Friday, August 31, 2018

A Few Big Thank Yous

We need to take a minute to say something.

Is it about me? What is it?

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Clear the Shelters. It was 3 days of reduced fee adoptions that resulted in 171 adoptions, lots of smiles, and many, many happy endings.

This was the moment at the end of the 3-day weekend when an adorable family decided to take home our bonded pair, Flaco and Estrella. We were thrilled.

A few of our long-time favorites found their perfect matches, including Prudence, a shy and somewhat picky older cat who found the perfect cat-savvy family to love her for all her quirks.

Who you callin' picky?

And Lucy, who wasn't loving her time here, but very much loves her new parents. 

They're pretty much the bees knees.

So our first thank you goes out to our adopters - thanks to you, lots of animals are happy in their forever homes. We can't thank you enough for choosing to adopt and being part of our lifesaving mission. Our adopters are the BEST.

Our next thank you goes out to our volunteers. We mentioned that Clear the Shelters was incredible - 3 whole days, hundreds of people coming in to find their new best friends, adoptions galore. It was also a ton of work, work that we couldn't have done without the help of our amazing volunteers. Amazing volunteers, this big thank you is for you.

Our volunteers are also amazing at bringing our shy babies out of their shells.

We could talk all day about how awesome Clear the Shelters was - lots of our favorite animals were adopted, happy families were smiling ear to ear as they brought their new family members home. But one of our favorite things about the weekend is that it freed up space and resources for us to help others.

The day after Clear the Shelters, we headed out to a couple of our partner shelters to lend a hand. We brought back more than 50 animals from shelters that were full to the brim with dogs and cats.

Some of those animals needed some time to heal - from injuries, illnesses, or just the stress of being moved around. They went to foster homes, where they could rest in a safe, quiet space until they were ready to find their new homes. So our third big thank you needs to go to our fosters, who allow us to save animals in need and give them the TLC they deserve. You are the BEST.

Adorbs puppy picture just because.

We've said it before, but it's always worth repeating: lifesaving takes a village. And we are lucky to have the very best, most compassionate village ever.

Thank you - whether you adopted, volunteered, fostered, donated, or just helped us spread the word - we are grateful for you.

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Chis Plate of HSSV

noun: chi; plural noun: chis
1. a small dog, often with some physical similarities to a Chihuahua
    •  often lap-sized
    • may feel most comfortable in a small groups of dogs of similar-sized dogs
      "pack of Chis"
We see a lot of Chis around here. And while you might be thinking of hoards of small, tan Chihuahuas when you hear the word "Chis", the term is actually a lot looser than that. "Chis" come in lots of colors, shapes and flavors. Some are a bit older (aged) than others, and some come on a bit stronger. 

In other words, Chis are like cheese. And the pack of five Chis we're especially enamored with right now is affectionately known as the "Chis Plate". 

This unique passel of Chis have a lot in common. 

They came in from less-than-stellar situations, but with a lot of time (and cheese!!) they're getting comfortable with new people and places.

And while each of the Chis Plate members have commonalities, they're also very distinct. Need we say it again? Like cheese!

Bleu is the most outgoing of the bunch. People love him for his unique personality, his love of other dogs, and that big, happy smile. Like Bleu cheese, he's versatile and great in lots of situations - playgroups? Check. One-on-one snuggle time? Check.

Havarti, true to her name, is sweet to the core. She's a lap-dog in the making, and loves nothing more than a good romp with her canine pals. Soft and sweet, Havarti is the one to meet.

Gouda takes her namesake seriously. Like the cheese she's inspired after, Gouda is one popular girl. She's the one every other dog wants to play with in the yard, and is the ringleader in any situation. Gouda is sort of like Regina George, minus the whole "mean girls" attitude.

Asiago is the mama hen of the group. She looks after everyone, pays special attention to the ones who need it, and opens up when she's with her pack. Sweet and caring, Asiago would love a tiny pup to look after.

Feta is the shyest of the bunch. Her affection has to be earned, but once you've entered her circle of friends, she loves you for life. Feta's curiosity gets the better of her - she can't help but investigate new people. With a little cheese and patience, Feta is becoming a happier girl. 

