Greetings Volunteers,

We were able to host the first community clinic of 2024 last Saturday, right before the atmospheric river hit! We’d like to extend our appreciation to the host facility, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, for allowing us to use their multi-purpose room, a perfect set-up in case of rain! We provided brief exams, rabies/DA2PP/FVRCP, microchips, and other supplies to 71 guardians and their 100 pets (70 dogs and 30 cats)! We couldn’t have provided this valuable service without the following folks who donated their time at Saturday’s clinic: Dr. AJ Pheils (Country Vet), Betzy Shears-Hills (San Marin Pet Hospital), Chelsea Myers (Country Vet), Dawn Bedell (Marin Pet Hospital), Emillie Rasmussen (Country Vet), Emily Lucia (Country Vet), Dr. Erin Bennett (San Marin Animal Hospital), Laurie Bernstein (Marin Humane volunteer), Mandy Conine (Country Vet), Melanie Gilbert (Marin Humane volunteer), Nora Zevon (San Marin Animal Hospital), Margarita Huertas (Marin Humane volunteer), Dr. Monica Ortiz (San Marin Animal Hospital), Vanessa Huckins (San Marin Animal Hospital), and several Marin Humane staff! HUGE KUDOS to this awesome team! 

Shelter update: We currently have 197 animals in our collective care. 140 are at Marin Humane: 44 animals in foster and 96 animals in the shelter/Kitty Corner, including: 23 dogs, 2 puppies, 49 cats, 4 kittens, 6 rabbits, 6 guinea pigs, 3 reptiles, and 5 birds. 57 animals are with Hopalong: 14 animals are in the Oakland office and 43 cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies are in foster or offsite adoption sites!

Adoptions update: It’s time for that Wednesday magic! Marvel at last week’s adoptions and wonder, “Is this the week I adopt my new best friend and find myself featured in the next slideshow?” It could be!! Check out all our critters, large and small, on our website for a little inspiration! For a deeper dive into who went home, here’s the Adoption Report.

Hopalong happenings! The storm may have discouraged a few folks from coming to our mobile adoption event on Saturday the 3rd, but luckily plenty of volunteers and adopters couldn’t be kept away! Our team helped cute Kenzo find his forever family, and it sure looks like this crew will have lots of fun together! Meanwhile, during a break from the action, siblings Cider and Toddy cuddled up for one last nap together, before heading off on their next big adventures. We wish all our pups and adopters bon voyage!

Save the date! We’re excited to offer the Animal Decisions/Outcomes Workshop next month. This is a “must” session for  volunteers, particularly those interested in what goes into our decision-making process with animals under our care and how we decide if an animal goes up for adoption vs transfer out, foster, or euthanasia. This workshop will be presented virtually on Zoom on Tuesday, March 19th from 4:00-5:30pm. Please save the date and we’ll send out the Zoom link in a few weeks.

Happy ending! We love sharing stories from our Pen Pals Program at San Quentin, so if your week needs a boost, read on… When Ulises, one of our newest handlers in the Pen Pals Program, first signed up, he was a little wary due to his own inexperience with dogs. Handlers in this program are paired with a shelter dog and provide their care 24/7. Needless to say, Ulises was about to get a lot of experience in a hurry! Handlers in the program are inmates who work in the San Quentin Prison firehouse, and they’re matched with dogs that need relief from kennel stress, training, time to recover from a medical procedure – or just need affection! Some of the dogs just need some love.  

Ulises had just one request: anything but a pit bull! His misperception of bully breeds was common; he thought they were typically aggressive and not very intelligent. He said, “Can you please bring me a Labrador, or something fluffy? But mainly nice!” So, when Boop, a chonky American Bully, arrived at Marin Humane, our Pen Pals Program Coordinator knew he might be a hard sell for Ulises. Not a Labrador… not fluffy… and a bully breed! But boy, was Boop ever nice! We knew he would be a fabulous first match for Ulises, so long as Ulises could accept Boop’s exterior.  

Ulises stopped in his tracks when Boop first climbed out of the van at San Quentin, but he was thoroughly amused when he learned that this stocky, tough-looking dog was named Boop. The program coordinator said, “Spend an hour together, and if you’re still worried about him being a bully breed, I’ll take him back.” Ulises was hesitant but spent an hour walking Boop around the yard and getting some one-on-one time in his room. After the hour, he agreed – with a huge smile – to give Boop a chance. Well, not only did Ulises last the hour, he ended up spending several weeks caring for Boop. Ulises did amazing work training Boop and passing multiple levels of program testing. When asked what he liked best about Boop, Ulises’ list was long, but what stood out the most was hearing Ulises say he’s the smartest dog in the program and a major cuddle bug. A cuddle bug?? Ulises admitted to sharing his bed with Boop and watching TV all night! How could he be afraid of a dog named Boop?!  

Boop has since been adopted and is now thriving with his new family. We’ll always be so grateful to Ulises for giving Boop relief from his kennel stress for so many weeks, and we’ll always be so grateful to Boop for teaching Ulises that he can love a dog of any breed!

Volunteer High Five to Intrepid Dog Pet Pals! “I wanted to take a moment to give a big shout-out to our amazing Dog Pet Pal volunteers who have been showing up in full force to walk our shelter dogs, even during the recent rain storms! Their dedication and commitment to providing love and care for our shelter pups is inspiring and makes me proud to be a part of the Dog Pet Pal team. Despite the apocalyptic weather, our volunteers braved the flooded roads to ensure our shelter dogs got to exercise and do their business outside. When I see rain pouring from the sky, I want to stay inside with a cozy blanket and Netflix. Not our DPPs. After their treacherous drive to the shelter, they then spend the next 2-3 hours walking around outside in the rain with strong, wet, muddy dogs who never hesitated to jump on them with soggy paws. If you enjoyed staying home, dry, and warm during our recent storms, please thank a Dog Pet Pal the next time you see them out walking a dog.” ~ Jane Aten, Shelter Canine Behavior Coordinator

Tails of Marin: In this week’s Tails of Marin piece, “It’s time for bunnies to get the spotlight,” Lisa Bloch writes, “Do you know what the third most popular pet in the United States after dogs and cats is? Why it’s bunnies, of course! Rabbits, with their fluffy ears and twitching noses, have a magical and unique way of bringing joy into the home. They can be affectionate, cohabitate with other pets, and even learn to do tricks. February is Adopt a Shelter Rabbit Month so we’re celebrating these small, intelligent herbivores.” Hope you enjoy this terrific article as well as some pics of the adorable buns up for adoption!

Pet sitter/dog walker list: We are in process of updating the Pet Care/Pet Sitter List as we’re receiving calls for recommendations from people who are starting to make vacation plans. The list is for staff and current volunteers (who’ve been active at least three months) to market their independent services to the public. If you would like to be added to the pet sitter/dog walker list please provide the following info to by February 16: 1) your name; 2) service(s) provided: for example, pet boarding, pet sitting, pet visits, dog walking, etc.; 3) locations covered: for example, Marin, Sonoma, Novato only, etc.; 4) contact info: phone &/or email address.

Take good care, everyone!