Media Clips and Releases
Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA in the news…
We are always happy to share wonderful news items highlighting our good work. Please check out our most recent media coverage. Also, you may download our quarterly newsletter, Pawprint.
2013 Press Releases:
Media Coverage 2012:
2012 Press Releases:
Archive for Media Coverage and Press Releases
2013 Press Releases
November 13, 2013 (Burlingame) -- The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for events that led to a puppy being attacked by another dog or dogs, then left for dead on the sidewalk of the Cooley Ave. and Bell St. intersection in East Palo Alto on Friday, November 1.
The puppy, a 10-week old, male Pit Bull, was brought to PHS/SPCA by a Good Samaritan close to 7 pm on November 1. Initially the puppy was thought to be dead, but the individual realized the dog was still breathing, then transported the badly injured dog to PHS/SPCA. The dog was unable to walk or stand.
Tragically, the puppy died later that evening, succumbing to the massive injuries, which included lacerations, multiple bite wounds and muscle damage. The multitude of bite wounds and the fact that leg wounds were in different directions led PHS/SPCA veterinarians to believe the puppy may have been attacked by multiple dogs.
The puppy was white with black spots. He was not neutered and had no identification, collar, tag or microchip. But, the puppy’s nails were trimmed, indicating he was likely owned.
The Good Samaritan who transported the puppy to PHS/SPCA said there was no blood trailing from the dog’s position on the sidewalk, indicating the dog was not attacked there, but attacked elsewhere then transported to and ultimately left at this location. The attack almost certainly happened that day.
PHS/SPCA is investigating this as a case of criminal neglect for the owner who failed to provide veterinary care for their injured puppy and is also looking into the possibility of animal abandonment and a possible connection with dog fighting. Depending on details that surface, this could be considered a misdemeanor or felony.
Anyone with information that could help PHS/SPCA in this case should call PHS/SPCA Lead Humane Investigator Christina Hanley at 650/340-7022, ext. 384. Someone may have had a puppy stolen who matches this description.
August 9, 2013 (Burlingame, CA) - Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Currie, performed a short, but unusual surgery yesterday afternoon when she amputated one digit on a hawk’s left foot.
PHS/SPCA received the injured Red-Tail hawk July 21, after a Good Samaritan found it grounded and struggling in a marshy area of unincorporated Redwood City. PHS/SPCA Wildlife Rescue Center staff immediately washed the adult raptor -- since it was covered in sewage - and provided stabilizing care, including intravenous fluids (for dehydration), anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics.
Upon intake, wildlife staff noted that one digit on the hawk’s left foot was injured, but had no idea how the injury occurred. Staff x-rayed the digit and confirmed it was fractured and dislocated. When it became clear the injury was not healing, staff consulted with raptor experts and concluded that amputating the digit made the most sense.
This particular digit, the outermost one, is not crucial for grabbing prey or perching. The talon would continue to grow, most likely curling into tissue if the hawk did not use the digit. Also, it was believed that leaving the digit intact would continue to be a painful annoyance for the hawk.
The surgery lasted approximately 15 minutes; just a few minutes to remove the digit, and the remaining time to close the open end of the remaining digit stump. The amputated section was approximately four inches, including the talon.
Over the next several days and up to a few weeks, PHS/SPCA Wildlife Rescue Center staff will monitor the hawk’s health. Once staff determine that the hawk has no problems with flight, perching or hunting, the hawk will be released.
PHS/SPCA cares for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife from San Francisco through northern Santa Clara County. On average, PHS/SPCA treats a few thousand animals annually, including several dozen raptors; at peak times, the center houses more than 200 wild animals. Animals made well at PHS/SPCA are released back into their natural habitats.
PHS/SPCA’s wildlife rehabilitation work is funded by donations. Dozens of volunteers assist in this department, located on the middle floor (above dogs and below cats) at PHS/SPCA’s Center for Compassion, 1450 Rollins Rd. in Burlingame.
June 14, 2013 (Burlingame, CA) – Tomorrow, 11 am to 6 pm at its Center for Compassion, 1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) will spotlight all adoptable dogs and cats age 7+ and discount their adoptions by 50%.
PHS/SPCA is hosting this event to draw attention to fabulous pets who may otherwise get overlooked when visitors focus only on age.
A few dozen cats and close to 15 dogs at PHS/SPCA’s center qualify for the special adoption fees. To meet some, visit www.PHS-SPCA.org and search adoptable dogs and adoptable cats.
