Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) has been helping the South Bay's animals since 1929, but, as you might expect from its location near the epicenter of technological innovation, it's anything but old-school. As we reported last year, its Milpitas Animal Community Center, opened in 2009, was the first such facility on the West Coast to earn LEED Gold certification for energy efficiency, and the members-only dog park is quite popular. So are the other critter-friendly animal services at the center, such as grooming, training, medical center and a pet store, with all proceeds benefiting HSSV.
Creative thinking also rules the day when it comes to finding homes for the area's dogs (and cats, rabbits, et al.) in need. Local rescues bring their adoption candidates to HSSV for weekly adoption events. If it's a better match for the dog, HSSV will place a dog with a rescue or a foster parent. Collaboration rose to a new level in October when the We C.A.R.E. (Community Alliance to Reduce Euthanasia) Coalition — comprising Humane Society Silicon Valley, Town Cats, Santa Clara County Animal Services, City of Palo Alto Animal Services, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, and City of San Jose Animal Care and Control — launched its first adoption campaign.
As HSSV's Chief Operating Officer, Beth Ward realized, "we all have the same goal" — to get those animals out of the shelters and into loving homes. A pilot project, Empty our Shelters, in which the six groups joined forces in October 2011, was so successful, with 754 pets adopted in a two-week period, that they decided to try for 1,000 during the holiday season with their "Home for the Holidays" $10 Pet Adoption promotion. Marketing Manager Kelly Grant reports that the final number is 1128 dogs adopted, well exceeding the goal. That's good news for a lot of dogs, including Summer here, who's been in foster care with HSSV since July, after her owner passed away. Her snuggly ways were just the thing for a couple who were looking for a new family member on Saturday, and now she's home!
Summer photo: Ralf Weber Photography