Friday, December 19, 2014

Going Home: Mr. Brooms

Happy Feline Friday, everyone!

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, we have another happy adoption story to share with you. Meet Mr. Brooms, a beautiful tuxedo cat with class. Mr. Brooms met his new family at Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, America’s biggest free pet adoption event, and has been charming them ever since.

Rachel Weaver recently checked in to let us know how Mr. Brooms is settling in.

“We adopted Mr. Brooms on Maddie's Pet Adoption Days and a year later we couldn't be happier. Thank you Berkeley Humane for helping Mr. Brooms find our home!”

We are so happy to hear Mr. Brooms is living with such a loving family! And a big thanks to Rachel for sending us this update.

Please help us find homes for our wonderful animals this season of giving. If you’re looking for a new dog or cat for your family, come visit us. Adoption hours are 11am-5pm on Wednesday through Sunday for dogs and 11am-5pm on Friday through Sunday for cats. You can also check out our newest arrivals in need of loving homes on our website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Going Home: Mallory

Happy Woof Wednesday, everyone!

Finding the right companion for yourself can be a real search. Finding the right companion for you AND your existing pet? Now, that can be tough. Adopter Eve was able to do just that, though, when she came to meet lovely Mallory at Berkeley Humane last year. She sent us her story of introducing Mallory into her home, and we’d like to share with you.

"Several months ago, we went to the Berkeley Humane Society to get a dog as a companion to the dog I already had, named Leo, since I travel a lot and the other (human) members of the household work long hours, meaning that when I'm out of town, there is no person here for much of each day. I first looked online, and liked the looks and the description of Mallory, a mix of pit bull and something else. She looked like she had a good character, and she was young (as was Leo.) 

A few days later we (one of my housemates and I) went to check her out. Leo loves all other dogs, so I didn't expect any problems there. Mallory seemed to be fine with Leo, so we brought her home.

The first few days, there were a couple of accidents (not surprising for a dog that has spent lots of time in shelters and didn't understand about doing her business outside), but we got over that pretty soon.

There was also a bit of testing, while Mallory checked to be sure that she was really going to live with us. There was never any problem between the dogs other than some debate as to which one should go through a door first, and which one would snuggle up closest to me. Since I have two hands, I pet them both at the same time. Since I have more than one side, each can snuggle equally.

I don't let them sleep with me, but I do let them lie on the bed next to me when I take a nap. I take them for two walks a day (Leo weighs 70 pounds and Mallory, who started out at 35, is now near 55... two young, healthy, vigorous dogs.) The walks give me plenty of time to think, which is something you actually need to do quite a bit of in my line of work (filmmaking.)

The two dogs love each other very much and are very companionable. Mallory, now a little over a year old, seems to be a perpetual puppy and does have to be reminded not to jump, but she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She plays very nicely with much smaller dogs when she's off leash in a place like Point Isabel, she loves to run, she keeps Leo company, and is a pleasure.

Two dogs do have a tendency to egg each other on when it comes to mischief, but, well, they're young and they are not only very loving, but very funny a lot of the time. I’m glad we got Mallory, and everyone else in the family also loves her."

Mallory and Leo make a great-looking pair: we’re so glad they have become good pals, and that Mallory has blended into your family so beautifully. Congratulations to Mallory, Leo, and Eve on making such a great trio!

After this wonderful tale of almost seamlessly integrating a new dog into an existing family, it's maybe easy to forget that the first time after a new animal comes home, can sometimes be challenging. If you;re experiencing adjustment problems, or want to know how to help an animal overcome a bad habit, we've got just the thing for you: get in touch with our Behavior Advice Line. Let us help you help your pet!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Going Home: Misha

Happy Feline Friday everyone! It might be raining cats and dogs outside, but there’s just one cat we want to talk about today. This week’s going home story features the beautiful Misha. His owners were kind enough to post on our Facebook page to let us know how happy Misha is in his new home and even leave a couple of pictures. Read what they had to say below.

“Hello, we adopted Misha about a week ago and here he is relaxing! He has already made himself at home and is amenable to having his head scratched while stretching out on our laps. And here is Misha enjoying his view of the world....thank you Berkeley Humane!”

Hopefully Misha likes watching rain at his window, there’s lots to see outside today! We’re glad to see him doing so well; he looks as beautiful as ever and very happy too. A big thanks to Martha for sending us this update, we always welcome Facebook posts and emails to let us know how our adopted pets are doing.

The holiday season is upon us and tis the season of giving! This time of year, we ask everyone to keep Berkeley Humane in mind, we can always use donations to help keep our animals safe, warm, and well-fed. Visit our website,, to see how you can help!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Going Home: Bella

Bella, formerly Della, has found so many new friends to love! She's a playful pup with lots of energy, but plenty of time for cuddle sessions. 

Bella's adoptive family was kind enough to share some pictures and updates on Bella in her new home. Keep reading to find out more about this lovely pup and her happy new life!

"Bella, as she is now called, is doing great! She has settled in quite well and bonded with her new buddy, Theo. They run and play constantly and when she's tired she loves to cuddle with her humans. 
We all love her very much and I think she is very happy in her forever home. Thank you for helping her and caring for animals."

We are so happy Bella has found the perfect humans to cuddle. Thank you for adopting this sweet girl and giving her both canine and human friends! 

Are you thinking of getting a dog or cat, this Christmas? Then we would love to have you visit us, so we can find an animal that matches what you need. Do you really want it to be a surprise? Maybe create a coupon to give as gift, and then make a festive outing of your search for an animal companion.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Adoption event at Whole Foods

Happy Feline Friday everybody!

