The effort to find good homes for companion animals who survived the recent Escondido Humane Society's tragic fire that claimed the lives of more than 100 animals and destroyed the shelter's facility continues this weekend as more animals become healthy enough to be adopted.
In addition, a "Round UP" fundraising campaign developed by the PETCO Foundation, PETCO's non-profit charity, is going well, but needs continued community support to reach its goal.
"The entire community's support of the Escondido Humane Society and the animals in our care has been absolutely overwhelming," said Phil Morgan, the Society's Executive Director. "It is heartwarming to know that people care so deeply about companion animals. We are so thankful," he added.
Thus far about 20 of the 80 animals that survived the fire have been adopted. Others continue to undergo medical treatment and yet others will most likely become permanent members of the families that rushed to offer interim foster care for the displaced animals. It is not yet known how many animals will ultimately be available for adoption. As soon as they are once again healthy the plan is to make them available for adoption, Morgan said.
This weekend's adoption effort will include as many as five dogs that survived the fire. Those dogs will be available at the Escondido PETCO at 1000 West Valley Parkway in Escondido from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, February 3.
But the issue is larger than just finding homes for the animals that survived the fire. "Because the Escondido Humane Society is no longer operating, other San Diego area shelters are taking in animals that normally would have gone to Escondido," said Bill LoBell, PETCO's Regional Manager for the area that includes San Diego and Orange counties. "Those animals, while not victims of the fire tragedy, nonetheless need homes as well," he added.
PETCO is working with a number of other shelters and welcomes others in the overall effort to raise awareness and availability of animals that need homes.
This Saturday, the Helen Woodward Animal Center and the San Diego Humane Society join the effort at the following stores:
Poway PETCO Carmel Mountain Ranch PETCO 13375 Poway Road 11160 Rancho Carmel Drive (858) 679-2020 (858) 451-8347 (Helen Woodard at this store) (San Diego Humane Society at this store) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The San Diego Humane Society plans to be at the Carmel Mountain Ranch store for the next three Saturdays.
Meanwhile, the "Round UP" campaign continues. The fundraiser, which began just after the tragic fire, has raised more than $54,000 thus far. Customers at the more than 90 PETCO stores in southern California are asked to "Round UP" their purchases. For example, a customer whose purchase is $18.56 will be asked to round up to $19.00 or perhaps $20.00 or whatever they can. No purchase is required to make a donation.
"We are so grateful on behalf of the animals for the generosity our customers and all pet-loving people have shown," said Paul Jolly, the PETCO Foundation's Director. "Our goal is to reach $100,000 in this campaign and we would certainly like to exceed that. The concern we have is that people will say that their support is not needed at this point. That is not the case," Jolly said.
Cost to rebuild a facility for the Escondido Humane Society is estimated to be between $3.5 and $5 million. Most of that is yet to be raised.
PETCO's Round UP gives all southern Californians convenient locations and an easy way to help. The campaign runs through February 17.
The Escondido Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It was established more than 65 years ago to serve the region's animal welfare needs.
PETCO, based in San Diego, is a leading pet specialty retailer with more than 530 stores in 41 states and the District of Columbia. To find the nearest store, log on to http://www.petco.com/.
The PETCO Foundation was established in February 1999 to support community organizations and efforts that enhance the lives of companion animals while strengthening the bond between people and pets. Since inception more than $3.6 million has been raised through a variety of Foundation fundraising efforts in communities where PETCO has stores.
Contact: Lindsey Mesenbourg of Escondido Humane Society, cell,
619-987-4212; or Don Cowan of PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc., 858-657-2086; or
Paul Jolly of PETCO Foundation, 626-287-0952