PAWS AND PAGES: Away for summer vacation

With school out of session and the summer heat in full effect, many people have already begun to leave the Imperial Valley to escape from the scorching heat.

Over the last few weeks there has been a massive number of pet owners calling the Humane Society of Imperial County wanting to surrender their pets. When asked why they must surrender their pets, many openly admit that they are leaving town for vacation. The Humane Society staff has done its very best to accommodate these animals, but the shelter became completely full in a very short amount of time and is currently well over capacity … once again.

The team at the Humane Society believes that traveling should never be a reason as to why a pet is separated from their family and placed into a shelter, as there are other options. Although we do our very best to make the animals in our care as happy and as comfortable as we possibly can, the shelter environment can be scary to some pets. Shelters are noisy, they have a lot of unfamiliar smells, and most often they are overcrowded (such as ours). All of these factors make it very hard for some pets to adjust to the change and this makes finding them a home that much more difficult.

What it seems to boil down to is that many of the Imperial Valley residents do not know what resources are available to them, thus they do not take advantage of them. The Humane Society frequently refers pet owners to local community members and businesses who deal with pet boarding or pet sitting.

Desert Veterinary Group is a local veterinary office that provides boarding services to the community. Buddy Sweets has years of experience and provides an exceptional pet day care service to our community. Cathy Dobson and Mike Burk (both local animal lovers, advocates and supporters of the Humane Society of Imperial County) both provide exceptional at-home pet sitting services for our community. Each of these local professionals have years of experience in companion-animal care.

Whoever you decide to board your pets with or have pet sit for you, you can find peace of mind in knowing that your pets will be treated kindly and will be well cared for while you and your family are away.

Although these services are not free, we cannot put a price on the happiness, health and well-being of our fur-kids. In any situation, being with the family ultimately is what is best for your pets. Please remember that all family members deserve to be with their families all year round, especially our four-legged family members.

If you and your family have plans to leave town this summer and cannot take your pets with you, please make arrangements with a local boarder service to ensure that your pet is happy, comfortable and safe while you are away.


Buddy Sweets

(760) 353-7833


Cathy Dobson

(760) 550-5718


Desert Veterinary Group

(760) 355-0141


Mike Burk

(760) 554-6569


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

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