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San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus officially re-opens to the public

November 3, 2023

Riverside County supervisors gathered with County executives and the Department of Animals Services team to kick off the grand reopening of the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus on Friday (Nov. 3). The event served to formally welcome community members to tour the campus and maybe find a new pet to adopt or foster. 

“When I first took office, many complaints I came across was that the County only had two active animal shelters: one being in Riverside, and the other being in Coachella. One day, I came across a heartfelt story when I heard a child who lives in San Jacinto lost his puppy and could not retrieve the dog because Coachella was too far of a commute for his parents. Can you imagine losing your best friend due to lack of resources? This motivated me even more to champion the re-opening of this shelter,” said Fifth District Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez. 

Families brought gently used towels and blankets for the animals and donated stacks of newspaper to the shelter. In turn, residents were treated to FREE pet adoptions to celebrate the grand reopening of the animal campus. 

Among the officials to take part in the reopening festivities was Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington, Fifth District Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez, Riverside County Chief Operating Officer Juan C. Perez and Riverside County Department Animal Services Director Erin Gettis, as well as city representatives and local partners. 

Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in June to provide funding that would make it possible to reopen the San Jacinto shelter after it was shuttered in 2020 due to budgetary concerns during the COVID pandemic. 

“By reopening the San Jacinto campus, the County is better able to serve our mid-county residents and their pets,” said Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington. “The community will now enjoy the entirety of benefits that a fully staffed animal shelter can offer.” 

While the facility, located at 581 S. Grand Ave., in San Jacinto, has provided some limited services to unincorporated areas of the county, the $3.4 million budget adopted and ratified by the Board on June 20 now allows for a broader spectrum of public amenities to include licensing, sheltering and fostering and adoption opportunities.   

“Not only does reopening the shelter improve the Department of Animal Services’ ability to provide comprehensive services, but it will play a vital role in addressing the overcrowding of our shelters here in Riverside County, much as we have seen across the nation,” Erin Gettis, Riverside County Department of Animal Services director. 

More than 20 new staff have been hired or assigned to the shelter to include animal control officers, animal control technicians, animal adoption counselors and support services technicians.  Veterinary care is also being explored depending on access to specialized and available resources.  

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To see the ceremony of the reopening of the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus please click here.

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