Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday Shelter Snapshot

Pretty Daphne with ball

Daphne & Hendrix play in dog run

Daphne & Hendrix sharing doggie kisses

Handsome Hendrix loves the rope toys!

Kuda and Ollie enjoy some doggie fun

Ollie, what's not to love?

New girl Rhonda looking as cute as pie

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bo: The Office Series

Dear Bo was office dog on Friday! We were thrilled to see our handsome Bo up in front soaking in all the love and compliments. He deserves it all! Bo was an office dog star. Just as we thought he'd be. :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Volunteer Appreciation BBQ 9/20/08

Invites went out:

It's been a busy but successful summer at the shelter: the number of animals coming in has increased since last year, but so has the number of rescues and adoptions. These happy endings would not have been possible without the dedication and determination of our loyal volunteers. Please join me for an early dinner to celebrate of all this hard work and achievement. We'll take over a picnic site at Aquatic Park after the shelter closes on Saturday, September 20.

And a fun time was had by all!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Volunteer Stars: The Vodnoy Family

Mike, Summer and Chase hang out with shelter dog favorite "Hendrix"

We are so grateful that Summer, her dad Mike and brother Chase have joined our volunteer ranks. Not only are they dedicated dog walkers, but this past Saturday they bathed 6 dirty dogs and walked 10! They were back on Sunday as well and when I left the shelter they had already bathed 2 more lucky pooches and had their eyes on the next one. We so appreciate their energy, efforts and enthusiasm. It's inspiring to see kids devoting their free time to help our pooches.

Carlos Santana: A tale of two dogs

Santana finally out on a walk

Part I: Shelter dog Santana arrived at the shelter at the mature age of 8 years old. His person became ill and had to surrender her beloved pooch to our care. Santana was understandably shocked to find himself in a loud, stressful environment after all his years in a home. Initially he was too scared to leave his kennel. He lay there depressed, unwilling to venture outside. Volunteers would go inside his kennel to try to comfort him. It was heart wrenching to see such a sensitive pooch in the shelter setting. After days of this, a few hearty volunteers even carried him out to the front of the shelter for a change of scenery. Eventually, persistent volunteers were able to coax him out into the park for a short jaunt. He was still reluctant but he became a bit more animated over time. However, staff and volunteers wondered what chances Santana had at finding a life outside the shelter. He was an older pooch, overweight and part pit bull, not a winning combination alas.

Until, one Sunday afternoon, a lovely young couple came to look at dogs. They were looking to rescue a worthy dog and asked staff to identify those dogs in particular need of a home. They pored over the list, spent several hours meeting various dogs and then, miraculously, settled on Santana. Our big soft boy was going home! Volunteers and staff couldn't have been happier. We have since heard that after two weeks in his new home that Santana has regained some of his canine spirit and he ran around the house with doggie glee!

Carlos, hiding beneath the willow tree

Part II: Shortly after Santana was adopted, another large, sensitive pit bull mix was left in the night kennel. He was quickly dubbed "Carlos ." Like Santana, Carlos was initially very shut down in his kennel. He sat dejectedly, not moving, not barking, and just looking. Out on his first walk, he shook with fear as he was pulled from the kennels. Outside, he kept stopping by parked cars, likely hoping for a way out of his current circumstances. In the park, Carlos would stop and have to be lightly pulled to encourage him to continue. He was very easy to walk but clearly was unhappy. Fast forward a week or two. Carlos is still at the shelter, but he's adjusting and exhibiting more animated behavior. He's eager to head out on walks with volunteers and likes to sit in the park and be pet as he breathes in the fresh air.

Carlos has even been introduced to several female shelter dogs and has done very well. He's keen to sniff and interact with them in a non-pushy way. It's a true pleasure to see Carlos looking a bit happier and secure. He hasn't found his forever home yet but he seems to be coping a little better with shelter life. We can't wait for the day when this dear sweet boy heads home for good. He deserves the best!

Carlos looking happier!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sphere Goes Home!

