June 2020

In June, SFACC had 101 virtual adoptions and 250 animals were transferred to partners–rescues and other shelters. Here are some adoption highlights and updates…

Sweet boy Scrappy has been adopted! He’s got a big forever family, including canine sister Billie, who was adopted from SFACC in 2018.

Bonded pair update: Meo Meo and Miu Miu! “We adopted this bonded pair back in February and I wanted to let you know how happy and healthy they are together in their new home! Thanks for the joy they bring!”

“This is Shaunday (it’s a nickname that means ‘Little’ in Kiowa). You may remember him as Steve McQueen. He has been with us for five years, and we are so thankful to you guys for giving this scared little dental disaster a new shot at life. He is a senior now at 11 (not that you could tell beyond the very slightest cloudiness in his eyes), living in Oklahoma City with his own backyard and a big sister and an endless parade of foster siblings that he rules over from the back of the sofa. He is safe and loved forever.”

“Here is Trey (formerly Geneva), 4 yrs old on June 15. She came to my house at 3 months old from SFACC. All kitty fun all the time. Fetches. Ruins chairs. Best cat ever.”

“This is Tory. We adopted her in 2013. Our little blind chi/pug. She can’t wait for the day she can start visiting her favorite SFACC staff!” 

Two ACC alumni, both May 2019 grads, meet on the streets! Chuy (Malcolm) and Theo (Joaquin) had a surprise meetup. After a brief hello they got down to some fun sidewalk playtime!

A guinea pig happy tails update with extreme cuteness! Guinness was adopted back in April and just had his first birthday party with his brother Niko. What a great pair they make!

Hooray! Cutie pie Mr Buttercup is headed home with his new mom.

Good boy Kimchi has gone home with his new family! Happy tails sweet boy.

Update about ginger gem Sprinkle! “I adopted this 6-year-old sweetie a little a year ago. He is the nicest chillest cat who tolerates his grumpy older sister with grace. He loves telling me about his day and getting in a good snuggle. But generally, he’s a low key independent little guy. He came with the name Sprinkle and I couldn’t change it because it suits him. I’m lucky to have this ginger boy in my life. Thanks ACC!”

Jones (ACC grad) went to his forever home with Michelle and Guido through adoption partner Muttville and we couldn’t be happier for him! We know he’ll be the perfect first dog for them and they’re all looking forward to going on weekend adventures together!

“Just wanted to take a minute to say thanks. I worked with NASRN (National Anatolian Shepherd Rescue Network) to foster “Hunter” now Bubba one year ago tomorrow. He fell in love with our same age Anatolian mix girl. …He was said to be Anatolian/Pyrenees… He grew more and was a handful at first but I knew he had a good heart. We kept working with him and now he is an AWESOME MAGNIFICENT dog. Thanks SO MUCH for doing what you all do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Transport Volunteers – Cindy Dughi, Chris Johnson, and Jessica McEntee

Last month we shared a transport story (Curbside Pickup) about ACA Kathryn Jones, bringing an ACC dog to Idaho rescue for a second chance at adoption. This month, we pay tribute to three volunteer transporters: Cindy Dughi, Chris Johnson, and Jessica McEntee.

Transporting Is Transformative
By Cindy Dughi

I’ve been a volunteer at SFACC for about 18 months. I had just left a very difficult work environment and I needed to give back. My love for cats is known by everyone. When friends go away, their cats come and stay at “The Kitty Spa.” I did not have a cat of my own so I shared one with my friend. I would tell him that little Oreo called and needed a spa week and she would come stay for a visit.

I began as a cat volunteer at the shelter. I am not sure if I really heard this or if I made it up, but I was glad we were not supposed to adopt any animals for 6 months. In the first 3 months I wanted them all. But an opportunity came up to foster a 13-year-old cat (an ACC alumni) belonging to a U.S. veteran who was in the hospital and subsequently rehab. I took in Miss Paige. She was amazing and we grew to love each other. We even went to see her daddy in rehab. It was hard but after 6 months, she went back home. I thought I might be a foster fail but actually the gentleman adopted ME! I get to see them at least once a week to this day.

