Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The HSSV Dogs Practice Their Adopt Me Faces For Maddie's Pet Adoption Days.

Hey guys - we need your attention. 

This is either a reminder or a huge announcement depending on whether you've been paying attention....Luci, Desi, can you please get up for a second? This is important.

We're napping. We're napping very, very hard. 
And Peanut, Max, can you please stop talking for a second and listen?

This better be important. Max was just telling me who peed on that bush.
Thank you. As you may have heard, this weekend is Maddie's Pet Adoption Days. What that means is all adoptions are free. 

Whaaaat? We're up now! We're really up.
We knew that would wake you up. This would be a very, very good time to practice your 'Adopt Me' faces as most of you will be going to your forever homes this weekend. 

Right, Adopt Me face. Like this?
Nicely done, Lucy. Very good. While you guys practice your Adopt Me face, there are three things dog adopters will need to bring home their new pooch this weekend. 

What about working the plaintive angle. Can I try that?
Peanut, I'm going to say let's avoid the sad beagle eyes. Can you try again? And get your brother in the picture?

You're probably right. Does this work? We're channelling our inner 'Adopt Us'.
That's perfect. The first thing adopters need to know is that we need to have the whole family there. Everyone who lives in the house has to come in to meet the new family member. But Mogo's BBQ Truck will be there, as will Miss Silicon Valley, so it'll be a good time for all.

I'm going to try the 'this is how I would look getting a belly rub in your home' look.
Buddy, I really like the contented, look. I think that's good, taking the 'Adopt Me' Face in a different direction. The second thing adopters need to know is to bring a driver's license or photo ID to bring your new friend home. We need to know who you are before we send someone else home with you.

Ermaghawd! Free adoptions! Going home! Adopt Me face! Like this?
Karma, I appreciate your enthusiasm but you look a little crazy. Can you tone it down just a wee bit?

See? That's way better. People can see what a happy girl you are without it looking like you just had a triple espresso. The third thing people need to bring is the resident pooch. We want to make sure everyone gets along, so if your new arrival will have canine siblings, bring 'em on it. We have dog cookies and water and we'll pretend not to notice if you let them have a bite of your Mogos. 

Should we fancy up a bit for this? So they notice us?
Luna, that's a new harness. Looking SNAPPY! Did you get that just for this weekend? And Phoebe, we appreciate the smile. No way you guys won't find your forever home this weekend. 

Potential adopters should NOT bring resident cats. Cats and dogs do better with a slooooooow intro at home. Trust us on this. And cats are notoriously poor travelers. All the Mogos in the world will not make them happy about a field trip. 

I call this my Pac Man Smile.
Faye, that's adorable. Nice smile. Thank you guys for putting in such great effort. Hopefully come Monday you'll all be in your forever homes. 

Don't make them have practiced in vain - if you've been thinking about getting a pet, this is your weekend. Our rabbits and cats are also practicing their Adopt Me faces as ALL adoption fees are waived at all three of our locations. All the deets are here.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Free Adoptions May 31st-June 1st at HSSV!

Saturday, May 31st & Sunday, June 1st

Humane Society Silicon Valley will be participating in Maddie's Pet Adoption Days for the second year in a row!

Yes.  We could not be more serious.
What does Maddie's mean?  Well, for us it means a chance to empty our shelter and find homes for every single animal currently in our care at all three of our locations.  Not only that, we receive a generous grant from Maddie's Fund for every adoption we do in those two days -- a donation we can put toward helping future homeless pets.  And for you as an adopter, Maddie's means finding a new family member to love, adoption fee-free.

Last year, HSSV found homes for over 220 of our shelter animals in just two days.  This year, our goal is even bigger.  That's where you come in!  Help us get the word out about Maddie's Pet Adoption Days, and think of us next weekend if you are looking to expand your furry family!  Is HSSV too far of a drive?  Check out the other Bay Area shelters and rescues participating in Maddie's too!

Things to bring with you during Maddie's weekend:

1.  The whole fam-bam!  Every human in the household must come to meet the animal before you take him or her home.  We want to make sure everyone gets along all fine and dandy before making it official!

2.  If you're looking for a canine buddy, bring your resident canine too!  We will happily help introduce your current dog to his or her new doggie friend before adoption, just to make sure all is copacetic.  If you are looking for a feline friend, please refrain from bringing in your current dog or cat.  Trust us, that introduction would not go well.  Cat intros are best done at home.

3.  Landlord approval.  This can be in the form of a lease agreement or simply a letter from your landlord stating animals are a-okay in your residence.

