Kids & Pets
November 20, 2019
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Save the turkeys Crisis Volunteers University Elementary School-Responsibility award for Oct. Dog Days of August Facebook divides us into two camps John Reed School-Positive office referrals for Sept. 30 Fostering is fun Bark After Dark is coming John Reed-Positive Office Referrals for Oct. 14 Bark After Dark benefit a great success Dog fights – often more bark than bite When to rescue kittens Monte Vista Elementary student builders for October 1 John Reed School-Positive office referrals for Oct. 21 Black is beautiful! Summer hazards for pets Richard Crane Elementary Assembly Rancho Cotate High School student of the month of September for kindness Monte Vista Elementary student builders for October 1 Monte Vista Elementary Student Builders-2018 Odd couples and unusual friends University Elementary School Life Skill Responsibility Award for September Monte Vista-Student Builders for the week of Nov. 5 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 student builders for September Using pet doors for your animals 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 How many is too many felines? Lifeskill recipients for Hahn for September Safe Halloween tips for your pets 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 To spend or not to spend on pets? Why animals shed so much Taking care of animals during a PG&E outage 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 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 A Happy reunion 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 lifetime commitment

By: Mickey Zeldes
October 26, 2018

As the shelter supervisor, animal services officer and cat behavior consultant, I talk with a lot of people having problems with their pets.  As much as we love having multiple animals in our homes it often has a price – cats that don’t use their litter boxes, dogs that fight and constant tensions.  Those of you that have harmony are very lucky!  

It’s amazing some of the lengths people have gone to in order to make it work when things are going wrong between the housemates; barricades, crates, rotating schedule of who is out at any given time, separate feeding rooms and more.  It’s wonderful to know that so many people are committed to their pets and will do what is needed to make it work.  Once, when I personally consulted an animal communicator because of tensions in the home, she asked if she could assure the pets that I was committed to working this out.  She said often they worry about being given away (how do they even know that is a possibility?) and just this assurance can dissipate some of the tensions.  

On the other side of the coin are the people who give up one of the pets as soon as there is a problem.  They will often say that they “have tried everything,” but in reality, they have tried a couple of things and not done any change in a sustained way to give it a chance to work.  Nor are they willing to pay to work with an expert, preferring to try random things they read on the internet or heard about from a friend.  It’s also interesting that they wait for a long time so that a pattern of behavior becomes set before reaching out for help and by that time they are beyond frustrated.  Especially with litter box issues, you want to jump on it the minute you notice. 

A bigger question for me is when is it legitimate to rehome an animal?  Obviously, if there is any aggression and there are children in the home, you might have to separate the animals to keep everyone safe.  I often wonder though, if some of these super committed pet parents are actually doing a disservice to their pet by keeping them in a home where they are being bullied or worse.  I get the credo of never giving up on your family members but sometimes we have to let go in the animal’s best interest.  Not to surrender to a shelter necessarily.  It would be ideal if the animal was rehomed directly by the parent, perhaps to a family member or friend already familiar with the pet.  But, especially if the animal is young, otherwise healthy, and of a desirable breed, there is no shame in placing him in a home that would be free of the stress he was living with.  

My husband’s business is building cat furniture and outdoor enclosures – so cats can be allowed outside safely and he recently got an order for multiple enclosures that someone was going to put inside the house to keep the warring cats separated.  That would manage the problem but certainly isn’t a solution.  They’re obviously committed to their cats and willing to spend money on them but won’t seek out a cat behaviorist for a program on how to ease the tensions and re-introduce the cats to produce harmony, probably because it would take time and daily work on their part.  Keeping them in enclosures is less work!  This couple also wouldn’t think of parting with either cat since they believe in keeping the commitment you make when you acquire a pet and don’t want to feel like failures.

That’s admirable but I do wonder if the cats wouldn’t be happier if each were in their own home where he could reign king and not be in competition with another cat.  If you are having issues with your pets, please call for suggestions sooner rather than later.  And be open to hearing all suggestions!

 Upcoming Events:

Bark After Dark – dinner and auction for the animals!  Join us for this fun fundraiser on Sat., Nov. 3, 6:30-10 p.m. at the RP Community Center to support the lifesaving programs of the Animal Shelter League.  Get your holiday shopping done and give presents that give twice – something nice for the recipient while knowing you helped animals in need.  Tickets are just $25/person or $40/couple in advance and are available at the shelter or online at tinyurl.com/BarkafterDark2018. 

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