By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Councilman Gary Kendrick with his late dog, Ocho.
November 15, 2023 (El Cajon)—By a unanimous vote, El Cajon City Council members approved allocating $30,000 for the Humane Society to provide shelter for dogs belonging to homeless people for up to 30 days, providing the person enters a program for the homeless. The individual can choose any homeless program, in El Cajon or elsewhere, to help them get off the streets. The measure also funds up to $2,000 in veterinary care per pet.
“It’s removing one more barrier to getting people off the street,” says Councilman Gary Kendrick, who introduced the measure, noting that local homeless shelters won’t accept pets. “A lot are saying, `I don’t want to lose my dog, so I won’t go into a program.”
The homeless person can retrieve their dog from the Humane Society after they complete a program in 30 days, or sooner if they choose. “They can leave the program and get their dog bag at any time,” assures Kendrick, a dog owner.