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Behind the Scenes

Mission Viejo Animal Services Center is committed to providing the best possible service for the five cities it covers during this difficult time. Dedicated staff will continue to care for the animals, and animal services officers will continue to patrol the communities and respond to stray animals and public safety functions.

Stay tuned to this page to see daily updates on what's going on behind the scenes at the center during our closure. 

July 30, 2020

Dandelion & Sunflower adopted!


July 29, 2020 

Update on Jeronimo Open Space Coyote-Human Encounter #2

Mission Viejo Animal Services (MVAS) responded to two coyote-biting incidents on July 25 and reported the incident to California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) as is part of wildlife management efforts. MVAS worked in coordination with CDFW in closing the trail and notifying residents of the closure.

CDFW initiated an animal attack investigation, including an effort to identify and remove the offending coyote. The first part of the investigation involved isolating DNA from the offending coyote from bite wounds in both victims’ skin. The second part of the investigation involved an effort to remove the offending coyote, which took place over the last two days. On July 28, CDFW’s Wildlife Forensics Lab in Sacramento conclusively demonstrated that a coyote taken during the investigation was the coyote responsible for both attacks.  CDFW has authority over wildlife within in the state of California and handles these types of cases. https://wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Coyote.

The coyote was confirmed to be negative for rabies by OC Animal Care, the agency that provides testing for rabies concerns for the entire county. 

The trail at the Jeronimo Open Space between Pavion and Silleros has reopened, and Mission Viejo Animal Services is reminding everyone that California is natural coyote habitat, and we must know how to safely and peacefully coexist with wildlife. Most interactions are passive in nature and help promote the public’s appreciation for the wild animals that live around us.

For information on living coyote wise, visit cmvas.org.

July 28, 2020

Update on Jeronimo Open Space Coyote-Human Encounter

Mission Viejo Animal Services is dedicated to serving our community and promoting healthy animal-human interactions. On Saturday, July 25, we shared information about a situation that included two encounters with our local coyote population. While both incidents were minor in nature, we still take such incidents seriously and are currently working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

The CDFW has authority over all wildlife within in the state of California and is responsible for handling these types of cases. Mission Viejo Animal Services (MVAS) reminds everyone that California is natural coyote habitat, and we must know how to safely and peacefully coexist with wildlife. For information on living coyote wise, visit cmvas.org.

The trail at the Jeronimo Open Space between Pavion and Silleros is currently closed. CDFW plans to authorize the reopening of that portion of the trail on Wednesday, July 29.

MVAS is expecting updated information from CDFW regarding the status of the department’s activities in response to this incident. Additional updates will follow as information becomes available.

July 25, 2020

Jeronimo Open Space Coyote-Human Encounter

This morning, two different parties reported coyote bites (to a human) in the Jeronimo Open space. Mission Viejo Animals Services is working with the Department of Fish & Wildlife on this matter and the trails have been closed temporarily. Please be aware and vigilant when you are out on the trails where wildlife is prevalent.



July 24, 2020

SuzieQ will melt your heart

SuzieQ is a 4-year-old domestic short-haired cat. She is a little shy with new people, but once comfortable, she will seek attention. She will let you know when she feels like she’s had enough. SuzieQ enjoys watching the world through windows and loves playing with sparkle pom-poms. 

She will go home with an approved applicant microchipped and with up-to-date vaccines and flea control. She is also part of the cool cats of summer promo, which ends July 31. 



July 23, 3030 

"Mangy Bob" Rescued

Thanks to numerous good-hearted people, Animal Services Officer Stewart was able to safely rescue a sick bobcat residents affectionately called Mangy Bob. Mangy Bob was transported to a local licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility where he was given a medical examination and confirmed he in fact was suffering from mange. If you see sick or injured wildlife, call the shelter at 949-470-3045.

Mangy Bob 3
Mangy Bob 2
Mangy Bob

July 22, 2020

Ramen at home

We are happy to see Ramen is adjusting well in his new home!

Ramen 2


July 21, 2020

Featured Pet - Suzie Q

July 18, 2020

Ramen adopted! 



July 17, 2020 

Legolas adoption update

Hi, Legolas (now Wyatt) is settling in and getting lots of love and attention.

Thank you,
Kim G.

Legolas 4
Legolas 3
Legolas 2

July 16, 2020

Awesome adoption day!

2 animals went to their forever homes! Congratulations to Finn & Udon!


July 15,2020

Olaf adoption update

Good afternoon. We just wanted to say thank you for Olaf (who is now Milo). He is a happy guy and has brought a ton of happiness to us! 

Here are a couple of photos of him. Thanks again and keep up the excellent work that you all do. 

Ted and Susan

Olaf 2

July 14, 2020

Ty adopted!


July 11, 2020 

A great day for adoptions!

Legolas, Molly & Marley adopted today!!


