Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rats Seeking Retirement

HSSV has 8 rats seeking comfortable retirement homes to spend their golden years. These little ones were part of the large rat rescue from Fall 2010 and have spent the last year in the care of rat rescue and us. Open your heart to an older rat and you'll find a constant companion. Senior rats are often more cuddly, without the extra energy of youth they are content to curl up in your lap. You can meet our golden girls at both Satellite Adoption locations. Take them home for gossip and cheesecake, they will thank you for being a friend!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I am Cherry - The Next Big Thing

I am getting so much practice at the foster lady’s house.  Sometimes it makes me very tired and I have to say “lady pretty please can I have a break?”  But for most of the time, it makes me feel tingly inside, like I’m doing very good things.  

The lady says I made great “pro-gress” this week because I jumped up on the couch for the first time just so I could say hello.  Most of the time, I get very nervous around the big scary couch and the lady being so tall.  But this time I said, “you’re not that scary, you big couch.  I am going to jump on you.”  So I did.

I decided the Next Big Thing I was going to learn was to cuddle with Big Bouncer and Old Emily on the floor.  The lady lives with both of them.

Big Bouncer wants to play with me all the time but I say, "No Big Bouncer.  You are too big and noisy.  Go away."  So instead of playing, the lady brings out treaties, which I love.  I am saying, "Put those treats in my belly, lady!"

My next Next Big Thing to learn is how to get into the cabinet so I could have treaties whenever I wanted.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I am Cherry

And I'm 4.  That makes me a Big Girl now.  

The foster lady asks me what I've been doing with my life before I was 4 years old, but I can't tell her.  It was like one day I was in The Before Time and then I was Here.

Now that I'm Here, there are many things I have to learn about, like toys that make horr-en-dous squeaky noises and outside potty places that take forever to get to.  I have to walk a very long way to get anywhere around Here, and my legs are very short.

But the lady says that I don't have to be good at everything right away.  We're going to take our time.  She says that Big Girls like me get to go at their own speed, and their foster moms are like training wheels for their new home.  I like this idea because it will give me good practice.

The lady says the first thing I need practice in is hands.  When I first came Here, I thought the lady's hands were grabby and fast and maybe they would do secret things when I wasn't looking.  But now I know they are not for grabbing or doing secret things but for rubbing my sweet chin and my ears and chest.  Now I like it when the lady shows me her hands because she goes at my favorite speed, see?

I'll write more next time when I learn a new thing.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Marley and Me

Are you young at heart? Marley loves to make new kitten friends, he goes from a dignified three year old to having the bounce of a three month old. While his little tabby buddy in the video has been adopted, Marley is still waiting for someone to take him home. If you are looking for the grace of an older cat with the energy of a youngster come meet Marley today!

Marley is currently available for adoption at our Sunnyvale Satellite location.

Special thanks to our volunteer who was able to capture the kitty fun on film!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Volunteer Spotlight: Bella

Are you looking for a walking buddy to start off the new year? Our volunteers just had to share why Bella is their favorite on and off leash.
  • She's a loose leash champ, the only time she'll pull is when you aren't moving fast enough to start her walk.
  • While sidewalks are full of fun things to sniff, she's really in her element on the trail. Ears up and tail wagging looking for a good spot to roll around.
  • She's a 60 lb lap dog. Sometimes she gets nervous and needs a good cuddle. One time Bella feel asleep during our session with her head in my lap!
Bella has lots of friends at our Animal Community Center, join them for a walk today and maybe she'll harness your heart too.

For more information on any of our animals, call us at 408-262-2133 x 150 or email at

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Volunteer Spotlight: Sesame

Our volunteers just had to share why Sesame adds spice to their lives....
  • Because she’s a great listener. If you put down a blanket to curl up on, she'll come over to hear about your day or enjoy a chapter or two of light reading.
  • Because she’s self-assured. She will always let you know what she wants. No matter if your legs are asleep, if she’s not done cuddling neither are you.
  • Because she’s a foodie. Sticking her nose up at our natural food selections, she’ll be sure to let you know when her bowl of Friskies needs a refill.
Stop by our Animal Community Center and fall in love with the darling of Apartment 152.

For more information on any of our animals, call us at 408-262-2133 or email at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ode to Foster Care!

Why is this dog being fostered, you ask?
Is she naughty, sick, did she have a rough past?
No, my friend, foster is no scarlet letter!
She came here just fine but she’ll leave foster better
In foster she’ll learn to live in a home
To go potty outside, to enjoy a nice bone
She’ll learn, if she was scared, she should not be afraid
For her foster family has been specially trained
To show her that people can be patient and caring
That with love and affection, they needn’t be sparing
Perhaps she’s learned to live well with cats...
Or children, or bicyclists, or people in hats!
Perhaps she’s learned to be good for the groomer
To sit, stay and down, and maintain her good humor
While sporting pom-poms or a nice lion cut
After all, you’ll recall, she’s no ordinary mutt
She’ll soon be an alum of our great foster program
And we’ll fondly recall how we knew her “back then”
So, when you next spy a doggie in foster care
Don’t shake your head, don’t sigh in despair
Rejoice! For that pup is well on her way
To a permanent home, forever to stay!

