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Pawprint Spring Cover

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.

Media Coverage 2014:

Media Coverage 2013:

2014 Press Releases:

2013 Press Releases:

Media Coverage 2012:

2012 Press Releases:

Archive for Media Coverage and Press Releases


2014 Press Releases

Local Resident to Foster Her 400th Kitten This Spring

April 11, 2014 (Burlingame) - Mother’s Day is more than a month away, but the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) already has someone in mind for Mom of the Year.  This spring, Dawn Beavis will foster her 400th kitten.

Over the past six years while Beavis has been employed by PHS/SPCA as an adoption counselor, she has also volunteered her time to foster 378 kittens far too young to survive on their own. Many are born in the early spring, then brought to PHS/SPCA and other animal shelters throughout the country in the spring through summer -- the unofficial “kitten season.”

Since the kittens have undeveloped immune systems and need ‘round-the-clock feeding if they’ve been separated from their mothers, a busy animal shelter is not a viable option.  A foster home and volunteer dedicated to the kittens’ care for their first 8-10 weeks are imperative for their survival. 

Kittens requiring foster care are just weeks old.  Those between two and three weeks old are bottle fed 5-6 times daily.  As they develop, kittens are fed the same amount of times each day, but foster parents use a syringe to feed them and their food is more solid. 

Beavis brings her current foster kitten with her to work, and the kitten stays in a co-worker’s office.  During breaks, Beavis stops in for feeding times.  She’ll likely take on some 40 more kittens this season.

Despite the many adorable aspects of fostering kittens, there are also less cuddly parts. Kittens are sloppy eaters (picture a year-old baby eating food for the first time!) and also need help eliminating, a role mother cats handle. 

And, some people shy away from fostering, fearful they will grow attached to the kitten/s in their care and won’t be able to say goodbye.  Of the 378 kittens Beavis has fostered, she’s adopted just two!

Beavis recently moved with her husband from Atherton to El Granada. Her own kids are grown and out of the house. And, her husband doesn’t mind the newborns. 

PHS/SPCA is actively recruiting more foster parents for kittens, adult dogs and cats. With the adult animals, foster homes can provide a quiet space for animals recovering from medical procedures or simply a less stressful place for animals who aren’t adjusting as well to a shelter environment. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Brian Probst at 650/340-7022, ext. 328 or BProbst@PHS-SPCA.org.

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Former Apple Chief Evangelist, Author and Hi-tech Leader Guy Kawasaki Joins Peninsula Humane Society Board of Directors

February 10, 2014 (Burlingame) -- Author, speaker, investor, business advisor, and former Apple Chief Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, just added the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) to his resume. Kawasaki, who’s adopted four pets from the non-profit animal welfare organization, joined its board of directors.

PHS/SPCA’s volunteer board of directors, a volunteer group, also includes Vanessa Getty, Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman, and Disney Museum Executive Director Kirsten Komoroske. The board oversees the staff president’s role and performance, helps guide the organization’s long-term future, and create opportunities for growth.

“We have adopted four members of our family from PHS/SPCA: two dogs and two rabbits,” said Kawasaki. “I felt it was time to reciprocate for all the joy and love PHS/SPCA brought into my family.”

Kawasaki joined PHS/SPCA just after the nonprofit announced it had ended its 11th consecutive year finding homes for 100% of the healthy dogs and cats in its care.

“I was touched that Guy reached out to PHS/SPCA about board opportunities following the experiences that he and his family had adopting companion animals from us,” said PHS/SPCA President Ken White.  “Our staff is young and didn’t know his extraordinary Apple history and other amazing professional accomplishments, but took special care to make an impression as they do with every visitor.”

Kawasaki graduated from Stanford University in 1976, and then received his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. In 1983, Kawasaki was hired by Apple and, as Apple’s software evangelist for four years, was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing the Macintosh in 1984.

Kawasaki returned to Apple as an Apple Fellow in 1995. He was also the co-founder of Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital firm that invested in Pandora, TripWire and other successful ventures, and founded Alltop, an online magazine rack.

Most recently, in March, 2013, Kawasaki announced he would be joining Google as an advisor to Motorola to create a Google+ mobile device company.

Over the years, Kawasaki’s columns and writing have been featured in Forbes and MacUser.

PHS/SPCA is a private, independent not-for-profit animal welfare organization with an intake facility at 12 Airport Blvd. in San Mateo and its Center for Compassion adoption facility at 1450 Rollins Rd. in Burlingame.

