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Visit to the San Francisco SPCA

Updated: Dec 24, 2018

This December I was fortunate to be able to spend some time in the U.S. visiting family. And since I was in the same state I made sure to stop by the SF SPCA.

The SF SPCA was one of the many places I travelled to between 2001 and 2003 learning the art and science of dog training and as such holds a special spot in my heart. You can find out more about where I went and what I did here.


I graduated from the SF SPCA’s Academy for Dog Trainers in 2002. The academy, which was founded by one of the top trainers in the world Jean Donaldson, is widely acknowledged as the Harvard of dog training. Since I couldn’t make it to the real Harvard, this is better than nothing eh? 😉


I was very excited to visit SF SPCA again after so many years. It was extra special as this time I was returning with my kids. It was proof that I had a life before they came along 😁.


The one thing that strikes you when you step into the animal shelter is the lack of noise. I was just as amazed as I was over a decade ago by how clean and quiet it is. There is no smell of pee, no frantic barking, no jumping up or pacing.


While it is true that the SF SPCA is very well funded through private donations, the staff and volunteers are what truly makes this place special. It is my fervent wish that one day all animal shelters in the world meet or even exceed the benchmark set by SF SPCA. If you can, reach out to your local animal shelter and see how you can help. Every little bit helps!


Without further ado, enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think!

General view of the Dogs section. There's actually a dog park INSIDE the shelter!

The interior of the dog park.

Calm and quiet. No frantic bouncing off the walls.

All the rooms have a touchscreen tablet showing the occupants' information.

Just calmly watching the world go by.

Every dog has a bed and several toys.

I love, love, love the feeding tubes! Visitors help train the dogs to keep 4 paws on the floor and the dogs learn not to shy from strangers. Such an ingenious concept that makes training virtually effortless!

The cats are not neglected either. Check out their super cool rooms! Every room is just as fancy. I only took photos of a couple.




The full text for #5 is "Freedom From Fear And Distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering"