Local Cub Scouts at Kiddies 2 Kitties
Cub Scout Pack 404, based in Sunnyvale, attended the Wednesday, March 15 Kiddies to Kitties session at SVACA (Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority). In addition to reading to and socializing the cats up for adoption at the shelter, the Scouts also learned about the shelter’s goals, policies, and operation and took a brief tour of the shelter.
Accompanying the Scouts were their troop leaders and the sister of one of the members of the pack, who is an honorary Scout herself. Everyone had good questions and observations for PAHS staff and volunteers and the Outreach Coordinator at the shelter, Janet Alexander.
PAHS Visits St. Francis High School to Speak About Advocacy for Animals
On Tuesday, March 7, PAHS Humane Educator Leonor Delgado visited a joint meeting of the Animal Welfare and Environmental Clubs at St. Francis High School in Mountain View to talk about PAHS’ involvement in animal advocacy issues on a national and local scale. Leonor highlighted PAHS’ long history of advocacy in such issues as prohibiting the sale of foie gras, supporting California State Proposition 2 with ultimate goal of housing chickens in humane cage-free environments, taking a stand against using animals in circuses, and banning cruelty to elephants in circuses and parades.
The main focus of the discussion, however, was on the recent Robert Farmer trial in San Jose, in which PAHS has been an active player in support of Farmer’s victims. Farmer has pleaded guilty to 21 counts of felony animal cruelty, and his case has been covered extensively in the San Jose Mercury News, as well as in local television newscasts. PAHS was interviewed at the end of 2016 for an article in BBC Science that drew parallels between the Farmer case and widespread cruelty against cats in the London area. Ongoing updates about the Farmer case can be found at Justice for our CATZ.
Girl Scout Troop 60144 Learns About Cats
The afternoon of Friday, March 3, PAHS volunteer Reine Flexer accompanied Leonor Delgado, the Education Manager, in a visit to Girl Scout Troop 60144 in Los Altos, where the girls and their troop leaders were introduced to facts about cats. Reine and Leonor focused their discussion on the rescue and care of stray cats and kittens as well as TNR (trap-neuter-return) efforts supported in part by PAHS.
The Scouts expect to follow up with a later session at Kiddies 2 Kitties at SVACA (Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority), where they will learn about shelter operations and participate in helping to socialize cats and kittens. PAHS thanks the troop for the opportunity to work with them and hopes to meet again with the Scouts very soon.
Monta Loma Elementary Annual VIP Reading Day
Friday, March 3, marked the annual VIP Reading Day at Monta Loma Elementary in Mountain View. Readers from local government agencies, corporations, and nonprofits visited classrooms to read aloud to students.
PAHS participates every year in this event, and this year, Leonor Delgado, the PAHS Education Manager, visited a third-grade classroom where she read the opening chapters of Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling, a classic from 1941 that was recognized as a Caldecott Honor Book the following year. The book details the adventures of a small wooden canoe with a Native American figure released by a young boy on the Canadian side of Lake Superior. The boat travels to the Atlantic Ocean, helped along the way through the intervention of different people. Each stop, or adventure, introduces readers to the flora and fauna of the region where the boat has landed.
As is customary, readers leave a copy of their book at the classroom visited, and third graders will be able to finish their new adventure book. PAHS thanks Monta Loma for the opportunity to participate in this special reading day.
St. Francis High Animal Welfare Club Visits Kiddies 2 Kitties
Kiddies 2 Kitties provided a venue for members of the St. Francis High School Animal Welfare Club (Mountain View) to learn about the workings of their local animal shelter, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) and to interact with adoptable animals. These students and their faculty advisor met with the shelter’s Outreach Coordinator Janet Alexander and PAHS’ Education Manager Leonor Delgado the morning of Saturday, November 25—their discussion was focused in part around stray cats within SVACA’s jurisdiction and the shelter’s policies for these cats. The St. Francis students had the opportunity to offer Jackson, a Lab–German Shepherd mix, an extended play session and meet and help socialize all the feline residents at the shelter.