While doing my cat work, I heard about a need for drivers to take animals to other rescues for specific needs that they had. Since I was unemployed, I wanted to give as much as I could. Working with Tim, Maria, and Allen is such a joy. Our group is amazing. We are all so responsive and caring, knowing that the time we take to get an animal to a rescue could save its life. During our current SIP with the pandemic, it has saved my sanity, and I know it is the same for other drivers, in that we became essential workers and were able to go out to complete our necessary jobs to save the animals.

I have transported cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, racoon babies, birds of all kinds, bunnies, guinea pigs, rats, turtles, and dragons (yes!). I have traveled mainly to The PHS in Millbrae and Wild Care Center in San Rafael but have also been to Menlo Park for Ratzy Rat Rescue, Ohlone Rescue for wild animals, Fairfield and Mill Valley for rabbit rescues, Morgan Hill for sled dog rescue, Marin HS for cat adoptions, Vallejo for a reptile rescue, and Sacramento for a puppy adoption. But my favorite and most life changing is SnapCats in Santa Rosa. I had the opportunity to transport an elderly cat, age 16, to a forever home. This was a rescue org unlike any I’d seen before. I pulled into the yard and got my old man out and walked up to the house. The sliding door said “Come in but look down please.” I opened up the door to a large room filled with 20-30 cats, toys, food bowls, and an outdoor enclosed patio with hammocks. At closer look, I realized that each cat had a disability. Blind kitties, and kitties with neurologic disabilities but all of them coming over to greet me. It was so beautiful. But that was just the beginning. We went up into the house and there was a whole area dedicated to elderly cats. I opened up the carrier and my old man came out and walked over to another old man laying by a water fountain; they sniffed and he laid down with a restful sigh. He was home. On the same level is a dedicated area solely for cats with cancer. As each cat is welcomed, they go on the website and are “adopted” for a pittance a month to cover their needs at the rescue. One man lives there but many volunteers help during the day. My takeaway was how happy and adjusted each one of the cats were. They had a safe and loving home.  Just a little different. But aren’t we all?!!

The transport team can always use more drivers. While there is no compensation for gas or tolls, if you itemize your taxes, you can get 14 cents/mile reimbursement. I have a regular car, nothing special. The animals are in carriers, except one funny puppy (9-month-old husky) that I drove to the south bay. We secured him but somehow he ended up with his paws on my shoulders as we drove down 101…yes we got some looks and photos taken but I have learned now to test my knots and carabiners!

The rescues we visit are all so different but they share one goal: to help those who have no voice to help themselves. So, if you have a car and want to help, come join the Transport Team.


Singing with Pigs
By Chris Johnson

I’ve been volunteering at SFACC for approximately three and half years, primarily as a dog-walker, but I’ve also transported animals for much of that time. With sheltering-in-place, it has, necessarily, been my only activity at ACC, and I couldn’t be happier for this opportunity to participate in the shelter activities and to spend some quality time with the animals. Plus it doesn’t hurt that traffic has been so light, one bright side to the SIP.

Transporting is easy. I’m retired, so I have plenty of time. I drive a 2007 Honda Fit, a boxy hatchback which, while barely suitable for transporting humans, is actually quite good for transporting animals. I’ve managed to transport goats, pigs, baby raccoons, baby skunks, coyote pups, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, many birds, including raptors, pigeons, gulls, crows, hummingbirds, and songbirds, and, of course, plenty of cats and dogs. For the most part, no special gear is required. Most animals ride in cardboard or plastic carriers, though I have used metal crates for some of the larger animals. But, occasionally, you have to be creative. The goat was fairly particular, and ultimately was transported on a bed of hay, with a folded metal crate serving as a barrier between the back of the car and the driver’s seat.

We cover a lot of ground, the animals and I. For the most part, I take them from ACC to various rescue organizations, humane societies, foster homes, and adopters across the greater Bay Area. Occasionally, when the rescue group is located further afield, a convenient midway point is chosen, and a handoff is made with another volunteer who takes the animal on to its destination  (Some ACC transporters have taken their charges all the way to destinations as far away as Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Southern California!)

I’ve had many great experiences transporting animals, and it’s challenging to pick one favorite. It could have been Pepper Ann, the pig I took to Flat Broke Farm in Cotati (very chatty), or the goat, also brought to Flat Broke Farm (very willful!). But I think my favorite had to be the seven beautiful husky pups I took to the Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas. Somehow, they all fit in my car. And while they could be quite raucous at times, they would, in unison, snap to attention when addressed directly. It was a sight to behold and very satisfying.

