North Bay Pets Winter 2017

Page 1

Winter 2017 | Vol. 29 | No. 2

North Bay Pets a publication of the sonoma

humane society

Sonoma Humane Strong:

Unified by Community Compassion

Buddy the Survivor Shelter Enrichment: Keepin' It Real

North Bay Pets

This is where lesser sedans get in too deep.

The newly redesigned 2018 Subaru Legacy® helps keep you out of trouble when the driving gets treacherous. It comes with road-gripping standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive + 34 mpg.2 And SUBARU STARLINK™ Multimedia with standard Apple CarPlay™ and Android™ Auto integration keeps you connected to conditions on the road ahead.

2987 Corby Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95407 707-709-8353 2

North Bay Pets


from the Executive Director

Sonoma Humane Strong I am writing this letter on November 1st, knowing that—because of the production window for this magazine—you will not see this until December. This is difficult because, today, there is much uncertainty in our fire-ravaged community. What we are feeling and experiencing now will be different in December, and in January, and forever moving forward. Where there has been loss, grief and unease, there has also been great compassion, support and determination. As a nonprofit agency which depends upon donor support, we are familiar with our community’s deep capacity to give. Even so, what we have witnessed since October 8th has been an unprecedented display of charity and kindness. It is our foundation of hope for the future. So here is my letter in a bottle for all of you to read one month from today. Without the ability to actually see into the future, the best I can do is write down what I hope for. By December 2017, I hope these things have transpired: I hope that our community’s landlords have relaxed their “no pet” policies and that our displaced pet owners were able to find pet-friendly housing. I hope that pet owners did not need to choose between surrendering their pet and staying in Sonoma County. I hope that every pet owner raced to their veterinarian to have their pet microchipped, so that the next time we have a community disaster and pets are lost, we are able to get them safely home again. I hope the community witnessed the Sonoma Humane Society working in unison with Sonoma County Animal Services and many other animal welfare agencies and understands that we are all stronger when we work together.

Cindy & Penny, photo © The Labs & Co.

I hope the Sonoma Humane Society has found a sustainable model for extending charity veterinary services for pet owners in need into the future. Last but not least, I hope that the heartache of loss is ebbing and that the healing process has begun. And I hope the services provided by the Sonoma Humane Society during this traumatic time have been a part of that healing process. With hope in my heart and the future in mind,

Cindy Roach, Executive Director

North Bay Pets INSIDE Happy Tails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kitten Season 2017. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shelter Enrichment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bubbles the Dog. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buddy the Survivor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sonoma Humane Strong. . . . . . . . . . Bequests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Welcome Dr. Nagy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . House Rabbit Updates. . . . . . . . . . . . Forget Me Not Farm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Healdsburg Center News . . . . . . . . . Meet Our New Board President . . . Sponsor Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Diary of a Winter Camper. . . . . . . . . .

p. 4 p. 7 p. 8 p. 13 p. 14 p. 16 p. 19 p. 20 p. 21 p. 22 p. 25 p. 27 p. 28 p. 30

The Sonoma Humane Society—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 Sonoma Humane Society. Content Writer/Editor Signe Ross-Villemaire Contributors Carol Rathmann Melissa Dobar Senior Designer Melissa Ehret Contributing Designer Erin Rose Opperman Contributing Photographers The Labs & Co. Melissa Ehret Emmaline Jones Mary Rand Nate Rathmann Chris Kittredge Wendy Welling On the Cover Buddy was saved by a Coffey Park resident whose own cats had gone missing. Thanks to the generous outpouring of support from near and far, Sonoma Humane Society’s shelter veterinary team has been able to help Buddy—and so many other pets—start to heal and recover. Read more about his journey on page 14. Cover photograph © 2017 The Labs & Co.,


North Bay Pets "An adoption close to my heart this year was Cheetah’s. She was extremely shy at first. Alison, our Healdsburg Center manager, coordinated a group of volunteers to help her come out of her shell. Through a lot of slow acclimation and patience, “Team Cheetah” was able to help Cheetah feel comfortable in her surroundings and safe around new people. We received a call from some potential adopters who had experience with shy cats. They came in to meet Cheetah and adopted her that day. Cheetah is now thriving in her new home. This adoption is as good as they get!" —Gabe, Healdsburg Center Adoption Counselor


"We arrived at the Healdsburg Center hoping to meet Cheetah—and that we would all like each other. She was EXACTLY what we were looking for—and happily, she felt the same way about us! She adopted us after being in the shelter for many months. They told us Cheetah might take quite a while to settle in and feel comfortable. Within a day and a half, she was exploring and conquering the entire upstairs of our house and sleeping near Dawn’s feet. Fiercely independent, Cheetah has been making our home hers in so many ways and we couldn’t be happier. If she isn’t in her cat tree, she’s on Nicole’s lap monitoring emails and helping Nicole conduct interviews, or hanging out in Dawn’s office enjoying the sun. Cheetah is wicked-smart and full of life. We look forward to the years ahead with her. She’s an amazing friend to us and we are so grateful to the staff in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg for not giving up on Cheetah and providing her with patience and love— and allowing her to come into our family this year."

—Dawn and Nicole, Cheetah’s Adopters

HAPPY tails

“They say love only comes around once in a lifetime, but I say that it isn’t true. A woman called to tell us that she filled out an online application for 8-year-old Canelo. She said she would be in after work with her husband. They came in and quickly fell head over heels for our little Canelo. We completed the adoption and Canelo headed out to his forever home!”


