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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal-Related, Animal Services, Animals, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission: PHS/SPCA, a private non-profit organization guided by the humane ethic, builds healthy relationships between people and animals. We strive to act in and advocate for the best interest of animals, and we respond to the individual needs of animals. We work with passion and compassion, and we believe that animals should be treated with dignity and respect as feelings creatures. We strive to create an environment where there is mutual care, trust, and respect. Each year thousands of animals pass through our doors. We provide a warm bed, nutritious food, veterinary care and a gentle touch for the lost, stray, unwanted and injured domestic and wild animals in our community. We accept all animals, and often provide a second chance to the most needy animals who would otherwise be turned away at smaller adoption agencies that accept only those animals deemed highly adoptable.

Results: PHS/SPCA accepts 100% of the animals brought to us for help: unlike most other animal charities here in the S.F. Bay Area we accept every animal, regardless of that animal’s health, age, behavior, and even regardless of the animal’s species. We are truly an “Open Door” facility. Despite that unusual fact and the obvious challenges it creates, PHS/SPCA guarantees a home for 100% of the healthy, adoptable dogs and cats we receive, with animals now able to remain at the shelter and receive love, care and attention for the days, weeks, months, even a year or longer it may take until a new permanent home and family is found. We continue to increase the numbers of pets treated and then adopted through our Hope Program which focuses life-saving efforts to an ever growing percentage of the animals who come to us sick, injured, too young to be away from their mothers, or behaviorally challenged. Every year, PHS/SPCA saves the lives of thousands of animals: homeless, injured, orphaned, unwanted, lost, abandoned and often mistreated animals, including dogs and cats and other companion animals, farmed animals, exotic animals, and native wildlife. We have reduced euthanasia in San Mateo County by more than 98% since 1970 and continues year after year to push ahead, making this among the safest and best places in the nation for companion animals. All of this wonderful work made possible, in part, through the support of over 1,400 active volunteers and more than 24,000 local contributing families and households.

Target demographics: Animals and People

Direct beneficiaries per year: 4,754 live animals find placement and 1,388 wild animals were made well and returned to their natural habitats.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco through Northern Santa Clara County

Programs: In addition to rescuing animals in need, providing a safe sanctuary for stray or unwanted animals and ultimately finding new, permanent homes, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA offers these programs: low-cost (in some cases, free) spay/neuter for owned pets; rehabilitation for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife from San Francisco through Northern Santa Clara County; education programs, camps, tours and shadow programs for schoolchildren; a range of obedience classes taught indoors by outstanding instructors; private behavior consultations; birthday parties for 7-12 year-olds; foster care; a kitten nursery for underage kittens; temporary sheltering for pets belonging to domestic abuse victims (they must be referred to us by a domestic abuse shelter); a monthly Pet Loss Grief Support Group; a monthly, low-cost vaccination clinic; no-appointment microchips. Visit peninsulahumanesociety.org/services for more information.

Community Stories

74 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA is a wonderful organization that engages the community while saving thousands of lives each year. Growing up in the Bay Area, I was fortunate to attend their animal camp as a youth. There, I not only learned about animal care, but I also came to understand how much the staff and volunteers truly value and respect all life, from spider to human. Over twenty years later, I continue to see the PHS increase their efforts every year, always striving to be better and do more.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about the Peninsula Humane Society. For almost two decades, I have interacted with them as both an adopter and volunteer, and even as an animal camp participant when I was young. They have grown into a model shelter that not only saves every life possible, but empowers our community to take part in the ongoing mission to end animal suffering and abuse. They never turn away an animal, regardless of how sick or difficult to deal with they may be. The PHS goes beyond its scope of duty and reaches out to other shelters in their times of need. Not long ago, they took in many animals displaced by hurricane Irma, and this week (10/14/17) they are making efforts to help those affected by the fires ravaging California. Best of all, they only continue to expand their efforts, and are forerunners in the mission to increase and promote animal welfare.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) is proactive in planning for animal care during emergencies. There are many potential disasters that can affect pets including earthquakes, floods, and fires. PHS has pre-staged supply trailers throughout the County to be able to care for animals after a disaster. PHS also trains volunteers to staff field shelters. Before the disaster, PHS educates community members on how they can include their pets in their family preparedness planning. I enjoy volunteering with an organization that values being prepared.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an active volunteer with PHS for many years and promote all they do all the time. A few weeks ago I had them come to my Company Adopt a Pet Month event so we could raise money for the shelter as well as donations for Pick of the Liter which is the second hand store. The shelter is immaculate, the animals are very well cared for and the volunteer program is fantastic. I work at all the events and used to work in the Spay & Neuter Clinic. I will hopefully be able to get them to come back to our event next year! They are a top rate shelter and I am proud to be a part of it. Debbie