I get a lot out of transporting these animals; experiences that would be challenging to get elsewhere. I get to converse and sing with pigs (with nobody else looking on), and marvel at the strange, otherworldly sounds that baby raccoons somehow generate. And there is real drama traveling with a magnificent raptor in one carrier, an upset gull in another, and in the third, a baby hummingbird which can’t miss a meal and needs to get to Peninsula Humane Society’s Wildlife Center as soon as possible. I get to meet the many great, devoted, and passionate people that work at or, in some cases, single-handedly run the various rescue groups, and I get to visit the homes of the many wonderful foster families as I deliver their new charges. But, ultimately, I transport because it is another way that I get to participate in the process of delivering these beautiful animals to their new and better lives. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Six husky pups


Driving Miss Daisy
By Jessica McEntee

I set out with Daisy, a large Rottweiler, on Saturday morning (May 30th) to meet a transporter in Yreka who would then take her to Portland, Oregon to a rescue where she would start her new life. In April I had done the same type of handoff with a pittie who had been accepted by the same rescue, called The Heart of Rescue (THOR). They accepted Daisy after incredible staff person, ACC Katy Jones, contacted them. There are limited rescue options for Rottweilers in California so Katy has reached out farther and established a partnership with THOR in Oregon (and with another rescue I transported to in Arizona in March!).

Daisy was the perfect copilot and made the 5-hour ride to Yreka very enjoyable. When we arrived in rainy Yreka, I found out that the transporter I was supposed to be meeting had an unfortunate emergency with his own dog. After hearing more about the situation, I was concerned that even if I could deliver Daisy to the transporter, it would be a challenge for him to drive her the rest of the way to Portland given his current circumstances. After discussing the plan with Katy Jones and THOR’s founder, Daisy and I decided to finish off the trip ourselves!

It would have been a shame to come that far and have to turn back around to SF without completing our mission. Daisy helped me stay nice and alert for the next 5 hours of the drive and even sang with me! It was so gratifying and very much worth 1300-mile drive to be able to drop her off at her foster’s house and know that Daisy had officially started her new chapter. (The founder of the rescue was also immensely grateful.)

Transports are not only incredibly rewarding, but you might also get a chance to be serenaded on your drive!

Foster update (below): “Daisy is doing amazing and her foster family absolutely loves her. She has learned to play with toys – her favorite is her monkey!”

May 2020

In May, SFACC had 63 virtual adoptions: 47 cats & kittens, 12 guinea pigs, and 4 dogs!

A Special Update About a Cat Named Calder…
“I have always been a cat lover. My husband Paul loved cats, but didn’t want to have one for fear of tripping over it. (He had some balance issues and was very conservative regarding safety!). In 2013, Paul started having significant balance issues which evolved into mobility issues and other neurological problems. Over time, things progressed and ultimately, Paul was in a wheelchair. After a visit by friends who had a sweet dog who stayed very close to Paul for the whole visit, it dawned on me that there was no longer a tripping issue!! I talked with Paul about getting a cat, finally asking “what would happen if a cat appeared in our apartment?” and he said “Well, I guess we’d have a cat!” So lickity split, off I went to SFACC. (May 4th, 2017)

I was looking for a specific orange cat, and on our way to see it, the SFACC volunteer introduced me to Marco, saying he was a sweet, friendly cat. And he was indeed…immediately brushed up against my leg and let me pick him up. Sweet boy. But I needed to see the orange cat. And I did…but there was no connection. Back to Marco. Sweet wonderful boy and I knew he was our new kitty. He is a silver tabby with lovely markings, and the friend who came with me said he looked like an impressionist painting. Thinking of artist’s names, Calder seemed to fit, and that was it.

I brought him home, introduced him to Paul, and got Calder settled in a small room. They had told me to keep him in a small space to acclimate and slowly introduce him to the whole house. And, that he’d let us know when he wanted to do that. Well, it didn’t take long!! After a couple of exploratory trips out, he told us loud and clear that it was time. That evening, he snuggled up to us on the sofa and slept with us that night.

Calder was an incredible gift to Paul, who quickly became his best buddy, snuggling up to him in his chair, in bed…wherever Paul was, there was Calder. Paul’s health continued to deteriorate, and he died in November, 2018. Calder actually went into mourning for a year… Cats mourn too. Calder has been the best companion to me in my own mourning process…staying close, snuggling in next to me, day and night. I am so grateful for him.

