Our Mission & History

Dedicated to the San Diego community since 1960, Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) was founded by animal lover Maria K. Lloyd who purchased property off a small dirt road in Encinitas, California. At that time the shelter was home to dogs, cats, birds, goats, sheep and even a burro named Milton. Today, that dirt road is the I-5, but the shelter still resides in the small yellow house where Lloyd once lived.

RCHS is known for its personalized pet adoption process and humane education. We’re also recognized for programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, including the Animal Safehouse Program, pet food banks and community outreach that all provide a “helping paw” to people in crisis. At RCHS we believe everyone should be able to keep their beloved pets safe, healthy and by their sides.

We have no government contracts and are supported only by individual donors, grants and foundations, and our Thrift Shop.

Based on statistical reporting through the national database, Shelter Animals Count, RCHS currently maintains a 100% Live Release or Save Rate. This refers to the percentage of animals leaving the shelter either through adoption, transfer or return to owner. For more information on the number of people and animals served, please visit our annual highlights report.

Part of the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition, RCHS abides by the pledge that NO healthy, treatable animal will ever be euthanized for time or space. Our shelter stands with the Coalition and abides by the Asilomar Accord when it comes to serving this community and its animals!

Meet Our Team

Judi Sanzo

President & CEO
(with Stella)

Nina Jimenez Taylor

Development & Communications Director
(with Heidi)

Libby Kovalcik

Behavior & Training Specialist
(with Beez)

Justina Kirkland

Animal Safehouse Program Director

Julie Moews

DVM – Veterinarian

Kelly Peters

Donor & Community Relations Director
(with Molly)

Mary Pilon

Volunteer Services Director (Bear)

Brian Arao

Customer Service Manager
(Zeus & Layla)

Lizzie Hart

Humane Educator

Kathy Zerkle

Medical Director (Makutu)

Ashley Llapitan

Animal Care Manager
(with Duke)

John Van Zante

Public Relations Director
(with Jake)

Dave Urban

Thrift Shop Manager

Rachel Filtz

Pet Therapy Coordinator

Mark Viguri

Multimedia Designer