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Fetch – November 2018 – Safehouse


When owners can’t care for their pets, the Animal Safehouse Program is the safety net


We often refer to the Animal Safehouse Program at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society as the “Safety Net” for the pets of domestic violence victims, veterans, seniors, active duty military, and families in crisis. This could not have been more evident than when a dog named Roxy came to stay with us recently.


When she arrived at Rancho Coastal Humane Society, “Roxy” was confused and anxious. Her owner, “Martha”, had suffered a medical emergency that resulted in her being taken to the hospital by ambulance.


San Diego Humane Society Animal Control took Roxy to its shelter for safe keeping, then contacted the Animal Safehouse Program at RCHS. Martha was going to be in the hospital longer than SDHS would be able to care for Roxy. Her date to reclaim Roxy would come and go. She would be put up for adoption unless RCHS took her into the Animal Safehouse Program.


We were able to get Roxy transferred into our care. While she was here, we updated her vaccinations and ran a series of tests to identify any medical conditions that might be common in a 12 year old Shepherd mix dog.

Once we were confident that she was okay, we placed Roxy in foster care with a RCHS volunteer. How did that go? Well, it took Roxy about two minutes to find out where the couch was and make herself right at home.


Safehouse Coordinator Justina Kirkland says, “Roxy warmed our hearts for 21 days until she was able to reunite with her family.  By taking her dog into our care, we were able to decrease Martha’s stress because she no longer had to worry about possibly losing her beloved pet during her medical crisis. The increase in Oxycontin and decrease in stress hormone levels ultimately gave Martha a better chance for recovery. This is another example of how RCHS shows their support for the overall physical and mental health of all people and their pets.”


There is never a charge for the services provided by the Animal Safehouse Program. We rely on you and your generosity to keep this program running.


Find out how you can help. Visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 765-753-6413, or log on to



Fetch – November 2018 – Chili

Chili got the emergency surgery he needed to walk again

UPDATE!! Chili has been adopted!!

His story is still very special to us. Please read below…


Chili had a rash when he was transferred to your Rancho Coastal Humane Society through our FOCAS program. That’s an easy fix with medication and a few days wearing the “cone of shame” to keep him from scratching. His behavior assessment said Chili, a 6-year-old, 32-pound Bassett Hound mix, was social and affectionate.

He was adopted and went to his new home to live happily ever after. Shortly after that, we got a call from Chili’s adopter. He wasn’t able to use his hind legs!

Situations like this are usually due to a trauma. A leap off the bed. A fall off a wall. A twist or turn that went the wrong way. But Chili had done none of that.

His owner took him to a specialist who determined that Chili dog had ruptured a disc. That, combined with internal bleeding, were putting pressure on his spine and taking away his ability to walk. He needed surgery and he needed it right away.

The bill for Chili’s surgery was going to be about $10,000. $10,000 that his owner could not afford. With no other options, she surrendered Chili back to RCHS.

Kathy Zerkle, Vice President of Adoption Services, says Chili’s chance of full recovery was 95% if he got surgery right away. If we delayed, his chances dropped to less than half.

Even with the discount that the surgeon and hospital gave to RCHS, the surgery was still going to cost around $4,000. We don’t have that much money just lying in our emergency medical fund waiting to be spent. But Chili needed help and he needed it right away. So we took a leap of faith and scheduled his surgery.

It was a complete success! There were a few more days wearing the cone while he recovered. You can see the patch on his back where the fur is growing back. Kathy says that Chili is back to his old self and ready to be adopted, but he’s still not telling us how he hurt himself.

The medical fund at RCHS needs to be replenished. We might have a few weeks before a big need comes along, but it might happen tomorrow. When that happens, we want to make sure we can give the next animal the same chance that we gave Chili dog.

Please consider making a donation. For more information (or to meet Chili dog) visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas or call 760-753-6413.

Chili is a perfect example of what we mean when we say Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow®.


President’s Letter – Fetch – December 2018



It’s the most wonderful time. . .

‘Tis the season to be jolly. . .

You better not pout, you better not cry. . .

Rancho Coastal Humane Society takes care of others in need.  The holidays can be a difficult time for some.  Our Animal Safehouse Program brings comfort and safety to pets of owners in crisis.  Our Community Pet Food Banks feed the pets of local residents who would otherwise be forced to choose who eats.  Our Pet-Assisted Therapy Program brings tail-wagging entertainment to those who don’t get out.  Our Education Program continues to teach the importance of human-animal bonding to our children.   Our active military and veterans get food, medicine and temporary shelter for their pets.  RCHS is the place to turn to when unexpected things happen.

