iOS app Android app

Ken White
Raised by alligators released into the sewers of Brooklyn by children of elderly Jews returning from winter trips to Miami, Ken migrated to S.F. in 1975, and has worked with and for the animals for more than thirty years. Starting in 1978 for San Francisco's SPCA where he created the animal assisted therapy and humane education programs, and then 1989-93 as Deputy Director in charge of day-to-day operations for S.F. Department of Animal Care and Control. In 1993, the lure of affordable housing tempted him (a mistake) to leave the Bay Area, first as v.p. for Humane Society of the U.S. in Washington, D.C., and then President of Arizona Humane Society where he completed the 20-acre Campus For Compassion and dramatically increased adoptions and life-saving programs (one example, a 62' long mobile spay/neuter clinic free service for companion animals on the Navajo Nation).
Ken returned to the Bay Area in 2002 to lead Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, which today guarantees a home for every healthy, adoptable dog and cat, makes well and adopts thousands who arrive injured and ill, provides rehabilitation for native wildlife from S.F. through northern Santa Clara County -- combined, saving 7,000 animals every year.

Entries by Ken White

More Screeching

(1) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 8:45 PM


Several weeks back I wrote about the three baby Screech Owls my wife and I raised and released in our yard, "overflow" from the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA's Wildlife Rehab Program (it is apparently the Year of the Raptor here in the...

Read Post

Why Do We Need Zoos? A Follow-Up

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2016 | 12:38 AM

After the death of the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo (a decision made by Zoo officials after a young child fell into the gorilla's enclosure), I posted "Why do we need zoos?" There I wrote, "If zoos are the best we can offer animals so magnificent as tigers...

Read Post

Screech Owls in the Yard

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 10:49 PM

2016-06-22-1466636312-4367188-ScreechOwls.JPG Like most of us who work at the thousands of local humane organizations around the nation, I often take my work home with me. Unlike most professionals however, when humane workers take our work home with us it usually means taking home someone....

Read Post

Hard To Adopt Dogs Find Homes

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2016 | 6:15 PM


An open admissions shelter, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA accepts all animals from our community. That means many wonderful, healthy, friendly and frankly adorable dogs, cats and other companion animals needing nothing more than vaccination, surgical sterilization, and a loving family. It...

Read Post

The Gorilla, the Boy, and the Question: Why Do We Need Zoos?

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2016 | 12:19 PM

The killing of the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo has received the attention one could only expect. I don't care to join in the bashing and blaming, but I do think this is the right time to ask a far more basic question. Why do we need zoos?

Asked before,...

Read Post

Saying Goodbye to the Stray Cat Who Rescued Her

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 12:41 PM

I met them in the animal shelter's parking lot, Buddy the cat and his person. She explained that long ago, in his youth, Buddy was an amazingly beautiful cat, sleek and strong. She told me that Buddy found her, describing him as the stray that took her in.

Buddy just...

Read Post

House Finch Hope & Love Spring Eternal

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 4:13 PM

I've written before of the birds in my suburban yard. We've spotted dozens of species on our postage stamp size property, from diminutive Anna's Hummingbird to the impressive Cooper's Hawk who lands frequently on our fence, including of course one of my favorite backyard birds: the oh-how-common-of-a-name-can-you-possibly-get House Finch.


Read Post

Sunshine the Cat Lights Up a Life

(2) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 3:21 PM


Once again, a letter best presented without further comment...

"Dear PHS President Ken White,

"I just read about your January 2003 promises to not put to sleep physically healthy, behaviorally sound dogs and cats, as well as helping to re-home the physically unhealthy...

Read Post

Animals the Size of the Nail on Your Pinky Finger Which Require Feeding Every 15 Minutes

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 3:54 PM


A few readers contacted me after my last post to question my comment, noting that Peninsula Humane Society accepts all animals including native wildlife: "we have several baby hummingbirds brought down in their nests by recent windstorms, animals the size of the nail...

Read Post

Meet Charlie, the Narcoleptic Dog

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 3:09 PM

The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA is an open door shelter, which means we accept every animal brought to us from this community regardless of age, health, behavior, even species. We get animals too young to be away from their mothers (right...

Read Post

'You Bring Together People Like Me and Furry Friends Like Maggie and We Save Each Other'

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2016 | 12:56 AM

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to simply get out of the way. An example of that approach...

"Dear Mr. White,

"In October of 2014, I wrote to you to tell you about our wonderful four legged friend Maggie, whom we adopted from the Peninsula SPCA in July of...

Read Post

Does Donald Have a Pet? What About the Others?

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2016 | 7:59 PM

Among Donald Trump's new lines, we now often hear "Marco Rubio couldn't get elected dog catcher in Florida." As someone who has proudly been a humane officer and an animal control officer I should point out that these are typically not elected positions, but that in turn made me want...

Read Post

Does San Francisco Animal Care and Control Need a New Animal Shelter?

(13) Comments | Posted February 17, 2016 | 1:16 PM

Does San Francisco's Department of Animal Care and Control need a new shelter? The short answer is yes. The longer answer requires establishing some context. So to that end...

Unusual but not unique in the world of animal shelters, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA is not only the nonprofit...

Read Post

How To Help The Animals

(1) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 5:13 PM

"What would you do if your kitten was kidnapped and abused? What if your dog was tortured by teenagers in a gang ritual? What if you knew of a trailer where dogs and cats had been abandoned, living without food, fresh air, or someone to take care of them?" So...

Read Post

Politics As Unusual

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 12:41 PM


Meet our Super-Pack, the only one which should have influence in your life.

Visit your local animal shelter.

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA's Adoption Center is at 1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame. Need help finding your own shelter? Just let me know your...

Read Post

'Twas a Different Night: Christmas Homes for Every Homeless Pet

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 4:21 PM

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
All the creatures were stirring, including the mouse
And the dogs big and little, the dogs strong and weak
The fish in their fish tank, the bright parakeet

The cats with the short hair, the cats with...

Read Post

Life, Such as It Is, of a Primate in a Research Lab

(1) Comments | Posted December 1, 2015 | 7:34 PM

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced its plan to end all federal research performed on chimpanzees, effectively retiring these animals to sanctuaries ) One need not oppose the use of animals in bio-medical research to recognize this as a very good thing, just as one does...

Read Post

Thanksgiving is the Right Moment to Thank Volunteers

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 11:38 PM

Probably like every one of you, I watch the news of late and wonder many things. Mostly I wonder, "What the hell is wrong with us?" By "us", I mean Homo sapiens, the obviously dominant animal on the planet who appears with increasing urgency to be committed to the destruction...

Read Post

Black Cats and Halloween

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 5:56 PM


The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is not placing a moratorium on black cat adoptions like some shelters across the country do in the days before Halloween. Instead, PHS/SPCA is aggressively seeking to find homes, and waiving adoption fees for black cats...

Read Post

Hi-Tech Meets Hi-Touch, or Why the Best Laptop Might Just Be a Cat

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 1:52 PM

I recently met with a young man who, after having recently adopted a pet bunny from the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, wanted to share a couple of observations and an idea. I'm always happy to meet with people, especially people who have already helped us save a life, and...

Read Post