Friday, December 14, 2018

A Big Blog Update on Fire Efforts

Our hearts are with the people and animals who have been affected by the fires in Butte County. This disaster was devastating, and though the fires are officially out, hundreds of animals remain in the fire-affected area, homeless and needing care. Temporary shelters have been set up to house these animals, and organizations from all over the country are pitching in to help provide care.

In this week's blog, we want to share with you how we've brought our expertise in shelter medicine to help the animals in the fire areas needing care. Read on for the whole story:

On Monday, December 3rd, we sent over a dozen staff and volunteers to help care for more than 350 animals being housed in these temporary shelters. 

Many of the animals were sick with upper respiratory infections due to the cramped housing and high numbers of animals needing care. 

We provided routine care, vaccinations, and treatments, while also ensuring each animal had toys and other items to help with the boredom of staying in one place for so long.

Our team, trained in standards of care for animals housed in shelters, was tasked with coordinating and managing the care of hundreds of animals. We quickly established strict guidelines and handling instructions to limit the spread of disease, and set the sick animals on a course of treatment to help them get better. 

Our team has been up north for nearly two weeks now to provide support to the organizations on the ground. We'll continue to offer our support as long as we're needed. We've set up a Disaster Relief Fund that will give us the resources to respond quickly to disasters as they occur. Donations to this fund will be used solely to assist animals affected by disasters.

We have so much sympathy for the animals who haven't yet been reunited with their families, those who will need to be cared for until their family can take them home again, and those who may need new homes. And we're so grateful for the many people and organizations who have rallied together in a difficult situation to help these animals, no matter their situation.

Before we wrap up, we need to thank the people who have made our disaster relief efforts possible. Thank you to our staff and volunteers, who spent days caring for animals in Butte County. And a big thank you to the staff and volunteers who stayed behind and made sure our animals were cared for while part of our team was gone. We also want to give a HUGE thanks to those of you who supported our efforts - by donating to the Disaster Relief Fund, donating towels and other necessary items, and constantly being our support system. We couldn't do what we do without you. 

As the situation in Butte County continues to change, we'll keep everyone updated on the support we provide. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Home for the Holidays Album

Oh there's no fun like pets for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far or close you roam
If you want to make them happy in a million ways
For the holidays they can't beat home sweet home

Today's album of cheery holiday songs was put together by some of our favorite animals. In the hopes of finding awesome homes for the holidays, they polished up their song-writing skills and now present this album. (Please note, if the rhymes aren't entirely rhyme-y or the songs don't quite make sense....they're novices. Also, they're animals, and animals are notoriously bad at rhyming - ask anyone.)

All I Want For Christmas

I don't want a lot this season
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about those cat trees
Or other things to distract me

I just want a home of my own
More than you could ever know
Go get me a home
All I want is one of my own

When we think of Mariah Carey's iconic bop, Roxie comes to mind. Like Mariah, she's got a range. She's feisty when needed, sweet when it suits her, and works harder than any pop star-er uh, cat - we know. 

She's also really, really, ridiculously talented. Obviously. Come meet her.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Is my favorite thing of all
Tennis balls everywhere I can see
Please, please throw me that ball
Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Just look at my smile bling
Later we'll snuggle up on the couch

But only after some fetching

Austin basically IS this happy, rock 'n roll beat. He's upbeat, has a great attitude, and is ready to just get this party started. Let's GO people! The holidays are for celebratin'! Come meet him!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the most wonderful time of the year
There'll be much warmth and cuddling

All day we'll be snugglingOur home must be near!
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Much like this song, Paco and Lucky are classics. Their real love of the holidays comes simply from a deep-seated dream of finding their family for the holidays. These peas in a pod are happy-go-lucky little guys who are ready to find their place by the fire - or in your laps. Meet them

The Grinch Song, Revised

You're a sneaky one, Mr.  Butters
You really love to eat
You steal the food you want, and you love your life indoors, Mr. Buuuutters
You're a good cat with a reputation to beat

Unlike the Grinch, Butters isn't a mean one, or a grumpy one, and he doesn't have a particular hatred for the holidays. But he is a sneaky dude - once caught breaking and entering into people's houses to steal their butter, Butters is now pleased as punch to be living his life indoors with food that is always available to him.  His hilarious antics, resting mean face, and outgoing attitude will keep you entertained all through the holidays - come meet him!

