Greetings Volunteers,

Since its founding in 1907, Marin Humane has been a leading voice when it comes to advocating for animals. It’s something ingrained in our DNA. We keep our finger on the pulse of important issues, collaborate with other advocates, lend our voice when needed, and lobby for change. Please consider joining us for Animal Advocacy day in Sacramento on Tuesday, April 16th. This lobby day with our partners: the SFSPCA, San Diego Humane Society and CalAnimals, is a wonderful chance to be with others who are willing to, as a group, encourage our legislators to support our animal welfare bills, learn about the issues being supported and meet with the staff and/or elected officials in our state capitol. Please RSVP to me at calexander@marinhumane.org if you’d like to join us and we’ll get you more details, including carpooling options to Sacramento!

Shelter update: We currently have 202 animals in our collective care. 145 are at Marin Humane: 45 animals in foster and 97 animals in the shelter/Kitty Corner, including: 23 dogs, 8 puppies, 39 cats, 9 kittens, 5 rabbits, 6 guinea pigs, 2 rodents, 5 reptiles, and 3 birds. 57 animals are with Hopalong: 33 animals are in the Oakland office and 24 cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies are in foster or offsite adoption sites!

Adoptions update: Welcome to another awesome Wednesday slideshow celebrating last week’s adoptions! It’s all purrs and wagging tails and big smiles here! Thanks to everyone who chose to adopt and not shop last week, and congratulations to all the week’s adopters! 💖 If you’re looking for details on who left the shelter, check out the Adoption Report.

Hopalong happenings! The Hopalong Foster Program needs more dog and puppy foster homes! We encourage existing volunteers to consider if fostering might be right for you. If not, perhaps you have a friend, neighbor, family member, or co-worker who might like to help pups out by providing them with temporary love and shelter? Anyone who is interested in learning more and submitting an application can do so here.  And if anyone needs some extra convincing, just look at these three cute puppies who are currently residing in some of our wonderful foster homes. Don’t you wish they were with you?!

Tails of Marin: Crate training, hmm, for cats? Yes! Read this week’s Tails of Marin article, How to crate train your cat, for some great tips! It’ll definitely come in handy, trust us on this!

B&Tea Blog: Volunteer Neil Lurssen writes, “Pit Bulls – Can a Dog Named Pork Chop Possibly be a Killer?” This informative, entertaining piece offers some history on this oft-maligned breed. Enjoy!

Humane Summer Camp Interns needed! Our new Humane Summer Camp Internship is a great opportunity for teens age 15-18 looking to gain experience with children and animals! As an Intern, participants will assist our camp staff in leading engaging week-long (Monday-Thursday) sessions of Humane Summer Camp. Interns act as role models as they guide campers in crafts and games, engage campers in lessons, and assist with animal guests. This internship is for teens who enjoy working with children and animals, are good team players, and are interested in learning about Humane Education and gaining leadership skills. This position requires at least a two-week commitment interning with our camp groups of children ages 7-12, see session dates above. There will be an interview process and mandatory orientation dates scheduled before camp starts, along with weekly coaching sessions. This program is designed to give teens the opportunity to learn more than just the skills to fulfill the job. It can be completed as a volunteer for community service hours or there is an optional stipend. If you know of someone interested in being a summer camp intern this season, please have them apply by April 15th here.

Happy ending! Here’s a very messy story with a very happy ending! On a dark, damp night, a local resident was walking her dog near the mud flats in Greenbrae, when the dog spotted an enticing sight: a cat! The dog took off and broke loose, chasing the poor cat into the mud – where they both promptly got stuck. The frantic owner called 911 and the Central Marin Fire Department arrived to find both animals stuck deep in the mud, about a foot apart, struggling to free themselves. While the dog was finally able to pull itself free, the cat was still trapped, so firefighters used wooden boards to reach the poor kitty out in the mud flat. He was understandably fractious, but with the use of gloves and towels, the firefighters were able to dig him out and get him to safety. After a quick cleanup at the station, he was passed to one of our Animal Services Officers, who took the poor cat to the shelter. With no ID or microchip, he was admitted as a stray.

Once admitted, our veterinary team got straight to work giving him a proper bath and even cleaning gobs of mud out of his ears. Despite everything he’d been through, this kitty was unbelievably sweet! He let our veterinary team bathe him, examine him, vaccinate him, and medicate him with minimal protest, enjoying cuddles the whole time. We christened him Joe Dirt – for obvious reasons! The following day, we got a call from the wife of one of the firefighters who’d rescued Joe Dirt. They were interested in adopting if no owner came forward! They had recently lost their kitty and felt like this was a sign. So when the stray hold was up – and no one had come forward – the firefighter who’d helped save Joe Dirt, and his wife, came to the shelter to make it official! And now they’re living happily ever after!

San Quentin Saturday! Welcome to another San Quentin update! Each week, we celebrate our Pen Pals program, which pairs dogs in need of extra TLC with specially selected inmates working in the prison’s firehouse.

People often ask us, “Where do the dogs sleep?” And the answer is, “In their handlers’ rooms, of course!” But there’s a little more to it than that. The handlers in the Pen Pals program take extra pride in their rooms. They clean often, wash all bedding frequently, scrub every corner, and make their beds daily. These tidy rooms go through a bit of a transformation when the handlers get a big dog! With space at a premium, you can understand that the handlers are sometimes hesitant to share their tight space with a 90-lb German Shepherd, a 100-lb Husky, or a 120-lb Rottweiler – all of which we’ve had in the program at some point. Add the fact that we encourage crate training, which can call for a verrry large crate, and things get crowded quickly.
Recently, handler Jay welcomed a 103-lb German Shepherd named Koda. The first night was rough with Koda’s crate in the middle of Jay’s room, with basically no space left over. But after a few days with Koda, as their bond grew, there was a bit of a “remodeling.” Suddenly, Jay’s room had more space again because the crate was removed. So where was Koda sleeping, if not in his crate? Well, would you be surprised to hear that Jay said he surrendered half of his single bed to Koda?? Just imagine a 103-lb dog cuddling with a big, muscular man in a single bed! Jay admitted he sometimes let Koda take the WHOLE bed while he slept on his small couch. Koda would sprawl out, taking all the room on the single bed and claiming it as his new dog bed! When the handlers share their space and beds with the shelter dogs, it’s about so much more than leg room. The dogs get the love and affection they need, but just as important is how the handlers get to feel the love from their dogs. The handlers and dogs both benefit! While we don’t have any photos of Jay and Koda getting snuggly, please enjoy these amazing photographs by our volunteer, Elizabeth Needham, of other inmates and pups cuddling up.

Have a marvelous week! 

Candace