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Animal outreach extended

On Jan. 11, La Mesa city council unanimously approved a contract with San Diego Humane Society to become the city’s full animal services provider, a paw up from the shelter and medical care it currently provides for La Mesa at its El Cajon Campus.

La Mesa extended an agreement with the San Diego Humane Society to be the city’s fulltime animal services provider.

San Diego Humane Society Director of Public Relations Nina Thompson said the organization will continue to care for La Mesa’s animals at the El Cajon Animal Shelter but will now also provide animal law enforcement and licensing services as well.

“San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement team will now provide dispatch and field services seven days a week in the City of La Mesa. Those services include routine patrol to interact with the community and identify any animal-related issues, investigating quality-of-life issues such as continuously barking dogs and assorted animal nuisances,” Thompson said.

The Humane Society’s enforcement responses are mostly initiated by calls for service from members of the public needing assistance with animal-related issues, Thompson said, and range from dogs strolling off-leash in non-designated areas, to loose strays running at large, to cruelty and large scale hoarding.

All SDHS officers are certified as Humane Officers by the State of California, which is an increased level of authority above municipal Animal Control Officers.

Landing the contract with an increased scope of work in La Mesa means SDHS now services 14 municipalities across the county.

“While there are no specified goals for additional contract cities, with this expanded La Mesa contract, San Diego Humane Society will be able to efficiently and effectively offer more animals the care they need, which translates to more animal lives saved. Our expanded services will help to keep our community’s pets with their families and out of the shelters, which is the core of our mission,” Thompson said.

In fiscal year 2018-19, the shelter took in approximately 468 animals in the La Mesa area, followed by an approximate 382 animals in fiscal year 2019-20 and approximately 341 animals in fiscal year 2020-21. So far this year, the organization has taken in 218 animals in La Mesa.

In addition to the specialized programs SDHS offers, like the kitten nursery, behavior center, wildlife center and community support services, Thompson anticipates La Mesans will see an added benefit with extended animal control and dispatch hours.

“We appreciate all the work City staff has done for us to expand our high level of care into their community, which will translate into more animal lives saved, and more families served, the core of our mission,” SDHS President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Weitzman said.

Residents can call (619) 299-7012 or visit for more information about San Diego Humane Society’s services.

Animal outreach extended

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Source: East County Californian

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