PAWS AND PAGES: 10,000 Paws & Whiskers

Several years ago, the Humane Society of Imperial County created an automatic monthly giving program that allows community members to quickly and safely donate a specified amount each month to the animals in its care.

This monthly giving program is called 10,000 Paws & Whiskers. The purpose of this program was to encourage 1,000 community members donate at least $10 a month to bring in funds for the orphaned pets that are in our care.

This year alone we have taken in several medical cases and thanks to our donors and the veterinarians that we work with; we have been able to save over 91 percent of those medical cases!

Some of these medical cases have included leg amputations, leg pinning procedures, spinal injury surgeries, treatment for heart, liver and kidney issues, several parvo cases, several “hit by car” cases, animals that were suffering from antifreeze poisoning and a young animals born with congenital issues. Regardless of the type or severity of the medical case, all animals that come into our care with a medical condition that needs attention are referred to a veterinarian.

Some community members have been led to believe the Humane Society of Imperial County euthanizes animals for health reasons, but that is not entirely true. The only time an animal in our care with medical needs is euthanized is when a veterinarian says the animal cannot be helped due to the severity of its medical issue. Although it pains us to have to make that decision, when an animal is in pain or suffering, or the quality of life would be poor even after treatment, it is in the best interest of the animal that we help in ending its suffering.

Aside from the cost of medical cases, there are costs associated with preventatives that aid in maintaining and preserving the health of the animals in our care. Some of the basic preventatives consist of vaccinations, de-wormers, and flea and tick deterrents.

Animals also like to eat a lot, and what goes in must come out. Cleaning supplies in any shelter are of the utmost importance when it comes to maintaining a clean and healthy temporary living environment for hundreds of animals.

We have always had personal protective equipment (PPE) available to our staff for our daily routine, but given recent events, the need for PPE for our staff has dramatically increased. On average, we spend about $1,000 a week on pet food, cleaning supplies and PPE alone.

The Humane Society of Imperial County functions just like any other business, and we have to follow all the same set of rules. With payroll, workman’s compensation insurance, liability insurance, an electricity bill and other utilities, it costs about $30,000 a month to keep the shelter’s doors open and the running smoothly.

Aside from medical cases and our normal day-to-day operating costs, we often send hundreds of cats and dogs to our no-kill rescue group partners outside of the Imperial Valley. The purpose of this is to help these animals find adoptive homes when they have been at our shelter far too long and cannot find a home within our own community.

We also drive to veterinary clinics in Joshua Tree and in Mexicali for low-cost spaying and neutering of shelter animals and the community’s personal pets.

We believe that it is important to establish relationships with other community members and businesses outside of the Imperial Valley so that we are able to fulfill our responsibilities. Pre-COVID, we frequently attended community functions and adoption events locally and in the San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs areas. Of course, we plan to continue out-of-town functions once permissible. As you can imagine, vehicle maintenance and fuel costs add up quickly!

Some may not know, but during the beginning of the pandemic and currently, our operations never ceased and remained in full force. 

Many people believe that the Humane Society of Imperial County is a government-funded agency or that we are part of an “umbrella corporation.” Both assumptions are false. The Humane Society of Imperial County is a private, non-profit organization that operates solely on the generous contributions of our community members. We do not receive any supplemental funding from the city, county, state, ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Donations that are made to HSUS do not eventually trickle down to us, nor is any of that funding dispersed to us or any other Humane Society in the country. 

We understand that we are currently still facing uncertain times, but whichever aspect of our operation you find most important and would like to support, for only 33 cents a day you can help make a significant change in the life of an orphaned fur-kid in our care.

All donations made to the Humane Society of Imperial County are tax-deductible and stay here locally. By signing up through our 10,000 Paws & Whiskers monthly giving program today, your support will help to ensure that our organization continues to grow and that we can accomplish bigger and better things each and every day for the homeless pets of the Imperial Valley.

To sign up, please email us at and we will email the forms to you. If you do not have an email address, please call in and let us know your physical address (or P.O. box) and we will be happy to send a form your way.

Don’t forget! As our special thanks to you, we will send you a complimentary tote with our logo and a picture of an orphaned pet in our care that your life-saving donation has helped.

When you email or call, please specify which color tote you would like. The colors to choose from are: red, black, blue and green. Once your forms have been received by us and you have specified that you would like to donate at least $10 each month, we will send your tote and picture to you.

The Humane Society of Imperial County team thanks our community for its continued support and for establishing an essential role in the business of saving lives!


Devon Apodaca is executive director of the Humane Society of Imperial County.   

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