We hope you enjoyed this special holiday album put together by these furry folks. Don't forget - all these melodious mammals have adoption fees of only $20 until December 31 for Home for the Holidays. Be sure you don't miss out on these songbirds!

Friday, November 16, 2018

A Week of Fires, and a Big Ask

At a shelter about 170 miles north from us, dozens and dozens of animals were waiting for their forever homes. Some had been waiting for weeks, while some were waiting to finish up treatments for kennel cough or upper respiratory infections before being placed up for adoption. But all were looking forward to a bright future. 

Then, the fires hit.

That shelter up north became a refuge for animals impacted by the fire, including pets of owners who had to evacuate and couldn't take them. But space was filling up fast, so the shelter reached out and asked if we could take those animals that had been waiting for homes before the fires started. 

On Saturday morning, our crew loaded up with coffee (thanks, Lauren!) and started the long drive north. 

There, they worked quickly to assess animals and load as many as we could into the van. 

Altogether, we brought 67 animals back from the shelter. They arrived back at HSSV late in the afternoon. 

Our team quickly got to work making sure every animal was vaccinated and started on any necessary medications. 

Our foster team took over and sent out pleas to our foster families, who stepped up BIG TIME. Nearly every animal we brought in went home with a foster family that night. We couldn't be more grateful for their support.

So, what's next?

We're on standby, ready to help by taking more animals as needed. 

The animals we already rescued are making their way through our system - some are already starting to go up for adoption, while some are finishing up treatments. As they become available, they'll show up on our website at

This is Angora. She was rescued from the fires and became available for adoption today. Unsurprisingly, she was already adopted.

Now you might be asking yourself - this is great, but how do I help?

We need adopters! To make room for incoming animals from the fire areas, we need more space. By adopting an animal from us, you'll help us free up adoption space for the fire-affected animals. You'll also help us free up space in our foster homes so that we have room to take in more animals from fire areas if needed.

This is Bridget, and we love her. You can find her in our Sunshine Room at our Milpitas ACC.

This weekend only, adopt any cat or kitten for only $20 at any of our locations. Adopt a new family member and help fire-affected animals in the process - it's a win-win.

Piper is FeLV positive, snuggly, and overall perfect.

(Plus, cats make excellent cuddlers if you're looking for a pal to hang indoors with while you're avoiding smoke. Hint hint.)

Roxie might skip the cuddles, but she is ALWAYS down to play. She's also learning how to high five. No, we're not kidding.

So come in. Stop by any of our locations. We're full to the brim with tons of different animals - everything from tiny kittens and puppies to small dogs to cats of every size and color to large dogs to rabbits and more. 

See you there, right?

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Land of Littles

Something pretty amazing is happening at HSSV a few times a week. And no, this time, it isn't puppies. 

It's small-dog playgroups.

That's right - a couple times a week, these tiny, dog-loving dogs are taking over the yard. It's a school of smalls. A passel of pups. A land of littles.

 The Land of Littles includes superstars like Zito, a fun, older dude who doesn't let cropped ears bring him down.

Did someone say playgroup time? BRING ON THE ZOOMIES!

The littles come in a variety of flavors and personalities. There are dogs like Dingo, a happy-lookin' dude who bonds tight to his people and warms up quick when other dogs are around.

Got a lap? I volunteer to fill it.

Or Maylee, a little fluff with a big attitude. She likes to take her new relationships slow - no kissing on the first date, please. She's a lady.

Let's get to know each other first, ok?