Major PHS/SPCA programs and services include: sheltering of stray and unwanted animals (from San Mateo County); rehoming animals through an adoption program; wildlife rehabilitation for animals from San Francisco through northern Santa Clara County; animal rescue and animal cruelty investigation; community outreach and education; low-cost spay/neuter; and public obedience classes. PHS/SPCA also operates a secondhand store, Pick of the Litter, on Chula Vista Ave. in Burlingame.

PHS/SPCA receives no financial support from national animal welfare organizations such as HSUS (Humane Society of the United States), but relies on generous support from local residents to operate.

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Pink “Mystery” Dog Found in East Palo Alto With Fractured Leg 

January 23, 2014 (Burlingame, CA) –  A female Chihuahua puppy with dyed pink fur was found by a Good Samaritan in East Palo Alto around 5 pm on January 13, then transferred to the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA). The dog was lying in the street when found and unable to use her back right leg. 

The approximately two-month old puppy staff have named “Candy” was found wearing no collar or ID tags and does not have a microchip.  No owners have visited or contacted PHS/SPCA to report a missing dog matching this dog’s description. X-rays show a hairline fracture of the right rear tibia.  A fracture of this kind in a dog her size could have occurred from jumping off a bed or couch or from someone stepping on her.  She is currently receiving pain medication and rest at PHS/SPCA. The injury will not require surgery or a cast at this time. 

“We don’t know if an owner is missing this dog and hoping to be reunited, but, if so, that would be our priority,” said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. The shelter encourages any owners missing pets to visit the their intake facility at 12 Airport Blvd., San Mateo, to look at the stray animals on site and also file a Lost Animal report.

Since the dog’s legally-mandated holding expired and since no owner has come forward, PHS/SPCA is now looking to place the dog into foster care.  PHS/SPCA will also consider potential adopters at this time, as long as they fully understand that the first few months will need to be quiet, recuperative ones, and that they also acknowledge the dog’s condition. 

Interested foster parents or adopters should call 650/340-7022, ext. 382.

Until PHS/SPCA can find a temporary foster home or permanent home through adoption, medical staff will continue to supervise Candy’s cage rest and provide pain medication.

Staff bathed the dog and the dye did not come off; it is unclear what was used to dye her or how quickly it will fade or possibly disappear entirely. 

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Peninsula Humane Society Launches Internship Programs - Seeking Applications

January 17, 2014 (Burlingame, CA) - For the first time, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is offering internship opportunities and we’re currently seeking applicants for our Wildlife Rehabilitation and Animal Behavior and Training departments. Both internships are unpaid volunteer positions open to college grads at least 18 years old.

Individuals interested in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Department internship will learn about the care and feeding of wildlife and basic husbandry skills in our center which receives sick, injured and orphaned wildlife - ducks, owls, songbirds, hawks and mammals - from San Francisco through northern Santa Clara County. At any given time, PHS/SPCA can be caring for more than 200 wildlife, work funded by generous donations. In addition to gaining hands-on experience, wildlife rehabilitation interns will receive bi-weekly educational topics for research. This is a three-month, 24 hour/week commitment, with three options: May-July, June-August or July-September.

The Behavior & Training Department internship is also hands-on. Interns will work with PHS/SPCA trainers during public training classes and assist with the preparation of the training site, working one-on-one with dogs, leading classes and assisting with consultations.  This will include some clerical duties. Good physical stamina is needed for this role, which is also three months (April-June), but 12 hours/week. 
PHS/SPCA’s Behavior & Training Department helps local animal owners enjoy better relationship with their pets through classes and consultations and provide focused training and attention for shelter animals to make them more adoptable.

PHS/SPCA is seeking applications for both internship areas beginning today. For full descriptions and instructions for applying, visit phs-spca.org and look for “Internship Positions” in the Volunteer section of the site. Or, call 650/340-7022, ext. 328.

“We will consider all types of applicants, from recent college grads to career changers and retired individuals looking to do something meaningful and learn about our work,” says Director of Volunteer Services Brian Probst.

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2013 Press Releases

Peninsula Humane Society Treats Owl With Mysterious Injury to Both Eyes--Owl Released With Just One Working Eye, But Very Optimistic Prognosis

December 17, 2013 (Burlingame) - An adult Great Horned Owl in Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s (PHS/SPCA) care since September 29, was released yesterday, with just one sighted eye, but is fully expected to live a normal life in its natural habitat.

