Wednesday, October 22, 2014

After Berkeley Humane: Sparky

Yay! Happy Woof Wednesday, everybody! It's time for another wonderful Going Home post, this time featuring Sparky. 

Did you ever hear the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words?" That could not be more true than with little Sparky. His pictures say it all - partying it up on the beach, showing off a perky red jacket - we even got a real family portrait!

Sparky's new family also wrote a  few kind words about their beloved pup. You can read them below. 

"We adopted Sparky on Feb. 1, 2014.  We changed his name from Smarty to Sparky.  We love him.  He is very intelligent and he gets along with children and other dogs. " 

We could not be more happy to see Sparky in such a loving and caring environment. Congratulations on finding the newest addition to your family! We hope that there will be many fun times ahead for all of you.

Could you do with some new spark in your life? We have adorable dogs waiting for you to take them home. Come visit us during dog adoption hours (Wednesday through Sunday between 11 and 5) and see if we don't have the pup for you. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Coming Here : Grumpy Cat

Happiest of Feline Fridays, everybody! Did you hear the festive news? Grumpy Cat is coming to Berkeley to do the honors at Berkeley Humane's ribbon cutting ceremony for our Mobile Adoption Center! Isn't that great?

Berkeley Humane campaigned hard for this to happen, with much help from the community (you can just look for #GrumpytownUSA on your preferred social medium to see how excited we got). Of course we're thankful to Chronicle Books for setting up the contest, but we are especially appreciative of our biggest supporters in the campaign for Grumpy Cat to come to Berkeley:

- the Berkeley Chamber
- the Berkeley Police Association
- Berkeley mayor Tom Bates

Without them, we could not have done it. Nor could we have done it without you, tweeting, facebooking and instagramming friends and Grumpy Cat fans. So thank you to you too!

Do you want to know how you can meet Grumpy Cat when she's here in Berkeley, now known as Grumpytown, USA? Then visit our website at or follow us on Facebook. You'll be totally in the know and have the best chance of meeting the nation's favorite frowny feline.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Going Home: Riley

Happy Woof Wednesday again! Today we're visiting Riley, formerly known as Dream Girl.  Riley is certainly one of the dreamiest puppies to ever pass through Berkeley Humane. In this post we'll share about her finding a new home full of love and new friends. 

She even befriended a bunny - how many dogs can say that?  including Dexter the bunny! Check out these pictures and updates from Riley's awesome new family!

"Dream girl is now renamed Riley and she is doing great. I have enrolled her in a puppy preschool class at Zoom Room in Walnut Creek. She is a happy, energetic, affectionate puppy who wants to play all the time!"

"I also have 2 rescue bunnies and there is a picture of her meeting Dexter, the Netherland Dwarf bunny. She wants so much to play with them but they are a little afraid of her bouncy energy so we are working on her being more gentle. Thank you for rescuing her ... We love her so much!"

That is one adorable family! We are so happy Riley found a loving family that can keep up with her "bouncy energy!"

Do you want a friend to add love and energy to your household? Come visit Berkeley Humane during dog adoption hours (Wednesday through Sunday between 11 and 5) and see if we don't have a furry friend for you.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Going Home: KittenMan

Happy Feline Friday, everyone! We love long-term updates! Hearing how one of our prior shelter pets is doing months, or even years after the fact is one of our favorite things,  And today we have just such a treat for you. This story came to us through our Facebook page

It deals with one of our valued foster parents developing an extra-special bond with one of the animals she fostered, and having what is known as a 'foster failure' (which, really, is one of the very best failures to have, as it means another pet finds a home). 

" I fostered KittenMan (weighed in at 2 months at a whooping 8.30 oz!). He could barely stand and had intestinal issues...

... Now 4 years later (yes, a foster failure), he's grown to a whooping 17lbs and is the best boy ever! I am thankful for fostering that little bundle of joy (& a couple weeks before the devastating fire) and he still, to this day, suckles on my thumb everyday! Thanks for this great cat! He's one of a kind!" 

Isn't this great? And aren't those pictures precious? We wish both Aline and KittenMan the very best and hope they continue to derive great joy from each other's company. 

Are you interested in fostering for Berkeley Humane? We are always looking for dedicated new fosters to help us provide a great home environment when animals are not at the adoption center. If you want to learn more, take a look here

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Going Home: Elsie

Hurray for another episode of Woof Wednesday! Today we're having a picture-heavy Going Home post of the adorable Elsie: Elsie has always been a happy-go-lucky pup, but finding her loving family has opened up a whole new level of joy. 

Elsie has a very full schedule at her new home: long naps with her best friend, intense tug-o-war sessions with her favorite toy, and car rides with the whole family!

From her adopters:  
"We adore her, she is so happy, healthy and well behaved, a perfect addition to our family."

Aren't both of them adorable? And we really love Elsie's shirt! Adopters: Thank you so much for sending us these precious pictures. It always makes us happy to see a dog really fit in with their new family. 

Do you, too, want your Berkeley Humane adoptee to be featured on the blog? Just reach out to your adoptions counselor with an update and some pictures, and then we'll do the rest! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bringing The MAC Home: an interview with Lynda

As you may know, Berkeley Humane has recently expanded it's adoption capacity by means of a mobile adoption center (MAC, for short). The MAC is a truck which is outfitted to allow Berkeley Humane's animals and adoption counselors to go to adoption events throughout the Bay Area in both style and comfort. The MAC has been built by LaBoit Specialty Vehicles - a dedicated company in Ohio, which specializes in creating large vehicles for purposes such as ours. The adorable pictures all over the truck? Courtesy of talented photographer Mark Rogers.

