Monday, October 8, 2018

Keeping Up with HSSV

Keeping up with us and everything we're up to is starting to feel like Keeping Up with the Kardashians (except way more relevant to your life, and there are cute animals involved, and no weird made-up arguments for publicity...and ok maybe it's really nothing like that reality show after all). But you're in luck - we're here to give you the low-down on all the exciting things happening here!

And so we welcome you to this special episode of:

First up on our list - Tails & Ales is almost here! This fun, family and dog-friendly event is the perfect kickoff to get you excited for fall. Join us this Saturday, October 13 from 11am-4pm at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto! Buy your tickets here.

Featuring breweries like Lagunitas Brewing Company, wineries such as Hook & Ladder Winery, food trucks with a variety of different options, activities like face painting, t-shirt tie dye stations, tons of local vendors where you can shop and buy cool merch, and so much more - this event is sure to be a blast!

Dogs are welcome! Or, if you'd like, meet one of the many adoptable dogs we'll have onsite all day. See you there! 

Next up - we're celebrating OktoberFest in style - with a very special KatoberFest! Through 10/14, cats and kittens at each of our locations can be adopted for only $10. Get out those lederhosen, grab a mug of liquid gold, and adopt! 

And while we don't like to play favorites, those needing a nudge in the right direction for their new cat should look no further than Roxie. For the true cat lover, Roxie is the answer. She's sweet, sassy, and just a little bit nutty (you should see her climb a wall). She gets more height than a trapeze walker and would love to go home with some peeps who are in need of a job as professional wand-wavers.

Come on, swing that fake mouse. I'm ready.

More of a dog person? We have you covered. During our Dancing Chis promotion running through 10/14, you can name your own adoption price when you adopt your favorite dancing Chi (6 months and older)! Grab your dancing shoes and get ready to boogie, because our Chis are flossin'. 

Need some inspiration? Meet Bonnie and Clyde, our senior duo with tons of personality. Bonnie's a guru of all things fetch - she'll play for hours. Clyde is more of a guru in lounging and belly rubs, and will happily keep you company. Come meet these dancin' cuties!

And that's all, folks. We hope the recap of all things HSSV has you feeling excited to celebrate fall with us! Of course, you can always keep up with us and everything we're doing on our website, Facebook, and Instagram. Don't miss a thing!

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Rock Stars of HSSV

We need to talk about the rock stars of HSSV for a minute. 

No, not that kind of rock star.

We're talking about our medical team - the constantly-in-motion, never-stopping, hearts as big-as-planets medical team.

Yes, these kinds of rock stars.

Our medical team functions as the Renaissance Men of the organization - they can (and do) excel at many different things, and they have their hands in almost everything - literally (sorry, too graphic?).

Working in medical isn't all about squeezing cute puppies and kittens.

Okay, it was all about squeezing cute puppies and kittens in this particular moment. But there was hard work done later!

On any given day, the jobs of our medical team can vary widely. A week in the medical department often looks something like this:

Monday: Our intake and rescue team transfers in a huge number of dogs and puppies from a shelter in the Central Valley in need of our help. That means medical jumps into action - all these animals need to be examined, vaccinated, and started on any time-sensitive treatments.

Puppies? No problem.

Tuesday: Those animals brought in yesterday? They all need to be spayed/neutered. 

Oh, and the foster team has foster kittens coming in that also need surgery. 

And did we mention that a litter of puppies randomly came in? It would be great to get their surgeries done as well, so that they can be adopted as soon as possible instead of waiting around here.

Medical team, you got this?

They've got it. And with smiling faces, nonetheless.

Wednesday: A shelter up north needed help with an overflow of cats and kittens. Our intake team rushed in to help, and now 25 cats and kittens need examinations and vaccinations. 

Oh, and a few of the dogs from Monday need dental surgeries.

But wait - a stray dog was found after being hit by a car and needs immediate surgery - that needs to come first. 

