Friday, July 3, 2015

Going Home: Cupcake

Hope you're having a great Feline Friday leading into this holiday weekend!

Independence Day can be a scary day for pets, so take a moment to brush up on tips to help animals feel safe and secure during fireworks. We hope you and your pets have a happy holiday!

Speaking of happy, that's what we are since we have the honor of featuring one very happy cat today. Adopter Carla Denise Williams-Namboodiri wrote in to share that her cat, who went by the name Maleficent while at Berkeley Humane, is now living a fairy tale in her new home with a new name: 

"We are happy new pet lovers with Cupcake as our baby girl. No longer can she wear the tag of Maleficent!"

We're delighted to hear that Cupcake is adored in her new home! (Maybe she can still cast a love spell or two?) Thanks for sharing your joy with us, Carla.

Berkeley Humane is gearing up for Bark (and Meow) Around the Block, our annual adopt-a-thon and street fair, on August 15. Whether you're looking to celebrate summer, adopt a pet, or win a prize, it's a great time. Bark (and Meow) Around the Block features:
  • Dogs & cats available for adoption from Berkeley Humane & 20+ partner rescues
  • Great food, beer & wine from local restaurants, breweries and wineries
  • Kids Games & Activities
  • Live music and entertainment
  • Raffle with local prizes
  • Vendors with great pet & other products 

Read more about it here and make plans to come visit us on August 15!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Going Home: Zoey

 Welcome to Woof Wednesday!

We have a wonderful update on Zoey, who was adopted a year ago this month. 

We’re so happy to hear she’s adjusting so well and is loved by her new family!

Zoey's adopter, Andrew Tomforde, sent us a sweet note and accompanied it with an adorable picture:

 "I adopted Zoey at Berkeley Humane in July 2014. Best decision of my life. She is so loyal and goofy and such a great companion. I can't imagine life without her anymore."

"I highly recommend checking out Berkeley Humane if you're #LookingFurLove." 

Thank you, Andrew, for keeping us posted on Zoey and happy one-year anniversary! Zoey looks great in her Frozen headband!

We welcome updates, stories, and photos from adopters about their pets after they wave goodbye to Berkeley Humane. 

If you are thinking about adopting a dog or cat, we can help. You can check out our newest arrivals on our website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Please come visit us if you’d like to meet them in person. We are open for adoptions throughout the weekend from 11 am to 5 pm Friday through Sunday.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Foster Feature: Phoebe (Part 2)

Happy Feline Friday! 

Today we appreciate our volunteers by featuring part two of an interview with one of Berkeley Humane's foster care providers.

Berkeley Humane relies heavily on a network of foster providers to socialize and care for its animals before they are adopted.  Our dogs and cats spend a significant portion of their time with devoted fosters who welcome them into their homes, where the animal can stretch its legs and learn what it's like to be in a home setting. This helps dogs and cats to avoid the stress of being in a shelter and allows their wonderful personalities to shine through.

This week, we are talking to Phoebe again, a volunteer who has been fostering cats for two years. Here is the second part of her interview (you can find the first part here).

What is the hardest part of fostering? What's the most rewarding?

Hardest: Saying goodbye is definitely challenging. But besides that, I think for me the logistics can be tough at times because I do have other cats and my house is not very big, so divvying up space can require some creativity and flexibility (fosters and resident cats have to be kept separate). I’d say it’s totally worth the challenge, though.

Most rewarding: Watching them develop. For young kittens, getting to see them learn and grow. It’s AMAZING. They start as helpless, blind, deaf little mice then day by day I see them develop senses, and learn how to interact with each other and their environment, and figure out how legs work, and try to run before they’ve really mastered walking, and learn from the squeals of their siblings when biting is too hard or play too rough. And seeing them develop little personalities! For adult cats, getting to know them and, in the case of shyer cats, seeing them come out of their shell. Anybody who has ever had cats knows that they have personalities just as strong and unique as humans, so getting to know them and developing a connection and a routine with them is very rewarding.

How has fostering changed your life?

