About Us

About Us
POPCO's mission statement: We serve the citizens and animals of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties through a unified humane effort to reduce the overpopulation of companion animals via public education, spay/neuter subsidy, and acting in an advisory capacity for local officials regarding the development and maintenance of animal regulation.
POPCO's primary service: Volunteers return calls made by pet owners to POPCO's helpline (average 1,500 calls/month.)  Volunteers match spay/neuter needs to appropriate funding based on pet owner’s physical address, income, senior status, and breed of dog.  Often, Volunteers complete spay/neuter voucher orders and then fax orders to appropriate agencies.
Volunteers - complete a training program and trial period, work regular weekly shifts (4-hour minimum) and most work from home. Volunteers pay their own phone and supply expenses. Eligible volunteer candidates must follow POPCO's mission, code of conduct, the Guiding Principles of the Asilomar Accords (adopted by POPCO) and performance standards (dependability, confidentiality, accuracy, and excellent written and spoken communications.)

Milestones -

  1. January, 1998 – POPCO organized as an association of animal welfare agencies and individuals to more effectively reduce pet overpopulation
  2. September, 1999 - initiated toll-free spay/neuter helpline service throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
  3. March 8, 2000 - incorporated as a California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation
  4. Fall, 2001 - began supporting San Bernardino County Animal Care & Control spay/neuter voucher program ($150,000 per fiscal year; refunded annually; vouchers pay $50 toward dog spay/neuter, $25 for cat; allow 3 vouchers per order, may repeat) … for personal pets and feral cats of dedicated caregiver
  5. April, 2002 - began supporting City of Fontana voucher program ($50,000/fy; refunded annually, vouchers pay $50 for dog, $25 for cat, allowable number of vouchers corresponds to City ordinance for allowable pets per household) … for personal pets only (excluding feral cats)
  6. Summer, 2003 - began supporting City of Yucaipa spay/neuter voucher program (modest fund; refunded annually, POPCO refers callers to Yucaipa Animal Placement Society - YAPS)
  7. February, 2004 - began supporting City of Rancho Cucamonga spay/neuter voucher program (annual fund is now $50,000/fy, $50 for dog, $25 for cat; allow 3 vouchers per order, may repeat.)
  8. June, 2004 - began supporting City of San Bernardino voucher program ($10,000/fy; refunded annually; $50 for dog, $25 for cat; 1 voucher per household, POPCO refers to City Animal Shelter)
  9. 2005 - began supporting City of Apple Valley and City of Victorville by referring residents to respective animal control agencies for spay/neuter financial assistance.
  10. May, 2006 - began supporting County of Riverside Department of Animal Services spay/neuter voucher program ($150,000/fy $50 for dog, $25 for cat; allow 3 vouchers per order, may repeat) … for personal pets and ferals of dedicated caregiver
  11. May, 2007 - began support for City of Hesperia by referring City residents to animal control for spay/neuter financial assistance
  12. August, 2008 – awarded $10,000 from PetSmart Charities grant funding to underwrite POPCO toll-free helpline and website development
  13. September, 2008 - began support for City of Upland spay/neuter voucher program by referring residents to Upland animal shelter for vouchers.
  14. 2009 – began supporting City of Highland and City of Colton spay/neuter voucher program by referring residents to City rep.
  15. 2009- Helpline Volunteers answered 17,708 calls seeking affordable spay/neuter.

Projects Completed -

Feb - Jun 2002 - POPCO mailed 66,000 notices to Cal Works families in both Counties to advertise the California Veterinary Medical Association + Maddie's Fund joint programs to alter dogs and cats belonging to low-income caregivers. POPCO's helpline volunteers returned calls to pet owners advising of nearby participating vets and what the pet owner’s co-pay and proof of eligibility were. POPCO advertised the program through printed information posted in Cal Works' offices.
Aug 2004 - POPCO coordinated a 5-day HSUS (Humane Society of United States) RAVS (Rural Area Veterinary Service) mobile vet hospital spay/neuter event at two local Native American reservations; 201 dogs and cats were altered and received complete medical evaluation and care per RAVS' excellent standards.
Jan 2005 - Dec 2007 – POPCO coordinated and distributed veterinary medical funds for eligible indigent seniors residing in Southwest Riverside County. Funds were made available through the Albert and Anna Herdina Memorial Fund administered by The Community Foundation Serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Aug 2005 - inaugurated publicity campaign for Homeless Animals' Awareness Day, "It Matters to Me", with symbol of green ribbon to represent sustainable pet population.

Aug 2007 - inaugurated and paid for publicity event for Homeless Animals' Awareness Day celebrating 24 animal welfare agencies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties who, in 2006, LIVE RELEASED a total of 47,176 dogs and cats.

Nov 2008 – POPCO celebrated 10 years of service by gratefully recognizing Riverside & San Bernardino Counties’ Humane Heroes (organizations and individuals) for their “outstanding contribution to the humane reduction of pet overpopulation.”   Awards were given to Community Veterinarians, Spay/Neuter Providers, Rescue & Re-Homing Agencies, Humane Educators, Pet Surrender Avoidance Programs, and to individuals for Leadership and Service including to POPCO’s helpline volunteers.