Capece, medical peeps?

Yep, good to go. Phew.

Thursday: A call from another shelter came in. They need us to take in some of our animals, and many of them are sick. The rescue team needs some medical staff to ride along with them to the shelter and help out.

But the rest of the team has a vaccination clinic to get to - members of the public will be coming in for the next two hours, and each of those animals need to get vaccinated. 

And don't forget - there are two dozen animals in the shelter that need treatments and medications. 

Can ya handle all that?

Of course.

Friday: Finally, a relaxing day.

Just kidding - a bunch of those cats and kittens that came in on Wednesday need surgery. 

And there are appointments for foster families to bring in their kittens for vaccines throughout the day.

Oh, and a bunch of kittens have ringworm - they need their twice-weekly ringworm baths, and they'll need to be tested afterwards to make sure the treatment's working.

We present to you: smiling faces, despite that insane list of things to do!

Saturday: It's the busiest adoption day of the week. 

Some members of the medical are called to the adoptions desk to consult with adopters on their new animals' medical needs. 

Some team members are manning the vaccination clinic. 

And some are double-checking every animal's medical status and moving them to the adoption floor once they're ready to go.

Smiling faces, party of one.

Sunday: the last day of the week. No, not the day of rest. 

Because today, there's a mobile spay/neuter clinic taking place in San Jose. The medical team is on the spay/neuter bus performing free spay/neuter surgeries for the pets of members of the public. They'll be there for hours checking everyone in, sedating animals, performing surgeries, vaccinating animals, comforting the animals as they wake up, and returning them to their owners. Phew. We're tired just looking at that laundry list.

When we say the medical team are the true rock stars of HSSV, we really mean it. They're the glue that holds it all together. We're grateful for the extremely hard work, the long hours, and the lives they save. We're so lucky to have this team, made up of not only staff, but also volunteers and interns that make sure every animal that walks through our doors is given the utmost care possible. 

So today, we're giving a big, huge shout out to the medical team. We also have to give a bittersweet goodbye to our summer interns Stephanie Han and Julia Hyun. These UC Davis students spent their entire summer supporting the team and keeping everyone smiling in the process. And for that, we love you.

Pictured, Julia and Stephanie keeping the team smiling through it all:

Thank you medical team - we love and appreciate you more than you know. And we couldn't do what we do without you!

Friday, September 14, 2018

A Low Key Hipster Anthem

They're hip. They liked cold brew before it was cool. 

Cold brew is so 2017. What's cool is catnip tea - but only if it's organic, locally-sourced, and fair trade certified.

They love to take photos - but only using vintage film cameras, and only with black and white film. 

I made a darkroom in my bathroom and develop all my film photos myself.

They prefer craft beer (gluten-free only, please) that you've probably never heard of.

Keep your Budweiser, my taste exceeds it.

Their preferred accessories are vintage, ironic, and rarely serve a practical purpose, and their Instagrams are highly curated to reach their optimum aesthetics (millennial pink must be included).

Typing on this typewriter takes me 5 times as long and makes me look 10 times as cool.

They are hipster cats, and they're taking over the weekend.

This weekend only, adopt a black or tuxedo hipster cat (or kitten!) - their adoption fees are only 50% off at our Milpitas ACC!

It's not cold enough to wear a scarf yet - I'm wearing this ironically.

Come to our Milpitas Animal Community Center to adopt your very own hipster cat - dark-rimmed glasses not included.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

An Olympic Marathoner-In-Training

Runners are sleek. Lean. Focused. Determined. They're self-motivated - running is often a solo activity, after all.

No one possesses the perfect traits of runners more than Violet.

Hi. I'm Violet.

She's sleek - look at that beautiful blonde fur. Lean (that's what happens when you treat life as a treadmill, right Violet?). Focused - nothing can stop Violet from her true goal: running an entire loop around the earth. Determined - did we mention her goal? 

I'm faster than Flo Jo. Sign me up for the Olympics, guys.