—Marian, SHS Adoption Counselor

"Canelo is so happy all the time, he has claimed our house as his own and has settled right in! He got all kinds of presents, including a duck toy which is his favorite (but he still plays with his old favorite toy from the shelter). Steve makes his food from scratch with chicken, rice and vegetables. We took him to the beach on Sunday and he LOVED it! He ran circles around us, faster than I have ever seen him run, as soon as we got to the sand. We promise to spoil him and give him the best life possible. Thank you Sonoma Humane Society!” —Jessica, Canelo’s Adopter


North Bay Pets “Sushi was the first fire victim to arrive at our shelter hospital. His whiskers were singed to the root and his foot pads were burned. He was covered in ash. His family was out of town when the firestorm started. When they learned that their home had been destroyed, they assumed the worst for Sushi. Thankfully, he was microchipped and we were able to contact them. They were so relieved! We treated his burns and kept him safe until they could be reunited. We fell in love with his quirky personality and the way he would make air biscuits while we were treating him!” —Dr. Reidenbach, SHS Director of Shelter Medicine


“It has been over a month since the devastating Tubbs fire swept through Northwest Santa Rosa. Far too many lives, homes, property and pets were lost. However, one bright spot could be the survival of our cat, Sushi. We knew when we got him he was not the pick of the litter nor was he a Kitty Scholar. We rescued him, along with his brother, because he seemed...different, or maybe indifferent. Either way, we rescued him and his brother only to be left with him when his brother, “Shiitake,” ran off with an attractive Calico, never to be seen or heard from again. “Sush” has trained us well. Breakfast before 8 AM and dinner at exactly 5 PM. Being late for either always resulted in an attitude that was unpleasant to be around. Wet food (Friskies Beef Bits) was his food of choice and still is. Sush’ spends his days sunning himself in my wife’s father’s solarium. He gets up to eat and go outside in the late afternoon. He remains indifferent to being the only cat in the neighborhood with singed whiskers and scorched hair on his back. His paws have healed nicely and I am confident his other fire traumas will too. We were gone the weekend of the fire, leaving that Friday night with strict instructions for him to guard the homestead. Obviously, he shirked his one duty, but he remains faithful to us, or at least to his Friskies Beef Bits.” —Gary, Sushi’s human


“Crystal the cat broke out of her carrier and took off running while her family was evacuating from the fires. Thankfully she was found safe and sound and brought in. Thanks to her microchip, we were instantly able to let her worried mom know that she was safe. As soon as she was able to go back home, her mom came straight in to take Crystal home.”


—Michelle, SHS Adoption Counselor

"I'm so grateful to Sonoma Humane for caring for my cat Crystal during my evacuation from the firestorm! Crystal is my 12-year-old cat-daughter who I missed deeply for the week we were evacuated. I was thrilled to reunite with her, as shown in the photo—although Crystal looks quite annoyed at my picking her up!" —Susan, Crystal’s mom


North Bay Pets

We are honored to work hand in paw with you and your primary veterinarian since 1977 VCA Animal Care Center of Sonoma County


Kristin MacDonald, DVM, PhD Diplomate ACVIM Justin Williams, DVM Diplomate ACVIM


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 Michael Magne, DVM, MS Diplomate ACVIM Sara Schachter, DVM Diplomate ACVIM

707.584.4343 6470 Redwood Dr., Rohnert Park, CA 94928 EMERGENCY & URGENT CARE Elliott Brenner, DVM Greg Olson, DVM Erika Rogers, DVM Robin Schaffner, DVM Laura Slater, DVM Rose Wingate, DVM


Open 24/7 for emergencies and urgent care 6





North Bay Pets

Kitten Season 2017: Year of The Mom Cat!

Early each Spring we do everything we can to prepare for

sickly newborns, including Harriet (below) who had a rapidly

Kitten Season. We stock our Foster office shelves with for-

spreading infection and required emergency surgery.

mula and food, warming pads and other necessary supplies. We recruit volunteers to bolster our numbers of skilled and dedicated foster parents who stand ready to bring home bottle babies needing round-the-clock care. Then we hold our breath and wait.

After medical attention and respite in foster care, each feline was spayed or neutered before finding a permanent home. Knowing that all mom cats and kittens are now safe and cared for by families who love them completes the circle— as does the knowledge that none will contribute to the

They arrive slowly at first—a litter here, a litter there. We start

numbers of homeless animals we take in next year.

to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the wide-ranging efforts of our Spay/Neuter program are starting to make a difference. And then—boom!—the onslaught begins, often with multiple litters arriving on the same day! And we realize our work is not done.

Who cares about other people’s pets? You do, of course! Your own pets are spayed and neutered. Every animal adopted from Sonoma Humane Society is spayed or neutered. But what about the pets of our friends and neighbors?

No matter how much we plan, kitten season always comes

As a community who cares about the welfare of all animals,

with a few surprises. This year has been no different. In ad-

it’s our collective responsibility to help prevent future genera-

dition to the 600+ kittens we took

tions of dogs and cats born vulnerable to a life of uncertainty.

in January through October, we saw many mom cats with nursing babies in tow. Among them was Mabel (above), who came to our Santa Rosa campus after being found near Gravenstein Highway with her five kittens. Another mama, Marmee, was brought to our Healdsburg Center with her four growing 4-week-olds. And Ismi (see article on page 11) arrived at our shelter hospital with her three Harriet is the smallest patient ever to be anesthetized at SHS!

