Animal Services

Encinitas loves pets!

Our City is a pet, and pet-lover’s paradise.  With endless areas to walk, play and explore, an amazing off-leash dog park, and ample off-leash dog hours at neighborhood parks all over town, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department and the City of Encinitas always strives to provide amenities and opportunities for the enjoyment and well-being of its pet population.

Animal services in Encinitas are administered by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department, while actual services are provided through a contract with the San Diego Humane Society, which offers a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the animal-human bond, prevent cruelty/neglect, provide medical care, educate the community on the humane treatment of animals and provide safety net services for all pet families needing assistance with keeping their pets. Find additional information about animal control services below.

Annually, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department, in partnership with Cardiff 101 Main Street, holds the Cardiff Dog Days of Summer pet event, which features animal services provided by the San Diego Humane Society, dog-related vendors, rescue groups, pet adoption agencies, dog contests, live music, food and drinks and more. 

Places for On-Leash Dogs

Dogs are welcome (on 6-foot leash) at all Encinitas parks and trails.  Please keep dogs away from posted sensitive habitat areas.  Dogs are not allowed on artificial turf at athletic fields or any beach or beach access operated by the City (beaches north of San Elijo State Beach in Cardiff to Encinitas northern city limits).  

Off-Leash Places to Play!

Off-leash dogs are always welcome within the Maggie Houlihan Memorial Dog Park at Encinitas Community Park, located at 425 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas.  The approximately 2-acre dog park features areas for small dogs, timid or first time dogs, and a large lawn open to all.  Please keep dogs on-leash when walking to and from the Dog Park area within Encinitas Community Park and please obey all posted Dog Park rules.  The Dog Park is open from 8am to sunset daily, except for regular cleaning and maintenance on Thursdays from 1-3pm.  Expect temporary posted closures during rainy or wet conditions or for repairs.  

Additionally, the City of Encinitas offers three parks where your dog can be off-leash during specific hours and days. These parks are Encinitas Viewpoint Park on “D” Street, Orpheus Park on Orpheus Drive and Sun Vista Park (east) on Avenida La Posta.

Encinitas Viewpoint Park:
Cornish Drive & D Street
6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Sun Vista Park (east):
2011 Avenida La Posta
6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Orpheus Park:
482 Orpheus Drive
6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday and on Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Trail Segment 72 (Mountain Vista)
1679 Mountain Vista Drive
Located on City property underneath the SDG&E power lines between Encinitas Blvd. and Mountain Vista Drive, has been designated an off-leash dog area.

Pet Licensing, Lost and Found and Other Essential Pet Services 

The City of Encinitas contracts with the San Diego Humane Society to provide animal services. These include humane law enforcement, lost and found, licensing, spay/neuter, vaccination clinics, microchip clinics and adoptions. The San Diego Humane Society offers expanded service hours and coverage seven days a week.  

Contact information

General Information: 619-299-7012
Animal-Related Emergencies and Animal Cruelty: 619-243-3466
Lost and Found: 619-299-7012 or

Campus Locations and Hours

Viewing & Adoption Hours: Mon – Sun 10a.m. – 6p.m.

San Diego Campus
5500 Gaines St., San Diego, CA 92110

Oceanside Campus
2905 San Luis Rey Road (dogs), Oceanside, CA 92058
572 Airport Road (cats, small animals), Oceanside, CA 92058

Escondido Campus
3450 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92027

Skunks, Bats, Raccoons, Opossums, Coyotes In Your Neighborhood… 

Due to the loss of their own habitat, native species of wildlife are forced to cohabitate with humans.  This means that native wildlife such as skunks, raccoons, opossums, and coyotes end up wandering through your neighborhood and some may take up residence under homes and porches and in garages. 

Coyote Hazing Guidelines – Hazing is a method that makes use of deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable behavior or activity. Hazing can help maintain a coyote’s fear of humans and deter them from neighborhood spaces such as backyards and play spaces. Click here to view the Humane Society’s Coyote Hazing Guidelines. 

The City of Encinitas along with Project Wildlife held a community meeting on how to coexist with coyotes and other wildlife on Monday, September 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm at the Encinitas Community Center. Click here to view Project Wildlife’s presentation. 

To learn more about how to solve problems associated with closer contact with wild animals, visit these sites:

The HSUS/Fund for Animals Wildlife Center 
Project Wildlife in San Diego
California Department of Fish and Wildlife