She's extremely self-motivated. If you don't take her to run, she'll just do it herself. No partner needed.

And although she can treat running as a solo activity, Violet is fiercely competitive. Cats? They don't bother her, there's no competition there. Birds? Harmless, they don't need her attention.

But dogs? Dogs are competitors, and nothing else. She'd like them to stay out of her way, please, and pay her no mind.

Back up, boys, I've got work to do here.

And don't think Violet just pays lip service to running. She's serious about it - in fact, she's been training for a half-marathon with a few of our staff members for the past few months. And no surprise, she's killin' it. She sets the pace, and the pace is GOGOGO.

In all seriousness, Violet is awesome. She's a sweet, people-social girl (when she's not going 100 miles an hour, that is). She's smart as a whip and extremely food-motivated, which means training is a breeze (and fun!). 

Want to snuggle?

She's been looking for a home for a while, and we think it's about time someone came to appreciate her like she deserves.

So if you're looking for a running partner who has eyes for only you, ask for Violet.

(By the way - did we mention she's a comedienne?)

Friday, August 31, 2018

A Few Big Thank Yous

We need to take a minute to say something.

Is it about me? What is it?

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Clear the Shelters. It was 3 days of reduced fee adoptions that resulted in 171 adoptions, lots of smiles, and many, many happy endings.

This was the moment at the end of the 3-day weekend when an adorable family decided to take home our bonded pair, Flaco and Estrella. We were thrilled.

A few of our long-time favorites found their perfect matches, including Prudence, a shy and somewhat picky older cat who found the perfect cat-savvy family to love her for all her quirks.

Who you callin' picky?

And Lucy, who wasn't loving her time here, but very much loves her new parents. 

They're pretty much the bees knees.

So our first thank you goes out to our adopters - thanks to you, lots of animals are happy in their forever homes. We can't thank you enough for choosing to adopt and being part of our lifesaving mission. Our adopters are the BEST.

Our next thank you goes out to our volunteers. We mentioned that Clear the Shelters was incredible - 3 whole days, hundreds of people coming in to find their new best friends, adoptions galore. It was also a ton of work, work that we couldn't have done without the help of our amazing volunteers. Amazing volunteers, this big thank you is for you.

Our volunteers are also amazing at bringing our shy babies out of their shells.

We could talk all day about how awesome Clear the Shelters was - lots of our favorite animals were adopted, happy families were smiling ear to ear as they brought their new family members home. But one of our favorite things about the weekend is that it freed up space and resources for us to help others.

The day after Clear the Shelters, we headed out to a couple of our partner shelters to lend a hand. We brought back more than 50 animals from shelters that were full to the brim with dogs and cats.

Some of those animals needed some time to heal - from injuries, illnesses, or just the stress of being moved around. They went to foster homes, where they could rest in a safe, quiet space until they were ready to find their new homes. So our third big thank you needs to go to our fosters, who allow us to save animals in need and give them the TLC they deserve. You are the BEST.

Adorbs puppy picture just because.

We've said it before, but it's always worth repeating: lifesaving takes a village. And we are lucky to have the very best, most compassionate village ever.

Thank you - whether you adopted, volunteered, fostered, donated, or just helped us spread the word - we are grateful for you.

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Chis Plate of HSSV

noun: chi; plural noun: chis
1. a small dog, often with some physical similarities to a Chihuahua
    •  often lap-sized
    • may feel most comfortable in a small groups of dogs of similar-sized dogs
      "pack of Chis"
We see a lot of Chis around here. And while you might be thinking of hoards of small, tan Chihuahuas when you hear the word "Chis", the term is actually a lot looser than that. "Chis" come in lots of colors, shapes and flavors. Some are a bit older (aged) than others, and some come on a bit stronger. 

In other words, Chis are like cheese. And the pack of five Chis we're especially enamored with right now is affectionately known as the "Chis Plate". 

This unique passel of Chis have a lot in common. 

