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Escondido animal shelter joins with San Diego

INLAND CITIES — On July 1, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA and the Escondido Humane Society officially merged into a single organization, working for a more humane San Diego County. The name of the combined organization will be the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, with Gary Weitzman continuing as the president and CEO.

“We have been eagerly anticipating this day because we know how combining resources will save more of the most vulnerable animals in our community,” said Weitzman. “Our organizations have been working together to save homeless pets in San Diego County for quite some time but now we can make an even greater impact together.”

“This merger enables us to increase both efficiency and effectiveness, which translates into more animals being saved,” said Sally Costello, executive director of Escondido Humane Society. Costello officially begins her new role at San Diego Humane Society as vice president of Strategic Initiatives. However, she will spend the next six months devoted to transitioning the two organizations through implementation of integrated practices.

The shelter location in Escondido will operate as the “San Diego Humane Society, Escondido Campus,” joining the San Diego Humane Society’s existing San Diego and Oceanside Campuses.  The benefits of the merger are many, including:

—More treatable animals’ lives will be saved

—Additional resources to advance animal welfare services

—Increased services for individual pet owners when they are faced with the challenges and difficulties of separating from a beloved pet

Weitzman said, “We’ve been saving all healthy and treatable animals for several years.  Now our focus is on assisting other local animal shelters reduce the number of animals euthanized for medical and behavior reasons in San Diego County. With special veterinary care, time in a foster home, rehabilitation programs and training, these animals can now be saved.”

As organization leadership work collectively to expand programs and services, the current program offerings and community service at both organizations will continue uninterrupted.  The animal control contracts managed by the Escondido Humane Society in the cities of San Marcos, Poway and Escondido will remain in place under the new San Diego Humane Society Escondido Campus and will be fulfilled as contracted.  For more information, visit