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2006 Press Releases

Rabbit named Mocha


Formerly Stray Marmoset Enjoying New Home in Florida Sanctuary

October 26, 2006 (San Mateo) A marmoset found stray in East Palo Alto last June and rescued by the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA), is now in his permanent home, Jungle Friends sanctuary, in Gainesville, FL.

The tiny primate was named Miko at PHS/SPCA, where he was in the shelter’s care from June 27 through September 19.

Many of the primates at Jungle Friends are ex-pets, like Miko, owned by people who, in many cases, were keeping them illegally.

Miko was rescued by PHS/SPCA officers after the shelter received a call from an East Palo Alto resident who spotted the monkey scampering on her back fence.

Within minutes, the monkey was secured, then rushed to the shelter, where staff determined he was a tufted-eared marmoset, one of the world’s smallest primates, endemic to forested areas in Central and South America. Miko weighed 320 grams while under the shelter’s care and was in good health during his stay.

PHS/SPCA kept the marmoset at the request of the Dept. of Fish & Game, then secured a permanent home after receiving permission by the state agency which, among other responsibilities, investigates animals kept illegally as pets.

It is against the law to keep monkeys as pets in California without a permit, and the Dept. of Fish & Game grants permits for educational purposes – like universities and museums – but never for pets.

Monkeys kept in sanctuaries do very well living with other monkeys, much better than they do living as pets with humans. Until they are able to interact with their own species, they do not have a complete world with language and play and fellow monkeys who understand their vocalizations and gestures.

This was the first monkey PHS/SPCA had cared for since the winter of 2000, when another marmoset was dropped off at the shelter by its owner. That monkey was nursed back to health and sent to another sanctuary.

For information about Miko’s new home, see www.junglefriends.org.

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Peninsula Humane Society Auxiliary to Hold Annual "A Home for the Holidays" Gala Benefit

October 24, 2006 (San Mateo) The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA Auxiliary will hold it’s annual gala benefit for shelter animals on Saturday, November 4, at the Westin Hotel in Millbrae.

The popular "A Home for the Holidays" event will once again feature a silent auction, dinner, a live auction and dancing to the music of Pride & Joy.

For more information or for tickets (starting at $135/person), please contact Dawn Kelsey Fanara at (650) 340-7022 ext. 375 or dkelsey@PeninsulaHumaneSociety.org

The Auxiliary holds their gala each year to raise funds for PHS/SPCA shelter animals, specifically animals who require assistance from the shelter’s Hope Program before they can be made available for adoption. Many animals arrive at the shelter perfectly healthy and need nothing more than an interested adopter, yet others need special veterinary treatment or work with our behavior staff and volunteers to become adoption candidates.

Currently, approx. 150 animals per month are placed into new, loving homes after receiving Hope Program assistance. Very often these are animals who would never be given a chance by other animal welfare organizations, especially those with so-called “no-kill” policies which prevent them from taking questionable animals.

This year’s live auction items include a Fogarty wine excursion for 10 ($1,000 value); six-night stay at the Camelback Inn and Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak in Phoenix ($2,600 value); golf outing for four at Silverado in Napa Valley ($3,000 value); dinner for 10 with limo service at Pasta Moon Ristorante in Half Moon Bay ($3,000 value); four nights at private estates in Carmel and Pebble Beach plus round at Clint Eastwood's Tehama Golf Club ($4,200 value); seven days plus airfare at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa ($6,000 value); A Costa Rica adventure at Rancho Naturalista ($3,500 value).

Once again, the live auction will feature the shelter’s special item: a day with your own personal shopper, PHS/SPCA President Ken White, who will give the high bidder a VIP tour of the shelter and help him or her find the pet of their dreams at PHS/SPCA.

The PHS/SPCA Auxiliary has raised more than $1.25 million for the animals since its inception in 1988.

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Peninsula Humane Society Says “No” to Moratoriums on Black Cat Adoptions During Month of October

October 18, 2006 (San Mateo) Taking a somewhat unconventional stance, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is not placing a moratorium on black cat adoptions during the month of October like many shelters across the country. Instead, PHS/SPCA is aggressively seeking to find homes, especially for black cats, as they are typically more difficult to place into new homes throughout the year.

"We try to find good homes for black cats any time of the year," said PHS/SPCA Customer Service Manager Dan Hanley.

Because black cats are the ones most often abused by cruel people during the month of October, around Halloween, many shelters simply do not allow adoptions of black cats throughout the entire month of October.

PHS/SPCA instead will rely on its Customer Service staff to place cats into homes of well-intentioned people, as they are trained to do year-round.