July 10, 2020 

Take steps to keep birds out of your chimney

We are reminding residents to take steps to prevent birds from flying into chimneys after a feathered friend was rescued from a home in Laguna Niguel. 

The resident could hear the little bird trying to fly out without success. When officers arrived, they quickly assessed the situation to see how to rescue the small bird. Since the officers have experience with this type of call, they were able to free the little bird, which flew off.  

Birds and other animals often view chimneys as safe places to nest and avoid predators. However, most homeowners do not want their chimneys turning into nesting grounds. The best way to keep a chimney protected against bird and animal entry is with a chimney cap.

The most common way for birds and other animals to get into your chimney is through an uncapped chimney or damaged chimney cap. Even if the chimney cap has a small hole or crack, most birds can wiggle their way in. 

Click this link for tips on how to keep birds and other critters out of your chimney.

Bird in chimney

July 9, 2020

PJ Adoption Update


A few months ago i adopted my beautiful son PJ. To anyone who remembers him he’s doing amazing. He is literally the smartest and sweetest dog I have ever met and I love him more than anything, and after Covid I will bring him by to say hello to his old friends!! 

Thank you guys so much for helping me find my best friend. 

In case ya’ll wanna see him. (HES HUGE)

Jyles, Mike, and PJ too! 

PJ 2

July 8, 2020

Jimmy success story


Almost 10 years ago, I adopted this baby (Jimmy now Simba) from MV Animal Shelter. Just wanted to share that I absolutely love this cat! He now has two human sisters and we moved to FL :) I figured it would be fun to hear a happy story about how well he is doing 10 years later and I thank you all so much for what you do! 




July 7, 2020

Cool Cats of Summer

Tap this link to check out our special adoption promotion this month during Cool Cat Days of Summer!


July 3, 2020

4th of July Crew

Animal services officers Werner, Rodriguez, Ceballos and Enriquez will be working throughout the holiday keeping our residents and their pets safe. Nicole, our Animal Services Rep, will be dispatching and fielding emergency calls late into the evening. Animal Care Technicians Courtney, Bianca and Julie will be at the center caring for the animals and processing incoming strays. We are here for our community and pets!

4th of July Crew


July 2, 2020

Meet Duncan

July 1, 2020

4th of July Pet Safety

June 30, 2020 Milky Way update, at home photos 

Milky Way
Milky Way 2


June 27, 2020

On March 21st a very nice brown tabby came into the center, quite pregnant, and staff named her Honey.

Honey gave birth to only one kitten, which is not common but it does happen. If you are a Game of Thrones enthusiast you will be ok with the name Edd, born on 4/23, a sweet little black and white boy kitten. 

Then, on 4/29 a single kitten came into the shelter, nearly the exact same age as Edd. Our foster mom, Diane, was more than happy to take that little one too and she worked her magic in convincing Honey she needed to become mom to this orphaned little girl. It took a part of a day to convince her but once she was on board Honey was in, full on mommy mode, and groomed and fed little Pua too.

This worked out great!  Edd and Pua not only both have a nice mom, but they also have each other.  They will be returning to the center soon to be spayed and neutered.

Honey has been up for adoption now for a few weeks, she is beautiful, sweet and only a year old. This super mom sure deserves an awesome family. 



June 26, 2020

Sunset & Leo adopted! Congratulations on your new homes! 


June 25, 2020

Cafe adoption update


My partner and I adopted Café last week and we wanted to let you know that she is the absolute sweetest, most loving girl. We couldn’t be happier. She has loved curling up in our laps for a nap since our first hours at home. She loves her cat tree and her cactus toy, but mostly just loves being around her people. We can’t thank you enough for bringing her into our lives!

Thank you!

Lauren and Galen


June 24, 2020

Vaccine clinic was a huge success! 

Our first drive thru low-cost pet vaccine clinic was a huge success! 151 animals were vaccinated last night and 15 microchips were implanted. Visitors expressed how happy they were with the set up of the clinic and thought it was so much nicer to wait in their car, rather than waiting in an office. Our next scheduled clinic is in August, the date is still pending. 

vaccine DT clinic 3
vaccine DT clinic 2
vaccine DT clinic

June 23, 2020

Marge & Henry adopted!

Congrats to Marge & Henry on finding there new forever homes!!


June 20, 2020

Baby Kestrel Rescue

A resident called the center and stated that he found a small bird that appeared injured on the sidewalk near his home. When the officer arrived, he was unable to locate a nest or parents nearby. The bird was taken to a local rehabilitator where the prognosis is good. They will care for it until they it can be returned to the wild.

Baby Kestrel

June 19, 2020

Taurus adopted! 

Congratulations to this sweet little kitty on her new fur-ever home! 


