Vision 2020: Prevention, Rescue, Education

In 2012, the San Francisco SPCA created a road map to end animal abandonment in San Francisco by 2020. We call this plan Vision 2020. All of our programs and services support at least one of the three tenants to Vision 2020: Prevention, Rescue, Education. We’ve identified the three main reasons why animals end up in shelters: overpopulation, barriers to veterinary care, and behavioral issues and by addressing these aggressively through our programs and services, we will make San Francisco the first city in the nation to end the cycle of animal homelessness.


Preventing overpopulation and surrenders helps ensure that animals never need to enter a shelter. How will we do it?

  • Free & low-cost spay/neuter
  • Comprehensive behavior services and resources
  • Charity veterinary care
  • Trap-Neuter-Release expansion to prevent cat overpopulation at its source


Rescuing every healthy, adoptable and medically treatable cat and dog will become possible by increasing adoptions, expanding foster programs and exposing puppy mills. How will we do it?

  • High volume adoptions
  • Post-adoption support
  • Comprehensive veterinary care
  • Expose puppy mills and change consumer attitudes to buying puppies online
  • Increase foster and fospice programs


Education rounds out the Vision 2020 plan. We are imbedded in the community to be a resource of information, support and to encourage advocacy. We are also investing in the next generation of animal advocates in our community by creating a robust youth program. How will we do it?

  • We are front and forward in the community: at events, online and in traditional media
  • Humane Education programs reach kids at their schools and through after-school and summer programs at the SF SPCA
  • Animal Assisted Therapy training and visits reach tens of thousands of people each year
  • Our new Advocacy department is critical in identifying and impacting animal welfare issues

Please watch the 4-minute video below to learn more. You can also view and print our Vision 2020 brochure (719 KB pdf).