If you hadn't considered a Chi before, we urge you to reconsider. Chis come in every variety - their personalities range from mild to sharp, sweet to salty. They would pair perfectly with your own dog. And they won't disturb your lactose intolerance.

So go on, sample our Chis Plate. You know you want to.

Friday, August 17, 2018

5 Animals You Shouldn't Miss at Clear the Shelters

We get it. Clear the Shelters is hectic. There are a ton of amazing animals, all of them needing and deserving great homes. And it's hard to choose. 

Lucky for you, we're making it a little easier. We've handpicked 5 of our favorite animals at HSSV to give you a headstart.

Let's start with:

1) Tulip, the Snortiest Flower


Usually Tulip looks like this. She likes to keep a smile on her face, because she's nothing if not optimistic. Wiggly, snorty, cuddlebug Tulip is ready to show you why you should be first in line to meet her. 


She understands the finer things in life. Like treats.

And she's a pro grass-lounger.

If you decide to meet her, her face will probably look like this: 

Come see me, pretty pwease.

Next up....

2) Buddy the Buddy

Buddy is a bit of a legend around here, as far as kittens go. She's got a fiery, fun personality and also does a great impersonation of a shadow.

Do you mind if I follow you around?

She's got a bit of an eye issue but she's hoping someone will come looking for a sweet, unique kitty like her. After all, famous kitties always have something unique about them. And she would be great as an Instagram star.

3) Jolie the Lap Queen

Looking for a cat that's pretty and smart? Look no further than Jolie. She's so friendly that we've declared her the official greeter of the Sunshine Room (the community cat room at HSSV where tons of cat-friendly cats live together).

This blanket is comfy but your lap would be even better.

She's TINY (seriously), a major lap queen, and knows a thing or two about beating up those wand toys.

4) Sparky the Firecracker


Sparky's a big fan of the beach. He's used to taking long walks by the beach with his favorite people, and hopes someone will take him to the beach again soon.

He's super smiley, loves to talk when he's excited, and is a champion toy-tugger.

5) Lucy, the Most Curvalicious

She's curvy. Bootylicious. And those ears just don't quit. 

Can we hold hands?

She'd prefer to be as close to you as possible, if ya don't mind.

She's super sweet, a serial grass-roller, and likes to play with well-matched dogs. You really just need to meet this happy girl. 

Have we convinced you? We sure hope so. These are just a few of the many insanely awesome animals you definitely need to meet to believe. Come down to any of our locations today through Sunday to adopt - $40 for dogs, $10 for cats, $20 for kittens, and waived fees for rabbits and pocket pets. Don't get FOMO - come see us!

Friday, August 10, 2018

The 2 Kong-High Club

We need to put a shout-out for the Littles. The Smalls. The Minis. 

The 2 Kong-High Club, as we know them.

Isn't that name a little...on the nose? Get it? The Kong is literally ON MY NOSE!

Members of the 2 Kong-High Club are natural comedians. They have a great sense of humor, and will even laugh at your jokes. Not that we're suggesting your jokes aren't funny. Because we're sure they are. 

Mhm. Hilarious.

The members of the 2 Kong-High Club are portable. They can go almost anywhere with you, and in a place like the Bay Area, that's a pretty sweet deal.

If I fits, I sits. And I want to sits on your lap.

They're also perfectly lap-sized - they're totally made for the snuglife. And boy, do they love the snuggles.

Look, we even fits on this lap together.

And sure, big dogs have a reputation for their fun energy levels - they run, they hike, they go on all the adventures. But give the little guys some credit. 2-Kong High Dogs are full of adventurous spirit. They're curious, smart, and love to explore the world around them.

The world is my oyster! Let's go!

And while the members of this particular club have some things in common, (refer to the name again, people. Hint hint, the thing they have in common is their height) these miniature beans come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, breeds, and personality traits. 

We come in as many different varieties as cheese does. Mmmmm cheese.

Bay Area real estate, as we're sure you're more than aware, is a nightmare. But lucky for you apartment dwellers, the 2 Kong-High Club make perfect apartment buddies. And if you are so fortunate to have a little extra space, 2 Kong-High Club kids love to have a friend. Take two, they're small!