June 18, 2020

Ask a Animal Services Officer

Our Animal Services Officers will be doing a virtual ride along soon! Let us know what questions you have for the dedicated ASO's that serve our community. 


June 17, 2020

A great day for adoptions!

Omelette, Browie Bite & Harold adopted!!

Brownie Bite


June 16, 2020 

Kittens Virgo & Cafe adopted!

Congrats! On your new fur-ever homes!


June 13, 2020

Cozy Raccoon 

We received a call for a possible injured or sick raccoon in a residents backyard. The homeowner stated that he saw the raccoon in his yard the night before and then again this morning. He was concerned because it “just wouldn’t leave”.

Animal Services Officer Mansoor responded to the call and determined that the Raccoon was very healthy and uninjured but found a cozy place to settle in for the night.

Turns out there was a huge gap between the bottom of the wrought iron fence and the top of the slope, which allows wildlife to freely pass through their yard. 

Cozy Raccoon 2
Cozy Raccoon


For tips on how to keep these little critters out of your yard, tap here.


June 12, 2020

Rizzo Adoption Udate 

Hello to Rizzo's friends at the animal shelter. I hope all of you are well during these interesting times.

Today was Rizzo's birthday. (7 year adoption anniversary.) 7 years ago, he was picked up as a stray by another shelter. His owners were called, but wouldn't come for him. It was a kill shelter and, fortunately, your facility was able to take him from there. He was adopted and returned at least once. It may have been twice. He was in shelters for 2 months. Nobody wanted him. 

I still remember walking past him in the shelter. He came up to the bars and wagged his tail, so I stopped to say hello. He wasn't the dog we were there to look at. But your volunteer saw us pause and asked if we wanted to play with him. He was looking at me and wagging his tail, so how could I say no? I remember sitting in your play area as she explained that he liked stuffed toys. Rizzo brought me one of his toys, sat on my lap, and licked my face and I knew I needed him. I didn't know how much rejection he had faced and just how badly he needed a safe, loving home that would keep him and love him forever. He has so many stuffed toys now. All for him.

Today, he got "birthday" presents from a family that he is an essential part of. We moved out of Orange County last year and now he has a yard for the first time. As you can see, he loves sprawling out in the sunshine. He also likes chasing lizards, bugs, and squirrels out there in the yard. (Don't worry about the lizards and squirrels--he is an awful hunter. We just let him pretend he is a fearsome terrier. He is always very proud of himself.) At 11 and 1/2 years old, he continues to be in perfect health. I don't know if he remembers that nobody wanted him, but I do think he knows he is wanted now and will never be alone again.

I hope his happy face reminds you of the good work you do every day. You help animals like Rizzo and the people who need them.



June 11, 2020

9 Bunnies adopted out!

9 bunnies were adopted out during our "Hop into Summer"  adoption promotion. These bunnies all went to bunny loving homes who will take great care of them! If you are interested in adopting a bunny there are still plenty available. 

Tap here to see our adoptable bunnies


June 10, 2020

Our applications are now available online!

To browse our applications tap here

online applications

June 9 2020, First Responder Promo

A special Animal Services Center promo to thank our First Responders

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center is proud to acknowledge the hard work of all first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. As their way of saying thank you, the shelter is offering a “First Responder Tuesdays” promo for all doctors, nurses, firefighters, EMTs, and police officers. 

The promo will waive $100 off the adoption fee for dogs and $50 off the fee for cats and rabbits. Simply check the Animal Services Center's website at www.cmvas.org, find an animal you are interested in and email animalinfo@cityofmissionviejo.org to request an application. 

Once the adoption is approved, you'll have the chance to meet and interact with the animal and will receive the adoption discount upon showing proper ID.

Pets have been proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure and, as a first responder during this time, a new pet might be just what is needed! 

For more info, call us at 949-470-3045.

FR Promo



June 6, 2020

Drive-Thru Pet Vaccine Clinic Scheduled for June 23 5:30-7:30pm 

We will be hosting a public low cost drive-thru animal vaccination clinic for pet owners in Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Hills. See below image for the clinic map.

To see vaccine prices tap here

Vaccine Clinic Map

June 5, 2020

June is National Adopt a Cat Month

If you're thinking about bringing a furry new family member into your home, National Adopt-a-Cat Month is the perfect the time to do so! Although we remain closed to the public, our cats are still in need of loving homes, and we are still processing adoptions.  

During this time of year, the middle of kitten season, most adopters are drawn to our available kittens, leaving the adult cats to wait weeks or even months to be adopted.  But there are many benefits to adopting an older cat, which tend to be calmer and more loving than the kitten counterparts.  

If you are interested in adopting one of our loving mature cats, email animalinfo@cityofmissionviejo.org to start the application process. 

June Adopt a Cat


June 4, 2020

Mia Adopted!

Congrats on your new home!!



