September

In September 2021, SFACC adopted out 163 animals: 130 cats, 19 dogs, and 14 other species. A total of 185 animals were transferred to rescue partners: 57 cats, 48 dogs, and 80 other species.

“Thank you so much for helping us find Lionel, he’s an absolute sweetheart. He’s a handful but we knew what we were getting ourselves into and we’re excited to work with him to be a good canine citizen. 🙂

What’s better than an update about one SFACC alumni? One about two alumni! Beautiful Thorton was very scared here at the shelter, but is doing great in her new home: “I took home Thorton three weeks ago and she’s very happy and settling in with her sister (also SFACC alum!) Miss Honey (fka Autumn)”

Gia was adopted and is now home with her new family.

Daisy

Friday

Nina

We got an update straight from SFACC grad Libby, complete with DNA results: “It’s me, Libby!!! Another year, another update… It’s been 7 years since I moved into my forever home (Oct 15th 2014). Mom finally decided to get us all DNA tested… She always suspected I had boxer in me… I like to use my paws a lot for getting attention and punching, I gravitate towards boxer dogs during playtime and I’m a rather wiggly, goofy and high energy dog… Mom was right I’m 50/50… Here are a few pictures of me being me throughout the year… I wanted everyone to know Im living my best life with my housemates Bulleit and Taco… Mom calls us BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato or Bulleit, Libby, and Taco)… With that said, till next year… Happy National Black Dog day and Pitbull Awareness Month…”

We can’t wait to hear from you again next year Libby!

A beyond cute feline update: “I wanted to share an update on Patrick, now Franklin (aka Frankie). We adopted him last Thursday. He has settled in nicely with his new family and older cat brother Ripley (who we adopted from ACC last September). Ripley welcomed him immediately and Frankie is very fond of him. We are all loving the kitten playtime, laughs and snuggles. Thank you for all you do for these precious animals!!”

Gorgeous Rose was adopted a couple of weeks ago and we already have an update! “She’s just now getting comfortable and friendly with her brother! She seems to really like her new home! Thank you all so much.“

August 2021

August surpassed July in adoption numbers, with 218 adoptions: 22 dogs, 170 cats (meow!), and 26 other species (guinea pigs, rabbits, and birds). The shelter staff transferred an additional 61 dogs, 95 cats, and 140 other species to partner organizations.

Our longest term dog resident Ivy has found her forever home! Happy tails sweetie!

An update from kitten Buck’s adopter: “I wanted to let you know how things have been for Buck as he has settled into my home! He very quickly explored my apartment and after a couple of days, has developed a strong relationship with my current cat Willoughby. They’re now playing together a lot and Willoughby has taken on big-brother duties and regularly licks and cleans Buck (who I have renamed Percy).”

Fluffy boy Teddy has been adopted. Hooray!

We love Lava Cake! And now she has a family to love her too.

Molly’s been adopted!

Pretty Kitty with her new family, who are giving her a perfect new name: Patches. An update from her adopters: “Thank you everyone! Patches had a good transition for her first night and getting to smell all the new smells in our neighborhood. Her tail is up in the air and she is a happy puppy. Our son is giving her so much love and she is filling his heart.”

Woohoo! Little pup Pablo has been adopted!

Wombat with her new family.

Gorgeous boy Bentley just went home last week and we already have an update! “Just wanted to send some pictures of Bentley over and say thank you so much for everything!!! 4 days together and he has absolutely changed our lives. He is the best behaved, most loving, happy little pup ever. We still can’t wrap our heads around how perfect he is. Thank you for posting him to your social media page which led us to him. Thank you to all the SF animal care and control workers and volunteers who took him in and cared for him along with every other gentle soul they meet. Countless lives have been saved and changed for the better through your compassion. We are forever grateful!”

Montero

Hayes with his new family.

Montgomery

We love kitten updates, especially about bonded pairs! “I got these 2 sweeties this past month and the intros are going great. Just wanted to share. Formerly Grigio and Sol; now Monster (gray) and Taz (black).”

We just heard from the lucky family who adopted rattie pair Walt Jr. & Flynt: “We love our new members of the family. They are wonderful. I would like to thank the people working at Animal Control and the Volunteers for the wonderful adoption experience.”

Adopted pup Talulla has her own Instagram: @talullalovesyou

SFACC B&T Supervisor Katy Jones drove big boy Draco to a foster in Oregon (through the BRAVE Rescue organization). Draco was a wonderful passenger and BRAVE is a partner of SFACC that has done a lot for our bullies!

