Kids & Pets
September 22, 2019
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Why animals shed so much How many is too many felines? To spend or not to spend on pets? Dog Days of August Fostering is fun Bark After Dark benefit a great success Dog fights – often more bark than bite Black is beautiful! Summer hazards for pets Monte Vista Elementary Student Builders-2018 Odd couples and unusual friends 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 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 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 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 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

Taking work on vacation

By: Mickey Zeldes
November 30, 2018

For years I’ve been teased about bringing my work home with me. I’m not talking about the columns written at my kitchen table or the phone calls taken after hours; and my work doesn’t travel in a briefcase. What I usually bring home is a crate (sometimes two) of kittens! 

I love fostering kittens and have been doing it consistently for many years. I specialize in bottle babies and often take the most fragile since they often don’t make it and I know how heartbreaking that can be. But in all these years this Thanksgiving was the first time I’ve taken my work on vacation! 

I’m currently fostering a single kitten. He actually came in with a brother; both severely undernourished and covered with literally hundreds of fleas; which meant both were anemic. Judging by their teeth, they were about 4 weeks old and should have weighed somewhere around one pound. The bigger of the two weighed only 8.5 ounces and the smaller one was just 6.5 ounces. Not a great start and I knew there was a strong possibility they wouldn’t survive. 

We immediately went to work, bathing and combing them to get rid of the fleas; giving fluids; and getting them on a regular feeding schedule. They seemed to rally but only the bigger one suckled well, so it was sad but not a total shock when the smaller one crashed on the third day. The bigger guy, though, got the hang of the bottle and suckled like a champion. I was still a fussy mother and worried, especially when he started having diarrhea. 

I had plans for the Thanksgiving weekend to go to my sister’s in LA. She, too, is an animal lover with three dogs and four cats; in addition to a husband and two daughters. Her girls, now 20 and 17 years old, often volunteer in the kitten nursery at their local Best Friends’ Shelter so they were thrilled when I asked if we could bring a special “guest” along with us this year. The girls named the kitten “Sushi,” keeping with their theme of rice names (their last name is Rice) – I think they were hoping that would influence their parents to let them keep him! 

Taking him along actually proved easier than I expected. I brought a large cage, all his supplies and a cooler for the formula and food. Feeding on the drive down was managed simply enough by getting a cup of hot water at Starbuck’s to heat up the formula, and by using a microwaveable heating disc, he was toasty warm until we arrived and could plug in the regular heating pad. 

I have to say that Sushi was definitely the hit of the weekend and received a lot of socializing out of it. He met the dogs and the other holiday guests and was completely fawned over by the girls. I think I set a new precedent – and can see that although my nieces are always happy to see us, it’s nothing compared to the welcome of an adorable kitten! Not sure how I can top that next year! 

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