Winter 2018 | Vol. 30 | No. 2
North Bay Pets
a publication of the humane society
of sonoma county
A Journey Made Up of Moments p. 12
ENRICHMENT PROGRAM news p. 16
The Ripple Effect l i fes avi ng p ar tne rs h i p s p. 15
North Bay Pets
from the Executive Director
Life is a journey… Here at HSSC we pride ourselves on delivering kindness and love to each animal the moment they arrive. We provide a routine; regular meals, gentle handling while receiving medical care, enrichment to keep the animals’ minds engaged, and of course, breaks from the shelter. I’ve watched it over and over as our staff and volunteers gladly give every animal a little sliver of their heart. Because of this, no matter how short an animal's journey to adoption, they learn what it’s like to feel compassion, protection, love and care. And some take the long way home. In the eight years I’ve been privileged to work at HSSC, I’ve witnessed thousands of animals come and go. While to some they represent a number in our annual report, for our staff and volunteers they embody so much more. We remember every face and quirky personality, every underbite and goofy hairstyle, every medical challenge and picky eater, and most of all, the hope in their eyes. But sometimes there are animals who have a longer stay and it’s these animals who steal our collective hearts. For these animals, we come together to brainstorm ways to illustrate how amazing they are to potential adopters because we’ve witnessed how much they have to offer. I like to think of it as the power of positive thinking, and sometimes the perfect adopter appears before we even have a chance to implement our ideas. But all of this takes time—time another animal who needs us must spend waiting for that space, that attention, that chance for a new life. What can you do? We look to you, our community, to be willing to bring these perfectly imperfect animals into your homes. Or, if you’re not able to adopt, to please consider a donation to HSSC to help us care for them until we can find their forever homes. Most of these animals can still live long and very happy lives. They may have skin allergies or require ongoing medical care (like our beautiful Clemmie featured on the cover). They may come in pairs, may be a little older and slower, or have a shy or fearful personality, but they have one thing in common…they deserve a chance to be in a home, warm and loved. Our promise to you is that we will continue to help these animals on their journey whether short or long, but we need your help to open your heart and home to these perfectly imperfect animals so that we can continue to help others.
Wendy with Pineapple the cat
Whether they spend a lifetime with you or just a few years, I do know that they will leave an indelible pawprint on your heart. They have on ours. In gratitude,
Wendy Welling, Executive Director
North Bay Pets INSIDE Adoption Ambassadors. . . . . . . . . . . Disaster Prep. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Happy Tails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Healdsburg Shelter News. . . . . . . . . Get Connected with Training . . . . . . A Journey Made Up of Moments. . Bequests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Ripple Effect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Enrichment Program News. . . . . . . . Community Vet Clinic. . . . . . . . . . . . . With Gratitude to Kathy Yerger. . . . Welcome Executive Director. . . . . . Help Us Foster Puppies!. . . . . . . . . . . A Legacy Hard at Work. . . . . . . . . . . . Forging Bonds at FMNF. . . . . . . . . . . Sponsor Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rabbit Diet 101. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charity Navigator Award. . . . . . . . . . . Board of Directors 2018/2019 . . . . .
p. 4 p. 5 p. 6 p. 9 p. 11 p. 12 p. 14 p. 15 p. 16 p. 17 p. 19 p. 20 p. 23 p. 25 p. 27 p. 28 p. 29 p. 31 p. 31
The Humane Society of Sonoma County— ensuring every animal receives protection, compassion, love and care. We are a locally founded, locally funded nonprofit organization supported through donations from our community. Tax ID# 94-6001315 North Bay Pets is a publication of the Humane Society of Sonoma County. Content Writer/Editor Signe Ross-Villemaire Contributors Meredith Lagerman Amy Ludwick Carol Rathmann Nathan Rathmann Senior Designer Melissa Ehret Contributing Photographers The Labs & Co. Melissa Ehret Chris Kittredge Signe Ross-Villemaire On the Cover Adoptable cover model Clementine is longing to belong—to a family who she can enjoy nature hikes and many, many snuggle sessions with! Like so many of the pets we help at HSSC, Clemmie’s manageable medical conditions don’t stand in the way of a vibrant quality of life or her capacity for love. Read more about her on page 12. Cover photograph © 2018 The Labs & Co., www.thelabsand.co
North Bay Pets
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North Bay Pets
Adoption Program Ambassadors
ali is a 3-year-old Shepherd mix.
our animals who are impacted negatively
Super friendly, smart and playful,
by the stresses of living in a shelter.
she’ll thrive in an active, child-free home with a structured exercise routine and fun activities like hiking and scent work. She might even like a similarly-sized dog friend to pal around with!
While the vast majority of dogs can tolerate the noise and general business of a shelter, some dogs decline in our care. "It’s those dogs we want to find other housing while they await their forever
Travis and Molly are a bonded pair of
home,” explains HSSC Canine Behavior
nine-year-old Pit Bull Terriers who have
Program Manager, Sue McGuire.
been together their entire lives. Travis adores playing ball and Molly has the sweetest, wiggliest greeting! Their ideal family will make sure they get regular walks and snuggle time.
“The program also makes it much easier for potential adopters,” points out Ashley Armstrong, HSSC’s Alternative Placeand gain so much valuable insight by
Rain is a statuesque Great Dane who, at
working directly with the foster who has
nine years old, still has a lot of pep in her
firsthand knowledge of how the dog
step. She goes for two-mile walks each
does in the home.”
day and still has energy left for zoomies around the yard! She’s hoping to be spoiled as the only dog in a home with older kids and big, cushy dog beds. These wonderful adoptables cannot wait to meet you, but you won’t find them on a casual visit to the shelter. Why not? They are available for adoption through HSSC’s Adoption Ambassador program! We know that for companion animals, there’s no place like home. Even in places as comfortable and caring as HSSC’s Santa Rosa and Healdsburg facilities, shelters can be a challenging environment for pets to thrive in—especially ones who’ve been waiting longer to find homes. For these pets, we create
While there truly is no place like home, thanks to this dedicated group of foster volunteers, pets get to experience the next best thing on their journey to forever homes! of the pets in our Adoption Ambassador program? Please call our Santa Rosa Adoption Center at (707) 542-0882 to arrange an introduction! Thinking about becoming a foster super-
our Adoption Ambassador program!
hero for homeless pets on their journey to
designed to provide the best care for
UPDATE: Travis and Molly got adopted!
