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An effort to find over 250 missing animals has sparked an argument between the San Diego Humane Society and its Arizona counterpart. The controversy centers around the fate of 318 small animals that were transferred to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson to find them loving homes and alleviate pressure on San Diego’s local shelters. However, what happened to 250 of these animals remains a mystery, shrouded in secrecy as the Tucson shelter declines to share information about the unnamed rescue organization that supposedly adopted them. This situation has sparked concerns and led to a collaborative rescue mission involving dedicated animal advocates.
Source: News 4 Tucson KVOA-TV/YouTube
San Diego resident Kelly Paolisso, a devoted guinea pig owner and animal shelter volunteer, was one of the individuals who became deeply concerned about the fate of these animals. She initially had the intention of adopting one of them but couldn’t bear the thought of leaving any of them behind when she realized the magnitude of the situation. Paolisso joined forces with fellow animal rescuers and advocates from Las Vegas, Arizona, and San Diego to rescue some of the animals that were still at the Tucson shelter. During their mission, they discovered that some of the animals had facial lacerations and injuries due to conflicts while being kept in crowded cages.
In total, Paolisso and her team managed to bring 24 of these animals back with them. One found a permanent home with Paolisso herself, while the other 23 were transferred to Wee Companions, a local small animal rescue organization, for specialized care and attention.
Steve Farley, CEO of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, asserted that nearly all of the remaining animals had been adopted and that, by the end of the week, all 318 San Diego animals would have been placed with the help of their community and partner rescues. However, this statement is met with skepticism by Dr. Gary Weitzman, President and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society. Weitzman denied giving details about the unnamed rescue organization to the Tucson shelter before the animals’ transport. He has since requested the return of the animals, even offering to retrieve them personally. Weitzman has resorted to legal action to compel the Tucson shelter to provide the requested information, a decision he describes as unprecedented in his 30 years of animal welfare work.
The dispute has raised serious concerns about the safety and well-being of the missing animals. Kelly Paolisso articulated her apprehensions, stating that until those who adopted these 250 animals come forward to provide reassurance, she cannot believe that they are in a safe situation.
Fenella Speece, President of Wee Companions, sees this situation as an opportunity to shed light on the issue of overpopulation among small pets. She hopes that it will encourage a shift in attitudes towards these animals and inspire more individuals to step forward and care for them.
We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shop. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!
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