County finishing transfer of animal services to Humane Society

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County is in the final week of transferring jurisdiction over animal services in six cities to the San Diego Humane Society, county officials announced Monday.

County contracts with the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee and Solana Beach will end Saturday, the end of the fiscal year, as the county explores outsourcing the majority of duties within the Department of Animal Services.

The Humane Society will take over animal services for those six cities in what’s being called the biggest milestone of the nonprofit’s 138-year history. The care burden for the organization — which also serves Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos and Vista — is expected to grow from 30,000 to 50,000 animals.

The county’s Gaines Street shelter, owned by the city of San Diego, will close 1 p.m. Saturday so it can be transferred to the Humane Society.

The county’s two shelters in Carlsbad and Bonita, meanwhile, will reopen for regular hours on Sunday as the county continues to provide animal services to unincorporated areas.

As of Sunday, residents of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee and Solana Beach will need to contact the Humane Society for animal- related issues.

Existing pet licenses will remain in effect until they expire, at which point residents can purchase a new one from the Humane Society.