Greetings Volunteers,

Thank you to those of you who sent photos of you with your special “Valentine”! Here’s hoping you had a sweet day with your beloveds, be they human, canine, feline, rabbit, rodent, or reptile :)!

Shelter update: We currently have 152 animals in our care at Marin Humane: 43 animals in foster and 109 animals in the shelter/Kitty Corner, including: 22 dogs, 2 puppies, 46 cats, 4 kittens, 9 rabbits, 12 guinea pigs, 6 rodents, 1 reptile, 6 birds, and 1 fowl. Hopalong has 66 animals in their care, 19 animals in the Oakland office and 47 cats and dogs in fabulous foster homes or offsite adoption sites!

Adoptions update: Congrats to all of last week’s adopters! Hope you enjoy the adoption slideshow! And this week’s Adoption Report, too!

Workshop this afternoon! If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, but would like to join the virtual Animal Decisions/Outcomes Workshop today 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. 

Hopalong happy endings and happenings! Malibu, the sweetest one-eyed pug you’ll ever meet, was adopted by her Hopalong foster family this week. Here she is pictured with her new brother, Chevy the potbellied pig. A pig and a pug, what a cute pair they make! In other Hopalong news: It was a busy day at Hopalong last week when twelve puppies (and three cats) arrived from Tehama County! All hands were on deck for their arrival. By the end of the afternoon (between four staff members and four wonderful volunteers) intake, baths, and photos were done, and everyone was sent off to foster or to Marin Humane. There were 7 heeler puppies (Fettuccini, Fusilli, Gnocchi, Macaroni, Rigatoni, Tortellini, and Ziti), 4 pit bull puppies (Potato, Spud, Tater Tot, and Yukon), and one fluffy mystery mix (Vixey). Some have already found their forever homes, and some are in foster homes and set to attend our mobile adoption event this Saturday the 18th at the San Rafael Woodlands Pet Food & Treats store!

Volunteer High Five to Mandi Muñoz! Mandi is a day-to-day rock star. She does a little bit of everything around here. She’s a dog feeder. She walks shelter dogs multiple days per week. (Sometimes we’ll see her here 2-3 times in one day because she’s doing multiple jobs.) And she’s been helping with Puppies in the Park! Mandi is always available when someone needs help. She’s game to walk our most difficult dogs. When Stuart, the (stinky, snorty, snotty, humpy) bulldog needed a foster, Mandi showed up with her pup for an intro, then took him home.

Yesterday morning, Mandi was here for her usual feeding shift. Over the walkie she heard someone call for help with a dog in the Paddock. She dropped everything and ran out full speed to help. I truly can’t emphasize how helpful it is to have a volunteer who’s cross-trained with so many other shelter skills. We have a dog named Petey who likes company for meals. He’s wary of new people, so it took him a while to get comfortable enough for the DPP Walk Board. Mandi took the time to hand feed Petey his meals. In no time, they were best buds and she was able to take him out for walks.

When Shilo (now Keeper) was in the shelter, a lot of staff and volunteers were resistant to take him out. One day Mandi emailed me asking if she could be on his walk team. She was relatively new to DPP-ing at this time, so I was a bit concerned. In that email, she attached a video. Shilo was bouncing around and playing with his empty food bowl in his kennel. She was standing outside of his kennel, laughing and filming, and he kept goofing around! For those who didn’t know him, Shilo would bark and lunge at anyone who stared at him in his kennel for more than one second. Not Mandi. He was comfortable enough to play in front of her. Of course, it makes perfect sense! He already had a positive association with her because she regularly gave him food, treats, and attention! It only took one walk with the three of us for Shilo to become comfortable enough for Mandi to walk him solo. Easily the fastest introduction I facilitated between him and a new walker. Mandi is an indispensable part of the Marin Humane team. If you see her around, please give her a high five!” ~ Jane Aten, Shelter Dog Behavior Coordinator

B&Tea blog: In this month’s Behavior & Training blog, volunteer Neil Lurssen tells us about “old dog syndrome,” Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. Neil relays his recent experience with his senior dog, Sally. Such good info to have on hand if you have a senior dog. Having been through an episode of Vestibular Disease with my senior dog, Pepper, many years ago, I wish I’d read Neil’s article so I knew what was going on. Thank you, Neil, for this important and informative piece. And so glad Sally (and Chloe) are on the mend!

New Community Clinic date: Thanks for your patience as we worked to reschedule our Marin City clinic which was postponed due to rain! Our next free, drop-in Community Clinic for pets will now be on Saturday, March 11, 11am-1pm, at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Marin City. Bring your canine companion or feline friend to our mobile clinic at 101 Donahue Street for FREE vaccinations, microchipping, flea/tick treatment, pet food/supplies, and even a mini check-up by a veterinarian. 

Tails of Marin: Love is in the air, and it smells like… skunk? Thank you, WildCare, for spreading the word about skunk mating season, which is currently underway: “It is skunk mating season right now, which means skunks are very active. Male skunks may fight over females, spraying each other in the process, and female skunks may spray males they don’t like. With increased activity, skunks are also coming into contact with hazards more frequently, and using that noxious spray is the skunk’s primary (and virtually only) defense mechanism. Just because you smell skunk, especially this time of year, it does not mean that you have a skunk ‘problem.’ The skunk is likely just passing through (or having a romantic tryst!) and the smell is very temporary.” Read Love Is In The Air For Skunks, Too and learn more here.

Pet sitter/dog walkerWe are in process of updating the Home Care/Pet Sitter List as we’re receiving calls for recommendations as people start making vacation plans. The list is for staff and current volunteers (who’ve been active at least three months) to market their independent services to the public. If you would like to be added to the pet sitter/dog walker list please provide the following info to by March 1st: 1) your name; 2) service(s) provided: for example, pet boarding, pet sitting, pet visits, dog walking, etc.; 3) locations covered: for example, Marin, Sonoma, Novato only, etc.; 4) contact info: phone &/or email address

Here’s another Valentine’s Day collage … enjoy and have a great week!