Mission & History
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to placing homeless animals with committed caretakers; to developing healthy relationships between pets and people through education, training and counseling; and to promoting the humane treatment of all animals.
We envision a community that universally values animals and takes action to respect, protect and care for them and their needs.
In 1927, three concerned citizens formed the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society (BEBHS), originally named "Animal Rescue Haven," at the corner of Ninth and Carleton Streets to rescue homeless animals in Alameda County. As the needs of the community's animals shifted throughout subsequent decades, education programs, community pet support programs and a veterinary hospital were added. BEBHS closed the veterinary practice to the public in early 2009 to focus on providing medical care exclusively for shelter dogs and cats, making it the first veterinary hospital in the East Bay to serve only homeless animals.
In the 1970s, the Board of Directors committed to a revolutionary adoption guarantee model: that no healthy or treatable shelter animals would be euthanized in the Society's care. This commitment set the stage for BEBHS placing 100% of healthy and treatable animals into loving homes for nearly forty years, a commitment that awarded BEBHS and partner organizations the prestigious Maddie's Fund Lifesaving Award in 2009.
From our humble beginnings in a renovated former pool hall in West Berkeley, BEBHS continues to expand and adapt the services of the organization to meet the ongoing needs of the community's animals and their human guardians. BEBHS' work would not be possible without its strong partnerships with local animal welfare groups and the support from animal-loving friends who share the Society's vision. Today, BEBHS has thousands of supporters and volunteers, and remains steadfast in its practices to curb pet overpopulation in the East Bay and give pet guardians the tools they need to ensure that their pets remain happy and healthy in their homes for the rest of their lives.
Update: Despite a major fire that destroyed the Adoption Center on May 20, 2010, BEBHS is fully committed to its mission and vision. The Board of Directors and staff are focused on resuming temporary operations and identifying a long-term strategy that will allow for the rebuild of a facility to best serve the needs of animals in the community. BEBHS is grateful for the unwavering support in the face of this tragedy, and is committed to keeping supporters apprised of progress as we move forward.