Foster Care - Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!)

Question: Why do animals enter the foster program?

Answer: For a variety of reasons. The most common of which are…
  • They are too young to be adopted
  • The Animal Care Center (ACC) is full and we need to use all available resources to house animals They are shy and would benefit from round-the-clock socialization
  • They became stressed at the ACC and would benefit from the routine of a home environment They are recovering from a medical procedure

Question: How long do animals stay in foster care?

Answer: In many cases, the animal is adopted from foster care. In that case, the answer is – as long as it takes! In the event that the animal returns to the ACC to be adopted, there is no set duration of stay in foster care; it depends on a variety of factors, such as…
  • The age and size of the animal when it entered the foster program
  • The capacity at the ACC at a given time to receive incoming foster animals
  • The rate of progress of socialization, if fostered for a behavioral reason
  • The rate of progress of recovery, if fostered for a medical reason

Question: Can I become a foster parent so that I can do a trial adoption?

Answer: At present, we do not offer trial adoptions. The idea behind our foster program is to use foster families, who have received special training from HSSV staff, to help as many animals as possible! This means that foster families sign up for duty with the understanding that their goal is to help us find an adopter for the animal; not necessarily to adopt the animal themselves. For our veteran foster families (with their agreement, of course), we often have their next animal “on-deck” the moment their previous foster is adopted! Of course, if a foster parent falls head over heels in love and wants to adopt their foster animal, we are happy for them and will not intervene!

If a client is nervous about making a hasty adoption decision or not being properly prepared, the best remedy is to meet with an HSSV Adoption Counselor to learn more about the adoption process and the support mechanisms available to them, should they choose to adopt. You can contact an Adoption Counselor at 408.262.2133, ext. 150 or

Question: How do I become a foster parent?

Answer: The fastest way to become a foster parent is to fill out the foster application on our web site. You can also contact a member of our Special Needs team. For cats and kittens, please contact Christina Traughber @ (408) 262-2133 ext. 186; for dogs, please contact Casaundra Cruz @ ext. 183.

Question: How do I adopt a foster animal?

Answer: Great question! Typically, only dogs are available for adoption from foster homes. Cats usually return to the ACC to be adopted; in which case you would follow normal walk-in procedures, listed here. For dogs that are adoptable through our foster program, please follow the steps below:
  • Complete our foster dog adoption questionnaire, using the following link. Call our Canine Foster Coordinator, Casaundra Cruz, at 408.262.2133 ext. 183 to learn more about the dogs in foster care. If Casaundra is not available, you may also speak to Kristin Hoffman @ ext. 184 or Jeri Seiden @ ext. 185.
  • Arrange, with a Foster Coordinator, to introduce all two and four-legged family members to the dog to ensure that everyone gets along. From that point on, normal adoption protocol (see previous link) will apply.
  • We have a weekly adoption showcase featuring our foster dogs every Saturday at the ACC from 12:00 noon until 2:00 PM. Please feel free to stop by!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


By Jamie Morgan, Satellite Adoption Manager

Everyone has a way of dealing with stress. It took me years to stop biting my nails and while manicures are easy now, you will be hard pressed to find a pen that I haven’t chewed at the end. There are thumb suckers, hair twirlers, and teeth grinders among us, all trying to self-sooth. Cats are no different and when the world is not right they also develop habits to deal.

When you first meet Buddy you can’t see evidence of his rituals until he darts past. His sleek black fur is missing in places. Perfect circles of pink skin spot his back legs and belly. Buddy is what we’d call an over-groomer, part allergies and part anxiety; he has taken a normal kitty habit a little too far in order to cope.

How does anyone deal with stress? Routine. The more consistent and planned our days become the less we worry about what’s next. At HSSV, Buddy’s day is scheduled for him - breakfast, petting, lunch, clicker training, nap, play, dinner, sleep, repeat. A steady stream of positive associations with people = food = good and distractions through learning new tricks and play keep his focus away from his bad habits.

If you think about it, most of us are on a routine because of our animals. I wake up and let the dog out before getting my coffee. Buddy needs someone who likes routine but it doesn’t have to be boring. Surprise cuddles are always available, which we will talk about next week as our Buddy series continues towards finding his forever home. So if you are a creature of habit or know someone who’s daily grind could benefit from a furry companion, take a trip down to our Animal Community Center and meet Buddy.

Buddy is a complex kitty; you can get to know better by talking to his friends on our Adoptions team. Call 262-2133 x 150 for more information or email

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

500th Adoption at Sunnyvale!

