Monday, September 15, 2014

Are you ready for Bark (& Meow) Around the Block?

Our 2nd annual Bark (& Meow) Around the Block is right around the corner! On September 21st Berkeley Humane will host an adopt-a-thon and street fair, full of food and fun, music and games, free dog and cat adoptions from Berkeley Humane, as well as many other critters from local rescues!

Starting time for the event is 11AM, and we won't stop until 4 PM. The event is family friendly and pets are welcome, so if you have a party animal or a cool cat you'd love to bring, this is your event. Do make sure you have them on a leash!

If you're looking to adopt a dog or cat, Berkeley Humane will offer free adoptions that day to qualified adopters! There will also be a dozen other adoption agencies who'll bring their animals for you to meet, greet and adopt. Many vendors of all kinds will also be there, so you can pamper your animal and yourself. If the pet cuddling and fun activities wear you out, you can plop down for a beer and some tasty food and enjoy the live music and entertainment.

Going the extra mile

Bark (& Meow) Around the Block also has a fundraising component and you can participate! Go here to sign up for the HERO Walk Around The Block, where you (and your dog, cat or kid) can leisurely walk around Berkeley Humane's city block, to help support our free adoptions during the adopt-a-thon.  The HERO Walk will take place right before the street fair opens, so you can help us fundraise and not miss out of any of the fun.

No matter what you choose to do, we look forward to welcoming you at Bark (& Meow) Around the Block!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Going Home: The Boss

Hurray! It's Feline Friday again! We said that we would only have our reduced adoption fee for older cats until August, but we liked it's effects so much that we've decided to keep it going until September 19. We'd like to adopt out some more of our adult kitties to all you wonderful people. 

With that in mind, we've got a real treat of a Going Home story for you, today. This beautiful, moving story was sent to us in memory of Methuselah (AKA ‘The Boss’). Former foster parent Tak wrote this note in hopes we could share it with the Berkeley Humane community. We’re glad to do so, and would like to thank The Boss’ eventual adopter Helen, and Tak too, for giving The Boss so much love, understanding, and bliss during his last few years of life.

Our most sincere condolences to Helen; we know you gave him a fantastic home, and we're grateful that you two were able to spend the last few years together.

From Tak:

"Methuselah was one of the 10 adult cats we fostered for the Berkeley Humane Society over the period of two years following the fire at the shelter in May 2010. He was a very BIG, beautiful, handsome orange and white Maine Coon Cat mix who was over 16 years old when we fostered him during the summer of 2011. He was FiV positive and also had a bum rear leg which presumably hadn't healed properly after an injury. He had been returned to Berkeley Humane after having been adopted as a youngster.

He was a calm, confident and content cat. Nothing seemed to disturb him. As a foster cat, he had to remain isolated from the other pets in our household. But living almost alone in a single room didn't bother him. He enjoyed the couple hours a day that we would spend with him, but otherwise kept himself occupied studying the world from the windows and tearing up the fresh cat mint we gave him. He seemed to understand that he was a little too big to fit comfortably on our laps and so instead would sit next to us when we shared his room. He liked being combed which is good thing since he had such long fur which tended to tangle.

He knew what was what in the world. Methuselah was the only cat I've ever dealt with who would voluntarily walk into a cat carrier when I opened it for him. He knew that every time he went into the carrier he was going on a trip and he liked to go places. He was very calm, very social and relaxed during the weekends at the shelter while meeting new people and being close to other cats. The somewhat noisy and busy environment at the shelter disturbed him not a bit. At the end of the many weekends he spent at the shelter, I would come by with his carrier and open it. He would voluntarily walk in, happy to be headed back home. Unlike all the other foster cats we had, the trips back and forth to the shelter stressed him not at all.

There are few people interested in adopting older cats like Methuselah. And even fewer who would adopt such a very old cat with a latent illness. After four months of fostering him and knowing that there was no one seriously interested in adopting him, I began to wonder whether we could find a way to keep him for ourselves. Methuselah's personality had won us over. We knew that he would likely not have many more years left. We considered becoming foster failures. But with his FiV positive status, we couldn't find a practical way to integrate him into our household which includes both an indoor/outdoor cat and a dog. They are both accustomed to having the back door always open.