Sweet Halley was adopted by one of our own dog volunteers. Woof!

Big Mac is now named Milton. Adopted by former SFACC staff member Craig O’Brien:

“Brandon and I want to express our gratitude for everyone at Animal Care & Control San Francisco, thank you all so much! This big hunk is fitting in really well, he’s perfect! You all work like a well-oiled machine, lots of teamwork! Thank you Ketzia, Michael, Martha (she processed our adoption paperwork), Angelique, Tim, and a big thanks for Tony for the dog to dog, and the cat test! I can’t leave out all the wonderful volunteers, thank you for being of service! We know how hard you all work for the city’s animals, thanks for all you do, you’re all appreciated! Also, BIG THANK YOU to Officer Pone (Stephanie) for safely rescuing him while he roamed the streets of San Francisco! His new name is Milton, and he’s a big lover! He loves sleeping, car rides, and everyone who crosses his path … he’s completely non-reactive to other dogs. Milton and our 15 yr old kitty Quincy are getting a long really well, he’s super respectful, and he’s also become fast friends with our tortoise Chester-Perkins! We hit the lottery with this guy, we’re so incredibly grateful that he’s part of our family, thanks again everyone at Animal Care & Control San Francisco !!”

McKenzie Joseph – Friends of SFACC Director of Dev. & Communications

What do you do for Friends of SFACC ?
I started working with Friends of SFACC (Friends) the first week of February, 2020, as a Campaign Manager. My role was to work directly with the Board of Directors and SFACC to raise funds to support the new shelter and multiple Friends-funded programs at SFACC. I am now serving as Director of Development and Communications for Friends. My focus is to continue stewardship of our generous donors and solicit new donors to keep funding the Behavior and Training Program for SFACC, the Rescue Partner Grant program, along with other SFACC needs that are not funded by the City of San Francisco.

How did you become involved with the Friends of SFACC? 
I was not aware of all of the amazing services SFACC provides until I began preparing for this position. When I was looking to adopt my very first dog, SFACC was my first stop, but the day I went all of the available dogs were at an adoption event! I am glad that I was able to experience the old building without knowing about the capital project in the works. In just that short experience, it was obvious how much the animals and people of San Francisco needed and deserved a better facility.

Where did you grow up and have you always been interested in animals?
I grew up in Bakersfield, CA. My dream career as a child was to become a veterinarian because I couldn’t think of anything better than spending all day every day with animals. That dream quickly faded once I realized the tougher sides of being a vet. My parents are Great Dane lovers, and because it gets so hot in Bakersfield, our 100+ pound Great Danes were mostly house dogs, which I loved.  When I was younger, I also had a special fondness for smalls, and I always had either a lizard or turtle as my own pet that I didn’t have to share with my sisters.

Do you have pets of your own? What do you do when you’re not at work?
I share my home with one cat named Sloan and one dog named Grey. Sloan is an independent, lazy, loving, orange kitty who has finally warmed up to sharing his home and his mom with his hyper little sister, Grey. Grey is a mystery breed who came into my life from Family Dog Rescue when I was working for a non-profit in the Bayview. I live in Pacifica, so I spend much of my spare time with Grey either at the beach or hiking.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I can honestly say that I believe in the work SFACC does and find so much joy out of being able to play even the slightest role in their success. Working alongside other like-minded, animal-loving people makes every day a treat.

Grey and Sloan lounging together (Ruff life!)

July 2021

In July, 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 fosters, adopters, and partner organizations!

A potential adopter, Amy, and her daughters drove from Santa Rosa to visit a hamster who turned out to be in foster. Luckily we had 3 other hamsters for them to visit.
As they visited with the hamsters, another mom and daughter were talking to shelter representative Martha about adopting a hamster named Taro. The mom and daughters from Santa Rosa then came to the desk interested in adopting the same hamster! The mom and her daughter who were at the desk first said “They can adopt her instead. Since they drove from Santa Rosa, they deserve it.” That made Martha’s (and everyone else’s) day! And they adopted equally adorable hamster, Lightning. They all became besties and two adorable hamsters got adopted. Thanks to Martha for sharing this story!

Tommy Pickles has been adopted and is happy at home with his new family.

Macx’s awesome Dads celebrated his 5th birthday recently. This is him floating down the Russian River). No cake but we heard he ate a whole rotisserie chicken for dinner. We miss you, Macx and we love that you are living your best life!

