Q&A with Dr. Gary Weitzman

Category: Summer 2018 228 0

Inspiring Compassion Across San Diego County

San Diego Humane Society is stepping up to help even more of the 45,000 animals who land in shelters each year

When the county announced it was going to stop providing animal services in its six contract cities, we knew we had to take action. We’re ready to greatly expand our message of care and compassion. County-wide, about 45,000 animals end up in shelters each year. Now it’s up to us to ensure they’re safe. We’re confident that the standard of care we’ve established over the course of our 138-year history will not waver, and we’ll uphold our promise of zero euthanasia for healthy or treatable pets. We’re working to make the transition as smooth as possible, but we understand this is a big change and that people may have questions.

Below are our president’s responses to some questions we’ve received so far.
What is the role of SDHS in taking on the animal service contracts for these six cities?
We’ll be providing the same essential services, like sheltering strays, enforcing animal cruelty and neglect laws, looking out for local wildlife and facilitating adoptions. For owners with lost pets, cohesive animal services means fewer places to search and likely a quicker reunion. Our Humane Law Enforcement services will also be expanded, so when animals are in trouble, residents can count on our highly trained and state-certified officers, who investigate all crimes involving animals and can perform technical rescues of animals in distress during emergencies.
How does SDHS expect to provide these services more economically and efficiently?
We’re confident that services will improve, because a number of redundancies will be eliminated. That’ll result in long-term cost savings and increased efficiency. We’re a nonprofit organization and our mission is to ensure that all healthy and treatable animals can be released into the wild or adopted into new homes whenever they’re rehabilitated. We also have more than 5,300 volunteers, who committed over 452,000 hours of their time to SDHS last year. There will be an increased level of service in each of the cities, additional resources for pet owners and coverage seven days a week. Serving them—as well as the six other cities and five Indian reservations we currently serve—means easier animal transfers, less confusion between various agencies, and expanded hours and coverage. As the first point of contact, SDHS will also be able to respond more quickly to help animals in need.
What is San Diego Humane Society’s experience with animal service contracts?
SDHS has been providing animal services in various cities since 2010. We already do so for Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos and Vista, plus five Indian reservations—Mesa Grande, Pala, Rincon, San Pasqual and Santa Ysabel. There are 45,000 animals who enter San Diego–area shelters each year, and it takes the entire community to ensure they’re all safe. So whether you volunteer, adopt, donate or partner with SDHS, you’re making a tremendous difference in the lives of the people and animals in our region.


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