Interested in a “meet and greet” with any
alternative pathways to placement, like
“The Adoption Ambassador program is
ment Manager. “They can meet a dog
adoption? Learn more by visiting humanesocietysoco.org/volunteering.
North Bay Pets
DISASTER PREP Conditioning your pets to crates and carriers
f the many lessons we learned during the 2017 fires, the importance of being prepared was a big one. By now, you’ve created a disaster plan for your family, including provisions for your pets. You’ve made sure your pets have ID tags and are microchipped, and that the information is kept current. You’ve created a “go-bag” complete with vet records and necessary pet supplies. You’ve even made a list of pet-friendly family members or hotels. Now it’s time to fine tune your evacuation strategy with another important step: making sure your pets feel comfortable being in a carrier or crate.
Having your pets conditioned to carriers is not only valuable during an emergency evacuation, it makes any kind of travel with them safer and less stressful— whether you’re bringing them on vacation, or just for a visit to the vet. Crates and carriers can also serve as a temporary “chill out” zone for your pets during daily routines at home. For instance, if your pet gets anxious when visitors come over, having a designated spot can help your pet feel comfortable and secure. Some pets may even prefer sleeping in these cozy spaces at night. After determining which crate or carrier is best suited for your pet and your anticipated use (any option should be large
enough for your pet to stand up, turn around and lie down in, with room for bedding), you’re ready to start familiarizing your pet with the carrier. A gradual introduction and positive associations will yield best results. For cats with no carrier experience, you can start by feeding daily meals just outside of the carrier, then eventually move the feeding dish further in. After a few days, you can start hiding treats or toys inside the carrier to encourage exploration. When your cat enters and decides to settle in for a rest on her own, then you know she’s feeling more comfortable. At that point you can work up to closing the carrier door for short periods of time, and eventually slightly longer sessions. For dogs, you can toss treats into the crate and praise your dog when he retrieves the treat. Once you sense he’s comfortable going into the crate, you can try closing the door for a couple of seconds and giving him a treat through the door. Eventually, you can set your dog up with a treat-filled Kong or other long-lasting treat for longer sessions. Gradually, your pet will become acclimated to the carrier and have pleasant associations with it, making it easier for the carrier to function as a “home away from home” whenever the need arises. For detailed training tips (Crate Training for Adult Dogs and Teaching Your Cats to Love Their Carriers), please visit our virtual library at humanesocietysoco.org/resources. For more emergency preparedness tips, please visit www.ready.gov/animals.
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
RUBY & PICKLES
TAILS TAILS TAILS TAILS
social media stars
Here at HSSC, we love seeing our alumni in our daily social media scroll! Nothing makes our day like seeing our furry friends living full, happy lives with the people who love them. This in itself is something worth celebrating, and it’s what we want for all of our shelter pets! Check out some of the Happy Tails we’ve been tracking on our social media networks. You can find even more when you follow us on Facebook and Instagram! RUBY You can join the gloriously scruffy Ruby (pictured on the left with her brother Pickles) on her many adventures on Facebook (Ruby Woods) and Instagram (@rubythehairybaby). Since being adopted from HSSC, she’s traveled to the other side of the country and back, and has been on “loads of road trips, visiting 15 states so far!” Her recent travels to the beaches and state parks of Oregon were documented with stunning, FOMO-inducing photography. We can almost feel that fresh sea air on our snouts too, Ruby!
KELLY Oh Kelly, we love that belly! As if you couldn’t tell from this recent Facebook share, Kelly is, as his new family reports, “a sweet and cuddly guy.” When he’s not sending fans into a frenzy with precious nap pics, he’s busy learning to fetch. Favorite training reward? A dab of cream cheese. Favorite toy? Bendy straws. His family tells us “he has a treasure trove of them ‘hidden’ under the bed.” They also share that Kelly “is just our best little bud and we couldn’t love him more. We feel so lucky to have him as part of our family.”
SASQUATCH (formerly Nico) Sasquatch definitely had a following when he was at HSSC and, lucky for his many fans among our staff and volunteers, we can still keep tabs on him via the Instagram account he shares with his pretty Pittie sister Miss Mouse (@squatch_n_mouse). We remain more than a little obsessed with Sasquatch’s deadpan expression—brilliantly showcased in his frequent updates. Whether he’s hiking or camping with his fam, romping around on a playdate or just munching on some pet grass, Sasquatch never fails to make us smile!
PIERRE LAPIN We appreciate the power that social media has to bring people and pets together. Heather had to evacuate her home due to recent wildfires in her county. Sadly, at the same time, she was mourning the loss of her companion bunny. After some time had passed and she was back in her home, she was ready to open her heart to another house
rabbit. She saw Pierre Lapin online and made the trip to HSSC to meet him IRL (in real life). She quickly decided he was the bun for her. Shortly after, we received a message of hope and healing with his sweet photo on Facebook.
OREO (formerly Spirit) Oreo was found at the Barlow as a tiny stray. He arrived at HSSC covered in fleas and suffering from an upper respiratory infection. This summer he celebrated his first birthday—healthy and strong, safe and loved by his forever family. They recently updated us via Facebook; “We just wanted to say thank you again. We feel so lucky to have him in our lives! Thank you for all that you do.”
COCO (formerly Lilliput) There’s a rumor out there that cats rule the internet. And when cat families like Coco’s share photos like this, we think there may be some truth to that! Who doesn’t love feeling all the feels when snuggly images like this pop up in your message box? We love knowing that Coco, who was found at a gas station and brought to HSSC by a good Samaritan, is now getting pampered by her peeps: “Coco is doing great! She’s such a wonderful addition to the family. Thank you guys so much!”