We have an exciting announcement to make! Our Mobile Adoption Center will visit our Berkeley Whole Foods stores this weekend for adoption events!

Tomorrow, Saturday, December 6 from 3PM to 6PM, we will be at the brand new Whole Foods in the Gilman district. On Sunday, December 7 from 11AM to 2PM, we will be at the Whole Foods on Telegraph.

We're very excited for the opportunity to match more of our animals with adopters in the East Bay community! Not only that, but both Whole Foods locations will have a Santa on site for pet photos! Raffle drawings will also take place at both locations during the event.

Come see us and we'll be ready for you with lovable animals, photo opportunities with Santa, raffle prizes, and plenty of holiday cheer!

Can't make it? Still want a new friend to share the holidays with? Come to our adoption center during our adoption hours and meet some of our adoptable animals!

How about playful Phoenix? She'd love to be a part of your family and will provide hours of fun and entertainment with her kitten-like antics.

Or how about sweet Emma, who wants nothing more than a human friend?

The holiday season is a time where many people choose to add a pet to their family. If that's what you're thinking of as well, why not adopt? Our animals would give their all for a warm lap or a rug in someone's home before Christmas! Our adoption hours for cats are Friday through Sunday between 11 and 5. Our dogs are adoptable from Wednesday through Sunday from 11 to 5. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Going Home: Bailey

Welcome back to another great Woof Wednesday here at Berkeley Humane! Everyone loves a feel good story around the holidays and this week’s Going Home post is just that. This week we’re checking in with Bailey (formerly Marley). Bailey’s new owners gave us a wonderful update telling us how she got her new name, a new canine friend, and a fantastic new home life. 
Bailey's owners were nice enough to send us a detailed emailed and some great pictures (before and after grooming). Read all about Bailey’s transition from Berkeley Humane below:

“Well, that would be Miss Bailey now. My daughter's friend was over while we were thinking about names and she heard me in the kitchen saying something about bay leaves, and she said, "Bailey!" It stuck. We knew Marley was a temporary name.

So, things have been going great with Bailey. They couldn't be better, really. She immediately fit right in with the family, and gets on well with our older dog -- who she'd like to play with more, but he's deaf and blind and pretty mellow. But we have lots of other dogs in our life and neighborhood. My daughter does some dog sitting, so we have a giant golden doodle over tonight. Bailey has spent time with her before and they love to play.

It's kind of crazy to think that she was on the street. She's house broken and responds to some commands. She seems very comfortable in her crate at night. She has a great temperament and is great with other dogs and kids. We keep thinking we're going to see a poster for a lost dog with her picture on it.

Bailey went to the vet and groomer on Friday. She has a clear bill of health, apart from an ear infection -- which we're treating.

She's really a gift, and we're grateful to have her in our family. She made for quite a Thanksgiving treat.

By the way, I'm also grateful to the fellow who helped us out on Wednesday. The shelter closed early because of the holiday and we got there 15 minutes before closing. I told him we were very interested in Marley and I wouldn't be able to come back on Friday because I had to work. He stuck around and did all the paperwork for us to bring her home then.”

Bailey hasn't been home long but it's clear she's already made a huge impression on her family. We're so happy to hear about all her new friends, both humans and fellow dogs! Nothing makes the holidays a little happier like having a new furry friend to play with, and it's clear that Bailey made this Thanksgiving extra special for her family. A huge thank you to Will for his positive email, it's always great to hear back from our animal adopters.
Everyone knows the holidays are a great time of year to add a lovable new pet to your family! Who didn't ask for a puppy for Christmas as a kid? (I still do.) Berkeley Humane has found homes for more animals than ever this year, but we've got a month left to find even more. If you're looking for a new dog or cat for your family, come visit us! Adoption hours are 11 - 5 on Wednesday through Sunday for dogs and 11 - 5, Friday through Sunday for cats. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Guest post: Why Cats Need to Climb

by Kosin Huang

As an avid viewer of Cesar Milan's Dog Whisperer, it was natural that I started enjoying a show called My Cat from Hell. The show features folks going through difficult issues with their feline family members and a "cat whisperer" in the form of tattooed hipster, Jackson Galaxy coming to the rescue. I started seeing some patterns in how Jackson would address each kitty's problems and ultimately, resolve the matter at hand. Just like Cesar Milan has his prescription of "exercise, discipline, then affection" for dogs,  I noticed that Jackson was always recommending cats get their own space to navigate and climb high up around the house. This means a route for the cat to feel safe to go from perch to cat tree, bookshelf to mantle, for example.

If you have a cat at home, just observe your cat and you will notice that he or she is usually in an elevated position. Whether sleeping or just hanging out, cats prefer to be high up off the ground. Being able to climb is paramount to a cat feeling safe, because in the wild, cats must be able to climb in order to escape predators. It's a cat's survival instinct that prompts it to find perches up high.

The more vertical areas you offer your cat, the more territory it has. It gives your cat a sense of security and is even more important in multi-cat households to reduce conflict between your feline friends. Providing opportunities for a cat to navigate a complete route around the house from high up, such as from bookcase to fireplace to cabinet will go a long way towards decreasing anxiety and other behavioral issues.

So next time your cat is climbing furniture, don't shoo him or her away. Instead, clear some space for your cat to climb and everyone will be happier!

To learn more, see:

High Places: Satisfy Natural Instinct - Drs Foster and Smith

Catch My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet and check out other tips here.

Kosin Huang is a board member and development committee chair for Berkeley Humane. She lives in the East Bay with her husband, daughter, and a rescue mutt named Spartacus.