Since 1908   |   A Local Voice for Animals

Board of Directors

Carole Hyde serves as the organization's Executive Director and an ex-officio board member. Carole has been an integral part of PAHS since 1991, giving a constant, compassionate voice to animals in our community. She is a founding member of the Stanford Cat Network and creator of Mow Wow Animals, an innovative humane educational program for California schools.

David Rutan has served on the PAHS board since 2011. He is the founder of the technology company Wizdom On Wheels and was one of the original Mac Geniuses at various Bay Area Apple Stores. His passion for technology and education is as strong as his compassion for people and animals. With more than 16 years of experience in the technology industry, David is bringing about creative ways of using technology to help fulfill our multiple missions in education and outreach.

Maureen Allen is a Palo Alto resident and professional educator. A former legislative aide in New York State politics, she works with California local and state officials to promote the teaching of Humane Education in the California schools and the PAHS education program, including its Mow Wow Animals teaching program. She and her husband David share their home with two rescue boys, Rookie, the unofficial spokes-dog of PAHS, and Yogi.

Colleen Gerstner is Director of Sales and Marketing for the Sheraton, Westin Palo Alto, and The Clement Hotel Palo Alto. Before joining the Sheraton and Westin in 2003, she was Director of Business Travel for seven years at the Fairmont San Jose. Colleen served as a Palo Alto Chamber Board Member from 2008 to 2014 where she worked on several Chamber committees including the Tall Tree Silent Auction. She currently volunteers at Ronald McDonald House and Humane Society Silicon Valley. Colleen has a feline companion named Huey, her friend of 20 years.

Laura Jason is a fundraising consultant specializing in institutional giving. Her professional experience includes staff positions at three Bay Area museums, a nonprofit hospital, and a Silicon Valley arts think tank devoted to cultural vitality. She has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2002. Previously, Laura received an Arts Administration Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and founded the Bay Area Writers Workshop. Laura and her husband, Bruce Henderson, share a home with Fifi, a Maine Coon mix who was rescued by PAHS.

Gabe BurkeGabe Burke is Senior Vice President at Cushman & Wakefield, where he specializes in corporate real estate. He has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley; a BA in Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara; and a Certificate in Accounting from UC Berkeley Extension. He is interested in developing a corporate partners program for PAHS with the goal of increasing PAHS’ financial resources and growing the organization’s assets. Gabe lives in Palo Alto with his wife Kara and their dog Belle, a Rat Terrier/Jack Russell mix.

David Dang David Dang heads Corporate Functions Finance and Real Estate Finance at Intuit. Prior to joining Intuit, he managed Technology and R&D Finance at LinkedIn. David also volunteered for 10 years with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, escorting parade floats down Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Day. He received an MBA from the University of Southern California, a BS in Accounting from the University of La Verne, and a Certificate in Strategy/Risk from Stanford University. He is interested in helping PAHS manage its financial resources while growing its organizational reach within the local community through educational programs.

Steven ShpallSteven Shpall is a long-time Palo Alto resident who, after retiring from his career as a physician, spends his time traveling and working on his photography. Steve is also passionate about promoting the adoption of rescue animals and developing and expanding the Palo Alto Humane Society’s educational programs. Steve’s children attended Palo Alto schools and grew up with dogs in the house (just like he did) so he knows, firsthand, the positive effect learning and caring for animals can have on child development, especially in elementary school-age children.

Heather Planishek Heather Planishek recently relocated to the Bay Area. She received her degree in Accountancy from the University of North Florida and holds a CPA license in the State of Florida. Heather currently works at Palantir and heads their Financial Reporting and Technical Accounting processes. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Heather was a manager with Ernst & Young. Heather has a strong compassion for all animals and their wellbeing. She has worked in and volunteered for various animal clinics and shelters in Florida. Heather shares her home with her husband Chris and their rescued dog and cat—Bailey, a terrier mix, and Winston, an American shorthaired tuxedo cat.

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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

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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).