RCHS brings joy and cheer to others.  Our San Diego Wildlife Center spends long days and nights restoring the health of injured wildlife so we can soar with the songbirds when they are released in flight.  Our Thrift Shop helps you find that perfect gift for your best friend – feline, canine or human – and just the right touches to make your home sparkle with holiday bliss.  Our Shelter provides the perfect place to meet your soulmate – a furry companion to fill your heart and your home. Nothing feels better than coming home to a house where you are greeted with a pet that thinks you have been away forEVER when it was just an hour!

So, as we hum along to the carols (or, if your husband is not a musician, sing out loud, but off-key), let’s make a list – and check it twice – of everything for which we are grateful, all the people to whom we have offered a helping paw, all the wildlife we have restored to their environment, all the pets that have shown us true love, and all companion animals waiting for their second chance at FURever homes!

Thank you for your loyalty, confidence and support.  Wishing you all the best this Holiday Season!





Fetch – November 2018 – Wildlife Center

Tarzan’s story and his new happy ending

This story was planned to be in Fetch last month. The Woolsey fire prompted us to hold off and anxiously wait before writing a new ending and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Baby season was in full swing and every nook and cranny of your Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s new San Diego Wildlife Center (the Center) had patients in need of care.  The Center does not turn away any wildlife due to space. We got a call about an orphaned squirrel being hand-raised by his rescuer. When he tried to release the baby into the wild, it kept coming back. Realizing it had not been a wise plan to try and raise it himself, he brought it to SDWC for a second chance. It was going to be a challenge, but we were happy to find a spot for the squirrel and try our best.

We learned quickly that this squirrel was special. He learned to pop the top off his enclosure, run out of the exam room, and climb up to a staff member’s shoulder on his first day. It was cute, but it’s not what we want for a squirrel who needs to survive in the wild.

We created a secure enclosure and gave him plenty of things to do that were more appropriate for a wild squirrel. He soon fell in love with swinging around the furnishings. That’s how this guy soon became referred to as “Tarzan.”  We are careful not to name wildlife so we can stay true to our permits and not convey them as pets. But once in a while, we just have to use a fitting name to describe them.

After a few months he finally started acting like a wild squirrel. He became protective of his environment and started making a nest. We had done well, but he still wasn’t ready to live with other wild squirrels. We contacted several facilities before finding what he needed. He was going to a wildlife facility in Malibu for “squirrel lessons.”

He handled the trip with ease and adapted quickly to his new outdoor enclosure at the facility.  Location is everything…even for a squirrel. It didn’t take him long to meet the pretty female squirrel in the next enclosure. His nest building skills were going to come in handy. His progress was monitored daily as watched the others and learned …how to be a proper squirrel.

Life was good. He was about to be released along with his nest box and a friend to begin his new life, high in the Malibu trees. Then the Woolsey Fire broke out in his area of Malibu. In addition to the people and pets who live there, our thoughts turned to Tarzan.

We’re happy to report that Tarzan, the Malibu facility, and the other squirrels in his neighborhood are fine. They held back the releases to keep them safe. They are now on their way to the trees, thanks to their dedicated care providers and the firefighters.

Thank you for supporting your Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s San Diego Wildlife Center where Together we Save Lives.


Fetch – December 2018 – Events & Reminders


December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. That goes for pets as well as people.


4:       World Wildlife Conservation Day. A great day to learn more about the RCHS San Diego Wildlife Center.

7:       Faux Fur Friday. The only real fur to wear is what you missed with the lint roller.

8:       Prohibition Repeal Party – Hosted by The Roxy Encinitas – Benefiting RCHS

14:      National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Visit the RCHS Thrift Shop in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Brian will sell you the Ugly Sweater off his back!

14-16: Community Resource Center’s Holiday Baskets event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Holiday Baskets provides a free shopping experience to over 6,000 people in need, including more than 3000 children, 300 seniors, and survivors of domestic violence. Participants select holiday gifts, including blankets, outerwear, toys, 500 bikes, infant and toddler items and more. Each family also receives a 50-pound food box for a holiday meal, a chicken or turkey, fresh produce and staples for two weeks. RCHS will distribute food for dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, birds etc. CRC will distribute remaining pet supplies on Sunday, December 16.
For more information visit  or call 760-753-1156.

15:      Cat Herders Day (Yeah…Good luck with that.)

21:      Underdog Day. Come visit our kennels to meet your perfect dog!

24:     Christmas Eve (RCHS Closes at 3:00 PM)

25:     Christmas Day (RCHS Closed)

26-1/1:  Kwanzaa

29:      Pet Food Bank open 9 – 11 AM

The RCHS Community Pet Food Bank is at the shelter.

