By Deandra Han, Jennifer Rico, Charlie Stattion and Karla Tran
Walking into the San Jose Animal Care Center and the Humane Society Silicon Valley, the first thing you see is a huge desk with receptionists. If you continue walking past the desk, you’ll see various flyers promoting events and discounts going on. There are also many rooms with windows containing dogs in cages hoping to find a home. Most people entering the shelter are either hoping to get an animal or surrendering them. Shelters take in any animal, clean them up and feed them. They make sure all animals are in tip-top shape before they can be available for adoption.
“When people don’t know what to do and they’re not sure which way to go, they can call me and I’ll give them direction. Also I do as part of my job marketing, so I do a lot of advertising for promotions for our pets here, and it’s really important because a lot of people still don’t know about the animal shelter, so it spreads the word to get pets new homes, so I think that’s very important,” Julie St. Gregory, from the San Jose Animal Care Center, said.
How can modern animal shelters provide sanctuary and support for the animals and people adopting the animals? Shelters are important to the community because they provide options for volunteering and are an important part of keeping animals safe. The Humane Society’s website says that “animal shelters provide care and treatment to animals needing protection.”
Ms. St. Gregory is a public information officer for the San Jose Animal Care Center. She oversees the programs going on and likes to make sure the animals are in great care. She stated, “We currently have a 91 percent save rate, which is really great; it means that 91 percent of all animals that come into here leave alive.”
Ms. St. Gregory said that her animal shelter is a safe place for all strays and all animals brought in. They provide support for the animals and those who are looking forward to adopting. That is why their “promotions” are important: they let all people in the community know that animals are looking forward to being adopted.
Yolanda P., a cat socializer volunteer from the San Jose Animal Care Center, has worked with stray cats at the shelter for two years. Yolanda P. stated that her job “impacts the cat community because they are able to have social time … and get out of their cages … and if we need to help them out in some way we can.” Yolanda P. chose to work at that animal shelter because it was convenient to her; she lived near the area, and she needed something to do in her free time.
Sandy Shales is the education program specialist at Humane Society Silicon Valley. She said, “We bring an animal in, we make a commitment to that animal to find that animal a home; we don’t have a time limit for the animals we bring in. While they’re here we provide medical care, develop behavior plans and we have things that they might have to work on.”
On the Humane Society Silicon Valley’s website, it states that, “HSSV is the first organization to meet all the shelter guidelines set forth by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, leading the charge for humane treatment of animals. We needed a shelter to show not only that the standards exist as a model, but that they can actually be accomplished and maintained. Words can’t explain how it feels to see our vision in action at HSSV.”
Animal shelters are able to provide sanctuary and support for the animals and people adopting the animals by promoting events that advocate for adoptions, such as the San Jose Animal Care Center offering a discount where senior dogs, cats, and kittens are only $10. Shelters have free adoption days; they post about these events on their social media platforms hoping to get those in the community to come and participate in events.
Before adopting animals, the shelters make multiple meetings with the animals and the people adopting the animals to make sure that they get along and to get the animals comfortable around their future owner.
For more information or insight on the San Jose Animal Care Center and the adoption process, watch this video.
For insight on the Humane Society, go here.
To see our journey to both shelters, click this Story Map.
Here is our video about shelters creating community: