PAHS Visits East Palo Alto Head Start Site
PAHS has continued to partner with San Mateo County Head Start, and on June 14 Education Manager Leonor Delgado finished a series of three storytelling sessions at one of the organization’s East Palo Alto sites. Preschoolers had the opportunity to listen to several stories about animals. They best liked a bilingual book called Animal Talk (see the photo on the left).
PAHS also donated school supplies including drawing paper, classroom decorations, and stickers to the site. We especially thank teachers Michelle and María for the opportunity to work with the students and get to know them.
Thanks to Alex and Ani!
Alex and Ani, an eco–friendly jewelry chain sponsored a fundraising event for PAHS at its Stanford Shopping Center store on Thursday, June 8. Visitors to the store enjoyed refreshments and shopped with the knowledge that 15% of money paid for their purchases would benefit PAHS.
PAHS thanks Alex and Ani for its ongoing support and the members of the community who, through their purchases, helped us help local animals and their people.
Troop 61753 at a Special Session of Kiddies 2 Kitties
PAHS and SVACA (Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority) welcomed the members of local Girl Scout Troop 61753 to Kiddies 2 Kiddies the afternoon of Saturday, June 3. The Scouts came prepared with very good questions about the shelter and its operations and wonderful donations of toys and food for the cats and dogs housed there. SVACA Outreach Coordinator Janet Alexander thanks the Scouts and their troop leaders for these donations, which will make the residents very happy.
Especially happy were the kittens up for adoption. They received one-on-one attention and excellent socialization that afternoon. We hope the Scouts will visit again soon.
Learning About Rabbits at Critter Club, Landels Elementary
Second and third graders enrolled in Beyond the Bell at Landels Elementary in Mountain View spent their final Critter Club session on Thursday, June 1, learning about rabbits as pets—how to care for them, what to feed them, and what they need to be happy and healthy. The special visitors to the session included pet rabbits Davey and Zelda and their person Becky Silva from The Rabbit Haven based in Santa Cruz with volunteers throughout the South Bay and Peninsula. Rabbits are usually shy animals, but Davey and Zelda proved to be quite the contrary. They enjoyed hugs and pets from the students and very gladly received hand-held treats.
Following the meet and greet with the rabbits, the students received certificates commending them for their participation in Critter Club and t-shirts. They then took class photos.
PAHS Volunteer Recognition Event
PAHS staff and board members joined a large group of our dedicated volunteers the evening of Wednesday, May 31, at the Garden Court Hotel in downtown Palo Alto to honor these volunteers’ contributions to our organization. Volunteers who have participated in PAHS’ educational programs as well as at PAHS events were celebrated lavishly at the hotel’s beautiful central patio. Also in attendance were some of PAHS’ canine volunteers—service dogs who have visited educational sites.
The fare included soft drinks, wonderful vegan treats, and five kinds of vegan cakes. The conversation flowed, and everyone had a chance to pet the canine attendees. PAHS thanks the staff of the Garden Court, in particular Jeffery Phillips and Jesse Bresnahan who planned and executed this wonderful gathering, and all our fantastic volunteers, without whom our programs and events would be so much poorer.
PAHS Finishes the Year at Duveneck
In the fall of 2016 PAHS and the Palo Alto Unified School District Art Department piloted a special humane education program at Duveneck Elementary School in which a small group of students interested in learning more about dogs met with companion animals accompanied by representatives from PAHS. Guided by their teacher, the students prepared lists of questions for discussion about the background, care, responsibilities, and benefits of having a canine companion. They also became engaged in photographing the visiting dogs and developed their photographic skills with both iPads and digital cameras.
The program was supposed to have ended in 2016, but the students requested one additional session with their favorite dog, Cody, before the end of the academic year. This session took place on Tuesday, May 30. Friendships with Cody and his person Kathy were renewed, and good-byes were said. We hope to participate in a similar program at Duveneck this coming fall.
Troop 60144 Learns More About Cats at Kiddies 2 Kitties
Girl Scout Troop 60144 from Los Altos visited the cats and kittens at SVACA (Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority) in Santa Clara for a special Kiddies 2 Kitties session on Friday, May 26. PAHS education volunteer Reine Flexer and education manager Leonor Delgado had already met with the Scouts earlier in the year to talk about rescue of neighborhood abandoned cats and their kittens. The Kiddies 2 Kitties session was a follow-up to this earlier discussion.
The Scouts asked insightful questions about the population at the shelter of SVACA’s Outreach Coordinator Janet Alexander before they visited these adoptable animals—they especially loved the rabbit shown in the photo to the left. Meeting SVACA’s feline population was a fun challenge to the Scouts as they helped in socializing them. The Scouts were definitely up to this challenge, and the cats also very much enjoyed the experience!
Marlowe Makes His Debut at Critter Club!
Marlowe is the latest cat to join the crew at PAHS 2 PAWS, and his first classroom visit was to Beyond the Bell at Landels Elementary in Mountain View on Friday, May 26. He’s an older rescued cat who was accompanied by his person, Jaye Bergen, a long-time PAHS educational volunteer.
Marlowe was very happy to meet all the students following a discussion that emphasized kindness to all and especially to animals offered by Patty Hurley and ways in which community cat rescuers help abandoned and stray cats presented by Jaye Bergen and Leonor Delgado. Marlowe proved to be a perfect example of a contented cat—ears up, mellow and relaxed body language, tail up to show how happy he was, and bright eyes that winked at all. Everyone enjoyed meeting Marlowe and petting him!
Menlo-Atherton Students Learn About Dog Rescue in India
Members of the Humane Club at Menlo-Atherton High School welcomed PAHS education volunteer Ridhima Khurana to their weekly meeting on Thursday, May 25. Ridhima had founded a dog rescue NGO (nongovernmental organization, similar to a nonprofit) in India several years before she came to live in the Bay Area this past January, and she continues to run the rescue long distance.
Ridhima’s concern for the fate of stray and abandoned street dogs in her home city of Delhi prompted her to take action to help these dogs. Contacting likeminded people, she began by feeding homeless dogs and taking them to veterinary clinics for treatment. She applied for a grant that originally funded her NGO and procured space to house unwanted dogs, feed and care for them, and give them the chance to be adopted. Over the years she has saved the lives of hundreds of dogs, and a few of these have found their way to Australia, Canada, and the States. Her organization, Adopt a Dog, is still very active and is now partnering with Red Paws Rescue, also in Delhi, to save and rehabilitate street dogs.
Ridhima enhanced her discussion with online photographs that included “before and after” shots and as personal stories about the dogs she has helped and references to the Facebook pages for the organizations she described. Students attending her session became aware of the biases against street dogs, the reasons/excuses people give for abandoning purchased breed dogs, and the difficulties in addressing instances of animal cruelty in India.
Ridhima has also shared her experiences with the Animal Welfare Club at St. Francis High School in Mountain View and with other PAHS educational volunteers. Her insights and her passion for the welfare of all animals—and dogs in particular—are welcome and valuable additions to our education program.
CCI’s Marv Tuttle and Yara Teach Landels Students About Service Dogs
As part of the PAHS Critter Club curriculum, students learn about ways in which working animals contribute to the community’s welfare and wellbeing usually through interaction with different kinds of service dogs. The Critter Club students in Beyond the Bell at Landels Elementary in Mountain View were introduced to a service dog on Thursday, May 18. This dog is Yara.
Yara, an older male Labrador Retriever, is the personal service dog of Marv Tuttle, a spokesperson for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), which trains service dogs. (Marv is also the Participant Coordinator for Day of Discovery Scuba For Special Needs Kids at the Monterey Bay Aquarium—he is an experienced scuba diver). Marv introduced the students to CCI and the rigorous training the organization gives future service dogs.
Yara is a mobility service dog who helps Marv by retrieving objects, opening doors, and guarding Marv’s home. He is nearly always on the job! Marv and Yara provided examples of commands, and with Yara’s help, Marv reviewed basic concepts of dog care, behavior around service dogs, and meeting and greeting friendly dogs. At the close of the session, the students had the opportunity to pet Yara and pose with him for photos.
PAHS thanks the students for their kind donation of pet food, which has already been distributed among cat feeders and dog adoption groups.
