Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy April Fools Day From Humane Society Silicon Valley!

You thought he was being scary? He was just laughing.
Pookie Bear is not actually at HSSV. He's an African Wild Dog. To learn more about the African Wild Dogs click here.

As for Cuddles, looking dapper, he's not with us either. Like Pookie Bear, he's out in the wild somewhere. 

Thank you very much for clicking, ladies and gentlemen.
Cuddles is a puma. Both photos come to us courtesy of Dreamstime, a fantastic stock photography site that helps us out with photos. Whenever you see excellent photography that isn't one of our animals and has a photo credit, it's because Dreamstime is awesome and generous.

Beautiful wild animals belong in the wild, not as pets. If you want a wonderful pet, let us help you find one.

As for the legs and sneakers, they belong to a member of our marketing department. We love Photoshop - Cuddles isn't actually wearing that top hat, either.

If you liked Cuddles' regal countenance and large size, we suggest meeting Churchill.

I'm not amused by these human antics.
Seriously. That face? Unlike Cuddles, he doesn't need a diet of raw meat but Churchill is a big fella who loves to hunt his fake mousey. He's friendly, social and laid back. A great kitty for first time cat owners.

If you liked Pookie's coloring, we'd suggest Billy:

I dance way better than a cat with a cane. 
Billy's got a gorgeous three-tone coat and is a dancing fool - the sight of his food bowl, a treat, or his leash will send him into the cutest boogie-fest you've ever seen.

If you liked either of our fake pets because they were scary, we can't help you. We don't do scary pets. Quirky? Friendly? Outgoing? Silly? Serious? Laid back? Athletic? Loyal? Devoted? Effusive? Occasionally shy? Intuitive? Grandiose? Brave? Loving? Lazy? Calm? Cheerful? Patient? Sweet? Sociable? Debonair? Wise? Trusting? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. Our pets come in all those flavors.

Scary? Nope.

Thanks for following us on social media and caring about the animals. Have a great April 1st!

Dreamstime photo credits:
Puma cub: © Isselee |
African Wild Dog: © Musat Christian |

Sunday, March 30, 2014

No Ifs, Ands or Butts: Why We Love The Rear View.

We might be the luckiest shelter because we have a convergence of two things: great animals and ridiculously talented volunteer photographers. They give us great front shots, like this:

Eli leads zen meditation class for his stuffies. 
Great views from the top:

The Potato Brothers, Skilo & Zeus, demonstrate the art of the yin-yang nap.
And even great upside down shots:

Do your dance, Sadie. Do your dance. Word up.
But we have to admit: We love mutt butts and we cannot lie.

Why? Because of this. See this?

Later days, folks!
That's the sight of a dog headed to it's new home. Isn't that awesome? 

Hasta la vista! Don't bother leaving a light on for me!
We could look at these all day.

Sayonara! Auf Wiedersehen!
Bye Dixie and Chickadee!

We get pretty attached to the animals here so when long term residents leave, it's kind of a big deal. Like Sadie, our 9 year old pittie who graced a million Facebook posts and blog shots. There were a lot of staff and volunteers clustered around to say goodbye to her butt leaving the building

Thanks for the memories, guys. We'll always have the dog park.
Don't get us wrong, we'll take a good side view, too:

Drive faster, new mom. We have a lot to do together. 
But there's just something about the last look on the way out to the car:

Human, please tell me our car is near. It's raining. 
You know what the best of it is? We have a mutt butt for everyone. We have small butts:

Humans make excellent beds. 
And athletic agility butts:

Is this color like tennis ball camo or something? 
We even have bald butts:

Really guys? While I'm in the headcone? Must you?
But they won't be bald forever. 

And all of them would love to walk out the door with you. For more information on who's waiting for a chance to be walked out to your car, check this out.

Right Phoebe? 

Get that camera away from my butt. 

**While a lot of these butts have, like Elvis, left the building, some words on our adoptable models, both front end and back. ***

Eli of the amazing ears is a sweet little guy who loves adventuring. He's available. Check him out here.

The Potato Brothers are a matched set who have great house manners. They need to go home together. More info about them on our adoptable animals page.

Nala, our agility pibble, is a loving girl who enjoys hanging out on top of her crate and posing ridiculously in the pool. Think Esther Williams bathing beauties in a pittie body. More info on her on the adoptable animals page as well. 

And finally poor Phoebe, who is actually a happy, friendly dog but whose deadpan expressions have made her the Grumpy Cat of HSSV. She and her adopted sister, one eyed wonder-pooch Luna, are looking for a home together. You must see the cuteness.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Three Myths About Kats and Kids

Who says cats and kids can't be friends?  With a proper introduction and a little patience, kids and cats can easily become BFF's. 

Myth #1:  Cats hate kids!

False.  While it is true that some cats prefer adults, it is untrue that you should never have a cat around a child -- many cats LOVE having a young playmate!  Keep in mind that when you have little ones, it is always a good idea to supervise their interactions with any pet.  Even if your new cat has a great history with kids, accidents do happen.  You never can tell what can go down during an intense game of get-the-mousey.
Myth #2:  Kids can't take care of cats.

