About us

A Safe Haven for Animals

Serving our community since 1931, the Sonoma Humane Society is a donor supported safe haven for animals. We’re dedicated to bringing people and companion animals together for a lifetime of love.

The animals in our care receive medical treatment (including spay/neuter surgery), training services, and adoption assistance. We believe that no effort is too great when a life is at stake. With your help, we give hope to every animal.

The Sonoma Humane Society has two locations in Sonoma County; our primary Center for Animals is located at 5345 Hwy 12 West in Santa Rosa. In addition, our Healdsburg Center is located off Westside Road in Healdsburg at 14242 Bacchus Landing Way.

SHS is a no kill organization. Our Landmark Agreement with Sonoma County Animal Care and Control helps ensure a positive outcome for all healthy and curable animals in our community.

The Sonoma Humane Society. Ensuring every animal receives protection, compassion, love and care.

Building Partnerships for Animals in Need

We exist because of support from our community. Our business partners generously provide resources for our work in many ways; through discounts of their products and services, generous cash donations, and sponsorships of our fundraising events. We are grateful for their contributions and encourage you to patronize our Community Business Partners.


In the News

Sonoma Humane Society Announces Executive Director 

Sonoma Humane Society aims to open new Healdsburg animal shelter by spring

Karmann Ghia Does Good for Homeless Animals

Beloved Princess Fiona

Sonoma Humane Society 2015 Best Nonprofit of the North Bay

Princess Fiona Huffington Post

Princess Fiona ABC 7

Princess Fiona Press Democrat

Sonoma Humane looks to transform 'complicated' animal shelter project

Good News for Healdsburg Animal Shelter

Healdsburg animal shelter board dissolves

Sonoma Humane Society to move into Healdsburg Animal Shelter building

Healdsburg Shelter eyes opening after settlment

Two out-of-town animal agencies partner with Healdsburg shelter

Lapphund Rescue Press Democrat

Lapphund Rescue

Healdsburg Center Coming Soon

Healdsburg council approves animal control, shelter deal

A Lifesaving Partnership: Sonoma Humane Society & Petaluma Animal Services Foundation Awarded Healdsburg Sheltering and Animal Control Contract

LandmarkAgreement Brings Hope and Second Chances to County Animals

Best Sonoma County Non-Profit 2013 Press Democrat

Best of the North Bay 2012

Press Releases

Sonoma Humane Society Announces Executive Director 

North Bay No-Kill Shelters Save Shelter Pets Displaced by Rocky Fire

Position Statements

Rodent Control

Pets As Gifts April 2015

Beagle Freedom Bill Oct 2014

Predator Control Statement Sept 2014  For more detailed information on this issue click here.

Aversive Dog and Animal Training_Jan 2014

Breed Specific Laws Oct 2013

No Kill Aug 2013

Low Cost Adoption April 2013

Offsite Adoptions March 2013

Limit Law Jan 2013



North Bay Pets Magazine

Published twice annually, summer and winter, North Bay Pets showcases our progressive support for pets and people in our community. Interested in advertising in North Bay Pets? Click here for Rates and an Insertion Order 2015-2016

NB Pets Winter 2015

NB Pets Summer 2015

 NBay Pets Winter 2014

NBay Pets Summer 2014

NBay Pets Winter 2013

NBay Pets Summer 2013


Subscribe to our monthly online newsletter and receive the latest news, events, happy animal stories and special discounts and offerings. You may unsubscribe at any time. Please remember, the Humane Society will never share our donor information with any other agencies or organizations. Your privacy is important to us.

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Annual Reports

2014 Annual Report

2013 Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

Asilomar Accords

The Asilomar Accords outline principles that guide animal welfare organizations to work together to save the lives of companion animals. Without the Asilomar Accords, definitions and reporting methods varied from group to group, making understanding of information difficult, if not impossible, across organizations. By utilizing a standard language for statistics, shelters and their supporters are able to easily and clearly track progress both at a specific shelter and across shelters nationwide.