It’s given me a way to do something I truly enjoy (i.e. playing with kittens!) while getting actively involved in an issue I truly care about. I’ve always cared about animal welfare, but thought I could never volunteer at a shelter because I don’t think I could emotionally handle being faced with the sadness and heartbreak (think: Humane Society of the U.S. commercials). For that reason I never even looked into it. I also always assumed I couldn’t foster because I already have cats and I don’t have a big house. Then one day a few years ago I mentioned all this to a woman I know who fosters and she enlightened me that (a) there are adoption-guaranteed organizations like Berkeley Humane that do not euthanize for space, ever, and that (b) I can foster even though I have my own cats! I decided to go to a training to learn more, but I was still skeptical about not having a big space. What really convinced me to give it a try was when the trainer told me that my bathroom, while not a big space for a cat on a permanent basis, is still a far better environment than a cage at a municipal shelter. Fostering has also introduced me to a whole community of people who really care about animal welfare.

Is fostering time consuming?

It can be. It depends on what type of animals you foster. For example bottle babies require a very different time commitment than adult cats or older kittens. I personally work full time so I’m gone during the day on weekdays, and therefore not able to foster young kittens without a Mama who would require feeding and care every few hours. I don’t personally foster dogs but I would imagine their needs are quite different as well.

For me, fostering does take up a lot of my morning and evening time before and after work. Playing with the foster cats is obviously enjoyable so it’s a fun way to spend my free time. But there is other work involved – for litters of kittens, especially as they get bigger, I find myself spending a lot of time cleaning litter boxes, doing dishes, and doing laundry (kittens can be messy!) Fostering can also involve trips to Berkeley Humane for check-ups or vaccinations. I’m always able to make that work, but it does require some planning on my part.

How does Berkeley Humane support you in your fostering?

Berkeley Humane provides all the supplies for the foster animals. Food, litter, bedding, toys, dishes, litter box. There is also a phone number that can be called for emergency advice after hours, or any time during normal business hours for non-urgent questions. The foster handout/manual contains useful information about a number of topics, including a list of which types of medical issues can and cannot wait 24 hours (I’ve referenced this on more than one occasion. It can be stressful when an animal has a medical concern because they can’t tell you how they feel or what’s wrong… or what they maybe ate that they shouldn’t have while you weren’t looking. So having a reference to help make the right decision if it’s late at night can be very valuable and reassuring.) The current foster care coordinator Kylie Reed is very responsive to calls and emails which really helps me feel supported as a fosterer.

What motivates you to continue fostering?

Knowing I can make a difference in the life of an animal who may not have otherwise had a chance. Their time in foster may be short, but it’s an opportunity to make a frightening time of transition for them as comfortable as possible.

Thank you to Phoebe for all of her valuable work and her willingness to answer our questions on top of it! Stay tuned for more foster care provider interviews!

At Berkeley Humane, we are always looking for foster providers. Berkeley Humane provides all of the necessary food and supplies and is available for support for all of its fosters-- you just add the care, love, and time! Read about becoming a foster carer on our website and fill out an application form!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Going Home: Bonaparte

Welcome to Woof Wednesday!

We have a wonderful update on our former resident Bonaparte (formerly known as Davis). We’re so happy to hear he’s adjusting so well and loved by his new family!

His adopter, Nils Skudra, sent us a lovely photo and note:

“Here is a photo of Sarah with Bonaparte. You may remember him. His former name was Davis, and we adopted him last August. 

Small dog, huge personality. Thought it was a great picture of both of them.” 

Thank you so much, Nils, for checking in with us. And happy (almost) one-year anniversary! (Read more about Bonaparte here.)

We’re eager to know how our animals are doing after they leave our facility, and updates like this are always greatly appreciated! We wish you and Bonaparte a long and happy friendship! 

If you are thinking about adopting a dog or cat, we can help. You can check out our newest arrivals on our website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Please come visit us if you’d like to meet them in person. 

We are open for adoptions throughout the weekend - 11 am to 5 pm on Friday-Sunday.

Berkeley Humane will be at the SF Pride Parade this Sunday, June 28, as a donation partner! We're proud to connect our dogs and cats with animal-loving members of the LGBT community.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Some adoptable cats at Berkeley Humane this weekend

TGIFF! (Thank goodness it's Feline Friday!)

Today is a good day to think about adopting a cat. (Well, most days are. But especially Fridays — because Berkeley Humane is open for adoptions to kick off a weekend of uniting adoptable pets with dedicated adopters!) 

Some wonderful kittens and adult cats are looking for homes, and they'd love to meet you at Berkeley Humane this weekend from 11am to 5pm, Friday through Sunday. 