The Pet Food Bank is open the first and third Saturdays of each month 9 – 11 AM.
Contact the shelter for other distribution points throughout San Diego County.

31:     New Year’s Eve (RCHS Closes at 3:00 PM)

The Military Working Dog Memorial (MWD) at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society is the only private memorial of its kind west of the Mississippi river. The MWD memorial pays tribute to those who stood in harm’s way…on two feet or four paws. For more information or to purchase a memorial brick call 760-753-6413, visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, or log on to

Your Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop at 120 Aberdeen Drive in Cardiff-by-the-Sea supports the RCHS programs and services for people and pets.
On Sunday shoppers take an extra 50% off select non-apparel.
On Monday shoppers take an extra 50% off select apparel.
On Thursdays save 25% off select merchandise storewide.
Donations can be dropped off at the Thrift Shop or call 760-753-0970 to arrange for pick up. Be sure to “Like” Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop on Facebook.


Fetch – November 2018 – Pet of the Month

Jack Skellington

Jack Skellington is the Fetch pet of the month at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society.  He’s a 2-year old, 11-pound, male, Domestic Short Hair cat with a Red Tabby coat.

Like the character in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington is an outgoing guy who demands attention. This Jack really likes hanging out on the shoulders of his human friends. He loves meeting new people and making friends. Jack Skellington will probably do best in a home where his new family has plenty of time to play with him.

Jack was found as a stray then taken to another shelter. He stayed there until he was transferred to Rancho Coastal Humane Society through the Friends of County Animal Shelters (FOCAS) program.

The $100 adoption fee for Jack Skellington includes medical exams, vaccinations, neuter and registered microchip. For more information call 760-753-6413, visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, or log on to
Kennels and Cattery open 11 AM to 5 PM every day but Tuesday.

If this isn’t a good time to adopt, please make a donation by sponsoring a pet until it becomes available for adoption. After all, Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow®.















Fetch – November 2018- Donor spotlight

This month we’re spotlighting almost 300 donors!

Each month in Fetch we spotlight a Rancho Coastal Humane Society donor. This month we decided to focus on someone who donated on Giving Tuesday. It was impossible to pick just one person.

An anonymous donor told us that, if other RCHS supporters would donate $50,000, they would match it. We would spotlight that person, but, as we said, they’re anonymous.

So, we’re saluting the nearly 300 Rancho Coastal Humane Society supporters who made donations on Giving Tuesday!

  • The family who drove to Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s San Diego Wildlife Center in Carlsbad to drop off their check.
  • When Thrift Shop Manager Brian Cook heard we would be accepting donations starting at 7:00, he opened the Thrift Shop in Cardiff-by-the-Sea three hours early. People dropped off Giving Tuesday donations then went shopping!
  • There was a lady waiting at the entrance to the shelter in Encinitas. She told us, “I wanted to make sure I was the first one here.”
  • A little girl came in with her parents. While they were talking to the volunteers at the front desk, she stood on her tippy toes and dropped her change in the donation box. (She doesn’t know that we saw her.)

Which of the donations was the most important? Some people would say that it was the $50,000 donation. It encouraged others to donate. Yes, it was important.

There was the donor who called that evening to see if we were going to hit the goal of $50,000. Since that $50,000 could possibly become $100,000, he wanted to make sure RCHS didn’t fall short.

There were $100 dollar donors whose donations became $200 thanks to the matching gift. The $50 donations became $100. The $20 donations grew to $40. The very first donation was for $10. The second it was submitted, it became $20.

Then there was that little girl. Her coins don’t amount to a lot on a spread sheet, but it says so much about you and your support of Rancho Coastal Humane Society. And it’s a sign of a bright future for people and animals.

As RCHS President Judi Sanzo said, “We give because you give. Together we save lives!”

You can donate any time at RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, by calling 760-753-6413, or online at

Fetch – November 2018 – Thrift Shop

That has GOT to be the ugliest sweater EVER!

The holiday season is especially fun at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop at 120 Aberdeen Drive in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. You never know what’s waiting for you. We went to check out the Christmas display that Thrift Shop Manager Brian Cook had been bragging about since the Halloween and Thanksgiving merchandise sold out.

The Sporting Goods section still had bicycles, footballs, baseball, and basketball equipment. There was less beach gear and more skiing supplies than during summer.

Just inside we stopped to say hello to Jimmy. He’s a regular guest at the Thrift Shop. He doesn’t spend money, but he lets everybody pet him. Good boy Jimmy!

