Friday, February 27, 2015


The P.E.T.S. “A Senior for A Senior” adoption program is all about seniors discovering the joys of having a pet in their lives. The program helps senior citizens who are on a fixed income and unable to afford the adoption fees for a companion animal but are capable of caring for a pet and wish to experience the love of a furry companion.

To qualify for this program, an adopter must be at least 60 years young, and adopt a senior dog or cat that is approximately 6 years or older. The number of adopters that can be assisted by this program is limited, and participants will be chosen on a first-come-first-served basis, provided they meet the required guidelines for eligibility. Please contact the Tehama County Animal Care Center at 1830 Walnut Street, Red Bluff, CA, (530-527-3439) to see if you qualify for this wonderful program.

The P.E.T.S. “A Senior for a Senior” program discounts adoption fees to $20.00 for Senior Dogs and $0.00 for Senior Cats. All animals in this adoption program will be spayed/neutered, micro-chipped and have current vaccinations. A photo ID and low income verification must be provided to qualify.

The Tehama County Animal Care Center will help you select a companion who fits into your lifestyle and housing situation. For more information about the “A Senior for A Senior” adoption program or to arrange a visit with a wonderful senior animal at the Tehama County Animal Care Center, please call 530-527-3439.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Low cost spay, neuter to celebrate ‘World Spay Day’

In honor of World Spay Day 2015, the Tehama County Animal Care Center has arranged for low cost spay and neuter services to be available to the public.
Four different veterinary clinics have agreed to donate their time to provide spay and neuter services to low income clients for $20. This is a one-day only program, held on World Spay Day, Feb. 24.
In order to have an animal altered on Spay Day, interested parties must come in to the Animal Care Center starting Tuesday. There are a limited number of appointments available, and appointments will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to low income households.
Clients will be required to pay a $20 non-refundable deposit to the veterinary clinic performing the surgery, which must be prepaid at the time the appointment is reserved.
“We are extremely grateful to have Valley Veterinary Clinic, Antelope Veterinary Hospital, Red Bluff Veterinary Clinic and Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic donating surgeries this year,” said Animal Care Center Manager Christine McClintock. “These clinics and their staff have donated a significant amount of time and energy to provide these surgeries, and we cannot thank them enough. Pet overpopulation is a huge problem in Tehama County. Spay/Neuter is the only 100 percent permanent method of birth control in domestic pets, and the most effective way to prevent unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.”
To be eligible to participate in the Spay Day program, dogs and cats must be current on vaccinations, including rabies, and dogs must be licensed. For more information on low income vaccination clinics, or how to license a dog, call the center at 527-3439.
The center is at 1830 Walnut St. in Red Bluff. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to noon and 1-4:30 p.m. Saturday. Adoption hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-4:30 p.m. If you would like more information regarding adopting, fostering or becoming a Care Center volunteer, call 527-3439 or send an email to

Monday, February 9, 2015

Let's Talk About Euthanasia

I cannot tell you how many times I hear a person does not wish to bring an animal to the shelter because they espouse No-Kill, and know, with absolute erroneous certainty, that the animal will be euthanized once admitted.  They feel it is much more humane to abandon these animals, rationalizing that benevolent strangers will take them home, or with even greater specious thought, that this domesticated creature will suddenly be able to fend for itself.  However, the cruel reality is that these animals face starvation, disease, injury, and other untold horrors.

There is no easy way to lead into the crux of this article.  We often talk in abstracts, sidestep, and dance around one word for fear of offending anyone.  However, we cannot solve any issue by avoidance, so let us talk about euthanasia.

First, let’s clarify a misconception.  A good portion of the public believes that after the mandatory hold period at the Tehama County Animal Care Center (TCACC), strays will be euthanized.  This could not be further from the truth.  The Animal Care Center does not have “time limits” for adoptable animals.  Before a decision is made to euthanize an animal, a number of factors are studied such as life threatening illnesses, extreme medical problems, and unprovoked aggression.  Before any decision is considered, the animal’s ultimate well-being and quality of life, as well as public safety is painstakingly thought about by those involved.  This is the most dreaded procedure for any employee of the Shelter, and it is done only when all other options have been exhausted.

