County animal shelter nets $115,000 award

Kennel attendant Lavonne Gonzalez stops for a moment in between duties to do a load of laundry at the San Martin Animal Shelter, which has to continuously do laundry throughout the day. The facility is unable to support industriaial equipment because of t

The County of Santa Clara Animal Care and Control recently received a $115,000 award that will go towards the continued prevention of euthanizing healthy animals.

The money came from Maddie’s Fund, a national pet rescue foundation based in Alameda that is working towards creating a “no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home.”

Approximately $1,040,000 was doled to the six founding county members of WeCARE (the Community Alliance to Reduce Euthanasia), which includes the county animal shelter at 12370 San Martin Avenue, San Jose Animal Care & Control, Humane Society Silicon Valley, Town Cats Rescue in Morgan Hill, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority and Palo Alto Animal Services.

Maddie’s recognized Santa Clara County’s WeCARE Alliance with the “Lifesaving Award,” praising the coalition as a “leader in saving animal lives.” All WeCARE members successfully placed 100 percent of the healthy animals entering their shelters for the past two years, and no healthy shelter dogs and cats were euthanized in Santa Clara County shelters. The coalition is being hailed by Maddie’s for implementing and sustaining an adoption guarantee for all healthy and treatable shelter pets in the county.

“I’m most proud of the fact that the county’s animal care and control placed 100 percent of the healthy animals in our care, including horses,” said District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman.

To qualify for the Lifesaving Award, coalitions must have achieved and sustained an adoption guarantee for healthy shelter dogs and cats for at least two years and demonstrate the ability to maintain that status in the future, according to Maddie’s. Coalition members agree to publicly report their individual and community-wide annual statistics.

Director Brigid Wasson of the San Martin Shelter would like to see the money help pay for the medical needs of animals that require outside veterinary treatments “above and beyond what we usually can afford,” such as complicated surgeries.

Castrating horses or treating them for wounds, for example, can be very costly, said Wasson. The shelter is unique in that it also accepts livestock and other creatures such as rabbits, mice and even pot-bellied pigs.

“We were very excited,” said Wasson, who said the WeCARE coalition was intentionally working towards the Lifesaving Award.

“It’s not just (the money),” she added. “Even before we got the funds, we already saved thousands of more lives just by working together and changing our thinking and moving towards that goal.”

WeCARE has established a network between the six participating members, Wasson explained. Shelters give each other referrals, share advertising, hold joint events and run promotions that apply to all locations.

Upon receiving the grant, WeCARE used some of the resources to launch a new website that makes it fast and easy for pet owners to be reunited with lost pets. At, WeCARE alliance members maintain up-to-the minute listings of lost and found pets. Users can easily search by type of pet or city to peruse a listing of photos to find their lost animal.

The Lifesaving Award grant was distributed to the WeCARE coalition members as follows:

· County of Santa Clara Animal Care & Control: $115,000

· San Jose Animal Care & Control: $370,000

· Humane Society Silicon Valley: $250,000

· Town Cats Rescue: $235,000

· Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority: $ 45,000

· Palo Alto Animal Services: $ 25,000

The San Martin Animal Shelter:

Call: (408) 686-3900.

Browse: Click here to view lists of adoptable pets!

Visit: 12370 Murphy Avenue, San Martin