North Bay Pets Summer 2016

Page 1

Summer 2016 | Vol. 28 | No. 1

North Bay Pets a publication of the sonoma

humane society

p. 21


Annual Report p. 11

p. 3 1

North Bay Pets

Human Kindness



hat does it take to make our community a safe place for animals? This has been the Sonoma Humane Society's focus for the last 85 years. Every program we've launched and partnership we've formed, has been aimed at saving the lives of at-risk animals in our community.

That being said, making the community safe for animals is not an endeavor that can be accomplished by any one agency. In case you haven't guessed it, this is a team effort!

At the Heart of Shelter Med. . . Forget Me Not Farm. . . . . . . . . A Legacy of Giving. . . . . . . . . . More Than Skin Deep. . . . . . . . Annual Report. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calm Before the Storm. . . . . . . Dynamic Duo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Labs & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bequests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sponsor Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . Interview with an Angel . . . . . . Spay & Neuter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Happy Tails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pg. 3 Pg. 4 Pg. 9 Pg. 10 Pg. 11 Pg. 15 Pg. 16 Pg. 17 Pg. 17 Pg. 18 Pg. 19 Pg. 20 Pg. 21

Sonoma County has a large footprint with over 500,000 residents. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, that means we have an estimated 112,308 pet dogs and 122,692 pet cats living in our community. Of those 235,000 companion animals, the Sonoma Humane Society can safely and humanely house 250 at any given moment. With thousands of stray animals seeking help every year, it's easy to see that safety for them is in the number of community members willing to participate in their wellbeing.

The Sonoma Humane Society— ensuring every animal receives protection, compassion, love and care.

• Neighbors who take in a wandering cat who has been abandoned • Veterinarians who offer discounted services to pet owners in need • Good Samaritans who distribute pet supplies to homeless encampments • Care givers who feed feral cat colonies • Adopters who choose an older or medically challenged pet from a shelter

Contributors: Carol Rathmann

You can help. It takes people to save animals—lots and lots of amazing people. People who donate, people who volunteer and people whose acts of human kindness intervene to help animals in many different ways:

Cindy & Penny, photo by © The Labs & Co.

North Bay Pets INSIDE

Compassion, commitment and generosity are needed from each of us, not just from those who work and volunteer in animal shelters, but from our community at large. As you read through this issue of North Bay Pets, you'll see that the key to saving animals' lives is in finding different ways for people to come together to help. Because collectively, we can make our community a safe place for animals. With sincere thanks for your support,

Cindy Roach, Executive Director

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 Sonoma Humane Society. Content Writer/Editor: Signe Ross-Villemaire

Contributing Photographers: The Labs & Co. Melissa Ehret Wendy Welling Designers Melissa Ehret Wendy Welling On the Cover: Molly is no stranger to generosity... when it comes to giving, her dad and KZST owner and founder, Gordon Zlot, is a long time supporter of Sonoma Humane Society. Photography © 2016 The Labs & Co.,

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at the


of shelter medicine

Getting to know Dr. Sarah Reidenbach When Dr. Christi Camblor stepped down as SHS’s Director of Shelter Medicine last year, we knew we had some very big shoes to fill. We are so fortunate to still have Dr. Christi’s veterinary expertise at SHS several days a week.We are also so fortunate that she helped us recruit one of her esteemed colleagues from the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to fill those very large shoes! Dr. Sarah Reidenbach comes to us with not only the educational (B.A. Stanford University, DVM from UC Davis) and professional background (Veterinary Fellow at SFSPCA and Medical Director at Berkeley Humane Society) needed to run an extremely busy shelter hospital, but the tender heart and cool head to address the unique immediate and long term needs of each injured or ill animal who comes to us.Without further ado, we invite you to get to know Dr. Sarah and welcome her to our community! continued on p.5


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breaks the cycle of abuse

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that each year, over one million pets are killed or injured in connection with domestic violence. At the Sonoma Humane Society we are breaking that cycle of abuse. Since 1992, our Forget Me Not Farm programs have taught thousands of at-risk children and youth how to be kind to animals. At the Farm, child survivors of trauma learn how to value and care for living beings, develop respect for all life forms, and create a compassionate way of behaving and relating to others that is the antithesis of their violent experience. Understanding that all abuses are related, and that abuse’s first victims are often animals, we are providing a setting where children can interact with farm animals and plants – and through this interaction learn about unconditional love, mutual caring and the cycle of life.

Last year there were 900 substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect in Sonoma County. Over 375 of those children were provided services in one of our Forget Me Not Farm programs. According to our surveys, 90% of those children have witnessed domestic violence and animal abuse. With the help of caring adult volunteers, we are teaching these children compassionate and humane ways to interact with animals. Our research indicates that children who have received our services are kinder to animals as well as people. We believe they will not repeat abusive behaviors towards animals and thereby we reduce the number of dogs and cats who end up in shelters, or who receive emergency veterinary care. Forget Me Not Farm saves lives! To learn more about programs at Forget Me Not Farm, please visit


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devotion Was there a pivotal moment, or animal, that made you want to become a veterinarian?

