Kids & Pets
July 18, 2019
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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 RP Animal Shelter has a rodent nursery 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 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?

Rescuing Pitbulls: When myths affect reality

By: Brooke Wrisley
August 24, 2018

While Mickey is away on vacation Animal Shelter Assistant Brooke Wrisley will be covering the pet column.

I know I’m not the only one who has a soft spot for the beefy bully breeds – the countless rescue groups, Facebook pages and other breed clubs prove it. In a world where more people are understanding the harmful stigmas that Pitbulls face and re-educating themselves, there’s a new question: how do we as dog-lovers approach the huge population of adoptable Pitbulls in a way which both acknowledges the effects of these stigmas on the dogs themselves and also seeks to protect well-intentioned would-be owners? The answer, as simple as it may sound, lies in a very common solution: owner education.

While it may be true that the overwhelming majority of Pitbull puppies are not necessarily born aggressive, the myths surrounding Pitbull’s as mindless monsters comes from and contributes to their very real popularity as fighting dogs and private protection dogs. At the same time, regardless of any individual Pitbull’s potential history, pitties are generally large dogs and are prone to neurosis in the same way that other working large breeds are (such as German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, etc.). As such, even a Pitbull raised only with love and kindness requires a specific knowledge with respect to exercise and acceptable behavior for a dog of their size. 

One unfortunate side effect of a community trying to change the breed’s image by circulating videos and photos of very well adjusted Pitbulls in calm and happy environments is that these photos and videos can be very misleading about the amount of experience, knowledge and time needed to form a rescued Pitbull, who may have previously been mistreated due to harmful stigmas, into the happy and healthy dog seen on social media. What’s worse is that oftentimes very well intentioned and loving prospective owners then find themselves adopting a pittie or other bully breed without understanding the potential problems they’re likely to run into with a breed which so commonly comes with a particular set of past experiences. They are subsequently totally unprepared to provide for the dog’s needs and eventually admit defeat and return the dog – sometimes only after someone has been hurt. 

This is where we reach the catch twenty-two, or at the very least, we arrive at a series of truths which may seem contradictory and yet exist at the same time: while it is true that Pitbulls are not inherently ‘evil’ or more unpredictable than other breeds of similar size and energy levels, the functioning belief that they are those things has led to a common history of aggression and violence for many Pitbulls and this presents unique challenges as an owner. Even without any history of violence or aggression, Pitbulls themselves as a working breed are just as susceptible as any other working breed to any number of negative side effects (including aggression!) if their basic needs for exercise, mental stimulation and socialization aren’t met. Pair this with the stress of being freshly transplanted into a new home by a pair of rookie dog owners and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

It is always okay to return a dog that is more dog than you can handle, but the best way to avoid this situation is to know in advance exactly how much and what you can handle! It is only ever stressful for a dog to be adopted by a family who doesn’t understand what he needs. Do yourself and pitties everywhere a favor: be honest about what you know and what you can provide before you take one of these big beauties home.

 

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 p.m., Thur.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30 p.m. and Sun. 1-4:30 p.m.

 

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.