San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) has a long-standing commitment to support animals and people in need. That commitment was certainly put to the test during the pandemic, but the SDHS team was able to adapt quickly to deliver programs safely and as remotely as possible.
Foster volunteers have been a huge part of the organization’s success, stepping up to care for animals in their own homes, and allowing SDHS to greatly reduce the number of animals in the shelter. SDHS used this opportunity to develop intake diversion programs that help reduce reliance on their facilities and support the ability of families to keep their animals.
A few ways SDHS provided support in this work:
- Offering free pet food for families that need it at its facilities and through human service partners, such as food banks;
- Providing assistance to families struggling to pay veterinary bills;
- Adding staff to help reunite lost pets with their families; and
- Growing the number of foster volunteers and empowering volunteers to adopt directly from their homes, decreasing the time animals spend in shelters, and freeing up resources to provide more comprehensive behavioral and medical care.
Working to keep animals with their families provides a better outcome for families and their pets.