Jordan Music Students Meet Cody
On Wednesday, May 17, Cody and his person Kathy Merkle-Raymond accompanied PAHS Education Manager Leonor Delgado to the music students’ homeroom at Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto. These students participate in choir or band activities. Under the guidance of Monica Covitt, their homeroom teacher and choir director at Jordan, they had been engaged in a semester-long discussion of ways to show kindness to others, including animals.
Cody, a trained service dog, sensed the students’ warm reception and eagerness to meet him. He had a wonderful time visiting each student and showing his appreciation, mostly through doggie kisses. The students learned about Cody’s work as a service dog who visits schools, after-school programs, senior residences and centers, and hospitals as well as people who are in hospice care or are recuperating from illnesses or surgery at home.
PAHS thanks the students for their kind donation of pet food, which has already been distributed among cat feeders and dog adoption groups.
PAHS at Playworks Community Engagement Initiative Event
Along with Mountain View Whisman District’s Beyond the Bell, PAHS’ presence was requested at a Playworks Community Engagement Initiative event during afterschool hours on Friday, May 12, at Theuerkauf Elementary. Playworks provides after-school activities designed to teach new games and offer leadership opportunities for students. Community Engagement Initiatives are intended to bring the community together while filling a community need. Playworks’ purpose in inviting PAHS was to meet Theuerkauf Elementary students’ need for relaxing, as well as educational, time spent with friendly dogs.
The outdoor setting at Theuerkauf was perfect for this kind of event! Cody and Ani, two of PAHS’ canine volunteers and experienced therapy dogs in their own right, fit the bill, as did their people, Kathy Merkle-Raymond and Sarah Clementson. Kathy and Sarah answered students’ questions about dog care and Cody and Ani in particular, while Cody and Ani provided very rewarding cuddling and petting time. We enjoyed meeting new students and renewing acquaintances with former Critter Club attendees.
PAHS thanks Playworks Coach Christina McChesney, Beyond the Bell Program Supervisor Erika Navarro and Theuerkauf Program Lead Alicia Meza, and Theuerkauf Principal Ryan Santiago for the opportunity to participate in this most rewarding community event.
Ani Makes Her Critter Club Debut!
Ani, an older rescued Golden Retriever, was the featured guest for Thursday, May 11, at Critter Club at Beyond the Bell at Landels Elementary in Mountain View. Ani’s favorite pastime is cuddling with people who like her, and there was no absence of affection between Ani and the second and third graders who met her that day.
The students were eager to learn about Ani—her likes and dislikes and special care she needed—and Ani’s person, Sarah Clementson, was happy to provide responses to their questions.
In addition to meeting, petting, and cuddling with Ani, students viewed the PAHS short movie, It’s a Dog’s Day, and were briefed on basic pointers around dog body language and safety around dogs. The session was a fun one for all, human and canine alike.
PAHS Participates in Annual May Fête Parade
PAHS marched alongside a host of nonprofits and school and civic organizations at Palo Alto’s Annual May Fête parade the morning of Saturday, May 6. Joining us was Bella, a Tails Up Pet Care dog with her caretaker Lucy Madaffari. Bella, a small rescue dog, enjoyed the parade, as did the spectators who greeted her and stopped to pet her! The parade was, as always, a festive and happy occasion for all.
A Host of Girl Scout Troops Help Cats
The afternoon of Friday, May 5, a gathering of five local Girl Scout troops (60762, 60393, 60416, 60402, 60484, and 60446, representing Scouts from grades K through 5, respectively) hosted a session about cats at Oak Avenue Elementary in Los Altos. PAHS Humane Education Manager Leonor Delgado answered questions about understanding and communicating with our pet cats by recognizing their body language, as well as pet care in general and ways in which local volunteers and rescuers help community cats.
The Scouts gave PAHS a generous monetary donation in addition to a large number of handcrafted wand toys for cats and kittens (see the photo to the left). Local adoption groups are delighted with these toys, reporting that they have been a big hit with their rescued cats and kittens. A special thank-you to the Scouts for their generosity and interest in helping cats!
YCS Action Team Learns About Animal Shelters
The YCS (Youth Community Service) Action Team, consisting of students from Jordan and JLS Middle Schools in Palo Alto participated in a special session of Kiddies 2 Kitties held the afternoon of May 3. Team members visited SVACA in Santa Clara where they learned about the functions and goals of animal shelters like SVACA that, because of high release rates, now qualify as no-kill.
In addition to reading aloud to the cats and socializing them, the students read to shelter dogs. Some of the students volunteered to work under supervision with Yogi, a very friendly pit bull mix up for adoption, in the shelter playroom (see the photo to the left).
St. Francis Animal Welfare Club Learns About the Life of Dogs in Mongolia
At its final meeting for this semester the morning of May 3, the Animal Welfare Club at St. Francis High School in Mountain View welcomed Chris Corvetti from Grassroots Ecology who spoke about adjusting to different cultural practices during her work as a high-school teacher for the Peace Corps in a rural Mongolian town. Chris spent two years in Mongolia, and it was during this stay that she rescued a Mongolian street dog who she named Rin.
Club members viewed photos of street dogs in Mongolia and the conditions in which these animals subsisted. It is highly unusual for people to care for dogs as companions there, so Chris’ experience was unique, including a 9-hour taxi drive to a large city to have Rin spayed and examined by a veterinarian. Chris took Rin to school every day, where she waited patiently outside, and Rin accompanied Chris and her students on field trips. In these ways, Chris’ students had exposure to a different, more humane way of treating dogs, and came to accept Rin as a companion.
St. Francis students asked insightful questions about life and cultural practices in Mongolia as well as schooling and attitudes toward animals. Chris’ presentation was unique in highlighting the importance of cultural exchange and working toward a deeper understanding of different ways of life.
PAHS Is the Featured Nonprofit in May 2017 Atherton Living
Atherton Living, a monthly in-print magazine for residents of Atherton and neighboring communities, highlights a nonprofit organization every month. The May 2017 edition features “Creating Compassionate Communities,” a history of PAHS and its nearly 110 years of service on the mid-Peninsula.
Written by Carole Hyde, PAHS Executive Director, “Creating Compassionate Communities” describes PAHS’ multifaceted approach to helping animals—through advocacy, spay-neuter and safety net funding, and a broad array of educational programs. Special attention is given to the newly established Daisy Fund, which will provide assistance to animals whose owners cannot afford urgently needed veterinary care.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
Rin and It’s a Dog’s Day at Club J
Club J at Sandhill School in Menlo Park, across from the Stanford Shopping Center, is one of two sites for the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center’s afterschool program and was the venue for an educational session about dogs offered by PAHS on Friday, April 28.
The highlights of the session were a viewing of PAHS’ Telly Award-winning educational film It’s a Dog’s Day and the opportunity to meet and learn about Rin, a very special service dog rescued as a puppy in Mongolia. Chris Corvetti, Rin’s person and one of PAHS’ education volunteers, showed photos of Rin as she told the story of this dog’s rescue. She also explained to the students that dogs in Mongolia are usually not pets and nearly always have a very difficult life on the streets.
Rin showed how happy she was to be in the company of friendly and interested students throughout the session by visiting everyone in the classroom and eliciting pets and hugs.
PAHS thanks Michael Bright and Jacqueline Adams at Club J Sandhill for the opportunity to visit the site and the Club J students who most generously provided dog and cat beds and toys for the animals we help.
Finale at Monta Loma Critter Club
Thursday, April 27, marked the final session of Critter Club at Monta Loma Elementary in Mountain View. For a total of five weeks PAHS partnered with the Mountain View Whisman District Beyond the Bell to offer Critter Club sessions on important issues in humane education—kindness to all, best practices in care for pets, safety around dogs, cats in homes and in the community, tasks performed by animal shelters, and animals who help in our communities (with a focus on work done by police department canine units).
At the final session Officer Curtis Lau of the Mountain View Police Department addressed the club with the aide of Thor, his canine partner. The students were very excited to meet Thor! They bombarded Officer Lau with questions about his work and Thor’s on-the-job responsibilities, training, and likes and dislikes. The session concluded with a photo op of students wearing their new Critter Club t-shirts and holding their certificates of completion accompanied by Officer Lau and Thor, followed by an opportunity to pet Thor.