By the end of 2017, we anticipate that over 2,200 pets will have been spayed and neutered through our low-cost clinics this year. Your support is crucial to keeping our clinics accessible for low-income community members who need these services for their own beloved pets. Together, with the Community Foundation Sonoma County and the Ted and Joyce Picco Endowment Fund, we can ensure that our little corner of the world is a compassionate place for all animals. Please pledge your support for this vital community service by visiting Click the DONATE button and select ‘Spay/Neuter Fund’ from the drop-down menu.



Keepin’ It Real

Last year we began implementing procedures to streamline our intake process and create more pathways to adoption—all with the goal of making each animal’s stay with us the very best and shortest it can be. We are happy to report that since doing so, we’ve seen a 35% decrease in our length of stay for cats, and 44% for dogs! One of the ways we provide the best possible care for our furry friends revolves around keeping them engaged and entertained. To do that, we’ve expanded our enrichment offerings to create the closest experience to “home” we can. Think of all the activities your own pet participates in throughout the day and you’ll get an idea of what we strive to provide for the pets in our shelters. From outdoor escapades to quality downtime and togetherness, we believe that varied activities and nurturing connections are essential to an animal’s wellbeing. We also believe that giving our adoptables as many "real life" experiences is the best way to prepare them for real homes! Through our interactions, we gain a sense of each animal’s unique personality, helping to guide potential adopters to the best possible matches. With these objectives in mind, each animal gets a mix of interesting and enriching activities throughout the day. Our volunteer Canine Care and Cat Care Partners are an integral part of our Animal Care program. They get our dogs out for early morning constitutionals or off-site for a change of scenery. They keep our cats engaged and feeling loved with quiet visits or by creating special cat toys to appeal to feline senses. Here are just some of the ways we are “keepin’ it real” for the animals in our care.

photo © The Labs & Co.

North Bay Pets


“All of the dogs we help were owned at one point, so we try to keep that in mind.” Sue McGuire, SHS Behavior and Training Manager explains. “We’re functioning as a port in the storm for them. We look at what their emotional needs are and try to find what makes them feel safe and confident.” Sue and her team take a "whole dog" approach, emphasizing activities that reduce stress and allow dogs to express natural behaviors. “We’re not trying to ‘fix’ them per se, but through enrichment,” Sue says, “we can shape positive behaviors. We look for opportunities to ‘ask for’ a certain behavior and reward it.” By providing a variety of everyday life experiences both in and out of the shelter, we’re essentially training them

to be “real dogs” until their forever families can provide that for them.

Play Groups Ample opportunity to socialize with other dogs is not only a form of enrichment we give our shelter dogs, it’s an important life skill that helps increase their adoption options. Moderated play gives dogs a chance to burn some mental and physical energy, and gives us a chance to observe how they interact with other dogs—valuable information we can pass along to their future families. Playgroups happen several times per week.


North Bay Pets

Out and Abouts

Canine Exploratorium

Each week, a group of shelter dogs leash up and hit the trails or town centers with our Canine Care volunteers. Getting a change of scenery and the chance to explore, dogs also get the opportunity to socialize with their fourfooted hiking buddies. Dogs return to the shelter tired but happy, dreaming of all the sights, smells and sounds they’ve soaked up on their adventure.

For dogs, this is the equivalent of being “a kid in a candy store”—and the kid gets the whole store to himself! Our volunteer team of “enrichment elves” upcycle boxes and other objects into interactive “presents” for our canine friends to explore. Dogs can pick and choose which container they want to chase, shake, rip open etc., encouraging their hunting and foraging instincts.

Shelter Enrichment

Coffee Breaks

We aim to provide sensory enrichment on every level in our dog rooms. Taste buds are tantalized with toys stuffed with different purees, treats or meals. Scents are spritzed to enhance olfactory stimulation. A variety of textures and materials for dogs lie on, dig in and chew on help satisfy the need for tactile experiences. Puzzle games and training sessions provide mental stimulation. Music helps reduce stress from shelter noise.

Yet another opportunity for more “real life” experience. The occasional coffee run with a staffer or volunteer gives a lucky dog the chance for a car ride, interacting with the public—and, if all goes well—a “Pup-a-ccino” of their very own.

Perhaps the next best thing to a forever home that a shelter dog can have on her journey to adoption is a brief respite in a foster home. Overnights and a weekend in a warm, comfortable home gives a dog a break from the shelter, a chance to feel like part of the pack and a hint of all the good their future holds.

photo © The Labs & Co.

Enrichment played an important role in caring for our community’s pets during October’s fires. In addition to food and supplies, we distributed donated toys to pets at evacuation sites. Packing material from deliveries we received was recycled into enrichment items for pets at our shelter!

Weekend Foster Breaks


Cats are a whole different animal when it comes to shelter enrichment. Here are some of the ways we keep our feline friends happy and engaged until they find forever homes.


Hello? Ismi!