"It seems unlikely that a person with bad intentions will go into a shelter, pay $70 and sit through an adoption counseling session," said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. "That kind of person will take an easier, less expensive route."

Still, PHS/SPCA suggests that people with black cats keep them indoors at all times, especially during the month of October.
Currently, PHS/SPCA has some 100 cats and kittens available for adoption and 16 are black or mostly black. The $70 adoption fee ($40 for seniors) includes the cat’s spay/neuter surgery, all vaccinations, a health check, behavior screening, microchip form of identification and a San Mateo County license.

Some available animals, including multiple black or mostly black cats are featured on PHS/SPCA’s website, at www.PHS-SPCA.org. Adoption hours are 11 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday and 11 am to 6 pm on weekends.

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Peninsula Humane Society to Release Recovered Hawks This Thursday

October 11, 2006 (San Mateo) Tomorrow at approximately 2 pm, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) will release two hawks back into their natural habitat, following the raptors' lengthy stay recovering from injuries at the shelter's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.


One of the birds to be released, an adult, female Red-shouldered hawk, was brought to the shelter on September 19 by a local resident who found the hawk, grounded, in the parking lot of the Ranch 99 Market in Daly City. Under examination, PHS/SPCA wildlife staff found a severely swollen right shoulder. The hawk has recovered fully and is flying normally in the shelter's flight aviary.
The other raptor to be released, an adult Red-tailed hawk, arrived on August 10 with more extensive injuries. A wildlife biologist found the bird at Hunter's Point in San Francisco and rushed her to PHS/SPCA for care. An examination found the bird very thin, with abrasions to her beak and inner thigh. She did not eat for the first three days at PHS/SPCA, but has since gained 320 grams -- a quarter of her overall weight -- and is now flying in the shelter's flight aviary.
Though both types of hawks are common to San Mateo County, the shelter rarely releases two on the same day. The first release will take place at approx. 2 pm just west of where Crystal Springs Rd. intersects Hwy 280. So as not to have both hawks compete for food, staff will release the second hawk at least a few miles from the first, again, near Hwy 280.


The shelter's wildlife rehabilitation facilities are at the same 12 Airport Blvd. property as areas for dogs and cats awaiting adoption, but tucked away from these high traffic areas accessible by the public. Donations, and not County or government funds, allow PHS/SPCA to treat thousands of our County's and San Francisco's sick, injured and orphaned wild animals each year, releasing a significant percentage back into their natural habitat following tailored treatment plans.


For more information or to confirm attendance at the hawk releases, please contact Scott Delucchi at 650/685-8510 or (cell) 650/255-2113.

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PHS/SPCA Among Charities Invited to Participate in Bloomingdale's Oct. 26 Benefit Shopping Day

October 9, 2006 (San Mateo) Bloomingdale's at Stanford Shopping Center (Palo Alto) is celebrating local charities on Oct. 26 with a day of shopping, entertainment, prizes and storewide savings.

The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA), as one of the featured charities, will set-up a "Doggie Cocktail Hour" inside Bloomingdales from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Adults, who are invited to attend with their dogs, can enjoy Salty Dogs, Greyhounds and other libations, courtesy of Bloomingdale's. Their dogs can slurp beef tenderloin-flavored water, donated by retailer Molli's Choice, and sample treats from Pet Food Express.

During the cocktail hour, PHS/SPCA will also have a few fun contests which will not require prior planning or any preparation by the owners or their pets.

During the special benefit day, browsers and shoppers alike can purchase a $10 ticket at the door, 100% of the proceeds from which benefit the participating charities. Customers' tickets entitle them to 15% savings on almost every purchase. The store will be open to the general public throughout the day and will feature fashion shows, educational seminars and family-centered entertainment.

For details or to receive a VIP invitation (limited number available) from PHS/SPCA, contact Dawn Kelsey Fanara at 650/340-7022, ext. 375 or dkelsey@PeninsulaHumaneSociety.org.

Other charities involved as beneficiaries include Avenidas, Family Services Agency of San Mateo County, Kara: Grief Support for Children and Adults, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, TheatreWorks and Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

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PHS/SPCA Seizes 50 sick and injured goats from Portola Valley

August 30, 2006 (San Mateo) -- Saturday August 26, 2006, PHS/SPCA Humane Officer Sabrina Castro and Captain of Field Services and Humane Investigations Debi DeNardi, discovered a dead goat inside a horse trailer along with another sick goat. Approximately 50 goats were discovered in poor conditions inside two pens. One pen had no food or water. Most of the goats appeared malnourished and had long, overgrown hooves. Additionally, Humane Officers discovered a baby goat with an untreated broken leg. All the goats appeared to be coughing and had diarrhea. PHS/SPCA removed all the goats from the property located on Alpine Road in Portola Valley. Six of the goats were brought to PHS/SPCA and are being treated for upper respiratory infection, diarrhea, and the possible presence of mites.

