Tuesday, 28 September 2004

Changes at the Humane Society & introducing TWIX !!!

Twix (<-- click here on his name to read more about him) finally made the Humane Society webpage, so here is his picture and the information they've posted about him

Name: TWIX         ID#: A439787
Pit Bull mix
Age: 2y                    Male

Solid, stoic Twix is a gentle giant who loves to snuggle and receive attention. He leans in by your side, putting his big soft head in your lap for petting and stroking. This touch-tolerant, affectionate boy accepts treats with a very gentle mouth and enjoys receiving hugs and scratches. Due to his large stature, Twix will be best suited for a family with kids at least 12 years of age.
there is a sweet tempered gal there that has also captured the attention of several of the employees .. she's an older, very affectionate lady by the name of Erika .. here is her picture and information

Name: ERIKA         ID#: A034936
Labrador Retr/Rottweiler mix
Age: 12y                    Spayed Female

Delightful Erika is a confident, affectionate, and energetic lady. She is food-motivated and not shy to let you know when she wants more treats by vocalizing her desires! Erika enjoys petting and touching, usually staying close to your side for attention. She has lots of energy for her age and is very eager and excited to go out for walks. Erika seems to get along with other dogs and is happy to make friends with everyone she meets.

beginning October 1st, there is going to be a drastic change in the way that the humane society functions
currently the Humane Society is the only drop off location for all owner surrenders, strays, investigations and confiscation's for the cities of San Jose, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Saratoga, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Monte Sereno, Sunnyvale and Campbell .. serving a total population of almost 1.7 million people.  Last year the shelter cared for almost 30,000 animals
October 1st the new Animal Care Center in San Jose will open for business and will be the only facility accepting strays and providing animal shelter services for residents of Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Saratoga and San Jose.
the humane society will continue to accept owner drop offs, (referred to owner surrenders) from all cities, and strays from the remaining cities in our county.  it is estimated that the new facility in San Jose is equipped to house 20,000 annually
what this means for the humane society is that the number of strays or injured animals will essentially be cut by one third, allowing the humane society to concentrate on the "more adoptable" pets, becoming more of a "no-kill shelter"
the only reason any facility can claim "no-kill" status is because they are allowed to be extremely selective in which animals they will allow to be accepted at their facility .. if any animal is deemed unadoptable for ANY reason (whether the animal has behavior or medical issues) they will not accept it
what this change means to the Humane Society is that instead of focusing the majority of their man hours in processing unadoptable pets, is that we will now have the privilege on focusing on spending more quality time with the adoptable pets to ensure that they find suitable homes and to ensure that their stay at the shelter, regardless of duration, is a positive experience for the dog or cat
i am so looking forward to the changes .. the thought of being able to spend as much time as necessary with each animal in behavior check .. being able to spend more time socializing adoptable dogs rather than being faced with a daily processing list of 20 - 30 dogs to process in 8 hours
dogs like Twix are going to benefit .. when he was healthchecked last weekend, he was so happy just to spend time with people .. the lovable big lug was content to sit at our feet and watch us.. once he greeted each one of us making sure we knew he was there, all he wanted to do was watch .. content to feel included i suppose
yesterday, after a week in the adoption kennels, he wasn't his goofy self .. he's a large imposing boy who can't help that his previous owners decided to chop off his ears to make him look more ferocious .. he just wants to play like any of the other dogs
sadly, the volunteers, the "dog socializers" pass him by .. there wasn't one socializer card in his envelope after a week .. why?  i've seen the volunteers make their way, from puppy to puppy, even though there are dozens of larger dogs who have been there for months
why?  yesterday we had NO open kennels in adoptions .. each kennel had anywhere from 1 to 4 dogs each .. half the day was spent attempting to partner up the dogs in the single kennels with another dog to free up a kennel .. unless you reach a certain experience level in dog socialization, you are not allowed to remove any dog from their kennel .. you socialize inside the kennel .. put 2 dogs (or 3 - 4 small dogs) in one kennel, PLUS a socializer, there simply isn't room to breathe let alone play .. you put 2 pits or other large dogs together in one kennel and only the bravest most experienced socializers will dare enter the kennel
why?  the puppies are more fun .. it doesn't take any skill or training to play with a puppy .. the larger, stronger, sometimes fierce looking dogs are intimidating to the young girls who volunteer at the humane society to play with the puppies and kittens
i understand completely .. i really do .. but my heart still goes out to the dogs who sit day after day in the adoption kennels, only being socialized when those of us that work in healthcheck aren't bogged down with processing 20 - 30 new dogs daily
dogs need time to be socialized with as many new dogs as possible .. it keeps their social skills sharp, allowing them to be more adoptable to families who already have pets at home .. if a dog spends too much time alone or with a single kennel mate, they can quickly lose their social skills
you can read more about San Jose's new Animal Care Facility here:
Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services

or here:
Humane Society Can Focus on Core Mission: Finding Loving Homes for Pets

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