Kiddies 2 Kitties was originally envisioned as a program for younger shy readers, or “kiddies,” to interact with cats and kittens at the shelter by reading to them—and at the same time improve their reading skills with an unbiased feline audience—and socializing these “kitties.” The program has now grown to welcome students of all ages who want to learn about the shelter and who are interested in helping cats, and interested middle school and high school students can complete community service hours through the program.
Menlo–Atherton Humane Club Learns About Factory Farming
The Humane Club at Menlo–Atherton High School welcomed Isabelle Knudde from Clorofil to their meeting on February 23. Clorofil is a local group dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of factory-farmed egg-laying hens, and disseminating data about raising and caring for chickens. Isabelle’s presentation featured little-known facts about chickens and hens followed by a discussion of animal cruelty in the egg industry. Her talk was accompanied by a series of informative slides. The club members, two of whom have raised and care for chickens at home, asked insightful questions about the effects of factory farming on the environment as well as ways to distinguish among different kinds of packaging featuring eggs produced by “free-roaming” hens.
Thank you, Isabelle, for addressing these students. We hope to welcome you back to learn more about distinguishing among good and harmful agricultural practices.
Rin Closes Critter Club at Theuerkauf
Critter Club at Theuerkauf Elementary in Mountain View was a special treat for the final session held on February 16. In addition to receiving a club t-shirt and certificate of completion, the second and third graders from Beyond the Bell participating in this winter’s Critter Club, met Rin, a dog rescued in Mongolia, where her person Chris Corvetti was a Peace Corps volunteer and teacher for two years.
Chris shared photos of Mongolia and Rin and explained how she rescued Rin, a Mongolian taiga dog puppy mixed with other breeds, from the streets and raised her to become a service dog. Rin now accompanies Chris in classrooms and at other venues where Chris speaks about life in Mongolia and local environmental issues. Chris is currently an intern at Grassroots Ecology in Palo Alto.
Rin was pleased to meet and greet each student individually and very happily joined in class photos. PAHS and the students thank Chris and Rin for making the Critter Club finale a very memorable occasion.
PAHS Partners with Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund – SV2 and Other Local Groups
Palo Alto Humane Society partnered with San Mateo Search and Rescue, Inc. in Burlingame and Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward to offer a mini-Critter Club to children and their parents at an educational event hosted by the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund – SV2 at the Sobrato Center in Redwood City on Saturday, February 11. The theme for the mini-club was “Animals in Our Community.”
The program began with a brief introduction by Carole Hyde, the PAHS Executive Director, focusing on building partnerships and the passage of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 144, the legislative resolution that underscores the importance of humane education in bolstering character education and civic responsibility. Carole was followed by Leonor Delgado, the PAHS Education Manager, who provided a short description of PAHS’ educational offerings. She spoke about the theme of the day’s “club meeting,” emphasizing that everyone was going to learn about animals who help us as well as ways in which we can help the animals around us.
Steve Garcia and his service dog Rubi represented the volunteer organization San Mateo Search and Rescue servicing the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department. Steve showed all the participants how Rubi was trained to participate in search and rescue operations, described how Rubi is also a valued and very much loved member of his family, explained how he takes care of Rubi, and instructed the audience on best practices in meeting a new dog. Everyone was thrilled to have the chance to pet Rubi and interact with her.
Deb Varner, from Sulphur Creek Nature Center, spoke about the ways in which wildlife rescue sanctuaries such as Sulphur Creek help injured animals, often rehabilitating them so that they can be returned to the wild. She brought along two special guests—Tiberius, a resident screech owl (shown on the left) and Misty, a resident tame rat. Tiberius had been injured to the extent that he could not be released into the wild. The audience learned about screech owls’ life in the wild (their diet, camouflage capabilities) and observed Tiberius at a close, yet safe, distance. Misty, who is a regular visitor to educational events and often is “on loan” for short stays at private homes, had the chance to meet and greet the audience.
