Program Targets Euthanasia of Shelter Dogs, Cats

"Paws to Success” seeks to end the practice by treating behavioral and medical conditions.

A $1.4 million grant to the San Diego Humane Society has led to the creation of a new program that aims to end euthanasia of cats and dogs with treatable medical or behavioral conditions by 2020.

“Paws to Success” was designed with the goal of reducing the euthanasia of treatable animals in shelters nationwide by 20 percent by 2010 and ultimately ending the euthanasia of these animals within 10 years. The program will be funded through a grant by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals through a gift made by the late Edith Hakes of San Diego, who was a longtime supporter of the ASPCA and local humane society.

The program includes the opening of an off-site facility dedicated to housing kittens and cats, the creation of a comprehensive training program for area animal welfare advocates, and the hiring of a board certified veterinary behaviorist. The initiative will open valuable new resources to shelters across the country, said Dr. Mark Goldstein, president of the San Diego Humane Society.

During the planning stages for the program, the organization determined that the leading causes for euthanasia of pets in San Diego County included treatable medical and behavioral conditions. Paws to Success targets these issues in order to help make an impact on the animal population.

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