Those who adopt a senior pet during tomorrow’s event will also receive 10% off all pet food, toys, treats, supplies and logo gear in PHS/SPCA’s Furchandise retail store. Also, staff will extend the regular post-adoption Wellness Plan to 30 days. This means adopters can take their pets back to PHS/SPCA for up to 30 days, post-adoption, and receive free medical care for pre-existing conditions.
PHS/SPCA lists many advantages of adopting an older pet. “Mature pets are fully-grown, so they won’t surprise adopters by getting bigger, they are often calm, housetrained and have had obedience training and socialization,” said PHS/SPCA Customer Service Director Dan Hanley.
“People who open their homes and hearts to an older pet are special people in our world,” said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. “And, to a person, each will tell you how much joy they’ve received from adopting a senior pet.”
May 13, 2013 (Burlingame) – This month, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s (PHS/SPCA) Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic reached the 40-year mark as a vital service for local pet owners; and, since opening in 1973, the number of homeless dogs and cats in San Mateo County has plummeted, a direct result of the clinic and related education efforts.
In the early 1970s, PHS/SPCA regularly took in 45,000 stray or unwanted dogs and cats every year. With no staff veterinarian, no clinic and with the public still not entirely behind the idea of adopting pets from a shelter, staff euthanized a high percentage of dogs and cats simply because they needed to make room for incoming animals.
PHS/SPCA’s Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic was the first such facility in the United States operated by a humane society or SPCA. The clinic was renovated in the late 1980s, yet remains in the original location, the far north end of the parking lot at 12 Airport Blvd, in San Mateo.
Along with the clinic’s opening, shelter staff began a community education/outreach program; docents visited local schools to discuss responsible animal ownership, the importance of spay/neuter and availability of a low-cost option at our new clinic.
Within five years of opening, the annual total of incoming dogs and cats dipped below 40,000, and each successive year saw significant drops. In 1998, PHS/SPCA experienced its first year receiving fewer than 10,000 stray or unwanted dogs and cats. Last year’s total was 5,893.
“Without question, we’ve seen a clear and direct cause and effect relationship with our clinic’s opening and continued operation,” said PHS/SPCA President Ken White.
The cost of a spay/neuter surgery at PHS/SPCA’s Low-Cost Clinic ranges from $50 to $150; male cats are on the low end with large female dogs on the high end. The same surgeries can be triple the cost at private practices, making the vital surgery difficult or impossible for low or fixed-income pet owners.
Seven years ago, generous donations enabled PHS/SPCA to purchase a mobile spay/neuter clinic and further drive down the number of unwanted pets in our community. Staff bring this clinic to targeted communities six times each month, and perform approx. 900 surgeries per year, adding to the approx. 6,000 surgeries performed at the on-site clinic.
Dog and cat owners are strongly encouraged to spay/neuter their pets at an early age. Female dogs and cats need not have at least one litter. That myth has been completely de-bunked. Neutered dogs and cats cannot develop testicular cancer and spayed dogs and cats cannot develop uterine or ovarian cancer, nor do they have messy heat cycles. Neutered dogs are much less likely to act aggressively than intact male dogs. In more than 90% of the dog bite/attack cases PHS/SPCA responds to, the attacking dog is an unneutered male.
Pet owners can reach PHS/SPCA’s Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic at 650/340-7015; there is currently very little wait time for appointments.
April 19, 2013 (Burlingame) – During the Peninsula Rollergirls’ May 10 bout at the Redwood Roller Rink, ladies will battle each other in typical derby fashion and have more at stake than usual: a portion of proceeds from their bout will benefit Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) dogs, cats and other animals awaiting adoption.
The bout, pitting the Psychopathogens against the Damas de los Muertos, begins at 8 pm. General admission tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Kids under 6 are free. The Redwood Roller Rink is located at 1303 Main Street.
PHS/SPCA and the Rollergirls are looking for ways to feature animals during or just prior to the event so spectators can meet dogs available for adoption.
“Our animals don’t mind if their support comes from ladies wearing ball gowns and heels like they do at our annual winter gala or Rollergirls wearing helmets, kneepads and mouthpieces,” said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. “This is new, fun and creative. A number of our staff will be attending and we can’t wait.”
February 20, 2013 (Burlingame) – The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for shooting a raccoon found near the 700 block of Palm Avenue in South San Francisco.
PHS/SPCA received a call Sunday morning from a local resident who spotted the raccoon dazed and resting its head on a curb. A PHS/SPCA officer rushed the raccoon back to our Wildlife Rescue Center at 1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame.
Upon intake, wildlife staff noted that this adult, female raccoon’s coat, skin and fur were in excellent condition, indicating the raccoon didn’t have a prior illness, nor did it have any injuries usually associated with vehicle collisions. The raccoon was hydrated and had a good body condition, so it had not been doing poorly for much time prior to our involvement. PHS/SPCA staff also ruled out distemper.