Next, I am extremely happy to report that the TCACC, as a public shelter with its limited resources, small size and increased intake of animals this past year, has managed to defy the National averages.  Of all the animals admitted into TCACC in 2014, 82.3% were either adopted, rescued, or returned to their original owner.  On an even larger note, in December of 2014 the live release rate was 93.9%, the highest figure ever obtained in Tehama County.  The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy cites that 56 % of dogs and 71 % of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized.  At TCACC, its euthanasia percentages were substantially below those figures as evidenced by the “live release rates” cited above.

Some will shout that any euthanasia is totally unacceptable.  To every person who finds it appalling, I will respond.  Not every animal can be saved.  In our quest to do so, many have suffered needlessly, be it animal and/or human.  Even the safe havens of “no-kill” facilities understand that there are extenuating circumstances where euthanasia may be the most humane action to take.   If we falsely believe that every organization, whether private or public, can care for every homeless animal that arrives on their doorstep for the rest of their natural life, we do an injustice to the animal and to the overwhelming problem of animal homelessness.

Our shelter, any shelter, cannot decrease euthanasia rates without total community support and commitment.  Each individual shares in the responsibility and fate of these unwanted animals. One must truly understand that, by ignoring the problem of pet overpopulation or enhancing it by either tacit acceptance of actions that result in homelessness or by contributing directly to the amount of unwanted animals, it is not the shelters' fault that animals are euthanized, but the public’s.  Therefore, it is important that all of us actively work towards not only decreasing the number of animals entering the shelters, but also increasing the amount of animals that are returned to their owners or adopted, thus ensuring that euthanasia is not an outcome.

We must discourage “backyard” breeding by refusing to purchase these animals and opting, instead, to adopt from among the many that both shelters and rescues have.  We must not only spay and neuter our own animals, but also encourage others to do the same.  We should microchip and/or tag our pets.  Again, we must encourage others to do the same in order that pets and guardians are quickly reunited.  We need to get involved and report abuse, safeguarding those that cannot defend themselves.  We must become responsible pet-people, understanding that it is a lifetime commitment, and take measures to insure success.  If unhappy with the laws that regulate pet ownership or the way they are, or are not, enforced, then contact local, county, and state representatives to request more resources be allotted to house, protect, and ensure the well-being of these homeless animals.

Nothing is going to solve the animal overpopulation problem unless we take positive action.  Until all of us do, euthanasia will continue to be an ugly reality.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


You can make amazing things happen.  Your membership is a gift that can change a homeless animal’s life forever.  By renewing or joining today, P.E.T.S. can continue to do what needs to be done for the homeless, neglected, and abused animals of Tehama County. 

If these homeless pets could speak, they would Thank You in advance for your support.  Because your precious gift allows us to provide:
Adoption events where they have an increased chance of finding forever love.
Medical care that helps mend not only their bodies, but spirits too.
Transport to organizations who work with us to guarantee they are not homeless anymore.
Programs and services to the community that ensures responsible pet guardianship.
All this and much, much more.

As an added benefit, you will have access to fantastic savings & discounts that are offered to only our members by our P.E.T.S. Partners - Aquarium & Pets, Baskin Robbins Red Bluff, Elmore Pharmacy and Los Mariachis Mexican Restaurant.

So please, join or renew now by printing and mailing in this form ( ) to P.E.T.S., P.O. Box 1174, Red Bluff, CA 96080, and together we can bring love and happiness to many forlorn lives. 

Monday, February 2, 2015


“Kitten Season” fills those involved with rescue or at the shelter with dread.  While we adore the cute faces and the awkward, tumbling gait of kittens, we are truly anxious, knowing that they will pour in all at once and resources will quickly become overwhelmed.  Typically, this season occurs March through October.  Unfortunately, it appears it has started earlier this year. Although these little bundles of fur are adorable, many are still weeks away from being old enough to be weaned, spayed, neutered or adopted. 

Many organizations simply do not have the space or available resources to care for such a volume of kittens/cats.  Pregnant cats necessitate close observation and monitoring.  Many kittens will arrive without mothers and need to be bottle-fed every few hours, which is more than the shelter can handle.  A vast number come in with either severe injuries or illnesses.  In addition, even if they do not have special needs, kittens do not have developed immune systems, and a continuous flow of other cats places them, at any organization, at severe risk.  Last, but not least, feral cats, never having had human contact, are often considered unadoptable and, unless there is a rescue available that is willing to take them, chances are that they will be euthanized.

