Oakland Animal Services Oakland, California

238 reviews

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Reviews: Oakland Animal Services (Oakland)

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Carolyn Selenski

2 years ago

Wonderful staff and volunteers. Great animals too. Nice place doesn’t feel like a traditional shelter.

Grace C

2 years ago

Rude staff who do not follow adoption protocol listed on their site. Note that they won't even consider your application when you've spent time completing it if they have walk-ins later that day. Better show up in person early/on time so they don't give it to someone else. Otherwise, don't even bother. I saw a puppy go up for adoption as ~7:15am this morning. I completed the application and submitted it by 9am. With only ~2 hours of an adoption window, I decided to go visit the shelter in hopes no one applied before me so that I can bring her home. By the time I got to the shelter at ~1pm, I caught a glimpse of the puppy heading home with her new family. I asked the staff if the family had put in an application before I did and they said that they didn't even look at the applications that were put in for her and just let the family adopt her since they were there. I even had a copy of the signed adoption papers with me ready to go. Their website offers two ways of adoption: 1. walk-in adoptions and 2. online process. Nowhere on their website did it state that open adoption hours took precedence over those who submitted an application online. Even the shelter staff told me they were a "parallel process". The website clearly states that "we review adoption questionnaires in the order in which we receive them." So why was this dog adopted out without my application being considered? The shelter staff/the volunteers had 3 hours before the open adoption time to check emails for applications. If it was within an hour, I would've understood. But what is the point of having people waste their time filling out and submitting applications if they're not going to follow their policy? Within those 3 hours, none of the staff members had the courtesy to try contacting me when the website states that "We contact one potential adopter for a dog at a time. If things do not work out, or if we do not hear back, we move on to the next potential adopter." Clearly this was not the case as no one reached out until past 5pm (via email), informing me the dog had been adopted, and no one ever tried calling my phone. I understand that they "cannot hold the dog indefinitely" yet they did not hold her at all. "...in-person meet must be scheduled in a reasonable timeframe (e.g. within 1-2 days)" - The fact that I was able to make it to the shelter within 4 hours, from the time I submitted the application to when I got to the shelter (30+ miles away), considering the in-person adoption wasn't even open until 12pm, seemed highly reasonable to me. Many adoption agencies and shelters I've encountered in the past will have a note for animals being viewed that they are in the process of being adopted and are therefore on "hold". Another concern is that when I asked for the person responsible for running the shelter, nobody really knew. Out of the 7-10 shelter staff (employees and volunteers) I spoke with, only two people were able to provide me with the name and contact info. Although it is not posted on the website, is it not even public knowledge for your employees? I've volunteered at a local shelter before and, I knew the name of the person running our facility on day one. In addition to all of this, one of the employees was extremely rude. I asked to either talk with whomever ran the shelter or for just their information and she replied that she doesn't deal with adoptions and would find someone who did. She came out 10 minutes later and told me they were all busy, so I asked her for just the information again. She looked at me and then walked off, while saying something under her breath. The older lady working the front desk was nice enough to pull me aside to give me your information. From my encounter with the staff, only Andy, another volunteer, and one of the pup's foster mom were truly pleasant to deal with, so kudos to them.

SwagD Voice

2 years ago

Hmmm things do happen and YOU one-star reviewers your words are truth.They're overwhelmed, limited staff, and extremely low funding. WHY don't cha VOLUNTEER to HELP OUT. I did so for 25+years until I could not longer do so. And I still donate food for the animals. SHOW MORE COMPASSION & HUMANITY.

Quirian Martinez

2 years ago

Omg i loved it they are so helpfull

Brian Bulkowski

2 years ago

Very well organized. Did take a little time but such good humans.

