Kids & Pets
June 17, 2019
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All the pieces in place Dog fights – often more bark than bite RP Animal Shelter has a rodent nursery Hahn Elementary-Life skill recipients for May Belated Happy Mother’s Day Bark After Dark benefit a great success Richard Crane- Cougar Cub Character Assembly for May 20 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 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. 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?

You love pets? Quality vs. quantity

By: Mickey Zeldes
May 17, 2019

Which would you choose?  Quality of life or quantity of life?  What if you could live an extra few years but you would be in pain or misery for the entire time?  I know that different religions and philosophies look upon sanctity of life in different ways but if you had the ability to make the choice, which would you choose?  Some of you may say that there are drugs to manage pain so you could have at least some quality to the extra time but what if that wasn’t an option either?

Pain in animals is hard to gauge.  They instinctively hide their pain so as not to become prey.  So by the time we see the signs of illness, they are pretty sick or the injury is worse than first thought.  We often get in older animals that are in very poor condition and when we ask if they are under veterinary care, the answer is inevitably, “well, she’s 18 (or 19….) so that’s why she looks that way.”  That’s not a good enough answer!  Older animals need more veterinary care, not less!  The bottom line is even if you choose not to treat the underlying condition that is making the animal look this way, at least make sure she is not in pain.

I recently saw my friend’s dog that I haven’t seen in a while.  Reno (names have been changed to protect identities) had always had a slight occasional limp but was an active dog and didn’t seem much affected by it.  I was surprised to see how much worse the limp had become now that the dog was older – of course arthritis probably added to it – and how much of the leg muscle had atrophied.  Still I couldn’t convince her that the dog was in pain, since he still got around just fine.  You see animals all around favoring limbs or having a hard time getting up and laying down.  Older animals get arthritis just like we do and that is also very painful.  Yet not everyone thinks to treat that pain.  Is that fair?  

I recently took a call from someone wanting to discuss surrendering their dog.  Not only was the animal a senior, over 11 years old, with some chronic health issues and extreme anxiety, he had bitten more than once so was a temperament challenge.  Now I know the “no-kill” mentality would say “so what, save him anyway!”  But this is where I disagree.  Looking at it from the animal’s point of view, here is a dog that doesn’t do well with change, is nervous around new people and situations, and we’re going to take him from the only home and people he knows and ask him to adapt to a shelter environment while we look for another home which would be another major change.  All while dealing with his health and temperament issues not to mention his grief and confusion over the loss he’s suffering.  Why?  So he can live unhappily for a few more months?  What do you think about this?

Here’s an even more difficult situation that I know people will take differing sides on.  An older man dealing with his own illness decides that he can’t deal with life anymore and wants to end it.  He has an old dog as a companion and thinks the kindest thing is for the two of them to cross the bridge together, so he shares the drugs he is overdosing on with the dog.  Fate intervenes and they both survive.  Should he get his dog back?  What if he didn’t do that and only ended his own life.  Then what would have happened to the old dog?  Was he wrong to try and do a home euthanasia on his pet?  

Is it ever wrong to say goodbye to a pet that is in chronic pain?  We are allowed to make that choice for our pet and I think of it as a gift.  A peaceful exit surrounded by those who loved the animal.  What is wrong with that?  

Upcoming Events

Kidz ‘n’ Critters Summer Camp – registration is now open for our camp program. 4 sessions for different age levels from 2nd grade to 7th grade.  Educational and interactive – perfect for all young animal lovers!  For details and registration forms go to www.rpanimalshelter.org or stop by the shelter.

“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.