I actually grew up wanting to be a human doctor. As a child, I saw my grandmother struggle with Parkinson's disease, and I remember hoping I could decrease suffering by becoming a doctor. As I worked towards medical school, I did research work that exposed me to animal testing, which was my first reality check regarding thinking and feeling animals hurting for human purposes. Later, while studying medicine in disadvantaged areas abroad, I saw a large amount of suffering of vulnerable creatures, mostly children and animals who weren't able to advocate for themselves. I knew I wanted to work with this population who needed a voice. On a medical trip in Nepal, we were trekking from medical clinic to medical clinic, and a little girl fell. About 20 people swarmed to treat her small abrasion. At the exact same moment, around me were multiple animals with open wounds and severe malnutrition that were paid no attention, and I realized that I could likely have a bigger impact with animals. I finished that trip by carrying a malnourished puppy along with us up to Everest base camp, then back down to find him a new home in Kathmandu, and flew home thinking about switching to veterinary medicine. My mom always said, "you can't save them all, but you can ease suffering." Being a vet seemed like my ticket to working towards that. Who was your first pet?

Our home was full of dogs and cats and rabbits and fish and hermit crabs. My mom loved animals and had an enthusiastically warm heart. I think my very first pet was Hippo, who was my dad's dog. He was a black dog with squat legs and a white patch on his chest. Hippo's death was one of only two times I've ever seen my dad cry.

What was the hardest part about veterinary school?

Missing my three kids while I studied, studied, and studied. Trying to absorb that volume of information was a bit like trying to drink water from a fire hose. We eventually sorted out a relatively balanced life, and I would just study after they were asleep. But it took losing a bit of sleep. What are the major differences between shelter medicine and private veterinary practice?

Shelter medicine is devoted to the care of homeless animals. Because we deal with a large group of animals housed in one facility, we are concerned with the health of individual animals as well as the health of the whole population. The population health component addresses preventing diseases and maintaining health and comfort for the group. We assess the health of incoming animals from various backgrounds—municipal shelter, rescue, transfer, stray, surrender—with unknown exposures, injuries and illnesses, and usually with little or no history. We want to move the animals through our system and into homes as quickly as possible, so we are always asking, "What does this animal need to get one step closer to adoption?" The goal is to save more lives and decrease risk and stress by keeping their length of stay in the shelter as short as possible. This means protecting them from contracting disease while in our care, since shelters are high risk/high volume/high stress environments and therefore the perfect storm for disease outbreaks. Additionally, we work to decrease animal homelessness and overpopulation via spay/neuter surgery. My first boss, an amazing mentor, taught her shelter medicine team that we were saving lives and making magic every day. I think that pretty much sums it up.



North Bay Pets What are your top objectives as Director of Shelter Medicine at SHS?

I have big shoes to fill taking over for Dr. Camblor. She's an admirable veterinarian, person, and colleague. So as my first objective, I hope to continue her legacy of providing compassionate medical care to our animals and compassionate leadership to our team. Secondly, I see Sonoma County as a community that has an incredible opportunity to make the world a more humane place. We are situated in a geographical, economical, and intellectual sweet-spot to effect change. We have good people here who are hardworking and progressive, open to living empathetic lives, and committed to helping both people and animals. We can make a tangible difference if we use our resources wisely. I hope to inspire and be a part of the work that serves to improve the lives of the most vulnerable creatures in our community. I would like to see us embrace the most current concepts in animal welfare in order to save more lives, elevate standards, and decrease suffering. How do you help SHS operate as a no-kill shelter?

A no-kill shelter can be operated in many different ways. Ultimately, it takes a huge amount of thought and resources to implement a "no-kill" philosophy well. A shelter that does not euthanize animals because they have run out of time or space must be prepared to find a home for every single animal that comes through that door as long as it is safe and humane to do so. That is exceptionally difficult to do, because there simply are not enough homes for every animal, and it requires a community willing to adopt geriatric

animals, unfriendly animals, homely animals, animals with medical or behavioral challenges, animals that may need time or financial investment. It's only by people in our community opening their homes to these animals that a shelter can be no-kill. If these animals aren't adopted, they simply sit in the shelter, and that's not a true life saved. Animals who stay with us longterm also occupy space in our shelter housing that we need to bring in more animals in order to save more lives. It's very hard to find homes for some of our most difficult cases. The best day in a shelter is when someone comes in and says, "I'm willing to adopt your most difficult case. How can I help?" My task in this regard is to be willing to take on the tough medical cases, and provide as much support as I can to adopters in order to get these animals into loving homes. I also get to be a part of Sonoma Humane's leadership team. The team is constantly asking, "How can we do better? How can we find a home for these difficult animals? What creative solutions have not been explored yet?" Since I began working here, I've been impressed by working with colleagues who are willing to have the tough conversations, accept change when needed, and push themselves to not accept mediocrity. Describe the range of typical scenarios that you might face on any given day. How many animals on average do you see per day?

A typical day involves spay/neuter surgeries, other various surgeries or procedures, dentals, re-checks of animals under treatment, intake exams on new animals, and appointments with animals who are post-adoption, in foster, or in our fospice program. Primarily we examine dogs and cats, but we also occasionally see rabbits, hamsters, rats, wildlife, or a hen from Forget Me Not Farm. In a given day, we treat, examine, or do surgery on 15–50 animals. Describe one of the most challenging cases/scariest procedures of your career.


