President’s Letter Winter 2024

Dear RCHS Friends and Family, 

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. . . Karen Carpenter 

I am good with a little rain, but the “atmospheric river” that drenched Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) last Monday was nothing to sing about!  The rain fell sideways so our new roof at the Learning Center did little to keep water from pooling on the floor of the Multi-Purpose Classrooms. The K-9 Training office fared much better because it was already wrapped with a funky purple waterproofing material, and the Food Bank’s large garage door openings were opposite the wind coming off the ocean.   

Everywhere, RCHS was a muddy mess.  Just when I thought the driveway trenches were finally filled, we started digging new channels to divert 3” of water from the low points of our property into the new BioBasin and off the west end of the property into the culvert between RCHS and the freeway.  Keeva’s dog run was under water, but Elrond missed his favorite conditions – mud and water – staying dry in his new foster home.  Days later, we dried things up and continued construction under bright skies. The Medical Center is framed, with roof trusses to arrive any “dry day” now. We are bracing for the next series of rains, threatening to make Groundhog Day a shadowy prediction of a continued rainy winter!         

Here’s the post-script to prove RCHS’s resilience: In an abundance of caution, I asked the Front Desk to reschedule two planned adoption appointments to protect customers from our flooding premises. One person confirmed she would not travel in the storm, but the other said that she only had time on that rainy Monday, and she was willing to brave the elements to meet Choco Taco, a two-year-old female Shepherd mix, and complete a dog interaction with her resident dog. So, our Animal Care & Adoptions Supervisor Devin Wheeler donned a rain slicker and took Choco Taco for a walk in the rain, wading through the driveway, to our temporary trailer to complete the dog interaction. Choco Taco went home on the rainiest day in 100 years, 35 days after she first arrived at our shelter . . . plus we had two foster-to-adoptions finalize that same day!  Three dogs found their forever homes, despite the weather.  

I am so proud of our team and our volunteers for braving the elements during our construction – even on sunny days – to enrich the lives of our shelter pets.  Bravo!