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Welcome to Shelter Life at the East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

We began as the Oakland SPCA in 1874. Today, the East Bay SPCA includes two animal shelters and three clinics in our community.

This is our day.


Monday, July 24, 2006

110

I wish I was writing about 110 adoptions this weekend, but instead I'm writing about 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

This past week or so has been a real scorcher. Blame global warming, ecological changes, whatever -- it's not pleasant for us animals used to more temperate climates.

At our Tri-Valley Adoption and Spay Neuter facility, the climate control system includes 10 A/C compressors, each working on separate parts of the building.

Sometime within the past two weeks, two of those compressors have failed or lost the ability to fully cool. Fortunately (so to speak), those compressors covered the back hallway and break room for the staff. Although it was miserable eating lunch at 90 - 100 degrees, all our animals were safe in the air conditioned habitats and kennels.

This Sunday brought a dire situation however. Sometime in the late morning or early afternoon, the compressor for the rear kennels and cat holding area stopped working effectively (or failed outright). Temperatures rised quickly, despite doing our best to keep things cool by limiting outside air and closing doors and turning out lights.

This is where our awesome quick-thinking and hard-working staff jumped into action. A game plan was made to get our dogs and cats to safety, quickly. Thoughts about where to put them were paramount. On the other side of the building is the dog training room, aka the "concrete room", named for the concrete floors. The windows in this room were recently tinted heavily to keep heat out and make things look nicer from the outside. This room only runs the A/C when we are having classes, so the compressor has seen much less use and potentially runs better. The staff cranked up the A/C (fortunately it was still cool from morning classes) and rushed to get dog crates from all corners of the shelter to house the dogs temporarily.

Half the cats were moved from the now hot "cat holding" to the grooming room, and the other half wheeled with their cages to the attached spay/neuter facility, where the A/C was still able to cool.

Ideas on a more permanent location for the dogs were thought up, as they couldn't stay in crates all night. Right now some of the dogs are staying in the spay/neuter kennels, at least until Tuesday, when the s/n clinic is next open and those kennels are needed for them. We transferred more to our Oakland facility, where they had some extra space.

I really have to thank everyone who was there on Sunday to help out. Without our staff and volunteers, things would be a lot worse for our four legged friends. They put out hard work even on a miserable day that exhausted us all. Thanks also to RE, Facilities Manager for coming on your day off trying to help.

It's fortunate that you guys are doing everything you can. I heard yesterday on the news how several pets died on arrival after being taken to the animal hospital for heat exhaustion...

 

I'm glad to know that the animals are getting "first class" treatment despite the heat. Sometimes animals just come first! :)

 

Can you work out a deal with agencies or individuals in San Francisco or Berkeley? The microclimates there are vastly different. Ex. 90 F at Oakland SPCA, 78 F in Berkeley on Sunday...

 

Yeah, I should be working, but I was just thinking about more stuff you can do scary hot days. Another thing besides asking for places to put your guys in SF and Berkeley is to take everyone to the City Center storefront in Oakland. Don't know if there's A/C, but it is DEFINITELY cooler on 12th street than Tri-Valley.

Perhaps line up some shopping malls and Petsmart/Petco locations in the area ahead of time. Ask if the EBSPCA can have impromptu hot weather adoption fairs in air conditioned pet stores or malls on those brutally hot days. It might be a nice PR thing for the malls and stores ("Hey look! We're kind to animals!") Not sure if anyone would get adopted, but what's not to like a row of kittens in a Starbucks or a few waggly dogs in Petsmart?

If it looks like its going to be a scorcher, have staff/volunteers freeze bottles of water the night before. Bring the cold bottles in and put one in each cat habitat. I know they do this with rabbits on hot days. Zoos freeze food in cubes of ice for their furry charges - maybe peanut butter blobs in a tub of ice for the canines? Yum! If worse comes to worst, send someone to the 7/11 to get bags of ice. Animals know what to do.

OK. I'm really going to go back to work now...

 

Monday and Tuesday are my days off, but I do have some updates. Apparently the A/C for the kennels is up and running today (Tuesday). In the interim yesterday all the dogs were moved to Oakland.

There were thoughts of asking East County Animal Services (right across the street from us) for some kennel space but because of the logistics an internal solution was better.

Hopefully things will remain smooth and working now. It does seem a bit "fairer" today at home -- don't know how it is out in Dublin.

We do Mobile Adoptions at Pet Food Express in Dublin and San Ramon on certain Saturdays.

 

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925.479.9670

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