June 3, 2020

Cash Adoption Update

CASH is a very loving, smart and happy privileged 4.5 mo old puppy, who enjoys playing with any of his of toys, kayaking or boating on the weekends, riding in the car, meeting people and other dog friends.  Watching the chickens or baby goats next door captures his attention.

He has brought much love and enjoyment to our family.  

Thank you.


Steve & Aileen R. 

Cash 4
Cash 3
Cash 2
Cash 4


June 2, 2020

Mary Kate & Ashley

We are in search of a loving home for this sister duo.  Mary-Kate and Ashley were found together in the city of Mission Viejo at the end of May. They are clearly very bonded and would thrive in a home where they can play, nap, and grow-up together.  They love to socialize with human friends and give the sweetest meows for attention.  If you have room in your home for these siblings, please call (949)470-3045 for an adoption application.

Mary Kate & Ashley

May 30, 2020

Skater Skunk 

A visitor at the skate park in Aliso Viejo reported a skunk that was stuck. 

When office Mansoor arrived, he observed the skunk in the deep end of the “pool” at the skate park. The skunk was attempting to walk out but kept sliding down as the sides were too steep and there is a small overhang at the rim of the entire pool.

Our officer had some onlookers and educated them on his rescue plan and got all of them to gather on the end of the pool opposite to where he would place a ramp.

He utilized a ramp from his truck which has a rough surface on it to provide traction. He placed it into the pool and it was a perfect fit. However, the skunk would not go up the ramp. It walked around it and then hid behind it. Officer Mansoor then threw a blanket over the ramp and the skunk walked out of the pool on his own and ran off.

Thank you Officer Mansoor for saving this little guy! 

Skunk 3
Skunk 3

May 28, 2020

Webster the local celebrity duck release 

Weber the local celebrity duck at Rancho Santa Margarita Lake was seen with injuries a couple weeks ago. With the help of SAMLAC (Rancho Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corporation), Mission Viejo Animal Services Officers were able to get a hold of the injured duck in the middle of the lake. Weber was taken to Animal Urgent Care of South Orange County where he was rehabilitated and even fostered until he was fully recovered. He was then reunited with his duck friends at the lake. His friends happily greeted him when he arrived and together they all went for a celebratory swim! 

This happy ending would have not been possible without the generous contribution of Animal Urgent Care, which donated the duck’s medical services including surgery as well as his wonderful foster mom. 

May 27, 2020

Snuggles & Downy Adoption Update 

Snuggles and Downy are so sweet and playfully happy kittens! Our children love petting and playing with them. She is still playful and constantly purring. Thank you taking such good care of them that they are so happy and sweet.

Downy & Snuggles

May 26, 2020

Featured Pet Charlotte


May 22, 2020

Pluto adoption update 

Dear Rockstar Employees/Volunteers, 
This is Erica & Dylan, we adopted Pluto (now named Lynyrd Albert W.) on April 24, 2019 from CMVAS. In light of current conditions we felt it was necessary to share some joy, Lynyrd has been the piece of the puzzle our family was missing. The moment we brought him home, he was very receptive to being a little brother to our cat-son, Eugene. They are now the best of buds who love to sunbathe together on our patio. 
With our family living so close to the beach, we were eager to show him how fun it could be. Lynyrd now loves to run up and down the sand, play in the water, and chase his tennis balls. He has a keen desire to feel all textures that he can explore i.e. sand, grass, stone, & snow. He is our little nature investigator; he is always excited for a new adventure. 
Please see attached highlight reel of our first of many years with our cutie loves, our biggest boy of all time, Lynyrd Albert. 
Thank you! 
Dylan, Erica, Eugene, & Lynyrd 

Lynyrd 3
Lynyrd 2

May 21, 2020 

Meet our featured pet Quincy

May 19, 2020

Donated Items Needed

We are in need of new dog toys, new leashes & collars, dog walk bags and new blankets. If you have items to donate, please drop them at the shelter's front gate (9am-4pm, 7 days a week). Questions? Contact us at 470-3045 or animalinfo@cityofmissionviejo.org. Thank you in advance to our generous community!

donated items needed

May 16, 2020

Margarita & Tangelo adopted!

Margarita & Tangelo went to their forever homes today! 



May 15, 2020

A great day for adoptions!

Today was a great day for adoptions at the center! We are so exited to announce that Blythe, Bobby, Gala and Lime went home today! Congrats!



May 14, 2020

Felix Adoption Update

This is Felix. Felix BLESSED our home and he immediately became a part of our family. He came into our life in a time where we needed his love and affection the most. Felix, without knowing it, gave me a sense of purpose and provided all love in the world. His little heart has so much love to give and I'm super grateful that he was able to grace us with his love. He is a "velcro doggie" and constantly needs to be on or near dad, he takes up the bed and with such a small stature manages to leave very little space on the bed. But in spite of all that, I couldn't imagine my life without my new best friend.