Macey and her new family celebrating the 500th adoption at our Sunnyvale Satellite Center since it's opening in November 2010. Will you make 501?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HSSV Guests and their Favorite Things! (Part 2)

Hi! My name is Simba and my favorite thing is pretending to be King of the Jungle (I'm a Lion Head Dwarf Rabbit). I like to stand on my hind legs and pretend to roar! I also enjoy grooming my beautiful mane, and being petted!

Hi! My name is Lacy and my favorite things are longs walks (on the beach or...well, anywhere), showing off my favorite toys, snuggling with my favorite people, and generally being the center of attention! Check out my pet of the week video!

Hi! My name is Cocoa and my favorite things are chatting with my human friends, receiving pats and chin scratches, sitting in laps, and prancing around until the light catches my beautiful coat!

Hi! My name is Rocket and my favorite things are working out (I'm very fit, you know!), playing fetch, swimming, and working on my basic commands with the help of my friends. I'm really good at sit and down! I like to show off!

Hi! My name is Lotus and my favorite things are basking in the sun on my window perch, greeting my friends by rubbing against their ankles and soliciting pats, and chasing after feather wand toys.

Hi! My name is Hilo and my favorite things are sitting in a lap while being groomed (have you seen my beautiful mane?), playing with squeaky toys, showing off my superb leash manners, modeling for photo sessions, and...did I mention sitting in laps?

Hi! My name is Groucho and my favorite things are grooming my adorable mustache, holding down laps (we're done snuggling when I say so!), and curling up on the couch to enjoy an old timey movie. I bet you can guess my favorite movie star...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Princess: Happily Ever After (Part Four of Four)

By Jamie Morgan, Satellite Adoption Manager

It was a busy morning at our Sunnyvale Satellite when in the middle of a kitten adoption the phone rang. On the line was a woman who had seen Princess online and wanted to know more about her. It just so happened one of Princess’ main advocates, volunteer Laurie, was paying a visit and gladly gave the caller details. Laurie had spent time with Princess at all three of our locations and relayed Princess’s likes and dislikes; food and being picked up respectfully.

Later that afternoon we met Leigh and her sister and our interested caller immediately fell in love. But even when it’s love at first sight, you still want to make sure your own relationship checklist is fulfilled before moving in together. On Leigh’s list was a cat that could be alone during her 12-hour work shifts. Princess easily crossed that off, as she’s a lady who knows how to keep herself busy. As for Princess’s boundary issues, Leigh had lots of experience with cats that only prefer a little bit of petting.

Next came the sensitive subject of weight loss, a must for this three-legged kitty who purrs when she eats. Since arriving at Sunnyvale for the second time around only 3 days earlier, we had placed Princess on a food motivated behavior plan. To build up positive feelings towards people entering her room we were using her daily dry food portion as “treats”. Anytime someone came into see her, she got a treat. By the second day she was up at the front of her room anytime we walked by, waiting for her snacks. This process is easily adapted to a home setting allowing Leigh to gain trust through the power of kibble. With everything out in the open, it was time to send Princess off to her new home.

It’s been a little over a week since her adoption and with each update things have gone from good to great. With no other animals around, Princess has plenty of “me time” and can focus all her attention on her new Mom. Leigh was a little surprised at first to realize how many fans her new addition has but since adopting it all makes sense. Princess’s story has a happy ending now that she has a forever person.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Guinea Pear

Who knew guinea pigs could get that big?!
Butterscotch was brought to HSSV already pregnant and placed into foster to wait out her 60-70 day gestation period. While she's due any day now we are expecting another litter of piglets tomorrow at Saratoga, keep an eye on our website for baby Abyssinians.

Here's a sneak peak at the upcoming cuteness, meet Ash!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

HSSV Guests and their Favorite Things! (Part 1)

Hi! My name is MILTON and my favorite things are...receiving belly rubs, playing tug, curling up next to you for snuggle-time, playing fetch, hanging out with kids, and ummmmm…did I mention that I enjoy belly rubs?

Hi! My name is CHEEKS and my favorite things are...having my cheeks rubbed (go figure!), lounging on my cat tree, chasing my toy mouse, purring nonstop, and eating wet food. Mmmmm…I’m hungry.

Hi! My name is SHARPIE and my favorite things are...making cute faces, receiving pats and bum scratches, and going out for walks. Some say I’m too mellow for my own good, but I’ll really perk up for a good walk!

Hi! My name is CHENEY-MAE and my favorite things are...lounging in laps, spending time with my feline buddies, chasing feather wands, and settling in for a thorough chin scratching session!

Hi! My name is LANCELOT and my favorite things are...playing with (and okay, sometimes teasing) other doggies, chasing toys, snuggling after a play session, and telling tall tales about how I got my “mini ear”.

Hi! My name is BANDIT and my favorite things are...curling up into a tiny ball and wedging myself into hidey-holes, chasing feather wands, climbing my cat tree, and snuggling with my favorite HSSV volunteers.