In June, SFACC completed 143 adoptions: 12 dogs, 120 cats, and 11 other species (guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, etc.). In addition, the shelter staff transferred 46 dogs, 77 cats, and 113 other species to partner organizations. Thank you to our
By Judi Basolo
My beloved cat Guido the Italian Kitty was born at SFACC and I adopted him at the SFSPCA. He passed two months shy of his 15th birthday, and within two days, Grappa (my 7-1/2 year old calico) and I moved 48 hours later to a new home here in SF. It was CAT-Oh-Strophic for sure (I’d never wish this stress on anybody). Grappa had always lived with Guido in that home and here she and I were without him, and in a place filled with 69 cardboard moving boxes.
I felt my life had imploded yet I knew my cat-momma job was to get the boxes out of the house for Grappa and for us girls to have a new life. But she missed Guido so much. I started searching for a kitten because as a calico with her own mindset and I realized Grappa needed a youngster so she could train them. In my search I found no kittens for adoption in S.F., on the Peninsula, in Marin County or even in Yolo County (I’d adopted two kitties previously from the Yolo SPCA). In March, it seemed that kitten season was delayed.
I reached out to my long-time friend Virginia Donohue who happens to be the director of SFACC, and she said “Hey I told you a week ago about Toni’s Kitty Rescue!” It’s true she had, but in my moving stress I’d not paid attention, so I called Toni who said “We have one tux kitten that’s in foster care now,” and she connected me with Ginny Chin (an experienced foster kitten volunteer for TKR and the shelter).
Phew. Now it’s Friday April 16th. I phoned Ginny who FaceTimed me with her one and only kitten. He was precious and wild, racing around in the video, and she said “Well do you want him?” The answer was YES, and I immediately told her “ENZO Furrari is coming to our home!” DON’T ask me how I came up with his name–although all my kitties have had Italian names: Baci, Guido, Grazie, and Grappa.
The following Wednesday, Ginny met me in the parking lot of SFACC and I cried tears of joy meeting my new inky, dinky little man cat! His story it turns out is that Enzo was found at 7-10 days of age in a metal works site in an industrial neighborhood of SF. A good Samaritan found him and brought him into the shelter. Thank GOD is all I can say. He weighed only 10 ounces, his papers show.
Losing Guido after almost 15 years broke my heart and Grappa’s heart was broken too but now, Grappa and I are back on track thanks to SFACC putting me in touch with Toni’s Kitty Rescue.
Enzo is a bundle of joyous smitten kitten and we are a family again. My advice? Don’t give up on your search—the kittens are out there and are ready to love you!
SNAP Cats, located in Santa Rosa, CA, is dedicated to the rescue and care of Special Needs cats, including FeLV+, FIV+ and seniors. SNAP Cats is one of 25 SFACC partner rescue organizations that received a Friends of SFACC grant last month.
Each year, Friends gives local animal rescue organizations microgrants to help them rescue all species of animals from the shelter. In May, 25 applications were received and 25 grants were awarded to partners for their work in 2020. The grant amounts ranged from $500-$3,000. Here’s a quick run-down of the process this year:
1. The SFACC team provided the Friends grant committee (one Friends employee, two SFACC employees, and five Friends board members) with a master list of partners from the past year with the number of animals taken in by each partner.
2. Sixty-five groups were invited to apply via email and all partners were given one month to return a simple application for funds.
3. Committee members reviewed each application, then had a two-hour virtual meeting to discuss each organization and agree on an award amount for each.
The grants can make a real difference in helping with medical or supply needs, especially for smaller organizations. Darryl Roberts, the Found/Executive Director of SNAP Cats: “We enjoy our relationship with SFACC and will continue to rescue as many special needs/senior cats from them as possible. Out of the 22 cats that we’ve rescued from SFACC to date, only one has not been adopted. We’re hoping to find a home for her soon. Thank you again for your generous grant!”
