GIVE a wake up call.

Michelle & Peter Detkin

In 2003, when Michelle and Peter Detkin’s children were young, and the family adopted a puppy they named Hershey from Humane Society Silicon Valley’s old campus in Santa Clara, they didn’t realize they would become so deeply involved in the organization some 13 years later.

Life with Hershey and their cats was great, but over the years, the pets developed medical issues that were costly. This included a torn ligament surgery and melanoma treatment for Hershey, and thyroid cancer and aluekemic leukemia diagnostics and treatment for their kitty, Bayou. Luckily for Peter and Michelle, they had the means to address every issue as it came up. They felt so fortunate – they wouldn’t have to make a choice between caring for their pets and providing for the family's other needs. They could do both.

In 2014, when Peter and Michelle learned of the work HSSV was doing to keep pets with their families, they knew they wanted to help. The thought of a family having to surrender a pet due to an expensive illness, or even worse, a family losing a pet to death because of a lack of funds broke Michelle and Peter’s hearts. Each year, HSSV helps families by making medical investments in animals who would otherwise be surrendered only because of the family’s lack of funds to treat a serious illness or injury.

Michelle said, “If we can help someone keep their pet, it means so much to us because we know how much our pets mean to us!”

The Detkins really care about helping local nonprofits in the Silicon Valley community. They are quick to add that the work HSSV does isn’t just about animals; there’s a human element to it as well. Keeping pets in their homes benefits everyone – the families, the pets, and the greater community by keeping families intact and happy.

Peter encourages others in our community to visit HSSV to learn for themselves all the good that is happening in this community for the animals. Michelle says, “I encourage anyone thinking about adopting to visit HSSV. It’s a uniquely uplifting place. Bring your family, bring your dog – your old visions about animal shelters don’t apply to HSSV!”

Peter and Michelle have high hopes for all that the Paint A Better Future™ campaign will help HSSV achieve. They know by supporting one of the organization's solutions, “keeping pets in homes,” they are enabling HSSV to expand its reach into the community – by helping one family at a time, enriching an entire community.


Peter and Michelle with Chloe, their most recent addition to the family. The Detkins love that HSSV is a safe haven for animals, and a happy place for the animals to hang out before going to their new forever home.


Hershey was adopted from HSSV in 2003. He passed away in 2016 after 13 happy years with his family.

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