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at PHS since 2006 and find it to be a very rewarding thing to do. I used to work in Spay & Neuter and enjoyed it very much. I now volunteer at as many events as I possibly can hoping it will make a difference for our wonderful animals. All of the staff and other volunteers are great and make it a pleasure to be in such a wonderful place.

I also promote The Pick of the Liter where all the proceeds go towards the animals. I have been donating to them for many years and will continue to do so. John always has a smile on his face when you see him at The Pick and is very welcoming. If you have many items to donate they will coordinate a time to pick them up at your house.

We have a wonderful Fashion Show which is getting better and better each year that we put it on, a huge success and so much fun for the volunteers, models & patrons. We raise a lot of money for the Hope Fund.

A wonderful facility, caring staff and loving animals looking for their forever home. PHS is a great place and I would highly recommend anyone looking to adopt to check it out. I give them a "10+". Debbie

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been volunteering for 10 years at PHS. During that time I have hand fed baby birds and squirrels, walked dogs, helped with special events and been a Greeter welcoming guests to our beautiful Lantos Center for Compassion. I have seen first hand the care and kindness with which staff and volunteers attend to all of our frightened and lost animals. Each animal is an individual who is treated lovingly and respectfully. It’s a privilege to be a small part of this organization. This is Pippa, my adopted Poochon. She’s a wonderful family dog.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I started volunteering 3 years ago at Peninsula Humane Society and deeply appreciate the opportunity to grow in my dog handling skills and help PHS make a difference alongside the competent and dedicated staff.
The benefits of social bonding with dogs and cats is a positive influence on human health, especially for vulnerable populations, such as kids, the elderly and inmates. PHS contributes the welfare of society, not just the non-human animals in our care.
I would like to see more creative programs, such as more descriptive narratives of pets that are ready for adoption, organized days/weekends out with volunteers for dogs and more frequent play group interaction among the dogs, as I have seen done at other shelters, but I recognize that these initiatives add operational complexity and that resources are limited.

Natasha A.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my second year volunteering for PHS SPCA. Volunteering here has become a large part of my life, and I never seize to be impressed by how well things are organized for us. There are hundreds of volunteers, and we work together pretty much seamlessly, every day, all year long! This requires great coordination, very clear guidelines, rules, and practices.
I also really appreciate how the shelter is going the extra mile to always keep our experience positive, when in fact we're dealing with something very sad: homeless/neglected/injured animals. Simply put, I am grateful for the opportunity to do my part and not be heartbroken all the time. Great staff, great facilities, I feel very lucky to be here.

Heather M.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I foster cats and kittens for PHS and I have been impressed by the care and attention that the animals get. When I have an issue or problem with a kitten or I need supplies, the foster team, as well as the front desk team, are top notch and take care of what I and the cats need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at PHS for more than 10 years. I'd recommend this volunteer opportunity to anyone interested in working with animals.

Lisa D.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We adopted our cat from the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA and the people we dealt with could not have been nicer or more professional when it came to asking us questions about our experience, our home environment, and what we were looking for in a pet. The experience was so positive that I became a PHS/SPCA volunteer because I wanted to give back to the organization that had given us so much.

