Diego Humane Society and SPCA and the Escondido Humane Society are now one
organization, united for a more humane San Diego County. This merger is about
two strong organizations coming together for greater impact in saving animal
lives. Both organizations have similar goals and missions, so it makes sense to
combine resources to work together more effectively to save the most vulnerable
animals in San Diego County.
name of the combined organization is the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA with
Dr. Gary Weitzman continuing as the President and CEO.
are these two organizations merging?
A: Escondido Humane Society and San Diego
Humane Society and SPCA have always shared the same goal of saving as many
homeless animals as possible. Each organization realizes that we can be
stronger and more effective by joining forces.
did this idea of a merger come to be?
Both organizations have been collaborating for several years on
animal welfare initiatives. Discussions of how to better work together for the
animals naturally evolved into a joint desire to formally combine operations,
expertise and resources for a greater impact in the community.
will be the name of the organization?
A: The combined organization will
operate under the name “San Diego Humane Society and SPCA” with the Escondido Campus
representing the physical location.
leadership change through this merger?
A: Dr. Gary Weitzman will serve as President
of the new San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. Sally Costello will transition
from Executive Director of Escondido Humane Society to Vice President of
Strategic Initiatives of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA.
is this happening now? Both groups have been functioning separately for years
and things have been fine. What inspired this decision?
A: No one event contributed to this decision,
but both organizations have worked with each other for years and believe more
can be accomplished by uniting as one organization. Friendly discussions
between Board members and management have evolved into a more formal strategy
that will maximize resources so more animal lives can be saved.
are the similarities of the agencies?
organizations perform rescue, spay/neuter, foster, adoption and sheltering
services in addition to community outreach, education programming and animal
will Escondido Humane Society add to San Diego Humane Society and SPCA and vice
A: Escondido Humane Society has been caring
for homeless animals in northeast San Diego County since 1915, and has a strong
track record of rescuing and re-homing stray and owner relinquished animals.
Their programs will continue to serve the community but will have an enhanced
capacity to rehabilitate ill, injured, and behaviorally challenged animals. San
Diego Humane Society and SPCA will enhance Escondido Humane Society’s existing
program infrastructure with additional resources in the areas of veterinary
medical rehabilitation and behavior modification.
are the philosophical differences between the organizations?
A: Both organizations share a similar
philosophical approach to saving homeless animals.
can we be sure that both organizations really do share the same values?
A: As part of the due diligence process going
into the merger, core values of each organization were thoroughly examined. The
process also included gaining stakeholder input to gain perspective on relevant
issues and philosophies.
the foster programs similar?
A: Yes, both organizations have a strong
commitment to increasing and enhancing existing foster care programs that will
be instrumental in increasing the number of animal lives saved. Expanded
community involvement and more volunteers will help grow this program.
you going to continue Escondido Humane Society programs?
A: The intent is to honor and continue all
programs that enable lifesaving efforts and support the commitment to medically
and behaviorally rehabilitate as many animals as possible. There appears to be
some program overlap that will enable combining the best of both for a greater
impact, which is the obvious benefit of a merger.
type of programs will increase?
A: Expanding needs-based programs to help
underserved populations in the community with their pets, as well as greater
access to affordable spay/neuter, are immediate program expansion goals.
special events will continue under the new organization?
A: Paws in the Park and Tails at Twilight are
signature events for Escondido Humane Society and plans are to continue these
successful events. The San Diego Humane Society’s major special events will
will happen to the Escondido Humane Society location and sheltering facility?
A: Escondido Humane Society’s facility on East
Valley Parkway will remain in its current location, continuing to provide
service to the people and animals of the community as the “San Diego Humane
Society’s Escondido Campus.”
will happen to the Escondido Humane Society off-site adoption locations?
A: These locations are terrific for sharing
adoptable animals with the community and will continue to play a vital role in
the new organization.
will this merger affect volunteers?
A: Volunteers are the backbone of so many
successful programs for both organizations, so it’s critical to have their
support and input as we merge. Both organizations currently have a strong
volunteer programming infrastructure with the capacity to strengthen and grow
through this evolutionary collaboration.
will happen to the animal field services for Escondido, Poway, San Marcos and
the Pala, Rincon and San Pasqual Indian reservations?
A: These communities will continue receiving
animal field services provided by San Diego Humane Society with animal field
services teams located at each campus.
will this merger impact relationships with Adoption Partners and Rescue Groups?
A: Since the goal of this merger is to
strengthen and increase the capacity to save more lives, relationships with
Adoption Partners and Rescue Groups are vital in this process with the hope of
all campuses use the same behavior assessments, adoption criteria and
A: An operations leadership committee
comprised of directors and managers from both organizations will integrate
policies, procedures, and activities to ensure consistency and cohesiveness
with the adoption process, the behavior evaluation process, and all other
lifesaving protocols. Exemplary customer service to adopters and visitors will
remain paramount in this process.
will the euthanasia policy be for the combined organization?
A: Both organizations are fortunately able to
save all healthy and treatable animals in their
care. Euthanasia is only considered for severely sick or injured animals, or
those that are found to be behaviorally unsound. The ultimate goal of the
merger is to combine resources and work toward eliminating unnecessary
euthanasia of treatable animals in all San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition
shelters by increasing capacity to save ill, injured, or behaviorally
changes be made to any of the campus facilities?
A: We are continuously evaluating how we
utilize all of our facilities to most effectively and efficiently serve the
community and the animals in our care.
service hours remain the same at each campus?
A: At this time, service hours will continue
to remain the same for each campus.
is the ultimate goal of the one, merged organization?
A: The ultimate goal is to eradicate
unnecessary euthanasia of treatable animals in all San Diego Animal Welfare
Coalition shelters by saving as many animals as possible through the Getting To
Zero initiative launched in 2012.
is the biggest challenge to achieving that goal?
A: Ensuring that there is a steady stream of
funding and available resources, including volunteers and foster homes, to
enable us to focus on San Diego County’s most at-risk animals.