The best thing anyone can do to help curb this problem is to spay and neuter, even if the cat never goes outdoors.  Cats, as young as five months, can get pregnant.  Because cats have an average of 4-6 kittens per pregnancy, and can be pregnant several times a year, it is no wonder that these litters become overwhelming, especially if the resultant litters, themselves, have kittens within a few months.  Therefore, it is important to spay or neuter before a first litter is ever born.  The average age at which pets are spayed or neutered is four months. 

If there is feral cat colony in the area, practice TNR (trap, neuter, return).  TNR means trapping the cats, having them spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and then returning them to back to their habitat.  The reason TNR is successful is that resident cats are not permanently eradicated from the colony.  After temporarily removing and fixing the animals, they return to safeguard their habitat, but no longer contribute additions to the existing group.  If they are destroyed, another colony of fertile cats will quickly inhabit their niche.  A feral cat’s life is not wonderful, but at least they will not create a larger population if sterilized. 

In Tehama County, Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic in Los Molinos (530- 384-1700) offers feral cat S/N services on the last Friday of every month.  The Red Bluff Veterinary Clinic in Red Bluff (530- 527-1886) offers feral cat S/N services on the first Wednesday of every month.  Haven Humane Society in Anderson (530- 241-1568) offers feral cat S/N services Monday thru Thursday.  In addition, national organizations such as Spay/USA (800-248-SPAY) and Friends of Animals (800-321-7387) can provide information about available assistance.  Alley Cat Allies ( (240-482-1980) also provides an array of information regarding feral cats.

In addition to spaying or neutering your own cats and practicing or assisting with TNR of feral colonies, there are numerous other ways to help, all of which are extremely beneficial during this critical time.

One way is to adopt from the shelter or one of the local rescue organizations.  Please, when adopting, do not overlook any of the mom cats since they often remain behind long after their babies have found homes.  If you are not ready or able to adopt, then consider fostering.  Fostering not only assists the shelter immeasurably by freeing space and resources, but also provides the care and socialization these little ones need prior to adoption.  If interested and would like to learn more about the foster program, please call the Tehama County Animal Care Center (530-527-3439).  If you are allergic or have other reasons that you cannot work with the cats/kittens directly, you can help gather needed supplies such as kitten formula, bottles, etc.  No matter what you decide to do, please talk with family and friends about the causes and issues of cat overpopulation.  Education is a great first step in solving any problem. 

These animals’ lives depend on the actions we take and perhaps, one day, “Kitten Season” will not be as dreadful as it is now.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


We have a deaf dog.  Even though we have not had her tested, she will not respond to anything quieter than a mega-ton explosion.  However, she barks, plays and does all the standard “Doggy” things her counter-parts do, and is just as loving and devoted as any other dog we have ever had.  “Why” do I tell you this?  To let you know, that deaf dogs are just as great as hearing pets.

Deaf dogs really do make amazing pets.  Anything you may have heard to the contrary is most likely shrouded in myth or misunderstanding.  The only genuine limitation is that a deaf dog should not roam freely unless there is an enclosed, secured, safe area available for them to do so.  A deaf dog cannot hear a danger approaching, like a car.  Otherwise, a deaf dog trains as easily as a dog that hears.  The only difference is to use non-verbal signals, rather than verbal commands.

Like any training, you must first get the attention of whom you are trying to teach.  Deaf dogs will not respond to you calling their name.  They simply cannot hear you calling.  However, they will react with other types of stimuli.  Stomping your foot on the ground, causes vibration that they can feel.  Waving a flashlight, or clicking it on and off, will usually garner attention, especially when the dog responds and the reward is a tasty treat.  In addition, you can use a vibrating collar, which differs substantially from “Shock” collars.  These collars only vibrate and are not distressful to the animal. 

When teaching basic commands to any dog, the use of hand signals is common practice.  Therefore training a deaf dog with the use of them is perfectly natural.  As always when training, after getting the animal’s attention, a command (signal) is given to the animal to accomplish a specific act, after which a reward is provided.  Some people create their own set of hand signs for particular words like sit, stay, down, walk etc., while others learn a few basic words in American Sign Language.  Whatever you choose to do, remember the signal must remain consistent so the animal associates the “word” and the action.  Lastly, never strike a deaf dog with your hands!  Your hands are the way you communicate with the animal and should always be a positive, reassuring tool.

