Placer County Animal Services receives award for innovative marketing efforts amidst overcrowding

Published Dec. 8, 2023

Placer County Animal Services has been recognized with California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Challenge Award, the organization recently announced, for its marketing efforts to address dog overcrowding over the past year. Placer was one of 11 counties to receive an award.

“Congratulations to the hardworking 2023 Challenge Award recipients. Counties create, implement, and operate the most essential community services – often with little to no recognition. CSAC looks forward to honoring Placer County’s program and the people who made it possible,” said Graham Knaus, CEO of CSAC. “Thank you for your dedication to improving your community.”

This year, Placer County Animal Services saw a 21% increase in dog intakes from comparable periods in 2022, while also seeing 6% and 2% declines in adoptions and redemptions, respectively. As a result, the shelter has experienced more frequent overcrowding, particularly with dogs – a trend that mirrors national shifts. The average length of stay has increased by 6 days for dogs and 8 days for cats, and at times dogs have been crated due to full kennels.

To address these challenges, Placer County Animal Services mounted aggressive marketing efforts, supplementing its typical summer discounted adoptions with billboards, mailers, digital radio spots, social media and other advertisements using historical adoption data to inform target demographics. This year the shelter also launched its new ‘Doggy Day Out’ volunteer program, which has proved highly popular, and partnered with local elected officials to raise awareness of shelter overcrowding.

As a result of the summer marketing efforts, the shelter population declined by 24%, with 55 dog adoptions during the adoption special promotion. Since then, dogs have not had to be crated due to space.

“Though we are lucky to be in a modern shelter that prioritizes animal well-being and comfort, we are not immune to the overcrowding challenges that are occurring nationwide, and this CSAC award is a testament to the creativity and innovation of our staff,” said program manager Katie Ingram. “We continue to seek the support of our community as we continue to see more dogs coming through our doors than in past years.”

PCAS is currently running a December promotion, offering $10 adoptions throughout the month to bring shelter pets “Home for the Holidays.” In addition, there are other ways to support shelter pets this holiday season if unable to adopt:

  • Giving Tree: Visit the shelter and pick a tag to learn about an animal’s needed pet supplies.
  • Holiday Fostering: Provide a temporary home for a pet over the holidays. Call 530-886-5540 for more information.
  • Donations: Monetary donations are accepted online, and there are also wish lists of physical items.

Placer County Animal Services is located at 11232 B Ave. in Auburn.