The Thrift Shop was full of people looking for bargains, folks dropping off donations, and a few others asking how it works when you buy a Thrift Shop gift card for Christmas.

Other-Brian was standing in front of a mirror in the Furniture department asking Other Other-Brian (John has started calling him B-3-P-O)  how long it will be before his beard turns white enough for him to be the Thrift Shop Santa. He practiced a “Ho, Ho Ho,” until Erin told him to knock it off and unload the new donations that just arrived on The Beast (our big truck.)

We asked John where we could find Brian. He said, “You can’t miss him! Head through the new living room furniture and the big screen TV that just got here. Take a right at the Women’s Clothing department. Just past the Jewelry counter, look for the ugliest doggone Christmas sweater you can imagine. Brian’s wearing it.”

The Thrift Shop was beautiful with decorated trees, kid’s toys, Christmas pet supplies, outdoor and indoor decorations, and an antique model car with Santa behind the wheel.

In the middle of all this holiday beauty…there was Brian wearing a sweater that put the “Ug” in ugly. It was a mish mash of reindeers, elves, and Santas. Fat Santas. Thin Santas. Santas who looked like they wanted to go back to the North Pole for egg nog.

Brian, Really?

“Sorry. Can’t help myself. I love it! But I noticed a couple customers keep staring at me. I’m going to take it off and hold an auction to see which one of them wants it more.”

As we headed out through the bedroom furniture, Brian broke into his auctioneer chant. “Whaddya gonna give me for this sweater? Can I get an opening bid?”

See Video HERE!

We’re still accepting ugly Christmas sweaters and other donations at Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s Thrift Shop at 120 Aberdeen Drive in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. You can drop them off at the Thrift Shop or call 760-753-0970 to arrange for pick up. Be sure to “Like” Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop on Facebook.

The money raised at the Thrift Shop helps people and animals when they need it most. We have to be successful. Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow®.


Fetch – December 2018 – Foster care

The Gift of Foster Care. Sponsor a present under somebody else’s tree!

How does your Rancho Coastal Humane Society still have so many kittens this close to Christmas? That’s an easy question to answer. It’s because of our foster care providers!

Foster Care volunteers at RCHS make it possible for us to transfer mommy cats and dogs with their litters from other shelters. In many cases, the other shelters just aren’t equipped to handle young litters that need round the clock care.

Thanks to RCHS foster care volunteers, these little families stay together until the babies are old enough to be adopted.

The kittens and puppies get the nutrition and parental guidance that helps them grow up to be wonderful healthy, social pets.

We realize that providing in-home foster care for a litter, a pet recovering from surgery, or a pet adjusting to life after an emotional trauma isn’t for everyone. But anyone can support this life saving program.

  • Become a Foster Hero and make a monthly pledge to help us continue saving kitten and puppy litters all year long.
  • Help RCHS and save money by doing business with our Pet Pals. Click here for more information.
  • This is an ideal time of year to purchase a brick at the Military Working Dog Memorial at RCHS. You can honor a pet, a person, a business, or the military working dogs and their handlers who have helped to keep us all safe.

Back to that part where we mentioned sponsoring a pet under somebody else’s tree. Petunia and her three newborn kittens were transferred to RCHS from another shelter through the Friends of County Animal Shelters (FOCAS) program. The other shelter wasn’t able to provide the care this little family needed. Thanks to a volunteer foster care provider and your support, Petunia and her babies were able to get the medical care and attention they needed. With Christmas approaching, they’re available for adoption. Thanks to you, they’ll be presents under someone else’s tree.

Just one more thing. How much of a difference are foster care volunteers making? During October and November they provided in-home care for 9 dogs/puppies and 22 cats/kittens who are all now in their forever homes. That’s 31 pets who are alive today thanks to you and your support of Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

For more information visit the shelter at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to







Meet Tina. Just-tina.

You might say that she hit the ground running when Justina Kirkland joined your Rancho Coastal Humane Society as Coordinator of the Animal Safehouse Program. Within a few days she began taking in pets from domestic violence victims, veterans, and families in-crisis.

Within just a few days, Justina began changing lives.

RCHS created the Animal Safehouse Program in the late 90’s as the safety net for the pets of domestic violence victims. While there were shelters for the human victims and their children, those shelters were not equipped to care for their pets. Pets left behind were likely to become the new victims. So the human victims stayed. They took the abuse so their pets didn’t have to.

When Safehouse took the pets that opened the door for the human victims to break the chain of violence and escape it changed lives. In some cases it saved lives.

In recent years ASP has grown to help others who needed temporary care for their pets. There are others in crisis situations who just need someone to take their pets so they can save themselves.

