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Making the decision whether to keep your pet or not can be heart wrenching. We don't want to see our companions go, but sometimes we need to make a hard choice. There are many reasons people feel that they can no longer continue caring for their animals. Circumstances vary, but these can include: housing, behavioral issues, medical issues (owner or the pet) and financial restraints among others. Before you give up on your pet, there are many resources available in Santa Cruz County that can assist you with these issues (Check your own local resources if you are not in Santa Cruz County.) as well as some state/national agencies. On this page are links to some local organizations that have established programs to aid pet owners to keep their pet as well as where you can take your animal if surrendering is your only option.

If you have not adopted from Four Paws to Love we can not accept your pet or a stray animal.

If you have adopted your pet from the Four Paws to Love adoption program in the past and can no longer care for this animal, please contact us and we will always take them back into our program.  We can also offer assistance to our adopters with questions about animal behavioral issues or if you need guidance or assistance with any of the agencies listed below. Please see these programs before you make a final decision.

If you feel you can no longer keep your pet

cant keep your pet

Community Resources

Community resources
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Santa Cruz County Animal Services (SCCAS) provides animal rescue, regulation and humane care that protect the health, public safety and welfare of people and animals in Santa Cruz County.


-Please contact this agency for lost or found animals.-

Services offered:

Community clinics, behavior and training services, microchip and vaccination services. Low cost spay/neuter is available through the Planned Pethood  program.

There is no surrender fee to Santa Cruz County residents should you decide to surrender your pet. 

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The Santa Cruz SPCA provides safe harbor for animals in need and promotes an active humane community through adoption, advocacy, and education.  The Santa Cruz SPCA collaborates with other shelters and animal groups to help rescue and rehabilitate cats and dogs and find them loving homes.  Their programs are geared toward providing humane education and spay/neuter education to the public as well as assisting with resources to help animals stay in their homes.

Services offered:

Animal surrender, pet food bank, behavior issues, humane education, support for seniors, information about local low cost spay/neuter and vaccine clinics, dog training, pet-friendly housing. They also offer guidelines to help tenants increase their chances of landlord approval, and information for landlords on the benefits of renting to pet-owners and how to manage pet-friendly properties.

Feral Cat Programs
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Santa Cruz County Animal Services offers assistance for feral and semi-feral cats to be placed into their Barn Cats program. 


See their website for more information.

Four Paws to Love does not have a program for feral or barn cats.  These two organizations are the ones to contact for any aid or advice with feral cat colonies or if you are looking for working cats for your property.

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Project Purr is an all-volunteer, nonprofit rescue organization helping feral cats and kittens in Santa Cruz County. They fund a FREE  feral  cat Spay-Neuter/TNR program, and offer resources for feral cat colony caretakers and those who want to learn more about TNR. 


Project Purr funds their program through their store, Rescued Treasures, at 325 Front Street where you can find an ever changing assortment of donated high quality furnishings, art, antiques, clothing and jewelry.

Rehoming Your Pet


If you would like to re-home your animal yourself, follow the link on the left to Rehome by  This is a safe, reliable and FREE way to find a new home for your pet. Anytime Rehome by is used a small donation is made to the animal charity of your choice. The link takes you to their site to find out more about how Rehome by Adopt-a-Pet works.

We DO NOT recommend using Craig's List or other non animal specific online resources! Those kinds of sites are not monitored and users are not vetted.  There are so many animal specific sites that screen users, are free and easily available.  Why take a chance that your animal may be put in a bad situation by unscrupulous people? Here are three short articles on the risks of using  Craigslist in order to re-home your pet: 

Article 1  -  Article 2  and  Article 3 .

Another article with great tips on "How to rehome your pet responsibly and humanely" can be found HERE.


Grant Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge the following organizations that have given us grants to continue our life saving work.

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Harris Foundation

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Our year end newsletters are available for your enjoyment.  

*DISCLAIMERFour Paws to Love is an independent 501c3 animal rescue organization. The organizations mentioned herin are not agents for, not joint venturers of, nor are employed by or employers of Four Paws to Love.  The links provided are for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice.  Any agreement entered into by you with these organizations and any of their programs or their affiliates' programs are independent of Four Paws to Love. The links provided in our website are provided solely for your convenience and may assist you in locating other useful information on the internet.  Four Paws to Love is not responsible for any of the content of linked third party websites nor do we endorse or guarantee their products or their website content. We make no representation or warranty regarding the accuracy of the information contained in the linked sites. The views of these other organizations are not necessarily the views of Four Paws to love. When you click on these links you will leave the Four Paws to Love website and will be redirected to another site. For more information see our Terms of Service.

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