JACQUES VALJEAN (formerly Val) Talk about #hairgoals… Jacques Valjean’s mom, Leslie, keeps this handsome mini poodle’s style game strong. Quite impressive for a dog who wasn’t a big fan of handling while he was at the shelter. Jacques instantly put his trust in Leslie from the moment they met at HSSC. Leslie tells us that just “one look into those hopeful golden brown eyes melted and stole my heart!” She describes him as being “cuddly and sweetnatured, yet ‘street smart’ and intuitive.” He loves squeaky toys, travel and, to the delight of his many fans, posing for photos. Thanks to his eponymous Facebook page, we’ve been able to witness his continued blossoming with Leslie’s loving care, holiday by holiday, hairdo by hairdo!
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North Bay Pets
NEWS from our Healdsburg Shelter Meet our new Healdsburg Shelter Manager! We are pleased to introduce Angelise Alexander as the new manager of our Healdsburg Shelter! Angelise joined our Healdsburg team in August but is no stranger to the Humane Society; she worked at our Public Veterinary Hospital back in 2013. Nor is she a stranger to the world of animal care. In addition to being an advanced Registered Veterinary Technician and experienced Veterinary Practice Manager, she is Fear Free Certified and has a passion for studying animal behavior. Her veterinary background, animal handling skills and customer service/management experience make her a wonderful asset and fit for this position! Angelise is excited to be back with us in her new role: "I look forward to being able to increase the number of animals we can care for at this branch, as well as being able to bring in more animals with medical or behavior needs. I want to make sure we are helping as many animals as possible and that we continue to be a valuable resource for the community." Welcome back, Angelise—we're looking forward to all that we'll accomplish together!
Healdsburg Special Care Unit Launches Our Healdsburg team is dedicated to compassionate sheltering and a robust adoption program. We’re on track to facilitate over 235 adoptions from Healdsburg this year! And now, with the launch of our Healdsburg Special Care Unit, we’re poised to expand our lifesaving efforts even further! The first patients being treated in our pilot program this fall are two litters of kittens with ringworm, a fungus that is spread by spores. Due to ringworm’s highly contagious nature and the intensive and lengthy treatment it requires, many shelters are forced to euthanize infected pets. But thanks to our hardworking Healdsburg team and generous donor support, like that from Dean Gross and Clay Nesbitt, we are able to save more pets who might not have a chance at other shelters. To contain the spread of contagions, pets with ringworm need to be
sheltered and treated in an isolated ward, with treatments lasting about six weeks. “Only specially trained staff and volunteers are allowed to enter the ward,” Healdsburg manager Angelise Alexander explains. “We wear disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) consisting of a long gown, a hair cap, shoe covers and gloves. Nothing comes out of the ward; all PPE is disposed of at the door and bedding and litterboxes are disposed of daily.” This takes no small degree of coordination as Angelise describes the level of care our tiny patients receive. “The kittens are fed two to three times a day, depending on their age. Their cages are cleaned at the same time. They are treated with oral medications once a day in an alternating week on/week off schedule and are given medicated baths twice a week.
Volunteers and staff spend additional time socializing them as well.” Once these kittens are cleared medically, they will be ready to find loving homes! The Special Care Unit at our Healdsburg shelter is already making a lifesaving difference for each of these kittens—just think of the impact we can make for those who will need our help in the upcoming kitten season and beyond!
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North Bay Pets
Get Connected: New Public Training Classes Aim to Strengthen Your Bond with Your Dog By Amy Ludwick, HSSC Adoptions & Public Training Manager
HSSC Dog Trainer, Wayne Smith, out on the trails with shelter dog, Kali. Learn more about Kali on page 5.
Two common problems I hear about all the time from dog owners are, "My dog pulls so much that walking is a source of frustration for us," and, "My dog won’t come when I call him."
When you adopt a dog, your life changes forever. These creatures can bring joy, laughter, love and frustration into our lives. They are our furry little kids. Each dog has his or her own unique personality, just like humans. As the human companions to our dogs, we need to learn how to communicate with them and, if everything goes well, we invariably form a connection with them. What’s the best way to connect with your dog? The answer is simple—by taking action. This action could be something like taking training classes together, enrolling in sports with your dog, or just taking a hike with him or her. The more we do with our dog, the more we connect. The process starts when we get an adult dog or puppy. We take the obligatory basic manners courses, which lay a wonderful foundation, but just scratch the surface. To elevate this relationship
and strengthen your bond, it’s recommended that you continue your training with advanced workshops and classes. Two common problems I hear about all the time from dog owners are, “My dog pulls so much that walking is a source of frustration for us,” and “My dog won’t come when I call him.” Again, these issues stem from the connection you have with your dog. How can you take what you’ve learned in a basic manners course and apply it to the variety of distracting situations we call “real life”? HSSC trainers have developed some progressive continuing education workshops designed to “proof” and extend knowledge on a specific subject. Our intensive one-hour classes give you advanced tips and strategies to build on the fundamentals and enhance your connection.
A few of our current offerings: Return to Me, Lynnette Smith Come When Called, Sue McGuire These workshops teach advanced techniques on recall and getting your dog to come back you in all types of situations. Walking in Connection, Sue McGuire Who is Walking Whom? Lynnette Smith These workshops focus on loose leash walking, where each instructor uses different teaching styles and strategies regarding this topic. Learning from multiple experts will assist you and your dog in becoming the awesome duo we know you already are! For a full list of our one-hour workshops and all of our Public Training classes, visit humanesocietysoco.org/clever.
North Bay Pets
photo © The Labs & Co.
A Journey Made Up of Moments
Clementine, our cover girl
lementine is clearly having a moment. It’s a gorgeous autumn morning at Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail and our canine cover model’s coat shimmers in the sun. She has a whole camera crew telling her what a good and beautiful girl she is and she’s getting lots of treats. But as stunning as this shelter dog is, our photographer is having a hard time getting a good photo of her. Whenever he gets low to the ground to capture the angles, Clementine insists on sauntering over and covering him with kisses! The five-year-old Pit Bull Terrier loves every moment of adventures such as this. She loves the car rides to and fro, she loves spending quality time with the friend at the other end of the leash and she loves exploring all the interesting smells nature has to offer.
