Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Amazing Adventures of…Undercat?

by Elena Battles, COO and Undercat Super Fan

Ever heard of Underdog? Of course you have! Maybe you thought of a flying cartoon canine. Or perhaps you thought about the NY Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Now how about an undercat? Nothing comes to mind? Allow me to introduce
you to a few.

Homeless cats, also referred to as feral cats, don’t often get a fair shake. Some people consider them a nuisance. Others don’t notice them at
all. They’re the cats that have been abandoned by their owners or those have grown up outdoors with little human contact. As a result, they face an uncertain future: scavenging for food; dodging fast cars, loose dogs, and unfriendly humans; living without proper medical care. The undercats.
Here’s the good news. There is a lifesaving solution. It’s called TNR (trap-neuter-return). We're always been known for adoptions here at HSSV. Since moving to our new Animal Community Center, we can save more lives than ever before. But the truth is we're working for the undercats too- we even made a documentary film about them. Thanks to a generous donor, HSSV has teamed up with Peninsula Fix Our Ferals (PFOF) to offer monthly TNR clinics just for this special animal population. PFOF provides the volunteers and humane trapping mojo (homeless cats are smart but the PFOF pros are smarter!) and HSSV provides the medical staff and clinic space. MEOW- a perfect match!

As a result of our first clinic this past Sunday, 31 undercats are now safely back in their environment after being spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated. 31 undercats who can be fed and looked after by a volunteer caregiver. 31 more undercats who are not contributing to the homeless feline population by producing unwanted litters of kittens.
What better way to wrap-up Adopt-A-Cat Month!

This is Sandi. She was an undercat back in the day. Shy, but not so unsocialized to humans that she couldn’t be rehomed. Because of HSSV’s TNR program, Sandi’s now living indoors with a family who loves her. And because of the HSSV-PFOF partnership, the other Sandis out there will have their chance at a healthy life as well.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The world's cutest foster puppy and the reluctant husband

By Stephanie Ladeira, Vice President of Development and Foster Puppy Enthusiast

I am an enthusiastic foster parent for Humane Society Silicon Valley, with an unenthusiastic foster-husband. When HSSV’s Regional Rescue Team approached me to foster a puppy, it was because all other seasoned foster puppy parents have current pups, or because the team is dealing with the hairy (pun intended) task of juggling foster parent vacation schedules. This is always the case in the summertime!

I’m a great foster parent (or so I think). I have 3 dogs and a cat…a bossy female terrier that makes the puppies earn playtime, a 16 year old big dog that will let puppies do anything to him and a boisterous 3 year old dog on springs. My cat is unflappable and is a super practice cat for puppies who have never seen cats before.

When Casaundra from the Regional Rescue Team stopped by my office this past week, she looked a little frazzled. “There’s a little 6 week old puppy with a soft fontanelle, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fontanelle that needs a place to stay until he’s old enough to be neutered. Can you take him? I’ve been trying to find him a place for about a week now and the shelter he’s at can’t keep him any more –he’s just too small and needs more time than they can commit. They just called me and said I’d need to pick him up today. He’s red – your favorite!”

Um, sure. Did I call Paul (the reluctant husband) to ask if he’d mind if I brought home a little one? Nope. He always adjusts and besides, why give him the opportunity to say no?

My first post that night on Facebook? “Tonka’s the name and screaming’s the game!” (We were starting our crate training!) Little, fluffy, brown (not red!), sassy, silly, soft, googly-eyed Tonka. We’re on day 7 with the little guy and he’s fitting in just right. Crate-trained, potty-paper trained, knows his name. What a smart little guy. Watch his video! He just loves his kong!

I’ll be darned if I can feel that soft fontanelle. I think Casaundra just tells me stuff like that to get me to say "yes" – and my god, I just love fostering.