Richard Cone and Ann Quebedeaux have provided a safe haven for about 20 foster dogs through Animal Safehouse Program, which gives domestic violence victims a place to take their pets if they are leaving an abusive home. That’s not all the Cardiff couple does for Rancho Coastal — Cone, a volunteer for almost eight years, is a dog companion and volunteer mentor, conducts orientation tours, helps with special events, and is on a committee focused on endowment gifts and planned giving. (Both Cone and Quebedeaux have earmarked Rancho Coastal in their wills.)
“I also do landscaping, wash windows, do painting and cleanup, pretty much whatever needs to be done,” Cone says of his volunteer efforts. “I’m the guy who never says no. I didn’t plan it that way. I just wanted to play with the dogs a few hours a week, and the next thing I knew I was passing 3,000 hours and enjoying every minute of it. (Well, some of the painting wasn’t too fun, but it was great getting it done.)”
In advance of the Celebration of Second Chances to help raise money for the Animal Safehouse Program and other services (see box), Cone took time out to tell us about his life in Encinitas.
Why he devotes his time to Rancho Coastal Humane Society: Because the work they do in the community for animals and their owners is so important, and because I love animals so much. Rancho Coastal has programs you cannot find in other shelters and other communities, and they focus so strongly on placing the right pet with the right family. They’re all about what’s best for the animals. Another important reason I devote so much time is the staff. There are no words to adequately express how talented and devoted and caring they are; every single person who works there is on the exact same page about the animals. It’s a family, and I have dozens of “cousins, siblings, parents, kids and best friends!”
Why Rancho Coastal is important to our community: Rancho Coastal provides so many animal services to people who need them, and the Second Chance program literally gives a new chance for animals to be adopted into a loving home. The education programs that are available for kids are important, as they learn about what’s involved in owning a dog or cat, and how to train and socialize them once the pet is in their home. The Safehouse program provides shelter and good foster homes for dogs belonging to women who are in a domestic violence situation. We feel honored that they trust us with their dog, and we know it makes a huge difference in their lives not having to worry about “Fido” in the midst of other turmoil.
Day job: I’m gratefully retired from a career as a legal investigator. My wife works part time at . I now devote my time to RCHS, I write a music column for a San Diego monthly, and I do the cooking and the housecleaning. I’ve achieved a level of vacuuming skills I never knew could be reached!
Favorite meal at a local restaurant: Has to be the lobster ravioli at
Last purchas made in Encinitas: Groceries at
Ideal Encinitas day: A burrito from the food stand at San Elijo campground, a walk around the campground, a bit of downtown shopping, some time with the dogs, a tasty dinner that I don’t have to cook, and a nice sunset from the upper deck of our house.
Favorite civic organization: . I’ve been to several of their mixers, courtesy of Reece Jensen at , who introduced me to the group.
Favorite local business: First and foremost would be the — they’ve taken care of our dog for the last 10 years and are outstanding, so kind and caring to the animals and always ready to help with any problem. Retail businesses would be Queen Eileen’s, , and
Favorite Encinitas event: , and Rancho Coastal’s team of volunteers who march in the parade each year. Also, the Ugly Dog Contest each year at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Best thing about living in Encinitas: The people and the spirit of our community, the small-town feel with all the advantages of a larger city, and the summer beach weather.
A place in Encinitas more locals should visit more often: Well, that would have to be Rancho Coastal Humane Society.
Celebration of Second Chances, featuring a performance by Jack Tempchin, raises money for the Animal Safehouse, Humane Education, and Pet Adoption programs. The event takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Del Mar Country Club, 6001 Clubhouse Drive, Rancho Santa Fe. Tickets are $175 to $275. All donations made in conjunction with the Celebration of Second Chances will be matched up to $25,000 thanks to an anonymous donor. For more information, call 760-753-6413 or visit sdpets.org.