Just as in a regular Critter Club session, students had the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the visiting animals. All young attendees received a Critter Club certificate at the end of the program.
PAHS thanks Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund – SV2 for hosting our informative event and Steve and Deb and their respective organizations for contributing to its success.
K-9 Partner Odin Comes to Critter Club
Officer Doreen Hansen and her canine partner Odin, a 6-year old German Shepherd serving the Mountain View Police Department, joined PAHS staff, Board members, and volunteers at Theuerkauf Elementary School on Thursday, February 9. Officer Hansen and Odin were special guests to Critter Club, sponsored by the Beyond the Bell after-school program and PAHS for second and third graders at Theuerkauf.
The themes for the day were safety around dogs and jobs done by service dogs—how they help community members in a variety of ways. Officer Hansen engaged the students in conversations about Odin—his training, his likes and dislikes, and the kinds of situations in which he works with the police to keep the community safe. The students were thrilled to meet Odin and have the opportunity to watch him at work and pet him.
Thank you, Officer Hansen and Odin, for providing important information, not to mention a memorable experience for all of us attending your session.
PAHS Visits Jordan Middle School
Jaye Bergen, our Program Assistant, represented PAHS at the first Youth Community Service (YCS) Service Fair for 2017 on February 9 at Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto. YCS is not a newcomer to PAHS, as students from Jordan have participated in PAHS events and programs, most notably as volunteers in our Kiddies 2 Kitties shelter-based reading program.
We welcomed the opportunity to visit Jordan and look forward to working closely with Jordan YCS volunteers throughout 2017. Go Jaguars!
PAHS Thanks Kaya!
Kaya K, a sixth-grade student at Abbott Middle School in San Mateo, organized a neighborhood fundraiser for PAHS to help community cats. She received in-kind donations of cat food as well as cash donations totaling $166.
PAHS extends our thanks to Kaya for her concern for homeless animals and her efforts to help them through her work for PAHS. We also thank Abbott Middle School for encouraging students to help local charities.
PAHS Introduces Videos About Adoption and Pet Care for Families and Students!
If you’re a parent whose children are clamoring for a pet, or if you’re a teacher and your students have shown interest in learning about pet adoption and the responsibilities of pet care, take a look at our new videos, produced for PAHS by Girl Scout Ambassador Kristen Benz for her Gold Award.
The videos are on the PAHS YouTube channel at:
Pets: Adoption, Care, Commitment (PACC)
Shannon Teaches Critter Club About Dog Care
Young participants (second and third graders) in Critter Club at Beyond the Bell at Theuerkauf Elementary in Mountain View spent the February 2 session learning about dogs and best practices in caring for canine companions. They first viewed PAHS’ Telly Award-winning short film “It’s a Dog’s Day”, which, through an ingenious combination of puppet artistry, circus art, mime, and dogs trained in theater performance, tells the story of a sad dog rescued by a caring community and sets the stage for a discussion about what dogs need to be happy and healthy family members.
The students were then introduced to Shannon and watched how her person Rhea cared for Shannon as she brushed her coat and teeth (Shannon was very cooperative—see the photo to the left). They ended the session by joining Rhea in songs about pet care and kindness to animals and then learned the best ways to pet a dog! Shannon was very pleased with the day’s activities!
PAWS 2 PAHS Volunteers Visit Stanford Campus
Cody, one of our veteran PAWS 2 PAHS canine volunteers, accompanied his person Kathy on a visit to Willis Lounge on the Stanford University campus. The purpose of this January 31 visit was to provide a short break for Stanford graduate students in the Rains graduate student housing complex to relax with Cody, a trained therapy dog, and engage in conversation with the people accompanying Cody—Kathy, Leonor (the PAHS Education Manager), and Sofia, the Rains Community Associate, who requested the visit.
