Greetings Volunteers,

If you’re on campus regularly, you might see some of the Dog Pet Pal volunteers taking a shelter dog into the auditorium in the Whittell building for “Scenting for Shelter Dogs.” What you may not know is that Scenting for Shelter Dogs turned six this month! Burt Greenspan and Donna Kalal started SFSD in 2017 and it ran very week, rain or shine, until March 2020 when the shelter closed. Burt and Donna were back in March 2021 to get this program back on track!

Burt, Donna, and fellow volunteer Peter Ornstein, set-up the auditorium or k9 classroom to host Scenting for Shelter Dogs so the shelter dogs can learn about Nose Work. They encourage each dog (and the “two-leggeds” attached to the leash, as Burt so aptly refers to the Dog Pet Pals). The dogs start sniffing open boxes with treats inside, then progress searching for treats in closed boxes, then search for treats paired with a scent, like birch, and on from there. This type of scenting, or Nose Work, offers excellent enrichment to the shelter dogs, allows them to use their natural abilities and curiosity to learn and become successful in this sport, and lastly, makes the pups calmer when they return to their runs. And did I mention that after each scenting session, Burt writes a hilarious and thorough recap of the dogs pursuits that day. On most occasions, Peter films the shelter dogs in action. Peter then makes a short film showing a particular dog learning (and enjoying) this sport, which can be shared with potential adopters.

We so appreciate Burt and Donna’s six years of dedication to this program! Happy birthday Scenting for Shelter Dogs, from the hundreds of shelter dogs who think Burt, Donna, and Peter are simply paw-some!

Shelter update: We currently have 141 animals in our care at Marin Humane: 38 animals in foster and 103 animals in the shelter/Kitty Corner, including: 25 dogs, 5 puppies, 40 cats, 12 rabbits, 8 guinea pigs, 6 rodents, 1 reptile, 4 birds, and 2 fowl. Hopalong has 66 animals in their care, 21 animals in the Oakland office and 45 cats and dogs in fabulous foster homes or offsite adoption sites!

Adoptions update: It’s another damp and chilly week but this video is full of sunshine! Cozy up and enjoy all these adoptions from last week. Here’s this week’s Adoption Report, too!

Hopalong happenings! Meet Carol! This amazing volunteer is the best. Not only does she foster some of our difficult dogs but she also coordinates our adoption mobile events weekly, will do many drives for us and pick up animals as needed, and so much more! This is an appreciation shout-out to all of our amazing volunteers with a special High Five to Carol for always being so awesome! We are so lucky she’s part of our family. Just today she picked up 4 dogs and 6 cats for us halfway to Tehama County! Woohoo! Thank you, Carol, for all you do!

Volunteer High Five to Georgia Couderc! “I wanted to send a High Five to someone that honestly deserves a high five on a daily basis! Georgia is the glue that holds our clinic team together. She pretty much takes care of all the important details that allows us to keep our surgery schedule rocking and rolling! From organizing and training our clinic volunteers, to helping keep track of the surgery schedule and planning where/when to move surgery animals into the clinic and then out of the clinic, to restraining and recovering animals before and after surgery, to cleaning surgical instruments, to cleaning cages, and on and on and on…

And her organizational skills have become even more important as we have taken on the vast majority of spay/neuter for the Hopalong foster animals. Those animals are transported to and from the shelter ‘en masse’ every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – a big undertaking that requires much planning for cage/kennel space, weighing, and making sure each of the animals have what they need (microchips, vaccines, deworming, etc.). Georgia and the clinic staff have become a very well-oiled ‘Hopalong intake machine’ and again, Georgia is an essential part of that team effort. She and her merry band of fellow clinic volunteers are truly essential for the clinic to continue to operate at a high level.

Georgia – Thank you and a big High Five for all you do! We would be lost without you!” ~ Belinda and Anne (and all of the clinic staff)

And another volunteer high five … to Kathryn Dougherty! “I’m writing a High Five for our resident Dog Pet Pal (DPP) chef, Kathryn Dougherty. To all of the non-DPP’s, I’m sorry. You’re missing out on some amazing food. Kathryn’s meals are so renowned that I learned about them my first week working at Marin Humane. Thanks to the pandemic, I had to wait over two years to taste what all the fuss was about. It was worth the wait!

Every couple of months, we have a DPP get together/meeting. Virginia and I provide information about the happenings around the shelter, and Kathryn provides a multi-course meal. It’s obvious that attendance wouldn’t be nearly as high without the Kathryn Dougherty spread. Some of the items she’s made in the past include her famous mushroom barley soup, black bean “burgers” with a chipotle aioli (my personal favorite), various salads, persimmon cookies (with persimmons from another DPP’s garden), vegan chocolate mousse, and apple turnovers. All homemade. All vegetarian. All delicious! Not to mention, enough to serve 40 DPPs. (Or more considering how many people get seconds.) Kathryn creates the menu and purchases the ingredients. She spends the day before the meeting prepping what she can. On the day of the meeting, she comes to the shelter three hours early to prepare, cook, and even set the serving table. After the meeting, she cleans everything up. She’s a one-woman catering crew! And she refuses to be reimbursed.

If you’re here on Monday and Friday mornings, you’ve most likely seen Kathryn walking dogs. Next time you see her, please give her a massive high five. Thank you, Kathryn, for providing us with delicious nourishment!” ~ Jane Aten, Shelter Dog Behavior Coordinator

Calling all teens! Two great opportunities to work at our Summer Camp! 1) The Summer Camp Intern supports the Youth Program Coordinator with all aspects of Marin Humane summer camp. They will work directly with the campers and volunteer teen camp assistants (TCA) while assisting in all aspects of the week-long camp sessions. They are responsible for working collaboratively with staff and volunteers and supporting the mission, goals and philosophy of Marin Humane. If interested, click here to apply. 2) Do you know of a high school-aged teen who likes working with children and wants to volunteer this summer? Volunteering for a week or more as a Teen Camp Assistant at Marin Humane might be a great fit! Teen Camp Assistant (TCA’s) volunteers support summer camp staff and act as role models as they guide campers in crafts and games, engage campers in lessons, and assist with animal guests. TCAs must enjoy working with children and animals, are good team players, and are enthusiastic self-starters. The application process is quick and students will receive training before the start of camp. Click here for the TCA application, which are due by March 15th.

Woofstock post card volunteers needed! Help us spread the word about Woofstock! If you can distribute Woofstock postcards at retailers and veterinarian offices throughout Marin, please email me at A free tix to each volunteer who distributes postcards :)!

Tails of Marin: Marin County has some of the highest tick infection rates in California, likely due to all its open space and wetlands, so it’s important to take precautions when hitting the great outdoors with your dog. Read this week’s Tails of Marin, Protect Your Pets From The Dreaded Tick.

Thank you and have a wonderful week!