2015 Asilomar Accord

2014 Asilomar Accord

2013 Asilomar Accord

2012 Asilomar Accord

2011 Asilomar Accords

The collection and publication of this data is sponsored by Maddie’s Fund® Maddie’s Fund

If you have any questions about the statistics in this report,  please contact Cindy Roach or call (707) 542-0882, ext. 212


Q: What do I do if I find a stray dog or cat?


Stray Dogs: The Sonoma Humane Society is under contract to accept all stray dogs from the City of Sebastopol and the City of Healdsburg.  We house strays from other areas of Sonoma County on Sunday and Monday, when Sonoma County Animal Care and Control is closed, and as space allows on other days.

Feral Cats: The Sonoma Humane Society does not house feral cats for adoption. Trapped feral cats will be spayed or neutered and then released back to their original outdoor home.

Stray Cats: The Sonoma Humane Society is under contract to accept all stray cats from the City of Sebastopol.  SHS advises finders of stray domesticated cats to call the local shelter in their area to report the found cat.

  • We also advise that most stray cats are typically found within one block of their home – a door-to-door “do you know this cat?” effort can help reunite the cat with its owner.
  • We encourage finders to create a “found” flier and post it in the neighborhood.

Q: What should I do if I can no longer keep my dog or cat?


Consider finding your dog or cat another home instead of surrendering him/her to a shelter because it will be less stressful for your animal, allows you to play a part in uniting him/her with a new family, and makes additional space available for animals whose lives are immediately at risk in surrounding municipal shelters. Please utilize our Re-homing Packet  and  our free "Adoptions by Owner" website listings.

Owner Surrender Dogs: SHS will accept owner surrendered dogs by appointment as space allows. For availability and an appointment for your dog’s evaluation please call 542-0882.

Owner Surrender Cats: SHS will accept owner surrendered cats by appointment and as space allows. Please call 542-0882 for appointments and availability.


Department Directory

Executive Director
Cindy Roach

Finance & Human Resources, Ext. 201
Karin Brown, Finance and HR Director

Benefits Administrator, Ext. 200
Cathy Barrett, Human Resources Coordinator

Adoption Center, Ext. 247
Jessica Osier, Adoption Program Manager

Signe Ross-Villemaire, Content and Grants Writer

Dog & Puppy Training Center, Ext. 249
Suzanne Kernek, Director of Behavior & Training

Donations & Fundraising, Ext.241
Melissa Dobar, Director of Development

Donations & Fundraising, 707.577.1903
Rebecca Baker, Development Associate

Forget Me Not Farm Children’s Services, 707.577.1913
Carol Rathmann, Farm Director

Foster Care Department, 707.577.1919
Ashley Armstrong, Foster Program Manager

Grooming Salon & Pet Day Spa, Ext. 243
Stephanie Burgasser, Groomer

Healdsburg Center, 707.280.9632
Alison Lane, Healdsburg Center Manager

Humane Education, 707.577.1902
Beth Karzes, Education Outreach Coordinator

Marketing Communications and Design, Ext.208
Wendy Welling, Director of Marketing

Operations, Ext. 217
Don Malone, VP of Operations

Paws to Shop Pet Supply Store, Ext. 238

Public Veterinary Hospital, 707.542.0882
Hospital Reception

Shelter Medicine, Ext. 256
Dr. Sarah Reidenbach, Director of Shelter Medicine

Volunteering, Ext. 262
Nina Caputo, Volunteer Manager

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Board of Directors

Evelyn Mitchell, Board President

board_of_directors_clip_image002_0008Evelyn is Principal of L3 Consulting, which has provided CFO/Controller Services since 2005. With over twenty years of controller experience in private industry, a BA from The University of Connecticut, and an Executive Master’s Degree from Golden Gate University, Evelyn lives in Healdsburg with her husband Tom, their dog Buddy, and two cats. Tom and Evelyn are both avid runners, having run numerous marathons. Evelyn was Board treasurer previous to her current tenure as president and has served on the Board of Directors since 2007.