Cody proved to be an excellent companion for relaxation, and he enjoyed snuggles and pets while we humans exchanged information about PAHS’ programs as well as the Stanford experience and different graduate majors. We thank Sofia for providing this very pleasant opportunity to meet and chat and we hope to participate again soon in additional similar gatherings on the Stanford campus.
Students in challenging programs in high schools, colleges, and universities welcome opportunities to meet and greet therapy dogs. PAHS offers such visits as part of our community outreach and educational programs, and we’re happy to receive requests.
SVACA Joins PAHS at Our First Critter Club of 2017!
PAHS is calling upon more community organizations to participate in our education programs in Mountain View. We have worked with the Mountain View Police Department in the past and continue to rely on officers to introduce students to K-9 officers and their training and duties. At present, PAHS is building on our existing partnership with SVACA (Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority) to strengthen and expand two of our educational programs, Kiddies 2 Kitties and Critter Club. Look for more news at a later date about this partnership.
On Thursday, January 26, we welcomed SVACA’s Outreach Coordinator, Janet Alexander, to our Critter Club session at Beyond the Bell at Theuerkauf Elementary in Mountain View. Janet and Teegan, a rescued kitten currently residing at SVACA where she is up for adoption, joined PAHS presenters—Education Advisor Patty Hurley, Office Assistant and cat rescuer and community cat feeder Jaye Bergen, and Education Manager Leonor Delgado, who also feeds and helps community cats—in our presentation about pet and community cats.
Two groups of second- and third-grade students learned about: best practices in caring for pet cats; the body language cats use and sounds cats make to communicate with their people and others; ways in which PAHS, SVACA, and local rescue groups work together to help save the lives of abandoned cats and care for feral cats living in our communities; and the vital importance of spay-neuter in controlling the number of homeless cats and kittens.
Patty, Jaye, and Leonor from PAHS concentrated on teaching about pet and community cats and spay-neuter. Janet from SVACA underscored the importance of spay-neuter (Teegan was recently spayed—this led to a very productive reinforcing discussion) as well as talked about the role of the shelter at SVACA in Mountain View and other local municipalities.
We believe that for the students the highlight of the session was the final activity in which everyone had the opportunity to meet Teegan “in purrson” and gently pet her as well as have their questions about her answered.
PAHS’ Activism in the Farmer Case Recognized in England
At the end of 2016 British journalist Chris Baraniuk, who writes for BBC Science, contacted PAHS to learn more about the Robert Farmer case in San Jose—Robert Roy Farmer has pleaded guilty to 21 counts of felony animal cruelty for the death of at least that number of domestic cats, mostly pets in the Cambrian district of San Jose. The case, which has been followed by the local press and television networks, reached the attention of the BBC in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Baraniuk had become aware of PAHS’ concern and active role in supporting Farmer’s victims through local coverage and contacted us in December 2016. His interest was in drawing parallels and making comparisons with a similar case in the London area. PAHS Education Manager Leonor Delgado participated in an interview with Baraniuk and, in addition to providing a general history of the case, pointed Baraniuk to Myriam Martínez, the founder of Justice for our Catz, whose cat Thumper was one of Farmer’s victims. Baraniuk then interviewed Martínez. His article, “Someone is killing and dismembering Britain’s domestic cats,” appeared online in BBC Science on December 20, 2016.
Did You Know?
The average number of kittens in a feline litter is between 4-6, and with 3 litters per year that means one cat can produce 12-18 offspring annually.
The average number of puppies in a canine litter is between 6-10, and with 2 litters per year that means one dog can produce 12-20 offspring annually.
6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters every year with 3-4 million being euthanized, and the numbers are increasing. It is imperative to fix your pets.
Pigs are clean animals with highly developed smell. These are two reasons why having pigs confined in filthy, odorous factory farms is cruel and unusual.
Animals are being abandoned or surrendered to shelters by their owners. We urge you to make room for one more animal companion.