“PEPE” with PAHS at Stanford
Aileen Thomas of the Office of Sponsored Research at Stanford University organized a Personal Enrichment Professional Excellence session, or “PEPE,” for employees. This PEPE was devoted to issues in animal care and animal adoption. Representing PAHS were educational volunteer Chris Witzel and her dog Jesse, a therapy dog who accompanies Chris on visits to disabled seniors in facilities and at home, and Leonor Delgado, the PAHS Education Manager. Employees engaged in a Q&A session with Chris and Leonor about dog and cat care and adoption. Aileen, who is also very knowledgeable about cats, participated as well in providing answers to the employees’ questions. In the meantime, Jesse made sure to meet and greet all the attendees and then enjoyed playing quietly with a tennis ball.
PAHS thanks Aileen and the employees for a most enjoyable session, and we hope to return to future “PEPEs.” Thanks too for the generous donation from Sponsored Research.
Maddie Joins the Crowd at Alex and Ani
The Alex and Ani fundraiser for PAHS at Stanford Shopping Center on Thursday, April 20, provided the opportunity for Maddie, a sweet and friendly older Labradoodle, to make her debut as a PAWS 2 PAHS volunteer. Accompanying Maddie was her person, Lucy Madaffari, who runs Tails Up Pet Care offering services on the mid-Peninsula. Lucy has also joined our volunteer team to provide information about dog care and socialization at educational visits and other venues.
PAHS thanks Lucy and Maddie and the staff at Alex and Ani—Sheena Myers and Genia Kollie—for the opportunity to partner with the store and for welcoming us there. We're looking forward to future events!
Critter Club Students Donate Dog Treats
Students enrolled in Critter Club at Monta Loma Elementary in Mountain View through a partnership with Beyond the Bell were eager to show their appreciation for the Critter Club session about cats at the shelter offered by SVACA (Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority). They decided to bake healthy dog treats for the shelter dogs at SVACA.
On Friday, April 14, Melissa Navarro, representing the Beyond the Bell students, visited SVACA to present the dog treats to SVACA’s Outreach Coordinator Janet Alexander. Melissa also met with the PAHS Education Manager, Leonor Delgado. Janet reported later that the pups at SVACA very much enjoyed the gift of homemade treats.
Northside Library Teams Up with SVACA, PAHS
“Northside Library Teams Up with SVACA, PAHS” is the title of an article that appeared in the April 14–April 20 edition of the Santa Clara Weekly. Melissa McKenzie from the Weekly reported on a growing partnership among all three organizations that began with celebrations around “April Drool’s Day” held the morning of Saturday, April 1, at the Northside Branch of the Santa Clara City Library, then moving to Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) in Santa Clara for the afternoon.
The “April Drool’s Day” event was largely educational in scope, with the showing of animal-themed films at the library, including PAHS’ Telly Award-winning short film, It’s a Dog’s Day, followed by Kiddies 2 Kitties sessions in the afternoon at the shelter. Kiddies 2 Kitties is a shelter-based reading program for students of all ages promoted by PAHS through an agreement with SVACA.
McKenzie highlighted the success of the event through interviews with parents and children who emphasized their very positive experience with the Kiddies 2 Kitties program. Thanks to the Weekly staff for keeping the public updated on PAHS-sponsored humane education programs!
Q&A at Synapse School
PAHS was invited by Synapse School in Menlo Park to participate in an April 12 Q&A session with a group of Level 3 students working on projects to help pets and local wildlife. Because the pedagogical approach at the school is based on project-driven learning, students were encouraged to ask questions that were meaningful to their group projects and would provide insight and encourage additional opportunities for research. The PAHS Education Manager Leonor Delgado attended a session to answer these questions.
The students are continuing their work to help animals, but at the close of the session they were ready to contribute a donation of cat wand toys to PAHS. These toys will benefit kittens in the care of Community Cat Rescue (CCR), a mid-Peninsula group always on the PAHS radar. The people at CCR, as well as us at PAHS, thank the students for their concern and efforts to help local rescues.
