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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Going Home: Cali

Happy Woof Wednesday, everyone! Are you all ready for Thanksgiving? We sure are. 

We're always very grateful when one of our animals find a new home and we firmly believe that the dogs are grateful too!

Today we share the story of Cali, formerly Conchita. She is doing well in her new home and we thought we’d share her family’s update with you:

"Oh my goodness she is so amazing. We LOVE her. We named her CALI. Like California puppy. She knows a few commands already and she is 99.9% potty trained. We went for a walk this morning which she loves. Thank you again for your help."

It’s always our pleasure to assist humans and pets in meeting! Do you want to participate in this too? And get to meet sweet, snuggly puppies like Cali as a bonus? Become a canine friend at Berkeley Humane—email our volunteer manager Dana Bushouse to get involved at!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Going Home: Mochi

Welcome to another Feline Friday, folks :)  

Today we have a special Going Home treat from our Facebook page: Mochi, formerly known as Fermi. He's a looker, and his adopter is quite skilled with a camera, so we get to enjoy him in all his kitty glory. This is what we got from Kristina: 

"Just wanted to let you guys know that Fermi (not yet renamed) made it home safe! He loves his new bed!  :) I'm absolutely in love with him." 

A month later, she sent us even more: 

"He's doing great! I've renamed him Mochi"  

Kristina told us exactly what we love to hear from those people who take home the animals we rescue. And the amount of pictures we received is wonderful! Isn't Mochi a delightful feline?

Ddi you adopt a cat from us? And do you want to put his or her story in the spotlight? Then get in touch with us. Post to our page on Facebook, reach out to the adoption counselor... Send us a few lines (or a lot of them) and some pictures and we will share your story of finding love. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Going Home: Wren

Happy Woof Wednesday folks! The weather might be getting colder but we’ve got another going home story that will warm your heart. This one comes from Megan, who reached out to us after adopting her adorable pup Wren (Dorian) over a year ago. She was nice enough to send us a picture from his adoption day as well as a more recent one. It's wonderful to see how much he's grown! Here's what Megan had to say about their experience with Wren:

“I got my dog, Wren (formerly Dorian), from Berkeley Humane. We adopted Wren when he was just a puppy. People stop us on the street all the time to ask what kind of dog he is - they're always shocked to hear he's a rescue! We get a lot of ‘who could give up that face?!’ Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how truly lucky my husband and I were to find our pup there, and I would love to help the Humane Society.”

We’re not surprised that Wren gets that reaction, that furry little face is adorable! Clearly, Wren is just as cute as ever and loving his life post-Berkeley Humane. We’re so happy to hear from him again, a big thanks to Megan for sending us this update!

Would you like to volunteer with us?  Our volunteers mean so much to us and we love welcoming new members to the Berkeley Humane family. If you’re interested, fill out the application on our website or send us an email!  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Guest Post: 10 Things You May Not Know About Berkeley Humane

By: Kosin Huang

Berkeley Humane has been around a long time and has an interesting history. Here are some tidbits you may or may not know about us:
  1. We've been around since 1927...that's 87 years! (And in dog years, we're 609 years old!)
  2. When we first opened, we were located in a former pool hall.
  3. We are not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States, or any other animal welfare organization.
  4. We saved 938 animals last year, and are on track to save 1,000 this year!
  5. We are one of few animal rescue groups that have our own veterinary team serving homeless animals.
  6. Our neo-natal kitten foster program is unique in the region. 
  7. We used to be called "Animal Rescue Haven".
  8. We offer monthly grief counseling for those who've lost their pets. 
  9. We like to pun and have hosted such events as "Bay to Barkers", "Pints for Paws", and "Bark (& Meow) Around the Block.
  10. We just debuted a Mobile Adoption Center (a custom-built vehicle that enables us to bring our dogs and cats into East Bay communities and make more loving matches)!
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.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Going Home: Pineapple

Welcome to another Feline Friday! Today we've got a lovely Facebook post for you that not only features a handsome kittycat rescued by and adopted from from Berkeley Humane, but also pays attention to a really fun initiative: Catou-Marie Crafts and Designs. This notebook-selling team started their venture with a little nudge from their school, but the decision to donate all their profits to Berkeley Humane was all their own!

In their Facebook post we are also introduced to Pineapple, a four-year alumnus from Berkeley Humane. Isn't she precious?

This is what Catou-Marie Crafts and Designs has to say: 
"This is my beloved cat, Pineapple. We adopted her about 4 years ago from Berkeley Humane, and she has been a loving part of our little family ever since!
Please check out the page my friend and I created for our fundraising project! All of our proceeds go to benefit Berkeley Humane :)"

When we checked their Facebook page to learn more about their cool idea, we found the following quote:

"In our junior year of high school, we were introduced to a requirement of the rigorous IB curriculum called CAS: Creativity, Action, and Service. Along with partaking in activities that involved each of these elements, we also had to begin some sort of project. This project had to a) involve at least one other person and b) combine at least 2 of the 3 aforementioned elements. Having been best friends since freshman year, it was easy for the two of us to pick a partner. After that was done, all we needed was a project. We combined our creative minds and came up with the idea of decorating composition notebooks! Because we love crafting, our project couldn’t be better suited to us. We’d hit all the requirements–partner (check), creativity (check) and action (check). However, it felt like something was missing.

After some thought it became clear: this project should mean more to us than just making money. It would be one of our first big accomplishments–we wanted to be truly proud of every aspect. With that, we decided to consider donating what we earn to a good cause. When we came up with the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society our minds were set! Both of us have adopted pets from our local animal shelter, and we feel passionate about helping animals in need.

So here we are today! What began as a required assignment developed into a fun, meaningful project we both feel very dedicated to. 100% of our proceeds (and we mean all of them!) go to the shelter. Buying our supplies and working on notebooks is what we consider our own personal donations. Every purchase you make helps, as do any donations you can spare."

Of course, we at Berkeley Humane are very grateful for what these young women do for us. Why don't you go see if you're in need of a notebook? Or maybe buy some early Christmas presents for your loved ones! Check Catou-Marie's facebook page to learn when their next sale will be. 

Berkeley Humane does all it's work through private donations and sponsorships by companies. We are not publicly funded. This means that any donations you might make are extra appreciated. We couldn't rescue animals without you! If you'd like to learn more about how you can help us continue to rescue animals, you can take a look at our website

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Going Home: Gideon

It’s another Woof Wednesday here at Berkeley Humane and that means we've got a great new adoption story to share! This week we will be checking up on Gideon. 

This adorable pup’s new owners sent us a very positive email to let us know how well Gideon is doing, both with them and his new puppy playmate, Ginger. Read their report below:

“Hello, things are going great!! Gideon has been such a joy for us and our puppy, Ginger; they love playing and interacting with each other! He seems to be very happy and has been eating very well too!! We took him to the vet on Wednesday and they said he was healthy. Thank you for checking in on him. Here is a pic of him cuddling with Ginger! They do that a lot!!”

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but we think this one is priceless. Gideon and Ginger might not have known each other long but it’s clear these two were meant to be friends. We’re so glad Gideon has found a happy, healthy home and would like to thank his new owners for their update! It’s always great to see just how well our adoptees are doing, and especially to see them cuddling up with new friends.

Have you adopted a dog or cat from Berkeley Humane? We’d love to hear your special story! Send us an email or write on our Facebook page to let us know how your new pet is doing. Pictures are always welcome too!