A mock up of what the MAC would look like

We're so excited about the MAC and the possibilities it'll bring, and want to share with you how we came into the possession of this shelter on wheels that'll help Berkeley Humane go beyond our walls and connect our animals with more members of the community. With that in mind, we contacted Lynda, one of Berkeley Humane's dedicated volunteers, and one of the two people who embarked on the journey to get the MAC from Columbus, Ohio to Berkeley, California. 

Here is a bit about Lynda herself: 
"At the beginning of the year I moved to the Bay Area from NYC and was looking for a passion project to get involved with. My dear friend and Development Director for Berkeley Humane, Jeffrey Zerwekh invited me to join the recently established Marketing Leadership Committee and twisted my arm to volunteer pouring beer at the Pints for Paws Event."

Of course we wanted to know how she got involved with the MAC: 
[Berkeley Humane's] "Board approved funding for the Mobile Adoption Center right around the time I started volunteering on the Marketing Committee and I was asked if I’d be interested in becoming involved in writing the business plan. A few students from USF needed to do some field work and helped put it all together. They got the credits they needed to finish a class and Berkeley Humane got a comprehensive business plan to put the necessary framework around the MAC project. By that time I was so in love with the MAC and its purpose and potential to significantly increase the adoptions of the puppies and kitties, provide a new role for volunteers in the organization, and increase our visibility in the community, that before I knew it I had volunteered to Bring The MAC Home! Since the MAC will be largely (with the goal being 100%) run by volunteers, it seemed only right that a volunteer be the one to drive it off the lot from where it was assembled in Columbus, OH."

How did the trip go? Did you plan a lot beforehand, or did you have any serendipitous experiences? Did you make any stops along the way?
"The trip was amazing.  Completely.Exceeded.Expectations.  Having never driven across country before and certainly never having driven a 26’ vehicle I was a bit apprehensive about both.  From the time we were welcomed with hugs and smiles from the dedicated staff at the assembly plant to pick up the MAC to the time we rolled into the Bay Area, a better journey couldn’t have been planned.

Prior to the trip some planning was done – the big things like deciding whether to take the Northern Route or the Southern Route and booking the first two hotel nights. Everything else was left to plan spontaneously on the road as we really weren’t sure how far we would go each day and where we would end up.   I really got into the idea of driving along Route 66 so we took the Southern Route on HWY 40.  It was fun to photograph the MAC by various landmarks like the Arch in St. Louis, the World’s Largest Golf Tee somewhere in the middle of MO, the Cadillac Graveyard in TX and with the Grand Canyon.  If it were up to me I would have stopped more but we were on a schedule so I had to pick the priorities!

What the Southern Route looks like
One of the most rewarding things about driving the MAC across the country were the countless people we met and stories we heard.  When you’re driving a 26’ vehicle covered with adorable puppies and kitties everyone wants to talk with you and tell you about the pet they’ve rescued and their love of animals.  There is so much love out there for animals and so much enthusiasm for what the Berkeley Humane will be able to do with the vehicle in terms of increasing adoptions and saving lives of animals.

And here it is! The MAC in all it's glory

Can you say a bit more about the goals Berkeley Humane has for the MAC? Will you play a role in the future of the MAC as well?
"The primary goal of the MAC is to enable to Berkeley Humane to increase adoptions of the puppies and the kitties. The goal for this year is to adopt out 1000 animals. As long as there is a committed volunteer base (click here to learn about being a MAC volunteer) and the MAC can be scheduled to be in the community as often as possible we will be able to exceed this goal next year.

It’s also important that the team at Berkeley Humane plans for the future so that once enough money has been raised to build a new building to replace the one that was damaged in a fire there will be a way to adopt animals.  During construction, the MAC will be our “Adoption Center on Wheels.”   We know it is going to take some time to get as good at mobile adoptions like we are in our current facility.

As far as my role in the future of the MAC, it will always have a special place in my heart.  I am so proud of what’s been accomplished to date.  Now, it’s time to pass the baton to the tremendous volunteers who will be taking it out in the community and putting it to action finding those adorable puppies and kitties who are looking for love the best families to go home with."

The MAC: Human Tested...

... Doggie Approved!

Do you have a fun or interesting anecdote (or two) about the trip that you would like to share?
"Road trips are fun!  And while the purpose of this road trip was the business of bringing the MAC home, the fascinating people I met, stories I heard and the overwhelming enthusiasm for what Berkeley Humane is embarking on with the MAC left me inspired and with a great sense of gratitude."

Fulfilling it's purpose at Bark (&Meow) Around the Block

Friday, October 3, 2014

Going Home: Sami

Happy Feline Friday again! Hasn't it been a great week? And what better start to a sunny Friday than a quick kitten update from a Berkeley Humane adoptee: Sami, formerly known as Hansel. 

Sami's followup came to us through the Facebook page, where his enthusiastic new family chose to reach out to us with several pictures and some very kind words. 

"I had a truly great experience adopting from BH this weekend! everyone I spoke with was knowledgeable, friendly, and patient while I got to know some of the kittens.

I completely fell for Hansel and he seems to be adjusting to his new home (and me) quite well. Thought I'd share a few photos of (the now-renamed Sami!) settling in at home.
thank you!"

Christina, thank you so much for sending us your update. We're very glad you had a good experience. And you've managed to turn Sami into quite the little model - those pictures are adorable. We hope you  continue to bring each other a lot of joy!