Felix 2

May 13, 2020

3 adoptions today! 

Today was a great day for adoptions! Tony, Chica and Blakely went to their forever homes today! Congratulations!!


May 10, 2020

Lake Rancho Santa Margarita Duck Rescue

Animal Services reminding residents to discard or recycle fishing line after duck’s severe injury

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center is reminding residents to properly dispose of fishing line after a duck was injured last weekend at the Rancho Santa Margarita Lake.

The center was called by people at the lake who spotted the duck with a large visible wound. When animal services officers arrived and eventually rescued the duck, they determined the wound was caused by fishing line wrapped around the bird, making the injury worse each day. 
Fortunately, the duck was treated by the Animal Urgent Care of South Orange County, which donated the services to successfully treat the bird that will soon return to the lake.  Unfortunately, though, many birds, turtles and marine mammals are injured or killed each year from becoming tangled in fishing line, hooks and tackle that have been improperly disposed of along beaches or thrown from boats into the water. 
Here are some things you can do to make sure animals are not harmed by used fishing lines:

  • Always cut fishing line into pieces less than 6 inches long (preferably 1-inch). Dispose of it, along with hooks and tackle, in appropriate covered containers, so it does not blow away or become a risk to wildlife. 
  • Recycle fishing line. Place all broken or used line in a Monofilament Line Recycling Bin. If no recycling bins are available, place broken or used fishing line that has been cut into pieces in a lidded trash can. 
  • Monofilament fishing line is recyclable.
  • Volunteer your time to clean up fishing line debris at local beaches.
  • Use biodegradable fishing line that does not have an indefinite life span in the environment.
  • Always check gear and terminal tackle. Inspect your gear often to avoid unwanted breaks. Even small amounts of gear in the water can be harmful to wildlife in entangled or ingested.
RSM Lake Duck Rescue 3
RSM Lake Duck Rescue 2
RSM Lake Duck Rescue


May 8, 2020

Canada Goose Rescue

Mission Viejo Animal Services received a call for a goose that had been hit by a car near the lake in Mission Viejo on Tuesday. It was rescued by an Animal Services Officer and transported to Wetlands and Wildlife in Huntington Beach for rehabilitation. The Canada Goose received treatment at the center and was re-released on Thursday.  We are happy to partner with such an amazing rehabilitor. It gives us all great joy when we receive the call from Wetlands to let us know that the animal is completely healed and ready to be released. It’s truly a new lease on life for these animals. 

Canada Goose Release 2
Canada Goose Release

May 7, 2020

Meet our featured pet Canasta 

May 6, 2020

At Home Enrichment Program

During this time of social distancing at home work might keep you busy, but what about our furry family members? They may be used to going to daycare, having playdates, or going to dog parks or other high trafficked areas. But during this community action time of social distancing, we simply can’t take that risk.
How do we help our pups avoid cabin fever when they can’t leave the house for weeks at a time? 

We have come up with some great ideas to keep your pets mentally stimulated, especially when you are trying to get some work done. 

Check out our new "At Home Enrichment" section here  

May 5, 2020

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Pet Pantry is grateful to receive another generous donation from Canyon Tack & Feed, in partnership with Purina. 

Our Pet Pantry volunteers distribute it to local food banks for residents in need. 

It takes many helping, caring hands to ensure that our residents can continue to properly care for their pets. 

Pet Pantry
Pet Pantry

May 2, 2020 

Behind the Scenes Bunny Photo Shoot

May 1, 2020 

Hop into Summer Bunny Adoption Special  

Bunny Adoption Special

For more information, tap here

April 30, 2020

Potato Face Adopted!

Potato went home to a sweet couple and their two older kids! They fell in love with his photo right away and it didn’t take them long to decide on adding him to the family. They were looking for a sweet mellow dog as this would be their first dog as a family.  Potato Face is the perfect addition! Congratulations!!

Potato Face Adopted

April 29, 2020

Cloth Mask Donation 

We received 30 cloth masks for our staff, made by Rachel Wendel to help fight the spread of the corona virus.  The masks have dogs and cat print on them, which our staff love! Rachel told us that she has been making them since April 2.  Not only did she donate to us, she stated that she was headed to other local shelters to donate as well.

We are so grateful and touched by Rachel and her team of volunteers for their support and generosity! 

Rachel W
Mask Donation


April 28, 2020

Mama Cat & Kitten Rescue

Officer Stewart was dispatched to a call for a possible injured animal. The caller stated that their dog was pacing back and forth along their backyard fence, and barking. When Officer Stewart arrived, he went behind the property to investigate. He saw a cat run off, and upon further investigation found a litter of very young kittens in a small hole. The mother dug up a hole to keep them safe, while she was away searching for food.  Officer Stewart rescued the kittens, and set a trap for the mother cat.

The kittens were taken to the shelter and immediately placed in a foster home where they could be bottle-fed around the clock, just like mama cat fed them.

Officer Stewart went back later in the day to check the trap, but it was empty. He went back the next day, and was successful. The mother had been painstakingly caught.

The mother cat was taken to the shelter, and the foster family brought her kittens back to the shelter so they could be reunited with their mother.

Mama and kittens are currently being cared for by the shelter staff, and they are thriving!

It’s heartwarming to see how the community came together to save these lives. Had they not been rescued, their chances of survival would not be very high.  The mother cat was named Aquaria, and her kittens all have zodiac sign names. Aquaria and her kittens will be available for adoption in the near future.  

Aquaria & Kittens
Aquaria Kittens 2
Aquaria Kittens

April 25, 2020

MVAS Pet Pantry Purina Donation 

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Pet Pantry has become a vital pet food resource for our community members facing financial hardships during the pandemic. Since the crisis began, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people needing to relinquish their pets because they are no longer able to afford to properly care for them. We knew this was not going to stop anytime soon, so we reached out to local pet supply stores for their help during this uncertain time.    

Canyon Feed & Tack, whom we purchase Timothy hay and other rabbit supplies came through. They worked directly with Purina to secure a donation of pet food. DAWG, our nonprofit group received it at the center.

Our Pet Pantry volunteers distributed it to local food banks, one being San Francisco Solano Church in Rancho Santa Margarita.

It took many helping, caring hands to ensure that our residents can continue to feed their pets. We are very happy we could help out.

Pet Pantry Donation

April 24, 2020

It's Volunteer Appreciation Week!

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Week we usually host a nice get together with our volunteers. However, under these circumstances the staff decided to record a video thanking the volunteers for all of their hard efforts all throughout the year. This year in particular, our volunteers really stepped it up by quickly helping us foster animals that were in our care during our temporary closure. Our dedicated professional staff is assisted by approximately 150 volunteers in providing help socializing and grooming animals, cleaning kennels, walking & exercising dogs, fostering animals, and showing adoptable pets to the visiting public.

We believe it is vital to show our appreciation to our volunteers who tirelessly dedicate their time and energy every day, including Holidays to the welfare of the homeless animals in our community. In addition to the thank you video, we held a Zoom meeting to again thank all of them, and give them an update on various topics regarding the shelter. It was great to see all of their faces, and all agree that we cannot wait to get back to “business as usual”.

Thank you Mission Viejo Animal Services Volunteers, you are truly the best!!

Zoom Meeting

April 23, 2020

The Animal Services Center is staying Mission Viejo Strong

April 22, 2020

Our resident felines enjoying some enrichment time

April 21, 2020

Lucky Adoption Update

Thank you for your hard work, especially now during these crazy times. As an animal lover I truly appreciate the amount of time and effort you put into keeping our animals safe and finding them homes!

We were lucky enough to have adopted a young pup from Mission Viejo shelter just prior to all of this sheltering in place began.

He very quickly became a most important part of our lives and family. He's been working hard at training us, so that he's comfortable in his new home. 

Maybe you remember him? a Jack Russell mix named Lucky!

We just love him to pieces. I'll attach some photos of him below!

Stay safe,

Diane, Dan (and Lucky) W. 

Lucky 2

April 18, 2020

Penne adopted! 

As you may recall, earlier this month we assisted The Orange County Animal Care Center as they were are at capacity for their dog population. They received three tiny Chihuahuas from a family who had lost their jobs and could no longer care for them, one of their rescue coordinators reached out to the center supervisor asking if there would be any way for us to help these dogs. The three Chihuahua’s named Penne, Gnocchi, and Rigatoni, were transferred to our center. Animal Services Officer Stewart fell head over heels when he met tiny Penne. He offered to foster her during her hold period. Penne quickly won over the hearts of his entire family, including the four legged members. They decided to officially make her part of the family by adopting her this past weekend. Penne aka Penny is as happy as can be with her new family!

Penne 2


April 17, 2020

Luis Miguel aka Denny Adoption Update 

In early March we welcomed 8 new dogs from the over crowded Riverside shelter through our  “A Mission for Home” rescue program. Funded exclusively through our nonprofit DAWG, this program is a win-win for the animals and shelters alike. It helps other shelters reduce their numbers; the animals get a chance to find great homes; and local families have more animals to choose from when they’re ready to adopt a furry family member.   

One dog in particular stole the hearts of our staff as he was in desperate need for a makeover. The small Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix named “Luis Miguel” was covered in mats. Without treatment, these mats can be painful because they pull on the underlying skin, and can lead to sores and skin infections. Within hours he was shaved, bathed and given a brand new do! He was literally a new dog, and adopted short after his makeover. 

