Kids & Pets
September 22, 2019
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Why animals shed so much How many is too many felines? To spend or not to spend on pets? Dog Days of August Fostering is fun Bark After Dark benefit a great success Dog fights – often more bark than bite Black is beautiful! Summer hazards for pets Monte Vista Elementary Student Builders-2018 Odd couples and unusual friends Bark after Dark is coming Nov. 3 John Reed Elementary Positive Office Referral recipients Sonoma County Vegfest – learn about a plant-based diet Monte Vista School Student Builders for October 2 Rancho Cotate High School Recognition of Curiosity for the month of October The Richard Crane School- Cougar Cub Character Assembly Hahn Elementary School Monte Vista Walk-a-thon The Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly students November 5 Planning for our pets Belated Happy Mother’s Day John Reed Elementary School A beloved dog, a stolen car and...a happy ending Broken legs in cats very costly Furry fire victims John Reed Elementary- Honor roll 2018-pets in review Finding strays out of Sonoma County RP Animal Shelter has a rodent nursery Penngrove Elementary School A lifetime commitment Hahn Elementary Life skills awards - October, 2018 Are you ready for Thanksgiving? John Reed Elementary- Positive behavior for Dec. 12 Monte Vista School-second grade celebrates the holidays The Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly- Jan. 14 Hahn Elementary-Life skills for November All the pieces in place Young kittens are lots of work RCHS awards for Kindness the month of October Penngrove Elementary Life skills awards- Oct. 24 Helping out in Paradise “Mary did you know?” Monte Vista Elementary- Student builders for Dec. 18 Your help is needed when we offer generous programs John Reed Elementary-Positive Behavior winners for January Penngrove Elementary - Life skill awards for Feb. 20 Want something cuddly, attend the Bunfest 2019 John Reed-Positive behavior winners for March 26 Cautions for your pet on the 4th of July Disaster preparedness for our pets CPI offers support University Elementary School Rohnert Park tree lighting ceremony Long-term residents need a home University Elementary School -Life skill award for responsibility The Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly- Dec. 10 Penngrove Elementary School-Life skills Monte Vista-Student builders for Feb. 19 Obese pets are not cute Monte Vista Elementary-Being responsible Hahn Elementary-Lifeskills for the month of March Long distance adoptions Monte Vista School Sept. 18 Free-roaming cats – is it safe Living with multiple pets Monte Vista School Student Builders for Dec. 4 Holiday happiness and mishaps Penngrove Elementary-Life skills for Dec. 12 Monte Vista Elementary- Student Builders for Jan. 8 Monte Vista Elementary School - Student builders for Jan. 22 Penngrove Elementary-Life skills for Feb. 6 Penngrove Elementary-Life skills for Feb. 13 John Reed Elementary-Positive behavior winners for Feb. 26 Rancho Cotate High School-Students of the month for Feb. and March Richard Crane’s walk-a-thon Richard Crane School for Sept. 17 Penngrove School - For the life skills of gratefulness Thomas Page Middle School - Principal honor roll Penngrove Elementary TSA selecting more floppy-eared dogs University Elementary - Creativity Life skill awards for Jan Silver Paws times two University Elementary-Feb. Life skill awards for Creativity Hahn Elementary Life skills for the month of Feb.  2019 World’s ugliest dog® contest Richard Crane- Cougar Cub Character Assembly for May 20 University Elementary for September Rancho Cotate High School Students for the month of Nov. Thomas Page Elementary School - Lifeskill awards Prepare pets for better grooming visits Rohnert Park municipal code update Rancho Cotate High School Achievement award for January Richard Crane Elementary Cougar Cub Character Expectation award winners for the week of Feb. 25 Hahn Elementary-Life skill recipients for May Penngrove Elementary for Sept. 12 Hahn Elementary School - Life skills for Nov. 2018 Girls, it is time to make changes and be empowered Monte Vista Elementary-Student builders for Feb. To be a senior cat during the summer is the pits Visiting Cape Town SPCA John Reed School Positive behavior winners for Nov. 27 Thomas Page Academy Respect, Integrity, Service and Endurance awards Mark your calendars-Support Bark After Dark Step up your kids’ STEM skills Taking work on vacation John Reed Elementary- Positive behavior winners for Jan. 22. Spring is turtle season? Monte Vista Elementary-Student Builders for Sept 4 Thomas Page Academy awards for May Penngrove School Lifeskill award for Sept. 5 Summer camp review Penngrove Elementary - Lifeskill Award for Aug. 31 Saving Hopps becomes a job Teacher Amy Miller is wrapped up Why nice animals sit Some assembly required: Putting together the pieces of your rescue pet We appreciate our volunteers University Elementary School life skill awards for the month of August John Reed Elementary-Positive behavior winners for April 30 Penngrove Elementary Lifeskill winners for the week of Aug. 22 You love pets? Quality vs. quantity John Reed positive behavior winners for Aug. 28 Fires, floods, mudslides oh my! Happy Birthday Monte Vista-Student builders for April 2 Small dog syndrome: When predators are also prey Monte Vista Elementary received recognition of being safe Monte Vista-Award winners for May 7 Monte Vista Elementary-Student builders for March 5 Richard Crane-Cougar Cub Character Assembly for April 1 Penngrove Elementary-Life skills for April 10 Inside or out – the debate continues Penngrove Elementary- Life skills for Feb. 27 RCHS seniors sign commitment University Elementary-Life Skill Award for Perseverance for the month of April Richard Crane School walk-a-thon Summer fun for animal lovers Hope unleashed for pets with cancer Penngrove School Aug. 8 Hahn Elementary-Lifeskill recipients for the month of April Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly students for Aug. 20 A visit to Thomas Page Academy Penngrove School for Aug. 15 Leoni wins speaker contest Penngrove Elementary Lifeskill award winners for Aug. 1 Rescuing Pitbulls: When myths affect reality Bunny fur ban bill The Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly April 29 Try attending Sonoma County VegFest Aug. 18 “Stuff the truck” Dictionary mania Time to get immunized before school starts It’s spring and kittens are popping 5 tips for bringing your pet to work this summer The truth about no-kill, does not mean zero deaths School bus safety 101 Thomas Page STEAM Club Living with a 3-legged dog is not easy Can we can clear the shelter? Tale of Cooper

