Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below are some frequently asked questions about our organization and the work that we do. If you have a question that you don't see addressed, please email us at .
What types of animals do you have?
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society houses and adopts out canines and felines only. We do not accept small pets, wildlife or farm animals. We cannot accept stray animals.
Where do your animals come from?
Because the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society is strongly committed to relieving animal overpopulation in our community, most of the animals in our shelter are transfers from our local municipal animal shelter partners in an effort to open up space for their incoming animals and reduce euthanasia. Other animals are relinquished by owners who could no longer care for them or transferred from a local rescue partner. Regardless of source, all of the animals we intake are from within Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
Are you a "no-kill" shelter?
Because of the collaborative spirit and mutual respect that exists between the shelters in our community, BEBHS does not use the term "no-kill" to separate ourselves from our open-door shelter partners who are under the pressure of space and/or time constraints. We are committed to ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in the East Bay, and know that the overpopulation problem extends beyond any one shelter to the way animals are valued and cared for in our community. Please spay and neuter your pets and practice responsible pet ownership to ensure that you do not contribute to pet overpopulation.
How long do pets stay in your care before they are euthanized?
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society does not use length of stay as criteria for euthanasia. Animals in our shelter are euthanized only for behavior issues that cannot be managed safely or medical conditions that are untreatable. We care deeply about the quality of life of the animals in our charge, and not only are they guaranteed a space in our program until they are adopted; we are also committed to providing the highest quality of care during their stay.
Where are the available pets?
Pets available for adoption can be viewed on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM until 5 PM at our facility at 2700 Ninth Street in Berkeley. We are also open for dog adoptions in addition to weekend days: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 AM until 4 PM. We are closed on all major holidays.
Because of the fire on May 20, 2010, all of our available cats are housed in foster care during the week.
Are all of your animals spayed or neutered before adoption?
Yes. According to California law, all animals must be spayed or neutered before they can be adopted. At the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, all animals are spayed or neutered before they are made available for adoption.
Why do there seem to be a lot of pit bulls up for adoption in your program?
- We are committed to helping the animals in our community who need it, and there is no single dog type more over-bred and in need of help in the East Bay than the pit bull.
- Most pit bulls are shamelessly social with people, fast learners, hardy shelter residents, and wonderful family pets. Which makes them (you guessed it!) excellent candidates for our adoption program.
- Pit bulls are great dogs, but living with a pit bull can pose some unique challenges because of their "bad rap." Landlords, home owner associations, insurance companies and even certain cities have enacted breed specific rules or legislation against pit bulls. Because of these factors, the average shelter stay for a pit bull is generally a bit longer than those of other types of dogs. For more information on pit bull history, and the joys and challenges of living with a pit bull, please visit www.badrap.org.
How do I adopt an animal?
Thank you for considering adoption! If you see an animal on our website you are interested in adopting, come visit him/her during adoption hours. If you don't have a particular pet in mind, we would be happy to answer your questions during our adoption hours or via phone or email. Our staff is especially skilled at matching your needs and expectations with the needs of our animals. You can reach an adoption staff member by emailing adoption[at]berkeleyhumane[dot]org, or by calling (510) 845-3633. Read more about our adoption process.
What is included in your adoption fees?
Every animal that is adopted from the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society has received a thorough medical examination, preventive care, and treatment for any medical conditions that are discovered. In our care, the animals also receive good nutrition, enrichment, exercise, training and socialization. As you can imagine, it can be quite costly to provide all of this for an animal... and they don't arrive with wallets! The money we are able to collect from adoption fees offsets only a small percentage of the actual costs we incur to care for animals. Take a look at what an adoption fee covers.
How do I become a volunteer?
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society is thrilled to have the support of our wonderful volunteer force. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities, ranging from working with the shelter animals to providing foster care to assisting with special events and administrative needs. To discover all the wonderful ways to get involved at BEBHS, please visit the Volunteer Opportunities section of our website. Note: Because of the fire on May 20, 2010, opportunities for new volunteers to work with animals in the shelter are currently limited. There are many other opportunities for volunteering besides hands-on animal work, and potential volunteers who want to work directly with animals are encouraged to consider our foster care program.
All potential volunteers, with the exception of foster care volunteers, must attend an orientation before getting started. It's easy to view our schedule and register for one of our Orientations right here on our website.
Do you provide veterinary services?
In 2008, after careful consideration, we made the decision to close our hospital to the public and focus our efforts on providing medical care for the shelter animals housed in our facility. We have a contract with the City of Berkeley to provide veterinary care for the animals residing at Berkeley Animal Care Services, which makes us the only shelter-medicine dedicated veterinary hospital in the East Bay. Medical care for our shelter animals is provided through private donations made to the Hope Shelter Medical Fund. BEBHS continues to operate a Spay/Neuter Clinic for the public, as well as participate in several veterinary collaborative opportunities for the community including a Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic.
How do I get my pet spayed or neutered?
Appointments must be made in advance by calling the BEBHS Hospital at (510) 845-3633. For information on the clinic requirements and reduced prices, please visit the Spay/Neuter section of this website.
How do I sign up for dog training classes?
Please visit the Dog Training section of this website to learn more about our class offerings, schedule, trainers, or to register for a class online. You may also call (510) 845-7735, x215.
I need help/advice caring for/keeping my pet. Can you help?
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society knows adoption services are still necessary, but believes strongly in the human-animal bond and that people and their pets should remain together whenever possible. We offer several programs that are designed to help you keep your pet in your home.
If your pet has a behavior issue that you are having trouble managing, our Behavior Advice Line is a free service that allows you to call and speak one-on-one with a Behavior & Training staff member. Many times, we'll recommend private consultations and classes for dog owners to help them address behavior and training issues.
We know times are tough, and caring for pets can be costly. We operate a Pet Food Pantry to provide pet food for qualifying participants, and our PAWS/East Bay program assists low-income seniors and people with disabling illnesses/conditions with food, supplies, transportation, in-home services and veterinary care for their pets. In collaboration with other organizations, we also sponsor a Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic several times throughout the year.
I would like to receive information and updates from BEBHS. How do I do this?
You can sign up to receive the monthly e-newsletter, Humane Highlights at the top of this website. If you would like to receive an issue of our Nose to Nose newsletter in the mail, please contact .
How is BEBHS funded?
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society is a 501(c)3 private, nonprofit corporation supported by private contributions. We receive no tax dollars or funding through any other national, state, or local group.
How do I donate?
Thank you for considering a donation to support the life-saving efforts at the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society. You can make an online donation to support a program that best fits your area of interest. Or, you can make a payment over the phone at (510) 845-7735 x204. You can find more information about in-kind donations and other creative ways to support us in the "Donate" section of our website.
How is BEBHS different from the city animal shelter?
As a private, nonprofit organization, the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society (BEBHS) works cooperatively with the publicly funded Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS) and other local groups to save all healthy and treatable animals in Berkeley.
BACS provides animal control field services, enforcement of city ordinances related to animals, impoundment of stray pets, and investigation of animal-related neglect, cruelty, nuisance and bite cases. BEBHS intakes most of its animals from BACS and other municipal shelters within Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in order to make space for incoming animals. BEBHS also operates a shelter-only veterinary hospital, a spay/neuter clinic, a dog training program and several other community programs. Both of our organizations provide adoption services. Learn more about Berkeley Animal Care Services.
What is the Berkeley Alliance for Homeless Animals Coalition?
Comprised of BEBHS, Berkeley Animal Care Services, and Home At Last Animal Rescue, the Berkeley Alliance for Homeless Animals Coalition is an adoption guarantee coalition for the cities of Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany and Piedmont. No healthy or treatable dog or cat within the coalition is ever euthanized.
The Berkeley Alliance for Homeless Animals Coalition was awarded the prestigious Maddie's Fund Lifesaving Award in 2009 for our collective success.
How are you affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States?
Although BEBHS has received grants from the Humane Society of the United States in Washington or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York, we are not affiliated with and receive no ongoing funding from them or any other local, state or national organization. Donations made to national groups are not dispersed to local shelters, including BEBHS.
Where can I find statistical information for your organization?
Statistical data for both the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society and the Berkeley Alliance for Homeless Animals Coalition is available on this website.