Friday, May 28, 2010

Dogs, sunshine, San Francisco Bay....!

Ahoy Matey!

Have you signed up for this year's Dog Day on the Bay?

On Sunday, June 6th, dogs, their best human pals, Mutt Lynch Winery and Hornblower Cruises will converge on the San Francisco Belle for the greatest off-shore adventure all year - a two hour cruise around the San Francisco Bay, complete with champagne brunch, music, dancing and plenty of doggone good times!

And you - our special blog readers, our dear friends, our favorite internet community -- you get to experience this at a deep discount!  That's right -- just announced, Hornblower Cruises has released a promo code just for our internet you access to the funnest cruise of all time for just $95! (normally $140...what a bargain!)

Don't delay!  Tickets are selling FAST!  Get yours today and we'll see you on board the Belle! 

All abooooooard!   click here for more details

Thursday, May 27, 2010

tales from a foster mother....BBQ + Onion, week 2

Onion started purring this week.

Every time we pick her up, a little motor starts up and her whole body seems to vibrate. I have read that a cats purr will heal aching joints and bones. While I cannot prove that, I do know that holding a tiny kitten while she purrs is immensely satisfying. Seeing them grow, develop some coordination and independence are all great, but feeling them purr, that's just delightful.

Onion and BBQ spent the week lolling in the sun, sleeping, kitten wrestling and exploring their little space. Every nook and cranny. But the highlight of their day is the food. If I can manage to sneak in to their room before they wake up and shake the dry food container, I am rewarded by two kitties that come shooting out of their little box. As though shot from a cannon, they race out of the box, tumbling over each other in the process, directly to the food dish where eating becomes serious business.

They make us laugh like that all the time, but we are ever mindful of the fact that we are also preparing them for adoption. BBQ started climbing up our pant legs one day. And while that behavior is adorable from a tiny kitten, imagine how obnoxious it would be when he gets older. So we put a stop to that. We don't let the kittens play with our hands, instead we use ping pong balls or other cat toys to interact with them. The day we return them to the adoption center, we want a potential family to find a well behaved, adorable little kitten to take home.

They are growing fast, BBQ is now over two pounds and Onion is close behind. So we don't know how much longer we will have them. So very soon we'll be returning these kitties for adoption. We are probably in the optimal phase of kitten fostering. Having nursed them to health, they are strong and growing. . . and adorable every moment of the day.

-  Brenda 

Does Brenda's blog have you thinking about becoming a foster parent?  To find out more, and sign up for an upcoming foster information session, contact us!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

That kid is going to have my job one day...

Time and again, we hear those words from our staff. 

Through our Humane Education program, children from all over the San Francisco area are able to have real time, hands on expreiences with our shelter animals, and learn compassion and kindness for all living creatures.  We're truly building tomorrow's animal ambassadors today.

Does your child love animals?  We have the summer program for him/her!

This summer, the San Francisco SPCA offers a whole line-up of Summer Animal Camps for kids interested in learning more about animals and the animal welfare community. Our camps promote kindness and compassion for all creatures. Curricula combine enriching activities and experiential learning to foster children’s love and understanding of animals.  Oh, and did we mention cuddles with kitties and puppies? What better way to spend the summer than making new friends, learning together, playing outrageous games, and hanging out with amazing animals who need your help? Kids aren’t the only one who will have fun . . . our shelter animals receive tons of attention and TLC.

This summer, we have several camp sessions to choose from, and space is STILL AVAILABLE!

Three parallel, fun-filled camp sessions are offered weekly. Sessions are available for children entering grades one through eight in the Fall of 2010. 

Camp sessions run Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The tuition fee for each camp session is $400 with financial aid opportunities available.

Extended care is available from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for a weekly rate of $50 per child
All campers receive a t-shirt and an afternoon snack.

The camp environment and curriculum emphasizes collaboration and exchange of ideas with fellow campers.
The interactive, activity-based learning process helps students make connections and associations between animals and their own life experiences.

For more infromation and to apply for summer camp, please visit our website today!

Friday, May 21, 2010

the Office Dog Chronicles...episode Piglet

Sometimes, the shelter can be a boring place for a young, active dog. Luckily, sometimes offices can be a bit dull as well. A few San Francisco SPCA staff have opened their office doors (and floors) to special dogs in the adoption center - special guys and gals that could use a break from the hustle and bustle, and all the new faces peering in at them.

This morning, Piglet decided to spend some time with one such SFSPCA staff member.