COCOA MULCH is lethal to dogs and cats. It contains THEOBROMINE and smells like chocolate. Do not purchase and advise your friends.
Guinea pigs have difficulty judging heights, so never leave a pet guinea pig alone in a high place such as on a table. Guinea pigs live about 5-8 years.
Shelters are overwhelmed with animals that have been abandoned or surrendered by their owners. If you need help or advice, contact us.
A horse is healthiest when living naturally. Horse shoes prevent necessary flexing of the hoof which allows blood to flow and optimal functioning to take place.
A cat's hearing is much more sensitive than humans and dogs, and a cat can jump 5 times as high as it is tall.
In 1889, Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche caused a public disturbance in Turin when he attempted to protect a horse from being whipped.
Make room for one more animal companion in your home. Shelters are overwhelmed due to the economic downturn.
Animals are being abandoned or surrendered to shelters by their owners. Shelters are overwhelmed, so please make room for one more.
21% of U.S. households have at least one cat and 95% of all cat owners admit they talk to their cats.
Due to “trends” shelters are overwhelmed with Pit Bulls and Chihuahuas. Urge breeders to stop breeding and pet owners to spay and neuter their pets.
Jane L. Stanford was an honorary member of PAHS.
An adult dog has 42 teeth.
A domesticated pig has approximately 15,000 taste buds, which is more than any other mammal, including humans.
A dog's heart beats between 70 and 120 times a minute, compared with a human heart which beats 70 to 80 times a minute.
Chihuahuas are born with a 'molera', or 'soft spot' like a human baby, which usually closes as they mature.
The average lifespan of a Quarter Horse is between 25 - 30 years. The oldest recorded horse was from England, "Old Billy", and lived until the age of 62.
Pigs are very intelligent animals, often regarded by scientists as being the most intelligent of livestock.
A hot car is no place for a pet. Leaving a dog or cat in a parked car during the warmer months can cause serious injury or death within minutes.
Temperatures inside a car can reach 120° in a matter of minutes, even with the windows partially open. Shade and having water will do little to help.
The safest place for your companion is in the coolest part of the house with plenty of fresh water to drink.
If you see a companion animal inside a parked car during hot weather, and they appear in distress, call animal control or the police immediately.
Signs of distress include: Heavy panting, glazed eyes, unsteadiness, listlessness, vomiting and a over-red or purple tongue.
Don't force your companion animal to exercise after a meal in hot, humid weather. Do it in the cool of the early morning or evening.
If you and your dog go to the beach, be sure you can find shade and plenty of fresh water. Rinse her off after she has been in salt water.
With only hot air to breathe, a dog's process of cooling through panting fails. A body temperature of 107 degrees may cause brain damage or death.
If a dog is overheated, provide emergency first aid by applying TEPID water all over the body, and then gradually applying cooler water. Seek veterinary care.
A dog's paws can be burnt by hot pavement. Do not make them stand on hot pavement for long periods and keep walks on hot asphalt to a minimum.
Be sensitive to old and overweight animals, and those with heart or lung diseases. They should be kept indoors in air conditioning and out of hot weather.
Snub-nosed dogs (like Pekingese, Bull dogs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos, Shih tzus, and Pugs) should be kept indoors in air conditioning and out of hot weather.
A blog by Carole Hyde, Director
of the Palo Alto Humane Society
For Lost Pets or Animal Emergencies
Palo Alto Humane Society is not an animal shelter.
Palo Alto Animal Services serves as the shelter and animal control agency for Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills, and can be reached at (650) 496-5971. Their 24-hour hotline is (650) 329-2413.
East Palo Alto residents should contact Peninsula Humane Society at (650) 340-7022
Mountain View residents should contact Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority at (408) 764-0344.
Wildlife issues should be directed to Peninsula Humane Society at (650) 340-7022 or Palo Alto Animal Services at (650-496-5971).