Clementine doesn’t let her health conditions, ranging from hypothyroidism to an “outie” belly button, dampen her zest for life one bit. Meanwhile, back at the shelter, Tina is also having a moment. The pretty tuxedo cat is circling and swatting a fuzzy bumble bee toy dangled from a wand by the HSSC staffer with whom she shares an office. Her bottle green eyes are laser focused on the toy and she’s showing it who’s boss with mature prowess. For an 18-year-old cat with chronic renal disease, anemia, and a splenic tumor, Tina is making the most of every play session and loving ear rub she solicits throughout the day. At HSSC, our days are filled with moments like these. As focused as we are on the endgame—adoption!—our daily interactions with each pet give
us a chance to know and appreciate them. We learn what they need from us to thrive in their own way and, in the process, we discover what makes them unique, loving and beautiful. For pets with special medical needs like Clementine and Tina, we wonder how long it will take before just the right adopter comes along, looks past the medical report and sees how they, like all other pets, are so deserving of a loving forever home. Over the past few years, we have been strategically and significantly increasing our capacity for animal care, through investments in our Healdsburg shelter and by refining our intake processes and procedures. Last year, our intake of dogs and cats increased by 23% and we adopted more animals into loving homes than in any of our past 10 years.
North Bay Pets
These pets put their trust in us to accept them wherever they are in their journey. We trust that our community will love and accept them too, even if it means accepting that an animal has already lived most of her days, like our friend Tina. Tina was not happy when she first arrived at HSSC at the beginning of October. Considering the recent upheaval in her life and her poor condition—she was underweight with matted fur and skin problems—it was no surprise she was upset and didn’t want to eat. Given her advanced age and multiple underlying health issues, our veterinarians did not think surgically removing the mass on her spleen was a good idea. They instead opted to let her settle in so we could better assess her quality of life. Within days of cozying up in a quiet admin office at the shelter, Tina’s office mate was able to coax her to eat and seek affection. Soon Tina was eating, grooming, purring, napping and even playing like a happy cat. Recently, she was adopted by someone with a heart big enough to accept that most of Tina’s journey is behind her and recognize that she deserves a friend who will give her comfort and companionship for the rest of her days. Clementine, who we believe has many happy, healthy years ahead of her in
spite of her health issues, has been waiting since May to find a place to call home. In addition to diagnosing and managing Clemmie’s hypothyroidism, our medical team has removed benign lumps and bumps, treated skin and ear infections and a chronic dry eye condition. Clementine has endeared herself to us with her “ahwoo-woo-woo” greeting and by being a wiggly, cheerful trooper through it all. We are hoping to find someone willing to see past her handful of medical considerations—all of which are easily manageable—and give her the hikes, affection, and sense of belonging she craves. We’re so honored to work with these sweet beings who teach us that it’s not the length of the journey that matters, but the ordinary moments and loving connections that make life so extraordinary. And we’re so grateful for your support that makes these moments possible for the animals who need us!
Over 86% of the animals who come to HSSC require medical care beyond routine exams. Donations to our Angels Fund go directly to supporting their care. Please join us in making a lifesaving difference by visiting humanesocietysoco. org/donate and selecting Angels Fund from the menu.
photo © The Labs & Co.
Our increased capacity and streamlined systems mean that we can welcome more pets from shelters and rescue partners locally and throughout Northern and Central California. And, as Dr. Sarah Reidenbach, HSSC’s Veterinary Medical Director explains, “We can reach out and save those with medical conditions requiring more intensive treatment and recovery time—including middle-aged and senior pets and those with chronic conditions who might not have a chance at other shelters.”
These pets put their trust in us to accept them wherever they are in their journey and we trust that our community will love and accept them too. Tina
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The Ripple Effect lifesaving p ar t nersh i p s
Just how many lives could be saved when the compassion we have for animals here in Sonoma County ripples out beyond our community? In 2018, the Humane Society of Sonoma County has been focusing on new intake strategies that expand our lifesaving reach. Building on our relationships with local and North Bay rescue partners that were strengthened during last year’s fires, we’re taking in even more homeless animals in need of shelter, medical care and second chances. Each week, HSSC’s intake team reviews how we can best support those groups closest to us, including Sonoma County Animal Services—our community’s local municipal shelter, and Feline Rescue of Northern California. From there, we reach out to partners in Lake and Mendocino Counties, Yolo and Solano Counties, then out to Fresno, Bakersfield and beyond! This past year, we’ve been excited to participate in the ASPCA’s Closer to Home program to relocate animals at risk of being euthanized in Southern California’s overcrowded shelters due to lack of space. The program uses theories of supply and demand—transporting pets from areas where chances of adoption are slim to locations where their chances are much greater. While we continue to prioritize transferring pets from our most immediate rescue partners, we are pleased with the success of this exciting program that is helping us keep up with our community’s demand for adoptable pets and save so many lives—138 cats so far this year! When space allows, it’s all hands on deck for these large scale rescues. This past summer was one of our biggest so far: 52 cats and kittens were flown from overpopulated shelters in Riverside County in a turbo-prop jet by Wings of Rescue to KaiserAir Santa Rosa Jet Center, then transported to HSSC by our intake team. Here, we were able to give them medical care, spay/neuter surgeries and—best of all—find them loving families through our Santa Rosa and Healdsburg shelters. We are proud of our community’s capacity for love and for helping us grow our shelter's lifesaving capacity to care for all the pets who need us!
North Bay Pets
ENRICHMENT PROGRAM news
FELINE PUZZLE FEEDING PROGRAM
CANINE RUNNING PROGRAM Some dogs are just natural-born athletes. To accommodate the fleet-footed amongst HSSC’s four-leggers, our Canine Behavior Department has introduced an exciting new Canine Running Program. Our program, which pairs dogs who love to run with volunteers who love to run, is the latest complement to the vast array of enrichment activities we offer to the dogs in our care. “Letting dogs do ‘normal dog things’ like going for walks and runs, sniffing the world and being with people is the very essence of reducing stress in our shelter population,” explains HSSC Canine Behavior Program Manager, Sue McGuire. “Our Running Program is one of the many ways we strive to ‘normalize’ the life of the dogs in our care until they get into a loving adoptive home.” Two of our dog walkers, Loni Behler and Ashleigh Korves, have been instrumental in getting the program off the starting blocks. Loni, a triathlete, says it’s so rewarding to “take a dog who’s got excess energy out for a run and within minutes, the dog begins matching my pace and can just enjoy the freedom of running and taking in the world around them.”