During her first week at RCHS Justina explained to us, “My name is Justina, but you can call me Tina. Just Tina.”

She discovered right away that the need for Safehouse has grown for veterans in recent years. Some require temporary hospitalization. They want their pets when they’re released. They just need someone to take care of them for a while.

Justina is looking at Safehouse and potential clients on a broader scale than ever before. She says the need is there, and it’s our responsibility to fill that need.

There is never a charge for the clients of the Animal Safehouse Program. All services for ASP clients are free. Our payment comes when a domestic violence victim escapes, a veteran comes to the shelter to pick up their dog, or when we reunite a pet with a family that has been going through difficult time.

For more information about the Animal Safehouse Program created by Rancho Coastal Humane Society or to make a donation log on to or call 760-753-6413. Better yet, visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, where Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow. ®

One of the most important rescues in our 58 years

It’s one of the most impacting and urgent rescues in the 58 year history of your Rancho Coastal Humane Society. We joined with other organizations to rescue 20 dogs and puppies from an Arkansas shelter where people were staging dog fights and using the shelter dogs as “bait.”

On the morning of October 25th we got a call from our friend Erin Boyd Robbins with Wings of Rescue. She had been monitoring the Humane Society of the Delta in Helena, AR where they had several break-ins. When the bad guys broke in through a fence, they would take dogs out of their kennels and force them to square off. In some cases they would throw dogs into other dog’s kennels to fight over food. In other cases they would bring their own fighting dogs and use the shelter dogs as “bait.”

There were always injuries. For the fortunate dogs, they were minor. For those less fortunate, they were fatal.

We need to point out two things.

  • These are not fighting dogs. These are pets forced into situations where they had no control.
  • The staff at Humane Society of the Delta was doing everything in their power to stop the break-ins. 

The Humane Society installed cameras, but the bad guys stole them. They got new cameras. The bad guys stole them, too. Staff members began doing drop-ins throughout the night. Eventually some staff members began sleeping at the shelter to protect the dogs.

Erin called us in the morning then things moved quickly. The dogs were driven from Helena, Arkansas to Clarksdale, Mississippi where they were loaded on a plane for a 6 hour flight.


RCHS staff was waiting when the Wings of Rescue flight sponsored by landed in El Cajon at 11:30 that night. We unloaded the dogs then drove them to the shelter where they settled in for the night.

First thing Friday morning we began their health and behavior examinations. In addition to the tests we perform on dogs from this area, we’re also running tests for medical issues common in the south. RCHS is accepting donations to help cover costs…which is about $650 per dog.

As you’re reading this, the first of the adult dogs are becoming available. The puppies are expected to become available for adoption on November 9th.

We need you. We need your support. This is what we mean when we say “Together we Save Lives.”

For more information call 760-753-6413, log on to, or visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, where Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow.®

Plane arrives:

First person off the plane:

First crate off the plane:

Second crate:

Third crate:

Fourth crate:


Puppies on the tarmac:

Jessica cleaning a puppy:

Puppies in crates:

Erin Boyd Robbins:

How does my new puppy already know so much?

A few days after adopting her 3 month old puppy from your Rancho Coastal Humane Society a lady asked, “How does my puppy already know so much stuff?”

Like what?

She said it wasn’t 100%, but more than half the time he would “Sit” when she told him to sit. He was coming along great and learning to “Shake” and “Lie Down.”

Our staff and volunteers work on training and behavior every day here at the shelter. In the case of this puppy, his progress was because of his foster care provider.

When he was transferred from another shelter through our FOCAS program, he needed some medical attention, vaccinations, and neuter surgery. He recovered in a private home with one of our foster volunteers. By the time he was ready to be adopted, he already had a month of training.

Jessica Stergos is your RCHS Foster Coordinator. She says the Foster program is always active, but this summer was particularly busy. Between June and September there were 41 dogs and puppies and 133 cats and kittens in our Foster program. That’s 174 pets who might not have had a chance without our Fosters.

Jessica points out that that 133 cats and kittens includes 33 litters of kittens. It’s pretty easy to take in 8 week old kittens then find their new families in a few days. But when they’re only a week old, or five weeks or even seven weeks, they’re not old enough to be adopted and they need a quiet, comfortable environment.

While many shelters and rescues have Foster programs, a lot of them just aren’t able to handle these babies. Foster care volunteers are saving lives.

Find out how you can become a Foster Care Provider. Or, if this isn’t a good time for you to foster, please make a donation to help pay for the care of these pets until they’re ready to return to the shelter and be adopted from your Rancho Coastal Humane Society, where Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow. ®

How many ways can we Thank You?