Here are the recipients of the 2020 Rescue Grant Awards:
Every Pet’s Dream Rescue
Give Me Shelter
NorCal Bully Breed
Ohlone Humane Society
One Living Sanctuary Rescue
Pure Breds Plus
Save a Bunny
Saving Grace Rescue
The Heart of Rescue (THOR)
Town Cats Rescue
Underdog Animal Rescue
Bravo and thanks to all the organizations who work with SFACC all year. A special shout-out to Kathryn Jones, SFACC Adoption Partner Transfer Coordinator; McKenzie Joseph, Director of Development & Communications for Friends of SFACC; and Remy Savin, Friends of SFACC Board Member, who collectively guided and implemented the award process.
Duma and Tandy at their Los Angeles layover. They had a blast!
By Kathryn Jones
SFACC Adoption Partner Transfer Coordinator
In my role as Adoption Partner Transfer Coordinator, it was a treat for me to provide input to the Friends of SFACC board during their annual process of inviting applicants to apply for a Rescue Partner Grant. Over the past few years, I have been able to see first-hand how very effective these grants are to our valued partners and how deeply they appreciate them. While partner rescue is more behind the scenes than an adoption or a brave wildlife rescue (hello, mountain lion in a tree!), I have found that these rescue placements and transport trips reveal a deeply passionate network of people who will go above and beyond for an animal at SFACC.
I cannot understate how valuable our rescue partners are to our shelter animals—they are a lifeline for dogs, cats, birds, rodents, wildlife, and beyond. With our extensive partner program and our wide reach, I have come to think of SFACC as a launching pad; oftentimes we are merely a pit stop on the journey to a bright future. It takes some creativity and persistence on my part, and at times some bribery (I’m not above sending a dog along to rescue with a few cases of beer and a cake), and a whole lot of folks willing to donate their time and resources, but it is incredible to be a part of such an effective chain of people.
Our master list has approximately 135 rescue partners that span from California to Idaho to Arizona and beyond. When providing feedback about which partners Friends should invite to apply this year, I considered a few things; like so much of the rescue world, this is a nuanced piece. The award decision-making process is not just about the number of animals the rescue takes from our shelter, but also takes into account the types of animals pulled and their specific needs. A rescue that specializes in high-risk dogs with extensive medical needs will often have a high cost of operation and the grants from Friends can be a lifeline these rescues.
One such story is of Duma and Tandy, a pair of adolescent Rottweilers. This brother-and-sister pair were surrendered to our shelter last month. These two dogs were inexperienced with much of the world, and deeply anxious in the shelter environment. Our fantastic behavior team saw their potential, worked with FETCH to increase Duma and Tandy’s comfort during their stay with us, and I got to work pounding the digital pavement in order to find them suitable placement. I found an excellent rescue that focused solely on Rottweilers and had experience with undersocialized dogs. They were the perfect fit for our twin Rotties—but they were located in Arizona.
With some luck and elbow grease, the rescue agreed to take Duma and Tandy. Our heroic LT, the supervisor of the Behavior & Training department, offered to drive the pair to a halfway point in Los Angeles. We loaded the pair up in crates and LT spent a day carpooling these two goobers down south. In LA, they spent a few nights at a layover with some friends of the rescue before being scooped up by a volunteer from rescue; he flew from Phoenix to LA, rented a car, and drove our Duma and Tandy back to Arizona with him. Both dogs are doing fantastically and already have potential adopters waiting in the wings.
These rescue stories happen every week. They involve volunteers, staff members, good Samaritans from the general public, and folks I’ve never even met on the receiving end of things. They take trust, persistence, an almost foolish level of hopefulness and faith, and they produce outstanding results. The grants from Friends help our partners continue to do the incredible work they do for our animals. It has been a privilege to spend the past few years growing this network and extending this chain on behalf of the dogs and other animals under our roof. I have met a lot of wonderful people who all have one thing in common: a love of animals.
In May, the shelter directly adopted 49 animals in May: 30 cats and kittens, 3 birds, 4 dogs, and 12 small animals (guinea pigs, rabbits, and hamsters). SFACC transferred 251 animals to our rescue partners (53 dogs, 95 cats, and