San Diego County consists of the city of San Diego, eighteen incorporated cities and seventeen unincorporated cities. About half of the estimated three million population live in the city of San Diego. In 2003-2004, San Diego County was just fifteen animals short of saving all of its healthy, adoptable animals.
In 1998, San Diego County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price proposed the adoption of a "no kill" policy as a goal for the county's animal services. Her call to action helped open the dialogue among animal welfare organizations and raise public awareness about the plight of homeless animals.
In 2001, animal agencies throughout San Diego County came together as part of a No More Homeless Pets coalition to save more lives, establish common definitions and share statistics. The collaboration included:
- four animal control organizations, including the San Diego Department of Animal Services
- four private traditional humane societies, including the San Diego Humane Society
- the Helen Woodward Animal Center
- a spay/neuter advocacy group, a feral cat coalition and an animal services volunteer auxiliary
As coalition members compiled their statistics, it became clear that county shelters were getting close to saving all of the healthy shelter animals. In fact, by fiscal year 2003-2004, the county was just 15 animals short of reaching that goal. Here are the cumulative county-wide numbers:
Percent of animals saved: 59%
National average: 45%
(*one of the smaller animal control agencies did not provide euthanasia statistics)