Northside SF  

Letters to the Editor

EDITOR: As a board member of the SF/SPCA, I am writing to express my support of the SF/SPCA, an organization I have been committed to for over 10 years. After reading your story in the September issue, “How the SF/SPCA Let Us Down,” I am disappointed by the publication and the author’s inaccurate statements. Rather than get into all those inaccuracies, which have been addressed at, I want to focus on all the good the SF/SPCA has done for the animals in the last fiscal year, including, but not limited to:

•    Found loving homes for 4,300 cats and dogs
•    Performed over 6,600 spay/neuter surgeries
•    Visited 50,000 people through the Animal Assisted Therapy program
•    Educated 3,000 children about the humane treatment of animals
•    Trained hundreds of dogs through our Public Dog Training Program, which is based on the most progressive and humane methodologies
•   Provided over 2,100 pets with $1.5 million worth of charity health care at the SF/SPCA’s veterinary hospital, which keeps animals from being relinquished
I encourage your readers to visit for a more detailed account of our programs and services. The SF/SPCA runs these programs very well and saves thousands of lives a year, which we consider major accomplishments considering that resources are scarcer than ever. None of us – no matter the size – are immune from the financial realities of the recession.
We remain committed to our mission by saving as many animals as possible; just look at the animals available for adoption on our Web site. You’ll see a diverse group of dogs and cats that are cared for and rehabilitated by the SF/SPCA. Our relationship and commitment to San Francisco Animal Care and Control continues through the low-cost spay and neuter and veterinary services we provide.
As a supporter of the SF/SPCA, I know the organization is committed to the best possible care for the animals. Debate, discussion and argument are all a healthy part of the process toward improving animal care. We work with many rescue groups and applaud their work. It is through working together that we have made San Francisco one of the safest cities in the country for homeless cats and dogs. The San Francisco SPCA continues its commitment to the San Francisco community.

Chair, San Francisco SPCA Board of


EDITOR: As the president of the SF/SPCA and one who has devoted my entire adult life to the welfare of animals, I am disappointed by the gross accusations and inaccuracies printed in the September cover story, “How the San Francisco SPCA Let Us Down.”
We are very proud of the work we, our employees and volunteers, have done in the past 142 years. Last year alone, the SF/SPCA found homes for over 4,000 cats and dogs. Thanks to the work of the SF/SPCA, San Francisco Animal Care and Control, and the city’s many animal rescue groups, San Francisco remains one of the safest communities in the U.S. for homeless cats and dogs. In fact, in 2008, our city’s combined Live Release Rate (number of animals who left the shelter alive) increased to 87 percent, a 2 percent increase from the previous year.
These are major accomplishments considering that resources are scarcer than ever, and none of us – no matter the size – are immune from the financial realities of the recession.
That said, as an animal welfare organization that serves the greater community, we know we have both supporters and critics. And when it comes to criticism, we take great care to listen and incorporate that feedback into improving our services. We realize that there is always room for improvement, and we are open to a constructive dialogue, to hearing the community’s feedback. While philosophical differences among organizations and individual opinions exist, ultimately, we share the same mission of wanting to save as many lives as possible. Infighting among organizations and sensational, unsubstantiated articles such as the one published in Northside San Francisco does not save any more animals. It only deters others from joining our collective and passionate effort.
At the SF/SPCA, we are focusing all of our efforts on our community programs and our continued mission to care for, save and protect as many animals as possible. With our Maddie’s Adoption Center and new Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, housing our veterinary hospital, shelter medicine and spay/neuter programs, we are well positioned to serve more homeless and abused animals as we move forward. Furthermore, with our feral cat, humane education, foster care, and animal-assisted therapy programs, we continue to holistically address the needs of animals and guardians alike.
We invite you and your readers to learn more about the SF/SPCA’s policies and procedures, standard of care, and commitment to our overall mission by visiting our organization or our Web site at There, you can also find a number of ways you can volunteer to help us save more animals’ lives – because in the end, that’s what really matters. 

President, San Francisco SPCA

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