I've been a volunteer there for over 10 years now, and it's one of the best things I've ever done at one of the best places I've ever served. I've volunteered all over the Bay Area in a variety of organizations (AIDS groups, local food banks, libraries, other animal rescue organizations) and I have so say that PHS is the best run, most welcoming, most appreciative organization I've ever known. I've made so many great friends, met so many amazing staff members, dealt with the public, worked with the critters, and have generally found my home away from home.

Everyone at PHS puts the animals first. They really care about the physical and emotional well being of every animal that comes through the door. It's not just about getting animals adopted, it's finding the right home for the right animal with the right family or individual. And that makes all the difference.

The shelter itself is beautiful. Big, clean, welcoming, and full of happy animals that get a lot of love until they find a home.

Bottom line: great people at a fabulous organization. Thanks, PHS, for taking care of our kitty until we found her. And for welcoming me and making me feel like part of the family.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a volunteer for 23 years, watching PHS improve and grow as the years go by. As challenging as staffing is in the Bay Area, PHS works very hard to hire and retain excellent and motivated employees who go to great lengths to help the animals and the adopters. This is a very difficult job, dealing with a variety of stressful medical, social, and behavioral (both animals and humans !) problems. The staff is invariably professional and competent in complex and uncertain situations. The animals get excellent care with complete daily cleanings and observations. The veterinary care is meticulous and caring, for hundreds of animals, some in very dire conditions. I wouldn't have stayed for 23 years if I didn't think the organization was worth it!

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate to Peninsula Humane Society because they provides the best care and services for the animals in San Mateo County. Please remember to give generously to support our local animal shelter.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my cat from PHS & SPCA and have worked in the past as a volunteer. The staff and team of volunteers are very committed to serving the animals and the public. The animals are well cared for until they are adopted, the volunteers are well trained and they also have classes and training for the public as well as outreach programs. We're lucky to have a dedicated organization like this in the bay area.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer foster parent for kittens from the Peninsula Humane Society in Burlingame; nearly sixty kittens have spent time with me and my family over the past 10 years. I choose to work with Peninsula Humane because the staff is exceptionally talented, dedicated and compassionate. The kittens that I foster have excellent health care while they are with me and I know they will have the best chance of finding permanent homes at the beautiful Lantos center. I know that the hours I volunteer give the staff extra time to help many other animals in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Around 1986 or 1987 there was an oil spill in the Bay, and there were many ducks and birds covered with oil and near death. PHS brought them to the shelter and put a call out for temporary volunteers to help the existing volunteers and staff to help clean them. I was flying as a flight attendant and had a lot of time between flights. I thought I would help them for a few weeks. After the crisis softened, I decided to stay full-time as a volunteer because of my love of animals, but also because of the caring and compassionate staff and volunteers I met while there. I am still there more than 30 years later and still loving the organization and people. I also learned from that time so long ago about how well Dawn soap works for cleaning oil and grease.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for PHS-SPCA for 7 years in different departments and the dedication, compassion, and knowledge of the staff and volunteers goes beyond the call of duty.

Paige B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer here in the "Furchandise" store. I work retail so the profits can go back into the shelter and it gives me a unique opportunity to see how PHS serves the community. From a woman coming in looking for a harness that will reduce pulling and leaving with that and an appointment to work with her dog and a trainer to seeing a little girl and her mother pick toys for a kitten they're adopting because the girl made straight A's that semester, I get to see the people and animals that are helped by PHS's approach to serving the animals in San Mateo County.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an animal shelter located in San Mateo county whose mission it is to find kind and loving homes for all of its animals. This is a publicly funded non-profit organization that takes-in lost and unwanted animals and prepares them for adoption by deserving families. I am pleased to say that I am a volunteer at this shelter as well as a regular donor. Since I have begun volunteering there, I have been privileged to work with the caring and compassionate staff members, and have spent time with many really wonderful animals in need of a home. I feel that this shelter deserves the consideration of animal lovers everywhere.