North Bay Pets

photo © Emmaline Jones

Ismi is gorgeous. With her ocean green eyes and tawny tabby highlights, she’ll just melt your heart. But this sweet cat has no intention of laying around making your couch look good. Maybe you’ve known a busybody like Ismi before? Extremely intelligent, she gets bored easily. She craves attention but can quickly become overstimulated. To help meet her unique needs, our Cat Care team has created an enrichment program tailored to her personality.

Not only is Ismi beautiful and intelligent, she was a good mama (see article on page 7) to her kittens—they came in together as strays. Her kittens have all found loving homes and we just know there’s a special one waiting for Ismi too! Is it yours? Call our Adoption Center at (707) 542-0882 to learn more about her.

SHS Cat Program Manager Nicole Dunham explains, “Ismi likes to use her paws a lot. Sometimes for swatting people. She also happens to be, like most cats, super trainable.” So Nicole and her team are working to redirect Ismi’s energy in positive ways. From the start, they noted that she loves companionship and responds well to one-on-one interaction. Using rewards-based training, they have helped Ismi learn the “sit” cue—she gets treats for keeping “four on the floor”. She’s even learned to jump through a hoop and take a walking wheel for a spin! But perhaps the most basic way our team helps keep Ismi mentally stimulated is at meal time. Instead of putting Ismi’s food in a bowl, our team delivers her meals via a puzzle toy which she reaches into with her paws to retrieve the kibble, or a ball that releases food as she bats it around. Nicole says, “By letting her ‘work’ for her meals, we are able to keep her busy and mentally stimulated.”

Cat’s eye view Cats love having vantage points from which to safely survey the world. In each of our cat rooms, we provide opportunities to climb and rest comfortably at different heights. Window seats provide sunny napping spots and allow cats to harmlessly indulge prey drive as they watch birds, insects, and dogs at play.

Meeting territorial needs When a cat greets you by rubbing up against you, she’s mapping out her territory by transferring her scent to you. Cats also have scent glands in the pads of their paws, so when they use scratching posts, they are not only stretching and grooming their claws, they are “scent marking” as well. Each of our cat rooms is outfitted with a wall-mounted scratching post. These fixtures are equipped with washable inserts that allow cats to scratch to their heart's content and they are eco-friendly!

Mew-sic to their ears SHS’s enrichment volunteers create special toys that appeal to cats’ auditory system. Treats hidden within crumpled packing paper are tucked into brown paper

lunch bags. The crinkling sound the bag makes as the cat forages for treats stimulates their sense of hearing. So does music and the sound of our voices. Our cats love being read to and talked to by devoted Cat Care Partners.

All the feels Cushy beds and blankets in every room provide comfort and allow each cat to experience different textures. Our crafty enrichment team threads zip ties through wiffle balls to create a tactile treat. Our cats enjoy packing these treasures around in their mouths, satisfying their prey drive.

Next best thing One of the most important forms of enrichment that we provide for our shelter cats is consistent human companionship. Each cat receives several visits per day from our Cat Care Partners as well as routine interaction from Animal Care and Hospital staff. Additionally, staff members in need of a bit of snuggle therapy take breaks with these purr-fect co-workers. For a cat, this is the next best thing to your loving home!


North Bay Pets


North Bay Pets

Bubbles Putting one paw in front of the other

In spite of the traumatic escape from the fire that burned his family's home to the ground and the residual fear he is feeling, this brave dog manages to put one paw in front of the other and offer hope.

As a trained member of our Animal Assisted Activities program, Bubbles lends a non-judgmental ear to young readers and a comforting presence to hospice patients. He helps the fourleggers of Sonoma Humane, too. And when our washing machine broke down recently, Bubbles and his humans, Lynne and David, took loads of towels and pet beds to the laundromat. He graciously donates proceeds from his autobiography, Life is Pitty Good, to the animals of SHS—truly, an ambassador for his breed. In yet another important act of service, Bubbles provides a profound example of how each of us, even in the wake of devastating fear and loss, can use our unique gifts to help each other heal. Lynne recounts that it was nearly midnight when they saw the orange glow encroaching. They ran outside and within seconds their yard was on fire. As they started to flee with Bubbles and their Blue Heeler, Parsley, a tree fell on their car. With flames coming closer, they all scrambled into David’s 28-year-old truck which wouldn’t start at first, but they managed to pop the clutch and get it going. She describes how their lungs were burning and they were coughing as they raced down Mark West Springs Road through “a huge wall of fire” for about ¼ mile before making it out into thick, black smoke. Bubbles was extremely distressed. A car passed them, the driver yelling “you’re on fire!”—their truck was burning in the back and in the front. “Luckily,” said Lynne, “David had a fire extinguisher. There were other cars burning in the middle of the road, abandoned. It was horrible.” Lynne’s leg was burned, so was David’s foot from driving the melting truck. “The fire was so fast and spread so quickly. It was so windy and raining embers on us. But we are alive. It’s a miracle we survived. If we had waited just a few more seconds or had done anything differently, we would have died.”

The event left some emotional scars as well. David shares that Bubbles is experiencing a lot of separation anxiety. Given their current temporary living situation, they never go anywhere without piling both dogs into the small cab of their pick-up. Once “home”, Bubbles cries if David goes into one room and Lynne another. He wants his family to be together. Daily walks or hikes are helping though, as are the quiet moments where he can bring smiles and laughter to his family. In spite of the traumatic escape from the fire that burned their home to the ground, and the residual fear he is feeling, this brave dog manages to put one paw in front of the other and offer hope. As David’s constant companion on errands as they begin to rebuild their lives, Bubbles is a “beacon for everyone” they encounter, David says. “People just light up when they see him.”

