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Good News From Petco Foundation

Two local animal welfare groups — Oakland Animal Services and Cat Town — recently received major grants of $75,000 from the Petco Foundation, High Paw Media for the Petco Foundation recently announced. OAS received a $25,000 grant, and Cat Town got $50,000 from the Petco Foundation.

Julianne Chai helped OAS earn the grant by telling the story of Samson, a lovable pit bull dog with terminal cancer and only a few short months to live. Chai had fostered Samson, who was adopted by an Oakland couple. A year later, the pooch is beating the odds and scratching off bucket-list items, including Christmas caroling, with his new family. The Petco Foundation selected Samson’s story as a 2018 Holiday Wishes winner with the stipend for OAS.

Meanwhile, Oaklander Britt Dionne also shared a personal tale of how her cat, Bruce, has enabled her to achieve a better work-life balance by overcoming the chronic condition of what she called “corporatitis,” earning Cat Town the $50,000 grant.

The special pets’ humans also received Petco shopping spree. This year, the Petco Foundation announced 51 Holiday Wishes grant recipients from across the country for a total of $755,000 in grant awards to support the year-round lifesaving efforts of these animal welfare organizations.


Berkeley Humane Gets Parvo Grant

Good new for Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society: The East Bay nonprofit humane organization has been awarded $10,000 to protect puppies from canine parvovirus.

Berkeley Humane announced in a December news release that it had received the LeAnn Rimes Grant from the Pedigree Foundation to treat parvo, a disease that has been on the rise in California. In fact, the Central Valley has become one of the highest areas of incidences for the life-threatening disease in the United States, Berkeley Humane reported, and under-vaccinated puppies are at great risk of death without medical attention.

“Berkeley Humane is one of the oldest animal welfare organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area with a history of thinking outside the box to create solutions for dogs in need,” said Debra Fair, executive director of the Pedigree Foundation. “We like their innovative approach to adoption and believe the idea of moving at-risk puppies out of the shelter and into foster homes is a smart way to maximize resources while saving more lives.”

Berkeley Humane transports more than 100 puppies annually from the Central Valley. To assure their health and prevent cross contamination, all at-risk pups require a strict four-day quarantine. These stays also take up limited kennel space.

“With the new investment provided by Pedigree Foundation, we will begin housing these litters within our volunteer foster families’ homes and moving them out of the shelter,” said Jeffrey Zerwekh, executive director at Berkeley Humane. “The new program is called ‘Foster to Family’ and enables puppies, once medically cleared for adoption, to go directly into new, loving families without having to return to a shelter environment.”

Puppies in the program will be in safe home environments and will have more room to play and interact with caregivers. The program shifts more puppies out of kennels, freeing up space within Berkeley Humane for other animals in need. The grant funds will help care for the medical needs and overall care for the puppies, including spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, advanced medical care as needed, and the supplies necessary to support the volunteer foster families.


Happy Tale of Tails

Two Anatolian shepherd-mix dogs — Madison and Miguel — who went missing during the devastating Camp Fire in Butte County were happily reunited with their owner, Andrea Gaylord, ABC News recently reported.

Gaylord, whose home and property were destroyed by the deadly fire, credited animal rescue volunteer Shayla Sullivan with the successful reunification.

Sullivan had entered the fire zone trying to find lost pets and said in a social media post that workers had seen both dogs. Sullivan located Miguel nearly 87 miles away; he had been picked up by another rescue group. She returned him to the family and kept looking for Madison.

“Shayla has been so helpful,” Gaylord told ABC News affiliate KXTV-TV in Sacramento. “I have 141 phone calls on my cell phone from this gal, helping us find our dogs.”

Sullivan saw Madison roaming around near the Gaylord property, though he was uncatchable. When the family had finally been allowed to return home, Madison was there guarding the family’s land. Neither dog had sustained injuries from the fire.


Novel Proposal

Maurice Goldstein issued a unique marriage proposal recently to his girlfriend, Laura Stampler, in LA’s Runyon Canyon, CBS News reported

After four years of dating, the New York City couple was in LA for Thanksgiving and went on a hike. Goldstein had the trail peppered with rose petals and as he knelt to pop the question had an a cappella group sing. As soon as the bride-to-be said yes, a pack of 16 dogs rushed the scene, smothering the couple with kisses and cuddles.