Cecilia R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Pick of the Litter Thrift store (which is affiliated with PHS) for several years. Having a Yorkie 'fur-child' was a catalyst in becoming a volunteer at the thrift store, knowing all proceeds go to help the animals. Presently, I decorate the thrift display windows. Many of the items displayed are from donations. I enjoy working with other volunteers, as well as assisting our patrons. I invite you to visit Pick of the Litter Thrift store - i'm sure you will find a little treasure for yourself, and perhaps one for your pet.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to the Peninsula Humane Society for the past 1O years. It all began when we adopted our beloved Lucy from PHS. I was so impressed with the organization and the support we received.
PHS provides an invaluable service to the community. They do so with love and compassion.

Beatrix P W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at PHS for a few years now and I love their dedicated work to help animals . The behavior staff is amazing and always there if you need help or advice . Everyone is working hard trying to do their best helping animals

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a donor, a member of the Board for a few years and a volunteer for more than thirty years and have seen many changes -- all for the good -- during those years. It truly is an "open-door shelter", open to all, no matter the age or health condition. Others that call themselves "no-kill" shelters are actually "closed-door" shelters because they only accept the very adoptable pets and have a waiting list for those who wish to surrender their pet.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been supporters of PHS for 25 years. We continue to be amazed by how dedicated the staff and volunteers are to the animals. Despite the large number of animals brought to the shelter each one is treated individually and is given the best opportunity for a happy outcome.

Donor

Rating: 5

We’ve been long time donors to this organization. My wife and I are both life long animal lovers, and PHS-SPCA has shown that they are of a similar mindset. Which is not something we take lightly. We thank them all often and have adopted there many times as well. We love PHS!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

PHS-SPCA is so much more than just a shelter for lost dogs and cats. The passion and drive that is shown by everyone that works there, from the head of the organization right down to the ones that clean the kennels and cages, is so inspirational and honest, and obviously it's all a labor of love. This, in turn, ripples down to the fact that there are more than 1,400 volunteers that only want to help make the lives of every animal in PHS' care, better. Not a simple task. Many of the animals here are traumatized and depressed. We all are there to help try and make their stay a positive and rewarding experience--and adoptable. Plus, PHS is also a wildlife rescue and rehab facility too. This, in short, is an amazing place that also makes for a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

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Bill M.4

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I became donors over 20 years ago when we adopted our first of four dogs. We became donors when we realized the great work that PHS delivers on a consistent basis to the animals they rescue and that are in their care. We continue our support of PHS as both legacy and campaign donors due to their sustained and substantially positive impact on our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering at PHS/SPCA for 23 years. I’ve seen the organization grow into something about which they should be incredibly proud. They do amazing work and are a true asset for the community.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

PHS/SPCA is a great organization. They have wonderful leadership, and have built an unrivaled volunteer program. While they are not what some consider a "No Kill" animal shelter, they only euthanize animals when it's in the best interest of the animal (i.e., when an animal is suffering, and cannot recover or when an animal's behavior is dangerous, and the behavior cannot be corrected). Since they are connected to the county as the animal control agency, they have to accept every animal that comes through its doors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Peninsula Humane for almost 9 years. No job, paid or volunteer has left me with the feeling of true accomplishment that PHS does. I do the dog dishes, laundry and sometime clean the kennels. While this job is not glamorous it is fulfilling in every way. And because this nonprofit is near and dear to my heart, I have recently signed on to be a member of their Auxiliary with helping to raise funds for their ongoing animal cost of care.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started my volunteer adventure over two years ago. More important then any job I have ever done and been paid for or otherwise, this tops the list of ALL TIME BEST. I start and end my day with a smile. I have made many new friends and aquaintences there. The animals rely on my services and I rely on the fantastic feeling that they give me. I have in additon to working for and with the animals, been able to help in the administrative area and the facilities. This is a truly a destination that plants a power of goodwill and happiness and it can do that for all.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA does their very best to offer a safe and loving environment for the animals they care for. The staff is knowledgeable, and it's apparent that the animals' needs and best interest are a priority. Their volunteer training is thorough enough so when it's your first day on the job you feel confident stepping right in.