4.  Your driver's license, or other form of ID -- to make your new furry friend officially yours!

See you this weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

How To Have A Happy Adoption: Five Things To Remember After You Bring Your New Pooch Home.

We understand that getting a new dog is the most exciting thing ever. How can it not be? You've fallen in love, you popped the question and your new dog accepted, the shelter did the ceremony and now you're home and ready for your happily ever after. Right?

Right! But while it is the best decision you've made in a long, long time there's always an adjustment period and some bumps on the road. We've made five easy posters to help talk you through the first few weeks.

1) 'He was great at the shelter but now he's frightened of me!' 

The Real Deal: Two weeks ago I was on the street/ at my old house/ tied to a tree/ lovingly encased on my old owners lap. Then I was found/the house was sold/I was rescued/my owner passed and I was brought to the shelter. Now I'm here. As you can imagine, I have absolutely no idea what's going on. I'm not scared of you, I'm just trying to figure out this latest shift in circumstances and locale and maybe I've hunkered down under the sofa while I make sense of everything. The bad news? No one speaks enough dog to fill me in on the chain of events. The good news? I still think you're awesome. Give me a few days, hang out and watch TV, ignore me or pass me some hot dogs and I'll be just fine.

2) "She ate the legs off my sofa and peed in my slipper!"

The Skinny: I'm a baby. Bowel control, bladder control - these muscles are still gearing up so physically I'm not capable of holding it for long. Additionally I've got teeth falling out and teeth growing in and my mouth is just a big old itchy, ouchy mess right now and the only thing that makes it feel better is gnawing on something. I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm not a bad puppy, I'm just a baby. When we met and our eyes locked and the magic happened the counselors told you a bit about this but we were both so starstruck it might not have sunk in. The good news is I'll outgrow this and we'll figure  things out together. The bad news? I wouldn't invest in really nice slippers for a bit. But please, be reasonable. You wouldn't expect a six year old child to get a PhD so don't expect me to be able to get the bathroom stuff down and figure out house rules before I'm five months old. I am developing.

3) "He's chasing the cat!"

The Low-Down: Even if I've seen cats before, I haven't seen THAT cat. And maybe that cat hasn't seen a dog. Us dogs, we tend to take cats on a cat-by-cat basis. At the very least, I'm going to want to do a cat inspection before I make up my mind and believe me, your cat is not up for that happen two minutes after I walked in the door. Plus I'm totally amped up from everything being so completely totally brand new that I probably forgot my cat manners. The good news? We're going to get over this but it's not going to happen overnight. The Adoption Counselor gave you some good advice about doing a slow intro with the two of us. That advice? REALLY good advice. If you forgot it you can always call them. Plenty of dogs and cats are good pals and live together just fine. We probably will, too, but please be reasonable and don't expect me to be totally blasé about it off the bat. And your cat having his noise out of joint about this? Totally normal and he'll get over it, too.

4) "She purposely defiled my beloved gladiolas/shed on the sofa/touched the one thing I didn't want her to!"

The Scoop: What's a gladiola? And how come I can sit on that thing but not on this thing? I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm just super confused right now. Maybe in my old life no one paid attention to where I peed or I always slept on the sofa. There's a new lay of the land here and I'm trying to get my mind around it. I'm not trying to get you peeved or make a statement about your landscaping/decorating choices. I just needed to use the Little Doggies Room or take a nap and I honestly didn't know. While I figure this out maybe we should block off those gladiolas and put something on the sofa so I get used to  the idea that there are no-go zones. It's nothing personal, I swear. When you're not happy, I'm probably not going to be happy so it behooves me to learn the rules.

5) "He's been bouncing off the walls since I brought him home!"

The Intel: Ermaghawd is that a yard! I haven't had open access to a yard in weeks! I mean, I went out for walks with volunteers a lot but open access! Holy wowzers! Oh wow, the kitchen! Look, the floor is slippery - I can sliiiiiiiide! And there's the living room! And here's the kitchen again! It's all so new and exciting! Because I'm really, really excited and still burning off some pent up energy and maybe a bit stressed I can't slow down! There was a lot of downtime at the shelter and so I've got a lot to burn off. Plus I don't know the schedule here yet so until I know exercise is something that comes regularly I'm going to binge on it. You know what would be great for helping me calm down a bit? Wearing me out. It's not going to be like this every single day of my life but until I get settled in, scheduling me for a good hard hour of fetch might be a good idea. Remember all those hiking trails you wanted to hit? This would be a fantastic time to start knocking them out. Once the excitement wears off I'll be calmer but I might be a little over-exuberant while we work this out.

