No adoptable dogs, cats to be euthanized in San Diego County

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SAN DIEGO –  For the very first time animals taken to San Diego County shelters will not be under the threat of being "put to sleep" if no one adopts them.

To recognize this monumental achievement the County of San Diego proclaimed July 1 “Save a Pet Day” and declared that no healthy or treatable cat or dog will be euthanized in the county.

Supervisor Ron Roberts handed out the proclamation saying, “We’ve been talking about this, planning and dreaming and now it’s happening. We are the first in the country to say we are not going to be putting pets down."

The “getting to zero project” started in 2012 in collaboration with all the county shelters sharing resources to find a way to save animals and to end euthanasia by 2020.

“We opened a behavior center here at Humane Society,” said Gary Weitzman, the president of the San Diego Humane Society. “If we have animals with behavior issues they can go there and not be euthanized.”

There’s a behavior center, kitten nursery, campaigns for adoption and the use of foster homes – all allowing the county to reach this monumental goal. They admit it's now up to everyone to keep it going.

“We need fosters so badly," said Weitzman.

“All my friends have dogs so now I that get to have one, I’m really excited,” said Nason Stewart, who was visiting the Human Society in hopes of adopting a dog Wednesday.

Nason's mom Brooke Stewart said she wouldn’t consider anything but adoption when looking for a family pet. She used to work at a shelter when she was a kid and remembers the sadness of days when dogs would be put down.

“Every week – it was very morbid,” Brooke said.


  • Merida

    Such wonderful news!!! At long last, a humane approach to beloved pets of which 99% are trainable, at least. Thought I’d never see the day. Thank heavens for the Helen Woodward Center and others like it. Now, I can look at the city pet facilities with a new light. I’ve taken in more than 30 strays and raised orphaned animals, including wild birds. Kept most of them myself. Finally, these animals will have a chance to live, as God intended. My pet, Caesar, would have ended up in a facility like this, because the previous owner was dying of brain cancer and family couldn’t take him. He’s given me more than I can ever give him. These pets will do the same for the lucky people who get them. Thanks to everyone who made their lives matter.

  • Marni Montanez

    what ths is an animal advocate’s dream…..a community who came together to do what we’re supposed to. Care for dogs and cats instead of killing them.

  • cheri patrowicz

    I am in tears to know that this is the first country state in United States of America – have a no-kill policy this has been my dream for the longest time I hope that other states in the United States will follow San Diego’s project andand I adopted two dogs in March and they are the best dog I have ever had in my entire life besides my previous dog that had to be laid to rest due to severe cancer this has been a dream of mine since I can’t remember pets are my passion cats dogs animals any kind they are my passion and to know that they are being put down for no reason for no health issues for nothing and that they can be cured and that they can you be rehabilitated and that they can be adoptedand being euthanized just because there are no cages or no space left for these animals that is no excuse there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of shelters and rescues that would be able to take these dogs and would be more than willing to take these dog I have friends looking for certain types of dog I have been looking and I am looking and I have had no luck but there is going to be one day I come across one of their dog and I will get that dog adopted to them everyday when I go to the doctors I ask everybody do you want to adopt a dog do you want to adopt a dog I’m out there trying doing my best to get these babies a home or foster or whatever whatever I can do to help if I could be a foster if I didn’t live with my parents you are 100 percent right that I would be a foster to a hundred dogs and a hundred cats as I said they are my passion and I could never ever work at a kill shelter or Avet where they have to use the nice and animals if I did work at a vets office I would have to tell me that and I could not be around an animal that is being put down I could not handle it Thank You San Diego for being the first in the country to have a no kill policy i love u all touch my heart

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