The Humane Society Silicon Valley today announced that it has received a $10 million multi-year investment from Michelle Oates Detkin and Peter Detkin of Los Altos to expand access to veterinary care, especially for families impacted by economic challenges. This is the largest financial commitment that has been made to the society since its founding in 1929.
With this lead gift, the humane society will launch a “Wellness Waggin' ” mobile veterinary clinic. The Wellness Waggin' will provide low-cost and no-cost veterinary care, prioritizing the local Silicon Valley communities that are home to families with the least financial resources. HSSV plans to seek additional funding to maintain this program for decades to come.
Michelle Oates Detkin said, “We want to help people through their pets, by keeping families together. It’s about pets and people — the human-animal bo
nd and about preserving relationships that sustain people — particularly now, with the future so uncertain for many. Equity demands of us as a community that families, regardless of income, are offered the opportunity to experience the value that having a pet in their home can bring.”
She added, “We accepted the honor of having our name on the building in the hopes it would inspire others to get involved. Our dream is that having a name on this building makes it a more personal, more accessible, and more welcoming center for the community. The joy of pet ownership should be available to everyone who wants to welcome a pet into their home.”
The Humane Society of Silicon Valley said it will rename its Animal Community Center in the Detkins’ honor. New signage has been installed on the building and the society will formally unveil the Peter Detkin and Michelle Oates Detkin Animal Community Center at a community event celebrating the launch of the Wellness Waggin’ program in November.
Peter Detkin added, “Bringing a pet into a home makes a family whole. We want to make and keep more families whole across this region. We also want HSSV to ensure that families or individuals with pets, regardless of economic means, can keep their pets healthy and receive the veterinary care they need to thrive so they can stay in the home with people who already love them.”
Michelle Oates Detkin is a retired attorney having worked in real estate law and in commercial law at Intel. Peter Detkin is the founder of Intellectual Ventures, and is a Managing Director at Sherpa Technology Group. He was previously Assistant General Counsel at Intel, and before that was a partner at the Wilson Sonsini law firm. He has served as a board member of Human Society of Silicon Valley since 2016. The couple have two adult children and reside in Los Altos Hills with their teenage son. Their family includes their adopted dog and three cats, all HSSV rescue animals.
The humane society is the nation’s first model shelter meeting all 543 standard-of-care guidelines put forth by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. In addition, the shelter provides a resource for the region to prioritize animal rescue. The newly named community center will continue to provide expansive medical support, adoption services, a spay/neuter program, and the leadership to eliminate euthanasia for healthy and treatable animals.
Society President Kurt Krukenberg added, “Across the community, families and individuals are facing unprecedented economic, social, and emotional challenges. Pets provide a unique pathway to promote equality and equity in daily life. Our shared efforts help make and keep families whole, humans and their animals.”