Thursday, January 29, 2015


The New Year's Resolution 

Yup, it's 2015. We're approaching the end of the first month of the new year 
and our cats have something to say...

We don't give a flying Friskies if you keep your New Year's resolutions.

And why don't we care?
Let's break it down:
1. We love ourselves. Self love baby. We'll teach you how to love your curves.

2. We already can do insane yoga  moves. We say "No-maste" to your fancy pantsy yoga guru masta!

3. New haircut, why change an already fabulous do? Just be you! We do admit to look your best you should dedicate at least a couple...hours or more to grooming.

4.  You've told yourself "This is the year I find my Frodo, my other half, the pb to my jelly". Darling, look no further than the mirror. We cats know being independent draws folks like moths to a flame. I mean all I do is sit here and everybody wants me. I.AM.A.FIREWORK.

5. Eating healthy, going on a diet? What is life without a little flavor? We know you aren't gonna be nom-noming on that kale in 2 months why pretend? Let's take a moment to savor what we love and find perfect balance.

So take a moment, breath in the same old new you and realize,
the only thing you really need to do, that's new, is adopt me.
I'll be chilling here, don't care if you come by...or whatever. Meow.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Early Spring Fever Completely Derails This Week's Dog Blog.

As of late, the dog blog has been a bit serious. Don't get us wrong, our goal in the blog is to be useful and let you know that TigerLily needs a foster home, we have amazing pets and we will never show you  social media that makes you hate humanity. This is a functional blog. Purpose, people. Purpose. 

That said, the weather lately has been making everyone here a little....



You could even say.....

I swear I'm laughing at the puppy, not you.

Or even straight up, bouncing off the walls, airborne....

Where's the ball? Where did my back legs go?

Something about a burst of early spring weather reminds us all of the absolute coolest thing about our dogs....

Why did the chicken cross the road?

How much fun they are.

Because I pooped in your shoe. 

Why do we love dogs? Because they remind us how to laugh....

Why did the other chicken cross the road? 

At them and at ourselves.

No clue but I'd check your shoe!!

How to play outside...

Ball: found. Legs: still MIA. Ground: coming up quickly. Oops.
And how much fun it is to be absolutely....



If you need a little more impertinent, loopy, crazypants, fun, playing outside, ridiculousness in your life (and really, who doesn't) we suggest you come down and see us. Immediately.

What did that puppy do in  your shoe??? Oh. Oh no..

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Guest Post: The World Famous Bilingual Dr. Avocado Explains FIV.

The world famous blog-kitty Gato Avocado and his creator, artist and bilingual cat writer Glorimar Anibarro wanted to lend a paw to our recent transport of FIV+ positive kittehs by clearing up some myths about the disease in English and Spanish. For more of the beautiful, brilliant, bilingual world of Gato, check out his website and follow them on Facebook.

Dr. Avocado, can you talk about FIV+ cats and how they can live normal lives? There are so many of them hanging in shelters waiting for homes and a lot of misconceptions about the disease.
Thanks, F. Dowling
Let me start with the basics: an FIV (or feline immunodeficiency virus) diagnosis is NOT a death sentence. The virus could be in the cat’s body but never really manifest any symptoms until very late in life. Is all about prevention and observation.
How does it work?
The virus has 3 different stages:
• Phase 1: Virus enters the body. Symptoms like fever and some inflammation of the lymph nodes can occur, but so mild that can pass undetected. Usually they clear up after 2 weeks.
• Phase 2: The virus enters a dormant state. This can last for years. Cat lives a happy and healthy life.
• Phase 3: Symptoms start to appear. Immunological system gets compromised leaving kitty exposed to any kind of infection. Symptoms include fever, anemia, weight loss, diarrhea, matted coat, discharge from eyes or nose, dental disease, frequent urination and behavior changes.
How do I know?There’s a blood test for that. But getting the diagnosis is sometimes difficult ’cause the virus’ symptoms are similar to other feline conditions. False negatives are common. Be persistent. Observe and take notes of any changes in your cat and let the veterinary know.
Contracting the virusUnneutered male cats are at greater risks. Territorial wars and lover’s quarrels lead to fights that lead to bites; deep wounds bring in the virus. Infected momma cats can transfer the virus to their kittens in the womb.
So those are the negative aspects. Now for some positive reinforcement!
What happens to an FIV+ kitten?The kitten can get infected in the womb and once born can show a “positive” diagnosis. In most cases though, these antibodies were transferred from momma cat and will leave the body when kitty turns 6 months old. No diagnosis is final before that date. A “negative” test after that confirms that kitty is not infected (tears of joy may appear).
Can a FIV+ cat have a happy life?There is no cure, but with some minor adjustments on your part, both can enjoy a long partnership. Amongst the most important are:
• Spay or neuter the cat
• Keep kitty indoors
• Constant vigilance! (Like Mad Eye Moody suggests) Your cat should visit the vet at least twice a year for checkups and every time you notice any changes in behavior.
• If you have other cats at home: There should not be any problems UNLESS some of the felines enjoy the old “aggressive playing”. Fights should not be permitted. If they can’t live in harmony, try to keep them separated or have supervised visits.
• Sharing is ok: Using the same bowl and litterbox hasn’t been a problem. Also, licking each other is still accepted as a no-transmission maneuver.
• A balanced diet is important. Avoid all that “raw” yumminess since it can bring some unwelcomed bacteria to the mix.
There you have it. Adopting an FIV+ kitten is not that much different than adopting a totally healthy one. As you would with any of them, value every day and every special moment. That friendship lasts forever.

