Kids & Pets
November 18, 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 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 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 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

Free-roaming cats – is it safe

By: Mickey Zeldes
October 12, 2018

We post all found animals on our Facebook page and Nextdoor.com to give them exposure and a better chance to get back home.  Sharing our posts is a simple way for people to help animals from the comfort of their home.  Often a post will elicit quite a discussion – if the animal is in poor shape there is much criticism for the lack of care which makes sense, but recently there have been many opinions about whether healthy-looking cats should be brought to the shelter or just left in case they are just outdoor cats.

A recent post said “You do understand that cats operate in terms of hunting grounds and territories.  If it’s a neutered cat, why is it anybody’s concern that he’s “hanging out”… for a while”.  So why do people bring the animals in and should they?  There are so many considerations:  What are the laws about free-roaming cats?  Is it safe for cats to be outdoors on their own?  What are the risks in that area? What about the rights of other people, if the animals are coming on their property?  How do you know the animal is healthy?  Is the animal altered?  Or are you leaving an intact cat out there to reproduce and cause greater problems?  Is the pet someone’s lost pet?  How do you know there isn’t someone looking for this animal?  Is the animal thriving out there or struggling (but new enough that it’s not apparent yet)?  What effects is the animal having on the environment – and wildlife/bird population?  Is he competing unnecessarily with wildlife for food?  The list of questions goes on and on.

To protect everyone’s rights to enjoy their peace and property, animals are not allowed to roam free off their owner’s property.  I know, you are rolling your eyes and thinking about all the cats you see walking around your neighborhood.  True ferals are exempt from the law but for pet cats it’s really about being a good neighbor and caring for the environment.  Cats can be annoying; using gardens for their litterboxes and killing birds that others attract with bird-feeders to enjoy.

Outdoor cats get into fights with other animals including dogs, cats, raccoons and other wildlife.  Besides injuries, this also exposes them to diseases: rabies, distemper, FIV, ringworm and other parasites.  There are also a lot of toxins out there – the neighbor who changes his own antifreeze (only takes a few drops to kill a cat), rat and gopher poisons, fertilizers and weed sprays - to name just a few.  Additionally, they are at risk of getting hit by cars or causing accidents as drivers swerve to avoid hitting them.  Many people would feel guilty upon seeing a cat dead along the road that could have been saved if they had acted when they first saw him hanging around. 

Our position is that if an unknown cat shows up and you can safely catch him, call first, but by all means bring him in.  We always talk to the finder to see if the area is safe for the cat to go back in case he or she proves to be too feisty for our adoption program. We also work closely with Forgotten Felines for barn/working cat relocations for these under-socialized cats.  In the meantime, we can scan for a microchip, look through lost reports, post him on Facebook and Nextdoor and help many lost pets to get back home.  We’ll also make sure that he’s in good health, vaccinated and altered.  A healthy, altered feral is the only kind of cat that should be roaming around alone!

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 per person or $40 a 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.