Welcome to the online press kit for Humane Society Silicon Valley
Humane Society Silicon Valley:
A Leader in Animal Welfare
HSSV’s mission is to save lives, keep families together, and
create a better future for pets and their people.
Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) is leading the charge to save lives, keep families together and create a better future for pets and their people in the Bay Area and nationwide.
HSSV has placed more than a half million animals into permanent, loving homes since it was established in 1929. In 2009 they opened the country’s first Animal Community Center — a place where people can come together to learn about, engage with, and celebrate animals. In 2017, they became the first organization ever to meet the model shelter standard-of-care guidelines put forth by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.
A champion of animal welfare through effective community-oriented strategies to combat animal homelessness, HSSV is recognized as an innovative leader in animal rescue by premier animal-welfare endowment Maddie’s Fund.
“We envision a better world for animals and the people who love them, and we’re dedicated to making that vision a reality,” says Kurt Krukenberg, who has served since 2020 as the organization’s president.
To carry out its life-saving mission in the community and beyond, HSSV focuses on three strategic priorities:
HSSV is committed to saving healthy and treatable animals in shelters by leveraging its expertise and building partnerships with under-resourced shelters in the Bay Area and nationwide. California’s average save rate for shelter animals is 82%, and more than 37,000 animals lose their lives in California shelters every year. Overcrowding, lack of resources, complex medical issues, and disease all contribute to the crisis, which has grown more acute since the pandemic. Through its Sue and John Diekman Regional Rescue Program, HSSV rescues animals from overcrowded shelters across the state and provides them with the medical care and behavioral support they need to be adopted into loving homes.
Keeping Families Together
Economic uncertainty and rising costs of living have left more pet owners struggling to feed and care for their pets. More than 1 in 4 families struggle to access veterinary care and an estimated 25 million pets live in poverty in the US. Meanwhile, 80% of pet owners cite financial issues as a barrier to preventative care, and 29 million cats and dogs live with families that receive public assistance.
As part of Keeping Families Together, HSSV fills the gap with services such as Wellness Waggin’, a fully-equipped mobile surgical unit that provides free spay/neuter and wellness clinics for pets of people who face significant barriers to accessing affordable veterinary care. HSSV’s Pet Pantry makes it possible for more people facing financial insecurity to have and keep their loving animal companions in their lives, providing human service partners with 8,000 meals to distribute each month, and delivering services to homebound seniors and unhoused families. HSSV provided 46,000 pet meals monthly and more than 650,000 meals in FY 23.
“Our ultimate goal is to keep families together,” says Dr. Cristie Kamiya, Chief of Shelter Medicine at HSSV. “They already have a home, and what we want to do is prevent them from ending up in a shelter.”
Changing the Game
The animal welfare sector faces a national staffing shortage at all levels, including not enough medical staff to care for animals. Lack of access to veterinary care is among top risk factors for animals surrendered to shelters. According to a recent MARS Veterinary Health study, up to 59,000 additional veterinarians will be needed to meet the needs of companion animal healthcare by 2030.
Increasing the pipeline of veterinary staff is HSSV’s primary goal to address this shortage that’s impacting shelters all over the country. They focus on educating veterinary interns and externs and investing in programs that encourage more students to enter the veterinary field. Each year, HSSV invites veterinary students to learn from its medical team and encourage them to consider a future in shelter medicine.
HSSV is also working to address a lack of uniform standards of care among more than 4,800 sheltering organizations in the U.S. Under the leadership of Dr. Cristie Kamiya, HSSV formerly achieved all 543 guidelines of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) in 2017, to become the world’s first model shelter. Dr. Kamiya is on the ASV team researching, reviewing, and updating the guidelines with new information about shelter medicine. Applying processes borrowed from the technology and business sectors, HSSV’s Behavior Team trains all the organization’s staff and volunteers to support the emotional wellbeing of animals, and serve more people adopting pets to improve the lives of animals in homes.
Humane Society Silicon Valley also launched the Mutual Rescue initiative in 2016. Mutual Rescue is an inspiring national effort highlighting the life-changing power of human-animal relationships through an ongoing series of short films. Through Mutual Rescue, HSSV is building a national network to provide expertise, content and financial resources to local shelters that are saving lives, including financial support through grants to these shelters.
Focusing on Shelter MedicineShelter medicine is a new, specialized field within veterinary medicine that is focused on the care of homeless animals. Dr. Kamiya is among a handful of veterinarians who have completed residency programs in this area as part of her work as Chief of Shelter Medicine at HSSV.
Managing the care of homeless animals in shelters is unique compared to managing care for animals in privately owned veterinary practices. Shelter medicine has emerged as a specialty in the veterinary field to elevate and promote a better quality of life for shelter animals, increasing shelters’ capabilities to save more lives more efficiently. HSSV believes shelter medicine is an integral part of the highest standard of shelter care.
Innovative Animal-Care ServicesWith the goal of finding a home for every pet in Silicon Valley, HSSV delivers a broad range of services to the public. These include:
1. Pet Adoptions
2. Free Spay/Neuter Services for Targeted Zip Codes
3. Owner Surrender Services
4. Low-Cost Microchips and Vaccinations
5. Volunteer Programs for Individuals
6. Training/Behavior Classes for Dogs
7. Pet Supply Store
Download a One Pager for Humane Society Silicon Valley.
PRESS RELEASE 8/25/23 Humane Society Silicon Valley's Kitten Palooza Features $20 Kitten Adoptions
PRESS RELEASE 8/23/23 Peter N. Detkin Appointed Board Chair of Humane Society Silicon Valley
PRESS RELEASE 6/27/23 Bay Area Couple Donates $2 Million to Humane Society Silicon Valley
PRESS RELEASE 9/26/2022 Bay Area Couple Donates $3 Million to HSSV
PRESS RELEASE 6/10/22 National Nonprofit Petco Love Invests in HSSV
PRESS RELEASE 3/30/22 A Lifetime of Advocacy Leads to Huge Impact
PRESS RELEASE 10/19/21 New $10 Million Multi-Year Investment in HSSV from the Detkin Family
PRESS RELEASE 1/11/21 PetSmart Charities® Grants $16,000 to Humane Society Silicon Valley
To learn more, visit www.HSSV.org and subscribe to the Humane Society Silicon Valley YouTube channel.