Since we can’t share the runner’s high with our shelter cats, we are always looking for other fun ways to keep their busy bodies and minds engaged. Thanks to a generous donation from one of our Cat Care volunteers, we were able to kickstart an exciting new enrichment program for cats in our adoption program. Instead of delivering their meals in regular food bowls, many of our feline friends now have their meals presented via puzzle feeders! This innovative idea is being implemented by progressive shelters like HSSC as a way to satisfy cats’ instinctual need to hunt and forage for their food. We make sure to rotate different styles of feeders to keep our feline friends entertained and on their toes. This form of enrichment encourages mental and physical interaction for our cats. The goal is to reduce boredom, stress and depression, and to decrease over-sensitivity which sometimes leads to behaviors like biting and scratching. We asked our friend Dave (pictured above) what he thought of this new program, but he told us to come back in 15, he was too busy stalking his dinner.
On weekends when she’s not running half marathons, Ashleigh comes to HSSC to train with our dogs. She recently sent this glowing report from the trail: “Chabela is a shy gal, but only at first! Her confidence just blossomed as we ran! She was attached to my leg to start as she was a little scared, but by the end she was running out in front with ears up and pure joy in her smile. She even started to overcome a fear of bikes thanks to some yummy treats when they would pass!” Not long afterward, Chabela was adopted into a forever home. Happy trails, girl!
Ashleigh with shelter dog, RB, after a trail run. RB has been adopted!
North Bay Pets
HSSC'S COMMUNIT Y VET CLINIC
If the 2017 fires showed us anything, it was that the people of Sonoma County are experts at pulling together and helping each other during a crisis. The fires also showed us that there is a need for subsidized veterinary assistance in our community—a need that extends beyond the charitable clinics that HSSC provided for evacuees and their pets in the weeks during the firestorms. Since then, we have seen a surge of animals surrendered to our shelter due to lack of local housing that allows pets. We are also encountering increased numbers of residents who have pet-friendly housing, but are faced with surrendering pets because they cannot afford veterinary care. To help address this need, we will be launching our Community Veterinary Clinic in early 2019. Our program will start by operating one day a week from our Santa Rosa
campus and will grow as funding allows. For pet owners who qualify, we will provide their pets with general wellness exams, vaccines, flea treatments and any necessary medications, as well as routine and specialized procedures and surgeries on a case by case basis. We rely on the generosity of donors to help us care for the homeless pets who need us, and to help us function as a resource to community members who are struggling financially and facing difficult decisions about their pets’ welfare. Your contribution to this important program could make a world of difference to a pet in this situation—especially as our community continues to heal and rebuild. Together, we can keep pets out of the shelter and with the families who love them.
We rely on the generosity of donors to help us care for the homeless pets who need us, and to help us function as a resource to community members who are struggling financially and facing difficult decisions about their pets’ welfare.
For more information, please contact Priscilla Locke, HSSC Director of Development, at 707-577-1911.
Special thanks to the Mendocino Family of Companies’ Redwood Valley and Santa Rosa Community Recovery Fund for their support of this pilot program.
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photo © Chris Kittredge
And involved she has been! Kathy served on several of our committees, including Board Advancement, Animal Advocacy and, most recently, the committee dedicated to developing our Community Veterinary Clinic that we will launch in early 2019 to serve pets and families who don’t have the needed resources for basic veterinary care.
with gratitude to kathy yerger Is it just us, or are “animal people” the most big-hearted people around? At HSSC, we are so fortunate to have an exemplary volunteer force that is passionate about helping us live our mission each day—and this includes our Board of Directors.
Today we salute one of our board members who has recently retired after 11 years of service: Kathy Yerger. Kathy has also just retired from a successful 40-year career managing veterinary hospitals. Most recently she was with VCA Animal Care Center of Sonoma County. Before she gets too immersed in fun retirement adventures, we’d like to thank her for all she’s done for our organization and the animals. Even after long days in the veterinary profession, Kathy still found the energy and heart to further give back to the community. In fact, her passion for her job inspired her to do more. “I was fortunate to work with so many families who would do most anything for their pets,” she tells us, “and at the same time, we worked closely with local animal rescue agencies. I was so moved by the staff of local agencies and their dedication to take care of so many animals who didn’t have a family looking out for them. I wanted to be involved helping less fortunate animals.”
One key to Kathy’s effectiveness has been her ability to make important connections from her professional life to her board involvement. She initiated a valuable partnership between VCA and HSSC that resulted in sponsorship of our Wags, Whiskers and Wine gala, donated veterinary equipment for our shelter hospital, and a fundraiser at local VCA hospitals to benefit the animals of HSSC. She has also been instrumental in developing our Board of Directors. HSSC Board Treasurer, John Prouty, says that "Kathy’s work on the Board Advancement Committee gave focus to our board member search and approval process, resulting in some outstanding new members brought on in the last couple years.” Looking back on her tenure with us, Kathy says she’s most proud of “the leap of faith HSSC’s Board of Directors took in acquiring and finishing the building of the Healdsburg shelter in order to support the Healdsburg community.” We are so grateful for Kathy’s dedication and all that she’s helped us accomplish. It might be a challenge for someone so hardworking to shift gears and adapt to the unstructured pace of retirement, so we’re glad Kathy has some furry friends at home to set an example. In between traveling with her husband, she’s looking forward to gardening with her cat Louis (pictured), who was found in a field as a kitten, and quality time with HSSC alumna Lucy, “the sweetest, smartest dog we have ever spent our lives with!”
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What can we do better? How can we save more lives? How can we be a more complete resource to our community? It’s the questions, the what-ifs, that I think about when not immersed in the day to day operation.