One weekend a woman in her 90's who lived alone walked into the shelter seeking to adopt the oldest cat available. She wanted a cat in the same stage of life as her. Helen met Methuselah and was immediately taken by him. She adopted him on the spot. The adoption staff said that she looked ecstatic at her good fortune.

As foster caregivers, we normally do not have contact with the adopters. Nor in most cases would it be appropriate. But in the case of Methuselah we asked for and received special permission from the staff to stay in touch with Helen and her new cat. Helen was very welcoming of our request.

Over the next two years we visited every couple of months with Helen and the “Boss,” Methuselah's new name. The Boss kept Helen busy with his gentle antics and all in all being good quiet company. They both seemed quite content. Helen celebrated her 98th birthday a couple of months ago. He enriched her life with his company. She took very good care of him. And we too became friends with Helen who isn't able to go out much.

In the last months, Methuselah lost weight. He was now well over 18 years old. In October 2013, he died. Helen misses him terribly and is very heartbroken. We too miss him very much.

This is a happy story, a story of success. We wish that all the cats and dogs get to live out their natural lives with caring, loving owners. Methuselah had a very good life and enriched the lives of his humans. This is the goal we have when we save pets. We are enhancing our own lives as well as those of the cats and dogs."

We couldn’t agree more—thank you for the eloquent words, Tak, and for all you did for The Boss (and the many other animals who you helped us save.) Thank you too, friends, for taking the time to read about The Boss. We hope you’ll join us in sending good thoughts to Helen.

Are you or your cat ready for a new best friend? Today, Berkeley Humane is celebrating Feline Friday with $5 adoption fees for cats 5 months and over! Come by our Adoption Center today to meet our snuggly and playful cats ready to go to loving homes. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Going Home : Milo (Again!)

Welcome to another edition of Woof Wednesday!

Do you all remember Milo? His adoption happened a while back, but his adopters have been really great about keeping us in the loop.

We were super happy to receive a new set of pictures from them. These FANTASTIC photos from their last few months together really show how much MIlo is a part of the family. Aren't they great? Now, on to his adopters: 

"Hello all! Here are some updated pics of our sweet boy!"

Thank you, adopters! We’re so glad to see Milo having such a ball with you all—these are great pictures! He seems like a real happy fellow to be with you all. Yay, Milo!

Do you want a friend as awesome as Milo? Then come by our shelter on Woof Wednesday to see if your new canine pal is there waiting for you! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Going Home: Mimi

It's Feline Friday again!

In celebration, we're sharing the adoption story of Mimi, who overcame her health issues and became a great pet. Adoption stories like Mimi’s warm our hearts, no matter the temperature outside. 

Mimi, formerly known as Little Owl, was in extended foster care while at Berkeley Humane after becoming unwell from a number of medical issues. She became scared and shy while waiting for an adopter to take her home, but when her future parents came to meet her it was obvious how much they loved her and couldn’t wait to let her blossom in their home. 
That blossoming happened rather quickly, as it turned out! As her adopters tell us:

"Little Mimi has adjusted very well. She was very timid upon first arriving home. We were prepared for a week or more for her to adapt. However, she only remained confined for approximately 3 hours in our guest room, before she opened the door (!) and came out to announce that this is her home and we're her people. She comes to our laps for petting and resting and also loves our bed for napping during the day. Also, she likes to play several times throughout the day. We just love her to bits... we think she's cuter than a bug’s ear. We just can't believe she wasn't adopted much earlier.

Thanks so much for all your helpfulness. We are very happy with Mimi. ;) :)"

Photo by Rebecca Schwartz.
Part of what got Mimi adopted were her gorgeous, professional photographs (one of which is above!) Are you interested in volunteering as a pet photographer for Berkeley Humane? Contact our marketing manager Sherry Liu at to let us know you’d like to help!

Are you or your cat ready for a new best friend? Today, Berkeley Humane is celebrating Feline Friday with $5 adoption fees for cats 5 months and over! Come by our Adoption Center today to meet our snuggly and playful cats ready to go to loving homes. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

After Berkeley Humane: Fritz Finnegan

Welcome to another episode of Woof Wednesday! 

You can get some absolutely hilarious, adorable pet names when you let your kids rename a newly-adopted family member. Finnegan went home with a bouncy, fun family not too long ago, and when his adopters emailed us back to tell us about how he was doing we learned he’d earned a great nickname!

