Who is going to take her place?
After being at the shelter for a year and a half, Miss Sweet Pea finally found her forever home.
S. Pea went back and forth between our Dublin and Oakland facilities. After our last shelter cat Benson was adopted, Sweet Pea became our new shelter cat. She was pretty low-key at first. She liked to lounge in her box near the window in the food room. Occasionally she would run into the grooming area and give me little nudges letting me know it was time for breakfast or dinner. Soon she became more social, and wasn't as feisty as she used to be when she lived the habitat life. I would go in her room daily to brush her so her pretty fur wouldn't get matted. I know she didn't want another fancy haircut like the one she had last summer, so she would roll around letting me brush her all over. Just yesterday she caught her first, and what will hopefully be her last, mouse here.
Although she could be a little brat sometimes, everyone is going to miss her and her little fuzzy boots.
Now I wonder, who is going to take her place?
Allow me to introduce to you the future leaders of tomorrow! Actually, their commitment to the animals has these three young people showing leadership today.
Anna, Jack, and Mike have taken us under their wings and have brought donations of money, food, and supplies to the shelter. They have made two generous visits thus far, as friends of the shelter they are welcome familiar faces! They are pictured here with Cher who loves the attention from her new friends. Cher has recently had surgery for an eye condition, but will be ready for a new home very soon.
Let's also hear it for the parents who help their kids in reaching out and making a difference!
Reading Has Gone to the Dogs
Our PALS (Pets and Love Shared) program has been sending animal assisted therapy (AAT) teams to different skilled nursing facilities throughout Alameda County for about 3 years. Many of our volunteers with PALS were wanting to also do some work with kids, and Lin from the Orinda Library recently invited some of our teams to join in their Paws to Read program.
In this program kids sign up in advance at the library to come and read aloud to a dog. Maybe because dogs can't read, maybe because dogs don't judge them. Whatever the reason these programs have been shown to help children increase in both reading skill and confidence.
It is a big hit and we are looking forward to developing a program like this with some other local libraries. We are also going to be offering a 4 week class for folks already doing AAT with their dogs to prepare for and learn more about the programs like the one in Orinda.
Pictured are Susan andRosa with a young lady who is reading a lovely picture book. Rosa seems to be pretty relaxed and loving it! See our webpage dog training site for more information about PALS and the "Books Have Gone to the Dogs" class.
No Kitten Season 2007!
It looked weird to me too, when I first saw it.
This statement was on the back of a flyer that Fix Our Ferals created to advertise the new joint venture between FOF and the East Bay SPCA- The Oakland Winter Cat Campaign. The mission: Fix at least 200 feral cats living in the Fruitvale area of Oakland (chosen for its proximity to other similar projects to widen the area of altered cats, and the overhwelming numbers of un-fixed cats reported).
We organized a team of volunteers who scout out feral colonies, trap the cats, transport them to our Spay/Neuter Surgery Center, help recover them for 4-6 days, and transport them back to EXACTLY where they were trapped. The program started the first week of October, and is scheduled to run through the end of March. As I said before, the goal was to get at least 200 cats fixed- and as of yesterday, we have altered 170 cats with almost two full months to go!
We have a wonderful set of volunteers who go out of their way for these cats who want nothing to do with you once you have fed them, and for the countless unborn kittens who may have ended up in a city or county shelter with no-one to take them home and love them. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, there are 170 less cats breeding this year, and 170 less contributors to kitten overpopulation in shelters.
So, now I like to think of this as a rally cheer for the program: "No Kitten Season 2007!"
Thank you to all the great Oakland Winter Cat Campaign volunteers, and staff who have helped make this possible.
As a foster parent of many kittens over the past several years, we have accumulated more pictures than I care to share with you. Every year I send a few of these off to
Cat Fancy to see if they would be interested in putting them in their Year-in-A-Box Calendar. A few have been selected but this year's selection was extra special. Cat Fancy probably thought they were picking a cute photo of two kitties wrapped around each other. What they didn't know was how one had saved the other.
Like a lot of other kittens, Oreo (aka Daisy) was brought to the Oakland SPCA after being dropped off at another shelter. She was alone and scared. Where her physical health was good, she was so emotionally traumatized that she had lost her will to live. She had spent about a week being pampered by the staff and pretty much lived in the Volunteer Office. One day CS saw us while we were working our shift at the shelter and asked if we would consider taking her. We already had a litter of four healthy kittens at home, but CS thought the stimulation of our large family and the other kittens might be good for her. So we took her home. We had never experienced a kitten like her before. She did not move, except to eat and use the litter box. If you laid her somewhere and came back three hours later, she would still be laying there. We carried her around the house, stroked her and tried to cuddle with her. And when we were busy, we put her in the kitty bed where the other fosters slept. And that is where Leo found her. Leo was a six week old, orange tabby male, and he immediately recognized how scared she was. He would crawl in bed with her and when she hissed at him, he would crawl out. He would patiently wait for her to fall asleep and then he would try again. Eventually she let him stay. And when he stayed all the other kittens would pile on in too, leaving her at the bottom, covered with kittens, not sure what to do. Next Leo started grooming Oreo. And she let him. One day, after she had been with us about two weeks, I rolled a ball past her and she reached out one paw and swiped at it. It was a huge victory. A few days later we caught her up and playing with the same ball. And within a week, Oreo and Leo were inseparable and she was following him everywhere.
Leo was ready to be returned to the shelter long before Oreo was ready, so sadly he returned first. We hated separating them. Although Oreo was very noise sensitive, she continued to do well. After another month it was determined she was ready to return for her adoption. She was sent to Tri Valley where the adoption habitats would be easier on her. She was there about a week when we came to visit her. She was sitting on a perch and overjoyed to see us. As we left she went to the top of her condo and watched us leave. When we returned a few days later she was up on the condo again, watching everyone that entered that door and waiting. And that is where we think she might have been the first morning of the Fall Adopt-a-Thon when a woman came in looking for a cat or small dog. She said she looked over, locked eyes with Oreo and felt a connection. Oreo snuggled with her, purred and won her heart. The woman lived in a small, quiet home and had never had a pet before. When the shelter called her a few weeks later, Oreo had settled in and they were living happily together.
We thought it was quite fitting that Leo and Oreo would end up in February, a month filled with Love.Contributed by the King Family, an extraordinary family of foster volunteers!