Calder is a character…people friendly, quite talented at tossing and catching catnip mice, insists on a (very) early breakfast, and his favorite plaything is paper. He is quite dapper and enjoys sporting a bow tie or hat now and then…and is also one of the sounded sleepers I’ve ever met. I love this boy and am so grateful to him and to SF ACC for bringing us together.

Thank you for all the good work SF ACC does, and for all the love stories it creates.”

Sweet Pickles has some exciting news to share: she’s a big sister! Pickles loves her new baby; she runs to check on him when he makes any little peep. The family says that she has brought so much love and light to them. Congratulations Pickles! And thank you to her awesome adoptive family welcoming her into their family. (A big thank you to Boise Bully Breed Rescue for helping Pickles find her family by taking her into your adoption network.)

Handsome bun boy Hop is living life to the fullest: “He has been exploring and trying to befriend our cat. Hop has also gone to the beach, (we kept him away from dogs and watched him carefully, also he was on a full body leash, not just neck leash). He is doing super well and has been trying different kinds of greens, his favorite so far are parsley and he loves sweet potatoes, but we don’t give him much sweet potato because it isn’t that nutritious.”

Welcome home Dante! This gray cutie has found a furrever home with comfy laps and paper bags to explore!

Chrissy has ears for days and a forever home! She’s a foster win and has an adorable new name, Bertie (and check out that precious cable knit sweater). Congratulations!

Sweet pup Tenaya (was Pineapple) found her forever home! She’s one of our virtual adoptions and is now feeling cozy and loved in her new home. Tenaya has even found a new favorite place to lie surrounded by soft greenery in her new yard!

“My husband and I adopted Miller from the ACC in November of 2016. He was 7 months old. He’s quite dog-like for a cat and is king of the household. He brings us so much joy and even has his own Facebook Page, Miller the kitty! He’s so affectionate and fun and is king of the household.”

Jack and Beatrice are off to their new home together. Yay!

Arya and Cloud are a purrfect pair in their furrever home together.

Yay for Shaka, another virtual adoption!

Mia (was Holly) pupdate! She was adopted from us in December 2019 as a 4-month-old pup. She’s as cute as ever and loving life.

So this adoption happened through Muttville, after ACC grad GRACIE got the best social media selfie introduction with new mom, Leeann. This Irish wolfhound with a puppy-like personality is ready to be queen of the backyard and conqueror of all 38-inch-high counter tops. Congrats to her new family! 

Cardi Brie

“It’s been almost 5 years now that we’ve had our darling Lilliputian (formerly Clementine). Lilli continues to bring us joy, she’s been an extra blessing while being at home during this pandemic. Thank you, ACC, you all are the best.”

POKEY’s JOURNEY…SFACC Animal Care Attendant, Kathryn Jones drove one of our dogs, Pokey, out to a Boise Bully Breed hand-off. (The Idaho rescue org has been a great partner in adopting out ACC dogs and picking them up at halfway points like Reno.) “Pokey held it down with us at SFACC since before the SIP and he did great on his trip today! He couldn’t quite figure out what the deal with snow was, but he’ll get there. Boise just texted me to let me know he’s settled in for the night, officially as an Idaho spud.” It didn’t take too long before Pokey was adopted by a wonderful family. He’s now known as Biggie and his mom Stephanie reports, “Yep, he is with us for life. He seems to be happy at our house. The cats are warming up, he’s great with our daughter, always wants to play, rarely barks… everything is great. His farts are straight from he** but we can manage. Thank you so much for helping us get Biggie into our family.”

It’s a cliché because it’s true: it takes a village. Big(gie) thank yous to Kathryn with SFACC for coordinating the intake and driving Pokey; BBBR Transport Coordinator Elizabeth for organizing Pokey’s transport; BBBR trainer Lou for facilitating the kitty intro; and BBBR Foster/Adopter Coordinator Ashley for facilitating the adoption.

Shakespeare adopted!

Beautiful Marnie has found her forever home. Congratulations!

“This is Louis, formerly known as Rigatoni, from a pasta themed litter in December of 2018/January 2019. Louis is the biggest goofball. Loves his fellow dog friends and humans! We love him dearly. Thank you SFACC!”