¿Qué hace el virus?

En Español

Dr. Avocado ¿puedes explicar un poco sobre cómo gatos infectados con el virus de inmunodeficiencia felina (FIV en inglés) pueden tener una vida plena? Hay tantos esperando por hogares en los refugios debido a todas las dudas acerca de la enfermedad.  Gracias, F. Dowling

Voy a comenzar con lo básico: Un diagnóstico positivo para el virus NO es una sentencia de muerte. El virus puede vivir en el cuerpo de tu gato durante años sin manifestar síntomas hasta tarde en su vida. Lo importante es observar los cambios para prevenirlos.

El virus tiene 3 etapas:

• Etapa 1: El virus entra al cuerpo. Durante dos semanas el gato puede sufrir síntomas como fiebre e inflamación de los ganglios limfáticos, pero son tan leves que pasan desapercibidos.
• Etapa 2: El virus entra en su fase durmiente sin presentar síntomas. El minino disfruta de una vida saludable.
• Etapa 3: Los síntomas hacen su aparición. El sistema inmunológico va fallando dejando al gato expuesto a cualquier tipo de infección. Entre los síntomas se incluyen fiebre, anemia, pérdida de apetito y peso, diarrea, pelo sin brillo, infecciones respiratorias, problemas al orinar y cambios de comportamiento.
¿Cómo se si mi gato tiene el virus?Un examen de sangre específico ayuda. El problema es que los síntomas del virus se asemejan a otras condiciones felinas. Esto causa que la prueba salga positiva cuando no lo es. Por esto te digo que observar a tu gato es importante. Cualquier cambio, por mínimo que sea ayudará al veterinario a lograr el diagnóstico correcto.
Infectarse con el virusLos gatos machos que no se han esterilizado corren el mayor riesgo. Como nos encanta conquistar territorios y damicelas, nos vamos a las peleas. Estas incluyen mordidas que transmiten al virus de cuerpo a cuerpo. También existen casos de mamá gatas infectadas que pasan el virus a sus gatitos en el útero.
 Pero estos son los aspectos negativos. ¡Vamos para los refuerzos positivos!
* Primero que nada: EL VIRUS DEL FIV SE TRANSMITE DE GATO A GATO, NO DE GATO A HUMANOS. ¿Estamos tranquilos? Bien…
¿Qué le sucede a un gatito infectado?El gatito se puede infectar en el vientre y una vez nace dar un diagnóstico positivo al virus. Pero lo que ha sucedido es que su mamá le ha transmitido los anticuerpos en el embarazo y éstos suelen abandonar al gatito luego de sus 6 meses. De modo que ningún diagnóstico será contundente hasta esa fecha. La gran mayoría resultan negativos al virus (dale, deja salir esa lágrima de felicidad).
¿Los gatos positivos al FIV pueden vivir felices?No hay cura para el virus, pero con algunos ajustes de tu parte ambos pueden disfrutar de su compañía por años. Entre los cambios más importantes tenemos:

• Esterilizar al gato
• Mantener al gato dentro de casa
• ¡Vigilancia constante! (Como nos dice Mad Eye Moody) El gato tiene que visitar al veterinario un mínimo de dos veces al año además de cada vez que notes algún cambio en su comportamiento.
• Si tienes más de un minino en casa: No debes tener problemas a menos que alguno de ellos disfrute de jugar con fuerza bruta, o sea, pelear. Estas no pueden ser permitidas. El gato sano puede infectarse. Si no pueden vivir en armonía, deben mantenerse separados o tener visitas supervisadas.
• Compartir es bueno: Usar el mismo plato y arenero no presenta problemas. Los baños de lengua también son aceptados.
•  Una dieta balanceada es importante. No incluye la dieta de comida “cruda” pues esta puede añadir bacterias a la mezcla que causan problemas.
Y ahí lo tienes. Adoptar un gato con FIV no es tan diferente a adoptar uno sano. Como harías con cualquiera de ellos, vive cada día y disfruta cada momento. Esa amistad durará para toda la vida.
Got a question for Dr. Avocado? Send him an email!¿Tienes una pregunta para el Dr. Avocado? Escríbele a su
*ATTENTION: I am not a veterinarian. I am a proud member of the Felis Silvestris Catus family, (translates to “domestic cat” –  an inside joke in the cat community) that kindly shares his knowledge of our species to you. I can’t provide specific treatments for your feline friend. Please refer to your veterinarian. Meow!   /   *ATENCION: No soy veterinario. Soy un orgulloso miembro de la familia Felis Silvestris Catus (que se traduce en “gato domesticado” – chiste interno entre la comunidad gatuna), que con amor comparte su conocimiento de la especie con ustedes. No puedo proveer detalles específicos para tratar a tu amigo felino. Por favor, llévalo al veterinario. ¡Miau!
FIV Boys Rocky & Desmond wait for a home in the Sunshine room.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tiger Lily Is Just Like Adele. Except She Really Needs A Foster Home And Hasn't Won A Grammy (Yet).

This is Adele. She's a very, very famous singer with a huge voice who's won a million awards. 

No, we're not adopting out Adele. Keep reading. 
This is Tiger Lily. She's a dog, not a famous singer. Like Adele, she has a set of pipes on her. 

Why hello there. Keep reading, please. 
Tiger Lily is a basset hound mix. She's short, has ridiculous ears and (like most hounds) can make some noise.  This isn't her being naughty, it's just what the breed was bred to do. Arrrrroooooo.

So like Adele: 

No, we're STILL not adopting Adele. Don't be impatient. Keep reading. 
It's a natural talent. But here's the problem: Adele is not in a shelter. Tiger Lily is. When Tiger Lily first got here we didn't hear much from her. The occasional aarrrrooooooooo every now and again. But now that she's been here for FIVE MONTHS, we're hearing a lot more from her. Arrroooooooo. Arrooooooo. Arrrooooooo.

The ears! Heaven help us, we love the ears...
Why? Because Tiger Lily doesn't like it here. She's bored and frustrated and stressed out. While we are, paws down, the best shelter in the universe, a shelter is not a home. Being here wears on dogs after a while. 

Which is why we're looking for a very special foster home (or adoptive home!) for Tiger Lily. 

Look, we tried the turkey drumstick hat: 

You really need to come get me. I can't bear another holiday with these people. 
Nothing. So now we're appealing to the blog-o-sphere: Help us find Tiger Lily a foster home. Why should someone want to foster (or adopt) Tiger Lily?

All grace. All abandon. All low-rider. 
Because she's a happy, fun girl who loves to run and play. 

Because she really, really, really wants to meet your dog and promises to tire your pooch out. Seriously tire your dog out. What's better than exhausted, happy dogs at the end of the day?

Insert your children here. 
Because your kids? She'll love 'em. She likes kids. Particularly if they're willing to throw the ball for her. 

Regarding your cat, though.....

To quote an expert..
She's very, very interested in cats. We're not sure if it's for nefarious purposes or she just wants to be friends.* 

Either way, this is a wonderful dog with a lot to offer. She could really use a hand (and a bunk) until she can find her forever home. If you're hound-experienced or just patient with a little arrrrrooooooooo-ing every now and again, we'd be beside ourselves if you would fill this out

If you're not able to help, spread the word. Nab that guy you always see walking his beagle and ask him to fill this out. Or your friend who's home with the kids. Or anyone who seems like a good fit. We'd love to talk to them.

We thank you. Tiger Lily thanks you. And while we don't know Adele and if she's a dog person or not, she might thank you, too. Maybe. Sort of. Kind of. 


*While we do a full behavior evaluation on all our pooches, we don't do a cat test. They're not particularly accurate (or safe) in a shelter environment. Introducing dogs to cats (even dogs that have lived with cats in the past) to new cats should always be a slow process. If you stick a cat in front of most dogs, even ones that are great with them, they're probably going to try to get to it. 

Generic child photo courtesy of ©Nyul|Dreamstime.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Forget Resolutions: Our (Belated) List of New Year Promises....

If 2015 was a car it'd look a lot like the 2014 model but with a better radio and some snazzy new GPS. Maybe a better paint color. If you've noticed that this year is feeling an awful lot like last, fear not: we ALWAYS have awesome new pooches for you. As everyone knows, dogs are way cooler than new radios and come in better colors. To help get you psyched for the year ahead we're going to make three promises to you. Unlike resolutions (which can be forgotten before the tag even comes off that new workout gear) promises generally require accountability. And by accountability we mean 'we're typing it in a blog entry that maybe 700 or 800 folks will read and we can delete at any time'.