You do so much to help the people and animals touched by your Rancho Coastal Humane Society that we’re running out of ways to thank you.

In Sweden it would be “Tack.” Italian for Thank You is “Grazie.” It’s “Merci” in France and “Danke” in Germany.

Please accept our sincerest “Arigato” for making the 2018 Celebration of Second Chances one of the most successful ever! This year’s Celebration raised almost $200,000.

There was a beautiful sunset over the ocean during the reception at Cape Rey Carlsbad. Great food and amazing auction items.

The highlight of the evening was when Tiffani Farrington shared her story about losing her dog, Lance, and how she met Declan when she came to RCHS to make a donation to help the dogs waiting to be adopted.

So tonight, I moved through my fear of public speaking. I stood up in front of 350 people to tell the story of losing Lance and finding Declan… and it was really beautiful how deeply people connected with our story. Thank you to Dean Janis for the introducing me to Rancho Coastal Humane Society and for the lovely introduction tonight… and thank you to Sam Tollin for helping me practice and review my speech, for accompanying me, and for providing so much love and support. This was an amazing night… much more to come!! Lots of areas to grow and improve, but that’s the fun part… I survived and actually enjoyed this experience tremendously!! ❤️❤️

Posted by Tiffani Farrington on Sunday, October 14, 2018

It’s the one night of the year when RCHS supporters and animal lovers gather to celebrate the pets in our lives. The pets who make our lives better. The bond we share thanks to animals who share our homes and our hearts.

As we said, there are lots of ways to say “Thank You.”

  • In our kennels it can be as simple as a wagging tail or a play bow.
  • In the cattery a gentle rub by a kitten or the purr of a cat.
  • In the rabbitat it’s a lick or a bunny dancing in a circle.

One more time….Please accept our thanks from the staff and volunteers of your Rancho Coastal Humane Society….where Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow. ®

One more thing….be sure to watch the out-takes at the end.

Sunbear – The perfect dog

Sunbear had hyperthyroidism, a spot on her left eye, several broken teeth, hip dysplasia and arthritis in both hips, and poor appetite when she was transferred to your Rancho Coastal Humane Society from another shelter through our FOCAS program.

She was perfect!

Sunbear is a 6-1/2 year old, 65 pound, female, St. Bernard / Clumber Spaniel mix. She has a face and a smile that will melt your heart.

Two days after she arrived at RCHS, Sunbear had a behavior assessment.

Sunbear was easy and comfortable for handling and let us move her and lift her with no problem. She did have a hard time getting into the van and needed to be lifted. She met a crazy, 6 month old puppy and was fine with him being all over her. She was more interested in toys and attention from us.

With her health concerns, Sunbear spent quite a bit of time in our Medical department. Registered Veterinary Technician Lauran Ruiz took Sunbear home overnight to give her a break from the kennels.

  I took Sunbear on an overnight and she was a great houseguest. Respectful and unfazed by the 2 small grumpy senior dogs in the house. Playful and sweet with the young large pit mix, even did a couple play bows and playful barks. She stood by the back door to get let out to use the bathroom, no accidents inside. She even met 2 rabbits (through a baby gate) and was not particularly interested in them. Her tail never stopped wagging the whole time she was at our house.

There’s an old saying that, “Sometimes love sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” Lauren found her perfect dog in the room where she works. Now Sunbear is with Lauren every night. Her tail still wags constantly. And that smile…

The chances of a dog with Sunbear’s medical concerns being transferred from one shelter to another are not good. That’s taking somebody else’s problem and making it our problem.

Sunbear was able to come to RCHS…to meet Lauren…because of you! Your donations make it possible for us to provide the treatment that pets like Sunbear need. This is another example of what we mean at RCHS when we say, “Together we save lives.”

For more information or to make a donation visit your Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to

Thank you for supporting Rancho Coastal Humane Society where Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow. ®

It’s that Wishin’ time of year.

Some of us still remember the thrill when the Sears “Wish Book” was delivered in the fall. We couldn’t wait to pour through it and pick everything we wanted for Christmas.

There were the store windows to watch so we could let our families know where they could find the perfect gifts that we wanted most.

Sometimes it was the newspaper that was conveniently opened to the ad for what you wanted then left next to Mom and Dad’s morning coffee.

For the people and animals served by your Rancho Coastal Humane Society, every day is a wishing day. Most of our wishes are pretty simple.