One challenging case that I had was a cat who had been shot in the face with an arrow. The cat was brought into the shelter, alert and stable, but the arrow was embedded such that I was certain the eye and the brain were compromised. The metal

North Bay Pets tip of the arrow was sitting on the jugular vein in the neck. The arrow came out, and the cat was fine. What made the case scary, even more scary than the medicine or surgery involved, was accepting that there were people shooting cats with arrows. It's cases like these that make it obvious there's a lot more to do than just medicine. We also need humane education, fostering of kindness, and prosecution for violence and cruelty. You have an incredibly hardworking yet positive team in the hospital. How do you help keep each other’s spirits up?

I have the best team. Seriously. That sounds like the same cliché that everyone says, but I actually do have the best team. The shelter medicine team at Sonoma Humane is a group of people that I feel so lucky to have met and to work with. They work harder than anyone I know. They love love love their patients. They are hilarious. They are genuinely good people. I think we keep our spirits up because Jennifer (our lead RVT) bakes us goodies and makes us vegan cookie dough. Or maybe it's because Nancy is a mind reader and always knows exactly what is needed to fix a situation before we even recognize we need it. Or maybe it's because we all support each other. Or maybe it's the common goal of taking care of all these fuzzy creatures.

On top of having an extremely demanding job, you’ve got a family and pets at home. How do you make sure you’ve got enough left to give at the end of a long day?

I wish I had a snazzy answer to this question, but I don't. I'm usually beat by the end of the day. It's a work in progress. I'm listening to meditation tapes in the car to and from work. I don't think it's helping. But at least I'm not texting and driving?!

Tell us about your pets!

I have 4 dogs and 2 cats: Tug (a Saint Bernard mix with an alarming bark who's the best watchdog in the world but wakes me up in the middle of the night barking at imaginary noises), Maui (a Cattle Dog mix, she's perfect), Coyote Jack (an ancient Chihuahua with no teeth), Skullcrusher (a 3-legged Chihuahua who gives inappropriate French kisses), Stinky (a middle-aged cat with the most handsome face ever), Rosie (a sweet girl kitty who had a fused jaw as a kitten and couldn't eat, and even after her jaw was fixed is convinced that she is starving so eats incessantly). Is there one animal who has made an impression on you recently? Why?

I’ve been fostering a glorious Saint Bernard this week, and he declined in health rapidly. He reached a point where he couldn't recover. I had to euthanize him yesterday and it broke my heart a little. I love this boy and he fought so hard. He had Distemper virus, a highly contagious disease that can cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological signs. I would do anything for him, but there was nothing left I could do. There is a vaccine for this illness, the DAPP vaccine, and the vaccine is highly effective at protecting animals from multiple deadly diseases. He was rescued from an emergency scenario and received a vaccine as soon as possible, but it was given too late to protect him. This boy has reminded me about the life-saving procedure that vaccines are. He has reminded me that I can't save them all. He's impressed on me that loving animals is a lifealtering gift, one of the best there is, even when it's heartbreaking. And he's shown me that even when you think your life is too busy to take on one more thing, you can usually make room for something if it's really important.


Our Shelter Medicine Program is the heartbeat of our organization. And your contributions to our Angel’s Fund keep the heartbeat strong, enabling Dr. Sarah and her team to save lives and “make magic” for homeless animals each day. Please go to and click on the Donate button to be a part of our lifesaving work.


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North Bay Pets

A Place In Our Hearts

Kathy Stenger was a woman of many skills and endless compassion for animals, with kittens holding a very special place in her heart. A union-trained carpenter at a time when not many women were working in the trade, she went on to become a building inspector for the Oakland Housing Authority. On the construction sites where she worked, she often found litters of kittens struggling to survive—sometimes with their mamas, sometimes without. She would bring them home and care for them until they were strong enough to be re-homed. She’d also take in puppies, rabbits and any other animals who needed help.

In addition to her independent fostering efforts for homeless pets, Kathy advocated on their behalf. She partnered with the Oakland SPCA to produce educational materials, and also advised the Housing Authority on information pertaining to animal care and the importance of spay/neuter in their residential contracts.

When Kathy retired and moved to Guerneville, her nurturing spirit and compassionate endeavors continued to thrive here in Sonoma County. She worked on restoring her home, growing orchids and creating stained glass art. She also gave freely of her time to Sonoma Humane Society. We were so fortunate to have her knowledge and experience as she helped us care for over 100 kittens and cats in the seven years she volunteered with us. Our community felt the loss when Kathy passed away last year, and we remain humbled and inspired by her selfless dedication to the animals. The Sonoma Humane Society is honored to be a beneficiary of her estate, receiving a generous gift which will be used to help our Foster Program care for kittens and mom cats in the years to come. To learn how to include Sonoma Humane Society and the animals we serve in your estate planning, please visit and click on ‘Leave a Legacy’.

With Gratitude To Kathy Stenger

Remembering Terry Hagerman Whether you’ve got four legs or two, chances are you’ve been graced by Terry Hagerman’s smiling face and huge heart. A dear friend to the animals and people of the Sonoma Humane Society, he passed away in March and we have felt the loss ever since.