There's Boo, who's surprised face and "I'm going to fly away now" ears are too much adorbs to handle. And unlike some of her playgroup friends, she WILL kiss on the first date. She's just happy to be making new friends.

Did someone say friends? Bring it on!

The takeaways?

1) We have a lot of small dogs available for adoption right now.
2) Small dogs may have some things in common, but they're all unique snowflakes with their own individual personalities.
3) Small dogs (under 25 lbs) have 50% off their adoption right now - which means it's the perfect time to start (or add to) your own Land of Littles.

'Cuz there ain't no party like a small dog party, and a small dog party has CHEESE.

Cheese, or Chis? Oh - I get it. Good one.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

A Puppy Palooza Story

We have a story to tell. It's about mama dogs, puppies, and some amazing humans. 

A few months ago, something started happening. We started getting lots of calls asking if we could take in pregnant mama dogs. But mamas and pups need to go into foster and stay there until their pups are about 8 weeks old. So we reached out to our foster families and asked for their help. And lucky for us, they stepped up.

This is Brandy.

Hi, I'm Brandy.

Brandy kicked off the recent wave of mamas. She was pretty pregnant when she came to us, and we weren't sure how many pups she was going to have. One of our awesome foster parents took her in, and we waited for pups to arrive.

Brandy wasn't the only one. She came in with a sister named Butters. Butters was also pregnant. 

Hi, I'm Butters.

Butters was placed with another foster, and the waiting game became more intense. The foster parents started sharing photos of the pregnant sisters, and our staff and other volunteers weighed in on a guessing game to see how many puppies each girl would have.

Brandy came first. 

Three pups! I can handle this.

"There are three!" Brandy's foster mom said. "That's great," we said, "but are you sure she's done?"

Oh no. What do I do with four of these?

"You're right," foster mama said. "I was premature. She ended up with four!" "I don't know," we said. "Maybe you should wait a little longer."

I am suddenly so much less excited than I was before.

Brandy concluded the evening with seven puppies in total. And we're pretty sure her foster mom lost a bet.

Butters, not to be outdone, came next. 

I deserve a rest.

Butters was slightly less ambitious, and only ended up with six puppies.

Thank you for not being #7.

And clearly, she was happy about those results.

But the puppy train wasn't over yet. 

Next came Nani. 

Hi, I'm Nani.

Nani's foster mom got Nani her very own pregnancy shoots. Yes, you read that right. She had a photoshoot.

I think I look pretty good, actually.

It wasn't long before Nani's pups came. 

She settled right in as a new mama.

I actually like these little things. They're cute.

Cue the "awwwww."

All the adorableness was throwing our staff in a frenzy. We waited with bated breath for the next batch of puppy photos to come through.

Puppies, or guinea pigs? You decide.

We noticed some of the mamas had a few quirks....

Mama Brandy: "I like them lined up like this. It helps me count them."

Week by week, the puppies continued to grow....

...until they started to look like actual puppies. (These are Butters' nuggets). At about 8 weeks old, the pups came to our Milpitas Animal Community Center for another round of vaccines, their spay/neuter surgeries, and of course, a photoshoot! They were put into adoption suites, and no surprise, were adopted almost immediately.

And so were their mamas!

After a long two months, these hardworking mamas all found forever homes. Now Brandy, Butters and Nani will get to be the babies - and spoiled endlessly.

You may be saying to yourself: this is a great story, and I love the puppy pics, but what's the point?

Yes, what is the point?

(These are two of Nani's babies).

The point is the common thread among all of them: Brandy, Butters and Nani were rescued and able to raise their puppies to be happy, healthy pups because of fosters. They each had dedicated foster families who stepped up when they needed them, and cared for them for weeks.

And we have good news! You, too, can help us save more moms and pups. Foster a mom (she does so much of the work!! Just look at those tired faces) and you'll be up to your ears in puppies. Dream. Come. True.

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!