Welcome to our new Executive Director
Earlier this year, when Cindy Roach announced that she’d be retiring as HSSC’s Executive Director, many of us experienced that unsettled feeling that comes when there’s change at the top. Would Cindy’s successor share her passion and commitment to our mission? Would he or she have the experience to navigate the choppy waters of animal welfare? Would they have the drive to keep our positive momentum going and the foresight to grow our lifesaving efforts? Thankfully, the answer to all of the above has been a resounding YES! Our Board of Directors’ Executive Director Search Committee left no stone unturned in their exhaustive quest to find our new leader. As it turns out, the right choice was with us all along. Wendy Welling has been a part of the HSSC team
for eight years, working alongside Cindy and our staff and volunteers in many capacities—most recently serving as our Director of Community and Customer Relations. “Wendy has been integral to the operations of HSSC for many years,” said HSSC Board President Shannon Tracey. “She brings with her a wealth of experience and a resolute commitment to our mission. She demonstrated to the Committee that she possesses the ability to be a strategic thinker, strong leader and community ambassador. I am very excited that Wendy is taking over as our Executive Director, we are fortunate to have her!” Please join us in welcoming Wendy to her new role and take a moment to get to know her here!
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Q& A Q: What compelled you to step into the role of Executive Director? What aspects of your previous role have prepared you for your new role? A: When Cindy announced she was retiring, I was personally saddened by the loss of a wonderful mentor and leader who’d made such a difference to the staff and animals of HSSC. As I pondered what this meant to the organization's future and to the animals in need, I realized that I could continue this positive momentum by drawing on my experience. In my previous role as the Director of Community and Customer Relations, I became very familiar with the functions, obstacles and potential of our various departments. I was confident that the relationships I’d built with the management team, staff and volunteers would help me rise to the challenge. Being closely involved with the organization's operations, I was able to step into the position with a complete understanding of how each person’s role and every department affects our ability to serve homeless animals and be a resource to our community. I am honored to lead such a compassionate and dedicated staff and to work with volunteers and donors whose capacity to give inspires me daily. Q: Talk about your strategic priorities for building on HSSC’s strengths locally and regionally and for staying progressive with developments in the animal sheltering world and how they will benefit the community. A: HSSC has long been recognized for its robust Shelter Medicine Program. It is the heart of our organization. Over 86% of the homeless animals who come to us require more than routine medical care and this program allows us to provide this care and ultimately save more lives. It allows us to
collaborate with other rescue partners and municipal shelters by offering to take some of their more challenging medical or dental cases. With successful medical and adoption programs serving the homeless animal population, it’s time we look at how to help owned animals and prevent them from ending up in our shelters. Last fall, after October’s devastating fires, our shelter medicine program transformed into a charity medical clinic based on the emerging needs of our community. We now know that this need continues, and with the support of our community, we aim to open a Community Veterinary Clinic (CVC) early next year. By offering a menu of low-cost services, we aim to keep pets healthy and with their owners.
Q: Tell us about a shelter pet who’s inspired your work recently, and why. A: There are so many who have inspired me in my time here. Most recently a small kitten who we aptly named Emma. Emma was found in a ditch in front of a farm with a very large wound near her front leg that had been open for some time and was infested with maggots. The limb was nonfunctioning and needed to be removed but, for such a wee one, surgery was a risk.
Q: What’s most rewarding about your job so far? A: The most rewarding part of my new role has been the complete support of the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and rescue partners. In the eight years I’ve been fortunate enough to work with these amazing people, I get to witness their dedication every day as they care for animals at a critical point in their life, continually striving to make their stay with us better and to find just the right forever family. Going home each day knowing I made a difference for an animal in need is so fulfilling that I can’t wait for tomorrow when I get to do it all again! Q: What keeps you up at night? A: What can we do better? How can we save more lives? How can we be a more complete resource to our community? It’s the questions, the what-ifs, that I think about when not immersed in the day to day operation. Thinking strategically about the next five to seven years, what might the animal welfare community look like and how HSSC can be at the forefront?
The decision was made to flush the wound and treat her with antibiotics and then attempt the surgery. I took little Emma home with me that night and despite this horrible wound and damaged limb, she purred constantly for the weekend she was with me; she was a fighter. The odds weren’t great, but HSSC would give her this chance to thrive. Surgery day arrived and the wound proved more significant, requiring a scapulectomy rather than an amputation, a longer, more intense surgery. For two more days, Emma fought and purred and felt loved. And then she passed. She’s a reminder of that pure and unconditional bond that exists between people and pets. While she only experienced this for a handful of days, she had a chance to know what it is like to be cared for, loved and given a second chance. >>
North Bay Pets Q: Tell us about your own pets! A: I currently share a home with four dogs, one very large cat and two house rabbits. Our cat Tango was adopted from HSSC prior to me joining the team. Two of our dogs were “foster failures" …we decided they fit in with our family so well when fostering them that we adopted them! Skyler was part of one of HSSC’s biggest rescues to date, a hoarding case involving 63 Finnish Lapphunds. He reminds me daily of our mission and our promise to
offer protection, compassion, love and care. It was so inspiring to see an entire community come together to care for these dogs. When I come home to my pets each night and see their eyes light up, I can’t help but think of the faces back at HSSC looking expectantly out their habitat windows waiting for their person. My pets are just one of many reasons I do what I do. Q: “When I’m not putting in long hours at the shelter, you can find me…” A: In the woods! Whether on foot or on my mountain bike, my “go to” is Mother Nature. After years of adventure racing where you spend up to 10 days in remote areas, I know how important it is to spend time with yourself, to be undistracted and to think about the things that are important to you. To be your best in life, work, and relationships you need balance. For me it’s exercise, friends and a good book!
To Help Us Foster Some Puppies! As HSSC ramps up our intake initiatives in the coming months, we anticipate bringing in more litters of puppies from shelters with scarce resources. To help us increase our lifesaving efforts, we’re recruiting new foster volunteers to help us care for these cuddly bundles of joy!