What many of us did not see, though, was the quiet side of Terry’s compassion: he donated to SHS at every opportunity and contributed so that each employee could receive an Oliver’s gift card during the holidays. Terry, your caring spirit lives on in our hearts. We hope that wherever you are, you’ve got a loyal dog by your side and a purring cat on your lap.

photo by © The Labs & Co.

For the last 16 years, Terry volunteered in just about every capacity at SHS—most recently as a Cat Care Partner. Each week Terry spent time making sure that our homeless cats knew they were loved. He also made sure our staff felt appreciated too, keeping us stocked with York Peppermint Patties and wisecracks.

Terry spent recent years championing FIV+ cats and was responsible for finding placement for many. Pictured here with Bobby, Terry's compassion and care for these cats was contagious.


North Bay Pets

More Than Skin Deep Dog styling by stephanie Tucked away in the back of SHS’s Santa Rosa campus, Stephanie Anderson’s grooming salon is a busy place. In addition to caring for private client pooches, Stephanie helps some of our shelter dogs who arrive severely neglected. Grooming not only lifts their spirits and enhances natural beauty, it sets the stage for better health. Dogs who have been unkempt for a long time can develop mattes that cause discomfort and pain, and if left unattended for too long can develop skin inflammation and infections.


“I find great pleasure in seeing dogs happily prance away after being freed from the matting that once imprisoned them and weighed them down. It gives me relief that they now have relief—a fresh start for a bright new journey.” Stephanie takes a lot of pride in her work and it shows! Whether your dog is ready for a total makeover or just a little maintenance, you can book an appointment by calling (707) 577-1904 or visit

photo by © The Labs & Co.

In 1931,

a group of compassionate citizens came together to form the Humane Society of Sonoma County. Ruth Finely, Elizabeth Burbank, Frank A. Roth, Colleen Aslin and Mary Leddy wanted to see better treatment for homeless animals and knew the power of joining together to accomplish this. As we celebrate our 85th Anniversary, we are proud to continue the legacy of our founders. At the heart of our work is the enduring power of many working together toward a common goal: to ensure that Sonoma County is a safe place for at-risk animals.

Each animal we save is a milestone who becomes a part of our history. Our 2015 Annual Report reflects the impact that our lifesaving and life-changing programs and services have—all made possible through generous support from our compassionate community.

We hope that you will join us to celebrate another historic milestone—the Grand Opening of our Healdsburg Center for Animals on Saturday June 18th, 2016 from 12–4PM. Please visit for more details!


2015 Annual Report 11

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2015 Annual Report Shelter Capacity: 200

Shelter Operations



returned to their ho mes



752 fost

40 fosp

er pets

ice pets










photos by © The Labs & Co.


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Live Release Rate


Medical Care






PUBLIC DOGS TRAINED: 547 Forget Me Not Farm



Humane Education Programs







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2015 Annual Report Continued 2015 Board of Directors Evelyn Mitchell, President

Income Donations, Events, Bequests and Endowments & Grants Hospital, Adoption, Training & Service Fees

Shannon Tracey, Vice President 3,495,956


Kathy Yerger, Secretary



John Prouty, Treasurer









$ $

Pet Supply Shop Sales


City Contracts


Investments and Rental Income/Loss TOTAL

$ $












Education, Outreach and Abuse Prevention


Management and General


Donor Development and Fundraising




Working together to keep them safe. As a locally founded, donor-supported safe haven for animals, Sonoma Humane Society does not receive federal or state funding or financial aid from any other humane society or shelter. Your contributions enable us to provide compassionate care and protection for animals when they need it most.

84¢ of every dollar donated goes directly to help homeless animals get the medical attention, behavior support and adoption services they need to go on to live full, happy lives with loving families. It also supports our efforts to prevent animal abuse and neglect through humane education. Grants Received: Community Foundation Sonoma County, Maddie’s Fund, Petfinder Foundation, Petco Foundation, Sebastopol Sunrise Rotary, The Thelma Doelger Trust for Animals

Join us today—your support makes second chances possible! Contact Melissa Dobar, Director of Development, at (707) 577-1911 or

Donate online by visiting and clicking on DONATE.


Darlene Brazil Brent Cassell Chris Kittredge Marty Olhiser Robert Quail

Expenses Adoptions and Animal Care

Kati Aho

2015 Advisors Karen Alary Andrea Bandy Scott Bartley Ronni Berg Thomas Duryea Robin Schaffner Betty Ann Sutton

Santa Rosa 5345 Hwy 12 W Santa Rosa, CA 95407 707.542.0882

Healdsburg 14242 Bacchus Landing Way Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.431.3386 Tax ID# 94-6001315

North Bay Pets and developing our own capabilities to respond within our area of expertise, which is sheltering and animal healthcare,” John says. “Establishing Mutual Aid Agreements with lead government agencies will be critical to provide efficient and effective care for animals in a major disaster, so we’ve started discussions with Sonoma County Animal Services to determine how we’ll work together in emergency situations.”

Valley Fire evacuation site Bringing in displaced pups


Calm Before the Storm Our strategic approach to disaster preparedness


or the past 85 years, the Sonoma Humane Society has been providing protection, compassion, love and care for our community’s homeless animals. As we look to the future, we’ve been stepping up efforts to ensure we can effectively do so in the event of a major disaster.

