Greetings Volunteers,

I’m back from vacation and, golly, there’s a lot of catching up to do! Hope you enjoy the updates below … 

Shelter update: We currently have 240 animals in our collective care. 172 are at Marin Humane: 55 animals in foster and 117 animals in the shelter/Kitty Corner, including: 23 dogs, 7 puppies, 59 cats, 2 kittens, 10 rabbits, 7 guinea pigs, 6 reptiles, 1 bird, and 2 fowl. 68 animals are with Hopalong: 11 animals are in the Oakland office and 57 cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies are in foster or offsite adoption sites!

Adoptions update: It’s triple-the-fun day with three adoption slideshows for your viewing pleasure! Here are the adoption slideshows for March 25-31, April 1-7, and April 8-14

And don’t forget to check out this big Adoption Report to see who went home over the past few week’s! (BTW, this is Mr. Howell, pictured on the left, who was in the shelter a staggering 603 days and, finally, found his forever home this week! We’re over the moon! 🙂

Hopalong happenings! Some of you might remember Seamus, who was featured in a few volunteer blogs back in January and February. He came into our program at the start of the year at a whopping 29 pounds, and when we first introduced him to you all, we were seeking a special foster home that could support him in losing some of those extra pounds. We were lucky enough to find a wonderful foster home that’s been giving him lots of love (but no extra kibbles) over the last few months, and we’re excited to share that he’s now down to 21 pounds and ready to find his forever home! Seamus is such a sweet boy who just wants to cuddle and loves being brushed, and everyone in the Hopalong office adores him. We’re hoping you or someone you know might be interested in making him a part of the family! If you’d like to know more, you can find additional photos and information on his adoption page here!

Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week! It’s Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week! 🙌 The phrase “Animal Control” often comes with negative connotations. “The dog catcher” was usually depicted as an ugly, mean animal-hater, grabbing pets off the streets to bring them to “the pound,” where the implication was they’d never be seen again. But that depiction of animal control officers couldn’t be further from the truth! We call them Animal Services Officers here at Marin Humane because our officers provide a long list of services to both animals and people in our communities – 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We’d be lost without them! Read more in this week’s Tails of Marin: Animal services officers help both animals and people.

Columbia Sportswear Store discount: It’s arrived! It really wouldn’t be spring if we didn’t get the Columbia Sportswear Employee Store Perk :). This Columbia Sportswear Store Spring Invitation is valid April 5th – April 28th! The Columbia Sportswear Employee Store is celebrating volunteers during the month of April! Volunteers simply show proof of volunteering for Marin Humane + Hopalong such as a badge or t-shirt for access. Happy shopping!

San Quentin update! Here’s the latest update on the Pen Pals program at San Quentin prison, which matches specially-selected inmates who work in the prison firehouse with shelter dogs in need of a little extra TLC. A lot of folks have asked us about the training program that the handlers provide for our shelter dogs during their stay at San Quentin. This training program actually goes both ways: our team is providing training to the handlers, providing them with new skills, while they’re working hard on training the dogs, providing THEM with new skills! All the handlers are introduced to our shelter’s Family Dog curriculum, which we also offer to the public in our Behavior & Training department. These classes start with Family Dog 1 and go all the way up to Family Dog 5. While the handlers learn about the curriculum, they have the opportunity to pass tests at each level. Level 1 testing involves things like teaching a dog to sit at their, walk on leash without pulling, wait at doorways, and more. Level 5 puts a lot of “basic” skills to the test by adding long durations and external distractions, or by removing verbal cues. Plus some fun stuff, like jumping through a tire hoop!

Not all dogs stay in the Pen Pals program long enough to go through all 5 levels of training (most don’t, in fact), but when they do, the handlers often get creative and find even more new things to teach their canine sidekicks! One handler taught his dog to play hide and seek. The handler would cover his eyes and the dog would go hide under a table or behind a wall. Another handler taught his dog to sit, go down, or wait by playing different tones on his harmonica. And yet another handler set up his own little agility course with a climb table, small dog walk, tire jump, mark bucket, and mini set of weave poles! To say we’re constantly impressed with the handlers in our Pen Pals program would be quite the understatement. When the dogs arrive, we can’t always predict how long they’ll be staying, but the handlers are continuously “all in” when it comes to training, no matter how long the stay. We’re so grateful for their dedication!

Estate planning webinar: Looking to create an estate plan or change existing plans? Join us on Thursday, May 9, at 5:30 p.m. for a special Estate Planning Basics webinar with Marin County attorney Karolyn Poppin. This 1-hour Zoom webinar will provide an essential overview of the fundamentals of estate planning. Whether you’re married, single, have kids, have pets, or have minimal personal assets or property, you should have a plan! Karolyn Poppin is a knowledgeable, efficient, and compassionate trust and estate attorney with over 20 years of experience working with a variety of clients to create estate plans, change existing plans, and administer plans when there’s been a change in family status. When she’s not working or spending time with her family, you can find Karolyn with dogs, Elke and Colby Jack – and cats, Princess Leia, Blue and Echo. Please feel free to forward this invitation to a friend, too. Register for this webinar here.

Tails of Marin x2: Here are a few inspiring Tails of Marin articles from the last two weeks: 7 ways to celebrate Be Kind to Animals week and Saving America’s free-roaming horses.

Thrift Shop needs your donations! The Marin Humane Thrift Shop, located in downtown San Anselmo, would love to receive more donations to meet increased demand at the Shop! So many items are flying out the door, the Shop could use more donations! Here’s what they could use: *In-season, gently-used clothing (adult sizes only) *Jewelry *Cookware *Home decor *Dinner and glassware (without chips or cracks) *Collectibles such as figurines and vases *Table linens and other household items. Donations are accepted daily from 11:00am to 2:30pm. If you have any questions, call 415.459.5787 to discuss your donations before coming by with your items.

Happy sunny spring!