The future of animal rescue begins now.
On July 1, the local animal rescue community celebrated a major milestone, marking the first time in San Diego history that no healthy or treatable animal would be in danger of euthanasia. Proclaimed “Save a Pet Day” by San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts and San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey, the day marked the achievement of an initiative called “Getting to Zero,” launched in 2012 by the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition (SDAWC) to eliminate the need for unnecessary euthanasia of homeless pets and make San Diego one of the pet-friendliest communities in the nation.
It was no small feat for SDAWC, with 43,000 animals entering San Diego shelters each year, but the coalition—whose members include the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility, Coronado Animal Care Facility, County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, El Cajon Animal Shelter, Friends of Cats, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, and San Diego Humane Society—worked hard together to find solutions to care for each one.
But this is just the beginning. Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society, emphasizes that sustaining the unprecedented achievement will take concentrated effort on the part of all local animal lovers.
“This achievement does not mean that all animals in San Diego are fine or that all the work here is done,” he says. “We still need our rescue partners to continue to take animals from shelters; we need the continued support of adopters, donors, and volunteers; and we need to continue to focus on spay and neuter in order to reduce the number of homeless pets that end up in shelters. That’s the only way we can stay at zero.”
Applauding the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition
Kudos to the following SDAWC members for their hard work in “Getting to Zero”: Chula Vista Animal Care Facility, Coronado Animal Care Facility, County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, El Cajon Animal Shelter, Friends of Cats, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, and San Diego Humane Society