SHS Board Treasurer John Prouty has spearheaded a Disaster Preparedness Committee to develop a comprehensive strategy so that we can protect people and animals at our facilities, and be ready to respond to the needs of displaced animals and their owners. John says, “We learned a very valuable lesson last fall when we helped with rescue efforts during the Valley Fire: Once we have our own house in order, then we can provide services to the community.” To start, our committee identified key threats such as fire, earthquake, and disease outbreak, as well as other less probable events, and assessed the risks to our operations. We asked questions like: How will

Safe and sound:


the incident be managed? What functions are necessary and who is responsible for each? We also determined what could be done ahead of time to minimize impact, for instance, staff training, designating evacuation routes, posting signage and implementing alternative communication methods.

The committee is also working on a business continuity plan, John explains. “In the event of a major disruption to our Santa Rosa or Healdsburg facilities, we are putting together a relocation plan to enable us to move our operations to another location so we can maintain our business operations. This includes relocating staff, servers, communications, and if our buildings are unsafe, working with local partners and fosters to house animals until repairs can be made to our facilities.” We are also defining the role we’ll play when disaster hits our community. “The key to providing the highest level of services is working with other disaster response partners

In addition to providing support and resources at the Napa Fairgrounds evacuation site during the Valley Fire, we transferred animals to SHS from a Lake County shelter that needed to make room for others displaced by the fire. We gave animals like Nixon and Oscar (below) the medical attention and shelter they needed, and then adopted them into forever homes. Our Disaster Preparedness Plan includes strategies for caring for our shelter pets, and responding to the needs of the community in the event of an emergency.



continued on next page...


North Bay Pets June is National Pet Preparedness Month. Now is the time to review your emergency plan and make sure it includes provisions for your pets.


Helpful pet preparedness tips

Create a pet "go-bag" with these essential items: pet carrier, pet food and dishes, manual can opener, bottled water, leash, harness, medications, cat litter and box, first aid kit, blankets, newspaper and plastic bags for waste pick up. Stock enough supplies for two weeks of use. Rotate goods out as they expire throughout the year.

• Are your pet’s vaccinations up-to- • Identify locations of emergency date? Keep copies of vaccination and other veterinary records, as well as photos of you with your pets, in your emergency kit.

• Make sure your pets are wearing ID tags and are micro-chipped—and keep all registration info current.

• Do not leave your pets behind if

you need to evacuate your home. Develop a buddy system with family members or neighbors to care for or evacuate your pets if you are not able to do so.


Having lost two loved ones to cancer, Tami Lemley saw first hand how animals can help us through the darkest of times just by being a gentle presence in our lives. She wanted to bring this comfort and unconditional love to others, so four years ago she and Blitz, her 5 ½ year old Goldendoodle, trained and became certified as an Animal Assisted Activities team. Now the pair visit children and seniors in hospitals, assisted living facilities and rehabilitation centers, schools, libraries and camps— lifting spirits and creating compassionate connections wherever they are needed.

Tami notices that certain dementia or Alzheimer patients who don’t typically respond much in other interactions respond positively to Blitz, talking to him and petting him. “You can see how just petting him relaxes and calms them.” she observes. At Boost Camp, Blitz helps campers with Cerebral Palsy develop motor skills by playing a gentle game of fetch with them. And children who have difficulty reading, learn to love it when they have a nonjudgmental furry listener hanging on their every word! Blitz enjoys all the attention and petting he gets from his new friends and Tami enjoys knowing she is making a difference in our community. Her all-time favorite


shelters, but keep in mind that some might not be able to accept pets. Find out which hotels in the area do. Visit to search by city. If your pet goes missing during a disaster, remember to check with your local shelters, including Sonoma Humane Society at (707) 542-0882 and the Healdsburg Center for Animals at (707) 431-3386.

feedback came from a student in the reading program: “Thank you for reading with me. I liked reading with you and Blitz. You are the best person in the world. You deserve ice cream!”

To learn more about our Animal Assisted Activities Program, visit humane-education and click on the Read to a Dog tab.


North Bay Pets

“We all have the means to make a

, and whether it is

big or small, it is a and it counts.” to give back to the shelter that brought us together with two of our animals, and has given me so much in terms of education and experience.”


at Martinez considers her volunteer work with SHS’s Behavior and Training Department to be an invaluable resource which crosses over into her “day job”. Nat and her partner Bill Parsons are the creative force behind The Labs & Co., a business specializing in artistic pet photography, boutique graphic design and custom illustration for private and pet industry clients worldwide. Nat says assisting our team with shelter dog behavior evaluations and owner consultations, plus fostering dogs with behavior issues, has been a key tool in helping her to connect with their professional subjects.

