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CCAS Animal Tails

Animal stories and information

Dec 04

Keeping Your Pets Safe on New Year’s Eve

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 4:16 PM by Lori Calvery

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Keeping Your Pets Safe on New Year’s Eve

By Beth Ward

For most people, New Year’s Eve is a time for fun and celebration. We enjoy going to, or hosting, New Year’s Eve parties with friends, great food and lots of celebratory noise. But for your pets, New Year’s Eve can be a stressful, scary time. Most animals have sensitive hearing, and the loud noises of parties, noisemakers and fireworks can cause them remarkable stress and discomfort. They don’t understand what’s happening and can often become scared and try to escape which can result in the animal becoming lost, endangered or injured.

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At Contra Costa County Animal Services, New Year’s Eve is one of our busiest days of the year for taking in lost animals. New Year’s Day is equally busy as we work to reunite lost animals with their owners. Making sure that your animals are licensed, collared and microchipped helps tremendously in reuniting lost animals with their owners, and we cannot stress enough the importance of taking those measures to ensure the safety of your animals.


However, if you know your animal is sensitive to loud noises, there are some helpful steps you can take to make them more comfortable on New Year’s Eve and reduce the chances of them attempting to escape. Whether you are hosting a party or going away for the evening, there are ways you can keep your pet safe and stress free from the noises of celebrations around your neighborhood.


1. Ensure that your pet is wearing a collar that identifies who to contact if they are lost or injured. Additionally, ensuring that your animal is microchipped greatly increases the likelihood of reunification.

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2. Keep your pet indoors. Even if they spend the majority of their time outside, bring them in during New Year’s Eve. It will help them feel safe and might save your pet’s life. Many pets go missing during New Year’s Eve because they become so scared by the celebrations and loud noises, which results in them escaping and fleeing.


3. Leave your pet at home if you head out to enjoy a New Year’s Eve celebration. You may think it fun to take your pet with you to a party, but it is likely that your pet will not enjoy the fireworks, noise or large crowds.

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4. If you leave your pets at home on New Year’s Eve, consider enlisting a pet sitter for the evening to help keep your pets company and distracted from the noise.  

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5. Never leave your pets tethered or chained outside on New Year’s Eve. When animals become stressed, they will go to great lengths to escape their bonds and often succeed in breaking free. 

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6. If you know that your pet is prone to stress from loud noises and outside celebrations, soothe it by closing windows and curtains and turning on the television or a calming radio station to help drown out the noise. Your pet will still be able to “feel” the fireworks, but the distraction will help alleviate some of the stress.

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7. Keep an eye out for stray animals that may be suffering outside during New Year’s Eve celebrations. Do your best to help them by calling the Contra Costa County Animal Services to get them off the streets and into a warm, safe place.


In the event that your animal does escape, call Contra Costa County Animal Services’ Lost and Found department at 925-608-8400 to report your lost pet.  Our shelters will be open on Saturday, January 2nd, and our staff will be happy to assist in locating and reuniting you with your lost pet.

Beth Ward is the Director of Contra Costa County Animal Services.    



Nov 01

November is a month to be Thankful

Posted on November 1, 2018 at 12:35 PM by Lori Calvery

November is a time for giving thanks, especially at Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS). As we begin to reflect on 2018, we are extremely thankful for our community that has made possible hundreds of adoptions, fosters and rescues over the last ten months.

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Sep 29

Who Ya Gonna Call? Contra Costa Animal Services!

Posted on September 29, 2018 at 1:17 PM by Lori Calvery

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Contra Costa County is a unique animal kingdom of sorts in the Bay Area. We see animals almost every day as we go through our daily routines, whether it be domestic animals such as dogs and cats, or the vast variety of wildlife we encounter due to our unique geography and proximity to open space. With so many animals in our county, it’s only a matter of time before we come into contact with an animal that may need help, or a resident who may need help with an animal.

So who do we contact when we see an animal that is lost, in distress or deceased, or a resident that is having an issue with an animal? In most cases, that will be Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS). CCAS provides animal control services for all of Contra Costa County (with the exception of the City of Antioch), impounding stray animals, investigating crimes against animals, investigating animal bites/attacks and impounding deceased animals on the public right of way.

CCAS is responsible for enforcing the local and state laws with regards to domestic animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc.), sick or injured wildlife and livestock in Contra Costa County.

Specifically, Contra Costa County residents should contact CCAS for any of the issues listed below:

  • Report Animal Bites/Attacks
  • Report Stray Animals
  • Report Deceased Animals
  • Report Sick/Injured Wildlife
  • Report Crimes Against Animals (i.e. Animal Abuse, Abandonment, Neglect, etc.)
  • Report Animals In Distress (i.e. stuck on cliff, caught in fence)
  • Search for Your Lost Animal
  • License/Microchip Your Pet
  • Vaccinate Your Pet
  • Spay/Neuter Your Pet
  • Adopt Your New Best Friend
  • Sign Up To Volunteer
  • Sign Up To Foster Animals  

To inquire about services, or to report an animal issue in your community, please call CCAS at 925.608.8400. You can also find us on the web at www.ccasd.org  

In addition to the enforcement of county and state animal laws, CCAS also provides a range of low-cost community services to support pet owners in Contra Costa County. These services include:

  • Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic (Weekly, By Appointment)
  • Low-Cost Vaccination Clinic (By Appointment, Every Saturday at the Martinez Shelter)
  • Low-Cost Dog Training Classes
  • Pet Retention Program (To Help Residents Keep Their Pets)
  • Animal Licensing & Microchipping Services  


Contra Costa Animal Services operates two shelters in Contra Costa County - one in Martinez and one in Pinole. The shelters are a great place to look if you’re thinking about bringing a new four-legged family member into your home. The shelter is also a great place to utilize your time, talent and passion for animals as a volunteer. CCAS staff is also happy to provide tours of our shelters to allow residents of Contra Costa County an opportunity to learn about our department and see first-hand all of the amazing work done by our committed staff and volunteers. To learn more about CCAS, or sign up to volunteer, please visit www.ccasd.org.

Additionally, if you are unable to volunteer and would like to help support the animals in our care, you can donate to the Animal Benefit Fund here. One hundred percent of all Animal Benefit Fund dollars go directly to supporting the care, wellbeing and enrichment of the animals.    

While CCAS will be able to address most animal issues in Contra Costa County, there are some animal/wildlife issues that are handled by other agencies. Some examples of issues not handled by CCAS include:

  • Live Wildlife – Any wildlife that is not deceased, sick or injured falls within the jurisdiction of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. If you are experiencing an issue with wildlife, please contact CDFW at 209.234.3420, or online at www.wildlife.ca.gov   
  • Insects & Rodents – Typically, insect and non-pet rodent issues are managed by the Contra Costa County Mosquito and Vector Control District. Contra Costa County Vector Control can be reached at 925.771.6196, or on the web at www.contracostamosquito.com     

As the provider of animal control services for Contra Costa County, CCAS takes pride in our innovative programs that are helping to save lives. While many shelters adopt the “No Kill” moniker, CCAS chooses to say YES to saving lives. Our 2017 Live Release Rate (LRR) for dogs was 92%, with an 82% LRR for cats and 87% LRR for dogs and cats. As an open admissions shelter, our staff and volunteers pride themselves on the innovations and interventions we have been able to achieve that have resulted in happy endings for the animals that come through our shelters.