“We’ve had Delilah for over two weeks now and we all love her. We wanted to let know all know she is doing fabulous. She is such a smart, and sassy kitty who knows her name and comes when you call her. She has a wonderful, curious, and loving personality and do you know she is already litter box trained. She spends time with everyone in the house including Tippy. Just yesterday, we were playing with a dancing ribbon and I had the wand, Delilah had the bottom of the ribbon and Tippy had the middle. It was so cute to see them playing together. She eats like a champ and I can tell she is growing every day. She loves to play with all of her toys and we find them all over the house. Every night she goes from room to room until she decides who she’s sleeping with.

Another great puppy adoption! Milo (was Specs) is so happy with his new family. He has a personal set of stairs to reach his new bed that he shares with his parents. He also perfectly sits on command. Congratulations!

ACC alum Opal (was Tippy) didn’t get the memo that toilet paper hoarding is so last month. Opal spends her days at the Clement Nursery in SF (the owner adopted her).

Happy adoption news! Kona’s (formerly Tucker) family is over the moon with their new fur baby. Kona had his first bath over the weekend and did really well. What a good boy!

In May SFACC had 63 virtual adoptions: 47 cats & kittens, 12 guinea pigs, and 4 dogs!

A Special Update About a Cat Named Calder…
“I have always been a cat lover. My husband Paul loved cats, but didn’t want to have one for fear of tripping over it. (He had some balance issues and was very conservative regarding safety!). In 2013, Paul started having significant balance issues which evolved into mobility issues and other neurological problems. Over time, things progressed and ultimately, Paul was in a wheelchair. After a visit by friends who had a sweet dog who stayed very close to Paul for the whole visit, it dawned on me that there was no longer a tripping issue!! I talked with Paul about getting a cat, finally asking “what would happen if a cat appeared in our apartment?” and he said “Well, I guess we’d have a cat!” So lickity split, off I went to SFACC. (May 4th, 2017)

I was looking for a specific orange cat, and on our way to see it, the SFACC volunteer introduced me to Marco, saying he was a sweet, friendly cat. And he was indeed…immediately brushed up against my leg and let me pick him up. Sweet boy. But I needed to see the orange cat. And I did…but there was no connection. Back to Marco. Sweet wonderful boy and I knew he was our new kitty. He is a silver tabby with lovely markings, and the friend who came with me said he looked like an impressionist painting. Thinking of artist’s names, Calder seemed to fit, and that was it.

I brought him home, introduced him to Paul, and got Calder settled in a small room. They had told me to keep him in a small space to acclimate and slowly introduce him to the whole house. And, that he’d let us know when he wanted to do that. Well, it didn’t take long!! After a couple of exploratory trips out, he told us loud and clear that it was time. That evening, he snuggled up to us on the sofa and slept with us that night.

Calder was an incredible gift to Paul, who quickly became his best buddy, snuggling up to him in his chair, in bed…wherever Paul was, there was Calder. Paul’s health continued to deteriorate, and he died in November, 2018. Calder actually went into mourning for a year… Cats mourn too. Calder has been the best companion to me in my own mourning process…staying close, snuggling in next to me, day and night. I am so grateful for him.

Calder is a character…people friendly, quite talented at tossing and catching catnip mice, insists on a (very) early breakfast, and his favorite plaything is paper. He is quite dapper and enjoys sporting a bow tie or hat now and then…and is also one of the sounded sleepers I’ve ever met. I love this boy and am so grateful to him and to SF ACC for bringing us together.

Thank you for all the good work SF ACC does, and for all the love stories it creates.”

Sweet Pickles has some exciting news to share: she’s a big sister! Pickles loves her new baby; she runs to check on him when he makes any little peep. The family says that she has brought so much love and light to them. Congratulations Pickles! And thank you to her awesome adoptive family welcoming her into their family. (A big thank you to Boise Bully Breed Rescue for helping Pickles find her family by taking her into your adoption network.)

Handsome bun boy Hop is living life to the fullest: “He has been exploring and trying to befriend our cat. Hop has also gone to the beach, (we kept him away from dogs and watched him carefully, also he was on a full body leash, not just neck leash). He is doing super well and has been trying different kinds of greens, his favorite so far are parsley and he loves sweet potatoes, but we don’t give him much sweet potato because it isn’t that nutritious.”

