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 and Recreation 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 Department, while actual services are provided through a contract with the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services. Services include: dog licensing, emergency medical care for injured dogs and cats that are found without owners, adoption services, owner notification of lost licensed dogs, public education and information programs, rabies prevention efforts, enforcement of local and state animal control and anti-cruelty laws, control of vicious dogs, spay-neuter referral and information, kennel licensing and inspection, and humane management of old, injured or unwanted animals.

Annually, the Parks and Recreation Department, in partnership with the County of San Diego, holds a pet event during the summer months, offering information about pet services, clinics, demonstrations and great socialization for pets and their owners.  Check back for more information about the plans for a revamped event in 2017!

Places for On-Leash Dogs

Dogs are welcome (on 6-foot leash) at all of Encinitas' neighborhood and community parks.  Dogs are not allowed at City sports 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.

Dog Licensing, Lost Animals and Shelters 

The City contracts with the San Diego County Department of Animal Services to provide animal and pet related services. These include enforcement of animal laws, regulations and ordinances, provision of licensing and adoption services, and sheltering of lost and abandoned animals.

The Department of Animal Services operates a website that provides additional information about their services. The North San Diego County Shelter, located at 2481 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad, can be reached by at (760) 438-2312 regarding lost pets, stray or injured dogs in your neighborhood, to report a dangerous or threatening animal or to inquire about pet adoptions and licensing.

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.

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