The owl was found grounded in a resident’s backyard in the Glen Park area of San Francisco, then transferred to PHS/SPCA by San Francisco Animal Care & Control. PHS/SPCA provides care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife from San Francisco through Northern Santa Clara County.

Upon intake, PHS/SPCA’s Wildlife Rescue staff noted that the owl had blood pooling in both eyes, likely caused by head trauma.  However, the owl had no injuries to its beak, which would seem likely in any kind of head-on collision that would damage both eyes. There were no fractures or dislocation and the overall body condition was good, but slightly thin. PHS/SPCA made arrangements for the owl to be seen by a veterinary vision specialist, Dr. Carol Szymanski. Her diagnosis was that both eyes had intraocular hemorrhaging (hyphema) and the right eye also had a superficial corneal ulcer. Prognosis was that the left eye would be permanently blind and the right eye may heal back to normal.

For treatment, PHS/SPCA staff administered ocular and oral antibacterial and anti-inflammatory pain medication for approximately one month. More so than the medication, however, the owl needed a considerable amount of time to reabsorb the blood in its eye. Over time, the owl regained normal sight in its right eye, but the left eye was determined to be permanently blind. PHS/SPCA chose not to surgically remove the blind eye; Great Horned Owls have large eyes proportional to their body and removing an eye would offset the owl’s balance in flight.

Prior to yesterday’s release in Glen Park, staff were confident in the owl’s ability to hunt in the wild.

Due in part to asymmetrical ear positions on either side of the head, Great Horned Owls are able to better perceive the location of their prey. So even with one eye, the owl can perceive depth and hunt accurately with monocular vision.

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Peninsula Humane Society Offering $1,000 in Animal Cruelty Case -- Puppy Attacked and Abandoned in East Palo

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.

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PHS/SPCA Vet Amputates Digit on Hawk’s Foot  -- Recovery and Release Hopeful  

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.

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PHS/SPCA to Showcase Senior Pets During “Seniors Rule” Adoption Fair Tomorrow

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.
In addition to the adoption discount, PHS/SPCA’s Chief of Veterinary Staff, Dr. Linda Janowitz, and staff Behavior Associate, Anika Liljenwall, will answer questions about the senior pets available for adoption and provide advice about caring for older pets in general.
The regular adoption fee for dogs age 7 + is $75, while cats age 7+ can be adopted for $50.  During this one-day event, the adoption fees are reduced to $37.50 and $25, respectively.

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.
A small number of local residents who adopted senior pets have been invited to attend the event and share their experiences with prospective adopters.

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.” 

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Peninsula Humane Society Celebrates 40 Years of Providing Low-Cost Spay/Neuter and Dramatic Changes in Companion Animal Overpopulation

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.

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Peninsula Rollergirls’ May 10 Bout to Benefit Peninsula Humane Society

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.”

To learn more about the Peninsula Rollergirls or to buy tickets in advance and guarantee a seat at this event, please visit http://peninsularollergirls.com/. For more information about the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, see www.PHS-SPCA.org.

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Peninsula Humane Society Offering $1,000 in Animal Cruelty Case -- Raccoon Shot in So. San Francisco Residential Neighborhood

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.
After administering a sedative, staff took take a closer look and noted an injury on its forehead that had somewhat fresh blood (but wasn’t bleeding), and a fragment of bone which originally looked like a tooth fragment. The raccoon was euthanized based on its behavior evaluation. 

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.

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PHS/SPCA Sees Record Adoption Year in 2012

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:

  • More than 6,000 spay/neuter surgeries performed at the shelter’s low-cost clinic plus an additional 700+ on the shelter’s mobile clinic which provides free “fixes” in targeted communities.
  • 1,048 wild animals rehabilitated at PHS/SPCA, then returned to their natural habitats.
  • Four classes of dogs graduated from the TAILS program, a partnership between the PHS/SPCA and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office which pairs shelter dogs with inmates in a minimum security facility for eight weeks.
  • PHS/SPCA rescued more than 1,000 animals from harm’s way, including dogs stuck in traffic, down horses, ducks trapped in storm drains, deer snared in fencing.
  • 161,180 volunteer hours
  • a few thousand children received our important messages through shelter tours, Animal Camp, classroom presentations and other programs.
  • Just over $400,000 in gross sales from the shelter’s secondhand store, Pick of the Litter, on Chula Vista Ave, in Burlingame.

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PHS/SPCA’s Wildlife Rescue Center Released 1,000+ Local Wildlife in 2012

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.”