Incorrect!  Many kids have more patience than us adults when it comes to training animals.  Have your kids train the cat to come to them by using special treats!  Let the kids be the only ones to feed the cat these treats while they are petting so the cat learns quickly how truly awesome those tiny humans can be.  But forewarning: these cats will be yours, not theirs.  The "I promise I'll take care of it" will only last until they turn 18, after all.  As parents, you will be the primary caretakers, but that doesn't mean your kids can't be the primary love-givers.

© Niderlander |

Myth #3:  Don't give a child a cat -- they'll hurt it!

They could, if not shown how to handle the cat.  But that's what you as parents are for, to demonstrate proper and polite handling and play!  Kids will watch an adult's every move and mimic their actions -- so make sure you set a good example!  You can help shape your child into a gentle and compassionate pet owner by demonstrating gentle petting and letting the cat "win" during playtime.

We believe that children are our future (insert cheesy song lyrics here).  The more cat-savvy kids we create through adoption and humane education, the more knowledgeable pet ambassadors our community's animals will have in the future!

If your kids have been asking you for a cat, listen to them!  When your family is ready to make the plunge into feline-dom, come in and visit us.  We will give you and your kids the tools to be fantastic cat owners.  And go ahead and check out some of our kid-friendly cats available for adoption today here at HSSV:


 View more available cats here!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Pup-parrazi Never Stops: One Foster Puppy's Take On Growing Up In Shelter Care.

What do Christina Crawford, Miley Cyrus and I all have in common? The spotlight. We all grew up in entirely too much of it.  Unlike Christina, I have no horror stories about coat hangers - I grew up surrounded with nothing but love. And unlike Miley - well, unlike Miley everything. I'm a puppy of class and distinction. Despite growing up surrounded by the constant clicking of cameras.

I vant to be alone. 
Shortly after I was born, for reasons that are entirely understandable, my biological mother decided she was over this whole mothering thing. And by 'shortly after I was born' I mean within fifteen or twenty minutes. To be fair, she wasn't feeling well and needed surgery but even after her surgery we just never connected - she wanted nothing to do with me, I was a weird, blind, hamster-y looking thing that wasn't thinking very much at all so there went that family relationship.

I was trying to cover my face but my paw is too small. 
It was good thing that my weird, blind, hamstery looking-self was brought to HSSV along with my ill mother. We're vulnerable at that age and when Mom has washed her paws of you that usually means forget it, you're done. Without being brought here, I wouldn't have survived. That said, that doesn't mean it was easy.

The camera - always the camera. From my first foster home to my forever home with the VP of Medical Operations here, I've always been around. And when you're always around and you're this cute, everyone sticks a camera in your face. And if they can't get your face, they stick a camera towards any other part of you they can.

Do they make this sweatshirt in size XXXXXXXXXS?
I was three days old when I came here. We're demanding little guys at this age - I needed 'round-the-clock care. Every two or three hours I needed to be bottle fed. And after I was fed I needed some help with other stuff. So I went home with a staff member who could keep an eye on me.  Odds are pretty low that pups as small as I am survive without mom, but they didn't give up on me.

My first word was 'oijihnklluhu'.
When we both developed pneumonia, I lost my brother. That was rough. That was when Dr. K, VP of Medical Operations and a veterinarian, brought me home to keep an eye on me. And a camera on me. Always a camera....

Step off, big dog. I might be wearing a sweat sock but I'm tough.
I couldn't make friends, eat, anything, without being photographed. Which is a good thing, because I can show you guys how orphan bottle babies grow up. Like this, kind of. Only a lot of our awesome foster parents are volunteers, not staff and most dogs don't get adopted by staff. But after nursing me through the pneumonia, it seemed like a pretty done deal that I was here to stay. I love my family a lot and get to go to work sometimes. Which is good because I have a lot of friends here.

Hanging with my posse. 
But bad because I get drafted for all sorts of stupid photo shoots.

Ho ho so not funny, guys. 
Now that I'm a little more grown up I've hit a rebellious patch. Not in a scary Lindsey-Lohan sort of way, just normal puppy stuff. So I'm going to puppy school. I'm sure the paparazzi will be at my graduation, but that's just the pay off I had to make.

Don't worry, Mom. We'll get you trained. 
Anyway, thanks to everyone that supports HSSV, adopts from us and spreads the word about us. Without you guys I wouldn't be here.

If you're thinking about donating, this would be a great time. For the next few weeks we have a matching campaign - all monthly donations will be worth twice as much! So $12 a month is worth $25 to us - check it out!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Vote for Hamilton the Hipster Cat!

Once upon a time, there was a scared little kitten found with a feral colony and brought to HSSV as a teeny tiny two-month-old.

Where is he now?


He is Hamilton the Hipster Cat and he wants YOU to vote for HIM so HSSV can win up to 20,000 pounds of free cat litter through Wold's Best Cat Litter's Give Litter campaign!  Click here to vote once a day through March 26th.