“I personally don’t know how you can top puppies,” gushed Stampler. “For me, personally, this was beyond perfect — just having someone who knows you well enough to make you happy.”

On the heels of the marriage proposal, they were accepted as foster parents for rescue dogs through Muddy Paws Rescue in New York.


How Many Is Too Many?

The Manteca/Ripon Bulletin recently reported that the limit on household pets could be three dogs and three cats.

At press time, the new City Council was set to consider the ordinance, which was turned town by the preceding council. Citizens have urged the council to let the number of traditional four-legged pets end at six but in any combination, not necessarily three dogs and three cats. Families over the limit would be grandfathered in. Those with more than three dogs could apply for kennel permits.

Police Chief Jodie Estarziau said setting this limit on the number of dogs and cats allowed would bring Manteca in alignment with every other incorporated city in San Joaquin County, including Escalon, which sets the limit at no more than four animals total, either dogs or cats; Lathrop, which allows three dogs and three cats; Lodi, where the cap is no more than five animals total, either dogs or cats; Ripon, which allows no more than three animals total, either dogs or cats; Stockton, where households can have three dogs and three cats; and Tracy, whose limit is two dogs and three cats.


What’s in There?

WFLA in Tampa, Fla., recently showed some crazy X-ray photos of what weird things dogs sometimes eat, including a spoon, an engagement ring, a rubber ducky, and a shiny metal dog collar.

“They will eat just about anything they can get their hands on,” said Jeanette Bimonte, D.V.M., from South Dale Mabry Animal Clinic in Tampa. “Dog chains, entire dog collars and leashes. Nothing shocks me anymore. Sometimes the owners don’t even know what their pets have eaten until they bring them in. Undergarments, tube socks, baby bottles, entire corn cobs.”


Skijoring Adventures

Looking for a new sport to try this winter with your pooch? Try skijoring.

The New Hampshire Union Leader’s columnist Meghan McCarthy McPhaul highly recommends it. So what is skijoring? Basically being tethered to your dog (or horse) while you ski. The word skijoring is Norwegian and means “ski driving,” which can occur behind a horse or a dog.

She put on cross-country ski gear and stuffed her pockets with treats and under Jane Carpenter’s tutelage at the Outdoor Center and Gunstock Mountain Resort, tried out the winter outdoor activity.

“I’m passionate about this sport,” Carpenter said, noting any dog can do it as long as the dog — Labs, goldens, beagles, huskies, Jack Russell terrier — loves running. “It makes me so happy to get people involved in it and realize it’s just a great thing to do with your dog.”

“I haven’t yet met a dog who didn’t enjoy it once they get the hang of it,” Carpenter said. “A dog likes to have a job. This is working — it’s fun work, but it’s work.”

The basic equipment setup for skijoring is simple: dog harness, human harness, and a connecting 20-foot bungee leash. Commands are easy, too: “gee” for right turns, “haw” for left, “on by” to ignore the other people and dogs on the trail and keep trotting along, and  the all-important “Leave it.”


K9s at the Movies

Here’s a great doggie idea as reported in the Plano Profile and People: movie theaters for you and your dog.

K9 Cinemas is a movie theater designed for dog owners and their pets, and it opened in Plano, Texas, in December. K9 Cinemas lets humans bring up to two dogs each into the theater.

The pooches, not surprisingly, are expected to sit quietly while and enjoying the flicks. Bathroom breaks and clean up are up to the humans.

Pooch patrons must be up-to-date on shots, and owners can submit veterinary records online or bring a copy of their dog’s records to the box office. K9 Cinemas offers snacks for people and dogs.

K9 Cinemas is open on some weekends in a private event space with a big screen, padded chairs, and a concrete floor and screens classics instead of new releases. Founder Eric Lankford plans to open the theater every weekend, with the goal of eventually offering screenings daily.


Main article photo by: Courtesy Petco Foundation