Read on to hear how ‘Fritzy Bitzy’ is doing these days!

"The kids have re-named Finnegan as Fritz Finnegan. His nickname is Fritzy Bitzy! We love him so much and he has really been a joy and a perfect addition to our family. He fits right in and our other dog Rocky loves him. I have many pictures that I will share with you of them sleeping together as well as Fritzy just being cute. 

Fritz has lost almost all of his puppy teeth and is great at going potty outside and running right back in the house. He doesn't chew stuffed animals thankfully but loves bones and wrestling with his brother Rocky (Deer Chihuahua.) Fritzy also loves sleeping under the covers in the kids beds even though he is not supposed to, and he loves it when my daughter carries him around the house like a baby. He managed to chew through the leg of a wooden chair over the past couple of months, how he did that secretly I'm not sure, but it was pretty funny when someone sat in it and it broke! Fritz is our jokester and prankster and we just love him so much."

Fritzy Bitzy, you are too much! How adorable and happy he sounds in his new home. Thank you to his adopters for giving him such a fun new leash on life!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Going Home: Cocoro

Welcome to another Feline Friday - a day on which we shine the spotlight on the fantastic felines of Berkeley Humane. Today we're celebrating by sharing the Going Home story of the adorable Cocoro (formerly known as Island).

The adorable Cocoro (which we are told means 'heart' in Japanese) was brought home by Darold and his family, and this is what they have to say after two weeks with their new kitty:

"We've been so lucky to find her at the Berkeley Humane Society and knew right away she would enrich our lives, and we've definitely wanted to adopt in the past, so this turned out to be a PURRfect opportunity.

At first, she slept a lot during the day and would hide under the table which seemed natural when adapting to a new environment, but then when night time came she let out her energetic side. The moment we go to bed, whether it be 11pm or 2am, Cocoro decides it’s time to go berserk. She jumps all over the bed, pouncing on whatever she deems suitable, and races all around the entire apartment. It’s quite humorous and entertaining to watch through the night!"

Mana and Jin, our daughter and son, have been learning how to care for Cocoro with their new set of responsibilities. Mana is in charge of feeding Cocoro and Jin helps with cleaning the kitty litter box (though he has been playing in the kitty litter with his toys, I have to remind him that it’s not a sandbox!)
My wife will shampoo Cocoro when needed and has built a small teepee for her. And my part of the responsibility is keeping her healthy with veterinarian visits.
Cocoro is very therapeutic for us and we are really thankful to have her.

We’re sure she’s thankful to be a part of your happy young family too, Darold! Congratulations and thank you for giving Cocoro so much devotion.

PS. The teepee your wife made is simply gorgeous: what a fantastic kitty hideaway!

Are you or your cat ready for a new best friend? This August, Berkeley Humane is celebrating Feline Fridays with $5 adoption fees for cats 5 months and over! Come by our Adoption Center today to meet our snuggly and playful cats ready to go to loving homes. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Going Home: Gizmo

Happy Woof Wednesday, everybody! Today we have a lovely update from the adopters of Gizmo (you may have known him back when he was named Fuzzy). Gizmo’s adopters were kind enough to send us a happy dispatch from their home, reporting that Gizmo is as mellow as ever.

"Fuzzy is doing well. We have renamed him Gizmo. We have got a dog trainer to work with us in the home. Gizmo is the 3rd of three Lhasa Apsos we have adopted at different times. He is such a mellow, gentle and sweet soul. When we first met him at Berkeley Humane, he wouldn't walk more than half a block and we thought “uh oh, how are we going to walk him with our other dogs.” But since having him, he's become quite the walker, he runs and plays in the dog park and with our neighbor's dog (who volunteers at Berkeley Humane.) It's great to see his playful personality come out. We are thrilled to have Gizmo in our lives."

It definitely shows in the pictures that Gizmo’s adopters are happy to have him as part of the family! We’re excited that Gizmo has new puppy pals to show him the world and encourage him to let loose and get playful! Thank you, adopters! We especially love the picture of Gizmo with his new siblings (doggy and human) out on a hike. 

Woof Wednesday is the day we pay extra attention to our canine pals, after their adoption or during their stay in the shelter and the foster home. Do you think your Berkeley Humane alumnus deserves the spotlight too? Then email the adoptions department with an update about your canine friend! We look forward to your stories.