San Francisco SPCA and Pets Unlimited Announce Merger

For a copy of the press release, please visit our Press page.

On March 1st, the San Francisco SPCA and Pets Unlimited merged, creating a centralized animal care nonprofit that significantly increases organizational resources and enhances operations for the benefit of animals in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our combined organization will continue to offer services at the existing SF SPCA Mission campus on Alabama Street as well as the Pets Unlimited Pacific Heights campus on Fillmore Street.

Key benefits of the merger include:

  • Increased adoptions. The combined organization will adopt out hundreds more animals per year in the short term, and thousands more per year in the long term.
  • Expanded charity care. The combination of financial assistance programs will reach even more clients in need. The merger will enhance partnerships with local animal welfare organizations like PAWS and VET SOS.
  • Increased efficiencies. Resources saved through this merger mean more money for life-saving programs.
  • Improved customer service. When the hospital merger is complete, we will be able to better serve the residents of San Francisco with the combined services of the dual campus.
  • New volunteer opportunities. Our two locations will create a larger, more efficient volunteer network.

We understand that there may be questions about the merger, and we hope the below set of FAQs will provide you with the answers you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1.       Why did you merge?

The San Francisco SPCA and Pets Unlimited are two like-minded organizations, both non-profits with a mission to treat and save animals. We are stronger as a combined organization and by teaming up we can serve animals, our clients and the community better.

The biggest beneficiaries of this merger will be the animals. By leveraging the SF SPCA’s established website, promotions and marketing programs, we can significantly increase adoptions at the Pacific Heights campus. Efficiencies from the combined organization will mean more money can go directly to programs and we plan to significantly increase the amount of charity veterinary care available at both hospitals.  The combined result should save at least 1,000 additional lives each year.

  1. 2.       How does this merger affect current Pets Unlimited and SF SPCA clients?

We will continue to offer services at the existing SF SPCA Alabama Street campus and the Pets Unlimited Fillmore Street campus.  Clients at both locations will continue to receive the same great services.  As we are able to integrate, clients will get even more benefits, with a seamless experience and transfer of records between the two locations.  SF SPCA clients will now be able to benefit from Pets Unlimited’s 24 hour emergency services.  Service costs will be similar at the two locations.

  1. 3.       Who is the head of the new, merged organization?

Jennifer Scarlett, DVM, and Jason Walthall, are Co-Presidents of the new organization.  The new Board of Directors combines members of both Boards and the Executive Team reporting to the Co-Presidents includes leaders from both organizations.

  1. 4.       What is the name of the new organization?

The new organization is called the San Francisco SPCA. The hospital at the Pacific Heights campus will preserve the Pets Unlimited name.

  1. 5.       Will you continue all the programs of the two organizations prior to merging?

Yes. The goal is to retain and grow our programs.

  1. 6.       How does this affect other animal welfare organizations in the city?

The SF SPCA and Pets Unlimited share many of the same strategic partners, including PAWS, VetSOS, the San Francisco Police Department’s Animal Units, and the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control. The merger is a great opportunity to grow these partnerships. As a result of the merger, we will expand the amount of charity veterinary care available to PAWS clients. This is a great example of how the merger benefits our community.

  1. 7.       Does this merger reduce choice for adopters and veterinary hospital customers?

San Franciscans have lots of choices when selecting a place to adopt or get care for their animal. There are over a dozen veterinary clinics and hospitals in the city of San Francisco alone and numerous rescue groups and shelters to choose from. We all have the same goal – to save animals – and the SF SPCA supports choice and provides subsidized shelter and office space to rescues at its Mission campus.

  1. 8.       Will the SF SPCA offer financial assistance to clients at the Fillmore Street location?

We are all committed to helping San Francisco residents get the veterinary care that their pets need. Both organizations have comprehensive financial assistance plans that will continue to be offered at both locations. In 2013, the combined organizations provided over $4 million in charitable veterinary care and we’re committed to expanding those services.

  1. 9.       Are the cost of services the same at both locations?

Service costs are similar at the two locations.

Overall, we expect no significant change to pricing at the Fillmore location. Some prices will move down and others up as we harmonize pricing between the two hospitals, as is the case in any normal merger. We set prices by surveying the prevailing prices in other veterinary clinics across the Bay Area. Our goal is to be on par with other practices. Clients know that every dollar of profit generated by our hospitals goes to provide charity for animals.

  1. 10.   Is any money changing hands?

No. When two non-profits merge, all the assets and liabilities of each organization are merged together under one 501(c)3.  No one is “paid” since there are no “owners.”

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