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Animal Policy

How Long Do We Keep Animals?
That's the question we are asked most often. The answer is that we have no set time limit at the shelter. Stray animals--those found without their owners--are held for seven days to give owners adequate time to find their pets. If owners do not recover their pets in seven days, most of the animals become available for adoption. Unclaimed strays and owner-surrendered pets may stay here waiting to be adopted for days, weeks, or--in some cases--even months.


How Do We Decide How Long to Keep an Animal?
Our shelter accepts animals only from residents of our jurisdiction: Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills. We don't usually have a problem with running out of room, so deciding how long an animal stays here depends on the temperament of the animal (friendliness), how the animal adapts to being in a kennel or cage, the animal's health, and its behavior.