Shannon Tracey, Vice President

board_of_directors_clip_image002_0000Mortgage Broker and Real Estate Investor with 16 years’ experience. With a BA in Economics from Sonoma State University. Shannon is active in many aspects of community affairs. Past president, Redwood Empire Mortgage Lenders Association, former member of Redwood Empire Active 20/30, and a current member of the Wine Country Professionals Chapter of BNI. As a life-long Sonoma County resident, Shannon is committed to serving the people and animals in our community. Her keys to success include integrity, persistence, hard work and a sense of humor. An avid backpacker, CrossFitter and hiker, Shannon enjoys spending time with her family, friends and pets. Member since 2009.


Kathy Yerger, Secretary

board_of_directors_clip_image002Kathy has been Hospital Manager at VCA Animal Care Center, and Sonoma County resident since 1988. A graduate of the Veterinary Management Institute at Purdue University and the Veterinary Leadership Academy offered by the American Animal Hospital Association, Kathy frequently lectures nationally on marketing and Human Resources. Kathy makes her home with her family (which including their three felines) in Forestville. Member since 2007.


John Prouty, Treasurer

J.ProutyJohn has spent more than 35 years in the high technology industry, and is currently a product planning manager with Keysight Technologies.  He holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly State University and an MBA from Golden Gate University.  The Proutys have had a family presence in Sonoma County since 1962, and John and his wife Susan currently live in Santa Rosa with their three rescued cats.  An avid cyclist, John has served on the board of the Red Peloton Cycling Club and helps Women's Recovery Services, having founded the annual "Sea to Sierra" bike ride to Lake Tahoe from Santa Rosa with his riding partners.  John has previously serviced as a board member and board president for Forgotten Felines, as well as here at Sonoma Humane.  Member since 2006.


Kati Aho


Kati is the Office Manager for the Earle Baum Center of the Blind.  Prior to the EBC she spent over 30 years in the electronics industry as COO and Manager in various positions with SenarioTek and Hewlett Packard / Agilent Technologies. Kati is a native Californian born and raised in the Sebastopol area, a graduate of USF with a BS in Informational Systems Management. Her passion focuses on Organizational Development and the creation of synergistic, self-managed work teams. Kati is an avid SCUBA diver and loves to garden. She lives in Sebastopol with her husband Jim, her mother Laurie, and their dog Kona.

Darlene Brazil

board_of_directors_clip_image002_0006Darlene is a Sonoma County native. She had nineteen years of public and private accounting experience prior to joining the accounting team at Redwood Hill Farm in Sebastopol. She is a graduate of Sonoma State University and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Darlene is also a member of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise group. She enjoys all the wonders that Sonoma County has to offer, including traveling, outdoor activities, live theatre, and of course, spending time with her dogs. Member since 2009.


Brent Cassell

Brent bioBrent is a Vice President/Senior Financial Consultant with Charles Schwab in Santa Rosa, he received his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and then completed law school.  Since rescuing Kona his Husky Australian Shepard mix 13 years ago Brent has been active in supporting the Humane Society and joined the board in 2015.  Brent lives in Healdsburg and is actively involved in Crossfit, cycling, running and hiking.


Marty Olhiser

marty6After 43 years in the Redwood industry, Marty retired as Senior Vice President of Mendocino Forest Products. He and his wife Cheri, have lived in Sonoma County for over 38 years. They enjoy country living with their dogs, cats and farm animals. Marty is a Vietnam Veteran who served as a Dog Handler on a Combat Tracker Team. Marty and Cheri have two married sons and 6 grandchildren. Marty served on the Board of Directors of the California Redwood Association for 7 years, two as Board Chair. He served for 9 years on the Board of Directors of TrueGuard, Inc., a sister company of Mendocino Forest Products, and also served a 3 year term on the Board of Directors of the Treated Wood Council, a Washington, D.C. based group representing the Pressure Treated Wood Industry. Marty is currently working as Senior Advisor for Mendocino Forest Products and he is representing large timberland owners for his 10th year on the Timber Advisory Committee to the California State Board of Equalization.