  • We wish you would donate your gently used towels and blankets.
  • We wish you would drop off the clothing you no longer wear at the Thrift Shop.
  • We wish you would take a look at the Wish List as your planning to make year-end donations.
  • We also wish you would encourage your friends to join you in supporting the ongoing work of your Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

We can’t do this alone. As we’ve told you so many times, “Together We Save Lives.”

Right now we wish you would take a minute to scan the Wish List to see if there’s anything we need that you already have. Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow. ®

What’s that pig doing in your Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop?

After 58 years you would think that nothing surprises us anymore when we walk into your Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop at 120 Aberdeen Drive in Cardiff by the Sea. You would think so. But…no.

We stopped next door at the donut shop, then walked past the bicycles and wets suits in Sporting Goods into your RCHS Thrift Shop to look for Halloween costumes. Two seconds later we heard someone ask, “Why is that swine in here?”

It wasn’t an angry question. More matter-of-fact. Like asking Thrift Shop Manager Brian Cook “Where are the ugly Christmas sweaters?”

Other-Other Brian said, “Oh. That’s Loki. Belongs to one of the customers. Comes in here shopping pretty often. Nice pig. Last I saw, they were in Housewares talking to Other Brian about a waffle iron.”

Just then Brian (Thrift Shop Manager Brian Cook…for those of you keeping score) walked in from the donation pickup truck (also known as “The Beast”) carrying a big screen TV. He put it on a shelf in the Electronics section, plugged it in. It worked like a charm. Brian tried to find Animal Planet.

Hey Brian. There’s a pig in the store.

“Oh, yeah! That’s Loki. Comes in once in a while. We were trying to find a Christmas sweater for him, but no luck today. He’ll keep coming back until he finds one that fits right. He has kind of an odd build.”

Just then Sue pushed a rack full of Women’s and Children’s clothing past us. When we could see him again, Brian was telling Sean, “That tux is totally you, man. Orange is your color!”

Brian. Back to Porky.


“Oh, yeah. Loki is one of the coolest pigs who has ever come into the Thrift Shop. Actually, he might be the only pig who’s ever come in here. But based on his behavior…any friend of Loki’s is a friend of ours.”

As Brian dashed off to help a woman try on a pair of “Yorkie Sneakers” he said over his shoulder, “Tell your friends. If they have items to donate they can drop them off at the Thrift Shop or call 760-753-0970 to arrange for pick up.”

Be sure to “Like” Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop on Facebook. Be sure to remind them. The money raised at the Thrift Shop helps people and animals when they need it most. We have to be successful. Every animal deserves a tomorrow. ®

It’s almost too doggone hard to choose!

One of the most difficult parts of preparing Fetch each month is deciding which stories to tell and which donors to thank.

We thank everyone who bought tickets to the Celebration of Second Chances. There are the sponsors and everyone who made donations to the Live auction and the Raffle prizes. Lots of thanks to Cape Rey Carlsbad for hosting the Celebration.

Thanks to our friends Erin Boyd Robbins at Wings of Rescue and Susan Rosenberg at for rescuing four dogs left behind when a flight of Hurricane Florence dogs was full.

Then we got a request from one of our media partners who was writing a story about the importance of volunteering. She asked about our volunteers. There are so many!

  • The Thrift Shop volunteers.
  • Volunteers at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s San Diego Wildlife Center.
  • Foster care volunteers.
  • People who volunteer their time in the kennels, cattery, or rabbitat.
  • The volunteers who run the Community Pet Food Bank.
  • Pet Assisted Therapy volunteers and their trained dogs.
  • Special Events Volunteers.
  • The Media volunteers who take animals to TV and Radio stations.
  • Volunteers who help plan events.
  • Volunteers who work at those events.
  • Our all-volunteer Board of Directors.

RCHS Volunteer Coordinator Mary Pilon says that we have about 350 volunteers.  Some are here several days per week. Some are here for special events.

During September 2018 your Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s volunteers donated their talent and experience to the people and animals we serve. They donated 2,044 hours of their time. That’s worth $59,460.

Without volunteers, there is no Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

Find out how you can become a volunteer or donor. Call 760-753-6413, log on to or visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas… where Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow. ®

Pet of the Month – Hugo Boss

The Fetch Pet of the Month at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society is Hugo Boss. He’s a 4 year old, 64 pound, male, Boxer.

Hugo Boss is very playful and a little bit silly. That’s pretty typical for a Boxer. When he says hello, Hugo is so excited that he likes to use his whole body. He would love to play with another friendly, respectful dog.

When he gets into his new home, Hugo and his family will want to continue his training as he learns all about his new life. This is no couch potato. His new family will need to make sure he gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

Hugo Boss was transferred to Rancho Coastal Humane Society from another shelter through the Friends of County Animal Shelters (FOCAS) program.

