OCEANSIDE — An open house celebrated the grand opening of the San Diego Humane Society’s 30,000-square-feet cat campus June 18. Grand opening activities included a Hello Kitty bounce house, pet psychic readings and refreshments.
The need for more space to house animals prompted the opening of the second Humane Society site in Oceanside.
The newly opened Airport Road site includes a relaxing indoor water feature, a pet supply shop and visitation booths to see how you and a pet get along before you adopt.
It also has a kitten nursery, pet adoption counseling area, space for education programs and will later include a veterinary hospital. Previously, educational programs were only held at the Humane Society Gaines Street site.
“We’re really excited to be a more accessible resource,” Kelli Herwehe, San Diego Humane Society public relations coordinator, said.
Open house visitors were allowed a peep inside the kitten nursery, which is usually closed to the public. “The nursery allows kittens under eight weeks old to get 24 hour care and be bottle feed,” Herwehe said.
During the open house more than 10 pets were adopted. Jordan Zakerwsky, 9, of Oceanside, and her twin sister Alexis, were looking for two kittens to take home. They met with an adoption counselor and spent time with prospective pets in the visitation booth.
The variety of adoptable small animals is wide. “In addition to kittens and cats there are rabbits, guinea pigs, a turtle, and sometimes snakes and lizards,” Herwehe said.
Collectively, the Oceanside sites are called the San Diego Humane Society North Campus. With the two sites now open, the original facility on San Luis Rey Road will focus solely on housing and caring for dogs and the Airport Road facility will focus on housing cats, kittens and small animals.
Previously, dogs, cats and small animals were housed close together at one site. “The cats and bunnies are so much more relaxed away from the dogs,” Michelle Quigley, director of San Diego Humane Society North Campus, said.
The long-term plans for the San Diego Humane Society North Campus is to also house dogs and use the San Luis Rey site to care for sick and injured animals. Planning and funding to add dog runs, drainage and exercise areas is needed before the dogs are moved to the site. The time line to raise funds and complete renovation of the Airport Road site is estimated to be about three years.