bring home

Pets since 1993

You can welcome a cat or dog into your life and give them the family, love, and life they deserve.

Image of a grey brown cat

This is why we're different

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Volunteer driven

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No kill shelter

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No cages

woman with a face mask rubbing her cheek against a cat's head

What makes us
a special place

Our one-of-a-kind cage-free pet sanctuary and no-kill shelter is largely volunteer run and funded by generous donations and grants from the community. We believe that regardless of health, age, or behavior, every animal deserves love and care, so no animal is turned away from Happy Tails.

Our Story

In 1993, Melanie diLuck wrote a magazine article about abandoned animals. Inspired by that experience, she and a small group of volunteers founded the area’s first shelter with a no-kill philosophy for abandoned, abused and homeless cats and dogs. No-kill means we do not euthanize an animal if it has a manageable health condition, or simply to make space for animals deemed easily adoptable. Happy Tails rescues, nurtures and provides shelter along with medical care from local veterinarians before adopting an animal into a safe, loving home. Through our extensive feral cat program, Happy Tails maintains several colonies of healthy, altered cats. This is one more step in helping solve the Sacramento area’s serious pet overpopulation problem.

Happy Tails moved to its current location at 6001 Folsom Blvd in 2009. It’s known as the Patricia L. Holmes Adoption Center. An accomplished horsewoman, Holmes was also a great supporter of animal rescue efforts. Before passing away, she named Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary as among the beneficiaries from the sale of her estate. Today Happy Tails is run by three paid staff and more than 200 volunteers. Funding for our 501c 3 comes from monetary donations, grants, bequests, fundraising events and adoption fees. 

Woman holding an orange taby cat
Grey taby cat laying down

How we are helping our Community

At Happy Tails, animals in need can receive the love, shelter, and medical care they need so desperately, and be given a second chance at life in a new forever home. After adoption, any Happy Tails animal can be returned, no questions asked. In addition to adoption services, our organization also provides spay and neuter care, vaccinations, and assistance programs for pet owners who are eldery, homeless, or low-income. Through our feral cat program, we also maintain multiple healthy, spayed and neutered feral cat communities throughout the Sacramento area.

Our Team

Every single member of the Happy Tails team is a volunteer dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Sacramento animals. From the veterinarians and veterinary assistants that provide medical care to our animals to the individuals that answer your phone calls, each and every one is donating their time.

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Woman petting orange and white cat