Promise #1) Social Media That Doesn't Make You Want To Kill Yourself.

We're havin' a party over here. Come join us...

We know why you're here. You love animals and want to help. You took the brave step of opening a shelter page and bloop! found yourself on our blog. We think you're awesome. We promise to not show you pictures that will make you hate humanity, ruin your day and regret coming here. Our pets tend to be good, normal kids who are just in a state of transition usually due to changes in their owner's lives. You're going to love them as much as we love you for joining us here.

Bonjour! My name is Christophe and I will be your host....

#2) Perspective When Bad Things Do Happen.

You people really need to stop with the sad-face thing.

Sometimes we do get pooches, like our beloved Princess Sweet Potato, that come in lookin' a little rough. It happens. When we do, we promise to handle their stories the same way we handle the animals themselves: with hope, happiness, love and laughter. No one's denying that bad things happen. They do. Not as frequently as folks sometimes think but they do happen. But we love and respect Sweetness Potato-pants and Valentine and all of our other pets enough to treat them as individuals, not as a walking symbol of man's inhumanity to animals. Let's hear it for fresh starts and good endings. No one, person or dog, should be defined by what was done to them. Let's define them by who they are and the awesome things they achieve after.  Let's have the stories focus on the best part, like the bit where Leah goes home with her new family.

So long and thanks for all the cheese!

#3) All Cool Dogs, All The Time.

I'm so cool I get mad air. I'm the Shawn White of mutts.
We have the best dogs. We know you love dogs of the 'really awesome' and 'needing homes' variety. We promise to provide you with a never ending stream of amazing adoptables. So amazing, in fact, that you feel a need to come in and meet them for yourself. Where'd you put your car keys? Why don't you go grab those...

Have you grabbed your car keys yet? Why not? 
Thank you for making 2014 as fantastic as it was for Humane Society Silicon Valley and our animals. We look forward to more laughs, more fun, more great pets and great new homes in 2015.

Have you found those keys yet? 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Daily Sweet Potato: Because Everyone Deserves A Little Happy.

You have to trust us that nothing bad is going to happen. We're not going to make you sad or gross you out or anything. No Sarah McLaughlin 'Let Us Ruin Your Day' ads, okay? Now that we have that out of the way, without prejudice meet the darling of HSSV:

 This is Sweet Potato.

Sweet Potato is a six month old pibble mix who loves toys, other dogs, sitting on laps and listening to music (she's particularly fond of Otis Redding). When she's relaxed, happy or asleep the little nubbin of her tongue slips out of her mouth. She snores. And oh, by the way, the least interesting thing about her? 

She's having the worst hair day ever. 

I'm sort of rocking the 'scabby' look right now. 
 Sweet Potato has demodectic mange. Don't get all itchy yet - it's not contagious. And we're not asking you to adopt her. She's not really ready to be adopted yet as she's still lookin' a bit lizard-ish and in a foster home getting care and growing her hair back.

This is what my hair will look like. Now stop looking at my butt. 
We've actually had this goofy (if somewhat scaly) bag of lovins' for about six weeks. Don't ask how she wound up like that - she came in as a stray so we don't know. Besides, that's not the point. Dwelling on the bad doesn't really do much of anything.

Dwelling on toys, however, is always a good idea. 
If we're not posting this to ask you to adopt her, what's the point? (No, we're not going to ask you for money. Though donations are always awesome). But why post this? What will we ask you do for her? 

We're going to ask you to root for Sweet Potato.

This is my 'Go Team Sweet Spud' dance. 
We already think she's beautiful but we're going to ask you to watch her get MORE beautiful.

Sweet Potato is in a foster home now and her foster mom (who is already a hero*) has ever-so-awesomely agreed to send us Sweet Potato daily. Pics of Sweet Potato with her foster brother...

What? Benjamin is comfortable...
Pics of Sweet Potato with her human friends...

Even pics of Sweet Potato when she comes in for her medical checkups with us.....

Doc, I'll love you more when we're past the thermometer bit...

We're asking you to follow along with her and cheer her on. We'll be posting daily on our Twitter and Instagram feeds and maybe even putting together a Pinterest board for her. She'll even have her own hashtag - #dailysweetpotato.

Why? Because everyone needs a little happy. Because she deserves a cheering squad. Because we're so proud of our foster and medical departments and we love to get a chance to show it off. And because wonderful things happen and we want you to be part of it. And because she's so darn cute.

Insert snoring noise here. 

*All foster parents are heroes but Sweet Potato's foster mom is particularly heroic. Not only has she been fostering with us for a long time, she always takes on the kids who need extra medical or behavioral help. All hail SP's Foster Mom! And the ever-tolerant Benjamin!