Animal Rescue & Control

PHS/SPCA is a private, nonprofit organization contracted by San Mateo County (and its cities) to provide state-mandated animal control services, including:

  • Animal rescue
  • Pick up of stray/injured animals
  • Removal of dead animals from public right-of-way except freeways/highways (maintained by CALTRANS)
  • Enforcement of laws that protect animals and people
  • Pick up dead or live wildlife on private property (only when wildlife has had direct contact with humans and/or domestic animals, such as a bite/attack)

The individual city (not PHS/SPCA) does handle the following:

  • Barking dog complaints
  • Patrols of parks (including dog parks)
  • Situations where residents have too many animals or illegal animals, such as ferrets or alligators

For matters that need a response from our Animal Rescue & Control department, please call our Dispatch at
650-340-8200. We answer calls weekdays from 8:00-6:00 pm and weekends/holidays 8:00-5:00 pm.

Outside those hours, please call San Mateo County at 650-363-4953.

Dead Animal Reporting: Please call 650-340-7022 ext. 603 and leave a message.

Barking Dog Complaints: Please contact your local police.

Nuisance Wildlife:  Please call our Wildlife Care Center at 650-340-7022 ext. 414 and leave a message.

Other: Animal bite reports, police reports, or photographs of animal bites or animal related violations may emailed to [email protected]. Please indicate the address or case to which they’re related.

Animal Rescue & Control Senior Manager, Caitie Zylstra, can discuss field work done by our officers including dangerous/vicious animal investigations, our contract with San Mateo County including exclusions and response times, and more. You may email her at [email protected] or call at 650-685-8505.


ARCPHS/SPCA prioritize all calls. For example, a call for a dog loose in traffic on the freeway will be prioritized over a call for a confined dog or a deceased dog or cat. Regardless, all of calls will be addressed. San Mateo County contracts PHS/SPCA to handle emergency calls within one hour of the time of the call, but our Animal Rescue & Control vehicles are not considered emergency vehicles by state law and our Officers must follow all traffic laws like all motorists. We are contracted, and appropriately staffed, to handle most other non-emergency calls within 24 hours of the time of the call, however, our actual response time is usually two to four hours.

Technical Large Animal Rescue

PHS/SPCA is equipped and trained to handle Technical Large Animal Rescue incidents.