Sunday, June 27, 2021
Monday, May 31, 2021
|Kim Hadley's triplets times two!|
What inspired you to start fostering?
What was your first fostering experience like?
The most challenging part has been seeing how many cats (and other animals) come into our county shelter – how many need foster and forever homes. It's hard not to want to help them all; to want to do more, take in more, make a bigger difference. It's an emotional roller coaster; I think it's important to know the reality, even if it's harsh. At the same time, the most joyful part, besides the kitten cuddles, purrs, and shenanigans, seeing their personalities blossom and become healthy, well-adjusted cats, has been knowing that I am helping in some small way. Even if it's just a few litters or a couple of adults per year, a few weeks of my life can change the course of their entire life.
Karen Zamel is a long-time SVPP volunteer and a member of the communications team.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
More than a million pets in the U.S. have heartworms, and their humans don’t know it.*
Monday, March 15, 2021
|Cozy in her forever home, Emma is a |
healthy 12 pounds today. She was 3 pounds
when SVPP rescued her in December.
The common assumption is that our rescued pets live in cages somewhere, like they do in municipal shelters. When people learn that our pets go straight into foster homes, I see a visible look of relief – even awe.
Because these pets usually spend a few weeks to a few months in foster care, they have time to find the right “happily ever after.” Fosters parents can get to know the pet and understand its needs. Does it do well with other pets or kids? Is it high energy or does it prefer naps? Does the dog or cat respond well to toys or treats? Is he/she shy or gregarious? This experience, information and insight helps us and potential adopters make sure that every match is a love match.
Major and his new foster-to-adopt dad, Michael,
are both thrilled with their love connection!
In the past year, we have experienced some remarkable gains in the number of SVPP foster families caring for cats and dogs, adoptions and pets we have been able to rescue. As COVID restrictions lift and people go back to work and school, our goal is to maintain this momentum and continue getting homeless pets – especially those with special needs – out of shelters, into foster homes and ultimately adopted by loving, forever families.
Interested in fostering? Complete an application here!
Karen Zamel is a long-time SVPP volunteer and a member of the communications team.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
|Alandea Muñoz and Teddy|
Walking with your dog or cat can be a fun and rewarding way to fulfill any intentions or resolutions you may have set for the New Year, whether that’s to spend more time outdoors, to exercise your body or mind (podcasts, audiobooks and walking meditations are great walking companions). Best of all, you can also support SVPP while you stroll, speed walk or hike.
For an easy way to give back to SVPP while logging your steps (whether you have a pet or not), download ResQWalk, a free mobile app for iOS and Android that lets you raise money for animal welfare organizations like SVPP, through its partnership with Best Friends Animal Society.Once you’re in the app, select Silicon Valley Pet Project as the organization you’d like to support. Throughout the year, Best Friends will distribute cash and other resources – provided by their corporate sponsors – toSVPP, proportionate to the total miles that the app’s users log in support of our organization. For more information on ResQWalk, visit the FAQs page.
- Choose your equipment wisely: Not all collars, harnesses and leashes are created equal. Make sure equipment fits securely, but comfortably. Avoid anything designed to use pain, pressure, or startle (like prong collars, choke chains, or electronic collars) to change your pet’s behavior. These tools can have serious, unintended consequences and there are safer alternatives.
- Make your walk fun for everyone: Your dog wants to sniff, so give them the opportunity. Your cat wants to explore, so be ready to follow. While walking for exercise and “getting your steps” is a great goal, make sure you are considering and including your pet’s goals, too. Take lots of breaks to stop and smell the roses!
- The right location matters: Don’t make life harder than it needs to be. Choose places to walk that are relaxing for both you and your pet. This might mean skipping the local park or crossing the street before passing that one neighbor’s house where their dog always barks at you. Consider driving to quieter areas or even just getting permission to explore your neighbor’s backyard.
- Ask for help: If your pet’s behavior is taking the fun out of your walks, consult with a professional who can teach you to use positive reinforcement to improve the situation.
Alandea Muñoz is an SVPP volunteer and guest blogger who enjoys long walks with her dog.
Jessica Char is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, and founder of Feline Engineering and Canine Engineering. She provides training and education for cat and dog owners and is an instructor for SVPP classes/webinars.
Monday, December 21, 2020
By all accounts, 2020 was an unprecedented year. To find out how SVPP managed, against all odds, to rescue more pets than ever, we talked with SVPP Co-Founder and CEO Melissa Lisbon.
|SVPP CEO Melissa Lisbon with Greta at a pre-pandemic fundraiser.|
What was 2020 like for rescue and SVPP during the pandemic?
|With new protocols in place, the Wyrick family |
adopted Raja (who is the only one without a mask!).
