President’s Letter – September 2020

Dear RCHS Friends and Family,

September 12th is UN-event-ful because we have been forced by this pandemic to postpone our 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee. We cannot gather today with those who mean so much to Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) for our annual Celebration of Second Chances, so we decided to issue Fetch today in the hope that sharing our stories will bring us closer, social distancing intact.

There is NOTHING about the past month that is uneventful, however. It was Clear the Shelters Month – not a day, but a whole month. Some say, “RCHS clears the shelter every day, so what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that this year, Clear the Shelters was virtual, with extensive network and social media coverage. Media brings attention to our cause, broadcasting pictures and adorable stories of our adoptable pets to the community when our gates remain closed to the public. Media brought the CBS Channel 8 story of our longest RCHS resident, Charlie, and the best adoption story RCHS will ever tell – a reunion of Tim and Charlie that will be retold and refreshed with media updates through the rest of the year!

Our adoption numbers for the month were good – 57 companion animals found their forever homes in August. A strong number, considering that we were struggling to keep our kennels full of adoptable dogs and cats while continuing our commitment to those animals who just need more time before they’re ready to go home.

Charlie’s story concluded joyously on September 1st – a great way to start a month which included the adoption of Chimi, who had been with RCHS for a total of 178 days, and Daisy, whose young history required a series of dog interactions with an entire family and their resident dogs to build the human-animal bond that enhances every adoption. Three heartwarming stories, and we only 1/3rd of the way through the month!

Speaking of adoptions, our Adoptions-By-Appointment program was fine-tuned this month. We planned that the shelters would be flooded with animals surrendered by owners struggling with emotional, medical and economic stressors. Wrong! We receive 20-25 adoption surveys every day, and we struggled to keep up with the demand. We recognized that, as the pandemic wore on, we were not providing the custom adoption service that is a hallmark of RCHS. We take pride in our ability to match the needs of the pet and the desires of the adopter. So, we have made changes to streamline the process, communicate more effectively, and schedule more appointments. Be patient with us – it’s our first pandemic!

In the meantime, while your party dress hangs in the closet waiting for next year’s epic Celebration of Second Chances – our second chance to celebrate our 60th Anniversary – please read on. We still have great stories to share, even if you are sitting in your kitchen rather than in the banquet hall at Omni La Costa!