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Too many pooches! San Diego Humane Society is overcrowded with dogs

No matter what kind it is, no animal with nowhere to go will ever be turned away by the San Diego Humane Society. But that policy has placed them in a very difficult situation.

“Ever since last summer, we’ve seen an influx in dogs, especially adult dogs, and it hasn’t really ever stopped," said Nina Thompson, director of public relations at the Society.

The organization reached a record number of dogs in its care last month: 606 spread across its four campuses. They’re down to the lower 500s now, but they still have way too many. That’s meant putting up temporary kennels in classrooms, which is not an ideal situation.


“For every two dogs that are coming into San Diego Humane Society’s care, one is adopted," Thompson said.

She added that the length of time pets are staying here has gone up from an average of 24 days last year to 34 days now.

So, the Society is once again providing an incentive to adopt. In a joint effort with Mayor Todd Gloria that begins on Friday, adoption fees will be waived for the first 100 adult dogs, seven months and older. After they reach that goal, adoption fees for adult dogs will be just $25 through Sunday.

But if you’re not able to adopt, there are other ways to help. The San Diego Humane Society depends on donations, and any amount of cash is welcome. They're also in need of other kinds of donations, things like dog food and treats, dog toys, towels, blankets. Everything helps.

Charlotte Radulovich
The San Diego Humane Society's Nina Thompson is shown comforting a dog being held in a temporary kennel at the Humane Society on January 12, 2023.

The Society is also placing more emphasis than ever on fostering dogs and rehoming them — and they’re ready to help those willing to help them.

“We have all these resources on our website,, so that you can possibly identify an owner for your pet instead of bringing them to the shelter," said Thompson.

Other resources are available on to help with fostering, food and veterinary care.