Alegra Angelo

2 years ago

I wouldn’t recommend this place to my worst enemy the Assistant Director, Ben Winkleblack was horrible to me. He interrogated me for at least 10 minutes and when I expressed my concern he said no I’m not a cop but I have privileges to arrest and detain like one ???? I found my dog posted on the website and he said after 6 days the dog belongs to the shelter if not claimed ⛳️ so he wouldn’t give me my dog back and the shelter allowed my dog to be adopted by a total stranger. Srsly just avoid and if you have the misfortune of having your dog found here then ????????‍♀️


2 years ago

Awful and unorganized shelter. Terrible process. I'm here doing them a favor by picking up abandoned animals because I can't get a hold of them by phone. I bring these fowls in and I have to wait because OPD couldn't answer my calls and the shelter only answer their phone lines between 9a-11a. Now I have to wait and not only that the staff behind the desk first tells me I have to make to bring these animals in. Like, these are not my animals, why do I need to make an appointment to bring in abandoned animals that your organization should be available to respond to?!? Then I have to wait as if I don't have any other responsibilities to take care of. No, I don't have two dogs I need to walk. No, I don't need to cook dinner. No, I don't go to bed early because I don't have to wake up at 4am to be at work by 5:30am. I plenty of time to wait! I heard they were getting better. This is not better. Why do they make it so difficult for the public trying to help poor animals? And hearing the way they talk to people who bring animals in, it sounds like they don't want to help. Would you rather these animals stay on the street? This is why I stopped picking up stray dogs. It's because of their lack of response picking them up when I have them, their lack of support, and previously, their short hours of operation. They made it a hurdle to help these animals. This is the last time I'm helping out stray animals. It's too frustrating with OAS. If they open their phone lines later, their messaging systems still says 9a-11a. They make the excuse of only having two attendants at the desk. Train your volunteers to take calls or allow people to leave voice messages. But I'm not impressed and the process is discouraging. But please go adopt! Review the animals available for adoption online, schedule an appointment to go in to meet it, and adopt, please! There are too many that need forever homes! Despite their poor intake process, maybe adoption goes better.

Lena Marquez - Anthony

2 years ago

I went in to adopt a dog with my family and the first woman I spoke to was so off putting. She basically refused to let us even look at a dog, I had to insist. She was rushing us and said "well that dog isn't a puppy so why do you want to see a young dog, we are busy. The two volunteers who brought the dog out were very nice (the two stars are for them). They also recommended one of the dogs the first lady said wasn't a good match. We own a house and have dog experience (former foster mom).

Rose McAvoy

2 years ago

The receptionist is extraordinarily rude!!! I found a dog and was trying to help and she treated me like a criminal. Plus she didn’t even know how to do your job. Very worried about how they treated the dog, she was very untrusting. NEVER going there again ! IF YOU FIND A DOG DO NOT BRING THEM THERE GO SOMEWHERE ELSE !!!!!!

Original Kay

2 years ago

I’ve been on hold for over 30 minutes and no one has picked up the phone!! An animal could be dying and I’m sitting here on hold luckily it’s nothing to big but the animal I hear is obviously in distress and needs some type of attention!

deb ann

2 years ago

They help you find the best pet for your family. Thanks to all the volunteers, animal control officers and staff that make it possible.????

Catherine Apgar

2 years ago

I would disregard any of the one-star reviews. They seem overwhelmed, have limited staff, and not a lot of funding. If you want to leave poor reviews then contact the people that are abandoning their pets. I made an appointment here to meet some cats and they were very accommodating.

Mariana Avila Llorente

3 years ago

While some of the negative aspects mentioned by others are true, this place is clearly understaffed and it has a lot of volunteers helping out. Wait times can be long, they may not all be on the same page regarding an animal's information... but, you know what? They are trying their best and, more important they REALLY CARE about the animals. For me, that's what matters most. We adopted a 3-month-old cat some time ago, and he's been in great health ever since. I wouldn't hesitate to get my next pet from Oakland Animal Services again.

Sue-Anne Dunn

3 years ago

I watched your Show on Netflix I myself have a support pet....Youve made me feel so much love for you all. God bless you all. Sue Anne Dunn from Adelaide Australia. Xxxx

Laurie Smith

3 years ago

I got Madeline here as a puppy almost 7 years ago. She was the calendar cover pup for the 2014 publication and is the most wonderful pup I've owned. I had to wait about 4 weeks so she could big enough to spay before she went home with us. She's been a wonderful addition to our household and is still a "pup" I will have for a long time! Thank you Oakland Animal Shelter. I'm so glad we found you when we did and you had a wonderful addition for our family!!! Laurie Smith

