There are countless animals that endure cruelty at the hands of irresponsible owners or wander our city homeless, powerless to voice their struggles. While they share the same basic needs as humans, animals lack the ability and power to express themselves when they suffer. Thankfully, there are people who recognize the emotional connection between humans and animals and make it their mission to speak up for those who cannot. Here in America’s Finest City, we have hundreds of organizations dedicated to the health, happiness, and well-being of animals, from government-funded institutions to small volunteer-based groups. Here is a list of just a few, to inspire you to provide a loving home to an animal or contribute to their care in any other way.
Helen Woodward Animal Center
prides itself on being more than a shelter. For over 30 years, the center has provided not only humane care for animals, but pet adoption, educational programs, and also therapeutic programs for people. Del Mar resident Helen Whittier Woodward imagined a facility that would offer services to animals and humans alike, and dedicated her life to philanthropy. Her vision has been realized on 12 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, with facilities including a therapeutic riding area, an equine hospital, and boarding for cats and dogs. Programs for humans range from pet care education to helping children and adults conquer their fear of dogs. The adoption center gives sanctuary to dogs and cats, spays/neuters them, provides vaccinations and microchips, and unites the animals with loving families. Helen Woodward Animal Center is a non-profit organization that has made a huge impact on San Diego’s residents, both two-legged and four-legged, and encourages any donation in the form of financial support, time or love. 6461 El Apajo Rd. Rancho Sante Fe, CA 92067
The County of San Diego Animal Services
is a branch of our local government that has gone beyond the basic duties of animal control and has provided shelters across the city with a wide range of programs. At any of three locations in San Diego, pet owners or future pet owners can take advantage of animal sheltering, veterinary care, and adoption services. In addition, SD Animal Services is the authority for animal-related laws in San Diego, and can provide information on how to license your dog, which vaccines and forms of care are necessary, and how to prepare your pets in an emergency. Committed to responsible pet ownership and spaying and neutering, Animal Services subsidizes the procedure at dozens of participating veterinarians around San Diego, and can provide vouchers from its Spay and Neuter Fund to help defray costs. 5480 Gaines St. San Diego ,CA 92110
San Diego Humane Society and SPCA
are the oldest and largest humane society in the county and have been serving San Diego since 1880. It is committed to sheltering animals, investigating animal cruelty, rescuing animals from emergency situations, and sending animals to good homes. The organization prides itself on housing animals in apartment-like habitats, rather than kennels, reducing stress on the animals and allowing behavior trainers to spot and stop problems like chewing on furniture. Some of the group’s programs include adoptions, medical and behavior services, foster care program, pet loss support group, and educational programs for youths and adults. As a private nonprofit organization, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA welcomes donations and volunteers. 5500 Gaines St. San Diego, CA 92110
is a unique San Diego group that provides resources and services to low-income elderly, chronically ill, or disabled people to help them keep their companion animals. Founded in 1993 to assist people living with HIV/AIDS, PAWS has since expanded its services and now supports hundreds of people in San Diego. The group provides food and supplies to its clients, as well as veterinary assistance, pet transportation, and pet aftercare -- all free of charge. The simple mission of PAWS affirms the importance of animals in our lives and the strength of the bond between a human and an animal companion. 6160 Fairmount Ave. Suite I, San Diego, CA 92120