Help support the SPCA of Solano County. Proceeds go to help care for our animals while they wait for their forever homes. There are several styles and colors to choose from.
Where: SPCA of Solano County shelter, 2200 Peabody Rd in Vacaville next to CSP Solano
When: Saturday, October 15th, 2016 noon – 4:30 pm (rain or shine)
Why: Promote responsible and active dog ownership and help raise funds for the SPCA.
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***All canopies (pop up tents) must be weighted and/or secured to the ground due to the likelihood of wind***
I have been with the SPCA of Solano County for about 12 years now. We have seen some horrible things come through here. Fortunately not nearly as many as a municipal shelter but bad enough. One of the worst was dealing with 110 puppies from a puppy mill/broker in Dixon in 2010. For me this one was worse. Much worse.
I was approached by a person that we know from the shelter to help a breeder just past Fresno. Her property was being foreclosed on and there was no way the family could take care of the dogs. I was told there was 30 – 40 dogs and we had a couple weeks to work out the details to pick them up. I was also told that she was elderly and the dogs were in rough shape. That was an understatement.
The 30 – 40 dogs and two weeks to pick them up changed to 60 or so dogs and a few days, to right at a hundred and we have to get them by tomorrow because the sheriff is coming to lock us out! The reason we were involved at all was because the municipal shelters in the area are over full and with the shape they were in would probably not make is very long. There were too many of them.
So what do you do when there are little dogs in need? Well you get a couple people and vehicles and drive down there of course. That is exactly what we did. Me, a co-worker, and one of our board members left Vacaville at 3:30 pm and headed down to Fresno. We arrived after dark at 8:30 pm. I am actually glad it was dark. We weren’t able to actually see the conditions of the dogs and property.
She had been a breeder for years. She didn’t broker dogs, she was one of the old time breeders that cared about things like disposition, health, etc. These were nice dogs. The problem was time, age and money. The economy hit everyone hard and some people can’t let go. We actually had some people contact us after the rescue and said that they had gotten dogs from her years ago and that she had a great program and loved the dogs.
We got down there at 8:30 pm. I was told there were lights and that they had enough crates for all the dogs. I believed them. Why I decided to believe them I have no idea. Walking through the kennels was overwhelming. It had been raining the week or so before and while the dogs were mostly on concrete runs it was a mess. Mud all over the place and the smell was bad. I was glad it was dark.
The dogs varying numbers of Yorkies, shih-tzus, poodles and a few English Bulldogs thrown in were in desperate need of a grooming and a bath. Some were possibly pregnant, some were old, this pen was young and on and on. It turns out there were about 110 of them
As far as crates go there were only a few that were actually in good repair and put together. I should have known. Fortunately we did take a few crates and we had one animal control vehicle. We had one of her helpers, family member, we weren’t sure, helping by putting crates together. We loaded as many as we could carry. It was heartbreaking to watch the dogs rolling around in the clean towels that we brought to put in the crates. They were thoroughly enjoying themselves in the clean bedding.
The sheriff was supposed to be there in the morning to put a lock on the property so we were basically racing the clock. Putting a dog in the last available spot the decision was made that we had to come back for the rest ( about 50 dogs). We couldn’t leave them there. That meant a drive back, get dogs settled and come right back. Here we go. Dedicated yes. Smart, the jury is still out.
We have an amazing staff. They are a bunch of great guys that love animals. You would have to love what you do to work at a shelter. They had set up accommodations for our little muddy guests while we were gone. They had no idea how many were left still waiting.
We get back to the shelter a little after midnight. We had a couple of volunteers meet us there to help get them settled. They needed to be vaccinated before we put them in the kennels with the other dogs. They weren’t sick but we wanted to make sure they didn’t catch anything from the dogs we already had. The smell from the dogs was indescribable.