Stephanie C

3 years ago

I want to say the 3 starts is a mixture of a 1 star experience and a 5. The one star is because this older lady with short hair and glasses decided it would be a good idea to tell me and my husband that since we have a small child we should adopt a dog around 7 years old or up. So families with small children are not allowed to choose?? It was very off-putting. The 5 star review is because there is an amazing staff member named Teegan (not sure if I spelled that right) who took the time to listen to what we wanted and inform us on the dog we were interested in. She was very respectful, kind and funny. I could tell just how much she cares about the animals and her work. I would recommend talking to her because she is respectful and honest.

mathew eldridge

3 years ago

I went in to adopt a Cat. Absolutely no one greeted me or instructed me on what to do when I arrived. The staff behind the. Punter was incredibly cold. Stood around 10 minutes before I was able to sign up for an adoption. Waited 30 minutes just to find out the cat we wanted was adopted. I looked at some other cats and found one I wanted but they “closed” adoption at 5:30 which no one had ever mentioned to me. By this time I had been there an hour and decided to leave. I looked at all the cats one more time on the way out. A staff member was prepping another cat for a viewing even tho they just told me adoption had closed. I feel like they lied about closing adoption at 5:30 or something. No idea why but they were absolutely still allowing people to view and adopt pets. This was a terrible experience over all and I won’t be going back.

Shawn Galbreath

3 years ago

We are SO HAPPY to get Cleo and Tivi. The staff was helpful, pleasant and efficient. I just wish I could take all the animals!

Rachael Bratt

3 years ago

They were wonderful. Our fur baby passed away. One of them stayed with me as I cried and shared my story. She gave advice and was sympathetic. I appreciate you; wish I got your name.

micaela ramirez

3 years ago

a question I want to adopt a Pitbull that is a trainer to go to the toilet

Jamar Seay

3 years ago

These people are true Saints! ???????? they held my baby boy Panther for me when he slipped out his leash. Forever grateful ???????????????????? Panther said hello lol ????

Doug Faunt

3 years ago

Got a cat. He's making himself at home.

Camika Richardson

3 years ago

I have adopted several times from them and the customer service has always been a AWESOME experience!

barbara kaye

3 years ago

This shelter is clean and spacious and the staff seems friendly and caring. However, they are not as familiar as they should be about their animals. We adopted our dog from them and they told us the dog was friendly with other animals. This turned out to be far from the truth. Our dog is very aggressive with all other animals. Since she is an only dog and we always keep her leashed when out of our house, it has worked out OK anyway and we have had her for 9 years and love her dearly. We just can't take her to the dog park. Also this shelter does not test for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) which is a virus that compromises a cat's immune system and makes them susceptible to cancer and other diseases. My son adopted his cat from them and a year and a half later the cat got a very aggressive cancer. Turns out he was FeLV positive. Since he was an indoor cat and never came in contact with other cats, it seems that the shelter is the only place he could have picked up the virus. It's possible that he had the virus when he came to the shelter. Unfortunately, this means that he may have passed the virus to other cats at the shelter. We had to put him to sleep yesterday and it was so sad. So be aware that this shelter does not test for this virus and you may want to have any cat you are thinking of adopting independently tested especially if you have other cats in your home as this virus is very contagious.

Phyllis Horneman

4 years ago

So you want a dog. I decided I did and looked in all the wrong places. While I own a home with a fenced yard, all the rescues were determined to decide on the right dog for me. I wanted to decide myself. And I sure didn't want a puppy. So I started looking on Craigslist too. Someone suggested I try the OAS on a regular basis focusing just on dogs newly available for adoption, since I didn't want a chihuahua or a pit bull/mix. This is how we met Ivy. We had one play session and headed back two days later. On that day we decided she would come home with us. Let me point out that unlike rescues, OAS fees are remarkably reasonable, especially if you are a (ahem) senior. Ivy isn't perfect, but neither are we. She is leash reactive and we have worked on this since we got her. She is sweet in a dog park, and seems to be smarter than her owners. It;'s been a wonderful year with her. Give OAS a chance. if you are lucky, you will find a remarkable dog before he or she is pulled by one of the rescues, and for a lot less money.


