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Published on . Last modified on March 7, 2017
  • raccoon_700
  • A dog on a chain
  • Swallow nest with the grown-up baby birds.

  • Common forest squirrel in the forest park.

  • Cats on top of a wooden fence

Animal bites & rabies

Residents of Monterey County are reminded about the ongoing public health threat presented by rabid wildlife in our community.

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. It infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death. Once symptoms develop, rabies is fatal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoon’s, skunks, bats, and foxes

For more information and general facts on Rabies from the health department, click here or visit the CDC (Center for Disease Control) for the lasted up-to-date new & facts.

a paw printDid you know? September 28 is World Rabies Day,  and it’s goal is to raise awareness about the burden of rabies and bring together partners to enhance prevention and control efforts worldwide.

Submit Complaint

If you live in unincorporated Monterey County, please contact Monterey County Animal Services at 831-769-8850 or fill out our online form.

If you live within the incorporated boundaries of a city (inside the city limits), please contact your local Animal Control Agency, City of Salinas Animal  Services or service provider for that city.

Report Animal Cruelty

If it is an emergency, call 911!

Otherwise you can report  signs of animal abuse or cruelty to Monterey County Animal Services at 831-769-8850 or through the SPCA of Monterey’s online form.

a paw printDid you know? Deliberate cruelty and injury to an animal is punishable by law by the state of California.  If convicted of PC 597 animal cruelty as a misdemeanor, the potential consequences are up to one year in a county jail and a maximum $20,000 fine.

The penalties for felony animal abuse in California are 16 months, or two, or three years in the California state prison and the same maximum fine.

Deceased animals

Dead Animal Blocking Roadway

The Monterey County Department of Public Works  has responsibility to remove dead animal from the roadway on local “public roads” in the unincorporated area of Monterey County. During normal working hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, the routine activity should be reported by calling (831) 647-7748 Monterey or (831) 755-4800 Salinas. Private roads are generally the responsibility of a homeowners association or legal owner of record of the road.

Wild life

Have a close encounter with the wild kind?

opossumDepending on where you live in Salinas, you can come into contact with wild animals like bobcats, deer, opossums, hawks, owls, and pelicans, to small animals, including squirrels, turtles, hummingbirds, swallows, and more. Unless they are injured, acting oddly, or causing a problem, the best thing to do is to leave them be.

If you need help assistance or find a wild animal in need, don’t move it. Contact your local wildlife rescue group, like the SPCA Wildlife center, and get assistance.

raccoon_skunk_200x150Great resources from the SPCA of Monterey Wildlife Center:


For more great information regarding wildlife, like “Living with Deer” or “Living with Raccoons”, check out the SPCA of Monterey Wildlife Center’s website at or visit the website of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at

Can I Keep it?

As cute as it may be, the best place for a wild animal is in the wild.  Also in most areas, it is against the local county code to feed or keep wild animals.

Feeding of wildlife is prohibited by Monterey County Code, with the exception of bird feeders.

Feral Cats & the Community Cats Program

cat_in_cageCats in the shelter

Cats end up in the shelter for many reasons: abandoned, lost, feral, or injured. But the Monterey County Animal Services only has the ability to provide a live outcome for about 15-20%, comparable to most animal shelters –because there just aren’t enough adoptable cats, and people willing to adopt them, to increase this dismal 80-85% euthanasia rate.

Some better options

Instead of taking the cat to the shelter, consider these options:

  1. Leave the cat where it was found, put up fliers in the area, and report the animal to the local shelter. You can also search Pet harbor to see if anyone has posted a listing for a lost cat.
  2. Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) feral or un-owned cats in your neighborhood.
  3. If cats are a nuisance, use recommended cat deterrents like sprinkling fresh citrus peels or spreading or planting rue.

More information and resources can be found on the Community Cats page

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