The First of its Kind in California

By Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society

This fall marked a critical milestone for the San Diego region and homeless animals when San Diego Humane Society opened the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Center for Shelter Medicine. Of the 45,000 companion animals entering shelters in San Diego County; nearly 90 percent are now cared for by San Diego Humane Society. Not only is this hospital vital to treat these shelter pets, it also represents the future of shelter medicine.

All animals deserve access to the very best care – whether they have homes or not. And our new center for shelter medicine will help to make that a reality so adopters can feel confident that the pet they’re adopting has received top-notch care. The new center will also allow us to: 

Meet the growing need in our community: 

On July 1, 2018, we began providing animal services in six additional cities, doubling the number of companion animals requiring our care from 20,000 to 40,000. Another 10,000 or more are orphaned or injured wildlife who will be treated in our new wildlife center opening in 2019.

Be a teaching hospital to train the shelter medicine veterinarians of tomorrow: 

This is a true teaching hospital, which focuses not only on providing services for the animals in our care, but also on educating future generations of shelter medicine professionals. With four interns each year and dozens of fourth-year veterinary externs, the center is a much-needed resource for our community and the field of shelter medicine.

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