Luis Miguel 3
Luis Miguel 2
Luis Miguel

Below is a heart warming update from his new family 

Denny (aka Luis Miguel) doing great with new brother and sister. Brady and Denny love each other and sleep together always. Denny's unique personality traits and spunk are peeking out more every day. He can be quite assertive for attention when he wants to be, but as sweet as ever.  He goes on long walks with his brother, gets lots of kisses and hugs, loves his food and sleeping on warm soft beds, and playing fetch.  This has been a match made in heaven for sure.  We love him so much!  Thank you to all the volunteers and staff for all you do for precious furballs like Denny (Luis)!

Luis Miguel_3
Luis Miguel_2
Luis Miguel

April 16, 2020

Potato Face Foster Update

I only agreed to foster Potato Face because I knew I would be a successful foster mom....in the kennel he was very aloof and not cuddly. Well, a couple of days at Camp Sheri and he is a totally different dog and Brynn is betting I'm going to be a foster failure! He loves all dogs, cats, kids - loves to go for walks and is totally house broken. Not one accident since last Thursday! I have taught him to take the doggy stairs to couch and bed. Fits in nicely - darn it!

Potato Face
Potato Face

April 15, 2020 

Thank you MVAS Animal Services Officers & Animal Care Technicians!

In honor of “National Animal Care & Control Officer Appreciation Week” April 12-18, we would like to give a shout out to our dedicated officers and animal care staff of the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center. 

This year’s National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week is an especially important one, as animal control officers and shelter staff everywhere continue to work on the front lines to navigate the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Animal services officers are first responders, not only do these hardworking people tirelessly protect the welfare of helpless animals that endure injury, disease, abuse, or starvation, but they also protect the people in their communities by enforcing animal control laws, preventing the spread of disease, and educating the public on proper pet care.

Our animal care staff provides the very best care to our resident homeless animals. They are doing an outstanding job under the current circumstances, and continue to coordinate dog meets and process adoptions all while following all safety recommendations.  

The City appreciates your service to the community and animals!


April 14, 2020

Our pups enjoying the beautiful spring weather!

April 11, 2020 

Kova & Ida Foster Update

The baby bunnies are doing great! They are both girls, 9 weeks old now.They love each other very much, it would be great if they can get adopted together They love to be pet and kissed.They enjoy playing and exploring :) 

We miss you guys terribly and of course the bunnies :( Can not wait to come back! 

Kova & Ida 2
Kova & Ida

April 10, 2020

Did you know Mission Viejo Animal Services officers are first responders?

If you or your kids are looking for something fun to do while staying at home, consider sending a written letter or hand-drawn photo to animal services officers working in the trenches. 

Animal caregivers and animal control officers are essential personnel who are reporting to work seven days a week to care for the pets in our shelter as well as work in the field to help people and animals. Sometimes, they’re called on by Mission Viejo Police Services to assist them with various situations. 

“We are asking today if you would be willing to have your kids (or you, of course) write our animal services officers a letter or draw them a picture showing your care and support,” said Volunteer Coordinator Giselle Leal-Pelayo “We think this would bring smiles to their faces.”

You can email letters or photos to animalinfo@cityofmissionviejo.org; mail them to 28095 Hillcrest or tag us with your photos via social media (@MissionViejoLife).

ASO in truck

April 9, 2020

Brittle goes home!!

Brittle was dumped at Florence Joyner Olympiad Park in Mission Viejo along with a group of other bunnies.  Officers attempted to catch the bunnies but had no luck, so they set traps and checked them regularly.  They were able to catch a handful and staff named them after See’s Candies chocolates in anticipation of a Bunny Adoption Event around Valentine’s day. Brittle was the cleanest, and most docile bunny of the group.  He was slow to warm up to new people but learned to trust people quickly.  He loved to eat grapes! A family of 5 in Mission Viejo emailed in that they had been looking for a bunny for a while and saw Brittle on our website.  They have owned other exotic pets in the past like chickens and their neighbors who own bunnies inspired them to get one of their own. Congratulations!!


April 8, 2020

Our shelter enrichment programs help reduce the stress and boredom of kennel life. Watch this short video of some dogs enjoying Kongs. 

April 7, 2020

The Orange County Animal Care Center reached out to us for assistance. It seems they are at capacity for their dog population, and in these unique times, their adoption rate is slower than usual. When they received three tiny Chihuahuas from a family who had lost their jobs and could no longer care for them, they started looking for assistance. Knowing that we have helped them in the past, one of their rescue coordinators reached out to the center asking if there would be any way for us to help these dogs. In these difficult times, we are doing everything in our power to give a lending hand to our fellow agencies as well as the public. The three Chihuahua’s named Penne, Gnocchi, and Rigatoni, are now in our care and will be available for adoption soon! 



