Greetings Volunteers!

On Saturday, August 26th, Marin Humane will be hosting the Bay Area Pignic! This is a super fun gathering for guinea pigs and their guardians. There’s a costume contest, vegetable eating contest, health checks, raffle, bake sale, and food trucks! The Pignic takes place on the Back Lawn from 10am-2pm. We’re expecting a big crowd this year and would love some volunteer help! We need volunteers at check-in, the bake sale/raffle table, guinea pig socializing monitors, and floaters to answer questions. The shift

 would be 10am-2pm. Here are a few photos from last year’s Pignic so you get an idea of the cuteness factor of this event! Please let me know if you’re available to volunteer at Pignic 2023! Thank you!

Shelter update: We currently have 296 animals in our collective care. 221 are at Marin Humane: 90 animals in foster and 131 animals in the shelter/Kitty Corner, including: 15 dogs, 3 puppies, 38 cats, 42 kittens, 7 rabbits, 7 guinea pigs, 4 rodents, 6 reptiles, and 3 birds. 75 animals are with Hopalong: 8 animals in the Oakland office and 67 cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies are in foster or offsite adoption sites!

Adoptions update: Wednesday = adoption slideshow day! Put some pep in your step today with a whole slideshow of happy adoptions! Birds, kittens, dogs, rats, puppies … this week had it all! To get the deets on who went home, here’s the Adoption Report.

Hopalong happenings! Thank you to all the volunteers who braved the heat for our last Saturday mobile adoption event of July! We were thrilled to have three Hopalong Foster Program dogs get adopted at the event in Novato, including Lucy and Ethel (pictured). It was also wonderful to see some big dogs from Marin Humane get a chance to be out and about and show themselves off to potential adopters too. Just look at those happy faces! Wish us luck with adoptions (and perhaps a cool breeze, too) as we head into August!

Tails of Marin: After more than three years, a sound we love to hear at Marin Humane is finally back — the excited chatter of our summer campers. For more than 35 years, Marin Humane has welcomed campers to its Novato campus for week-long sessions of fur and fun. From sitting with adoption bunnies getting a chance to stretch their legs during what we call ‘Rabbit Romper Room’ to activities that mimic real veterinary care like measuring medicine and bandaging wounds to making dog treats to learning about positive reinforcement dog-training techniques, no two days are the same for these campers.” In this week’s column, “Marin Humane Summer Camp Teaches Compassion For Animals,” you’ll wish you were a kid again and could attend Marin Humane summer camp, too :).

Volunteer High Five to Mandi Muñoz! “This High Five goes to the one-and-only Mandi Muñoz. Here’s the thing about Mandi—she’s impossible to write a High Five for. The moment I sit down to write about an amazing act of service she’s done, she takes on a new—often more challenging—task. What’s written below precedes her most recent endeavor: Fostering Señorita the anxiety-ridden, shutdown Malinois mix who is now in Trial Adoption. Thanks to our LAD (Large Adolescent Dog) Program, we have an amazing contract trainer named Sara. Sara comes in most weeks to work with our Dog Pet Pals (DPPs) and shelter dogs. Sara and whichever DPPs show up will take out our most challenging dogs for a training session. It’s great to have a professional trainer working with our dogs one day a week. It’s even better to have a whole team of highly trained volunteers all following the same training plans. We’ve created walking plans for dogs in the past. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to keep increasing the criteria of the training plan at a rate that’s best for the dog while also making sure your whole team of volunteers stays up to date and has the necessary skills to work with each dog. Plus, when you have more than one trainer working with a dog, it’s a bit of a mess because everyone trains a little differently. Enter Mandi.

Every week that Sara comes, Mandi does, too. Mandi films each training session and takes notes. She then goes home, uploads all of the videos to YouTube, and writes up a massive recap email with notes and videos from each lesson. Every email is perfectly organized by dog, then by the presenting issues and behaviors they worked on, plus a perfectly labeled link to the video. Sara’s training sessions are a fantastic chance for our volunteers to further their education and develop their skills. Plus, the volunteers who can’t make it when Sara is here still have the opportunity to follow the same training plans as everyone else. It’s been a gift to our shelter dogs. When we’re able to consistently work with them in the same way, the dogs learn faster. And because we have so many people working with each dog, we’re able to increase criteria. (That’s dog trainer for making things harder, or working towards a more advanced behavior.) When we do increase criteria, Mandi is there with a video of Sara, explaining what the next steps are and how to do them. More recently, I’ve also been passing along Mandi’s recap emails to the Animal Care team. Now staff and volunteers have access to additional continuing education, with a personal touch and familiar (furry) faces. Being able to work with the dogs as one team is an absolute gift. If you see Mandi around the shelter, please give her your thanks on behalf of the shelter dogs.” ~ Jane Aten, Shelter Dog Behavior Coordinator

Hope you have a marvelous week!