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California animal welfare leaders

California's animal welfare leaders: 1930 (top) and 2017 (bottom)


The California Animal Welfare Association ("CalAnimals") formed in 2018 through a merger between California's two statewide animal-welfare associations:  California Animal Control Directors Association (CACDA) and State Humane Association of California (SHAC). CalAnimals is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our tax ID number is 94-1541797.


SHAC was founded in 1909 to represent local humane organizations with matters of concern to all but beyond the resources of any one organization or agency.  CACDA was founded in 1976 to represent California's animal care and control professionals.  Together, as one organization, we unite California's animal welfare community and provide even greater support and advocacy to our member organization.


Our Mission

CalAnimals' mission is to support the success of animal welfare and sheltering organizations in meeting the needs of animals and people in their communities.


Our Core Values


Collaboration, Leadership, Integrity, Inclusion, Compassion

What We Do
  • Statewide advocate for animal welfare professionals in California.

  • Leader in state and regional legislative initiatives to protect animals and advance animal welfare.

  • Provide expert guidance to more than 500 incorporated cities and 58 counties in California on public safety and humane animal care in their communities.

  • Publish the California Animal Laws Handbook, a compilation of key California codes and regulations pertaining to animals.

  • Sponsor the Animal Law Enforcement Training Academy for humane and animal control officers throughout the state, including our own on-demand Officer Academy.  

  • Organize year-round training opportunities for animal welfare and veterinary professionals from throughout the state to advance knowledge and offer continuing education opportunities.

  • Administer California’s Certified Animal Control Officer program, recognizing their training, professionalism, and commitment to pursuing continuing education.

  • Sponsor an Emerging Leaders Program to mentor the next generation of animal welfare leaders.

  • Support Disaster Response efforts through improved collaboration and implementation of best practices.

  • Provide support and information to members and the general public.

  • Facilitate collaboration to address challenges and improve our collective ability to save lives.

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