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. 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?

Visiting Cape Town SPCA

By: Mickey Zeldes
September 14, 2018
All About Pets

By Mickey Zeldes

If you read this column regularly you already know that I’ve been on vacation the past three weeks.  When I travel I love to find a local animal shelter to visit to see what the similarities and differences are.  I have visited shelters or rescues around the world: Australia, Peru, Kenya, Japan and Israel.  Now I can add South Africa to the list.

While I was in Cape Town I went to see the Cape Town SPCA.  I was hoping to visit a private cat rescue too, but time wouldn’t allow for both.  The SPCA covers the city and the surrounding areas and serves a population of several million people.  Cape Town is a thriving metropolis but has a lot of extremely poor areas around it.  Many people have pets and keep livestock, especially chickens for their eggs and meat.

I tried to email in advance to see if I could connect with someone who would be willing to give me a tour and answer questions but didn’t receive a response, so I took my chances and just showed up on a Saturday morning.  I was impressed immediately by the size of the place.  It’s a huge complex of buildings!  They have one building for dog and cat adoptions, a separate building for animal intake (great idea, then newly arriving sick animals can’t infect existing adoptable animals unless caretakers bring germs in), a livestock area, a vet clinic, a wildlife short-term holding facility, a building for their officers, a small pet shop and thrift store and an administration/education center.  Sadly, because it was the weekend, not everything was open so I couldn’t see it all.

When I arrived, the first thing I saw was a mobile outreach truck and tables set up in the courtyard.  They were holding a low-cost microchip clinic!  It’s so cool to note that this technology is being used worldwide to help reunite lost pets.  I chatted with one of the volunteers working at this event and she was the most helpful person I found although since she wasn’t staff she couldn’t answer most of my questions.  I wandered through their adoption area and watched how staff interacted with the visitors and did adoptions.  They were very busy and I saw several animals going to new homes, which was great.  I did find out that all animals are sterilized (altered) before going to their new homes and their questionnaire was similar to any I’ve seen in the states.

The place was buzzing and I stopped as many staff and volunteers as I could to ask questions.  I met a nice young man who was one of their dog walkers and the cat volunteer allowed me to socialize with a litter of young kittens (so cute and I desperately needed a fur-fix by that point in my vacation).  I loved how their cats were housed in very small rooms, each with an attached tiny patio; much like our new kitten enclosures but with an outside area too.  The dog area was set up similarly with indoor/outdoor runs.  What are the chances that the first dog I saw was an Australian Shepherd!  I have been looking to adopt one for several years but we don’t get them in our shelter.  Of course, it was ridiculous to even think about adopting from there and they, like us, require that the whole family – including other dogs – meet the animal before being adopted.  That clearly wasn’t going to happen!

One of their signs indicated that between all the services they offer they impact over 100,000 animals each year.  That’s huge and I hope to email them again to get more information on all that they do.  It was good to see all the services they offer but in some ways it was sad to see that they are dealing with the same issues we have.  Pet overpopulation is world-wide and the push to spay and neuter is universal.  Posters pushed the concepts of kindness to animals and reporting cruelty and neglect.  The need to microchip and license to help lost pets get returned home is the same everywhere I’ve been.  But it was heartwarming to see the poor people with their pets that walked there if they had no transportation to take advantage of the veterinary clinic and the low-cost microchips that were being offered.  Love of animals is something we share with people everywhere!


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