

Our average occupancy level for dogs is 24 or less and for cats 25 or less. Our maximum population is dependent on available caretakers and resources, adoptions, and the needs of our current animals.

Do you have a veterinarian on site?

No, we use local veterinarians that belong to the Tuolumne County Veterinarians Association.

How much does it cost to adopt an animal?

Altered dogs are adopted for $160. Unaltered puppies are $200 ($160 adoption fee plus $40 for state required spay/neuter voucher).  Altered cats are $80. Unaltered kittens are $120 ($80 adoption fee plus $40 for state required spay/neuter voucher).  Every animal is microchipped and your adoption includes a complementary visit with a participating veterinarian, a copy of the animal’s medical history, and plenty of educational material on building your relationship with your new best friend.  To view our current adoption and surrender fee schedule click here.

What do the costs associated with my adopting an animal cover?

The fees we charge help to offset the many resources that go in to each adoption at the HSOTC.  Every animal that is adopted has been both medically and behaviorally assessed by our caretakers.  If a treatable medical condition was discovered, the pet may have received a variety of medical treatments and procedures to help make it healthy and ready for adoption.  When you adopt an animal, the adoption fee includes the medical and behavior assessment, all up-to-date vaccines, and the animal has been spay or neutered.

Do you spay or neuter at your location?

No, we use the veterinarians that belong to the Tuolumne County Veterinarian Association.

Do you give out spay and neuter vouchers?

We have three active spay and neuter voucher programs and every adult animal at the HSOTC that is available for adoption is spay or neutered prior to being adopted.  For puppies and kittens, a state required spay and neuter voucher is required at a cost of $40 plus the respective adoption fee.  For our low-income residents (those who qualify must have a gross household income of or below $22,500) two voucher programs are available.  Our SNAP (Spay & Neuter Assistance Program) is structured to help end overpopulation of our feline friends.  And our Low Income Spay & Neuter Voucher Program is available for both dogs and cats.  For more information on these programs please contact us at or call 209-984-5489.

Do you give out free food?

No, yet we do offer low cost food and supplies for purchase at our shelter.

Are Tuolumne County Animal Control and the HSOTC the same?

No, we are two very distinct agencies. Animal Control is a Tuolumne County government agency and is responsible for enforcing state law pertaining to animal care and control.  It has the authority to investigate suspected or reported acts of animal cruelty or neglect, animals causing a nuisance, and rabies tags/license violations. Officers may take possession of dangerous animals as well as pets who have been abandoned and who are lost or unwanted.  The HSOTC is the Humane Society of Tuolumne County.  We work hand-in-hand with Animal Control should they have an issue with over-crowding and ask to place some of the animals in our possession. The HSOTC primarily takes in owner-surrendered, unwanted, and abandoned animals and are funded by local donations in our quest to find homes for animals that deserve a second chance.

How are you affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and/or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)?

The HSOTC is an independent 501(c)(3) organization and is not affiliated with any other local, state or national organization such as the Humane Society of the United States in Washington or the ASPCA in New York.  Because there are so many humane organizations with similar names, it is not uncommon for supporters of one humane society to mistake it with other humane societies. The HSOTC is dependent solely on financial support from our community and donors as we receive NO support from these national organizations.

What should I do if I have a lost or found a dog?

You should report it to Animal Control at 209-694-2730.

How long do the animals stay up for adoption?

There is no time limit.  Most of our animals are adopted in a couple weeks.  Animals that are here for an extended period of time are given enrichment activities to keep their stress level as low as possible.

Where do I go to get a dog license?

You should go to Animal Control at 10040 Victoria Way in Jamestown and they will be happy to help you.

I can no longer keep my pet, what should I do?

First you should contact friends, relatives, co-workers, and let them know you are looking for a new home for your animal. We always recommend that surrendering your pet to a shelter as the last possible option. If the HSOTC is the last possible option, please contact us at 209-984-5489 to discuss possible placement and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to take an animal into our care.  There are always more animals then homes and we have limited space and help. We will need copies of all veterinary records and you will need to complete an animal surrender form to help us place your pet in the appropriate home. There is a surrender fee imposed plus a nominal fee for heartworm testing if your animal has not been previously tested.

What should I do if a dog or cat bites me?

First, contact your physician or health care provider for medical advice. Cat bites, especially, are prone to becoming infected. Secondly, contact Animal Control at 209-694-2730 to report the bite. As a precaution for rabies, the State of California requires that any animal that bites a person and breaks the skin must be quarantined for 10 days from the date of the bite. Even if the animal has a current rabies vaccination, they must go through the quarantine. An animal can be quarantined at the guardian’s home, at a veterinary hospital or at Animal Control. The purpose of the quarantine is to observe the animal’s health condition during 10 days following the bite. This is to ensure the victim that the animal is free from rabies.