22 rescued dogs arrive at Rancho Coastal Humane Society

A rescue vehicle that arrived at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society on June 12 carried 22 dogs from a crowded animal sanctuary. The van left St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Tylertown, Miss., early June 10 and arrived in Encinitas at 2 p.m. on June 12. The 1,847-mile journey took the dogs halfway across and deposited them one step away from their new homes.

Kathy Zerkle, RCHS vice president of Adoption Services, said, “Our first step was to get them unloaded and settled in with food, water and soft beds. Next they’ll undergo examinations. Vaccinations will be updated, there will be spay or neuter surgery for the dogs who need it, and each will get a microchip for identification. We’ll also run tests to check for ailments that are common in Mississippi, but not California.”

RCHS began working with St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. SFAS had more pets than they could care for with more refugee animals arriving daily. Families in San Diego wanted to adopt them. That was 13 years ago.

RCHS spokesman John Van Zante recalled when the partnership began in 2005.

“SFAS President Pam Perez opened her sanctuary to pets who were lost, strayed, or abandoned because of Katrina," he said. "She asked how long RCHS could help her. We said we would help as long as she needed it. We’re still helping.”

The dogs were transferred through the FOCAS program. They included retrievers, hounds, and Catahoula Leopard dogs. Zerkle says, "It’s mostly adult dogs plus a few puppies. They need families who are able to make lifetime commitments."

Pets adopted from RCHS are spayed or neutered, have had health and temperament exams, vaccinations are up to date, and come with registered microchip identification.

If this isn’t the right time to adopt, please make a donation to help cover the cost of the transfer and medical care. For more information visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to www.sdpets.org. Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day but Tuesday.

— Submitted news release

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