Welcome home Dante! This gray cutie has found a furrever home with comfy laps and paper bags to explore!

Chrissy has ears for days and a forever home! She’s a foster win and has an adorable new name, Bertie (and check out that precious cable knit sweater). Congratulations!

Sweet pup Tenaya (was Pineapple) found her forever home! She’s one of our virtual adoptions and is now feeling cozy and loved in her new home. Tenaya has even found a new favorite place to lie surrounded by soft greenery in her new yard!

“My husband and I adopted Miller from the ACC in November of 2016. He was 7 months old. He’s quite dog-like for a cat and is king of the household. He brings us so much joy and even has his own Facebook Page, Miller the kitty! He’s so affectionate and fun and is king of the household.”

Jack and Beatrice are off to their new home together. Yay!

Arya and Cloud are a purrfect pair in their furrever home together.

Yay for Shaka, another virtual adoption!

Mia (was Holly) pupdate! She was adopted from us in December 2019 as a 4-month-old pup. She’s as cute as ever and loving life.

So this adoption happened through Muttville, after ACC grad GRACIE got the best social media selfie introduction with new mom, Leeann. This Irish wolfhound with a puppy-like personality is ready to be queen of the backyard and conqueror of all 38-inch-high counter tops. Congrats to her new family! 

Cardi Brie

“It’s been almost 5 years now that we’ve had our darling Lilliputian (formerly Clementine). Lilli continues to bring us joy, she’s been an extra blessing while being at home during this pandemic. Thank you, ACC, you all are the best.”

POKEY’s JOURNEY…SFACC Animal Care Attendant, Kathryn Jones drove one of our dogs, Pokey, out to a Boise Bully Breed hand-off. (The Idaho rescue org has been a great partner in adopting out ACC dogs and picking them up at halfway points like Reno.) “Pokey held it down with us at SFACC since before the SIP and he did great on his trip today! He couldn’t quite figure out what the deal with snow was, but he’ll get there. Boise just texted me to let me know he’s settled in for the night, officially as an Idaho spud.” It didn’t take too long before Pokey was adopted by a wonderful family. He’s now known as Biggie and his mom Stephanie reports, “Yep, he is with us for life. He seems to be happy at our house. The cats are warming up, he’s great with our daughter, always wants to play, rarely barks… everything is great. His farts are straight from he** but we can manage. Thank you so much for helping us get Biggie into our family.”

It’s a cliché because it’s true: it takes a village. Big(gie) thank yous to Kathryn with SFACC for coordinating the intake and driving Pokey; BBBR Transport Coordinator Elizabeth for organizing Pokey’s transport; BBBR trainer Lou for facilitating the kitty intro; and BBBR Foster/Adopter Coordinator Ashley for facilitating the adoption.

Shakespeare adopted!

Beautiful Marnie has found her forever home. Congratulations!

“This is Louis, formerly known as Rigatoni, from a pasta themed litter in December of 2018/January 2019. Louis is the biggest goofball. Loves his fellow dog friends and humans! We love him dearly. Thank you SFACC!”

“We’ve had Delilah for over two weeks now and we all love her. We wanted to let know all know she is doing fabulous. She is such a smart, and sassy kitty who knows her name and comes when you call her. She has a wonderful, curious, and loving personality and do you know she is already litter box trained. She spends time with everyone in the house including Tippy. Just yesterday, we were playing with a dancing ribbon and I had the wand, Delilah had the bottom of the ribbon and Tippy had the middle. It was so cute to see them playing together. She eats like a champ and I can tell she is growing every day. She loves to play with all of her toys and we find them all over the house. Every night she goes from room to room until she decides who she’s sleeping with.

Another great puppy adoption! Milo (was Specs) is so happy with his new family. He has a personal set of stairs to reach his new bed that he shares with his parents. He also perfectly sits on command. Congratulations!

ACC alum Opal (was Tippy) didn’t get the memo that toilet paper hoarding is so last month. Opal spends her days at the Clement Nursery in SF (the owner adopted her).

Happy adoption news! Kona’s (formerly Tucker) family is over the moon with their new fur baby. Kona had his first bath over the weekend and did really well. What a good boy!

