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East Bay SPCA Home
The East Bay SPCA saves 
     and improves the lives of cats and dogs and connects
     people and pets in our community.











What is No Kill 
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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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Animal Camp: A Huge Success!

We just completed our second year of Animal Camp and what a successful summer! Not only did the animals enjoy having so much attention from all the little visitors, but the campers also enjoyed interacting with the animals. When asked about their favorite part of camp, most of kids said "visiting with the cats!"

Campers participated in a variety of animal activities this summer. For example, campers made animal advertisements which we were able to hang up around the shelter in order to help with promotion of all the shelter guests. Some of our campers had the opportunity to learn about horses through a meet and greet where they were able to brush and feed a horse! A rabbit rescue group visited camp a number of times to teach about the care and needs of keeping a rabbit as a pet, but of course the best part was when everyone sat in a circle on the floor and the rabbits were able to hop around and visit. At our 6-8 grade camp we had a number of outstanding speakers, and all of the campers gave rave reviews of their presentations and at the opportunity to learn more about working with animals professionally in the future.

The 1-3 grade camp fostered animals for the week, plush animals that is. We treated
them as if they were real pets all week long. Campers were responsible for complete care of the pet including walking their animals, administering medications and gathering all the necessary supplies for each pet. Many parents use our camp as a resource to help prepare their children for the responsibility of caring for a real pet one day, which brings me to the story of Caty.

Caty joined us for the first time last summer and has participated in multiple of our programs since, including Animal Camp in July. Caty has been a joy to teach and always sends us a thank you card in the mail after she attends camp- how sweet is that? Every time I see her she tells me how she longs to have a pet but that her parents keep telling her she is not quite ready. And how although she really wanted a dog any pet would do since she did not have any animals in her home. I was elated for Caty when her mom mentioned to me on the last day of camp that they would soon be looking for a dog. Caty's mom and dad brought her to our annual Adopt-a-thon so that Caty could look for a dog, a real live dog of her very own! I was even more pleased to receive an e-mail from Caty's mom letting me know that she was able to rescue a wonderful dog from the event that day, Roxy a small terrier mix. Roxy and Caty seem to be a perfect match and I am so glad we were able to help Caty prepare to adopt a dog of her own as I know she will be a stellar pet parent. Congratulations Caty and family!

Here are a few notes from other Animal Camp parents:

"Emily and Megan had a great time at camp and are already looking forward to the next camp!"

"My daughter Audrey attended many camps this summer including Vacation Bible School, Club Sport Sports camp, and your SPCA camp. SPCA camp was by far her favorite. Your caring staff, and your curriculum provide a perfect blend of fun and education for children. Audrey learned more about pet responsibility but I think the primary difference is the respect and care with which you treat your students. Thank you so much and we look forward to attending for our third year next year!"

"My daughter, Annika, had a fantastic time last week at your camp. In the past, we had only heard great things about it and now we know for ourselves…yes…we plan to sign up again next year! We’ve been telling others about it, too. Hopefully, there will be room for us next year! Thank you for such a wonderfully informative and interesting program."

"Thank you to you, Michael and Sierra, my daughter (Kathryn) had a wonderful week.
I asked her if there was anything she would like to see done differently - she said no. As a parent I appreciated the education factor and the kitty cat toy crafts. I feel Kate came home with a better understanding of community - and how pets are a part of our families and community. I like that you gave them the opportunity to view a spay/neuter operation - and although Kate opted out - she still came home with a better understanding and brought home fabulous questions."

So as you can see our Animal Camp success can be measured in many different ways. From the children we educated and inspired, to the animals who found homes with a few of our campers and their families; it was all a success and we look forward to doing it again this winter!

For more information on Animal Camp or to check out our other education programs visit the education page on our website.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Help is on the way

Have you ever visited Mexico and wondered if there is any hope for the street dogs, the feral cats, and the generally unthrifty animals you see lurking on every street corner? There is. Several organizations, mostly grass-roots efforts, are popping up to bring medical care to disadvantaged animals. The Humane Society of the United States is at the forefront of this movement with its Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS). RAVS delivers mobile veterinary services – examinations, vaccinations, and spay/neuter surgeries – to underserved rural communities throughout North and South America.

In late July I spent a week as a RAVS volunteer on the Colville Indian Reservation in Northeast Washington. Our group was led by 3 experienced HSUS veterinarians and several support staff. The rest of the team -- 30 veterinary students, 6 veterinarians, and 6 animal care technicians – were volunteers. We assembled in a Super 8 Motel next to the Spokane airport on a Friday morning. In our own cars and carpools, we became a caravan, following the RAVS rig, a fifth-wheel carrying a complete veterinary clinic packed into small boxes. The landscape changed from wheat fields into high desert, and finally into pine forest as we drove all day, finally crossing the Columbia River and entering the Colville Indian Reservation. By Saturday at 6am, we had unpacked hundreds of boxes and turned a community center gymnasium into a fully functioning vet clinic.

Comprised of twelve separate tribes, the Colville Reservation is home to about 7500 Native Americans. The community has fallen on hard times lately, as the logging industry is in decline and the mills which employ most of the Colville are closing. We met a number of people who were living on the brink, often having to choose between feeding their pets or feeding their families. Needless to say they were ecstatic to be provided with completely free veterinary care and lined up each day outside each of our three clinics.

RAVS’ primary goal is to provide high-quality animal care for communities isolated by poverty and geography. They have a secondary goal though, which is to provide veterinary students with hand-on clinical experience. Under the watchful eyes of the volunteer veterinarians, students perform physical examinations, medical treatments, and even spay and neuter surgeries. (Even the EBSPCA’s own Dr. Barb Jones volunteered as a student at RAVS clinics!) I was impressed by the preparation and motivation of these dedicated students. Their enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and their willingness to work long hours was impressive. And work we did. The entire clinic, which filled a gymnasium, had to be packed up and moved three times during the course of the week. Setting up the clinic once we had arrived at our destination often took hours. No hotels on the reservation meant sleeping on community center floors, and grabbing food when possible -- without the luxury of hot showers or hot coffee!

In addition to spaying and neutering over 250 animals, we managed to change some lives along the way. Teddy Bear was a 9-month old Golden who had been hit by a car several weeks earlier, and came to our clinic with a shattered pelvis, flesh wounds, and a severely fractured rear leg. He had been living in the back of a pickup truck, as his owners were homeless and unable to afford having Teddy seen by one of the few veterinarians on the reservation. After examining Teddy, the lead veterinarian decided that the hind limb would need to be amputated. Unfortunately, because of his aftercare and rehabilitation, Teddy’s owners decided they would not be able to keep him, and surrendered him to our care. The volunteer veterinarian who was assigned to Teddy ended up falling in love with him and adopting him at the end of the trip. As an added bonus – she even has a friend who is getting certified in canine rehabilitation, who will be able to help Teddy adjust to living on 3 legs.

I’m not sure I have the energy to go on another RAVS trip in the near future. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to pull the whole thing together in South America, with even more challenges. It really makes me appreciate our EBSPCA clinics, where the patients come to us. We also have the luxury of numerous and animal welfare organizations and veterinarians here in the Bay Area. For those that aren’t as fortunate as us, it’s nice to know there’s a group of animal lovers driving around in a caravan, getting to where they are needed.

Teddy and his new person

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