We made a huge pivot from in person adoption events for dogs and kittens, to virtual meet and greets using Zoom or Google Meet. Initially, we thought this would be a really hard change, but fortunately it has worked out surprisingly well. We likely will
incorporate this option even when we can have in-person adoption events. Some of our felines and scared or shy dogs actually do better in Zoom meet and greets than in person! They can feel more at ease in their foster environment and not be expected to “turn it on” at an adoption event!
We had to make some other big pivots “behind the scenes.” For example, we had to create a foster-to-adopt program for our kittens, since we could not get our kittens spayed and neutered in the normal time frame we were used to before the pandemic. We had to modify our process and provide additional kitten care education to prospective adopters.
|Wendi, at VCA Blossom Hill, took special care|
of (and fostered!) Xena, a kitten who had injuries
from being hit by a car.A work colleague of
Wendi's adopted this special rescue!
What were some of the "ah ha" moments?
For me personally, one of the “ah ha” moments during the initial phases of the pandemic was the realization that people wanted and needed pets during this time more than ever. As a result, it was a great time for shelters and rescue organizations to demonstrate how they work together and a prime opportunity to involve the community in a process that often is misunderstood or "behind the scenes."
What were a few of the major milestones accomplished this year?
I’m proud to say that we rescued more animals this year than in years past despite the obstacles we faced. This is a tribute to the compassion and power of our community, especially our talented volunteers who found the time to support our rescue efforts in a tremendous way throughout the pandemic and California’s fire season.
What do you expect will be different in 2021?
I'm hoping that we will eventually get back to some normalcy where we can personally evaluate the pets we rescue at the shelter, vet clinics will return to having their normal capacity for medical services, and we can come together as a community in person at adoption and other events where the pet-loving community can celebrate the bond we have with our pets again! At the very least, I think everyone will have a greater appreciation for our essential workers and a renewed sense of the importance of a kind and compassionate community.
Monday, November 23, 2020
SVPP volunteer, Laura Brown, is fostering kittens for the third season this year. It’s been a life-affirming experience for her and she has been kind enough to share her story with us.
Laura has a long history of loving and caring for animals and had her own
first rescue when she was an undergrad at UC San Diego — a ginger cat named “Trouble.” Laura and Trouble moved many times together over the years and finally ended up in San Jose in 2016. Then, Trouble’s health began to decline and she was diagnosed with diabetes.
Laura and Trouble
“By 2018, I realized we were living on borrowed time, and I wanted to foster kittens to keep my spirits up. Luckily, I have a spare bedroom that became the Kitten Room though, because Trouble was a terrible hostess and I had to keep the kittens out of her sight to keep the peace in the house!”
Laura fostered weaned kittens for her first two years with SVPP and had a great experience. When COVID-19 hit, Laura began working from home and she decided to take on some bottle babies.
Laura and King Pete
“I was excited, but nervous, too. I thought I could ease my way into the world of neonates with a mom and babies, since the mom would help me do most of the work,” Laura said.
Unfortunately, the normally simple situation turned out to be a serious and heartbreaking experience, as the young mother became very ill and most of the neonates did not survive.
“Any loss in rescue work is sad. It happens and we know it’s a possibility when we sign up, but when you put so much love and effort into these tiny creatures…it breaks your heart to hold them in your hands and lose them.”
After a few of her most challenging weeks as a foster, and while managing Trouble’s declining health, Laura felt the need to take back some control. She purchased an incubator and rearranged the Kitten Room to be a more functional rescue space. King Pete, the sole survivor neonate, took residence in the cozy new incubator and became Laura’s first foster fail near the end of June.
“Watching Pete grow and thrive after losing his siblings felt like such an accomplishment. He stole a huge piece of my heart despite my best efforts not to get attached. And Trouble was always there to snuggle me for as long as I needed when I was physically and emotionally exhausted from dealing with sick kittens. Things really came around full circle when it was Pete left here to comfort me when I lost her in August,” Laura said.
It was a record season for SVPP, with many successful adoptions and Laura added to her running tally of 49 total fosters since 2018.
The season ended just as dramatically as it started. In August, three kittens (out of ten in Laura’s care at the time) were diagnosed with Panleukopenia. After a few more intense weeks of critical care, two of the three infected kittens survived and they were Laura’s last two adoptions of the season.
“I’m so proud of these survivors. It’s been a crazy year in all respects and I’m sad for each life lost, but I’m happy we saved so many more. The experience I gained, even though it was hard, was invaluable and will surely help me save more little lives in the future.”
Laura will be moving back to San Diego next year with King Pete, but she plans to continue her work in rescue as soon as she settles in.
We are grateful to Laura for everything she has done for SVPP — and for helping us save so many fragile, vulnerable and amazing lives.