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News - 2015

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Media Coverage 2015:

2015 Press Releases:


2015 Press Releases

PHS/SPCA Shelter Dogs Graduating from Inmate Training Program

November 6, 2015 - Later today, four shelter dogs will graduate from the TAILS program, a partnership between the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office matching minimum security inmates with shelter dogs who require extra attention to increase their adoptability. TAILS stands for Transitioning Animals Into Loving Situations.

The graduation ceremony will be held from 2-2:30 pm at PHS/SPCA's Center for Compassion, in the center's indoor dog park, at 1450 Rollins Rd., Burlingame. Sheriff's Office staff, PHS/SPCA staff and possibly some of the inmate handlers' family members will be in attendance.

For the past eight weeks, the dogs have lived at the Men's Minimum Security Transitional Facility, 1580 Maple Street in Redwood City. Every Friday, a PHS/SPCA trainer conducts an instructional class for the inmate handlers. Outside of class, inmates are responsible for homework from class, socialization, grooming, exercise, clean-up and overall well-being for their dogs.

Two of the graduating dogs, Picasso and Spreckles, have adopters. The two dogs still seeking new homes - Spice and Toy - are both 1-year-old, female Chihuahuas. PHS/SPCA is recommending an adults-only home for Toy.

Prospective adopters can contact PHS/SPCA Behavior & Training Director, Maria Eguren, at 650/340-7022, ext. 306 or MEGUREN@PHS-SPCA.org for more information or to arrange for a personal meeting.

Since the TAILS program began in July 2009, 72 dogs have graduated. TAILS gives dogs with questionable adoption potential constant care and attention from inmates and provides inmates an avenue for developing skills and making their time more meaningful.

An average day for the dogs under the guidance of their inmate handlers consists of multiple exercise sessions in the facility's yard, group "play dates" with other dogs in the program, individual work on homework assignments from the weekly obedience classes and socialization with other inmates.

Within a few weeks, PHS/SPCA staff will select another group of dogs for the next TAILS class.

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Peninsula Humane Society Waives Fees for Black Cats and Kittens -- Promotion Reverses "Industry" Trend

October 23, 2015 (Burlingame) - Tomorrow through Sunday, November 1, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is not placing a moratorium on black cat adoptions like some shelters across the country do in the days before Halloween. Instead, PHS/SPCA is aggressively seeking to find homes, and waiving adoption fees for black cats and kittens, which are in abundance now and typically more difficult to place into new homes throughout the year. 

Of the 125 or so cats and kittens currently available for adoption at PHS/SPCA’s Center for Compassion in Burlingame (1450 Rollins Rd.), 31 are all black.

Traditionally, shelters shy away from black cat adoptions in October, fearful that people with bad intentions may look to adopt a black cat during that time.

“We are not simply opening the doors and allowing people to take cats,” assured PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi.  “We have a counseling process with every adoption and we train our counselors to use their judgement when placing all animals into new homes.”

“It makes no sense at all for us to make it more difficult - any time of the year – for black cats to go into good homes,” continued Delucchi.

The regular adoption fee for cats is $80 ($50 for cats age 7+ and $120 for kittens under 6 months) and it includes the cat’s spay/neuter surgery, all vaccinations, a health check, behavior screening and a microchip form of identification. These same items will be included, free of charge, during the October 24 through November 1 promotion.

Several factors contribute to the high number of black cats in shelters. For one, they can be simply missed by visitors who walk by their rooms and cages due to their dark color, and they don’t show as well in website photos. Also, since there are many of them, it’s more difficult for individual black cats to “stand out from the crowd.” Lastly, there’s the pesky belief that black cats are somehow bad luck; in reality, much of their mythos is of the positive variety.

To preview adoptable cats, visit www.PHS-SPCA.org. Adoption hours are 11 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday and 11 am to 6 pm on weekends. PHS/SPCA is open on Halloween.

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Who's Your Daddy? - PHS/SPCA Includes Fun, Surprising DNA Results With Adoptions

January 2 (Burlingame) - Last week, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) ordered DNA tests for many of their small, brownish-colored dogs who appeared to be at least part Chihuahua. Beginning today, the shelter is including tests results with the dogs' adoption fees in its Who's Your Daddy? program designed to find new homes for dogs at risk of being overlooked.

With a simple cheek swab sent to a lab, PHS/SPCA unlocked some of its mutts' mysteries and the results surprised staff. One dog staff figured was a Chihuahua mixed with something, is part Australian Sheepdog, part Russell Terrier and part Collie, among other unknown breeds, according to the DNA.

The tested dogs have been given fun names like the designer breed Labradoodles, Maltipoos and Puggles which are being bred and sold for as much as $3,000 each. PHS/SPCA is calling the Australian Sheepdog/Russell Terrier/Collie a Kiwi Collier.