National Pet Day at Webster House
April 11 was National Pet Day, and PAHS was invited to Webster House (downtown Palo Alto) to help the skilled nursing residents celebrate. Visiting them were PAWS 2 PAHS volunteer dogs Cody and Ani, accompanied by their people, respectively, Kathy Merkle-Raymond and Sarah Clementson. The residents, many of whom had canine companions or rescued dogs in the past, were delighted to meet our emissaries. We shared dog stories, gave treats to Cody, a miniature Australian Shepherd, and Ani, a senior Golden Retriever, and answered questions about these dogs and the work done by PAHS in the community.
Thank you, Ashley Mauro at Webster House, for allowing us to celebrate with the staff and residents, and thank you, Kathy and Sarah! And special hugs and pets to Cody and Ani!
Wendell Goes to Monta Loma!
The April 6 special guest at Critter Club at Monta Loma Elementary in Mountain View was Wendell, a former service dog in training who was accompanied by his person Suzanne. PAHS loves taking dogs like Wendell to educational sessions because one of our major goals is to show students how service dogs help people in a variety of circumstances. As a volunteer with experience in housing service dogs, Suzanne was very much at ease in explaining about Wendell’s training and his re-adaptation to becoming a family friend.
In addition to learning about Wendell in particular, students also reviewed concepts around dog safety and best practices for the care of canine companions. Everyone loved meeting Wendell, and we think he too enjoyed his time at Critter Club. Thank you, Suzanne and Wendell!
Kittens from Companions in Waiting Visit Daisy Scouts!
The afternoon of Tuesday, April 4, Scouts in Daisy Troop 62638 who meet at Encinal Elementary in Atherton were treated to a special visit from Jo Hamilton, founder of Companions in Waiting, a local dog and cat rescue group based in Menlo Park and Half Moon Bay. Accompanying Jo were PAHS’ Education Manager Leonor Delgado and two special adoptable kittens, Bandit (pictured on the left and already adopted) and his sibling Nero (click here to learn all about Nero). These kittens come from a rescued litter of four, all with Companions in Waiting.
Bandit and Nero were on their best behavior when meeting the Scouts, and the Scouts peppered Jo with many very good questions about kittens. The cats and kittens at Companions in Waiting thank the Daisies for the hand-made wand toys they are now enjoying, and PAHS extends a special thanks to Jo and “her boys” for teaching this troop all about kittens.
Santa Clara Public Library, SVACA, and PAHS Partner for “April Drool’s Day”
The morning of Saturday, April 1, was a special movie day for children and their parents at the Northside Branch of the Santa Clara City Library in celebration of “April Drool’s Day.” These guests watched the PAHS’ award-winning short film, It’s a Dog’s Day, followed by a screening of 101 Dalmatians.
In the afternoon, children and parents resumed activities at SVACA (Santa Clara Animal Control Authority) for a special session of Kiddies 2 Kitties. The children read aloud to the shelter cats, and both children and parents learned about best ways to socialize them. It was a fun day for all!
PAHS thanks Cheryl Lee, Program Coordinator–Branch Manager of the Northside Santa Clara City Library, and Janet Alexander, Outreach Coordinator at SVACA, for the wonderful opportunity to partner with them for this fun and novel event. Representing PAHS were Education Advisor Patty Hurley and Education Manager Leonor Delgado. Thanks, Patty Hurley, for your invaluable assistance! PAHS also extends a special thanks to the staff at Northside and SVACA.
PAHS Recruits at the City of Mountain View Volunteer Fair
The City of Mountain View Volunteer Fair at the Mountain View Community Center in Rengstorff Park, held on Saturday, April 1, attracted many different community and nonprofit organizations. As PAHS has a long history of service in Mountain View, we joined in the volunteer recruitment activities. PAHS was on the lookout for education volunteers to visit our community outreach sites with a tame and people-friendly pet or service animal and TNR (trap-neuter-return) volunteers to help care for community cat colonies.
Visitors to the PAHS table had the opportunity to learn about PAHS’ long history of community outreach and service as well as meet volunteers already active in caring for community cats and the PAHS Education Manager. PAHS is very happy to welcome our new recruits to our service programs!
PAHS–SVACA Kiddies 2 Kitties Program Featured in the Santa Clara Weekly
“Kiddies 2 Kitties Socializes Cats, Encourages Kids to Read,” by reporter Melissa McKenzie, is a featured front-page article in the Santa Clara Weekly’s March 31–April 6 edition. McKenzie interviewed SVACA’s Outreach Coordinator Janet Alexander and PAHS’ Education Manager Leonor Delgado about the origin and history of this shelter-based reading program and its ongoing success.
Since its inception at SVACA more than two years ago, Kiddies 2 Kitties has expanded from attracting readers in the early elementary grades to including larger groups of visitors to the shelter who want to find out about shelter operations as well as practice reading aloud to the cats and kittens. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have participated to earn badges about animals, and older students in middle school and high school have completed community service hours. Everyone has learned about cats, their likes and dislikes, and how best to socialize them, and many participants have returned on numerous occasions. As Janet said, the program is a win-win for everyone involved, students and cats alike!
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
Click here for a description of the program.
Atlas Is One Very Busy Cat!
Atlas, a super-friendly adoptable cat at SVACA (Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority in Santa Clara), has been especially busy with volunteer activities throughout the month of March. He’s participated in several outreach sessions organized through our PAHS–SVACA partnership.
Here’s Atlas, at a recent (March 30) Critter Club session with the Beyond the Bell after-school program at Monta Loma Elementary in Mountain View, in which participating students learned about cat care and cat body language, as well as rescue operations aimed at finding good homes for adoptable cats. Thank you, Atlas, for helping us to bring valuable information about cats to our Critter Club students!
To learn more about Atlas and why he would be a wonderful family pet, click here.
Jordan YCS Community Service Day at Kiddies 2 Kitties
Wednesday, March 29, was the Day of Service for YCS (Youth Community Service) at Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto, and a contingent of volunteers visited Kiddies 2 Kitties at SVACA (Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority) in Santa Clara. SVACA partners with PAHS for the Kiddies 2 Kitties shelter-based reading and community service program.
The Jordan students learned about shelter operations and enjoyed helping to socialize SVACA’s adoptable cats. The cats were very happy to receive all the extra attention! Thank you, Jordan YCS, for your participation in our program.
Dog and Cat Goodies Came Our Way!
HandsOn Bay Area recently sponsored a corporate donation to PAHS consisting of 50 “doggie bags” containing toys, treats, and “poop bags” as well as a large variety of cat toys and collars. The hand-decorated bags and other items arrived on Friday, March 24, and PAHS has begun distributing them to rescue groups, shelters we partner with, and our PAWS 2 PAHS canine and feline volunteers and their people.
We are especially grateful to both HandsOn Bay Area and GE Digital, the company whose San Ramon employees donated their time and funds to purchasing all the goodies and decorating the bags. So many needy cats and dogs will make very good use of these items! PAHS thanks both groups for their generosity and kindness to local animals in need (in rescues and at shelters) and our volunteer animals who help us in our classrooms and other educational venues.
“You Can Make a Difference”
PAHS board members and staff attending the play, “You Can Make a Difference,” written and directed by volunteer Rhea Sampson, were very pleased to see references to the Humane Society and the importance of helping lost animals. Performed by Rhea’s young drama students at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center in Menlo Park the afternoon of March 22, “You Can Make a Difference” consists of three vignettes highlighting people helping other people and animals who have found themselves in difficult situations.
The all-girl cast showed great enthusiasm and ingenuity. They were also generous with a donation of cat food and a friendly reception following the performance. Thank you, Rhea, for inviting PAHS to attend and participate at this heartwarming event!
PAWS 2 PAHS Volunteers at Lytton Gardens
Volunteers Kathy Merkle-Raymond and Sarah Clementson joined PAHS and a group of residents at Lytton Gardens the afternoon of March 22. Accompanying Kathy and Sarah were their respective canine companions—Cody, a toy Australian Shepherd trained as a therapy/service dog, and Ani, a laid-back Golden Retriever with a big heart and welcoming demeanor for people of all ages. This visit was Ani’s first as a PAHS 2 PAWS canine volunteer, and she and Cody were warmly received by all.
Residents enjoyed the opportunity to have their questions about dog care answered and to meet both dogs. Cody sat in residents’ laps and gave kisses, while Ani enjoyed soothing pets. PAHS thanks Lytton Gardens for the invitation to visit the residents again. We hope to return in the near future.
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).