Our Mission & History

Our Mission: 

Rancho Coastal Humane Society is dedicated to saving lives of abandoned companion animals, promoting adoption into loving homes and offering education programs and support services that inspire and strengthen the human-animal bond.

TAX ID # 95-2151583

Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) was founded in 1960 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 I-5, but the shelter still operates out of the same little yellow house.

RCHS is well-known for its personalized pet adoption process, Friends of County Animal Shelters program (FOCAS) and humane education programs. RCHS is also recognized for services that strengthen the human-animal bond, including the Animal Safehouse Program, the Community Pet Food Bank, Pet-Assisted Therapy and Pet Loss Support programs, Veterinary Care Program for Seniors and community outreach that provides 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.

A member 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!

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.

At Rancho Coastal Humane Society, we believe that Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow®

Meet Our Team

Judi Sanzo

President & CEO
(with Stella)

Nina Jimenez Taylor

Development & Communications Director
(with Heidi)

Justina Kirkland

Animal Safehouse Program Director

Ashley Llapitan

Animal Care & Adoption Director
(with Duke)

Kelly Peters

Donor & Community Relations Director
(with Molly)

Mary Pilon

Volunteer Services Director (Bear)

John Van Zante

Public Relations Director
(with Jake)

Kathy Zerkle

Medical Director (Makutu)

Lizzie Hart

Humane Educator
(Beetlejuice)

Brian Arao

Director of Customer Service
(Zeus & Layla)

Rachel Filtz

Pet Therapy Coordinator

Lucas Kodama 

Foster Volunteer Coordinator

(Kody and Kimi)

Libby Kovalcik

Behavior & Training Specialist
(with Beez)

Colette Licata

Veterinary Care Program Coordinator

Julie Moews

DVM – Veterinarian
(Pixie)

Janice O’Connell

Thrift Shop Store Manager

(Finnegan)

Jason Roberts

Thrift Shop General Manager

Mark Viguri

Multimedia Designer

(Flynn)