As a team, Nat and Bill give freely of their time and skills photographing our adoptable animals each week and, on occasion, helping our Marketing Department refresh our image library and create eye-catching covers for our magazine. Nat describes their work with SHS as “an incredible opportunity

Bequests November 2015–April 2016

“We may not have the resources to financially support causes we care about, but what we do have to offer is our time and talent. When we photograph a dog or cat who has waited a long time for a family, it is a win-win. There is no better feeling than knowing your work is out there making a difference in someone’s life, because somebody saw their portrait and made a connection and felt inspired to come in and meet them. Volunteering at the shelter makes your heart grow larger. I have space in there for every animal I have spent time with, and then I come home and tell my dogs and cats how loved they are. We all have the means to make a difference, and whether it is big or small, it is a difference and it counts.” The beauty and soul that Nat and Bill capture in their work has a lot to do with those qualities so inherent in their subjects, but we know much of it also comes from the compassionate connection happening behind the camera. To learn more about Nat and Bill and the work they do, please visit

Lillian M. Chiesa Trust 2003 Everett H. Gregory Trust 1995 The Ramona L. Irvine Trust Margaret Kaldenberg Trust The Remak Trust Estate of Ruth Silverman Estate of Kathy Stenger Estate of Corinne Whitney Violet and William Williams Family Trust


North Bay Pets

Spotlight ponsor

You already know that KZST’s chart-topping playlist keeps your toes tapping and their fun, positive on-air personalities keep a smile on your face… but did you know the good people behind this local radio station have a longstanding love of animals and community? Our partnership with them is music to our ears!

KZST Founder and President, Gordon Zlot (that’s his dog Molly on our cover!) has been an SHS donor since 2006. And in 2011, VP and General Manager Tom Skinner and his wife adopted Jackson, a very special “tripaw’d” Shepherd who received extensive medical care and rehabilitation while at SHS. That same year, the station became a sponsor of our Wags, Whiskers and Wine Gala. Morning Show host and Program Director Brent Farris has emcee’d our Gala in years past too!

In 2013, the station started sponsoring a “Pet of the Week” feature on-air and online, a tradition which continues to this day—each week SHS Executive Director Cindy Roach can be heard talking about one of our adoptables with Brent on his show. photo by © The Labs & Co.

We really appreciate the way KZST promotes our animals and community engagement as well. Their “We Believe in Sonoma County” program brings local businesses and non-profits together for the greater good. In 2014, when a shelter-wide ringworm crisis took its toll on our laundry room, the station helped raise funds to purchase new washers and dryers for us. KZST—your format might be “Adult Contemporary”, but we think you Are you a local business owner interested in becoming a corporate champion for the animals? Please call Melissa Dobar, Director of Development, for more information (707) 577-1911.



" E

ver wonder what a career caring for animals might be like? So did Nancy Day. That’s when she decided to volunteer with Sonoma Humane Society. That led to a job assisting SHS veterinarians while she worked her way through SRJC’s Veterinary Technician program! Nancy’s commitment to animals doesn’t stop when she goes home at the end of the day. In addition to helping a myriad of sick and injured animals in our shelter hospital by day, she brings those needing extra TLC home with her at night! We recently quizzed Nancy about her life as a Registered Veterinary Technician and non-stop animal lover!

I really wanted a job that I felt made a difference for my community— something that would make me feel good at the end of the day.



Is there a special animal who inspired you to work in veterinary medicine? “It was around the time I had a baking job on a ranch that I starting thinking about working with animals. There were always dogs, sheep and chickens on the property, but my best buddy was a senior Scottie dog named Moses. I just wanted to be able to help the hurt, injured, lost or dying animals.”

Did you have pets growing up? “A Lab/Beagle mix named Lucky and a black Lab named Bananas—both shelter dogs. I think I was also heavily influenced by kids' movies that had a strong animal theme: Beethoven, Homeward Bound (Hello! Stray dogs, no microchips!), Fly Away Home, Babe, etc.” What brought you to SHS? “I was an artisan bread baker for 7 years. I loved it! But at one point I realized that, while it was fun and I met some amazing people, I really wanted a job that I felt made a difference for my community— something that would make me feel good at the end of the day. I started volunteering at SHS and never looked back!”

Describe the most challenging part of your job. “It’s surprisingly hard to explain the benefits of spay and neuter in our community— talking about the thousands of young, healthy animals being euthanized in shelters across the country because of accidental pregnancies, poor breeding practices, or even just families overwhelmed with the care required for puppies and kittens.”

Describe the most rewarding part of your job. “Dental cleanings are so rewarding! So many of the dogs and cats we see have varying degrees of dental disease and we perform cleanings for the worst cases. Scaling a 2–4 cm shelf of calculus off a tooth is so rewarding!” cont...


North Bay Pets How many animals have you fostered with SHS? “I’ve lost count! I’ve taken home bottle baby kittens, teenager kittens, semi-feral kittens, puppies, adult dogs with skin conditions, dogs with behavior problems, dogs who just need a break from the shelter, and post-surgery animals (amputations, hernia repair, etc.)…” As someone who takes her work home at night—how do you find balance in life? Any hobbies? “Does fostering animals count as a hobby?”

How do your own pets help in the fostering process? “Amos, my Chihuahua from Lake County SPCA, helped Leo the Boxer learn some manners. He also helped Shadow, a ‘shut down’ Chihuahua, learn that other dogs and people were okay, and kind of amazing. Georgia, my Great Dane and SHS alumni, is a true puppy lover, she’s socialized quite a few. She gets down low to the ground and lets them climb all over her. She also helped me foster Princess Fiona. I’d set Fiona up in her crate when I got home from work and Georgia would crawl into a crate two sizes too small for her just to make sure our little Fifi was home safe.”

Any advice for aspiring RVT’s? “Of course education is important, but hands-on experience is equally vital to the learning process. Volunteering and job shadowing can help narrow down the options: Emergency medicine? Shelter medicine? Private practice? Small animal medicine? Holistic medicine? There’s so much out there to check out! Most people in our industry are very welcoming to newcomers and are so passionate about their work, they want to inspire others to join the field.”