The goats seized belonged to Scott Kulenguskey and Joy Richardson, who operate “Sustainable Solutions,” a business that utilizes livestock for land management. Stanford University had contracted with Kulenguskey and Richardson to put the 50 goats on their property to eat away weeds for fire prevention. Nearby horse boarders discovered one dead goat inside the trailer along with the 50 other goats in poor conditions and contacted PHS/SPCA.

“This is not the first time we have an incident with goats belonging to Kulenguskey and Richardson,” said DeNardi. “PHS/SPCA had two recent incidents back in June where Humane Officers discovered one goat with an eye injury and another whose condition was so poor it had to be euthanized.”

PHS/SPCA Investigative team plans on filing a report to the District Attorney’s Office seeking charges against Kulengusky and Richardson for animal cruelty. “We are currently investigating if Kulengusky and Richardson may have more goats and where they are located,” DeNardi said. “We are very interested in knowing the conditions of their other goats.”

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PHS/SPCA seizes all animals from Laurelwood Pets in San Mateo

August 29, 2006 (San Mateo) -- On Friday, August 25, 2006 PHS/SPCA’s investigation team seized approximately 200 animals being offered for sale as pets (mostly fish, birds, rodents and rabbits) from Laurelwood Pets, located at 1232 W. Hillsdale Blvd in San Mateo. A probation search uncovered several small animals living in unclean cages, rodents being fed improper food, feces in food containers, fish without proper amounts of water and dirty rabbit cages. This is not the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s first time having to rely upon the force of law to deal with inhumane housing conditions at this pet store.

The head of PHS/SPCA’s Field Services and Humane Investigations Department, Debi DeNardi, accompanied San Mateo County Probation Officers who were conducting a standard probation search. A three-year investigation ended March 2006 when Mohammad Olfat was placed on supervised probation for violations of California Penal Code sections governing the operation of a pet store for selling sick dogs and cats. As part of the plea agreement Olfat was ordered to not sell dogs and cats but was allowed to sell small animals such as rabbits, birds, fish and rodents. Olfat was also ordered to pay restitution to victims who purchased the sick animals, serve 14 days in the county jail, pay $1100.00 fine, and maintain his pet store to the standards of San Mateo County.

“At least one rabbit who was for sale is currently being treated at PHS/SPCA for an upper respiratory condition,” DeNardi said. “I don’t understand why he continues to sell unhealthy animals rather than provide for their medical needs, as both the law and common decency require.”

With the recent seizure, Olfat has violated the terms and conditions of his probation and could now face up to 90 days in prison. Farzaneh Bitque, Olfat’s wife and current owner of Laurelwood Pets, was cited for Penal Code section 597l – for failing to maintain the pet shop to standards.

As a result of this second enforcement, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA will be asking the District Attorney’s Office to order Laurelwood Pets to stop selling all animals.

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PHS/SPCA Concludes Year-Long Investigation of Coast Side Boarding Facility-- Several Farm Animals Seized, Animal Cruelty Charges Filed

August 10, 2006 (San Mateo) - Following a year-long investigation, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) has seized a number of animals from Triple Springs Ranch in Half Moon Bay and has worked in conjunction with the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office which has filed one animal cruelty case against the ranch’s owner, Janet Wherry, with an additional animal cruelty charge pending.

Triple Springs Ranch, located at 11650 San Mateo Road (Highway 92) is a boarding facility for farm animals. Complaints to PHS/SPCA came from multiple boarders who grew disgusted deciding between caring for Wherry’s animals themselves or watching them starve.

“These animals have been mistreated for months and I am happy the horse boarders and tenants stepped forward to provide me with the necessary information needed to complete the seizure,” said PHS/SPCA Humane Investigator Debi De Nardi. “These animals deserve to be in better homes where they are loved and property cared for and we have seen to just that.”

After several months of receiving anonymous complaints from horse boarders and tenants reporting improper care and attention for animals and unsanitary living conditions, as well as the shelter’s own discoveries following multiple visits, PHS/SPCA, on July 27, 2006, seized two horses, one pony, three goats, four sheep and one pig under California Penal Code 597 (b) animal cruelty.