The raccoon was conscious, but non-responsive to visual or physical stimulus, and able to stand just briefly before falling flat.
Since staff thought there was a possibility it was shot based on the suspicious nature of the head injury, they x-rayed the raccoon post-mortem and clearly detected lead pellets; one in the center of the brain and one in the rear, between the hips. A fragment suggested the possibility of a second head shot.
This raccoon marks a dozen shot animals PHS/SPCA has received since last December. Others included another raccoon (from Palo Alto), a peregrine falcon from SFO and two crows from Redwood City. Animals euthanized on intake for injuries usually aren’t x-rayed unless wildlife staff suspect a shooting. The actual number of shot wildlife may be higher.
Anyone with information that could help PHS/SPCA Cruelty Investigators in this case should call 650/340-7022, ext. 384. PHS/SPCA’s wildlife rescue work and animal cruelty investigations are funded by donations.
February 12, 2013 (Burlingame) – The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) placed 3,547 animals into new homes in 2012, up from 3,381 in 2011. And, for the 10th consecutive year, the shelter found new homes for 100% of the healthy dogs and cats in its care.
The past year’s adoption total was especially important because 2012 marked the first full year PHS/SPCA operated out of its new adoption center on Rollins Rd. The center opened in September of 2011.
“Our new center has absolutely transformed the adoption experience for the public,” said PHS/SPCA President Ken White. “The fact that we were located at Coyote Point for six decades and, in just one year, have been embraced by the community in our new home and placed a record number of animals makes us feel proud and grateful for the community’s support.”
Cats accounted for 1,704 adoptions and dogs, 1,210 adoptions in 2012. Small domestic animals like rabbits, pet birds, guinea pigs, rats and reptiles like snakes, turtles and iguanas accounted for the remaining 633 adoptions.
Other year-end highlights:
February 8, 2013 (Burlingame) – During the 2012 calendar year, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) rehabilitated and later released 1,048 local wildlife that arrived sick, injured or orphaned. This represents an increase of 236 lives saved over 2011; a statistic made even more meaningful considering fewer animals arrived in 2012 than in 2011.
Animals arrive by way of Good Samaritans who bring them to our center or by our animal control officers who respond to calls for assistance from the community. Our patients include songbirds, hummingbirds, raptors (owls, hawks), pelicans, raccoons and squirrels.
PHS/SPCA is one of just a handful of humane societies or SPCAs, nationwide, that accepts and provides care for wildlife. The vital work, funded by donations, takes place in state-of-the art facilities on the second floor and rooftop of PHS/SPCA’s Center for Compassion on Rollins Rd. in Burlingame. PHS/SPCA accepts wildlife from San Francisco through northern Santa Clara County.
At peak times, PHS/SPCA cares for 200+ wild animals. This is in addition to some 200 dogs, cats and other domestic animals available for adoption at the Center for Compassion and anywhere from 200 to 600 stray domestic animals being held and cared for at the Coyote Point shelter, located at 12 Airport Blvd. in San Mateo.
Before opening the Center for Compassion in Burlingame, PHS/SPCA staff accepted and rehabilitated wildlife in facilities at the Coyote Point shelter. PHS/SPCA has been caring for wildlife for 40 years.
Specially trained staff members supported by a few dozen volunteers make wild animals better as quickly as possible with minimal human contact so as not to imprint on them, and then return them to their natural environment.
“Number and stats tell only part of the story, but obviously these are important ones for us,” said PHS/SPCA President Ken White. “This is another clear indication of what our new Center has meant to the animals and this community. And, we thank our supporters once again for making all this possible.”
2012 Press Releases
July 19, 2012 (Burlingame) -- In the past two weeks, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) has taken in more than 30 emaciated and hypothermic Brown Pelicans in need of urgent care. The pelicans have become grounded in San Mateo County and along the entire California coast this month.
PHS/SPCA staff wildlife experts have used space heaters, cage dryers and heat lamps to keep the birds warm and have also given IV fluids, temperature checks, and tube feedings several times each day.
Some of the birds have required hourly checks in PHS/SPCA's ICU unit for days until stable enough for transfer to the pelican room. Staff are using every last resource to get the birds examined, warmed, medicated, hydrated and fed. This has included extra help from trained volunteers, who are not only helping with the pelicans, but enabling staff to keep up with care and treatments for more than 200 other sick, injured or orphaned wildlife in our care.
PHS/SPCA staff hope to make the birds healthy enough so they can be released or transferred to another facility – and this may have for some within the next week -- but they also recognize that some will not make it, despite our care.