By giving puppies a loving, nurturing environment to grow and thrive in, our fosters provide a positive foundation for pups until they are old enough to be placed in forever homes. It takes a little work and a lot of love, and the rewards are great: a sense of accomplishment, built-in entertainment, copious snuggles and puppy breath! Do you have what it takes to join the few, the proud, the brave… the HSSC Puppy Fosters? If you’ve read this far, we’re guessing you do! But don’t take our word for it, read what our dedicated, seasoned puppy papa John Olney has to say about this important and rewarding endeavor:
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Must Love Dogs
“I’ve always loved and had dogs in my life and many times dreamed of having a whole pack—11, 12 or more. But reality sets in as caring for that many animals and holding a fulltime job doesn’t work out.”
There Will Be Poop
“The challenge with puppies is their quick metabolism. They need to eat more often, drink more often, play more often, sleep more often and poop and pee more often. But once you get the hang of it, you can anticipate what’s coming next and plan accordingly.”
Average Time Commitment
“Puppies come into the shelter too young to be spayed or neutered—typically about two weeks too young—so that’s the average time commitment.”
The Joys of Fostering
“Fostering three to four puppies is a lot of work, but you get to have a bunch of dogs in your life for a while, just not so long term that it becomes unmanageable. I like to say fostering affords the same advantage as being a grandparent: you watch over them, give them your full attention, it’s demanding—but it’s in small spurts, and then… you give them back to their parents!”
What’s Your “Why”?
“The most rewarding aspect of fostering is that it gives me a way to give back, to do some good while doing something that I enjoy.” Ready to foster some pups with HSSC? Get the scoop at humanesocietysoco.org/volunteering.
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Rose Viviani knew the value of hard work, and now her legacy is hard at work helping animals at the Humane Society of Sonoma County. Rose and her husband Frank worked the land, growing grapes and vegetables on the Larkfield property where they made their home for over 60 years. Rose kept the homestead in good working order and Frank had a long career doing road construction with the county. They led a modest life and managed their money prudently. Estate executor Lori Fleckenstein, who was like a daughter to the Vivianis, describes Rose as a tiny woman with a big heart, especially when it came to animals.
Over the years, Rose cared for the feral cats, raccoons, squirrels and other animals who sought refuge on their property. She had a special place in her heart for cats and was actively involved in Trap-NeuterRelease efforts for local feral cats. Ultimately, she wished for all creatures to be safe and protected. Lori tells us that “Rose never quite fully understood just what a difference she made for people.” Here at the Humane Society of Sonoma County though, we know what a big difference Rose’s compassion is making for the animals and we are so grateful for it. Her bequest to our Angels Fund ensures that homeless animals get the medical care they
need to go on to live healthy, happy lives—last year, that was 86% of the animals we took in! Her legacy has meant the world for the animals we’ve helped this year, including her namesake Rose, the tiny tabby pictured here. Every gift, large or small, gives hope to animals in need of medical care, safe shelter and second chances. Just like Rose’s legacy, your planned giving can play a key role in the lives of the animals who will depend on us in the future. Even a modest gift can make a huge difference and help sustain our mission in the years to come. From naming HSSC in your will, to designating us as a beneficiary in your life insurance or retirement account, we offer many ways for you to plan your financial future and make a lifesaving difference for the animals. For more information on how to include HSSC in your estate planning, please visit humanesocietysoco.org/help/give and click on the “Leave a Legacy” tab. Or call Priscilla Locke, HSSC Director of Development, at 707-577-1911.
Rose the kitten
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Forging Bonds & Community Partners By Nate Rathmann, Director of Operations, Forget Me Not Farm
For decades, participants from Becoming Independent (BI) have been visiting the Humane Society of Sonoma County and Forget Me Not Farm (FMNF). BI is a community-based service organization which was established 50 years ago to help people with disabilities live meaningful and productive lives. Many of the participants of BI love animals and spending time at the Humane Society, and FMNF provides animal connections they might be missing in their lives. Three years ago, FMNF and BI created a program to provide opportunities for young adults from BI to learn basic job skills by volunteering at the Farm. We started with three participants and that number has grown to 20! The core mission of Forget Me Not Farm is to teach compassion and empathy to at-risk children and youth through their care of our rescued farm animals. FMNF enables them to foster a connection with animals, regardless of their age, disability, or any other factors. Participants from Becoming Independent bring a unique vitality, enthusiasm and a heartfelt sense of service to our program. Kaj Sonnder is a BI participant who has
been a volunteer since the beginning of this partnership. He was 21 years old when he started working at the Farm, and this was his first experience taking care of animals. Despite his lack of experience and his trepidation in meeting our 2,000 lb. steer, he was determined to make it work. He arrives every Thursday afternoon to feed all of the animals and bring them into the barn for the night. When asked about the most challenging part of this work, Kaj says “sometimes missing the proper steps for closing the barn. I can get ahead of myself and then make a mistake. There was a small stampede once when I brought the animals in before their stalls were ready.” As for his favorite part of the job, he says “giving myself a good reason to be alive I guess, because the animals depend on me. It keeps me from being too selfish; it keeps me away from that type of thinking.” Kaj’s dedication and perseverance serves as an example of the important role animals can play in our lives. He works independently now, which allows Farm staff extra time to tend the gardens. Most importantly, he provides yet another set of loving hands to care
for our rescued companion animals. Kaj is assisted in his service by the folks from Becoming Independent who transport him out to the Farm each week. He is also a student at Santa Rosa Junior College. Kaj lives at home with his parents and a cute grey tabby named Millie. Kaj’s favorite farm animal? “I don’t think I have one, they are all so unique.” We agree with Kaj!