Donor

Rating: 5

I initially volunteered at Peninsula Humane Society, several years ago. I was so impressed
with what I saw, that my husband and I decided to add them to our small list of organizations
we donate to annually. I continue to be amazed at the employees and volunteers' level of
commitment to help animals in need. PHS is also, incredibly well managed. I look
forward to continuing to work with them, in the future.

Sincerely,

Kathie Heidenreich

David C.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been a pleasure volunteering for the Peninsual Humane Society. From the various high quality services to the incredible employees and volunteers, I feel proud to be part of the team.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at PHS for about 7 years. I work mostly in the Behavior Department, run by Maria Eguren. In recent years, I have worked with Maria to evaluate how adoptable dogs do with children of various ages -- so that adoptions are a good match. Maria is so knowledgeable about dogs, and great to work with. All in all, I love volunteering at PHS and very much appreciate the great work the shelter does.

Amy B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I adopted my dog from PHS and was so thrilled with the way the animals were treated there that me and my kids started volunteering! I’ve worked with animals my entire life and have never seen such a compassionate group of folks that dedicated their lives to their well being.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the PHS. I have been volunteering here for years, and I hope I can continue to spend my time helping the people and animal here.
Everyone is amazing in how they care about animals, and work hard to care for those animals. Whether it's pets that need a new home, or wildlife that needs some attention before it can be went back to the wild.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an 8 year voluneer with the Penninsula Humane Society. Not enough could ever be said about this haven of love and respect for animals who have no place to go wandering the streets, were brought in abused, or turned over because the owner could no longer keep them. The level of care and nurturing is excellent and the staff and volunteers love their jobs and the kind people they see there daily. If they didn't they would not be there as the work is tough. Keeping the animals and thier surroundings clean and fed is long hard work. The work we all do at Peninsula Humane is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever done. Even though this is not a paid job for me, it is just as rewarding.

Martha.K

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All the employees and volunteers have such a great passion for the welfare of animals.

As a volunteer in the kitten nursery for the last five years, I have seen 230 plus kittens adopted each year that would not have survived without the program. Some very small kittens are syringe fed by volunteers. Some of the kittens are only 2 weeks old. Three shifts a day tend to the needs of vulnerable kittens. Volunteers also foster at home which is coordinated by the program. Last year, 240 kittens found a home, were saved from being feral and were spayed.

There are also departments for wildlife which include exotic animals such as owls, hummingbirds and more.

The new building was designed for each department and makes a very pleasent place to visit and work.

The dog behavior area which has many dog adoption rooms with large glass windows and holds obedience classes is amazing. We are truly blessed that this building was funded and built.

Recently, 60 homeless animals were airlifted from Florida to San Mateo, CA to be cared for in the shelter. These animals would have been put down in Florida to make room for displaced animals with possible owners/families.The kitten nursery takes in kittens from other bay area shelters which do not have the ability to care for them.

The shelter takes care of many animals that have to be quarantined including the Florida animals which carry diseases not found in California. Once passing quarantine these animals will find homes.

The philosophy is that every healthy animal will be cared for throughout its life. Some cats have been here for 10 plus years.

If you are in the area, come by and see the dedicated staff and volunteers with these well cared for animals year round. The kitten nursery is on the second floor May-September/October.

I have adopted 3 cats here. Two, Pepper and Ginger, lived to be 19 years old, and Mew inspired me to volunteer at the shelter, so I am a client and volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have fostered a total of 22 dogs over the past one and a half years. EVERYONE I have interacted with from vets to coordinators to adoption staff is so devoted. Whether we have newborns with a mama or two frightened 6 month old chihuahuas, the love, compassion and dedication to these animals is amazing. They are also responsive and easy to work with which makes volunteering for them addictive...ask my husband!