Wildlife experts, statewide, believe these young or fledgling Brown Pelicans migrating up the coast are starving because their primary food source, various types of fish, has been depleted. Brown Pelicans feed by diving into the water.
The fledgling pelicans less skilled at finding fish than adult pelicans are taking the brunt of this circumstance. “PHS/SPCA is providing food and monitoring the weights of these birds and will release them back in areas where adults are thriving so they can have a second chance,” said Patrick Hogan, PHS/SPCA Wildlife Supervisor.
In a typical year, PHS/SPCA may see 20-25 pelicans, but not in a concentrated time frame.
Brown Pelicans are approximately 42-54 inches in length, they have a wingspan of six to eight feet and weigh between six and 12 pounds. The Brown Pelican is easily identified due to its size and very long bill with a gular pouch on the bottom.
Brown Pelicans were an endangered species, but their populations have recovered due to protection received from the Endangered Species list. As successful breeding continues, large numbers of the fledgling pelicans are coming into wildlife rescue centers up and down the coast.
If local residents see a young pelican in distress, they should call 650/340-7022. Signs of stress include approachability (they don’t fly away when humans approach them); lying down (especially with their head tucked in their back; overly aggressive (especially with people fishing); and stumbling, falling over and not being able to hold their head upright.
PHS/SPCA's care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife is made possible by donations.
May 17, 2012 (Burlingame) – A group of orphaned Mallard ducklings brought to the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) on April 23 have outgrown their first space and were moved to a larger, outdoor, rooftop pool area today. They will be released back to their natural habitat in 2-4 weeks.
When PHS/SPCA held public tours of wildlife rehabilitation facilities inside its new Center for Compassion in the late winter – before the center had any patients – visitors said the rooftop pool areas resembled a spa.
Although visitors can catch a glimpse of some of the Society’s work for wildlife, the rooftop wildlife pools – there are two -- are in non-public areas by design so as not to compromise the care and keep wildlife wild.
The Mallard ducklings required rescue efforts after they fell in a storm drain near the Bank of America on El Camino Real in San Mateo. The mother duck, who had been staying in the area, left during the successful rescue effort. The PHS/SPCA rescue officer stayed with the ducklings for more than an hour, hoping the mother would return. When she didn’t, the officer took them to PHS/SPCA’s Center for Compassion so as not to leave them at or near this high traffic area.
Annually, PHS/SPCA releases between 1,200 and 1,500 wild animals back into their natural habitat after providing rehabilitative care. Species include owls, hawks, geese/goslings, ducks/ducklings, songbirds, seabirds and all our area’s mammals.
For more information, please call Scott Delucchi at 650/685-8510.
February 10, 2012 (Burlingame) -- Beginning today, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is waiving adoption fees for caramel, golden, toffee and chocolate-colored Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes. The "Sweet Deal" promotion will run indefinitely.
For several years, Chihuahuas and mixes have been the predominant incoming breed at PHS/SPCA and other Bay Area shelters. “This is our way of giving them a little boost,” said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. “Our staff can help people fall in love – albeit a four-legged match – by Valentine’s Day.”
PHS/SPCA currently has 21 Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes available for adoption. Many can be viewed on our available dog page
There are several reasons for the increase in unwanted Chihuahuas in shelters. For one, starlets like Paris Hilton and the lead character in the movie Legally Blond give the impression that the tiny breed is an easy breed – easy enough to be an accessory carried in a purse. And, parents often assume that this small breed will be a great match for their small children. When the dog nips the toddler a few times, the dog ends up in a shelter. Finally, popularity breeds popularity. The fact that this is a popular breed means there are more accidental litters.
“We won’t simply open our doors and invite members of the public to take a dog,” continued Delucchi. “Potential adopters will meet with one of our Adoption Counselors so we can ensure a good, lasting match.” Some Chihuahuas are comfortable around small children and others aren’t. PHS/SPCA will make every effort to place dogs appropriately and avoid returns from families who find that the dog doesn’t meet their expectations. "When people know what to expect, Chihuahuas are among the very best and moved beloved pets," continued Delucchi.
PHS/SPCA’s Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion is located at 1450 Rollins Rd., Burlingame. Adoption hours are 11 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 11 am to 6 pm on weekends, though members of the public are asked to arrive an hour before closing to complete an adoption.
In addition to the current special, PHS/SPCA provides free spay/neuter surgeries for all stray Chihuahuas when their owners come to claim them. PHS/SPCA regularly provides significantly discounted spay/neuter surgeries through its clinic at 12 Airport Blvd., San Mateo, and offers free fixes through its mobile spay/neuter clinic which visits targeted communities each week.
