2014 Animal Compassion Awards Winners!
The Animal Compassion Awards recognize and pay tribute to extraordinary animals and animal lovers throughout San Diego
Nominations are collected in three categories: Animal Impact, Humane Hero, and Pet-Friendly Destination.
Submissions for the 2015 Compassion Awards will be accepted in late 2014.
Animal Impact Award
This award recognizes the powerful and unique impact that people have on animals, and vice versa.
Winner: Dogs on Deployment
Military couple 1st Lt Alisa Sieber-Johnson and LT Shawn Johnson
were well aware of the challenges of a military life. What they weren't
prepared for was facing those challenges with pets. So they founded
Dogs on Deployment, a non-profit which provides an online network for service
members to find volunteers who will board their pets during their owner's
1st Lt Alisa Sieber-Johnson says, "Military members are
responsible members of the community. We should be responsible pet owners just like we are in every other aspect of our lives. To know that my husband and I have started an organization that has
made a change for the betterment of our military community is phenomenal."
Humane Hero Award
This award recognizes an individual, business, or group that goes above and beyond to help animals.
Winner: Councilmember Lorie Zapf, San Diego City Council
In 2013, San Diego became the thirty-second city in North America to
prohibit retail pet sales, making it illegal to sell dogs, cats, and rabbits
within city limits, thanks to San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf. Because of this, San Diego
is now a designated "humane city," meaning pet stores are encouraged to partner with local animal rescue groups to stop the flow of animals from puppy mills and other breeding facilities.
Councilmember Zapf says, "One less animal for retail sale means one more that will be adopted. I feel really proud that I had success in something to do with making San Diego a more humane city."
Pet-Friendly Destination Award
This award recognizes a local business that promotes and supports an extraordinary pet-friendly environment.
Winner: Jeff Levitt, Owner of SHADES Oceanfront Bistro
San Diego is consistently ranked among the pet-friendliest cities
in the nation. No one understands the importance of involving pets in our
day-to-day lives better than Jeff Levitt, owner of SHADES Oceanfront Bistro in
Ocean Beach. Jeff and his family have created a place that both people and
their pets love to visit.
Beyond that, SHADES has helped the San Diego Humane
Society and other animal welfare groups find homes for more than 175 pets in
the past two years.
Jeff says, "Anything we can do to help promote pet
adoptions within the community, we're more than happy to do; it's something we
love to do anyway, so it's just been a win-win!"