David said he knew from the moment Bubbles first joined their pack that this dog had a mission in life—and that his own mission was to help Bubbles fulfill his. We are inspired by Bubbles’ resilience, goodness and love, and are so grateful for his continual healing force in our community.


Buddy the survivor

photo Š The Labs & Co.

As Buddy starts this new chapter of his life, he carries the love of our compassionate community with him— and for that we are truly grateful.


uddy is a survivor. His “fire story” encapsulates not only the damage and loss we felt in our community, but the strength and resilience that resulted when we joined together. He was saved by a Coffey Park resident whose own cats had gone missing. It’s hard to imagine the fear the 9-yearold cat must have felt while trying to escape the embers. With burns all over from the tips of his ears to the pads of his paws, he will bear the scars. But thanks to a generous outpouring of support from near and far, Sonoma Humane Society’s shelter veterinary team has been able to help Buddy—and so many other pets—start to heal and recover. While under intensive care for his burns, Buddy proved himself to be a real trooper. He was stoic yet affectionate in spite of his painful condition and unfamiliar surroundings. Since he was microchipped, we were able to contact his owners. They had lost everything in the fires. After talking over different options, they decided it would be in Buddy’s best interest to find a new family who could focus on giving him all the love and care he will require. Thankfully, this sweet cat recently found a family who is going to do just that. They fell in love with his cuddly personality and are honored to be entrusted with his guardianship and wellbeing. As Buddy starts this new chapter of his life, he carries the love of our compassionate community with him—and for that we are truly grateful.


Sonoma Humane


Unified By Community Compassion

Sometimes you’re in a position to offer support, other times you’re in need of support. And during the recent fires in our community, most of us did some of both. Like a cross-section of the entire community, Sonoma Humane Society’s family of staff, volunteers and donors experienced loss of homes, displacement from homes, and the overwhelming weight of uncertainty and grief. Yet we became united in something much stronger: hope—the hope we have for better days ahead, when we have safely seen one another through to other side of this tragedy and can emerge stronger than ever. The SHS community is also united by another important factor: an unmitigated concern for animals and their wellbeing. Our love for them and wanting to make sure they are safe is something we all share. Thanks to the outpouring of support during the fires, we witnessed the best of humanity and what happens when we work together toward this goal so close to our hearts. Here are just some of the ways compassion helped us respond to the disaster.

The kindness of friends and strangers: donations and volunteerism

nothing short of remarkable.

Also remarkable? Volunteer efforts. Volunteers made a great impact, helping us process incoming shipments Perhaps one of the most visible forms of goods and in staffing our donation of support during the fires and their center. In addition to our core group of aftermath has been the veritable dedicated volunteers, we had close to mountains of donated pet food and 100 members of the community pitch supplies that arrived at SHS daily. in on a temporary basis during the first People from all over the state and two weeks of the fire. There was also a beyond sent or brought in bags of strong outpouring from group and corpet food, treats, collars, leashes, pet porate volunteers. Every effort made a beds, crates, flea treatment and toys to huge difference in helping us meet the ensure that those affected by the fire needs of our animals and our comcould provide not only basic sustemunity. Nina Caputo, SHS Volunteer nance, but comfort and enrichment for Program Manager, says “the teamwork their beloved pets. and camaraderie have been amazing and heartwarming.” We became a distribution hub for these supplies from the get go. Our Lost, found and classroom was quickly transformed into a space where displaced folks homeward bound could come by and pick up what they With the onset of the fires, SHS took a needed. We encountered so many lead role in creating a central database people choosing supplies for the pets to increase our community’s ability of friends and family members who to reunite lost pets with their owners. they were sheltering. We also delivA team of staff and volunteers comered truckloads to local evacuation sites. The outpouring of generosity was piled information from our local animal

welfare agencies and the various social media pages that were appearing daily. We rejoiced whenever cross-referencing reports resulted in a pet being reunited with their families. Our Adoption Counselors were on the front lines helping fire victims fill out lost pet reports. Hearing stories from people who worried if their pets were alive made for some incredibly emotional days for our team. During the darkest days, there were bright spots—including a visit from Charlie and his adopter Frank. Since adopting the “tri-paw’d” German Shepherd in September, Frank said they’ve become inseparable. Charlie sensed the fire coming while Frank was sleeping and managed to wake him up so they could safely evacuate. They lost their home but they had each other, and for that Frank is eternally grateful. Another shining light came from the families who opened their hearts to adopting. From the day after the fires broke out until they were contained, 68 of the shelter pets who’d been with us prior to the fires were adopted! These

North Bay Pets families felt good knowing that not only were they giving a pet in need a loving home, but they were freeing up space for us to shelter animals displaced by the fires. We are also grateful to our Foster network. When some of our fosters needed to evacuate their homes, their first concern was getting their foster pets back to the shelter where they could be safe. Waiting in the wings were other foster parents ready to scoop up these pets to give them a quiet refuge from the flurry of activity at the shelter, creating more room for animals lost or injured during this time.