To Sum Up: The overriding theme here is patience, realistic expectations and adjustment time. Keep in mind the first few weeks are always difficult. Be prepared to offer some guidance and laugh some things off. Keep in mind, too, if you adopt from us you're always welcome to call our adoption department for some advice. Everything will be fine, trust us. Just take a deep breath and play with your new pooch.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Barnaby the One-Eyed WonderCat Schools Us on FIV

Why, hello there!  The name's Barnaby.

You seem to have caught me during a grooming session, so please pardon the hairy tongue.  I'm sure you must be wondering about my eye -- it does seem to be a topic of conversation around here.  I had an untreatable ocular condition and was in a lot of pain, so the nice shelter vets worked their magic and now I feel better than ever!  But believe it or not, my missing eye is not the most unique thing about me.  I am a cat with FIV.  What's FIV you ask?  Well, let me explain.

FIV is an immune deficiency commonly found in street cats, mainly spread through scratching, biting and even grooming (and don't worry, potential adopters -- it only affects cats, not humans).  Some people compare it to HIV in humans because it affects a cat's immune system much like HIV in humans.  FIV positive cats like me can't fight off infections like normal cats can.  But I don't let that get me down!


I can still play, 








and cuddle like any normal kitty!  I just need to stay inside and be the only cat in your home, to help prevent the possibility of infecting other cats and minimize the likelihood of me catching something.  That's not too much to ask, is it?

I'm really good at being adorable and loving.  I'm great around kids and adults alike.  I lean into you for petting and purr like a total maniac.  So come on!  How many more reasons could you possibly need to take me home?

Love, Barnaby

Click here for more information on FIV, and check out Barnaby's profile here.  He is available for adoption today at HSSV!

Interested in seeing our kitties in action, or just bored at work?  Our YouTube channel has a TON of adorable cat videos to keep you occupied!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hard Truths: The Dogs Of HSSV Face Some Important Facts

For this week's dog blog we sat down with some of our adoptables for a serious chat. Before they go to new homes, we feel it's important that they face some serious facts about themselves. 

 Luna how are you doing? 

Good. Is this like a super serious talk or can I have a cookie?
 Look, it's about your eye. It's missing. You only have one eye. 

Oh. Oh my. That is serious. 
We're sorry. We know that's a tough thing. But other dogs have two eyes. 

Interesting. I'm over it. Can we have cookies now? 

Mellie, this is kind of a tough one. We know how dogs aren't great with mirrors and all but we thought you should know....

You sound so stern. I feel like this is going to be good...

You're not a poodle. Your foster brother and sister? They're poodles. You're not. You're a chihuahua.

WHAT? I thought we were the same and they just had perms.

Nala, we really need to have a talk. It's good to have a dream, a goal to work towards.

Do I have to stop chewing while we talk? 
But you're a dog. You're not allowed to compete in Free Diving competitions.  It's not going to happen.

Doesn't matter. Still going to practice. 
Misha, you look so much better than you did before...

Uh oh.
But you're still sort of skinny and bald. 

Don't care, hair will grow back, life is so much better now. Going for a hike. 

You know who are great models for self-acceptance? Dogs. You know who has great dogs? We do. Regardless of how you feel about yourself, we have an awesome dog who will love you just the way you are. Phoebe & Luna, Nala and Misha are all looking for new homes. Mellie is still settling in a bit but she'll be available soon as well.

Meet them and find unconditional love here

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee - Meet The Contenders.

They're small. They're a little rough around the edges. They might not be looking their best right now but don't be fooled, these two are tough as nails and gentle as bunnies. No, they're not going to fight each other - they're not going to fight at all, in a literal sense. But you can't deny these two are fighters on par with Mohammed Ali and George Foreman. If you respect tenacity, strength and a never-say-die attitude, these two featherweights are ones to watch.

You remember that 'Survivor' song? Let's sing it. Together. 
(UPDATE: Maxi is ADOPTED! Read his story anyway but after reading, please do happy-dance with us!)

Wearing the reddish coat with the crooked smile:

Maximouse, weighing in at a whopping seven pounds. Like most fighters, his teeth aren't what they should be. 
Too easy. Want something harder.

