Sammie's Friends

Nevada County Animal Shelter

14647 McCourtney Road

Grass Valley, CA  95949

Sammie’s Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.  The mission of Sammie's Friends is to provide medical care for the animals at the Nevada County Animal Shelter, making them adoptable, and to support other disadvantaged animals in Nevada County that without help would continue to suffer or would be euthanized.  Sammie’s Friends also operates the Nevada County Animal Shelter at 14647 McCourtney Road.

Kennel Hours:


12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Main: (530) 471-5041

Cat House: (530) 274-1955





Adopted:  May 2014

Current Age:  About 10 years old

October is...

National Pitbull Awareness Month


What is a Pitbull?

This probably seems like a silly question, but it’s important to understand what we mean when we refer to the name Pitbull.  Pitbull is an umbrella term that most people use to refer to a long list of different types of dogs that fall into the "bully" breed category.  The label Pitbull often describes mixed breed dogs that share similar physical characteristics such as a square shaped head or a bulky body type.

While there are those who may disagree with the inclusion of many specific breeds being labeled "Pitbull" type dogs, the reality is that many of these dogs are Pitbulls in the eyes of the law.  The American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and sometimes the American Bulldog are often included under this term.

Myth Busters... Know the Truth!

MYTH:  Pitbulls have locking jaws.

TRUTH:  There is no physical locking mechanism in the jaws of a pitbull, their jaw physiology is no different from any other breed.

Why do Pitbulls fill our shelters?

1. This is obviously a big question, and one with a lot of components, but the #1 reason Pitbulls fill our shelters is quite simply, overpopulation.  There is still way too much breeding and it doesn't help that Pitbulls tend to have larger litters.

Each year, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized, approximately 40% of whom are Pitbulls. This means that nearly half a million Pitbull-type dogs are killed in shelters annually.

Here at Sammie's Friends... Volunteer programs and spay/neuter campaigns have helped lower our euthanasia rate from 68% to less than 1%.

Sammie's Friends is proudly a no-kill shelter!

Tails From An Old Friend

Updates and photos from previously adopted Sammie's Friends Pitbulls.

Support our shelter Pitbulls and signup to donate just $5 a month!

Most people can afford this small amount and the good news is that it will make a huge difference for our Sammie's Friends Pitbulls.  The funds raised through this special campaign will go toward providing our shelter Pitbulls (and their new owners) with a complete Obedience Training Course.  Yep, every Pitbull that gets adopted from Sammie's Friends will get to spend quality time with their new family and learn how to always be a "better dog".  Help us give all of our bully breeds this invaluable gift.  Please sign up to donate just $5 a month!





Follow this link from a desktop computer or tablet...




We're having A Pitty Party!

Food, Fun, Big Raffle and Costume Contest

Saturday, October 27

10:00 am to 2:00 pm

at Sammie's Friends

14647 McCourtney Road

Grass Valley, CA.

National Pitbull Awareness Day is Saturday, October 27th, and Sammie’s Friends is throwing A Pitty Party to celebrate.

The whole month of October, we’ll be selling raffle tickets to win fabulous prizes, including a grand prize basket with 4 tickets to Disneyland Theme Park. We’ll also be reducing adoption fees for our adult pitbulls, and working to educate Nevada County residents about this oft-misunderstood group of dogs.

The Pitty Party is a family-friendly event with food and drinks, carnival games, pumpkin carving, a costume contest, and a free bounce house. We’ll talk about some of the myths surrounding the pitbull “breed” and have plenty of fun.

Come out to show your support for Sammie’s Friends and have a blast!

A Pitty Party Event Sponsors


Offical Event Flyer - click to enlarge


all those who signup to donate to this campaign during the month of October will be automatically entered to win 4 tickets to Disneyland in California!

Winner will be announched at

A Pitty Party on Saturday, October 27 at the shelter!


Pitbulls are beautiful in their variety, but their most appealing features are their inner qualities. Strength, confidence, a sense of humor and a zest for life are all hallmarks of the breed. They also tend to be sensitive and get their feelings hurt easily.

Properly socialized dogs are quite affectionate and friendly, even with strangers, and therefore do **not** make good guard dogs. Pitbull's are intelligent and eager to please and tend to remain playful throughout their lives. While some can be low key ‘couch potatoes,’ many others need a job to channel their enthusiasm and energy. They excel in dog sports, search and rescue work, drug and bomb detection work, and as therapy dogs.

Severe shyness, fearfulness or human-directed aggression is NOT a characteristic and of course, highly undesirable in any dog.

MYTH:  Pitbulls are more aggressive than other dogs.

TRUTH:  Aggression is not a breed characteristic or personality trait, and is not specific to any one breed of dog.

2. Breed Specific Legislation is another big reason we see so many Pibulls in our shelters. Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is a law that bans OR restricts certain types of dogs based on their appearance, usually because they are perceived as “dangerous” breeds or types of dogs. These restrictions make it extremely difficult for families to take in and sometimes keep their Pitties.

Here are some tips to help you and your dog find the perfect home together...


Adopted:   2013

Current Age:  6 1/2 years old

Offical Event Flyer - click image to enlarge

FREE Spay/Neuter Campaign

for Pitbull and Pitbull mixes in Nevada County

October 15 - October 19

The History of Pitbulls - Part I

The history of the Pitbull can be traced back to the early 1800’s in the United Kingdom. Pitbulls were originally bred from Old English Bulldogs (these dogs are similar in appearance to today’s American Bulldog) who gained their popularity on the British Isles in a cruel blood sport known as “bull baiting”. One to two Bulldogs were set to harass a bull for hours until the animal collapsed from fatigue, injuries or both. These matches were held for the entertainment of the struggling classes.

However, in 1835 the British Parliament enacted the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835, which prohibited the baiting of some animals such as the bull and bear. Once bull and bear baiting was outlawed, the public turned their attention to “ratting”. This practice pitted dogs against rats in which they were timed to see whose dog would kill the most rats in the least amount of time. The “pit” in Pitbull comes from ratting as the rats were placed into a pit so that they could not escape.

In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court passed the Animal Welfare Act of 1976. This groundbreaking act made dogfighting officially illegal in all 50 states. Today, dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most states, the possession of dogs for the purpose of fighting is also a felony offense. As well as, being a spectator at a dogfight is illegal in all states except Montana and Hawaii.


Adopted:   2010

Current Age:  11 years old

MYTH:  Pitbulls are not good family dogs.

TRUTH:  Pitbull's are actually some of the most popular types of dogs in America. According to, the American Pitbull Terrier is one of the top three favorite breeds in 28 states. Because Pitbull terriers are so popular, some people are overbreeding them and others are neglecting to spay or neuter their dogs, resulting in too many unwanted litters, which means that our animal shelters fill up with them!