Shelter Hospital + Charity Medical Care Our Shelter Medical team handles critical situations with cool heads and warm hearts each and every day. During the fires they did so with gusto even though most of our nursing staff was personally impacted. Dr. Reidenbach said, “despite the personal worry and displacement, they kept working and showing up for the animals (and each other) day after day. The burned animals started arriving right away and continued coming in—both owned and stray.” What kept her team going? Dr. Reidenbach says, “microchips were the hero of the Shelter Medicine story, because we knew we’d get to watch a beautiful reunification each time our microchip scanner beeped.”

“Microchips were the hero of the Shelter Medicine story, because we knew we’d get to watch a beautiful reunification each time our microchip scanner beeped.”


“Our first reunification was with two cats. One had burned paws, and the other had singed whiskers and fur. Their family came in quickly, one of the first days of the fire late in the evening, to get them. They showed us photos of their house completely burned to the ground. It was the first time our staff had seen pictures of lost homes. The family was so grateful to us and so thankful that their cats were okay. There were lots of tears and hugs when they saw their cats. They said the cats were their kids’ cats, and that the cats being okay would make everything else being lost no big deal.” The family wanted to have their own vet continue to treat their kitties so that we could use our resources to help others in need.


Many other pets have worked their way into our hospital staff’s hearts, including Mimi, pictured here. Mimi was found 10 days after the fire hit Coffey Park. Badly burned, she was rushed right into SHS. Thankfully she was microchipped and we could contact her owner, who came right in to see her. She visited Mimi frequently while she was being treated for burns in our shelter hospital. Once Mimi was stable enough, she was able to bring her to her new apartment where they could continue to heal together. Given the severity of Mimi’s burns, her owner continued to bring her in for treatments until she was fully recovered. In addition to treating stray and owned animals through our shelter hospital, we launched daily charity wellness and urgent care clinics to help pet owners impacted by the fires. We had 20 clients on the first day! Many local veterinarians, RVT’s and vet assistants volunteered their services, and we are looking at ways to offer these services for the long term as they have been a crucial form of support for so many community members.

Better Together Sonoma Humane Society is proud and grateful to be a part of our local coalition of animal welfare agencies. Merging our unique strengths and

capacities, we were able to respond to the needs of our community during the fires—with integrity and compassion. Thank you: ASPCA | California Department of Food and Agriculture | California Veterinary Medical Association | Compassion Without Borders | Dogwood Animal Rescue Project | Forgotten Felines | Marin Humane Society | Napa Humane Society | Petaluma Animal Services | Pets Lifeline | Rohnert Park Animal Shelter San Francisco SPCA | Save A Bunny | Sonoma County Animal Services | Wine Country Animal Lovers Mimi gets a clean bill of health and no longer needs treatment!

Thank You note First, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Sonoma Humane Society. I lost my home and two cars in the fire. I lived in Coffey Park. I came in for food and supplies because I have 3 cats and 2 birds, all are safe with me. My old gal Rascal, 18yrs, spent 2 days in the fire. I brought her into the clinic last week because I thought it might have been her time. Dr. Sarah helped us and she was so gracious, kind and caring. She gave me options and I went home with Rascal plus antibiotics, cream and administered fluids. She received the prime treatment from Dr. Sarah and I am so grateful. She truly loves her job and the animals. Rascal is doing well, still jumping off counters even though I try to prevent her. She is her sweet, sassy self, enjoying sunshine and time with her siblings, a 3-legged Maine Coon named Bear and a “foster fail” Tuxedo cat named Fur Fur. I thank Dr. Sarah from my heart. Our family thanks you for everything —JB, Santa Rosa

Give me Shelter

North Bay Pets

Villa Chanticleer 900 Chanticleer Way Healdsburg, CA

SAVE THE DATE March 3, 2018


photo © The Labs & Co.

A special evening to support the

May 2017–October 2017 Lawrence A. Elsener Revocable Trust Everett H. Gregory 1995 Trust John O'Flaherty Trust Oliver Romanko Jeanne Ryan Revocable Trust Estate of Barbara J. Saunders - Survivor's Trust Estate of Lucille Wardell 19

Welcome Dr. Nagy!


COMMUNITY RISES IN THE WEST No matter where we are, the sun rises on acts of goodwill that help the communities we live and work in thrive. We’re proud to support the Sonoma Humane Society.

Assurance, tax, and consulting offered through Moss Adams LLP. Investment advisory services offered through Moss Adams Wealth Advisors LLC. Investment banking offered through Moss Adams Capital LLC.


photo © Emmaline Jones


Sonoma Humane Society is pleased to welcome Dr. Sylvia Nagy, DVM to our Public Veterinary Hospital! A graduate of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Nagy has worked in private practice, emergency care and shelter medicine. As a senior veterinarian at North Shore Animal League (America’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption center), she worked with both shelter and owned pets for several years before making the move to California with her boyfriend, three dogs and three cats! As lead veterinarian at SHS’s Public Hospital, Dr. Nagy is here to provide comprehensive, compassionate care for your pets! Dr. Nagy emphasizes how great veterinary care and customer service go hand-in-hand, “I love helping animals and people. I’m happy to have a profession where I can do both, and where compassion is utilized daily. At our Public Hospital, there’s always a human being attached to each pet, and in order to best help the animal, I need to help their person understand what to expect and what medical advancements can do for our pets.” “Another thing I love about my job as a small animal general practitioner is that it gives me the skills to handle almost any problem—which is why there’s often a vet on TV or in movies saving lives! I love being able to use my passion and skill set to help as many animals as I can.” Ready to partner with Dr. Nagy and her team to give your pet the best health possible? Call Sonoma Humane Society’s Veterinary Hospital today at (707) 284-1198 or visit for more information.

HOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST FABULOUS SILK SCARF. Designed with love in Sonoma County.

Sonoma Humane Society’s AAHA accredited Veterinary Hospital is the only nonprofit full-service veterinary treatment center in Sonoma County. We are proud to provide the highest quality, compassionate medical care for your pet. Proceeds from your visit directly support medical care for animals in our shelter hospital.

North Bay Pets



ountless animals were displaced during the October fires, including two stray rabbits who came to us in need of acute medical attention. They've been receiving specialized medical treatment at Brandner Veterinary Hospital in Petaluma. Once on the mend, they will be returned to SHS so we can help them find homes. We are so grateful to Brandner Vet Hospital for stepping up and offering their expertise to help us with these sweet buns during the crisis—one of many examples of how the local animal welfare community has come together to support each other. In that same spirit, SHS has been expanding our House Rabbit Program in the past year. This enables us to take in more rabbits from local shelters when they don’t have the space or resources for bunnies.

Theo and Sasha love their spacious habitat and fresh greens!

LOOKING FOR SOME BUNNY TO LOVE? See who’s waiting to meet you at Sonoma Humane Society! Make sure to explore our virtual library for care tips and guidelines at sonomahumane. org/public-training/resources. Then hop on over to our Santa Rosa campus for Bunny Playground each Saturday from 2–4PM. You’ll meet adoptable bunnies and other bunny lovers waiting to share their knowledge with you!

A critical component of our program are our incredibly skilled and passionate Rabbit Program volunteers. Led by lagomorph gurus Lori and Chris, our dedicated team ensures our bunnies get the socialization, love and care they need on the trail to adoption. We’ve even set up a bunny-specific fund to directly support spay/neuter surgeries, comfy housing and all the love and care that rabbits need while they are at Sonoma Humane Society. To donate, please visit

BEFORE Smithers arrived at SHS badly burned but he's on the road to recovery thanks to round-the-clock care from Dr. Pfann and his team at Brandner Vet Hospital.


Manny was found as a stray who had been terribly neglected. He had severe malocclusion (overgrown teeth) and needed two tooth trimming sessions, treatment for mites, and medicine for an ear infection. Brandner Vet came to the rescue again and Manny's future looks very bright.


North Bay Pets

Therapeutic Services Continue at the Farm

Forget Me Not Farm was able to lend a helping hand and rescue 20+ animals from the Bennett Valley Fire, doubling the farm's animal population. photo Š Nate Rathmann

by Carol Rathmann, Director and Founder of FMNF


orget Me Not Farm staff and resident animals recently shared their space with over 20 animals who were displaced during the Sonoma County fires. The animals who live at Forget Me Not Farm provide therapeutic interventions for at-risk youth in our community. Our visiting animals quickly took on that same role. For the many volunteers who came to assist us with our expanded population there was a reward at the end of the day. Each person had the opportunity to interact with our resident animals as well as the rescue animals. Some assisted us in our treatment of the animals suffering from burns while others enjoyed brushing, petting, or just socializing with the animals. One of our visitors was a blind youth who had lost his home and his pet dog in the fire. His teacher brought him to the farm to see if she could cheer him up. Within just a few minutes of arriving at the farm this young man was laughing and


having a good time with the animals and he was able to talk about his losses. We also had help from our neighboring county of Marin. A group from YĹŒL, an organization that specializes in service and leadership development opportunities for teams and individuals, sent volunteers almost daily and helped with tasks at the Farm and also at the Sonoma Humane Society. Among our most notable visitors were a strike team of firefighters from the Seattle, Washington area who spent their day off volunteering with us. This team worked all morning at the Farm but made time in between projects to have their own therapeutic time with the animals. It was good for both species. All but one of our visiting farm animals have been returned to their homes. Autumn, a chicken who was badly burned in the fire, is still receiving veterinary care and will likely join our farm team when her burns have healed.

photo © Mary Rand

North Bay Pets


North Bay Pets


North Bay Pets

COMING SOON: Healdsburg Center Dog Play Yards! by Melissa Dobar, SHS Director of Development

We are happy to report that plans have been completed for landscaping and dog play yards at the Healdsburg Center for Animals! A generous gift from a special donor will help us bring the plans to life, creating a beautiful space for the animals and the community. Alexis Woods Landscape Design & Consulting, LLC has created a well-thought-out design for the Healdsburg Center landscape. We will be forever grateful to Alexis for providing this as a gift for the animals. Native, low maintenance and drought tolerant plants and trees, walking paths and areas for people and animals to enjoy are included in the plan. SHS Board Member Grace Lucero, and Bonnie Kline, owners of Lucero Kline, Inc., have generously offered to provide direction and management. We are working with compassionate partners throughout the community to help us source materials and labor for the project. This is all possible because a very special donor came forward with the desire to give a generous gift in memory of her dear husband. Helen Straessle has lived in Healdsburg for 40 years. As an animal lover and active community member, she was a Healdsburg Animal Shelter donor who generously gave to the Capital Campaign for the original building of the completed shelter. The day Sonoma Humane Society opened the doors to the new shelter in June 2016, Helen

visited. She met with our Director, Cindy Roach, and offered support. Helen chose to give generously for the first year of the Center’s operations but also had a special gift in mind. She wanted to help us build dog play yards and hoped she could provide this gift in memory of her husband Ray. Ray loved animals too, and in his last years, his favorite activity was to visit the dog park with his beloved dog, Rosie. Helen’s generosity will help create a beautiful parklike setting and safe spaces for dogs to run off-leash. We are grateful to all who are helping to complete this important project and we are especially thankful to our donor for her special contribution honoring the legacy and compassion of Ray Straessle.