Robert Quail

board_of_directors_clip_image002_0001Bob is a shareholder with Clement, Fitzpatrick & Kenworthy, Inc., with nearly thirty years’ experience in all aspects of business and real estate transactions for wineries and other businesses. Bob also served as Vice President/General Counsel for Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates for almost a decade. After receiving undergraduate degrees in business economics and political science from the UC Santa Barbara, Bob received his MBA and Law degrees from Santa Clara University. Bob also serves on the board of KRCB Public Broadcasting and is a former board member of the Oak Grove Union School District and of Children & Family Circle of Sonoma County. Member since 2009.


Senior Management Team

Cindy Roach, Executive Director

Cindy joined the Sonoma Humane Society in 2008 after a 14 year career with the New York Times Media Group. Her background of relationship development, customer service, sales and management were a perfect fit in our fundraising department, where Cindy worked as our Development Director for 6 years. Under her supervision, our Development team expanded our grants, planned giving, events, direct marketing and donation programs to provide sustainable support for our organization.

Most recently Cindy served as our VP of Program Development, providing leadership for our Adoptions, Behavior & Training, Veterinary Medicine and Marketing teams. Cindy is a lifelong animal lover and resident of Sonoma County. She lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Jerry and their two dogs, Maggie and Wiley, who are both alumni of the Sonoma Humane Society.


Karin Brown, Finance and HR Director

Karin joined the Sonoma Humane Society in 2016.  In her role as Finance & HR Director, Karin leads the financial and human resources team to help the organization in the allocation of resources, financial reporting and compliance.  This is the most rewarding experience she has had in her career, as she gets to participate in the welfare/well-being of people and their pets while working with a dedicated staff and amazing volunteers! 

Prior to starting her role with the Humane Society, Karin spent over fourteen years in accounting and financial management within diverse industries such as real estate development, property management, hospitality, and currently in non-profit.  Karin became quite a “foodie” while working in the Finance department for Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry.

Karin graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento.  While attending CSU Sacramento, she spent a semester in Guadalajara, Mexico as an exchange student studying the Spanish language and culture.

Raised and resided in Napa for most of her life, Karin currently resides in Sonoma County.  One of her favorite perks to her job is to office foster animals for the Humane Society.  In her free-time Karin really enjoys travel, cooking, reading and photography.


Melissa Dobar, Director of Development

MD with KittenMelissa comes to the Sonoma Humane Society with 20 years of work in non-profit management and development, serving most recently as the VP of Resource Development and Marketing for United Way of the Wine Country. Her love of animals and dedication to animal welfare, combined with her experience in fundraising, relationship development and marketing, will help us continue to expand our work.

As the Director of Development, she will provide leadership for our fundraising and development activities. She lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Dan, son Jack, four silly cats and two ridiculous dogs.

Suzanne Kernek, Director of Behavior and Training

Suzanne smilesSuzanne joined Sonoma Humane Society in February of 2011. With an extensive background in animal behavior and sheltering she has been instrumental in rebuilding SHS’s training department. Suzanne supervises staff, advises management and implements policies and procedures that directly affect the quality of life for the animals in SHS’s care. She oversees all behavior modification, life enrichment, and temperament assessments of both felines and canines. Additionally, she supervises the public dog training classes and behavior consultations.

Suzanne brings with her a very special member of the SHS team - AJ. A 4-year-old working Belgian Malinios, AJ has the distinguished title of “shelter dog assessor” and helps our rescue dogs develop better social skills, overcome fears and phobias, and assists in classes and puppy raising. Suzanne swears she couldn’t do her job nearly as well without him.