April 6, 2020


Baby Duckling Rescue 

April 4, 2020

A lot of great adoptions today!

Dante, Curly, Sasha and Creed were all adopted today!  


April 3, 2020

Funny Girl adopted!

Funny Girl was adopted today and her sister Sasha has a meet tomorrow. Creed aka Rocky was brought back from foster today and was approved for adoption to his new family. He will be going home tomorrow.  Dante & Curly will be meeting their potential adopters tomorrow as well. Dog Neena, was reunited with her family. 

Funny Girl

We had hummingbird stuck in the front lobby area, but quickly made its way out.  

April 2, 2020

Pollywog Foster Update

First day update:

Polywog, or Polly as I call her is adjusting well and is very happy and affectionate with people!  She is eating well and drinking water along with my other dogs. She has learned that each dog has their own space, but did so very well. I walked all four dogs around the block with no issues. She slept in her bed all night and is full of energy and loves to play fetch/retrieve.  

I learned that she can get easily overexcited - so funny...when she first got here, she did several laps around the entire downstairs room-to-room. We just laughed.  Our other dogs watched her probably thinking she is crazy!  But she settled down and then took a long nap! She sits in her bed next to where I work.  Very calm. 

Most recent update:

The chihuahuas are very mellow.  One in particular that used to be more aggressive, is now calm and occasionally plays with her.  So, making a lot of progress for all.  Polly,  is learning boundaries.  She is doing well with potty, sleeps all night, and loves to play. She rarely tires but at night is sound asleep.  No potty mistakes in the last week.  She can sit, come, stay.  I will be leash training her. She reacts to very loud noises outside (cars, motorcycles, trucks) so I want to nip this in the bud for her safety.  She tries to jump forward after the vehicle.  I never take her off leash. Even in the home when not playing, she stays in a bed next to me. I let her play outside in the backyard...there's a lot of birds, bunnies, squirrels that she loves to chase.
Her current obsession is looking into the glass window or fireplace cover & tries to growl and bark at the dog in the reflection!!! It's pretty funny.  She also has a very keen sense of hearing. Can hear a truck coming down street before it gets to our home
Our UPS driver now leaves 1 milkbone on the package for each dog.  So, when Polly hears the truck she causes all four dogs to bark in anticipation!  Gets pretty loud here!

*Polly's foster family have completely fallen in love with her, and have decided to adopt her.  Congratulations Polly!

Polly's new mom
Polly in bed
Polly toy
Dogs resting
Polly Eating



April 1, 2020

Don't worry, be HOPPY!

A short video of our bunnies enjoying the beautiful weather outside. 

March 30, 2020

Boxer puppies go home! 

In late January, we received a call from one of our rescue partners asking for assistance. They had just received a pregnant purebred boxer from a homeless encampment near the border of Mexico. This beautiful white boxer was about to give birth at at any moment. With the assistance of DAWG, the center welcomed the dog with open arms. One of our amazing foster mom’s took her in and within two days she went into labor without success. Melody, the mother dog was so anemic and weak that she could not deliver on her own. After an emergency C-section, six beautiful boxer mix puppies were born. Unfortunately Melody was so sick she could not nurse the puppies. Our foster stepped in and bottle-fed all six. After Mom Melody recovered she was adopted out to a lovely family. All six boxer pups were successfully raised by our foster which is a miracle in and of itself. All puppies were adopted over the weekend into their forever homes. 


March 28, 2020

Caring for the current residents at the center

March 27, 2020 

Foster Update

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center volunteers have stepped up and helped with many of the animals that are residents at the shelter during the COVID-19 closure. 10 dogs were placed into foster last week, one of which has found a home with a family friend of the foster, and at least 2 more are going to be adopted by their foster families. The others will stay in foster for as long as the shelter stays closed. These pets are enjoying a lot of attention, and having a great time with families staying home. 

Here is an update about Kona, who is being fostered by the Cody Family:

Kona is a 7 year old Boxer mix. He might just be the best trained dog I have ever met, and I have met a lot of dogs in my day. He will sit, wait, come, walk well on a leash, go to his bed, and even waits to hear you say OK before he eats. Somebody put a bunch of time into training this sweet dog. He's also, even at 7, a goofball. He loves to look down at the park below our home and just watch people and other dogs. He acts like it is his job to save us from potential invaders. He will chase anything in our yard that moves; bunnies, birds, lizards, bugs, anything and sometimes nothing. Yesterday, he held the BBQ hostage with his nose under it, making circles around it and barking a few times. We told him to go into the house, thinking it might be a defenseless bunny. Nope! It was part of a bird's nest, vacated long ago. Kona is doing a great job keeping us busy and snuggling with us. And No, we aren't planning to adopt, but he can stay as long as he needs to.



March 26, 2020

Playtime at Animal Services Center

March 25, 2020

Animal Services Center essential services



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