Humane society pauses canine intake

Action aimed at preventing spread of animal virus

San Diego Humane Society

With San Diego Humane Society locations being at or over capacity, and recent cases of canine distemper virus, the organization has temporarily suspended the intake of owner-surrendered dogs until Jan. 15, 2023. CDV is a contagious and sometimes fatal viral infection in dogs and some wild animals such as racoons, foxes, and skunks. Vaccinated dogs are immune to CDV, but unvaccinated dogs are not. Shelter dogs who tested positive to CDV or exposed are being quarantined according to disease management protocols. The SDHS has more than 1,201 animals currently in its care, with more than 600 of them available for adoption.

“For every dog we adopted out in 2022, we took in two more who needed our help,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society in a press release. “Now, with our shelters full we are calling on our community to help us create additional space to house animals in need. And while there is never an ideal time to face these challenges, CDV, as well as reduced capacity due to construction at our San Diego Campus, is making our appeal for adopters and fosters more urgent than ever.”

Five ways to help:

1.The Humane Society has a critical need for foster homes for dogs, especially those who have been exposed to CDV and are under quarantine. Getting these deserving pets into foster care will reduce the spread of disease, increase the quality of life for dogs during their quarantine period, and free up space in at capacity shelters. Support will be provided to fosters every step of the way. Learn more or sign up at

2. If you have been considering adding a pet to your home, now is a great time to adopt. In addition to giving a deserving animal a home for the holidays, you’ll create much-needed shelter space for animals with nowhere else to turn. Visit adopt to view pets who are ready for new homes.

3. Seek support. If you are considering relinquishing your animal, we have resources to keep pets with their families through challenging times. Visit for more information.

4. If a community member cannot keep their pet, they should try rehoming them before bringing them to the shelter. SDHS offers rehoming resources that can help. These tools allow pet owners to create a profile for their adoptable pet and place the animal directly in their new home — eliminating the need for a shelter stay.

5. Many stray pets are found close to home. If you find a stray animal, there are steps you can take to reunite them directly with their owner, skipping a trip to the shelter. Visit

Serving San Diego County since 1880, San Diego Humane Society has campuses in El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside, Ramona and San Diego.

For more information, please visit