The regular adoption fee for dogs is $120 ($75 for dogs age 7+ and $135 for puppies under 6 months) and it includes a spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, health check, behavior screening and microchip.
January 27, 2012 (Burlingame) – Last Thursday, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) received a rare injured Merlin Falcon in its Wildlife Rescue Center, located at the organization’s Tom & Annette Lantos Center for Compassion, 1450 Rollins Rd. in Burlingame.
This type of falcon – a smaller raptor at just 10” – is an uncommon patient at PHS/SPCA; just one or two arrive annually. By comparison, PHS/SPCS receives a few dozen Red-Tailed and Red-Shouldered hawks requiring care annually. The goal for all injured, sick or orphaned wildlife is to help them recover or develop, and then release them back into their natural habitats. Each year, PHS/SPCA does this with approx. 1,200 wild animals.
The injured Merlin Falcon found by a Good Samaritan in Palo Alto arrived with significant tearing on the underside of its right wing; wildlife staff are speculating that the Merlin was the victim of an attack by a larger raptor. During a 15-20 minute procedure two days ago, PHS/SPCA’s Lead Veterinarian repaired the tear, closing the wound with a few stitches.
Staff will continue monitoring the wound, and expect that skin will begin to granulate and fill-in at the site of the tear. The prognosis for a recovery is promising; in a best-case scenario, the falcon could be released in two to three weeks.
PHS/SPCA’s wildlife rehabilitation work is funded by donations. Dozens of volunteers help a small number of paid staff care for animals year-round, though spring through fall is the busy season. PHS/SPCA is one of the few humane societies in the entire United States that cares for wildlife; most focus on dogs and cats only, or dogs, cats and small domestic animals.
This Saturday and Sunday, 12-4 both days, PHS/SPCA is hosting “Walk on the Wild Side,” a public open house for its newly completed wildlife enclosures at the Center for Compassion in Burlingame. Members of the public are invited to walk inside and around roof-top accommodations for wildlife. Visitors won’t see the recovering falcon or other wildlife; the small number of wildlife receiving stabilizing or rehabilitative care will be moved to quieter spaces this weekend to ensure that their care is not compromised.
The weekend’s festivities will include crafts and projects for kids and refreshments. On Saturday only, 1-3 pm, local luminaries including longtime Bay Area media personality Doug McConnell will be taken into PHS/SPCA’s care and step inside the enclosures, then be “released” after drawing attention to PHS/SPCA’s wildlife rehabilitation work.
Joining McConnell will be PHS/SPCA President Ken White, Buck’s Restaurant owner and author Jamis MacNiven, San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, Foster City Vice-Mayor Pam Frisella and former Belmont Mayor and current Central Elementary School teacher George Metropulos.
For questions about the weekend event, please call 650/685-8510.
January 13, 2012 (Burlingame, CA) – A group of Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) shelter dogs once considered projects with questionable adoption potential graduated today from an intensive eight-week training program held at a minimum security facility in Redwood City operated by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and are now available for adoption.
Two dogs from an earlier class spent an extra session in the program and are also available for adoption:
An average day for the dogs under the guidance of their inmate handlers consists of many supervised off-leash romps in the facility’s spacious yard, group “play dates” with all the dogs, individual work on homework assignments from the weekly obedience classes and socialization with other inmates.
January 13, 2012 (Burlingame) – On Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29, 12-4 pm both days, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) invites the public to tour its wildlife rehabilitation center at 1450 Rollins Rd. in Burlingame. The free “Walk on the Wild Side” open house will include finger foods, kids’ crafts and activities and a unique twist: people inside wildlife enclosures.
Open house guests will learn about wildlife PHS/SPCA cares for and the reasons they end up needing human intervention, they’ll see how new roof-top enclosures resemble natural settings and learn about coexisting with urban wildlife and preventing common injuries to them.
In general, wildlife rehabilitation work and areas are off-limits to the public; human contact with wild animals must be severely limited to ensure the best care and survival rate. PHS/SPCA is only able to hold this event because of a rare window of opportunity. The wildlife enclosures were completed just this week and currently have a small number of animal patients who will be moved during the event.
Regular patients – many arrive spring through late summer – include songbirds and seabirds, hawks and owl, ducks and duckling and mammals; some are orphaned and require care to help them develop, while others arrive with injuries. PHS/SPCA annually receives thousands of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. Care and rehabilitation for these animals is made possible by donations and dozens of volunteers assisting highly trained staff. Last year’s save rate was near 60%.
For more information contact Scott Delucchi at 650/685-8510 or Delucchi@PHS-SPCA.org.
Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion
Coyote Point Shelter