Sphere came to our shelter with his older (and smaller) companion, Pami on April 18th. Overweight and undersocialized, this pooch really needed some tender loving attention. BACS volunteers came to the rescue and walked Sphere as often as possible, slimming this handsome boy down to his now svelte figure, by at least 25 lbs! When Sphere was taken out for walks, he would bark incecssantly upon spotting another dog-- it was indeed a bit trying at first to take what was to became a very lovable bear of a dog out for a park jaunt. Pami was adopted rather quickly, and consequently Sphere sank into a depression. When he spotted a small dog or duck in the distance, his tail would instantly start wagging in mistaken anticipation of being reunited with Pami. But gradually, Sphere emerged from his funk, and became this very companionable, sweet guy who was incredibly responsive to his walker, and much less vocal around other dogs. Walking Sphere became a pleasure! To watch this boy become healthier and more connected to humans throughout his time at BACS was a joy, and one that was not lost on his new adopters, who also have a smaller female who he hit it off with immediately. So, as of September 14th, Sphere has an adoring mom and dad and a little sister, too! Who could ask for more for our dear Sphere? (And they're keeping the name--thanks, April!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

BACS at Solano Stroll

The Solano Stroll is a September ritual that our shelter has participated in regularly. This year our booth was at the top of Solano in front of Andronicos. Several volunteers showed up for an early shift to help Volunteer Coordinator Emily set-up the shelter's canopy and table. In addition, this year we "decorated" the booth by hanging pictures of current shelter pooches (and bios) for passers-by to view. It added some color and it was fun to see all the doggie smiles.

Emily, Linda and Jelly model for the camera

Questions? We've got answers!

Doggie bio decorations

Jelly looking fiercer and fatter than she really is

BACS gets some TV airplay!

Berkeley Animal Care Services was featured on the weekly KCBS "Pets Around The Bay" segment. It aired Sept. 28, 2008 but can still be viewed on the web. Check it out!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Big Heads and Big Hearts

Today I took new shelter arrival Luscious out on his first walk. This handsome, stocky boy attracted a fair amount of attention in the nearby park due to his unusual physique. He's a low-slung blocky dog with a big old head. Several people wanted to know what breed of dog he is... Well, uh, pit bull mixed with bull dog? Who can say for sure. What matters is that he's a lovely, friendly pooch! He already has an adoption pending so hopefully he'll be "headed" out of the shelter soon.

Hanging out with Luscious conjured up memories of some former shelter residents who had large noggins. Pictures below.


Big Bertha
(was at the shelter for almost a year!)

Conrad -- solid softy

Monk -- squishy golden boy

Friday, September 12, 2008

Quincy now "Casey": Winning the doggie jackpot

We adopted Quincy last March & I just wanted to let you know that he's the love of our lives. My husband didn't have any experience with pitbulls & was skeptical about adopting one, but now he is the biggest pitbull fan & advocate going! I've always loved the breed but never had one in my home & now I'm an even bigger fan of bullies. Thanks go out to Joyce for patiently guiding us to the right companion. We didn't even have Quincy on our list of dogs we wanted to meet, but we're SO glad she suggested him to us. We feel like we hit the doggie jackpot!! Casey does well with people, children, other dogs -- even our cats! He has zero aggression & is just a big lover. Thanks again! Melissa

Note: Thank you Melissa for sending this update. Volunteers live for these stories! It sounds like Casey won the lottery too when he got to go home with you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ferdinand R.I.P.

This is Ferdinand. He was left in the night-drop box covered in fleas and open sores. His feet were almost webbed from having stood in a moist, unclean environment for way too long. We bathed Ferdinand, administered a topical medication to kill the fleas, rubbed his feet, gave him some food, a bed and a soft blanket, and showed him what love means, perhaps for the first time in his life. Ferdinand's medical problems were too severe to treat, having been compounded by years of neglect, so we had to let this sweet boy go to doggie heaven, where he will never have to worry about being mistreated ever again. This posting is in memory of Ferdinand, and serves as a reminder that every tender touch, soft word, and soothing comfort, whether it be medication, food, or a snuggly blanket means so much to our dogs, many of whom have had very little of anything in their lives before finding themselves in the safe haven of our shelter.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday at the Shelter

A few snapshots of Sunday shelter activity:

Our boy Bo enjoys a grassy retreat from the shelter.

Bo & Eddie walk side-by-side in the park.

New shelter arrival Chica poses pretty.

Chica & Ollie display their natural camouflage in the dried grass.

Eddie: The Tongue Series

Eddie is a handsome young dog with a beautiful red muted brindle coat. He's quite playful and was happy to sit for a treat which allowed me to capture these silly photos.