Five Freedoms for AnimalsGreetings Volunteers!

The Five Freedoms are internationally accepted standards of care developed in 1965 by Britain’s Farm Animal Welfare Council. The Five Freedoms ensure that we meet the mental and physical needs of animals in our care. Did you know that keeping the living quarters of the shelter animal residents clean meets at least one of the Five Freedoms and is one of the most important functions of the Animal Care department!

While perhaps not the most glamorous job, cleaning kennels, cages, condos, and other animal spaces is essential to the well-being of the shelter animals … and the animals sure appreciate a clean living environment! We’re looking for a few more volunteers to join our Animal Care team! Let me know if you’d like to give it a try. It’s a super rewarding role knowing that you’re making the shelter cats, dogs, and small animals comfortable while they’re in our care.

Shelter update: We currently have 292 animals in our collective care. 224 are at Marin Humane: 78 animals in foster and 146 animals in the shelter/Kitty Corner, including: 21 dogs, 2 puppies, 41 cats, 37 kittens, 8 rabbits, 8 guinea pigs, 17 rodents, 7 reptiles, and 5 birds. 68 animals are with Hopalong: 4 animals in the Oakland office and 64 cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies are in foster or offsite adoption sites!

A woman and young man smiling and holding two ratsAdoptions update: We’re back with another magical Wednesday adoption slideshow! Hooray for all of last week’s adoptions! And peek at those adorable ratties heading to their new forever home; we still have nearly 20 of these cuties available for adoption. Rats make extraordinary little companions – they are friendly, outgoing, and smart. They love interaction and exploring new things. Making enrichment for their enclosure is important and also fun! Come in and meet some of these cute critters and chat with our adoptions team about your new BFF’s! Also, for those interested in more adoption details, here’s the Adoption Report for last week.

Small light brown puppy named MurrayHopalong happenings! It’s always a special treat to hear from our adopters and learn how animals from our program are doing in their new homes. Particularly for our foster families who provide so much love and care to their foster animals, it’s very rewarding to know their hard work paid off! Which is why we were all touched to get an update on Murray, who was a very shy and fearful dog when he first came into the Hopalong Foster Program. His foster family worked with him to build his confidence and help him find the right forever home. Murray’s adopter reached out recently with a huge thank you to Murray’s wonderful foster family! Here’s what she shared with us about him settling into his new home and yard: “He loved exploring and within a couple of hours was doing the fastest, broadest figure eight Zoomies I have ever seen. Seriously he was too fast to get a photo of! And he went to the bathroom in the yard within the first 10 minutes and has been a champ potty trainer since! Murray also continues to face his fears like sidewalk grates, drains and the occasional leaf that blows back in his face after being sniffed. He is getting braver and we’re doing daily affirmations: ‘I am brave and I am beautiful.’ And he’s still Murray! We agreed, he does look like a Murray ❤️”.  Aww!  Three cheers for Murray, and for all the wonderful humans (fosters and adopters alike) who opened their hearts and homes to him!

Collage of people and their pets who visited our community clinic in JulyAnother successful Community Clinic! We held our Community Clinic last Saturday in Novato and it was wild! People were in line by 10am (the Clinic started at 11am), and we handed out numbers to people as they arrived. An hour and 15 minutes into the advertised two-hour clinic, we handed-out the number 104. At that time, we were just processing the checkout for number 25. Knowing how much time it would take to just get through 104 clients, we made the difficult decision to begin turning people away (but let them know another Clinic would take place in October). In the end, we were onsite for almost four hours and saw 109 clients and 168 dogs and cats! Fortunately, we were located in a covered parking garage which provided the veterinarians and clients with valuable shade, especially since it was over 90 degrees. Oh, and there was a fire on the freeway just below us which caused us to briefly wonder if we would have to evacuate. Luckily, the fire department handled it quickly. Thank you to the three veterinarians who donated their time: Dr. AJ Pheils (Country Vet Clinic), Dr. Erin Bennett (San Marin Animal Hospital), and Dr. Monica Ortiz (San Marin Animal Hospital), RVTs Angela Urrea (San Marin Animal Hospital), Dawn Bedell (Marin Pet Hospital), and Sam Wilson (San Marin Animal Hospital), and the staff and volunteers … it really does take a village!

