Our History

Our History, Our Culture

Napa Humane (the Humane Society of Napa County & SPCA) is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1973. Recognizing the need for a higher standard of animal care in Napa County, our founders worked closely with our municipal animal services agency to advocate for better treatment of homeless animals in their care.

They began, in part, by offering a spay/neuter referral service, the first of its kind in the county, and the first step toward controlling pet overpopulation. The organization grew and flourished with time, adding lost and found services, humane education, and a small adoption center next to the Napa County Animal Shelter.  In 1990, the Society acquired a fully-equipped veterinary clinic on California Boulevard in Napa, and converted it to a high-volume, affordable spay/neuter clinic.

In 2001, the Napa River Flood Control Project required that the County and Napa Humane’s shelters be razed. The County was able to immediately rebuild a new shelter with public funds, but because Napa Humane did not own the property that was taken, the small amount of compensation we received for the shelter was not enough to relocate. This potentially devastating blow actually wound up strengthening our organization – forcing a re-examination of our goals, programs, and strategies that led us to where we are today. Instead of continuing to fund the warehousing of animals in shelters – a “band-aid tactic” that does not solve the problem of unwanted pets – we chose to refocus our resources on bigger-picture solutions that help keep pets out of shelters in the first place.

We believe that the answer to the problem of homeless, abandoned, and neglected companion animals lies in changing attitudes and practices that lead to irresponsible pet ownership. Our programs and services are designed to address the needs of companion animals – but also to provide support, education, and assistance for the people who care for and about them. Because the humane treatment of companion animals is such an important indicator of healthy communities, we’ve grown to consider Napa Humane a community service organization.

Since 2002, when we refocused our efforts on prevention, we have seen a steady decrease in the number of companion animals surrendered at the Napa County Animal Shelter.  We are confident that our strategic direction and mission will continue to drive those numbers even lower.

We invite you to join us as we advocate for a more humane, compassionate Napa County, strengthening human-animal bonds in order to improve quality of life for both our animals and our community.


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