Thanks, Hamilton!

 cast your vote every day until 3/26/14:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Eli Tells of the Wild Chihuahuas (And Other Small Dogs) of the Northern California Hinterlands...

Stop looking at my ears. We're being serious.
I've heard rumors that people think small dogs are city slickers, not fit for the adventuring life. With summer coming these folks plan their summer outings and when they think of adopting a dog,  they think 'big dog'. A little dog, they say, that's for dressing up and carrying around. Not for hiking. Not for camping. Not for the outdoorsy life.

My friends, this is a lie. A lie dirtier than your dog after he discovered the joys of cow poop. A filthy lie.

There was a time many, many years ago when we roamed the wilds of the west. Sure, it was dangerous. Sure, we would be like a potato chip to a bear. But we had our wits. We discovered ingenious ways of scouting for danger in tall undergrowth....

Tazzie performs the 'groundhog maneuver' to scout for predators or tennis balls. 

We made sure we always kept an eye on our backs and stayed near a water source. Not only did this keep us hydrated, we also really enjoyed splashing in the mud.

I get to roll in that, right? 

We excelled at outdoor pursuits. Particularly us leggy chihuahua mixes. With our small frames and boundless energy we could go for miles, outpacing the bison. Sometimes we would have to cross deep water. Those of us who couldn't swim discovered you could easily walk across streams on the backs of wallowing pit bulls.

I'm a bridge! I'm a bridge!

In adjusting to living with people, we hoped they would share our enthusiasm for fresh air, clean water and meandering through the picturesque landscapes of Northern California. And they did, yes they did. Unfortunately for us,  they preferred to do it with big, sloppy dogs that left huge messes in the back of their cars as opposed to us wiry little athletes that you could just stick a hand towel under and save the upholstery.

Put your tongue back in your mouth, Kirby. We know you find that idea distasteful.

Pretty flowers. Pretty, pretty flowers - what? 

As more and more of were taken in by city folk, we adapted. We're smart little guys. There are plenty of little dogs that love the sofa life but some of us still exist that yearn to explore wide open spaces and frolic in tall grass with an outdoorsy person by our side.

I can has frolic now? 

Small dogs that long for the smells of flowers and wild things, and a nice trail hike and possibly a few of those hot dogs that were going to be roasted over the fire....

Nice, but the hot dog smells better. 
Friends, while you're planning your summer adventures and looking for a companion to accompany you, think small. Think 'active chi mix'. Preferably think 'small chi mix with ridiculously large ears' but just thinking chi mix is okay, too. Heck, you can even think 'rat terrier' and come meet Oreo.  Give us a chance. Come in and meet some of us rugged, active dogs of smaller stature.

We're not promising to not roll in cow poop, though.

From the top: Eli and Tazzie are both available for adoption at our Milpitas Animal Community Center.  Oreo has gone home - yay Oreo! Nala (the bridge pibble), Kirby, Timmy and Teddy are still waiting for forever homes as well.

Looking for a less active pooch for some quality sofa and barbecue time this summer? We've got lots of  amazing less active dogs, too. Like Phoebe.

Phoebe do you want to go hiking?

Are you packing a couch?

For more information on all our amazing dogs, go here.

* We completely made up the bits about wild chihuahuas ever roaming California or the Plains or having anything at all to do with bison. But we do have lots of active little guys who would love to roam the great outdoors with you!

** Please keep them away from bison. Thank you. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Best Poker Face In Animal Sheltering.

Meanwhile, back at Humane Society Silicon Valley, we got an adorable husky....with a poodle cut. 

I know it's an unusual look but I think I pull it off well...

But Phoebe was not at all impressed. 


And then Luna, Phoebe's best friend, showed us all how to rock a head cone with style.....

It's all about accessories this spring. And television reception...

And Phoebe just said, 'eh, whatever'.


Then May did this crazy dance move....

You should see my Dougie. I do a wicked Dougie.

Phoebe just shrugged. 


So Oreo tried this crazy smiling thing that quite frankly was a bit creepy....




Nala did this ridiculously endearing frog impression in the pool.

I can't make a ribbit noise without dropping the ball.

Phoebe decided we were boring her so badly she was going to hide.

You're boring me.

Suki and Lydia got into an argument.....

How come you got the collar with the bones? That's not fair.

Which just made Phoebe give them this look:


So Mel decided we'd all had enough of Princess Deadpan's poker face so she sat her and Luna down and said 'Look ladies, you're adorable, you're pint sized, you're a hysterical pair, soon someone is going to come in and be so excited to meet you that they have to take the both of you home.'.

I'm pretending not to listen.

At the time Phoebe just curled up and fell asleep like it wasn't any big deal. But later we caught her doing this:

I wonder if the new home will have hidey holes...

From Benjamin (the adorable husky-poo) to May (the dancing dog), every single one of these guys is available for adoption. Phoebe does need to go home with Luna but they both fit on one lap. Likewise the arguing twins, Suki and Lydia, come as a set but who would want to split them up? Want to make a dog smile? Check out our available pooches here. Then come in and adopt one. Hidey holes not required.