Beautiful husky, Billie, with his fosters Cathy & JohnVolunteer High Five to Cathy Jakubiec & John Costello! “I’d like to give a High Five to Cathy Jakubiec & John Costello. Did you see our recent Facebook post about Billie going to Fort Bragg over the weekend? That was all Cathy and John. And, of course, Merlin the Shep-sky they adopted from here in 2021. Cathy and John often take our biggest, most challenging dogs for off-campus adventures. Sometimes Cathy will take a pup to work with her for the day. Other times they’ll go out on a hike. And sometimes they’ll bring the dog home for a few hours or overnight. This time, Cathy and John went above and beyond. With permission, they took our longest-term resident, Billie, to Fort Bragg for the weekend! Billie got to go swimming in the ocean and sleep in a hotel. He also got to meet a bunch of new people who fell in love with him. Even though we know Billie would’ve loved nothing more than to run the entire shoreline, Cathy and John kept him on a long line at all times. We learned new, valuable information about Billie, thanks to this trip. We knew he rode well in a crate for short drives. Now we know he’s perfectly happy for long drives, too. Billie also slept in a crate with no issues. (YAY!) And he only attempted to mark once. (Thank goodness for XL belly bands!) The few staff members who have tried to office foster Billie all reported that he was restless, destructive, and peed in their office multiple times. It had me worried about how Billie would behave in a home setting. Thanks to Cathy and John, we now know we have nothing to worry about. Cathy, John, Merlin, and Billie were all having such a good time that by Monday they didn’t want to come home. Cathy texted us to see if they could stay another night, which was fine with us. Now that they’re back in town, they’ve decided to keep fostering Billie. Fosters for LADs (Large Adolescent Dogs) are near impossible to find. We’re so grateful that Cathy and John were willing to take a chance on Billie. And to Merlin for sharing his home with a husky, only slightly smaller than him. Enjoy some photos of Billie’s weekend getaway!” ~ Jane Aten, Shelter Dog Behavior Coordinator

Tails of Marin: In this week’s Tails of Marin article, our Shelter Behavior Manager Virginia Grainger writes Fostering A Big Dog Can Make A Huge Difference. As you read in Cathy and John’s Volunteer High Five above, fostering a big dog can be super rewarding! We’re hoping more people will take a chance on a big dog. Even brief breaks from the shelter can do wonders for a stressed-out dog. If you’re interested in giving it a try, contact foster care coordinator Suzanne Gollin at

One of the San Quentin Pen Pal volunteers hugging a shelter dog, TillyVolunteer High Five to the San Quentin Pen Pal volunteers! “A special thanks to the super special San Quentin Pen Pal volunteer team: Michele Westoff, Michael Wood, Sharon Luce, Susie Harper, and Elizabeth Needham. Sharon has been taking on some of my workload, including our Google calendar, helping with class material, and helping break the group of handlers up to work on more specific needs. Susie is helping with all the certificates and photos for our testing levels. Michael and Michelle are flexible with their schedule helping out when I am short on DTA’s. Michelle is organizing and creating new San Quentin handler binders. And, Elizabeth has been taking amazing photos of the program every week (here’s one of her photos). I am so grateful for all they do and lucky to have such a great team!” ~ Chad Carlson, Dog Training Instructor

Marin Humane's Gala 2023 logo featuring a black & white dog and brown & white dogGala 2023! From our Special Events Manager, Molly Foley: “All of us at Marin Humane are excited to announce that we will be hosting Tails by Twilight – our annual gala fundraiser – on Marin Humane’s Novato campus, Saturday, September 23! We expect record crowds as we connect our most dedicated animal lovers with the animals they’re helping that night (and even allowing guests to bring their well-dressed pups along for a great night!). I am writing on behalf of Marin Humane to ask your help in making this year’s gala the best we’ve ever done. Please consider donating an item which will be promoted on our gala website up to a month prior to the big night. The live and silent auctions and raffle provide a significant portion of our revenue at the gala. Popular donations we have received in the past include tickets to events, gift certificates/cards, wine packages, products, services, travel, and one-of-a-kind experiences. We hope you will support us at the Bay Area’s classiest critter lover’s event!  Here’s the 2023 Gala Auction Donation Form.” If you have any questions, contact Molly at or 415-506-6265.

Happy last week of July!