Considering a kitten? Here are some cuties looking "fur" love:

Shasta, Anza, and Hetch Hetchy are here to purr, play, and remind you to conserve water in this drought!

Mercury, one of the gray kittens in this pile, would love to monkey pile on you next!

Looking for a calmer pet? Maybe one who already knows the ropes? Check out these adolescent and adult cats:

 Photograph by Michael Goldberg

 Camilla is a gorgeous 10-year-old beauty who loves people and could be friendly with other cats given a proper introduction. Read more about Camilla.

Photograph by Michael Goldberg

Catgirl is a super-playful super-cat who has a heart full of love to offer. She's FIV positive (which requires no extra veterinary care!) and so needs a home where she's the only cat or is with other FIV+ kitties. Learn more about Catgirl.

 Aurora? Well, she's just plain cute. Read more about Aurora.

Stop by to meet these great cats, or take a look at our website to see who else is waiting to add some purrs to your weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Going Home: Chloe

Welcome to Woof Wednesday!

We're excited to tell you about the progress of another Berkeley Humane former resident.

This is Chloe, pictured in the new home she shares with Steph and Mike Gracy (and Lottie and JoJo):

"Remember sweet Chloe? Here she is after a day at the spa. Now she is sporting her summer 'do! She won't have to worry about burrs or foxtail getting caught in her curls while on her hikes at Briones or Lafayette Reservoir.

And she wanted to say 'hello' to her heroes at Berkeley Humane!"

We're happy to hear Chloe can hike freshly groomed and worry-free! Thank you for inviting her into your family, Steph and Mike.

Update us about your Berkeley Humane adoption story on Facebook, or send us a note!

If you're looking for a new friend to share hikes with, visit Berkeley Humane Friday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Our website has great information on the adoption process and our available cats and dogs.

Monday, June 15, 2015

This year's Missouri Lounge Dog Pageant was a huge success!

The second annual Rescued Dog Pageant at the Missouri Lounge was a roaring (and barking) success!

Dozens of dogs (and even more people) stopped by the Missouri Lounge on Sunday afternoon to strut their stuff in the pageant or just cheer on their friends.

Attendees of the human variety enjoyed hot dogs, cold beverages, face-painting, and some very special adoptable dogs* who arrived in Berkeley Humane’s MAC (the Mobile Adoption Center), accompanied by skilled Berkeley Humane volunteers. 

Here's a look at the MAC in action, bringing together adoptable animals and potential adopters:

The MAC helps adoptable pets meet more members of the public outside of Berkeley Humane.

Each contestant took the stage for a song. Talents included high leaps, skateboarding, amazing patience and control when confronted with treats or facial sundaes (you had to be there), great costumes, intense personal charm, and cuteness.

Starstruck audience members voted for their favorites with one-dollar tickets (with all proceeds benefitting Berkeley Humane). 

 The voting jars early in the afternoon-- later, they'd be stuffed with votes!

While every dog’s jar drew tickets, the top three vote-getters were Bud, Djuna, and Pica. Congratulations!

Jade the dog aims high! 

Pica shows off his skateboarding skills

Because every dog is the best dog (just ask their owners) and because every entrant was wildly talented, each dog went home with a title:
  • Schwartz won Most Acrobatic
  • Skoda won Most Patriotic
  • Lox won Best Denim
  • Egg Dog won Most Well Fed
  • Kuma won Best Butterfly
  • Lucky won Best Hair
  • Oreo, ringleader of a three-dog entry, helped his pack win Best Leather
  • Pig won Best Springsteen
  • Pickle won Best Bipedal
  • Pica won Best Boarder
  • Lenny won Biggest Oakland A's Fan
  • Kobe won Most Patient
  • Jade won Best Lioness
  • Harvey won Best Kisser
  • Djuna won Best Feat of Strength
  • Bud won Best Batdog
  • Bear won Best Paul Bunyan
  • Trapper won Best Jurassic Canine
 Lucky models his title-winning luxurious coat

If we missed any, please drop us a line on Facebook and let us know!

Thanks to all participants, human and canine alike! A big thanks also goes out to all audience members, staff, volunteers, and pageant host Missouri Lounge.

All photos by the author (who apologies for their quality).  

*Your humble narrator would like to share that one of the dogs available for adoption at today’s event is now at home and asleep in her lap as she writes this. Welcome home, Cheddar!