As a child, Suzanne cared for a wide range of species including small companion animals, reptiles and myriad farm animals. These days she shares her small farm in Sebastopol with horses, chickens and four dogs. All are rescue animals.


Dr. Philip Lin, DVM, Medical Director/Public Hospital

_PLB2069Dr. Lin originally joined Sonoma Humane Society in 2012 as a veterinarian in SHS’s AAHA Accredited Public Veterinary Hospital. He is currently serving as interim Medical Director for the hospital, leading the staff in providing outstanding medical, surgical and dental care to cats and dogs in the surrounding communities. He is responsible for setting and implementing medical and business policies to best serve the veterinarian and humanitarian needs of the community while generating proceeds that help support the SHS mission. Prior to joining SHS, he practiced veterinary medicine as an associate at Ross Valley Veterinary Hospital and as an intern at PetCare Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Lin completed a joint Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Masters of Business Administration degree program from Colorado State University where he was awarded the Merck Animal Health Award for the top clinical student in his veterinary school class and Beta Gamma Sigma for graduating at the top of his business school class. Philip holds a BA in economics from Columbia University. He lives in Petaluma with his wife, two young daughters, and collection of rescue cats (Doots and Clementine) and dogs (Dragon and Hazey).


Don Malone, Director of Operations

donDon began his career in 1985 as an animal control officer and later became a State Humane Officer supervisor. In his current position as Director of Operations, Don is responsible for overseeing daily operations involving animal intake, adoptions, dog training, grooming services, cremations and facility management. Don played an integral role in managing the completion and set up of Sonoma Humane Society’s current facility which opened in 2004.

A California native, Don was raised in Guerneville and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Chico. He currently resides in Santa Rosa with his wife, two children (recent college graduates), two dogs, one cat and some fish.

 Dr. Sarah Reidenbach, Director of Shelter Medicine

drsarah2Dr. Sarah Reidenbach joined Sonoma Humane Society as Director of Shelter Medicine in 2015. She previously worked as a shelter medicine fellow at San Francisco SPCA, then was hired as full-time shelter veterinarian at SF SPCA. Dr. Reidenbach worked on site at Stockton Animal Services to develop a shelter medicine program for approximately 12,000 animals per year. She subsequently worked as Medical Director at Berkeley Humane, overseeing the hospitals at both Berkeley Humane and Berkeley Animal Control.

Dr. Reidenbach studied neuroscience during her undergraduate degree at Stanford University, received her Non-Profit Management Certification from Duke University, and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from UC Davis where she was awarded the Poppy Memorial Scholarship and the J&M Fournie Scholarship for Academic excellence.

Dr. Reidenbach lives in Sebastopol with her fiancée and three kids, as well as their four rescue dogs: Tug, Maui, Skullcrusher, and Coyote Jack. She is proud to be a part of Sonoma County’s animal welfare community, and finds inspiration in the staff, supporters, and individuals who work to create a kind world for those who need it most.

Meet Our Corporate Champions



Affinity Pet Services


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Big John's Market


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Charter Sales Company, Inc.

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Chuck and Donna Hussey

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Coast Counties Peterbilt

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Codding Enterprises

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George A. Schneider, DDS

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John and Susan Prouty

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Mark Penn, Coldwell Banker


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Moss Adams LLP


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Mr. Ryder & Company Antiques and Art

Mr. Ryder & Company Antiques and Art

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Petco Foundation

Foundation1, color

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The Press Democrat

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Redwood Empire Stereocasters

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 Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery

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La Voz

September 2003

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Shannon Tracey,Cypress Financial


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Summit State Bank

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St. Francis Winery


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Todd & Lisa Sheppard

Your Sonoma County Realtors

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Teri Yolo; Pacific Union Real Estate

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Sonoma Sterling Limousines

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Trentadue Winery

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VCA Animal Hospitals


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Yogurt Time

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