Forget Me Not Farm provides animal-assisted and horticultural activities for at-risk children and youth through our therapeutic farm, youth mentoring, community outreach and humane education programs. To learn more, please visit forgetmenotfarm.org. 27
As a local, employee-owned business, Oliver’s places great emphasis on building relationships with Sonoma County’s local growers, makers and manufacturers to supply their markets with the freshest produce and finest products. They also place great emphasis on giving back to our community—a value upon which Steve Maass founded the company in 1988, and has cultivated ever since. In 2017, Steve and the company’s leadership formalized this commitment and became a Social Purpose Corporation. “As a Social Purpose Corporation,” explains Sara Cummings, Oliver’s Marketing and Communications Officer,
“Oliver’s manages their business for the benefit of their employees, their communities, and the environment; aligning their purpose with their values. Along with our Oliver’s Community Card, which resulted in over $300,000 in support for local charities last year, we
provide a variety of cash, in-kind, and sponsorship donations, touching hundreds of local charities annually.” The Humane Society of Sonoma County is honored to be among those organizations who benefit from a partnership with Oliver’s. Their Community Card program and other contributions help us provide lifesaving services for our community’s homeless animals. “We consider HSSC to be an important charity doing great work in Sonoma County,” says Sara Cummings. “We were happy to have them as our Wine and Beer Tasting Tent beneficiary at our recent 30th Anniversary celebration and we have hosted several employee volunteer days at their facilities. They are excellent partners, and have an outstanding group of volunteers!” Thank you, Oliver’s, for your generous support of our efforts, and for the role you play in making Sonoma County a vibrant and compassionate place! Are you a local business owner interested in helping the animals? Please call HSSC Director of Development, Priscilla Locke, at (707) 577-1911 to find out how to become an HSSC Corporate Sponsor.
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Rabbit Diet 101 Timothy Hay: 75-80% of diet Hay is essential to rabbit health. It provides fiber, calories, and stimulates gut motility. Daily Amount: Large, unlimited quantities
High Fiber Pellets: 20% of diet High-quality timothy hay pellets provide calories, protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Daily Amount: ¼–½ cup per 6lbs of bunny weight Advice: Avoid pellets with added seeds or dried fruit.
Green Veggies: 5-15% of diet Greens provide vitamins, minerals, and water. They must be clean and fresh. Would you eat them? Daily Amount: 2 packed cups per 4lbs of bunny weight Advice: Introduce new vegetables and greens slowly to make sure your rabbit can tolerate them. Eliminate veggies that cause soft stools or diarrhea. Choose a mixture of greens for better nutrition and variety in taste and texture.
Approved Leafy Veggies Feed a variety of at least 3 types a day from this list Endive Escarole Romaine Lettuce Red or Green Leaf Lettuce Cilantro Basil Mint Dandelion Greens Spring Greens Dill Turnip Greens
Baby Bok Choy Fennel (bulb and leaves) Arugula Watercress Radicchio Carrot tops Frisee Lettuce Kale (all types) Wheatgrass Chicory Raspberry leaves
Watercolor paintings © Meredith Lagerman | @petportraitsby.edi
Limit these veggies to one type per day Italian Parsley (flat leaf) Beet Greens Mustard Greens Chard/Swiss Chard Spinach
Diet information is for adult rabbits (over 1 year), sourced from The House Rabbit Society. For more information visit their website at rabbit.org.
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A healthy pet is a happy pet!
VCA Animal Care Center of Sonoma County
707.584.4343 6470 Redwood Dr., Rohnert Park, CA 94928 Open 24/7 for emergencies and urgent care
Kristin MacDonald, DVM, PhD Diplomate ACVIM Nicole Wyatt, DVM Residency Trained
Chris Carter, DVM Fellow AVD
Nicole Eckholm, DVM, MS Diplomate ACVD
Lily Johnson, DVM Diplomate ACVN
NEUROLOGY & NEUROSURGERY Cona Anwer, DVM Diplomate ACVIM Melanie Campbell, DVM Diplomate ACVIM James Lavely, DVM Diplomate ACVIM Diccon Westworth, BVSc (Hons) Diplomate ACVIM
INTERNAL MEDICINE Caitlyn Glick, DVM Residency Trained Michael Magne, DVM, MS Diplomate ACVIM Sara Schachter, DVM Diplomate ACVIM
EMERGENCY & URGENT CARE Elliott Brenner, DVM Greg Olson, DVM Ashley Parra, DVM Ralph Pettus, DVM Erika Rogers, DVM Robin Schaffner, DVM Laura Slater, DVM
SOFT TISSUE, ONCOLOGIC & ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY Lisa Alexander, DVM Diplomate ACVS Jennifer Ree, DVM Residency Trained
PHYSICAL REHABILITAION & ACCUPUNCTURE Kelley Hays, DVM, CCRT
HOSPITAL MANAGER Tiffany Rovai
Nicole Eckholm, DVM, MS Diplomate ACVD
ONSITE FLUOROSCOPY, MRI, CT
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Have you heard the good mews? The Humane Society of Sonoma County has earned a coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator! HSSC’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that we have earned this top distinction. “The Humane Society of Sonoma County’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds the Humane Society of Sonoma County to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support the Humane Society of Sonoma County.” “We’re extremely proud to be one of only 19 Animal Welfare organizations in the state of California to achieve this rating,” said HSSC Executive Director, Wendy Welling. “Our 4-star rating demonstrates our good governance and financial accountability. It gives our donors confidence that their contributions are hard at work protecting our animal friends.” You can learn more about HSSC’s rating and Charity Navigator’s rating methodology by visiting charitynavigator.org and typing Humane Society of Sonoma County into the search box!
These kittens can rest easy knowing that donations coming in are used responsibly for the care of homeless animals who need it!
Humane Society of Sonoma County Board of Directors 2018/2019 Shannon Tracey, President Evelyn Mitchell, Vice President Kati Aho, Secretary John Prouty, Treasurer Jim Barnes Darlene Brazil Johnny Drake Chris Kittredge Maren McCloud Grace Lucero Marty Olhiser Robert Quail
Santa Rosa & Healdsburg
Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage
Humane Society of Sonoma County 5345 Hwy 12 West Santa Rosa, CA 95407
PAID Humane Society of Sonoma County
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5345 Hwy 12 West | Santa Rosa, CA 95407 | 707-542-0882 555 Westside Road | Healdsburg, CA 95448 | 707-431-3386 www.humanesocietysoco.org The Humane Society of Sonoma County does not receive funding from national organizations such as HSUS or ASPCA. We depend on donations from our local community. North Bay Pets is a publication of the Humane Society of Sonoma County. © Copyright 2018 | All rights reserved.
photo © Sydney Dean
Santa Rosa & Healdsburg
e offer a range of classes and workshops that emphasize positive reinforcement techniques and are tailored to the unique personality of your dog. 6-week classes are $150 and workshops start at $35.
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Class descriptions, schedules, and registration: