#GivingTuesday 2019 High Five!










We had a record-breaking #GivingTuesday​ at SF Animal Care & Control on Dec. 3, 2019! Together we raised over $10,200 and met our $10K PET CAMP Matching Gift Challenge. That means TWICE the support for our shelter programs. The outpouring of funding we received from you expresses your commitment to helping animals in San Francisco. From the bottom of our hearts and paws we thank you! And thank you Pet Camp!

Your gift will go directly toward critical programs that are outside the scope of the shelter’s city budget, such as a Behavior and Training program (B&T), quarterly free microchip and low-cost rabies vaccine clinics, an Emergency Medical Fund, toys and treats for the animals, and microgrants to local rescue groups.

We deeply appreciate your support and promise that your donation will be wisely spent.

In gratitude,
~The Friends of SFACC


John Skeel – Deputy Director

John with a shelter dog at an adoption event in Windsor.

Q & A with John Skeel, SFACC’s new Deputy Director

Where were you born/raised and were you interested in animals growing up?
Originally from Brighton, England, I grew up about an hour north of London in the city of Peterborough. I have always had an interest in animals and there were animals around me as I was growing up, including dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, birds and fish. An uncle of mine worked as a manager on a farm, so I was around farm animals too.

What is your past experience?
I moved to the United States 31 years ago and received my Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University in Therapeutic Recreation/Psychology, and my Master’s Degree from Michigan State University in Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources/Urban Studies.  Most of my career I’ve worked as a director or manager for a variety of municipalities, special districts, and non-profit organizations in administration.

My early career work involved developing therapeutic programs involving treatments for people recovering from various physical, mental, or emotional conditions where animals—such as dogs, cats, and horses—were part of the therapeutic treatment.  For example, working with horses in hippotherapy programs where horseback riding is used as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment for improving a person’s coordination, balance, and strength. Even in the park and recreation field I was responsible for the creation and management of dog parks, equestrian trails, and farms.

During the last five years I was the Director of Animal Services for Sonoma County, where I managed animal services for the County and ran a shelter operation very similar to the one here at SFACC. In Sonoma my work focused on improving the life of animals at the shelter to increase our live release rate and adoptions. These efforts included making various innovative shelter improvements, increasing efficiency and effectiveness of operations, expanding and improving community outreach efforts, reorganizing the overall operation, managing a rebranding effort and overseeing an awareness campaign designed to reposition the organization to maximize support for funding and other resources. Oh, and then there were the annual fires and floods, which helped to give me an unforgettable first-hand education on disaster and emergency response and preparedness.

When did you start working at ACC and what do you do?
I serve as deputy director here at ACC, a position I have held since September 3rd of this year. My responsibilities include the development and implementation of policies and procedures that determine which animals will be made available to the public, which will require alternative placement, and which will be humanely euthanized. I ensure that the shelter meets the highest animal care standards as determined by national humane organizations, federal and state law, and public perception. I’m responsible for managing all aspects of field operations, including patrols, investigations, and enforcement of animal neglect and abuse cases. I manage front counter operations, including licensing, permitting, and other regulatory programs. I also manage volunteer and outreach programs, and supervise a staff responsible for the care of 10,000 animals each year, including domestic, wild and exotic species. I must also work effectively with the department’s adoption partners, volunteers and other animal control agencies, who play a key role in maintaining and improving the City’s live release rate. I also work with other law enforcement agencies within and outside of San Francisco to improve compliance.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
After three months on the job, I’m still learning and understanding my responsibilities and how best I’m going to be able to assist ACC, however, I am really enjoying getting to know the staff, volunteers, and the community we serve.

So far, what is the most memorable case/situation/adoption at ACC?
Every day has been memorable so far. I don’t think there have been two days that are the same, which helps to keep things very interesting.

Do you have pets of your own? If so, how many and what are their
names? What do you do when not at work (hobbies, interests)?
We have two pets, both rescues from local shelters: Max our dog (6), and Kitten our cat (3).  Over the years we have also had fish, hamsters, rabbits and lizards. My home is actually in El Dorado Hills, but I have a room in the Mission District where I stay at during the week. I usually take the Amtrak to go back home on weekends. I enjoy running, hiking, movies, concerts, and gardening all as ways to relax and rejuvenate. Travel is another passion, whether it’s overseas or just something local, simply getting out and doing something different and meeting new people is what I enjoy.

Do you have any ideas, aspirations for the shelter’s future?
Obviously, I’m really excited for the opening of the new shelter, which is one of the reasons I was so interested in this position. I think the new shelter will not only be unique and state of the art, it will be an incredible opportunity for SFACC to mature into an organization that can set itself apart from other similar organizations, and in doing so be able to create an environment and a presence where we can become the leading edge for innovation, compassion, and leadership in animal care, not just in our community, but also in the state and across the U.S.

Kitten as a kitten (now three years old)

November 2019

Tanis was adopted by the family that found her. Sweet!

A great update about Armstrong and Shepherd, a bonded pair of kittens who were with us for several months: “Bear (aka Armstrong) and Sammie (aka Shepard) are the sweetest cats.
I am very lucky and happy that I was able to adopt them.” We’re so happy that these boys are enjoying life together in their new home!


Blue, now Honey was adopted by professional dog trainer/walkers. Lucky girl!

Hospice boy TRUFFLE KERFUFFLE won over the hearts of Jan & Laura. Just look at his puffy Pom self! He’s on his way home to the Marina in SF to enjoy endless cuddles and walks in the sun! This makes the Owens’ family’s 13th Muttville senior dog over the years. They recently lost their sweet Precious who they loved for six years and Maple, their little Muttville poodle needed a new companion. Thank you for caring for our senior dogs!

Columbia is on the way home from Macy’s Holiday Windows. Enjoy your new family and your new home!

ACC alumni Warabi (fka Wallaby) and Opal (fka as Tippy) met up at the flower market. We love seeing our grads out and about!

Diesel, adopted and heading home to Sacramento. He is the third dog his mom has adopted from SFACC.

Chewy, formerly Malcom, came by ACC for a visit and got a massage from a friend.

Delilah, now Zuzu!

Look who found a home shortly after arriving in Idaho! A huge thank-you to Kathryn Jones (ACC staff) for her collaboration with Boise Bully Breed Rescue (Idaho) in securing transfer for two ACC dogs, Pickles & Roxie (gray pittie), and to Chucho Johnson for providing transport for them.  Ms. Jones is exceptional at placing dogs with rescues outside of the shelter and we can’t thank her enough. … A big congratulations to Annie and Mike for adopting sweet Roxie! Annie reports everyone is getting along well and Roxie is settling in perfectly.


A great Caturday update: kitten boy Ward is now Mittens, “a happy little love bug who charms everyone that meets him. He loves to play, but loves to cuddle even more. My fiancé and I are so lucky to have him in our little family!”

Sweet Suzy Q (now named Kelly) went home with her new dad! He had a terrier for 13 years and was ready to open his heart to a new love…they were smitten.

Tootsie, the velvet hippo on the left, was taken by ARF. A volunteer there fell in love and adopted her. Here she is with her humans and her brother Bubba living her best life.

Ziggy is heading home for the holidays from the Macy’s Windows thanks to the hard work of our staff and volunteers! Go Team ACC!

An update on Kona, now Lilo… ” Lilo and her new big little sister, Nani are getting along well! Nani (now 6 years) and Lilo actually share a birthday, we think it was really meant to be. We’ve only had Lilo for less than 2 weeks and she just fits right in with our little family.”


Tiny Nando


Holiday Windows 2019

The Cuddle Experience at Macy’s Holiday Lane!

Warm up for the 33rd year of San Francisco’s favorite holiday tradition at Macy’s Windows, starting Nov. 22nd! But we can’t wait that long to cuddle cute adoptable animals, so we’ll be joining our neighbors, the SF SPCA and their pups and kitties Friday Nov. 8 (and again Dec. 5) for a cuddlefest with some of our adorable small and exotic animals.

Come get your cuddles! $10 gets you 10 minutes of cuddles with our adorable, adoptable animals. First come, first served. On the 7th Floor of Macy’s Union Square, SF.

Friday, November 8, 2pm – 4pm
Thursday, December 5, 12pm – 2pm

Holiday Windows Official Unveiling: Nov. 22 – Jan. 1
This is the first year that SFACC will be a part of the Macy’s Windows event and we’re thrilled! Adoptable animals from SFACC and our partner SF SPCA will be in the windows at Macy’s Union Square beginning Nov. 22, 2019. Join us for the unveiling, Friday, November 22 at 5pm and visit us every afternoon through January 1st to see adoptable kittens, puppies, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and bunnies.