The $145 adoption fee for Hugo Boss includes medical exams, vaccinations, neuter, and registered microchip. For more information call 760-753-6413, visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, or log on to
Kennels and Cattery open 11 AM to 5 PM every day but Tuesday.

If this isn’t a good time to adopt, please make a donation by sponsoring a pet until it becomes available for adoption. After all, Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow. ®

Events November

Fetch – October 2018 – Events Calendar

Adopt a Senior Pet Month – There’s never a bad time for this.

1: Shop Under the Stars with RCHS at Carlsbad Premium Outlets
  3: Pet Food Bank open 9 – 11 AM
  4: Daylight Saving Time Ends (Be patient with your pets.)
  Meet RCHS pets at the Carlsbad Village Fair
  5-9: Give Wildlife a Brake! Week – A great time to learn more about your Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s San Diego Wildlife Center.
  10: Join us for Dog Yoga at RCHS
Free lecture entitled “Backyard Birding” – RCHS Education Center
  5-11: National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week – Thank you! We appreciate your appreciation!
6: Election Day – For Demo-Cats and Re-Pup-Licans
  12: Veterans Day Observed (Includes Military Working Dogs.)
17: Pet Food Bank open 9 – 11 AM
  18: Join us for “Let The Fur Fly” benefiting Wings of Rescue at Burning Beard Brewery in El Cajon.
22: Thanksgiving (RCHS Closed)
23: Black Friday – Adopt – Don’t Shop!
  26: Cyber Monday – Visit the RCHS website at


  1: Encinitas Holiday Parade
  Pet Food Bank open 9 – 11 AM
2: Learn to Clicker Train your Cat at RCHS
  La Jolla Christmas Parade
  Chanukah Begins
  National Mutt Day (Like every other day.)
  14: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day – Visit the Thrift Shop!
15: Cat Herders Day (Good luck with that.)
  15-17:   RCHS joins CRC in “Holiday Food Baskets for Pets”
  21: Underdog Day
24: Christmas Eve (RCHS Closes at 3:00)
25: Christmas Day (RCHS Closed)
  26-1/1:  Kwanzaa
  29: Pet Food Bank open 9 – 11 AM
31: New Year’s Eve (RCHS Closes at 3:00)

President’s Letter October

I am energized.

Our Celebration of Second Chances allowed me to spend more time with our staff, volunteers, board members, donors and supporters.  Many people I met for the first time at the event said:  “I love Rancho Coastal Humane Society!”  Others commented: “I love being a kennel mate!”…“I wish I could come to the shelter every day!”…“I love Herald and Gerald’s new home!”… “I shop at the Thrift Shop all the time!” … “I need more puppies to foster!” …

There was a great deal of positive energy and enthusiasm for the new venue, the live and silent auctions, the presentations and the raffles!  The sunset was as spectacular as the attendance.

We raised over $200,000 for RCHS animals and programs, and we’re not resting – next year’s event is already being planned!     

Thank YOU for bringing your special energy and commitment to RCHS.  You strengthen the foundation and future of RCHS by supporting our mission, showing interest in our day-to-day activities, and participating in community outreach.  It is encouraging that donors have contacted us to discuss making their legacy gifts because that means that we are all looking forward and working to protect what RCHS has become and will continue to be.    

Our invaluable volunteers give us the gift of time and energy every day — dog walking at the shelter, sorting donations at the Thrift Shop, greeting potential adopters at the front desk, attending birds getting ready for release from SDWC’s aviaries, or simply cuddling our furry friends who are anxious to start their “happy ever after.”

It is a privilege to work with RCHS staff

  • who can rally in a matter of hours to rescue 20 dogs from Arkansas who are flying to safety with Wings of Rescue;
  • who are creative enough to make our “thank you” video – with outtakes;
  • who can revel in the release of a Cooper’s hawk rehabilitated at SDWC;
  • who care for our shelter pets with humor and good cheer (even when the puppies seem to poo immediately after kennel cleaning!); and
  • who share stories about successful adoptions as if they are remarkable surprises, not just “business as usual.”

With almost six months as the “Leader of the Pack,” my enthusiasm for the role comes easy because I am reflecting the energy you bring to RCHS.  We are entertaining new ideas and approaches in all program areas.  Nevertheless, we will stay the course, doing what we have done for decades – only better and MORE!

I am grateful to everyone who “shows up” for Rancho Coastal Humane Society.  Keep caring, keep giving, keep coming. . . you energize all of us with every interaction!


judi sanzo