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By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

February 15, 2020 (San Diego) - Petco Foundation provided a $250,000 grant valentine surprise to staff at the San Diego Humane Society on Gaines Street on Feb. 13.

“As part of our mission we have committed $10 million to making a difference to shelters and pets during the valentine day week,” said regional field program manager Bill Gialenes with the Petco Foundation.  The $10 million will go to animal welfare organizations across the country.

Two hundred staff, guests, and volunteers gathered for lunch followed by the presentation of an oversized check for $250,000 to Dr. Gary Weitzman, president/ceo of the San Diego Humane Society from Gialenes.

“Our staff grew with Petco over the last 25 years,” said Weitzman. “They have been a very strong supporter.”

Doctors have also been sending in valentine cards to the facility.

The staff was invited to a lunch, not knowing what it was for. The grant and more were introduced after lunch.

The Valentine’s day love was not only the lunch, but staff received BOBS from Skechers shoes and for their shelter pets---dog and cat toys.

Additionally, the Animal Friends of the Valleys received a $250,000 grant.

Staff, such as Chula Vista resident Emily Tamayo, who works on the lost & found team reuniting strays with their owners, is also a pet lover in her personal life.

“I have two cats, one dog, a hamster, and a snake,” said Tamayo. Tamayo confirmed that the event was a surprise. “We only received an email about the lunch,” she quipped.

Two strays/rescues, Popcorn and Waffle, husky mixes, who attended the luncheon, have already been adopted having just arrived last week.

Part of their “Love is in the Air” special for Valentine’s day will be the waiver of adoption fees for adult pets Feb 14 and 15.

The San Diego Humane Society will be holding their Walk for Animals at Escondido’s Kit Carson Park on Feb. 22. The event includes a pancake breakfast starting at 7 a.m., doggie activities, and vendor village. The walk starts at 9 a.m.

East country residents now go through the San Diego Humane Society for dog licensing. Inexpensive microchipping and vaccinations are also available.  Visit: for more information.


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