A common myth is that deaf dogs are more aggressive.  The reason behind the myth is if you startle a deaf dog, they will bite.  Any dog, whether deaf or not, when startled may snap or snarl out of fear.  Therefore, it is important to work with the dog so the animal is comfortable having someone come from behind and touch him or her.  A few times a day, wake your dog by very gently touching its shoulder or back, then reward immediately with a treat.  Soon the dog will associate wakening, with something good.  If you do not want to startle the dog, stomp your foot or bump the bed they are sleeping on.  Chances are the vibration will awaken them.  Again, always provide a reward.

Deaf dogs have a tendency to bond strongly with their guardians.  In the community of those who have deaf dogs, these animals are affectionately known as “Velcro” dogs, since they are most comfortable when they are near their person.  Like hearing dogs, some may develop separation anxiety.  However, the training methods to condition them to be unafraid of being alone, is the same as it is for any other dog.  Always remember, deaf dogs can do agility, therapy, etc., almost anything a hearing dog can do.  There is nothing wrong with them.  They are simply dogs that cannot hear.

If you are thinking of adding a deaf canine companion to your life, the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund’ s website,, is a good location to find additional helpful information and resources.

Deaf dogs may not be able to hear, but they can be as wonderful and as affectionate as a hearing canine.  Take it from one who knows.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Research shows that owning a pet can help us live longer, feel healthier, and aid us in dealing with various stressors in modern life.  Because of pets, countless lives have improved.  Yet, each year thousands of pets end up in shelters across the country.  As an example, the Tehama County Animal Care Center had, this past year, 2,183 animals brought in.  It is a rather appalling number and reflects an average of five (5) animals per day, each and every day.

In 2009 “Change a Pet’s Life Day” was introduced in order to focus attention towards these homeless pets, and encourage their adoption.  However, you do not have to wait until next Saturday, January 24, to change a homeless pet’s life.  Almost any day is an opportunity to get involved with our local shelter or a rescue.  There is not a contribution of time, supplies, and/or money that is too small or unappreciated by those involved with the animals or by the pets themselves. 

If you are unable to open your home up to a pet, then consider volunteering.  I cannot emphasize enough about how extremely vital volunteers are to the animals at the shelter.  By spending time with the dogs and cats, you add a richness to their existence that many have never previously known.  Many of them are scared and confused.  Therefore, any time spent with the dogs and cats aids in calming them, and increases their chances of adoption immeasurably, as well.  If hands-on with the animals is something you prefer not to do, there are numerous other venues in which a person can get involved, all of which help tremendously.  If you are interested in volunteering at our local shelter, please give them a call at 530-527-3439. They would enjoy hearing from you.

If you do not know what kind of pet you want, or there are other constraints, then adoption may not be the commitment you want or need.  Fortunately, fostering is another option to consider.  The most common reasons animals require that extra-special home care are:
·         Babies without a mother require bottle-feedings. 
·         Under-aged pups and kittens are too young for adoption. 
·         Mothers who are nursing kittens or puppies require a quieter, nurturing environment. 
·         Animals recovering from an injury or illness may need limited activity or medications given. 
Fostering is a wonderfully rewarding experience.  Whether you only foster once or decide to do so again, you will know that you personally helped save lives.  Besides the benefits that both human and pet receive from a foster situation, removing the animal from the shelter makes room for another.  Therefore, every animal that is living in a foster home equates to two lives saved.

If you would like to “Change a Pet’s Life”, but do not wish to adopt, volunteer, or foster, then a donation can be just as effective.  Many times the shelter’s residents require medical care that the county budget simply cannot afford.  Extra funds provided for these special needs animals can go a long way in making a pronounced difference in their existence.  If you prefer not to make a monetary donation, then contributing an item or two also benefits them.  Items always welcomed are: canned wet paté-type food, dry puppy food, dry kitten milk and dry baby-Kat kitten food, towels, wash rags and blankets, Frontline for dogs and cats, grooming supplies, paper towels, bleach, and laundry detergent. 

However, if you truly wish to “Change a Pet’s Life”, then seriously consider adopting a homeless animal.  The Care Center has an amazing array of animals who would love to get a forever home.  I also just happen to know that on Friday, January 23 and Saturday, January 24, a two –day “Change a Pet’s Life” Adoption Event is occurring at The Tehama County Animal Care Center at 1830 Walnut Street, Red Bluff (530-527-3439).  If any dog or cat is adopted during this event, P.E.T.S. will pay the spay/neuter charge, so that their ADOPTION fees will be exceedingly low! 

You can “Change a Pet’s Life”, and it’s never too late to start.