The Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley (HSSBV) continues to provide services for animals and animal lovers alike as it celebrates 50 years as a local non-profit organization.
Joyce Martin founded HSSBV on March 16, 1970. According to Jill A. Henderson, Director of Development & Outreach of HSSBV, it started with a group of friends in Martin’s garage, which later expanded to its own building.
“The HSSBV started as a volunteer-driven dream and in 50 years we have helped over two million animals, annually serving an average of 60,000 pets,” stated Teri Seymour, Executive Director of HSSBV.
According to Henderson, Martin’s vision was to provide programs and services that would help the community by providing low-cost vaccines, spay neuter, humane education programs, and overall wellness for pets. “We are not a full service clinic, but you can get the majority of basic care for your pet here at HSSBV for a low cost,” stated Henderson.
HSSBV stayed opened and remains open during the pandemic. “Pets still get sick, pandemic or not,” stated Henderson.
HSSBV is taking all precautions for the safety of their staff, volunteers, and clients. HSSBV is fully operating, with the exception of their Humane Education program – a program that seeks to educate children on the treatment towards animals and creates awareness on how to not be violent against animals, show empathy and care for animals.
Due to COVID-19, safety guidelines and limited space, patients are not allowed to stay in the lobby while their pet is being serviced. Patients must do a curbside check-in with their pet. Once services are completed, patients are notified for pick up.
“To maintain the safety of everyone, all are required to wear face masks, practice social distancing, disinfect personal items and surgical rooms and wear gloves when being in contact with animals,” stated Henderson.
Additionally, all fundraisers and the celebration of their 50th year anniversary have been cancelled. “It affected the non-profit organization finances drastically,” stated Henderson. Henderson encourages the community of San Bernardino to participate in “Giving Tuesday” which will take place on December 1, 2020.
Giving Tuesday is a day to give back to non-profit organizations. The HSSBV has participated for the past ten years and hopes the community can participate to maintain Martin’s mission.
“By donating to the HSSBV, you are helping us help animals and people in our community. We are not affiliated with HSUS, ASPCA, or any government agency,” stated Seymour.
“The HSSBV would love to be one of the choices of the places donors choose to give money to, especially because this has been such a challenging year for a non-profit organization,” stated Henderson.
Volunteers are always welcome in the HSSBV. But due to COVID-19, a waitlist has been implemented as a safety precaution. “At the HSSBV, volunteers make up a large portion of the daily staff and work, to keep the operation going,” stated Gil McMurray, a third year volunteer at the HSSBV.
McMurray states, “HSSBV is a great asset it provides a very essential service to the community, with low cost services and a great staff.” McMurray hopes 2021 will allow the fundraising events such as Santa Paws, Rattlesnake Avoidance Training, Casino Night, and The Walk for the Animals to take place. “The fundraising events are the most fun and it’s amazing to see the passion towards animal welfare,” says McMurray.
According to Seymour, all donations stay in the programs within the county of San Bernardino. Henderson says, “By donating to your community, you are helping the animal organizations in San Bernardino County and your communities. Make sure your money is doing what you want it to on this upcoming Giving Tuesday.”