Previous bouts: Living in a back yard with some big dogs and a very limited supply of food, Maxi spent his first five years avoiding narrowly avoiding starvation. He came to us emaciated and with damage to his mouth that necessitated the removal of most of his teeth. A double whammy as trying to put on weight with a painful mouth is near impossible. Despite odds being stacked against him, he fought his way through, not only surviving but thriving. In addition to conquering dire physical circumstances, he's had to be introduced to a world he was completely unaware of. He not only wins the match for being in fighting form but also for amazing, lightening fast socialization. There's nothing this boy can't beat.

His favorite things: treats, more treats, his best friends Kara and Jackie, singing, and making ridiculous faces for Jackie's camera.

Secret weapons: You can't stop this boy. In the past few weeks he's mastered some of the agility equipment, the kiddie pool, and nailed his leash walking skills. We're running out of things to teach him.

Reasons to add him to your roster: What CAN'T this dog do? Funny, smart, inspiring and adventurous, he's a shoo-in. If you're looking for a tragic figure, keep lookin' - he's not your dog. He's too busy singing like Sinatra when he sees his favorite people and being a goofball with his friends.

Have you seen my eyes? Look at them. You will give me what I want.

Wearing the...well, actually not wearing much of a coat at all right now:

Misha - weighing in at ....well, not enough but we're working on it. 

Previous bouts: Like Maxi, Misha is a product of backyard living. Diagnosed with skin problems years ago, her owners didn't pursue treatment and as a result Misha has been having a really bad hair day the past few years. The cuisine in the backyard was also not what it should have been so as a result she's been looking a little waifish. When she first came in we weren't sure what could be done for her but since we've had her the answer is simple: everything. This pooch doesn't give up and doesn't let anyone give up on her. Now looking a little chunkier and growing her coat back, she's been hanging out at a doggy day care and making friends with anyone who can spare a lap for a while. Her rough early years haven't deterred her from loving people and making new friends.
If you stop patting, I turn the eyes on you.

Her favorite things: Being on top of you, food, hanging out with you, food, going for walks with you, food, being patted by you, food, just you in general. And did we mention food?

Secret Weapons: In terms of puppy dog eyes, we don't think there's ever been a more deadly mix than Dachshund and Beagle. Be prepared to hand over whatever you're eating. No one can resist that gaze.

Reasons to add her to your roster: You can't resist that combination of super sweet and determination. Like us, you're looking forward to seeing her blossom even more with some love. And have you seen her eyes? If you can say no to those eyes you might not be human.

And in the....hey, Cedric, what are you doing here?

I'm a boxer. 
Cedric is also available for adoption. He's new so we don't know a lot about him yet but he does make into this blog on a technicality. Well played, Cedric. Well played. 

Boxing glove photo courtesy of Dreamstime: ©|

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Working Cats for Hire!

Here at Humane Society Silicon Valley, we believe in giving every animal a second chance.  Whether it be an animal with specific medical needs, an animal that needs special behavioral care, or even an overlooked animal stuck in a neighboring shelter running out of time, it is our goal to give each of them the attention and care they deserve.

In an effort to meet (and exceed!) this goal, we have developed the 

Working Cat Program! 

Every year, a number of cats come through our doors that would not be happy in a traditional home environment because they are anti-social with humans, thus making them not adoptable as pets.  The Working Cat Program gives these unique cats another option in life -- to live outdoors as garden cats.  In exchange for food and shelter, these cats will control the rodent population in a barn, warehouse, garden or nursery setting in an environment they will feel most comfortable in.

At HSSV, we have created a one-of-a-kind Community Cat Garden where these adoptable garden cats can wait out their stay with us chasing bugs, basking in the sun, and keeping their distance from strangers.  This takes the stress out of being confined indoors while they wait to be adopted.

"I'll be waiting here!" -- Jimmyjack
All of our garden cats are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped, and FELV/FIV tested.  If you have a safe, outdoor space and are interested in our Working Cat Program, give us a call at 408-262-2133 ext. 150.  Our staff can prepare you to transition these cats that would otherwise have nowhere else to go.  Help us save more lives -- spread the word about HSSV's working cats!

The Community Cat Garden at HSSV:

The garden is full of bushes and shrubs for cats to hide in, but is also people-friendly 
with benches and chairs to get the kitties used to human company.

Outdoor structures provide stimulation,
closed cat traps stay out to help the cats adjust to their presence.

Transition kennels help new cats safely acclimate to their new home.
Fresh water in bowls all over the garden.
Meals brought out twice a day!

Covered litterboxes as an option for cats to use.

Lots and lots of hidden hidey-holes!

Looking to hire?  Sebastian, Madeline, Sharona, and Jimmyjack are all looking for a full-time gig.  Learn more about our garden cats today!

408-262-2133 ext. 150