Other dogs available for adoption today include a Cherrier (Chihuahua/Parson Russell Terrier), a Far Eastern Chinzer (Chinese Crested and Miniature Schnauzer), a Sperrier (rhymes with the bottled water Perrier... one parent was a Cocker Spaniel mix, the other a Parson Russell Terrier), a Terridoodle (parents were a terrier mix and poodle mix), a Sheepish Chabrador (DNA detected Shetland Sheepdog, Labrador Retriever and Chihuahua), a Pointy Brit (German Wirehaired Pointer and Brittany were two breeds detected), a Yorkle (Yorkshire Terrier and Beagle), and a Golden Chinscher (DNA detected Golden Retriever, Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua among other unknown breeds).

A Chiratoodle (DNA detected Chihuahua, Rat Terrier and Miniature Poodle) and a Chorkie (parents were a Chihuahua/Mini Pinscher cross and a Yorkshire Terrier mix) will be made available for adoption as soon as space allows at PHS/SPCA's adoption center.

"We have great dogs as unique as the so-called designer dogs," said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. "Odds are, they were bred accidentally, but we aim to turn that into something positive for dogs found stray or surrendered to us by owners unable or unwilling to keep them."

The dogs' adoption fees are a fraction of what designer breed dogs cost, and shelter staff believe their new owners will love them every bit as much. The adoption fee for adult dogs is $120, which includes a spay/neuter surgery, all vaccinations, a microchip, behavior evaluation and veterinary check. The fee for puppies under six months is $135, while dogs at least seven years old can be adopted for $75. DNA profiles are included in the selected dogs' adoption fees.

PHS/SPCA spent about $60 per dog on the tests. If a genetic breakdown helps pique interest in the mixed breed dogs and leads to quicker adoptions, the shelter will expand its Who's Your Daddy? program.

"We're having a lot of fun with this, and definitely scratched our heads over a few of the DNA findings," continued Delucchi. "In the end, it's about making connections with adopters and finding homes for dogs who deserve a second chance."

Adopters can preview PHS/SPCA's DNA-tested dogs online at www.phs-spca.org or meet them at PHS/SPCA's Center for Compassion (1450 Rollins Rd., Burlingame), open from 11am to 7 pm today and 11 am to 6 pm this weekend.

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Peninsula Humane Society Looking for Dog Possibly Harmed by Burlingame Dog Sitter --Video Footage Shows Dog Being Hit, Slammed to the Ground

August 19 (Burlingame) - On July 30, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) received a disturbing video clip showing the owner/operator of a dog sitting and boarding business jerk a cowering dog up by the neck, slam the little dog to the ground, and slap the dog multiple times while pinned to the ground.  This occurred in the dog sitter’s yard on July 30 and was captured on a cell phone by a neighbor. 

"We are looking for the dog pictured in this video (WARNING: this footage is extremely disturbing. https://youtu.be/m_37-UvwMPI) as we fear the dog may have been injured," said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. "The owner is claiming the dog in the video clip is her dog, a Lhasa Apso, but we can clearly see several distinguishing physical characteristics which tell us these are not the same dog.”

The dog in the video is a golden-colored, approximately 15-pound, long-haired small breed, perhaps a Chihuahua mix, with a fluffy tail, and somewhat pointed snout with short hair around the face. The owner’s dog is almost white-colored, with a flatter snout, significantly longer hair around the ears and muzzle and a different torso.

The owner's single-story residence is located behind Burlingame High School, between the high school and Hwy 101. The owner, a woman in her 60s, has operated a dog sitting and boarding business at this residence for at least 10 years; during that time, PHS/SPCA has received multiple complaints from neighbors about her care and handling of the boarded animals. 

"We believe that the evidence presented in the video clip is enough for the District Attorney's Office to bring animal abuse charges against this woman," continued Delucchi. "At this point, our primary concern is for the dog. If we hear from other dog owners who have hired this woman to care for their dogs and had bad experiences, they may become part of the report we deliver to the DA's Office."

Dog owners who believe this dog may be theirs, residents who have knowledge of other dogs possibly harmed by this dog sitter or who have had bad or troubling experiences using this person's dog sitting or boarding services are encouraged to contact PHS/SPCA immediately at 650/340-7022, ext. 384.

Five days after receiving the video clip and confirming it was the owner, PHS/SPCA investigators went to the Burlingame residence and seized 11 dogs, fearful for their health and safety based on what was observed in the video. Dogs being boarded were quickly returned to the business owner’s clients, but the owner’s three dogs are still in protective custody and have not been returned.

PHS/SPCA previously received two other video clips in late May of this year. In one, it appears the business owner is stomping on a dog. In the clip, she’s stomping down on something that is obscured, then a dog runs away from the area where she was stomping. 
Prior to seeing the video clip in question, the owner suggested it was another of her own dogs, who she “popped and smacked on the mouth” several times on July 30 after the dog dug up her rose bush. However, that dog has three legs and the dog in the video has four.
PHS/SPCA is not releasing the dog sitter’s name at this point as she has not been charged with anything and that information is not a matter of public record.

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