A Happy reunion

By: Mickey Zeldes
February 15, 2019

If you saw a hungry stray cat would you help him out?  Of course you would!  I’m suspecting that most people who read my column are animal lovers and would be more than willing to help out a stray animal.  There certainly are a lot of stray, feral and outdoor roaming owned cats out there.  So when does helping a stray cross over to theft of a pet?

If you bring a stray into your home, he no longer has the ability to get back to his home.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t open your doors to help out a struggling animal, especially when the weather is harsh.  But if you bring an animal indoors and do nothing to try and find his rightful parents then you can be accused of theft.  Even though it’s illegal to allow a pet to freely roam off the owner’s property, you can’t just scoop up the animal and hide him in your house! 

We recently had a cat surrendered to the shelter when the “owner” was moving out of the state.  She filled out a profile and for the question about how the pet was acquired she wrote “found as stray, 8 months ago.”  During our routine health exam the cat was scanned for a microchip and bingo!  We found one!  We reached out to the registered owner and found out that the cat had been missing for several months.  They were beyond ecstatic to hear that she had been found.  They had completely given up finding her after all this time.  See where this is going?

Now to be fair, the cat was not found in the vicinity where she was lost.  Sometimes, as I mentioned in my story a couple weeks ago, people find a stray as they are passing through an area and take the animal with them to their home in a completely different part of town.  Cats have been known to find a cozy bed in the back of pick-ups or have climbed through open car windows to find shelter from rain.  Imagine pulling up at your home and reaching into the back seat for something only to touch fur!  Now you have a pet that’s a long way from home!  So the finder may never see a lost cat poster and the worried parents are, of course, focusing their search to their immediate area.  

That’s where microchips become the hero!  A pet, without any visible identification may have a tiny microchip hidden in his or her body.  That chip holds a unique identifier number that is (or should be) registered in a national database.  The database can hold an infinite amount of information – owner’s name, address, email address and several phone numbers, an alternate person and their contact info, the pet’s name, age, breed, color, a veterinarian’s name, any health issues, who the implanter was, etc.  It’s like magic when it works, as in this instance.  If only the cat had been scanned when she was first found!

So the minimum required when you find a lost pet is to notify the animal control agency in the area the pet was found with a full description of the pet (a photo is very helpful), and your contact information; and to have the pet scanned for a microchip.  You must surrender the pet back to the rightful owner (no matter the condition of the animal and your harsh judgments about the person).  If it makes you feel better you can surrender the pet to the shelter and let them deal with the person claiming the pet.  They can ensure that any health issues get taken care of and the pet is not neglected.  

Wouldn’t you want someone who finds your pet to return him to you?  Giving the parents a chance to claim their pet is the right thing to do and doing everything required gives you some protection if you are accused of theft down the road!  Besides, everyone loves a happy ending and returning a lost pet home is definitely a win!

Upcoming Events

“Get Them Back Home” Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home.  FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati.  No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed 1-6:30; Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30; Sun. 1-4:30.

Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents.  Call 588-3531 for an appointment. 

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at mzeldes@rpcity.org.