Humane Society of Sonoma County

aka Sonoma Humane Society   |   Santa Rosa, CA   |


The Humane Society of Sonoma County is dedicated to ensuring every animal receives protection, compassion, love and care. Serving as a safe haven and safety net to pets and their companions since1931, we have two campuses: one in Santa Rosa and one in Healdsburg.

Notes from the nonprofit

We are so grateful to those who love and support companion animals, and those who recognize the intrinsic, essential value of the human/animal bond. Thank you for considering support for the Humane Society of Sonoma County.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Lindsay McCall

Main address

5345 Hwy 12 West

Santa Rosa, CA 95407 USA

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Formerly known as


Sonoma Humane Society



NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Sonoma County's homeless animals suffer neglect and abuse, malnutrition, acute and chronic illness and injury every day. Small rescue/shelter-only animal welfare organizations in Sonoma County and neighboring counties do all they can to meet the needs of these creatures, but, without the expertise and capacity to provide long term medical care and behavior support/rehabilitation, far too many of these animals are at risk of euthanasia.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Animal Rescue, Medical Care, Behavior Support & Adoptions

The Humane Society of Sonoma County offers the following services and programs: animal rescue and sheltering, shelter animal critical medical care, adoptions, behavior support, low- to no-cost Community Veterinary Clinic, low-cost spay/neuter clinic, foster program, discounted adoptions for seniors, animal assisted therapy programs for youth and seniors, dog training classes, youth Humane Education camps and after school programs, extensive volunteer programs and community engagement and outreach.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Humane Society of Sonoma County is committed to providing positive outcomes for homeless animals on their journey to adoption and ensuring that animals stay with the families who love them. Serving our community since 1931, HSSC is a donor-supported safe haven for animals. We provide shelter, medical care, behavior support and adoption services to homeless animals on their journey to happy and healthy lives.

The moment an animal comes into our care, we initiate an individualized plan aimed at making their stay the most comfortable and speediest pathway to adoption possible.

At the heart of our lifesaving efforts is our Shelter Medical Program. Whether the animal comes to us from another shelter, comes in as a stray or comes from an owner who can no longer care for them, each pet’s journey begins with a medical examination to help us set them on the path to a long, healthy life in their forever homes. We estimate that 86% of the animals we take in require medical attention beyond initial exams and routine preventative care.

Our robust foster program expands our shelter capacity and provides love, nurturing care and socialization for animals who are recovering from surgery or illness, or – in the case of kittens and puppies – growing big and strong enough for spay/neuter surgery and then adoption into loving homes. Last year, 424 kittens and 38 puppies received tender loving care through our foster program.

Not only do we prioritize animals’ physical health, we ensure that their emotional needs are also met. We emphasize an approach to exercise, enrichment and socialization that is custom-tailored to each of our guests. This not only supports their wellbeing, it enables us to get to know them and build a personality profile we can share with potential adopters to ensure the best possible matches.

And adoption is just the beginning. As a resource to our community, we offer public dog training classes and pet behavior support to help ensure the success of each adoption. Last year, 1,126 dogs attended our training classes and 1,281 puppies received a strong foundation of support through our puppy socialization classes.

We are committed to stemming the tide of homeless animals who enter our shelters each year with a robust Spay/Neuter program. In 2019, 643 dogs and 928 cats were spayed or neutered through our weekly low-cost spay/neuter clinics.

Other public programs include our Humane Education Program: 237 children participated in our summer and winter camps, and our Animal Assisted Therapy teams visited 255 school sites and 81 adult/senior sites and provided 3,640 Read-to-a-Dog sessions. Additionally, our outreach efforts and volunteer opportunities foster community engagement and sustained support for our life-saving programs.

In recent years, we have significantly increased our capacity for animal care in three ways:

· By focusing on new intake initiatives that expand our safety net. We nurture strong partnerships with other local and North Bay rescue organizations and actively support our fellow shelters by taking in animals in need of the advanced medical care and behavioral support that sets us apart. We prioritize transferring pets from local groups first, including our local municipal shelter, Sonoma County Animal Services, and Feline Rescue of Northern California. From there, we reach out to partners in surrounding counties and beyond. Since implementing this strategy in September 2018, we’ve increased the number of animals we bring in from rescue partners by 65%. These are animals who would otherwise face euthanasia due to lack of shelter space or medical resources.

· Through investment in our Healdsburg shelter (opened in 2016), where we accept strays from the city of Healdsburg and provide our north-county region sheltering and adoption services for up to 40 animals at a time. Last year, after consulting with a team from U.C. Davis on optimal utilization of our Healdsburg space, we opened a communal cat room, “Kitty City”. Our more social cats benefit from this best practice co-housing arrangement and potential adopters enjoy interacting with cats in its living room-like setting (when safe to do so). As inviting as Kitty City is, cats don’t tend to stick around long - they’re adopted almost as soon as they arrive. Since opening Kitty City in November 2019, 194 cats have been adopted from our Healdsburg shelter.

Our Healdsburg team also supports shelter medical efforts by providing basic veterinary care, exams and assessment for incoming stray animals including vaccinations, bloodwork, behavioral assessments and preventative health care. Additionally, Healdsburg’s donor-funded Special Isolation Ward allows us to treat cats and kittens with ringworm until they are cleared for adoption.

· Through Shelter Diversion, keeping pets with the families who love them. We are improving access to veterinary care for low- to no-income pet owners in our community and beyond through our Community Veterinary Clinic (CVC; opened February 2019). The CVC provides much-needed veterinary care at low- to no-cost to income-qualified pet companions so they can afford to keep their animals – rather than surrendering them to our shelter – and their pets can live pain-free, healthy, happy lives. Our twice-weekly clinic serves over 100 animals per month.

Even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and seasonal wildfire threats that now seem to last all year, we have continued to provide the supportive programs and services we have promised to our community. We reimagined, redesigned and responded to the new needs of our community with safe, reliable and consistent new versions of our clinic, adoption, foster, education, outreach and other services. Because of the pandemic and the impacts of the fires, program and fund-raising event revenues in 2020 have declined significantly, however. We diligently seek new ways to compensate for these losses, while remaining optimistic and creative in our response to every challenge we encounter. We're deeply grateful for the loving kindness our community holds for our animals - al the angels who hold them in their hearts regardless of what is happening in our world.

Specifically, what's next:
. Optimize efficiencies in staffing, processes and resource allocation to ensure all programs are running at maximum capacity.
. Where need continues to exceed program capacity - our Community Veterinary Clinic, for example - we have a strategic plan for growth based on sustained optimal program operation.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Humane Society of Sonoma County

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Humane Society of Sonoma County

Board of directors
as of 09/05/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Kristen Trisko


Term: 2022 - 2024

Board co-chair

Sophia Grossi

Veterinary Technician, Retired

Term: 2022 - 2024

Robert Quail

Chris Kittredge

Johnny Drake

Kati Aho

Kelly Stromgren

Kristen Trisko

Sandy Chute

Steve Maass

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/5/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Non-binary, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/05/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.