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2012 Press Releases

Pelicans in Need of Care Taking Over Wildlife Care Center at PHS/SPCA – 30 of the Former Endangered Species Have Arrived in July

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.

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Newest Spa Opens in Burlingame – Wildlife-Only Facility is Pampering Sick, Injured and Orphaned Ducklings

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.
PHS/SPCA’s wildlife rehabilitation work is made possible by generous donations of time, money and other resources. The Center for Compassion is now housing just over 200 wild animals in need of care. Late spring through fall is the busy season for wildlife rehabilitation.

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.

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Peninsula Humane Society Announces “Sweet Deal” Chihuahua Special: Adoption Fees Waived  

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.

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PHS/SPCA Caring for Rare, Injured Falcon – Recovery, Release Expected

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.

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PHS/SPCA Graduates 10th Class of Shelter Dogs from Inmate Training Program –  Dogs Now Available for Adoption

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.
This marks the tenth graduation for the TAILS (Transitioning Animals Into Loving Situations) program, a partnership between PHS/SPCA and the Sheriff’s Office which began in July 2009, and has now seen 36 dogs graduate.
Each Friday during the eight-week program, a PHS/SPCA trainer conducts a formal training class for the inmate handlers; outside of class, inmates are responsible for homework from class, exercise, socialization, clean-up, grooming and overall well-being for their dogs.
The TAILS program gives dogs with limited adoption potential constant care and attention from inmates and provides inmates an avenue for developing skills and making their time more meaningful.  
“We have wonderful behavior programs at the shelter, but since our dog population exceeds 200, we can’t give every dog the undivided attention and controlled environment some need to improve their issues,” said Maria Eguren, PHS/SPCA’s Behavior & Training Manager. “TAILS provides this.” 
Today’s graduates are

  1. Lizard –adorable 1-yr-old old male Chihuahua mix. Very high energy guy who needs an active owner. Gets along well with other dogs, but probably too much for younger kids (teens OK).
  2. Harley, a 3-yr-old male; mixed breed with Border Collie traits. Very smart, loves playing fetch. Can live with other dogs, unsure about cats. Any children in the home should be teens or older.

Two dogs from an earlier class spent an extra session in the program and are also available for adoption:

  1. Daphne, a 2 ½ -yr-old female reddish-colored Chihuahua/Miniature Pinscher mix. High energy, treat motivated and smart. Loves toys, and occasionally guards them from other dogs. Can be adopted by a first-time pet owner, a family with children or resident dogs.
  2. Cali, an 11-month old female Border Collie/Terrier mix. Friendly, playful and high energy girl looking for a strong owner with previous dog experience and a house with a yard. Very smart and would benefit from continued training. Can get along with other dogs but not sure about cats. Children in the home should be in their teens.

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.
PHS/SPCA is actively seeking permanent homes for all four dogs.  Interested adopters may inquire by calling 650/340-7022, ext. 306.
Within a few weeks, shelter staff will select another group or dogs for the TAILS program.
“As long as there are interested inmates, we will have dogs for them to live with, train and socialize,” said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. “Whoever adopts these dogs will be bringing real treasures into their home. Honestly, our biggest challenge is finding permanent homes as good at the one they’ve enjoyed the past eight weeks.”

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Peninsula Humane Society Holding Open House for Wildlife Center
Local luminaries including longtime Bay Area media personality Doug McConnell will help show off enclosures by being locked inside

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%.
Although open house visitors won’t see animals inside enclosures, they can see local luminaries who have agreed to be taken into our care to draw attention to this important work. On Saturday, January 28, 1-3 pm, the enclosures will be holding: PHS/SPCA President Ken White; longtime Bay Area media personality Doug McConnell; San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier; Buck’s Restaurant owner and author Jamis MacNiven; Foster City Vice Mayor Pam Frisella; and former Belmont Mayor and current Central Elementary School teacher George Metropulos.
“I had no idea how many people wanted to see me locked-up,” joked Frisella who informed friends, family and co-workers of her involvement in this awareness-building event.
For 35 years, PHS/SPCA has remained one of just a handful of humane societies in the entire United States to provide significant services for wildlife in addition to domestic animals.
Until PHS/SPCA built its new Center for Compassion on Rollins Rd. in Burlingame, wildlife rehabilitation and care took place at the shelter’s former home for adoptable pets at 12 Airport Blvd. in San Mateo.

For more information contact Scott Delucchi at 650/685-8510 or Delucchi@PHS-SPCA.org.

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Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion
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1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone 650.340.7022 Fax 650.685.8428

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