Kids & Pets
November 18, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
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 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 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

Some assembly required: Putting together the pieces of your rescue pet

By: Brooke Wrisley
September 7, 2018

By Brooke Wrisley

While Mickey is on vacation, Shelter Assistant Brooke Wrisley is filling in.

By now we all know (I hope!) the benefits of adopting over breeder buys. We know that we’re providing a home to a pet that already exists and is in need, and many of us know enough about the world to assume that whatever the circumstances were to put that pet in a shelter, they were likely not kind ones – either by intention or ignorance. While we’d love to know the story behind any potential new family member, most of the time we have very little information – if any – about their life before being rescued. Whether we like it or not, the fact remains that when we adopt a pet from a shelter or any other rescue situation we’re also adopting a mystery.

Often times at the shelter we have potential adopters walk through and ask very relevant (if not entirely unanswerable) questions, such as: “Are they housebroken?” “Are they good with kids/dogs/cats?”, etc. The reality is that in most cases shelter staff can only give information based on what we’ve witnessed since the animal has been with us. A dog that seems to hold it overnight at the shelter may not know how to ask to go out to potty once you bring it home. A cat that seems fine in a room with our cats may respond differently to the cat you already own once outside the shelter. A dog that gets along with one or two other shelter dogs may have a particular trigger in dogs of a certain size, or in humans of a certain size for that matter. I’ve seen rescue dogs triggered by bags and brooms, dogs that didn’t know how to use stairs or walk on asphalt, cats that never learned how to groom themselves properly – or at all!

We choose to adopt for many reasons, not the least of which being that we are compassionate for creatures with an uncertain future, but with that compassion must also come empathy for an unknown past and a willingness to accept the mystery of our rescue pet. In some cases, the best we can do to put together the history of our adopted pet is to take examples of their behavior and reactions as hints or puzzle pieces to try and put together even if the majority of the picture stays blank. In all cases, we must lower expectations for a while and accept the likelihood that this pet will surprise us – sometimes with a fun surprise, sometimes (usually!) with a somewhat stressful surprise that may require reorientation of our lifestyle temporarily or permanently. Somehow, at the same time as being open to surprises from adopted animals, we must also do our absolute best to take it all in stride and accommodate them as we would any family member with a traumatic past who just didn’t speak the same language as us in order to warn us first! This is the challenge of adopting, and it has boundless rewards.

Adoption has undeniable merits and joys over buying from a breeder, but with those merits come unique challenges. Next time you or someone you know is talking about adopting a pet, remind them of this simple fact: an adopted animal is more than their ‘rescue’ identity – they are a complete creature, a whole consciousness made of instincts and a collection of past experiences coming together to put them in a position of need. You never truly know what you’re getting, but it’ll always come with love!

 

Mickey Zeldes’ column will return shortly

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