The whole process took a couple of hours. Finished up with the dogs at 3:00 am got some food and headed back to Fresno by 4:00 am. We need to be sure we were there before the lock was placed on the property by the sheriff. We took one of the volunteers with us for the second run. With no sleep and a lot of miserable fog in the dark it was an intense drive back.
We got back down there about 8:30 am. This time it was light out and we could actually see. I wished it was still dark.
It looked like at one time it was a pretty cool place. Palm trees and a cement fountain pond feature type thing. That was a long time ago.
We could see the mud and the dogs. There was stuff all over the place. They had lived on the property for 40 years. The dogs were kept in several areas, buildings, kennels, the house, everywhere. For the most part all the dogs were happy to see people and friendly. In all the chaos and stress none of them tried to bite or even offered to growl at us. They just went along with everything that was going on. They were fairly well fed and every kennel had an automatic waterer. There was just too many.
I felt like I had walked into a tv commercial. You know the ones I am talking about. Poor dogs with Sarah McLaughlin singing in the background. That is what it felt like. I am pretty good about being able to maintain my composure. I was determined that we were not leaving any of the dogs.
I told the lady that was helping to get the dogs loaded that we hadn’t slept and not in the mood for foolishness. We wanted to get them loaded and get them out of there. She took me seriously because loading them was far more efficient than the previous night. They were bringing them out three at a time with at least a little sense of urgency. I was trying to keep my mind on getting the dogs loaded and getting on the road.
There always has to be one. The one that manages to get through emotionally. We call her Lucy Liu.
We had loaded most of the dogs with the bulldogs being loaded last. We had all the dogs out of the kennels except for the last one. Lucy Liu is a bulldog/shepherd cross and has one of the most expressive eyes I have ever seen in a dog. She was standing with her front feet on the top of the kennel and giving me the look that said PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE!
I lost it. Completely and totally. 24 hours of no sleep, dogs in horrible living conditions and it takes one look from the last dog to reduce me to a useless puddle of tears. I just wanted to get her and go. NOW!! I had hit the breaking point and it was time to leave.
Dogs were all loaded and we were on the road. Now the real work begins. 110 dogs to sort out, vaccinate, spay, neuter, vaccinate, clean up after, etc.
These little cuties are available for adoption to approved homes. We were told they were Australian Shepherd mixes. Maybe? We didn’t see the parents so we cannot be sure. Be sure that if you are thinking about adopting one of these little guys you are prepared to bring a very BUSY dog into your family. They are going to need a lot of training, exercise and CONSTANT attention for a while. They are very smart puppies and find all sorts of ways to get into mischief.
We also CANNOT say for sure how big we think they are going to get. It is hard to estimate when they are this little and we haven’t seen the parents. We are estimating them to be between 45 – 60 lbs when they are full grown but that is an ESTIMATE.
Download and bring the completed application with you to the SPCA to meet with the puppies. Puppy Adoption Application.
They will be available starting Thursday January 15th at 12:30 pm.
Cats want snacks too! “Kahlua” & “Cream” adopted summer of 2014 and are now obviously very #happyathome
You are now thinking what is the catch. No catch. May 31, 2014 the SPCA of Solano County Spay/Neuter Clinic is celebrating “No Father’s Day” by neutering 150 male cats free of charge.
Our mission is to reduce the number of animals surrendered to municipal shelters by reducing the number of unwanted litters. This sponsored event will allow 150 male cats either pets, feral or rescue groups are welcome. Advance appointments are required.
To make an appointment by phone 707-448-8750 or 707-448-7722 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have had a lot of different pets come through the SPCA of Solano County in the last few years.
Some I remember and some I don’t. There have been so many that it is interesting when I find old pictures and see familiar faces. Sasha the Golden Retriever/Rottie mix that was returned several times through no fault of her own, just a victim of circumstance. Mama kitty, the Siamese cat that I fostered and had her kittens in my shower, Daniel our housecat that got adopted out twice and found his way back, twice!