Got a pad to crash in? I'm in need of one.

Small dudes can be the perfect little pals. If you've been looking for a dog but haven't considered one of the smalls, take a look again. They're fun, adventurous, sweet dogs. All in a compact package.

Interested in meeting a few of these club members? Now's the time. We're chock-full of these vertically-challenged little guys. So come in, take a look around, and bring your Kongs. You'll be able to spot these exclusive 2 Kong-High Club members right away.


Friday, August 3, 2018

24 Hours of Livesaving

It has been a week, to say the least.

Sunday, 6pm:

 A shelter to the north asked to borrow one of our transport vans. They had been asked to help transport and house animals from a shelter that needed to evacuate due to the fires, but didn't have a large enough van. 

Sunday, 8pm:

A few of our staff members headed up to drop off the van so the shelter would be able to spring into action first thing Monday morning.

This is one of our vans.


Now to think about tomorrow - we had scheduled to drive down south Monday and transfer in 37 animals from one of our partner shelters in the Central Valley who needed our help. We spent a few hours Sunday preparing for their arrival - cleaning rooms, preparing for exams, and contacting foster homes.

Wow. Thanks guys.

Sunday, 9pm:

Plans changed. Another shelter near the fires had received an evacuation notice. They needed to evacuate their current shelter animals and asked us for help. 

Monday, 3am:

Our team jumped in a van and headed up to rescue 11 dogs and puppies. These guys had already been available for adoption at the shelter, and would now be making a location change to look for their new homes.

One of our staff member's brother, who graciously joined us on our 3am drive. By the way, that ain't a sepia filter - that's just smoke in the background.

Whew x 2.

We were happy to help, but didn't want to abandon our friends to the South. Now that one van was loaned out and the other was picking up animals in the north, we needed a way for the Central Valley animals to get to us. Thankfully, the shelter offered to drive them up for us. 

Wahoo! We made it!

Monday, 12pm: 

The 11 dogs from the northern fire area arrived at our shelter. 

Monday, 12:15pm:

The 37 Central Valley animals arrived as well.

Whew x3 and 4.

This is what it looks like when almost 50 animals show up at once.

Monday, 12:20pm:

Our teams got to work. We set up our Community Room as a temporary triage area and started assessing dogs, vaccinating them, and sending 31 of them out to foster homes. The rest were moved into rooms to wait for spay/neuter surgeries, and then adoption space.

Monday, 7pm:

 All 48 animals had been taken care of and were resting quietly, either here or in their new foster homes.

Whew x5.

This is what it looks like after our team kicks butt and processes almost 50 animals in a matter of a few hours.

So how were we able to scramble and make sure we could help out everyone who needed us in less than 24 hours?

Easy. We have some AMAZING staff members - they stepped in to transfer vans and animals at all hours of night and morning. We also have INCREDIBLE volunteers - they raised their hands to help us transport animals, vaccinate them, and get them where they needed to go. We have TREMENDOUS foster families - they answered our calls right away and rushed over to pick up animals when we were out of space and needed their help. And finally, we have STELLAR adopters. Just hours after arriving on our adoption floor, several of the dogs we picked up from the fire areas had already been adopted into loving homes.

This is Tanner. We brought him in after he had to be evacuated due to the fires. His people adopted him after only an hour on our adoption floor. Happy tails, Tanner.

We are so grateful for our community's support - because of you, we have the ability to step up and help when other shelters need us.  Lifesaving takes a village, and we have the best village ever.

As for these 48 animals, they've been through a lot. But we're so happy that they'll now get to find their forever homes. If you've been thinking about adopting, now is the time to do it. These guys are already making their way to the adoption floor, and more will be coming over the next few days and weeks.

Like me! Come see me soon!

As for us? We're going to go take a nap, because it's been a very, very long week. And then we'll wake up tomorrow and do it again. We're still in touch with our neighbors to the north, and keeping an eye on the situation with the fires. And if need be, we're ready to jump into action at a moment's notice. Because that's what we do.