Our largest scale update yet! “I adopted Nell (shelter name Sugar) in Jan 2020 and she’s been the absolute best kitty & companion for every life milestone. Today she was by my side for my company’s IPO—and Nasdaq posted our picture on a 120′ tall neon sign in Times Square! She’s expecting calls from talent agents any time now.”

An update AND a beautiful portrait: “I adopted Chip and Oreo, two guinea pig pals, very happy, they’re getting settled.”

Bernie’s Grooming – Pampering Shelter Pooches

By Lisa Stanziano
Editor, The SFACC Newsletter

Pulling into the driveway of the new SFACC building at 1419 Bryant, the first door you see on the right is Bernie’s Grooming. Bernadette (Bernie) Machado operates two shops in San Francisco (the other is City Dogs at 177 Brannon Street). For over a decade, the groomers who work at the shelter location have served shelter dog clients as well as private clients, and Bernie was invited to move from Harrison to Bryant Street with the rest of the SFACC crew.

The partnership began in 2006 when then SFACC director, Carl Friedman, imagined offering grooming services for pets as a way to draw people into the shelter and change negative perceptions that some folks have about animal shelters. “His idea was that if people brought their own dogs to be groomed and saw the staff at work, and how well the animals were cared for, they might come away with new insights about the shelter and see that SFACC is a haven for animals who need help, not a scary place. They might also learn about available services and might happen to see a dog or a guinea pig to consider adopting. And my team would groom some shelter dogs to make them look and feel their best, making them more comfortable and adoptable. It was a brilliant outreach idea. This was Carl’s visionary idea, to open awareness of the care given to SFACC animals.”

Working on this theory, Bernie and her team groomed shelter dogs as needed, in addition to private appointments. “In some cases, I would say four out of five of the dogs who come in to SFACC are being bathed for the first time. Some are very shy. My approach has always been to work with a dog’s pace and not to add to their stress. If a bath and a nail trim seems too stressful, I’d wait on the nail trim.” Responding to each dog’s level of anxiety, Bernie works slowly to gain their trust. Her philosophy is that if an animal feels good, it will be more self-confident and happier. She developed this outlook at a young age. Growing up, she noticed that whenever her family dog went to the groomer, they came back with injuries—cuts or knicks. At the tender age of 11, she decided she would become a groomer herself—a caring and careful groomer who would not hurt the dogs. She has fulfilled her pledge and then some. Bernie opened her first grooming salon  on Valencia street in 1996 and moved to SFACC in 2006; then open City Dogs on Brannan Street in 2011. Bernie’s goal for each dog is to “make them feel as special as a person does when a dog greets them with a smile and a wagging tail.” Dog lovers understand what this means.

What’s evident to me the more we talk is that Bernie is also a community-minded person, who is nice. She values niceness highly. “Every person I hire, whether they’re experienced groomers or interns, must be a niceness is a quality Bernie admires and requires. I can teach them how to groom but I can’t teach them to be nice. That’s a requirement for anyone I work with.” And teach them she does. Since 2012, Bernie and her staff have volunteered to teach grooming skills and mentor students at the Life Learning Academy, a SFUSD charter high school founded in 1998 by the Delancey Street Foundation. The school is committed to creating a nonviolent community to serve the highest-need students in SF who have not been successful in traditional school settings.

Bernie and her staff at City Dogs have also volunteered to work with the Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP) students since 2015 (except during the pandemic). MYEEP is a collaborative of non-profit organizations that provide job readiness training, work experience, academic support, and personal development to SF youth challenged in their attempt to access employment. “The hands-on training starts in the bathing room and progresses to the job of a groomer’s assistant. Here again, my staff and I spend countless hours mentoring these students.” Bernie loves working with teens and sharing her expertise, giving them skills they can transfer to a job that they love. She recalls one intern who “was so delighted in how well one particular dog’s grooming came out. He was very proud. If I can help students find their passion and bring them that joy, then I’ve done my job. It’s wonderful to see.”

Bernie was thrilled when she was asked to bring Bernie’s Grooming to the new SFACC shelter to continue the partnership. She has a “shingle” outside and has brightened the shop with colorful portraits of dogs. One thing for certain is that every shelter dog groomed by Bernie’s team will look good and feel good. They’ll be ready for their new home.

Note: Bernie has adopted senior dogs for many years. She currently has a young fox terrier named Nelly.