Focus on FOCAS Today

Today, Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) continues to build on the work that Friends of County Animal Shelters (FOCAS) co-founders, Peggy Howell and Sue Geller, began 36 years ago. RCHS’s mission aligned perfectly with FOCAS, and FOCAS became the brand for our Animal Intake Program.      

About 90% of the pets adopted from RCHS are transferred from our rescue partners through FOCAS. We canvas shelters in San Diego and surrounding Counties to find abandoned animals who might not survive otherwise. We look for pets that are adoptable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean perfect. We look for good social behavior and search for animals that seem to get along with their kennel mates. We transport pets with medical or behavior issues that RCHS can take the time to treat.

Here’s how it works. Each week, the FOCAS team determines how much space we have and how many pets we can safely bring back. With new mommy cats and dogs, we need to make sure there are foster volunteers available as soon as these new families have been cleared by our medical team.   

Our FOCAS team goes through the kennels and catteries of our rescue partners. Some pets just need a change of location to find their new families. Others need more than we can give. Often, there are tears in our transport van. Happy tears for the new transfers. Sad tears for the pets we were forced to leave behind. We just cannot take them all.   

At RCHS, most of the cats, dogs, and rabbits have their own enclosures. When we visit our rescue partners, we might see several pets sharing a small kennel, food and water.

It’s hard for adopters to choose a pet when it’s in a tiny kennel with 10 others, all trying to get their attention. Through FOCAS, we give these pets a lifeline. From the moment they’re loaded into our van, these pets have a second chance at a life they nearly lost.

We’re creating a future for pets that had none. RCHS President Judi Sanzo says, “These pets are temporary guests of Rancho Coastal Humane Society. They’re not here to stay, but we will keep them as long as we need to make them “ready” to go home.  We will match them carefully with their new, forever families. It’s one of the things we do best.”

Thank you for your continued support of FOCAS and RCHS where, as you already know, Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow®.