Friends of County Animal Shelters (FOCAS)


Many of the animals that come to Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) are brought to the shelter through our Friends of County Animal Shelters (FOCAS) program. FOCAS originated as a La Jolla-based nonprofit that helped place animals from county shelters into foster homes.

Co-founder Peggy Howell championed the mission of FOCAS in promoting a strong adoption program at county shelters. Through fostering and onsite volunteering, FOCAS found permanent, loving homes for thousands of adoptable animals.


In 2012, RCHS merged with FOCAS and has been able to expand the program and increase the number of animals transferred from county shelters significantly. With our shelter services and foster program, RCHS is able to provide more capacity for more animals.


Each month, our FOCAS animal care teams visit shelters and rescue organizations all over the San Diego County region. They evaluate, transport and intake animals that otherwise might not have a second chance for adoption from an overcrowded or nearing capacity shelter.

In addition, RCHS is now partnering with rescue organizations that transport animals to us from all over the country. This includes animals that have been displaced due to natural disasters like floods, wildfires and hurricanes.  As a limited admission shelter, RCHS is able to keep an adoptable animal until it can be matched with an appropriate adopter.


In Fiscal Year 2017-2018, 924 animals (dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and rabbits) were brought to RCHS through FOCAS. These animals now represent the majority of animals in our care. Every animal transferred to RCHS is examined and treated by our veterinary team, and either spayed or neutered prior to adoption if not done previously.

FOCAS is just another example of how Together We Save Lives!