Spay and Neuter

photo by © The Labs & Co.

Our Community's Responsibility


edical care, training services, adoption support… these are all critical components to Sonoma Humane Society operating as a safe haven for animals. Of equal importance in this lifesaving equation is our commitment to providing accessible, affordable Spay/Neuter services to help reduce the number


of unwanted pets coming to shelters in the first place.

It’s estimated that more than 200,000 animals in our county are not spayed or neutered. At SHS alone, approximately 35% of animals surrendered to us are from the “unwanted litters” of family pets. Add to this the huge influx of homeless kittens we see each spring through fall, and you’re getting a sense of the impact unaltered animals have on our local shelters. Recognizing the important role that Spay/Neuter plays in reducing the number of neglected or abandoned pets in our community, we have partnered with Sonoma County Animal Services for many years to operate clinics throughout our county. Last year, this partnership expanded to include Compassion Without Borders, Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County and Pets Lifeline of Sonoma. Together we form The Sonoma County Spay & Neuter Coalition, a group which helps underserved communities and at-risk breeds through clinics, education and outreach.

Last year, 3,458 animals were spayed or neutered at Sonoma Humane Society! We are happy knowing that these animals will never contribute to the legions of homeless animals left vulnerable on our streets, but we know there is still work to do.

Preventing unwanted litters is our community’s responsibility. With generous support from the Community Foundation Sonoma County, The Ted and Joyce Picco Endowment Fund—and donors like YOU—we are making great strides in ensuring that every animal is wanted and loved! Visit for more information about our program. To help our Spay/Neuter efforts, click DONATE at and select ‘Spay/Neuter Fund’ from the drop-down menu.

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North Bay Pets




"Within a few minutes of meeting him, I knew he was going to be my new roommate."

uinness’s adopter built a career writing for some of the funniest sitcoms to ever grace American television, so it seems appropriate that his new feline sidekick is providing plenty of entertainment at home. The 2 ½-year-old tabby came to SHS as an FIV+ stray and delighted everyone with his affectionate, attention-loving personality. He didn’t hold anything back when he met Ted either, who recognized the handsome cat’s star quality right away. Guinness caught his gaze and maintained eye contact through the whole audition. Ted says, “Within a few minutes of meeting him, I knew he was going to be my new roommate. My instincts told me he was smart and affectionate. As I was filling out the adoption paperwork, several volunteers came by to congratulate me for adopting a shelter favorite. Some were even jealous. Now I know why.” Demonstrating just how smart he is, Guinness tries his hardest to contribute to Ted’s writing endeavors. Sometimes, when Ted is working on the computer, he’ll shut the sliding door to his office so he can concentrate. Guinness has learned to pull the door open and offers creative inspiration by dropping his toys at Ted’s feet.

Guinness is also a prime example of how an FIV+ cat can lead a healthy, normal life… if you consider spooning dogs to be normal behavior for cats. After a proper introduction to Ted’s mild-mannered Jack Russell Terrier Jake, Guinness walked right up to the little dog and gave him a swat. This could have resulted in reality-TV-style hysterics but Ted kept an eye on things and noted, “Less than two days later, they were both sleeping in my lap during my regular afternoon nap.” Now the two co-stars don’t wait for Ted to direct—they just curl up together on their own! At night, Guinness cuddles right up under Ted’s chin and occasionally wakes him up with his sandpaper tongue, which Ted “has mixed feelings about.” And that’s a wrap! We couldn’t have dreamed up a better feel-good ending for Guinness’s season finale here at SHS. Here’s to many years of syndication in your new home, our charming friend! cont...


North Bay Pets


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Marie and her husband were ready to get a dog. They went to a dog show in San Francisco and interviewed different breeders of purebred dogs, but couldn’t find one they both agreed on. A week later Marie was running errands, driving on the 101 and running late. Suddenly something was telling her to go to Sonoma Humane Society. Marie was skeptical, “I thought to myself—I don’t have the time, nor am I going to find the perfect dog for us.” After the feeling persisted though, she could no longer ignore it—she got on Highway 12 and headed west to SHS!


isy :

Daisy came to us from one of our rescue partners who saved her from an overcrowded shelter where she was scheduled to be euthanized due to lack of room. We took the sweetly shy 1-year-old terrier mix into our care and, once she recuperated from spay surgery, made her shocked when Elliot decided to hop on over to the dog side and introduce himself. Lee said Elliot’s courageous leap resulted in “a short but overall very impressive meeting”.

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Petra didn’t come to Sonoma Humane Society looking for love—her main priorities were finding food and shelter. Same with Elliot. OK, casanova Elliot might have been looking for a little love… but one ordinary Saturday afternoon at SHS’s “bunny playground” the English Spot rabbits saw each other from across a crowded ex-pen and became fast friends. It didn’t take long for them to form an inseparable bond, and we knew they should have a home together.

