Kids & Pets
August 6, 2020
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The year behind and ahead

By: Mickey Zeldes
January 3, 2020

It’s always nice on the cusp of a new year to look back and reflect on events that happened and the highlights of the year.  2019 was, overall, a good year.  There were some frustrations and setbacks, however, overall we were successful in our mission.

The clinic remodel, which had been approved the year before and was supposed to get done in 2019, has not yet even gone out for bid.  But the good news is that the architect is working on the plans and it is still moving forward.  The renovation will increase our clinic space and give our surgery animals a separate recovery area.  In addition it will give us an area to actually have our lab equipment set up in a more efficient manner.  No more balancing the computer keyboard on top of the centrifuge, which is sitting on the refrigerator!  

It will also allow us to bring our fix-it clinic in-house and hopefully utilize the clinic space for other purposes.  We still have some licensing issues to work out but it would be great to be able to maximize the use of our surgical space and help out other groups as well.  We are excited about the possibilities and looking forward to the change.  So a disappointment is that we can’t brag it’s done but the good news is that it’s moving forward.

Once again, in 2019, the fires came, and we opened our doors to take in almost 100 pets of families that had to evacuate.  Two of our local shelters were caught in those evacuation orders and we assisted the Sonoma Humane Society by taking in 37 of their ringworm cats!  It really showed the great teamwork among agencies as everyone helped each other out and the importance of emergency preparedness.  We were so fortunate to not have been directly affected, not even losing power!  But we are looking at the future and getting a small generator to at least be able to keep our drugs and vaccines safe.

Another disappointment was that because of the fires our support non-profit, the Animal Shelter League (ASL), had to cancel their annual fundraiser.  This also happened in 2017 and it really hurts since this is a major source of their funding.  With power out in parts of the county and people still in evacuation mode it just didn’t make sense to try and hold a gala event.  The last minute scramble to try and notify all the ticket holders, the caterer, the venue, etc. was a lot of work and very sad.  The good news is that it has been rescheduled to February 22, 2020 so please mark your calendar now and join us in raising funds to help our animals!

2019 was definitely the year of the guinea pig!  Not in the Chinese calendar, but here at our shelter.  We sometimes go a year or two without having so much as a single guinea pig surrendered and last year we had a lot (still doing final counts).  In fact at one point we had over a dozen available for adoption and more on our waiting list for surrender!  And the trend seems to be continuing as we have two pair at the shelter right now.  I can’t prove it but my guess is it has something to do with the law that went into effect in 2019 that pet stores couldn’t sell rabbits – only have them available from rescues and shelters.  Think there’s a correlation?

Other than those significant events the year was just the usual flow of animals in and animals out.  Some came to us with significant injuries or illnesses and we were happy, with the support of ASL to be able to help those that were save-able.  We networked with dozens of rescue groups to find happy endings to many animals that needed something extra and we so appreciate the partnerships we have.  We returned lost pets to their worried families (are you part of our Facebook team that shares our posts?), and adopted out hundreds of pets to their new forever homes.  I think all in all it was a pretty good year!  And next year will be even better! 


Upcoming Events

No More Lost Pets – free microchips and pet ID tags for residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati City.  Stop by the shelter during our open hours with your pet to get one!  The shelter is open Wed. 1-6:30, Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30 and 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