Partner up to expand California’s safety net

If your organization serves animals, but you’re not an animal shelter, we hope you’ll connect with your local shelter and explore opportunities for collaboration and program development. Imagine what’s possible when you join together to serve the animals and people in your community!

How can we participate?

The funds allocated to this grant program have been earmarked by the State of California specifically for animal shelters. The best way to ensure your county receives a portion of this funding is to work with animal shelters in the communities where you’d like to see programs sustained or expanded.

The funding can support partnerships and coalitions, but the shelter will be the recipient of the grant funds.

To be eligible for grants, the shelter supported by your partnership needs to enroll in the California for All Animals program and submit its data. Funds will be allocated based on need; five years of historical data are required to determine the amount of the grant. Data will need to be submitted every year the shelter is enrolled.

Who can apply to California for All Animals for grants?

To be considered a shelter, an organization must house animals in a brick and mortar facility and are open to the public a minimum of fifteen hours per week for adoptions and return to home.

  • Municipal shelters: A county or city animal shelter funded by a government agency
  • Private shelters with municipal contracts: A nonprofit SPCA, humane society or shelter funded by donors that has animal control contracts with a city or county
  • Private shelters without municipal contracts: A nonprofit SPCA, humane society or shelter funded by donors that does not have animal control contracts with a city or county

Animal control agencies that provide field services and animal control functions are also eligible to apply, even if they do not perform sheltering services.

Who can join as a Supporting Organization to work with Cal4All shelters?

Shelters are only one part of a community’s safety net for people and pets. Supporting organizations can join California for All Animals and team up with shelters to strengthen that net. Examples of supporting orgs:

  • Educational institution
  • Foster network
  • Friends of shelter group
  • Rescue group
  • Spay/neuter clinic
  • Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program
  • Veterinary clinic
  • Other

Teaming Up With Your Local Shelter

We encourage nonprofit organizations to establish partnerships with their local shelter to support the animals and people in their community. As a nonprofit organization, you likely are a valuable resource to your community and have a clear understanding of your community’s needs. By partnering with your local shelter, you can turn your community’s needs into innovative solutions! 

Tips to Establish a Partnership with Your Local Shelter



Identify and learn about your local shelter(s)

  • Visit their website to learn about the services they offer the community in which your organization is based.
  • Identify where your work aligns and any gaps in services or resources that you can supplement for one another. For example, partnering together on a foster program where the supporting organization recruits and trains foster caregivers and the shelter provides veterinary medical care such as vaccinations for the animals in foster. 

Share current grant opportunities

  • Subscribe to the California for All Animals Newsletter, so you can be notified about new grants. Simply enter your email address in the Subscribe to the Newsletter form at the bottom of the page and click Subscribe Now. Encourage your local shelter(s) to do the same! 
  • Reach out to your local shelter to share any grant opportunities that would benefit the animals and people in your community.

Share your organization’s impact 

  • When extending an invitation to collaborate with your local shelter, it can be helpful to share metrics demonstrating your organization’s impact. Examples of metrics to share: 
    • The number of animals you support each year via foster, adoption or return to owner. This will give them a sense of how many animals you are preventing from entering their shelter. 
    • The different services or resources you offer your community, including veterinary vouchers, pet food, grooming services, etc. 
    • The partnerships you’ve established with other nonprofit organizations within your community. 
  • The metrics you share may depend on the guidelines of the current grant opportunity. 

Discuss what your partnership would entail

  • We recommend ongoing collaboration within your community, and it might be easiest to establish a partnership when you have a project or goal in mind. For example, a grant that offers the opportunity to brainstorm a proposal and collaborate on utilizing the funding together.
  • Help your shelter understand and envision a partnership by sharing:
    • What your organization is able/willing to contribute to the partnership
    • What your organization hopes the shelter will contribute to this partnership


Join California for All Animals and receive notifications when new grant opportunities open.

(Photo courtesy TinyCat Photography)