Greetings Volunteers,

Lots of good stuff to share, so here goes …

Shelter update: We currently have 146 animals in our care at Marin Humane: 42 animals in foster and 104 animals in the shelter/Kitty Corner, including: 23 dogs, 42 cats, 4 kittens, 10 rabbits, 11 guinea pigs, 6 rodents, 1 reptile, 6 birds, and 1 fowl. Hopalong has 52 animals in their care, 15 kitties in the Oakland office and 37 cats and dogs in fabulous foster homes or offsite adoption sites!

Adoptions update: Yay for Wednesday … it means you get to peek at the adoption slideshow! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching so may we suggest adopting a valentine this year? We’re doing $14 adoptions for all our adult animals (5 months and up) through February 14! We have lots of lovable candidates waiting at the shelter and in foster! Enjoy this week’s Adoption Report, too!

Hopalong happenings! Saturday’s rain couldn’t slow down our wonderful volunteers or the eager adopters at the Mill Valley Woodlands Pet Food & Treats store. Five puppies and one adult dog were adopted during the three-hour mobile adoption event! In the end, just one adorable puppy returned back to his foster home. We have no doubt he’ll find his forever home this coming Saturday at the Greenbrae mobile adoption event! Stop on by!

Volunteer High Five to Joann Pittelli! Take a seat, and enjoy this amazing story from Jane Aten, our Shelter Dog Behavior Coordinator: “Last (Friday) night was wild! Kaldra left for foster with a friend of Dog Pet Pal, Frankie. This is a first-time foster who lives in San Rafael. How wonderful that she was game to take one of our medium-large dogs! That night the foster’s husband came home, as usual, through the front door. Kaldra ran up as if to greet him, then pushed past him and out the door. Within seconds, she was out of sight.

Frankie stayed out for hours, calling Kaldra’s name with cheese in hand (Kaldra’s favorite). There was no sign of her. The new foster was horrified. Then, a few staff members were group texting to devise the best plan to capture Kaldra. If someone she didn’t know—like a Good Samaritan or Animal Services Officer—tried to capture her, it would become a game for Kaldra and we’d never catch her. We thought the best strategy would be to notify Kaldra’s best DPP friends, as she’d likely run right to them. I called Ann Marie Santana to let her know Kaldra got loose, and to come in for her regular walking shift as usual. I’d come up with a plan once I got into the office and got the foster’s address. By the time I got into the parking lot at work, I got a call from Joann Pittelli, with a bit of a pit in my stomach as I assumed she was calling to ask about Kaldra. When I heard her voice, she sounded a bit frantic and said, ‘This is Joann. I caught Kaldra.’ WHAT?!

Unbeknownst to me, Ann Marie called her wing-woman, Joann, right after we got off the phone. Joann’s husband, Michael, knows San Rafael really well. They hopped in the car and drove to the first place Michael thought a loose husky-wolf-mix would love to roam. When they got to the spot, they saw a woman walking who warned them of a ‘large coyote chasing deer.’ She pointed them in the direction of the large coyote. Michael spotted the coyote, and noticed that the coyote was wearing a harness and collar! Joann didn’t see her but called Kaldra’s name. Within seconds, Kaldra was bouncing over as if to say, ‘Hi girlfriend! You wouldn’t believe the night I had! So fun! Can’t wait to tell you all about it.’ Kaldra smells like skunk, so clearly she chased one of those, too.

Joann was able to clip a leash on Kaldra right as she approached. (That’s when Joann called me.) For the next 10 minutes, Kaldra refused to get in the car. Joann figured it was because she was traumatized from the night she had. Spoiler alert: When I saw Kaldra arrive at the shelter, she did not look traumatized. A little stressed, but barely. She greeted me normally, pranced her way around the building, and hopped right back into her kennel without hesitation. My guess is that she didn’t want to leave her new-found happy place. So many critters to chase! Turns out, Joann and Michael captured Kaldra at the exact spot Frankie was camping out. Kaldra probably saw/heard/smelled Frankie last night and thought, ‘I’ll circle back to her. I’m gonna have a little fun first.’ Kaldra is back at the shelter, thanks to the efforts of Joann, Michael, and Frankie. She’s chilling in her kennel while she awaits a de-skunking bath. Now we can all rest and make up for the sleep we lost last night. If you see Joann, give her a hug or high five. Even if she smells a bit like skunk, too. :).”

Valentine’s Day request: We’d love to see you with your beloved … pet or pets, that is! Please take a photo with your beloved pet or pets, whether it’s a shelter favorite or your own pet, and send the photo to me at Send one, send a few, that’s OK with me :). Thanks!

Workshop! If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, but would like to join the virtual Animal Decisions/Outcomes Workshop on Wednesday, February 15th at 4pm, please let me know and I’ll send you the Zoom link. This is an excellent session for all 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. 

Tails of Marin: I so agree with Lisa Bloch, the marketing & communications director at Marin Humane, when she writes, “There are many things I love about working in animal welfare. One is that it’s an evolving field. The more we learn about animals (and the humans connected to them), the more our strategies and methods for helping both change. This is illustrated on a large scale, like the rise in demand for farm animals to be treated more humanely; a community level, like the now-common practice of spay/neuter to reduce the number of unwanted pets; and a more personal level, like a family taking the time to train their new pet to set them up for success using humane techniques.” Read more in this week’s Tails of Marin article, Dog Training Has Evolved For The Better.

Volgistics: Thank you to all of you who regularly sign-in/sign-out on the VicTouch iPads at the shelter and Hopalong office. And, thank you to those who post your hours from home on VicNet. I’d like to kindly ask those of you who got out of the habit during Covid to now remember to sign-in/out so we can count your volunteer hours! Every volunteer hour counts and is super important for reporting purposes. If you have any questions on how to use either VicTouch or VicNet, let us know.

Thanks for all you do, and have a wonderful week!