Monday, April 6, 2009

In Anticipation of Our New HSSV

by Bridget Keenan, Director of Development

Humane Society Silicon Valley held an open party on Saturday, March 28th, where 6,000 of our close friends came! And it was about 5,000 more than we expected…the response to our new Animal Community Center from the community far and wide was outstanding and overwhelming. People wept as they came through our doors, clearly understanding just what our friendly, inviting new home will mean to the “homeless” animals that will be in our care.

Because we’re still finishing up construction here, and the noises, fumes, and movement would be too stressful to our animals, we made the decision to still go forward with this party even without the animals — that we’d simply introduce the facility and its potential….and honestly, I don’t think anyone noticed! There were too many great dogs walking around with their guardians, checking out the digs. Even a cat or two made their way here. Many of these pets were alumni of our old Lafayette location, their guardians proudly showing off what a wonderful companion and part of their life they have become.

It was go-go-go the whole day. I was meeting our friends and donors who have supported us through this capital campaign…you can imagine how meaningful it was for THEM! Seeing their support come to fruition. They had given a gift to HSSV to help build our dream, based on a 2-dimensional map of the building and a few artist’s renderings. And now, here they were, walking the beautiful stained concrete “boulevards”, knowing they are forever a part of this game-changing effort….a model for animal welfare organizations across the country.

Even though the animals haven’t moved yet, our administrative offices have. Several colleagues and I are working in our incredible new home, waiting patiently for our co-workers and our sweet animals to join us. As I walk the quiet halls today, I envision the animals soon living relaxed in their quiet habitats, the small children with their noses pressed against the glass watching the frolicking dogs in the Socialization Area, the elderly woman therapeutically stroking a purring older cat in her lap in our Cat Community room, the dog sitting under the cafĂ© table munching on his biscuit while his owner enjoys her latte in the afternoon sun, the rabbits hopping down the ramp of the Rabbitat to greet their new visitors, the children filling our Education Center to learn how to understand and be compassionate toward animals.

Even now, while our facility is quiet, in anticipation of HSSV’s new life…before our animals settle in and their future adopters come for a visit…before the dog-lovers fill our dog park…before all of the activity begins, I see what it will be like. And it will be incredibly exciting to be a part of it.


  1. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to join the festivities that day, but it sounds like it was wonderful. I pray that someday we will live in a world where the lives of companion animals are valued as much as those of human beings.

  2. Thank you so much! We believe that our new Animal Community Center will help that "world" that you envision become a reality someday.