Kids & Pets
July 18, 2019
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Sonoma County Vegfest – learn about a plant-based diet Long distance adoptions Odd couples and unusual friends Cautions for your pet on the 4th of July Dog fights – often more bark than bite Summer hazards for pets Belated Happy Mother’s Day All the pieces in place Bark After Dark benefit a great success Richard Crane- Cougar Cub Character Assembly for May 20 Hahn Elementary-Life skill recipients for May Black is beautiful! Spring is turtle season? Thomas Page Academy awards for May Monte Vista Elementary Student Builders-2018 Why nice animals sit We appreciate our volunteers John Reed Elementary-Positive behavior winners for April 30 You love pets? Quality vs. quantity Bark after Dark is coming Nov. 3 John Reed Elementary Positive Office Referral recipients Fires, floods, mudslides oh my! Monte Vista-Student builders for April 2 Monte Vista Elementary received recognition of being safe Monte Vista-Award winners for May 7 Monte Vista School Student Builders for October 2 Rancho Cotate High School Recognition of Curiosity for the month of October 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 Hahn Elementary School Monte Vista Walk-a-thon The Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly students November 5 Planning for our pets Penngrove Elementary- Life skills for Feb. 27 RCHS seniors sign commitment University Elementary-Life Skill Award for Perseverance for the month of April Summer fun for animal lovers Hahn Elementary-Lifeskill recipients for the month of April 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 A visit to Thomas Page Academy Leoni wins speaker contest Bunny fur ban bill The Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly April 29 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 Dictionary mania It’s spring and kittens are popping The truth about no-kill, does not mean zero deaths Thomas Page STEAM Club 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 Tale of Cooper Penngrove Elementary - Life skill awards for Feb. 20 Want something cuddly, attend the Bunfest 2019 John Reed-Positive behavior winners for March 26 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 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 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 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 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. Visiting Cape Town SPCA John Reed School Positive behavior winners for Nov. 27 Thomas Page Academy Respect, Integrity, Service and Endurance awards Step up your kids’ STEM skills Taking work on vacation John Reed Elementary- Positive behavior winners for Jan. 22. Monte Vista Elementary-Student Builders for Sept 4 Penngrove School Lifeskill award for Sept. 5 Penngrove Elementary - Lifeskill Award for Aug. 31 Teacher Amy Miller is wrapped up Some assembly required: Putting together the pieces of your rescue pet University Elementary School life skill awards for the month of August Penngrove Elementary Lifeskill winners for the week of Aug. 22 John Reed positive behavior winners for Aug. 28 Happy Birthday Small dog syndrome: When predators are also prey Richard Crane School walk-a-thon Hope unleashed for pets with cancer Penngrove School Aug. 8 Richard Crane School Cougar Cub Character Assembly students for Aug. 20 Penngrove School for Aug. 15 Penngrove Elementary Lifeskill award winners for Aug. 1 Rescuing Pitbulls: When myths affect reality Try attending Sonoma County VegFest Aug. 18 “Stuff the truck” Time to get immunized before school starts 5 tips for bringing your pet to work this summer School bus safety 101 Living with a 3-legged dog is not easy Can we can clear the shelter?

RP Animal Shelter has a rodent nursery

By: Mickey Zeldes
May 31, 2019

Usually this time of the year we are worrying about the number of kittens flowing through our doors.  So far this year it’s been manageable (dare we say that our free cat spay/neuter program is paying off?) but in the last couple weeks we’ve been inundated with baby rodents!  This is a first for us and just shows how things come in waves.

It started with the surrender of 15 rats – best we can figure there are two moms, a couple older babies (previous litter?) and 11 very young babies. The problem is, without knowing exactly when they were born, it was hard to age the babies.  And they can begin breeding at just 5-6 weeks of age!  So you have to be quick to determine sex (not easy on these tiny beans!) and separate them before more damage can be done!  They also need a lot of gentle handling so they grow up social with people and having 15 to deal with is really taxing our small staff.

Then, while we are monitoring and socializing these little rats, five guinea pigs arrive, (from various sources).  One bonded pair and three singles.  No babies which is fortunate, although guinea pigs have only one or two offspring since they have a longer gestation period and their young are born precocial (meaning fully furred and mobile – like horses).  So there are four more cages that need daily cleaning and five more furry friends needing handling and socializing.  Note too that with school ending most of our SSU volunteers have left town.  We also received a stray parakeet and a bonded pair of birds – a parakeet with a cockatiel – talk about odd couples!  Two more cages – our hallway is filling up!

Last, but not least, in came 10 dwarf hamsters!!  Again, rodents are known for large litters so I guess only getting in 10 is a relief.  Looks like there is one mom, possibly one female from a previous litter and eight babies.  So tiny and cute!  They are too young to take away from mom at this point but again, we have to stay on top of that since they can begin breeding at 4-5 weeks old as well and there is surely at least one male among them.  

Remember the rat man in Petaluma several years ago?  They found over 1,000 rats in his home!  You can see how easy it would be to quickly get overwhelmed with rodents.  All it takes is one giving birth and not having the young separated quickly enough and bingo!  You have 8 – 10 more pregnant animals!  Hamsters and rats average 8-10 young in a litter but there have been litters recorded with 20+ newborns!  Scary, huh?  And mom is extra fertile right after giving birth for some insane reason.  So often if the male is still in the cage when she gives birth, she is pregnant again while nursing the first litter! And you wouldn’t know until she surprises you yet again.  Spaying and neutering of these little guys is possible, but expensive and a delicate surgery.  Most people won’t invest in that with a $5 pet.

So, anyone interested in adopting a small pet?  Now is the perfect time!  We have a lot to choose from!  The advantage to adopting young animals is that you can super socialize them so they become very tame.  Come check out these cuties and help us clear our hallway!

Upcoming Events

Kidz ‘n Critters Summer Camp – registration is now open for our camp program. four sessions for different age levels from second grade to seventh grade.  Educational and interactive – perfect for all young animal lovers!  For details and registration forms go to or stop by the shelter.

“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