4 years ago

The staff is friendly and helpful

Lakitsym Magickal

4 years ago

Called about a distressed cat. Called the OAS first which directed me to non-emergency police, called non-emergency police who directed me to OAS, all this via Voicemail did not get to speak to a human being because it kept going to voicemail. I tried calling at various hours of the day and stil the same scenario...horrible.

Felicia Shaw

4 years ago

Today I picked up my new baby terrier dog for years old from the Oakland animal shelter. Which should have been best day of my life after losing my beautiful chocolate lab to cancer and deciding to adopt a dog from the shelter again was very disappointing in hurtful experience. EVON 0r Yvonne front desk &Eric manager were horrible. Why do they work there?? WHAT happened was I came to adopt a dog on July to 30th I saw peppers and I also saw another dog name wasabi hearable to same age and I wanted to get both of them because I have a house I own it in I have a lot of space in a lot of times in some a hole home owner and business owner I am able to take the dogs everywhere with me even to the office etc. So I decided to pick 2 small dogs to rescue them and save them from being euthanized. I walked both dogs spent time separatly and said that I wanted to get both. we start the paperwork after a while they said that we needed to get a Room for dog's to meet to make sure that they will be comfortable with each other. That never happened ! instead a young Caucasian women early 20th or thirties came out and said no ! I say why she said because wasabi growled at pepper when they was playing one day. I said that's normal plus ar they stressed out they are homeless and have lost their families. But...That was a final word! I did not get to add wasabi to my family and it hurt me a lot to see him today still behind the cages looking sad and helpless. I still can't understand why if the dogs are up for adoption that I can't get them both. I'm going to give Pepper the best life I can! I'm grateful but please adopt wasabi if you can And give him a beautiful home I will feel so happy . OR if you could speak up and help me get him, that will be even better. PLEASE I'm a tax payer in community, business owner, homeowner and this is the way I got treated by this agency that prob I pay taxes for to exist. Wow!.. what happened to the Oakland I used to know? This was harder than getting a bank loan. I thought they were there to save animals lives. PEPPER AND WASABI look under weight. I can't agree with this decision. I am confused & hurt. I just wanted to rescue Wasabi too. I can't stop crying .

Angela Dedenbach, MA, AMFT

4 years ago

PLEASE READ BEFORE ADOPTING: Oakland Animal Services Director, Rebecca Katz is running a very very poor operation, I’m sad to say. What I have learned from my experience adopting my dog is that: 1.) OAS agrees in writing to pay for medical care during foster, and they DO NOT PROVIDE THIS CARE. They do not have the funds to provide this care because of poor leadership and they don’t have a vet on staff to even provide this care. 2.) They do not have a regular vet on staff checking dogs, because they cannot retain one (big red flag), so the dogs going to all of these public adoption events (with other dogs present) are riddled with infections. Mine was one of them. 3.) The vets that come in to do spay surgery prior to ownership are discovering the dogs are also sick, needing far more than just a spay when they are received. Then they scramble to provide the last minute care they can before putting the dog in the owner’s arms for good that same day. 4.) They are telling people AFTER ADOPTION PAPERS ARE SIGNED that the dogs are terribly ill and need extensive, costly care for said infections. They then leave it on the owners to foot the cost. 5.) When I approached the Director, Rebecca Katz, telling her this experience, requesting medications to treat the dog’s infections, she at first offered to give Lola some extra medications. Then after reading the dog’s chart rescinded that offer because it was too costly to her. This woman only thinks of her bottom line. Welfare of dogs is not her top priority. 6.) The Director then requested I return the dog to the shelter, which she admits cannot afford to provide even minimal care, and said she would find ANOTHER SHELTER to place Lola in that could provide care. This is after the dog has lived with me for a month and has bonded with our family. That was the solution Rebecca Katz AT OAS was able to offer after this shitshow. To remove the dog from a loving home, and dump the dog at another shelter on someone else's dime instead of providing her necessary medications. I'm keeping the dog, nursing her back to health myself despite the ridiculous position I've been put in financially by OAS, and will rehome her myself if costs become an issue. But I will never, EVER take an animal to OAS. The animals and the humans deserve far better!!! #NeverAgain #OaklandAnimalServices

Velvette Henzel

4 years ago

The hours of operation are weird. The hours somebody answers the phone is weird.

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Oakland Animal Services, California, Oakland

1101 29th Ave

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