Greetings Volunteers,

Have you taken a vacation this summer? If so, we hope you had a wonderful time with family or friends, and enjoyed new sites and experiences … and we’d love to see a photo or two of your time away. Well, Candace is taking a few days off next week, too, and so will the Volunteer Blog :). 

Shelter update: We currently have 147 animals in our care: 54 animals in foster and 93 in the shelter. The shelter residents include: 23 dogs, 1 puppy, 32 cats, 22 kittens, 1 rabbit, 3 guinea pigs, 4 rats, 5 fowl and 2 parakeets. 

Adoptions updateIt was another week of awesome adoptions! Thank you to all of the adopters who added a family member to their tribe. Here’s the adoption slideshow, sure to bring a smile to your face!

Volunteer High Five: “A big high five to the amazing animal ambassador teams who have returned to summer camp! It is a thrill to have children back on campus and it makes it very special when these great volunteers share their dogs with the campers! They assist with our Playing it Safe with dogs lesson and are a part of the weekly dog parade. Thank you to these teams for joining us to educate and inspire the campers: Allison & Coco Farey, Brennie & Niles Brackett, Kathie & Mattie & Heidi Meier, Laura & Remy Eckhard, Norm & Ollie Capper, Susan & Truffles Hall, Virginia & Fergus Grainger.” ~ Darlene Blackman, Director of Community Engagement

B&Tea Blog: We hope you’ve read each and every entertaining B&Tea blog post. We think you’ll find this week’s edition, Disability Pride, to be among the best. Foster and B&T volunteer Kim Bromley writes: “Maybe there is no such thing as a disability when it comes to our four legged companions. Maybe the disability is in us, unable to adjust our world view or our image of ‘what we are.’ I have learned so much from these strong and vibrant friends and I hope they continue to teach me what it means to truly live life to its fullest.” Enjoy the full article!

New long-term foster program helps people, too! Room in your home – and your heart – to help both people and animals? Volunteers are needed to be long-term fosters for the pets of those facing critical circumstances. Interested? Read on! 

As you may know, Marin Humane has long offered emergency boarding for the pets of people hospitalized, fleeing domestic violence, or facing other critical situations. We’re honored to care for those pets, however this service has always been restricted in scope as it has a two-week time limit, and the animals were housed exclusively at our shelter.

One thing the pandemic has taught us with certainty is that pets fostered in homes are less likely to become sick and the more calming, relaxed nature of a home does wonders for them emotionally and behaviorally. We’re also able to help more animals this way, as it puts less burden on our shelter staff. With the strong success of our Pet Safety Net and because the clients requiring long term fostering usually meet the criteria for this program, we’ve decided to also offer temporary animal housing through our new Pet Safety Net Foster Program.  

We’ll now be able to offer temporary animal housing for up to 90 days in a loving foster home as one of the services we can provide to clients who are experiencing a crisis. Clients will apply to the program, and be carefully screened before they’re accepted into the program. With the support of the Pet Safety Net program, we’ll be able to help ensure the guardian is set up for success when their pet is returned to them. 

BUT! We can’t offer these new services without having wonderful foster families interested in housing these pets. Interested in helping? Becoming a long-term foster is more of a time commitment but it’s a unique opportunity to provide direct assistance to an animal guardian experiencing a crisis, and needs temporary housing to keep their pets. If you’re interested in becoming a long-term foster parent, please contact Suzanne Gollin at sgollin@marinhumane.orgLong term fosters can get respite from fostering if they’re going out of town, and all food, supplies, and medical needs of the animals will be covered. This program is a unique collaboration between Animal Care, Customer Service, and Community Engagement (the department which oversees our Pet Safety Net program), but we can’t make it happen without YOU!

Not up for a long-term commitment? We always need fosters for our adoption animals and in particular, adult cats so please get in touch! We provide everything you need, including food, supplies, and lots of support. 

CatVideoFest 2021: We’ve all spent enough time watching cat videos at home, so it’s time to get back out into the world…and watch cat videos together! CatVideoFest returns for an encore THIS Saturday and Sunday at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center. Each year, CatVideoFest curates a compilation reel of the latest, best cat videos carefully selected from countless hours of unique submissions and sourced animations, music videos, and, of course, classic internet powerhouses. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Marin Humane so you get to have fun and support shelter animals at the same time – win-win!

Tails of Marin: In this week’s Tails of Marin, Lisa Bloch writes, “It’s not news that we’re already in fire season here in California. The daily reports of the Dixie fire’s devastation are truly heartbreaking and frightening. We’re also facing the delta variant, unhealthy air quality, and the possibility of a return to rolling blackouts. All of this can make even the hardiest of us feel vulnerable. A great way to feel empowered is to make sure you and your family are well-prepared for disasters.” Read the full piece, Make sure disaster plans include your pets.

Another Volunteer High Five! Tim Knowlton has been a shining star throughout the pandemic. Pre-COVID, Tim was a Blue Dog Pet Pal, working towards becoming Extra Care. Then, COVID shut everything down. Tim attended every virtual continuing education session and regularly asked when he could come back. In most of our conversations, he snuck in, “I’m retiring in September, so start thinking of jobs for me.” As promised, once Tim retired he started volunteering 4-5 days per week.

The first role that opened up for B&T volunteers was assisting with dog training classes. Since walking dogs wasn’t available, Tim jumped in and became a Dog Training Assistant (DTA). Like all of our DTAs, he started with the basic classes, Beginning Puppy and Family Dog 1. Then he started helping with more advanced classes, like Bully Breed Basics and DIG (the reactive dog class). I don’t think there’s a class Tim hasn’t helped with. Maybe Agility. But he can answer questions about those classes since he does Agility with his exuberant American Bulldog/AmStaff, Scout. And now Tim is a DTA Mentor!  

Tim is also super tech savvy. Since he said he wanted work, we gave it to him! He was the second volunteer to learn how to use the Virtual Classroom. (Second only to the marvelous Betsy McGee.) Of course, Tim mastered the NDI software in no time. When the fires hit last fall, Tim was able to jump in and help me host a dog training class via Zoom. When I say jump in, I mean literally. The demo dog knocked over one of the tripods and Tim dove out of his seat to save the iPad.

Another project Ann Glascock Ryan has wanted to do is create a database of our behavior consultations. Tech-savvy Tim created one! Now, all of the consultants can look through the database and access each other’s behavior modification plans. We’re also now able to see which behavioral issues are the most common so we can better serve our community.

And, of course, once walking shelter dogs was an option again, Tim was eager to resume that role. Since all of the dogs in the building are now “Extra Care,” Tim and I spent a few sessions together training up to Extra Care. It didn’t take long because of all of his experience with dog training classes and his own rambunctious pup. He’s always eager to take out the biggest, rowdiest pitties. (Darius and Praise are two recent favorites of his.)

The thing I cherish most about Tim is that he’s eternally eager to learn. A lot of people come in and think, “I’ve always had dogs. I know what I’m doing.” Tim is not that guy. He’s kind to everyone: clients, staff, other volunteers, and most importantly, the dogs. On Saturday afternoons—after he’s finished assisting my class—I can hear him outside of my office window, baby talking to a shelter dog while filling the kiddie pool for them.

Tim is such a rock star and vital member of the B&T team.” ~ Jane Aten, Behavior & Training Canine Volunteer Coordinator

Have a wonderful, safe week!

Anne and Candace