The question I get asked the most is how do you keep from taking them all home? The short answer. A great deal of self control and the knowledge that we will do everything in our power to make sure they go to their forever home. That is the goal. Every animal to have a permanent home with a nice warm bed and a family that loves them. The reality is that we don’t always succeed the way we would like but we do make sure that they are happy and loved while they are with us.
We have had animals, dogs and cats with us for a year. People may question if that is fair. If those animals had been in a different shelter they might not have had a chance at a forever family. Honeydew was a very sweet female pitbull that we pulled from the county shelter. She had cropped ears and looked intimidating, combined with a standoffish personality (she wasn’t going to waste her time on someone not worthy) made for a difficult adoption. A year after she arrived she found her forever home and she still comes to visit.
Steve was a cat with us almost the same duration. He became a favorite fixture in our cat adoption trailer. He even has a room named after him. He was another one that you had to earn his attention. It takes just the right home. They make amazing pets put they don’t make it easy.
Some of them jump right out and say TAKE ME!!!! LOOK AT ME!!!!! That works for a lot of them. Then there are the people who want the one that isn’t so outgoing. The one who takes some time to get to know them.
That is the question. How can you be sure? Everyone seems to have an idea of how to choose or what they are looking for, other people wait to be chosen. Still others want their current pet to choose. The most important thing….
Listen to the people who know the animals best! The shelter or rescue staff spends a lot of time with the animals. They know their different personalities. We hear all the time, “ I had a dog just like that when I was a kid” We don’t doubt that and we know that most likely you know about that type of dog but you don’t know THIS dog.
If the staff says the dog isn’t good with kids, cats, other dogs, small animals etc. it is because we have noticed behaviors that indicate there could be a problem. We can’t predict what any animal will do in all situations, but we do our best to make sure that everyone is as safe as possible. This is our SPCA dog not the dog you had as a kid.
One incident comes to mind. A few years ago we had a very cute miniature dachshund that was surrendered because it wasn’t good with the owners toddler. We knew it was a problem so we needed a kid free home for this dog. We made sure to stress that fact when we talked to anyone about the dog. I had a young couple come in and say they had recently gotten married and were looking to get a dog and wanted the dachshund. I mentioned that the dog wasn’t good with kids. Their response? We don’t have kids. So my next question… “Are you planning to have children?” The response, well of course but not for a year or so. How do you respond to that?
We as shelter/rescue staff get attached to them. Some people can handle fostering, some can’t. We want to make sure they don’t come back to the shelter. We ask a lot of questions and try to let adoptive families know as much as possible about the pet they are interested in. Adoption is a big commitment. It is very hard on everyone when it doesn’t work out and it is very frustrating when it doesn’t work out because the people adopting didn’t listen. We don’t have all the answers but we can give you a good starting point. If we recommend a crate, make sure they are in a crate when alone. The dog is getting used to your house and it is a much safer way. Dogs have been returned because the people got them home turned them loose in the house and went to work. That is a recipe for disaster.
We recommend that you introduce cats slowly to each other. It isn’t a good idea to just put them in a room together with one food bowl and one litter box. Nobody will be happy. Sometimes it works, often it doesn’t. The cat comes back and we hear, it won’t use the litter box, hiding under the bed, fighting with the other cat. I bet. The cat went from the place where it was comfortable and familiar and dropped into hostile territory without warning.
The easiest adoptions take work. There is always a transition period, some short, some long. It will be worth it in the end. Listen to the adoption counselors or talk to the trainer that they recommend. They all want it to work and will do everything in their power to help you be successful.
“Gray” came to the SPCA of Solano County when our pet therapy group was visiting at one of the assisted living facilities in Vacaville. His owner had passed away and there was nobody to take care of the dog. Our group was asked to take him so they did. He needed some dental work and some extra care but he has now found his forever home with a new dog brother and sister! We are very happy for them!!!! 🙂 #happyathome