Flash forward a couple months to Lee, a local animal lover and owner of three small senior dogs, who was contemplating some empty space in her living room. She was considering moving her mom’s piano in and taking up lessons. By chance she happened to see a friend’s Facebook post about two Flemish Giant rabbits at Sonoma Humane Society who needed homes. She’d had several different animals over the years but never a rabbit. Intrigued, she inquired about the Flemish Giants only to learn that the male had just been adopted and the female was afraid of dogs. She decided to check out “bunny playground” anyway and became enamored by these sweet and interesting pets.

After an enjoyable afternoon of rabbit recreation and an enlightening conversation with Lori, our volunteer house rabbit advocate, Lee knew that empty space in her living room was meant to house Petra and Elliot! She dove head first into house bun hospitality and has not looked back. Planning to gradually introduce the pair to her dogs—they’ve sniffed from separate sides of a divider—Lee has noted they have a playful fascination with each other. She was


Besides their adaptability, Lee admires the way Petra and Elliot care for each other. “They sleep snuggled up with their heads buried in each other, and are always grooming each other. Their relationship is so sweet and tender.” The bunnies seem to feel a similar tender acceptance toward Lee (except when she’s bringing their salads, then it’s a “bunny stampede”!) She tells of a recent weekend afternoon when she laid down on the floor for some bonding time with Petra and Elliot. Their presence calmed her so much that she actually dozed off for a bit, only to awaken to them snuggled up by her side. Lee never did get the piano, but hearing how Petra and Elliot are harmonizing in their new home is music to everyone’s ears!

North Bay Pets available for adoption. Or so we thought…

The same day that Marie acted on a hunch and came to SHS, we had placed Daisy in a room in our adoption center. Marie tells us that Daisy was the last dog she saw that day—“She had the sweetest face and was calling me to take her home!”, but sadly, her paperwork said she was not available. Marie knew that she and Daisy were destined to be together, so she asked about her at the front desk. Turns out, we had overlooked updating her public paperwork that morning! "Thank you so much for Marie felt a higher power was at work—Daisy would giving Daisy a second probably have been scooped up by someone else if chance...." her paperwork had been changed any earlier!



In a very short span of time, Daisy went from being at-risk in a high-kill shelter to getting to run and play on 15 acres, relaxing on rowboat rides with her new mom, and being spoiled and treasured by a family who will love her forever. She even turned out to be quite the little rock star in the 6-week training class they took with her at SHS!

“We never thought we would find our dream dog at SHS. Thank you so much for giving Daisy a second chance, and for providing a place where people can find amazing dogs!” And to Marie and family—we thank YOU for heeding divine intervention and opening your heart to this sweet dog!

Ch ne appy ed s fi : sen nd ior sl ov dog e – wi at th m firs ed t s ica igh l t!

Do you believe in love at first sight? Cynthia had been coming by our trailer each week at the Healdsburg Center while we finished construction. She had recently said goodbye to Pinto, the Jack Russell Terrier who she had shared her life with for 18 years. As many of us know, old friends can never be replaced, but a time comes when opening your heart to a new love can be very healing. Each week Cynthia stopped by, and each week the dog we had available for adoption was not quite the right match. Until she met Chappy.


Chappy felt it too. The moment Cynthia stepped into "Everday I give thanks for the room, he knew she was my new companion...." the one he wanted to go home with. He looked her directly in the eyes and approached her with his feathery tail wagging. Gabe, our Healdsburg adoption counselor, told Cynthia about Chappy’s medical history. The 8 ½ year old Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix came to us with an ambiguous history of ownership and abuse. X-rays showed that he had mild abnormalities of the spine—and since he appeared sensitive to having this area handled, our veterinarian prescribed anti-inflammatory medication. This was not a big concern for Cynthia, even less so when Gabe gave her Chappy’s medical history to be evaluated by her own vet. Her vet concurred that his condition was indeed manageable and gave her the green light to adopt!


The next day, Cynthia came back to sign the papers. “It was a joyful experience!” she tells us. Gabe sent the new friends home with dog food, a week’s worth of medication and Chappy’s dog bed, and the two have been forging their bond ever since. “Because he is older, I can take him to my office with me. He gets me out walking which is very good for me. At night he sleeps right next to my bed, in his, and always prefers being on my lap when it’s available. He loves getting his tummy rubs, and has started ‘talking’ to me and telling me all his trials!”

“Every day I give thanks for my new companion and the love he brings into my life. I give thanks for all the dedicated people who help the animals of this world.” We, too, are grateful… for people like Cynthia who can accept an animal’s special condition and just get to what’s really important—the LOVE!


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage

Sonoma Humane Society


P.O. Box 1296 Santa Rosa, CA 95402-1296

A Safe Haven for Animals

Sonoma Humane Society

Return Service Requested

5345 Hwy 12 West | Santa Rosa, CA 95407 | 707-542-0882 | 14242 Bacchus Landing Way | Healdsburg, CA 95448 | 707-431-3386 | The Sonoma Humane Society does not receive any funding from government sources. We depend on donations from our local community. North Bay Pets is a publication of the Sonoma Humane Society. Š Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.


Wags gala 2016 Whiskers Wine Friday, August 12th Trentadue Winery, Geyserville

Call 542-0882 x203 Tickets $175

Reserve your ticket today! All proceeds benefit the Sonoma Humane Society’s services for homeless animals at our Santa Rosa and Healdsburg Centers.

Join us at our award winning event celebrating the enduring bonds of people and pets, and the remarkable power of love!