Shorthand for Fulfillment

PHS might be short on Internet slang, but has acronyms for what matters most.


I had a senior moment.

A co-worker sent an email message on Monday and I had no idea what “IIRC” meant.

I should have asked my four-year-old daughter who’s recently wobbled onto the Information Superhighway with training wheels.

We discovered recently that she was able to quickly jump from a Scooby Doo clip on YouTube to something a little creepy in a matter of seconds. (That was the day we learned about parental controls!)

So, for those of you, who like me, who don’t recognize all the common email shorthand, IIRC stands for “If I recall correctly.”

I mean, OMG, many of you must be LOL right now. That is laughing out loud, not little old ladies. And, while an animal welfare organization isn’t exactly a hotbed of tech talk (we like to say we’re low-tech, but hi-touch!), our communication among 100 employees in multiple departments and two main physical sites is e-mail heavy and we have our own abbreviations to make life easier.

Once stray animals are cleared medically and receive a positive temperament evaluation, they are spayed or neutered (S/N) and PUFA (put up for adoption).

That is, if they aren’t first claimed by owners who’ve lost them.

RTO is our abbreviation for "returned to owner." Every year, we reunite close to 1,200 animals with their owners.

Some stray animals come to us from Good Samaritans who ask us to contact them if no owner comes forward and if our staff determines the animal will be made available for adoption.

These PAs (possible adopters) are golden, as they could lead to new homes for animals with a single phone call, text or e-mail. Heck, we’d try smoke signals if it meant securing a good home.

People often ask if we are careful in terms of placing animals. 

Yes and no.

Of course we want all our animals to have fantastic homes and we don’t simply open the doors and invite visitors to take what they want.  But we also try to make the process simple, avoid unnecessary hurdles, and allow our staff to use good judgment in making matches. 

And, I’m happy to say we have very few FAs (failed adoptions). More than 90 percent of all our adoptions “stick.”

All that said, we maintain QPA (questionable potential adopter) notes on file. For example, we can flag someone who has surrendered several animals to us under unusual circumstances or highlight someone who has repeatedly shown-up schnockered and badgered staff about adopting mice to feed to their snake.

The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA (we shorten this mouthful to PHS/SPCA) is best known in the community for sheltering strays and finding new homes for them.

In recent years, however, residents have been hearing and reading more about our cruelty investigations work and partnership with our local DA’s (District Attorney’s) Office.

This, fortunately, isn’t because animal cruelty is on the rise, but more a result of our decision a few years back to dedicate full-time staff for this work, which frankly could have always benefited from this approach, given the number of calls received.

The RPs (reporting parties) often call to tell us they believe a neighbor isn’t providing adequate care for a pet. We follow up on every call, and in some cases, order an RO (reporting owner) to seek immediate veterinary care for their pet (we tell them we’ll BRB - “be right back” - to make sure they did this!) or we offer suggestions for improving that pet’s quality of life.

If you haven’t done so already, swing by the TAALCFC (Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion), the place where much of this good work happens.

But, if you are looking at an RTO situation, make sure to visit our shelter at CP (Coyote Point), 12 Airport Boulevard in SM (San Mateo).

And, please know that folks who can handle strong dogs and provide daily walks and TLC are needed at both locations. IMHO (In my humble opinion), you couldn’t find a more meaningful and appreciated volunteer opportunity.

L8R (or TTYL) – same place next week.


Joan S. Dentler April 16, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Thanks Scott---as always, another witty, informative and timely article. KUTGW (keep up the good work!)
Jean Whitney April 16, 2012 at 04:49 PM
..."we don’t simply open the doors and invite visitors to take what they want" Are you referring to the animals? Maybe "take who you want" (instead of what you want) would indicate how pet lovers tend to think of their companions.


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