John Van Zante: What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man …

The other day I was watching the local news, when my friend John Van Zante came on the tube. He was doing his weekly Adoptable Pet of  the Week segment on FOX 5. I’ve watched John do these live segments the past couple years from every news station in San Diego ( Fox, NBC, CBS, KUSI ). He get’s more charming and handsome with every broadcast….


I first met JVZ when I was a student in his radio and television class at Palomar College. He graciously introduced himself and by his side was a goofy white and black shepard mutt, his dog Howie. I thought to myself, this teacher doesn’t appear to have a social or mental impairment, this dog can’t be a service dog?? … I later learned that John takes his dog Howie with him practically everywhere ( very similar to what I do with my dog Jack today ). I appreciate John for many reasons. He’s a wonderful teacher and mentor to students in broadcasting, but he also has a huge passion for animals, especially dogs. Van Zante truly considers Howie his best friend. In a fantastic Q & A with San Diego Pets Magazine John Van Zante talks about how he met his match Howie and the joy it is to bring Howie to work everyday.

John Van Zante is currently the Public Relations Director for the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas. Before that he was the PRD for the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Sante Fe, Ca. JVZ is nothing short of a “Press Guru” when it comes to working aggressively in the media and community to help find families for homeless pets. He’s worked in commercial broadcasting, mostly radio, for over twenty six years. While he’s built relationships with the city’s most prominent media producers and contributors, what’s most important to him is the relationship he maintains with the readers, listeners, and viewers of San Diego. You can catch him weekly on San Diego FOX5 CW6, NBC7, CBS8, KUSI, and on clear channel radio stations doing his featured segment, “Pet of the Week”. Van Zante is also a publishing writer for Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s Newsletter The Wagtimes, San Diego Pets Magazineand the La Jolla Light to name a few. 

What I think makes Van Zante such a successful Public Relations Director for the San Diego pet adoption community is his ability to make dogs who have been through a lot feel comfortable around him … He understands the animals and does a great job and clearly communicating the story behind each pet when on set. His ability talent bring out the personalities of the adoptable pets on camera never goes unnoticed. He generates interest from families at home watching which motivates families to pick up the phone and call about the featured pets, even better, visit the kennels instead of supporting the puppy mills or backyard breeders. Van Zante, who is rarely seen at work without his rescued dog Howie by his side, took time out of his busy schedule to speak with the OC Dogs Examiner about what it takes for shelters to launch successful public relations programs, as well as how vital they are to any group’s success. The interesting interview was broken into PART 1 and PART 2 in ACES series: Public relations is key to  –

John Van Zante is a compassionate soul and the sweetest person you’ll ever meet. He’s a player-maker in the PR industry and his purpose is to help homeless pets find families here in San Diego. JVZ is also a radio and television professor for the Palomar College Broadcast Program in San Marcos which is one of the most accredited college broadcast programs in Southern California. When JVZ is not working PR for pet adoptions, he works hards with the students at Palomar College teaching them the essential skills to break into the radio and broadcast industry. On Tuesday April 16th John and the Rancho Coastal Humane society worked to benefit and ease the stress of college students at Palomar College during finals week with an event they called Slurps the for Slobbers to National Stress Out Day.


Van Zante works really close with the San Diego sports teams as well to raise money for the San Diego rescue shelters. JVZ pictured above with San Diego Chargers Running Back Darren Sproles and Sproles new puppy at the IH4TH the largest pet adoption drive in history.

The city of San Diego is very blessed to have this man in our city. Thank you JVZ for all you do to help pets. What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man you are… XO


I ran into my dear friend JVZ at the 2012  Petco Foundation Annual Gala ❤

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