Keeping Families Together

Category: Coalition Corner, Winter 2015 270 0
Judi Rubesh with Baby
Judi Rubesh with Baby

San Diego Humane Society and PAWS San Diego merge to form safety net of animal services.

While the love of a pet is priceless, the actual cost of caring for an animal is often prohibitive, forcing many San Diegans in need to make the life-changing decision of relinquishing their pet to a shelter.

As an alternative, one organization has dedicated its mission to providing pet food and medical care to pet owners in order to keep pets in their homes. Founded in 1993, PAWS San Diego has expanded its services and today serves more than 500 people with more than 700 pets. Now, thanks to a merger finalized in September 2014, PAWS San Diego has become a part of San Diego Humane Society’s family, uniting to form the strongest local safety net of services designed to keep pets with their families.

“Helping people keep their pets out of shelters is unequivocally the most important thing a shelter can be doing,” says Dr. Gary Weitzman, President and CEO of San Diego Humane Society.

“There is a valuable part of our population that doesn’t have any family other than their pets, and if we weren’t able to help them, they’d have to give them up,” explains Geraldine D’Silva, Executive Director of PAWS San Diego. “By merging with San Diego Humane Society, we are aligned in our missions of helping people keep their pets, helping to reduce the number of animals in shelters, and working toward the greater mission of getting to zero euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals in San Diego County.”

Under the umbrella of San Diego Humane Society, PAWS San Diego provides mobile vaccinations, spay and neuter services, and wellness care, as well as operating a food pantry. Expanded services will soon include a safe haven for the pets of domestic violence victims, programs for military members, and advocacy and landlord education to help those in need find pet-friendly housing.

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