Rebecca Frank – Behavior & Training

Meet Rebecca Frank, a member of the Behavior & Training team at SFACC. She’s usually out in the yard with a dog but took a break to share a bit about herself…

Where were you born and raised, and how did you come to work at SFACC? Did you grow up with animals or did some experience draw you to working with them?

I was born and raised in both Lafayette, Louisiana and Sugar Land, Texas. I grew up with three rescue cats and two rescue dogs. I have been volunteering at various animal shelters since I was 10. I simply can’t remember a time before I felt the weight and importance of advocating for animals without homes. After college I worked at a non-profit for adults with developmental disabilities. I loved working with that demographic but simultaneously was falling in love with my new housemate’s pit bull mix. I fell in love so hard. I started to educate myself on the history of pit bulls and why they get such a bad reputation. This struck a chord with me and I began shifting my career plans. I felt certain my passion could carry me through the next 35 years that a career would require of me. I decided becoming a dog trainer would best equip me with the knowledge and skills to help as many dogs as possible. I graduated from The Dog Training Internship Academy while working at a puppy training school and while volunteering at SFACC. Luckily for me, a position opened up on the Behavior & Training team at SFACC! I applied and to my extreme delight, got the job!

What do you do as an employee of SFACC? For how long?

I have been working on the Behavior & Training team (B&T) here since January of 2019. B&T is responsible for evaluating all the dogs that come into the shelter. We check to see how comfortable they are with human interaction, what kind of toys or treats they prefer, and how sociable they are with other dogs. We gather information to see if the animals are ready for adoption directly from at ACC or better suited to go to a rescue that has more resources to help them become more adoptable. We also come up with individual plans to help animals that are here for a long stay remain as emotionally happy and stable as possible.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Doing this job requires making a lot of difficult decisions. If it weren’t for my fantastic co-workers, who are consistently a source of lightness and support, I’m not sure I would be able to show up for the animals in the way I am able to. So my co-workers certainly are a part of my job that I appreciate most! My favorite moments at work though are when I make a break through with a really scared or shutdown dog. It’s so wonderful to witness them starting to feel safe and watching their personalities come alive. I often find myself saying to them, “Oh there you are, baby! I knew you were in there somewhere!”

Although the SIP ordinance has had plenty of downsides, one of the silver linings has been a lower population here at the shelter. Because of this, there has been more opportunity to spend extra time working with the fearful animals. I have cherished this!

Do you have pets of your own? If so, how many and what are their names? What do you do when not at work (hobbies, interests)?

I have one cat and her name is Sybil Storm-Cloud. She is an eight-year-old sweet cream puff. She knows how to kiss on cue, high-five, sit, spin, wave, and comes running and meowing when I ring a certain bell (which always leads to sardines).

When I am not at work and when we are not in quarantine, I spent a lot of time with my friends. Our favorite activities are hiking, cooking together and doing crafts. I also have begun dabbling in a bit of swing dancing. While in quarantine my boyfriend and I have kept ourselves occupied by going on hikes, exploring various trails in our neighborhood in Marin, trying to build some kind of meditation practice (why is that so hard?!), Zooming with our families, and lots and lots of cooking.

Most memorable case/situation/adoption at ACC? 

A frightened white pit bull with a gray patch over one eye and the pinkest lips came in to the shelter as a stray. I got the pleasure of naming her and I chose Passion-Flower. (I like to give pit bulls silly or flowery names to help fight the stigma.) Like many scared dogs in the shelter environment do, Passion-Flower was growling at most people who passed by her kennel. She decided, for some reason though, that she was okay with some staff members. Lucky for me, I got to be one of them! The first time I took her out of her kennel, I completely and totally fell in love with her. She fit her whole 65-pound body into my small lap and stayed there the whole time. Even though I fall in love with so many of the dogs I get to spend time with at the shelter, she really got into my heart for some reason. I decided I couldn’t bare the idea of her not taking her home. So, I decided to foster her until we could find her the right home. She really blossomed at my house and was a joyful, cuddly, dream girl. She was adopted after being at my house for a month. It was so hard to let her go but now she lives the dream life. She lives in Santa Cruz with a retired couple who are home with her often and who go to the beach daily. They send me updates every so often and it was such a wonderful experience.

What has made an impression on you while at ACC?

Nothing has made more of an impression on me than discovering a group of people who do extremely hard work based on their motivation to do better for the animals.