Piglet's an active teenager, who just can't get enough of his long runs and training sessions with volunteers.  His zest for life and energetic personality are a fabulous match for an active lifestyle, but unfortunatly, don't make for the most peaceful stay in the shelter.  Spending time in an office helps to break the daily routine, while giving us a peek into how a dog like this will do once settled into a home of his own.
Office time has been good for this guy...he got to snooze on the dog bed with all four feet in the air, followed by a delicious Kong snack.


He's hoping to learn to use the fax machine.

As much as we love having him in the office, though, we'd rather him apply for a job as your best friend...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

an onion, a bbq and a vegetable scale....

I had been hovering over my email inbox for days, hoping that Alison would contact me and tell me she had kittens ready to foster. Last Thursday the email finally came. After calling Alison to say I was on the way, we jumped in the car so we could get to the SPCA before Alison went home for the evening.

The SFSPCA names hundreds of kittens each year so they get a little creative (or it was close to lunch time) and we got kittens named after chip flavors. Onion is a sweet little girl kitty and BBQ is a fiery black and white boy with a cute black mark on his nose. When they handed me the kittens, each weighing just over a pound, I couldn’t get over how small they were.

We took them home to the space we had disinfected and prepared especially for them. Old towels were handy to line the box with and everything was prepared just as they had taught us in the orientation class the Saturday before. At first the kittens tentatively explored their little space, but soon they were running around chasing each other and making us laugh.

Each morning I weigh them in a vegetable scale provided by the SPCA. Three times a day I feed them special kitty food provided for us. On Friday Onion seemed not to be eating well and when I weighed her on Saturday morning, she had not gained. So I called the veterinary tech and they gave me some suggestions for getting her to eat.

By Monday Onion had lost weight so I emailed the foster office and they set me up with a veterinary appointment. I took both kittens in and the tech weighed them to confirm Onions weight and be sure that BBQ was OK. Then they brought out several different types of food, offering each to Onion until we hit on one that she liked. I was impressed when the doctor came in and, rather than just pick Onion up and start examining her, she let Onion continue to eat and just watched her from a distance. Everyone was compassionate and tender toward the kittens.

Onion was given some subcutaneous fluids and anti-nausea medications. They sent me home with a bag of special foods to try her on, including several containers of the type she had eaten. While I was at the office, I met another foster mom, and we had a nice chat sharing our experiences with kittens.

Its fun to wake up every morning and check in with adorable little kittens. They know me now and come running out of their box when they hear me in the kitchen. I love kittens, but I never imagined how rewarding it would be to take in these little guys.

Just watching them makes me smile.

smile away while you watch them play in this video....

---Brenda keep posted on all the adventures and tales from Brenda, our guest-blogging-kitten-foster-mom-extraordinaire, suscribe to our blog!

Interested in becoming a foster parent?  Get all the information here - I WANT TO FOSTER!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Following the life of a kitten foster family...

Spring is upon the Bay Area, and with those sunny skies, longer days and milder weather comes the inevitable pitter patter of little feet…kitten season.
As the warm weather coincides with female cats' heat cycles, female cats go into heat and male cats come running from near and far. By April, newborn kittens are brought to the shelter too young to be adopted — under eight weeks old — and shelter staff must find a way to provide them with the extra care and socialization they need during their first few weeks of life. That’s where you can step in and lend a huge helping hand.

The Foster Care Program is designed as a lifeline for animals who have a chance at survival, but are simply too young for adoption, or may be recovering from an injury or illness, and cannot yet enter the general population of the adoption center. With the love and care of devoted foster parents, these helpless animals are given a second chance for life.

We're thrilled to introduce you to a new member of our family - Brenda. Brenda is a new member of our Foster Parent ranks, and she'll soon be welcoming her first foster kittens into her home! Brenda will be posting with us on a regular basis, keeping the world aprised of the kittens' progress, growth and adorable photos. 

Welcome Brenda!  We're looking forward to your musings....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We're back!

And a hearty hello to you. And you. And you and you and even you! And especially to YOU - since here you are, still checking our blog for updates....we cannot apologize enough for the lack of attention we've shown you these last months.

All we can say is - we promise to never leave you blogless for such a spell you again.  We're back - we're pumped - and we're geared up to share more kitty, cat, kitten and kitteh information with you daily.  Along with some doggie stuff too, since, frankly, the canines were getting a little jealous.   So let's move forward into this new era of LDYK with the intent of showering ALL the San Francisco SPCA residents with some love....

....and because we know our apologies aren't quite enough --- we give you the internet debut of the one, the only, the world famous.....Lady Meow Meow!