Greetings volunteers,

Do you remember boom boxes? We sure do! Our Animal Care and Behavior & Training departments are in need of boom box donations. No, not for our entertainment — we use them to play relaxing music in the cat and dog rooms and, as you can imagine, calming music sure makes a difference for the shelter animals! We’re looking for boom boxes that are able to play a CD and must be relatively small. Here is an example of one that would work for our purposes. If you have one you’d like to donate for dog enrichment and cat calming, please drop off at the shelter. Thank you!

Shelter update: We currently have 215 animals in our care: 92 animals in foster and 123 in the shelter. The shelter residents include: 28 dogs, 1 puppy, 43 cats, 18 kittens, 7 rabbits, 11 guinea pigs, 10 rodents, 3 reptiles, 1 bird and 1 fowl. 

Adoptions update: Welcome to another wonderful week of adoptions at Marin Humane! Congratulations to all our adopters on their new pals: dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, rats, and even a duck! Remind all your friends and family members that they can make their holiday season – and every season thereafter – even happier and cozier with a new furry, fluffy, or feathered family member adopted at Marin Humane :). Here’s this week’s adoption slideshow and the Adoption Report for the past week.

Thank you Pet Food Express! Just when our pet food pantry was bare, we gratefully received yet another generous distribution of dog food last week from Pet Food Express’ Fill the Food Bank initiative – 1,536 five-pound bags of FirstMate dog food! That’s almost four tons of food! A big thank you to Pet Food Express and their customers for their generous support of our Pet Safety Net and Pet Care Assistance Programs. Since the onset of the pandemic in March of 2020, we have provided over 42,000 pounds of food to local human food banks and individual pet guardians, made possible by the support of our remarkable partners.

Volunteer High Five to Marilyn Freund! “I’d like to send a High Five to Marilyn Freund! In addition to all the great work she does on behalf of the cats through her volunteer work with B&T, Marilyn Freund is also a huge help to the MarCom department. Her photography and editing skills are crucial in helping us show off adoption animals. She has a wonderful eye for great shots of our adoption kitties but is also tech-savvy, herding the photos through the editing, Shelter Buddy, and website process (even harder than herding cats!). Marilyn is also quite proactive, noticing where processes and communication can be improved and then making it happen! We’re so grateful to have Marilyn on our team.” ~ Lisa Bloch, Marketing & Communications

Happy ending: If you watched the adoption slideshow, you saw Barnaby the cat in the arms of his delighted new mom. What you didn’t know is that this kitty was found on the side of the road near San Quentin in July. He arrived with a broken pelvis, fractured vertebrae, and a dangling leg that our shelter veterinarians feared would need amputation. But nope! Under the care of our vet clinic staff, cage rest at the shelter from the end of July through mid-September, and lots of TLC, Barnaby has grown into a beautiful young adult with basically full use of all of his limbs. We’re all so happy for him (especially the shelter vets and his foster mom) to see him go to his forever home.

B&Tea Blog: Tis the season of holidays and festivities. Now that more and more people are spending time with family and friends, we must remain vigilant to keep our pets safe from potentially toxic treats left casually about our homes. Read this week’s B&Tea blog post, “Poisons That Can Kill Our Pets” for a heads-up on what can be dangerous for our furry friends.

Volunteer High Five to the “Scenting for Shelter Dogs” Team — Burt Greenspan, Donna Kalal, and Peter Ornstein! Three days a week, rain or shine, Burt & Donna set-up the auditorium or k9 classroom or one of the dog parks 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. 

In October alone, Burt & Donna hosted 13 sessions of Scenting for Shelter Dogs. 27 different dogs visited with 9 different Dog Pet Pals, for a total of 76 times! 

And did I mention that after each Scenting session, Burt writes a hilarious and thorough recap of the dogs (and two-leggeds) 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. Click here to watch one of Peter’s creations! We so appreciate all the dedication, patience, and enthusiasm Burt, Donna, and Peter share with the shelter dogs and Dog Pet Pals. They are simply paw-some!! ~ Candace Alexander, Volunteer Services

Tails of Marin: When we turned our clocks back a few weeks ago, more people are now active and out on the roads during dusk and into the evening. This means our paths may cross more frequently with wildlife. During this time of year, our wildlife neighbors are beginning to migrate and forage for food in preparation for winter, deer are in the mating season and with less daylight, there’s an increased risk of animals getting hit by cars. Read more in this week’s Tails of Marin, “Time Change Means More Wildlife Encounters.”

Have a great week everyone!

Candace & Anne