North Bay Pets

Green Valley Growers Sebastopol, California

Events & Florals 707.823.5583 26

Meet Shannon Tracey photo © Chris Kittredge

Our New Board President!

In addition to being a mortgage broker and real estate investor with Cypress Financial, Shannon Tracey is halfowner of CrossFit NorthGate gym in Santa Rosa. With a wealth of business acumen and a background in community affairs, she has just the kind of big picture thinking required to successfully preside over a nonprofit Board of Directors. As a lifelong animal lover and dedicated volunteer, Shannon has just the kind of compassionate commitment required to help Sonoma Humane Society navigate a strong, vibrant future. Shannon connected to SHS’s mission when she was just a child. Her mother would bring her to the shelter to visit the dogs and cats, and even then she recognized the importance of a safe haven for animals. She became a member/donor just as soon as she started working and started giving of her time, too. Shannon first volunteered as a dog walker for SHS, a role she says she found “immensely rewarding”. In 2009, she began volunteering in a different capacity—as an SHS Board Member. Before becoming Board President this past June, Shannon served as Secretary, Treasurer and

Vice President. Over the years, she has served on many committees as well, including Finance and Gala Planning. Additionally, she took a lead role in helping us complete our Healdsburg Center and has been instrumental in the renegotiation of our bond debt, and in drafting and implementing our investment and spending policies. As Board President, Shannon is resolute in seeing “that SHS continues to serve the animals and people in our community and beyond to the utmost degree that we can.” Her governance goals are just as definitive. She strives to “lead by example, to offer clear and objective direction and act as a conduit between our Executive Director and our Board of Directors”. It’s ultimately Shannon’s affinity for animals though that drives her to work on their behalf. She aspires to the day that “the population of unwanted, abused and neglected animals will be greatly reduced through education, awareness and compassion”. And, we have a hunch that Shannon’s adopted furry family (chi/terrier mixes Posie, Remy, Mia, Bud K.G., and a 20-year-old cat named Eddie!) do their part to inspire her each day.

Insuring futures since



W & Brown & Brown/SML Insurance Agency

is proud to support

the Sonoma Humane Society 3554 Round Barn Blvd., Suite 309 | Santa Rosa, CA 95403

alking into Sam’s For Play Café feels like coming home. You’re greeted with a friendly smile, cheerful vintage décor and the smell of fresh coffee. And just wait ‘til you try the waffles! Serving up American home style food since 1985, Sam’s gets rave reviews for their tasty comfort food and stellar customer service. Here at Sonoma Humane Society, we give Sam’s For Play Café an enthusiastic “paws up”! Not only do they know a thing or two about making people feel at home, they are passionate about helping us get animals into homes, too! As proud sponsors of our “Happy Tails” segments on FM100 KZST, they give us the opportunity to share our animals’ heartwarming stories with listeners. Thank you Sam’s for your contributions to our community. You truly make Sonoma County a great place to call home!

North Bay Pets

Diary of a Winter Camper It’s the most wonderful time of the year: The air is cool and crisp, and the animals of Sonoma Humane Society and Forget Me Not Farm are here to warm your child’s heart with cuddles and compassion. Each December-January, kids enjoy spending part of their Winter breaks at our Animal Adventure and Education Camps. But don’t just take our word for it, read what a seasoned camper has to say!

Name: Hāna | Age: 12 What animals did you meet at Winter Camp? I got to interact with horses, cows, pigs, llamas, alpacas, cats, dogs, turtles, snakes, and rabbits. Oh, and I got to interact with these animals called my friends! What fun activities did you participate in? We got a tour of the vet clinic and watched animals get dental work. The vet showed us all how to give shots and we helped make casts. We helped clean barn stalls, fed horses and held reptiles. What did you learn? Pretty much everything you could know about animals. Anyone who is interested in some day being a vet would love this camp. I couldn’t have had more fun. Learn more about Sonoma Humane Society’s Youth Programs at:

Want a clever dog? Enroll in a class today! In addition to one-on-one training and private consultations, we offer a wide range of classes and workshops that emphasize positive reinforcement techniques and are tailored to the unique personality of your dog! 30



Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage

Sonoma Humane Society 5345 Hwy 12 West Santa Rosa, CA 95407

PAID Sonoma Humane Society

Return Service Requested

5345 Hwy 12 West | Santa Rosa, CA 95407 | 707-542-0882 | 555 Westside Road | Healdsburg, CA 95448 | 707-431-3386 | The Sonoma Humane Society does not receive funding from national organizations such as HSUS or ASPCA. We depend on donations from our

Loving f r Life

photo by Selmer Van Alten

local community. North Bay Pets is a publication of the Sonoma Humane Society. Š Copyright 2017 | All rights reserved.

A pet guardianship program at Sonoma Humane Society

For more information, please call (707) 577-1911 or email

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.