They came in from less-than-stellar situations, but with a lot of time (and cheese!!) they're getting comfortable with new people and places.

And while each of the Chis Plate members have commonalities, they're also very distinct. Need we say it again? Like cheese!

Bleu is the most outgoing of the bunch. People love him for his unique personality, his love of other dogs, and that big, happy smile. Like Bleu cheese, he's versatile and great in lots of situations - playgroups? Check. One-on-one snuggle time? Check.

Havarti, true to her name, is sweet to the core. She's a lap-dog in the making, and loves nothing more than a good romp with her canine pals. Soft and sweet, Havarti is the one to meet.

Gouda takes her namesake seriously. Like the cheese she's inspired after, Gouda is one popular girl. She's the one every other dog wants to play with in the yard, and is the ringleader in any situation. Gouda is sort of like Regina George, minus the whole "mean girls" attitude.

Asiago is the mama hen of the group. She looks after everyone, pays special attention to the ones who need it, and opens up when she's with her pack. Sweet and caring, Asiago would love a tiny pup to look after.

Feta is the shyest of the bunch. Her affection has to be earned, but once you've entered her circle of friends, she loves you for life. Feta's curiosity gets the better of her - she can't help but investigate new people. With a little cheese and patience, Feta is becoming a happier girl. 

If you hadn't considered a Chi before, we urge you to reconsider. Chis come in every variety - their personalities range from mild to sharp, sweet to salty. They would pair perfectly with your own dog. And they won't disturb your lactose intolerance.

So go on, sample our Chis Plate. You know you want to.

Friday, August 17, 2018

5 Animals You Shouldn't Miss at Clear the Shelters

We get it. Clear the Shelters is hectic. There are a ton of amazing animals, all of them needing and deserving great homes. And it's hard to choose. 

Lucky for you, we're making it a little easier. We've handpicked 5 of our favorite animals at HSSV to give you a headstart.

Let's start with:

1) Tulip, the Snortiest Flower


Usually Tulip looks like this. She likes to keep a smile on her face, because she's nothing if not optimistic. Wiggly, snorty, cuddlebug Tulip is ready to show you why you should be first in line to meet her. 


She understands the finer things in life. Like treats.

And she's a pro grass-lounger.

If you decide to meet her, her face will probably look like this: 

Come see me, pretty pwease.

Next up....

2) Buddy the Buddy

Buddy is a bit of a legend around here, as far as kittens go. She's got a fiery, fun personality and also does a great impersonation of a shadow.

Do you mind if I follow you around?

She's got a bit of an eye issue but she's hoping someone will come looking for a sweet, unique kitty like her. After all, famous kitties always have something unique about them. And she would be great as an Instagram star.

3) Jolie the Lap Queen

Looking for a cat that's pretty and smart? Look no further than Jolie. She's so friendly that we've declared her the official greeter of the Sunshine Room (the community cat room at HSSV where tons of cat-friendly cats live together).

This blanket is comfy but your lap would be even better.

She's TINY (seriously), a major lap queen, and knows a thing or two about beating up those wand toys.

4) Sparky the Firecracker


Sparky's a big fan of the beach. He's used to taking long walks by the beach with his favorite people, and hopes someone will take him to the beach again soon.

He's super smiley, loves to talk when he's excited, and is a champion toy-tugger.

5) Lucy, the Most Curvalicious

She's curvy. Bootylicious. And those ears just don't quit. 

Can we hold hands?

She'd prefer to be as close to you as possible, if ya don't mind.

She's super sweet, a serial grass-roller, and likes to play with well-matched dogs. You really just need to meet this happy girl. 

Have we convinced you? We sure hope so. These are just a few of the many insanely awesome animals you definitely need to meet to believe. Come down to any of our locations today through Sunday to adopt - $40 for dogs, $10 for cats, $20 for kittens, and waived fees for rabbits and pocket pets. Don't get FOMO - come see us!