Kids & Pets
July 17, 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 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?

TSA selecting more floppy-eared dogs

By: Mickey Zeldes
January 11, 2019

A news story recently came out saying that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has started an informal policy of trying to select sniffer dogs that have floppy ears rather than erect, pointed ears. This is based on the public perception that dogs with pointed ears look more aggressive and that they scare children. This is all just based on assumptions since no formal survey or study was done. Interesting though!

It’s true that if you compare a Pitbull with floppy ears (and a big grin) to one with the cropped erect ears – it softens the expression. Think about military dogs, mostly shepherds and Malinois’, with their erect ears. If you watch any movie about WWII they always show the shepherds being used as guard dogs. And they certainly don’t look friendly! So have we just been conditioned to associate the erect ears with a certain temperament? We sure get a lot of friendly shepherds through the shelter. And many small breeds have erect ears: Chihuahuas, Corgis, Bulldogs and Basenjis come to mind. Nothing very ferocious about a Boston Terrier!

Some breeds have their ears cropped to get them to be erect – Boxers, Pitbulls, Dobermans and Danes are a few. Sometimes a particular pup will need help to get his ears to say erect and people put wires or tape to help them stay up. Shelties and Collies have erect ears with just the very tip folded over. Again, some pups need help with that and breeders suggest taping a pebble on the end to help them fold correctly. The things we do to maintain a certain look!

Actually erect ears are more natural if you think back to our dogs’ ancestor, the wolf. Erect ears maintain better airflow and tend to have fewer infections. Big floppy ears trap moisture and are perfect breeding grounds for yeast and bacteria. Cocker Spaniels are well known to have ear issues and all my Golden Retrievers suffered from ear infections and needed their ears monitored for life. The furrier and longer the ears are, the higher the risk for ear problems.

All of which has nothing to do with a dog’s ability to sniff out drugs or bombs. All the dogs used by the TSA have gone through rigorous training and testing. This change is being done purely to present a “friendlier” dog to the public. Not that these dogs are pet-able – they all sport a vest saying “do not pet – working dog.” It also has nothing to do with an individual animal’s temperament although I’m sure the TSA would only pick those that they feel are safe to be in very public areas.

Next they will decide not to use black dogs – they also tend to have a negative public image. Like black cats, the hardest to place dogs are the black ones. Doesn’t really seem fair does it? Do you find yourself stereotyping dogs by their ear shape or color? Let’s do our own (informal) survey!

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; 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 mzeldes@rpcity.org.