Kids & Pets
August 25, 2019
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Fostering is fun The Richard Crane School- Cougar Cub Character Assembly Richard Crane’s walk-a-thon Dog fights – often more bark than bite Summer hazards for pets Odd couples and unusual friends Sonoma County Vegfest – learn about a plant-based diet Mark your calendars-Support Bark After Dark Belated Happy Mother’s Day RP Animal Shelter has a rodent nursery All the pieces in place Cautions for your pet on the 4th of July Long distance adoptions Saving Hopps becomes a job Bark After Dark benefit a great success Richard Crane- Cougar Cub Character Assembly for May 20 Hahn Elementary-Life skill recipients for May To be a senior cat during the summer is the pits Black is beautiful! Spring is turtle season? Thomas Page Academy awards for May Summer camp review 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 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?

The truth about no-kill, does not mean zero deaths

By: Mickey Zeldes
March 29, 2019

Recently a news item was circulating on Facebook entitled “The Truth About No-Kill” and the reporter was making the shocking announcement that “no-kill” does not mean zero deaths.  He was truly astounded to find out that shelters that call themselves “no-kill” still do occasional euthanasias.  He kept asking “What does no-kill mean?”  What does it mean to you?

We’re often asked if we are a “no-kill” shelter and my response is always that question.  What does “no-kill” mean to you?  Sometimes we get in animals that are severely injured or incurably ill.  Sometimes we get in animals that have bitten people or killed other animals.  Sometimes we get in animals under-socialized to the point that being around people is traumatizing to them.  Sometimes we have to make those hard decisions.  Almost always the response is “oh, that’s OK.”  

Well, thank you.  So we do euthanize – sometimes.  Never healthy, good-tempered animals.  Never because of space or after a set number of days.  I don’t know any shelter, in our area that faces that issue.  There is a strong network of shelters and rescues and we all do everything we can to help the animals in our care find homes.  But we don’t save them all.  Not only is that not possible – it’s not reasonable.  So what does the term “no-kill” mean?  The accepted definition, put forward by Richard Avanzino, father of the no-kill movement, is any shelter that saves 90 percent or more of the animals in its care.

Yes, that means that up to 10 percent of the animals could still be euthanized but it’s the last 10 percent that is such a struggle for shelters.  They are the really old frail animals, the ones with difficult temperament challenges, those with chronic or expensive health issues – those that are, in fact, the least likely to be adopted.  No one comes into the shelter looking for an animal that will cost a fortune in vet bills or will be behaviorally challenging!

Another challenge is how you do your statistics.  Do you count in owner-requested euthanasias? That is when an owner makes the difficult decision to end the suffering of their own pet and pays the shelter to perform that service.  Do you count animals that die on their own despite being given treatment?  There is a big difference between a parvo puppy that dies even though it was being treated aggressively and making the decision to euthanize a healthy animal that is deemed too dangerous.  You can see that if you leave out those that die on their own where that can go – I shudder to think that any shelter might not humanely put an animal out of his suffering just so they could say he died on his own!  On the other hand, how often is an animal “adopted” out to a trusted volunteer who takes the sick animal to their own vet for euthanasia?  It shows on the books as an adoption, right?  You can see how tricky dealing with stats can be.

We are proud of the progress we are making.  Last year we were at 93% percent save rate.  We currently have in adoptions many senior pets, some with manageable health issues, FIV cats, shy cats and cats that are for barn/working cat placements.  These are animals that just 10 to 15 years ago would have been euthanized without a second thought.  But we can’t do it without people willing to adopt these challenging pets.  We definitely aren’t set up to be a sanctuary!  So if you want to do your part to help make this really a “no-kill” nation, then please consider opening your home to one of our more challenging animals.  They are still very loving and appreciative!

Upcoming Events

3rd Annual Sonoma County Bunfest! – Sat., March 30, 11-3:00 p.m., at the RP Community Center.  Free admission gets you great speakers about bunny care and health, adorable rabbits to meet, rabbit supplies and toys for sale, raffle items and more.  New this year – a family activity center!  Details available at

“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