All the animals, with the exception of a goat, “Vidia” who’s recovering at PHS/SPCA, have been relocated out of county and are currently in a foster home.

PHS/SPCA has a decade-long history of involvement with Wherry and Triple Springs Ranch.

  • Feb. 28, 1994. PHS/SPCA filed three counts of animal cruelty charges against Wherry. One for failing to maintain a lawful fence to prevent horses from reaching highway 92, a second for permitting animals to be without proper and adequate food, water, shelter, and care and attention, and a third for failing to keep stalls and corrals clean and sanitary. The animals in question were six horses, two goats, one rabbit and several chickens. Officers discovered one bale and a half of hay on the entire property. Some of the horses required veterinary care and hoof care. Horses were discovered living in dirty stalls covered in urine and manure with little or no food and water. The water provided was dirty. Stalls provided no ventilation. The case was settled by “civil compromise” on January 30, 1995, after several months of inspections and notifications. Wherry was ordered to comply with the recommendations of San Mateo County Building Inspection, Environmental Health, Code Enforcement and PHS/SPCA.
  • August 13, 2005. PHS/SPCA returned to Wherry’s property in response to an anonymous complaint. The shelter’s Humane Investigation team discovered a sick sheep at the Triple Springs Ranch and had the animal euthanized after veterinarians discovered the sheep was filled with maggots. The District Attorney’s Office filed 597 (b) charges for animal cruelty and Wherry faces an arraignment on August 21, 2006.
  • August 14, 2005. Upon further investigation, PHS/SPCA Humane Investigator Debi DeNardi discovered a thin horse, a thin pony, four male goats matted and in need of shearing, and two pigs with grossly overgrown hooves. Wherry was ordered to provide feed containers instead of throwing hay on the mud, ordered to clean all the animal enclosures as they were grossly dirty and filled with urine and manure. Wherry was further ordered to supply her animals with nutritional hay and routinely feed the animals.
  • August 16, 2005. PHS/SPCA received another complaint for a sick goat. DeNardi contacted Wherry, who explained that the goat had since been euthanized.
  • July, 6, 2006. A resident who boards horse at the Triple Springs Ranch, called the shelter anonymously to report that the goat was actually never euthanized and was now living at Triple Springs Ranch.
  • July 7, 2006. The goat, “Vidia,” was discovered and seized by PHS/SPCA on the grounds that the owner, Wherry, had failed to provide necessary veterinary care. “Vidia” was very thin and had what appeared to be an old, untreated, eye injury. “Vidia” is currently at PHS/SPCA where she has already gained back 10 pounds. She was treated for lice and had her grossly overgrown hooves, which resembled elves boots, trimmed.
  • July 27, 2006. The shelter’s latest investigation concluded. After several months of receiving anonymous complaints from horse boarders and tenants at the Triple Creek Ranch reporting improper care and attention for animals living at the ranch and unsanitary living conditions, as well as the shelter’s own discoveries following multiple visits, PHS/SPCA seized two horses, one pony, three goats, four sheep and one pig under California Penal Code 597 (b) animal cruelty.

Wherry does not have a current stable permit to run a commercial boarding facility.

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July is Record Adoption Month for PHS/SPCA -- Nearly 500 Companion Animals Placed into New Homes

August 9, 2006 (San Mateo) - During the month of July, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) placed a record 486 companion animals into new, loving homes; of the 486, 226 were cats, followed by 96 dogs.

In the years since shelter staff have tracked adoption statistics, the monthly total has never before exceeded 450, but has surpassed 400 a handful of times, most recently in August, 2005 with 414 and July, 2004 with 413.

“We look at successes one at a time and look at animals individually,” said PHS/SPCA President Ken White. “Still, we cannot ignore a wonderful statistic like this. We’re helping create hundreds of new realities for families and animals each month, or, about a dozen per day, which is incredibly rewarding.”

“In some cases, we focus on what an adopter can do for a shelter animal, but in many others, we recognize what an animal is going to give to a person or family,” said shelter spokesperson Scott Delucchi. “How can someone put a price on unconditional love and companionship for a person who needs it?”

Recognizing this bond and the sheer number of animals currently available, PHS/SPCA lowered adoption rates indefinitely. The rate for cats at least two years of age and for dogs age five an up is just $20. The shelter currently has more than 100 cats and kittens available for adoption.

In addition to dogs and cats, PHS/SPCA also seeks to find homes for smaller, companion animals, as well as exotic birds and reptiles. In July, shelter staff and volunteers found new homes for 50 rabbits, 82 birds, five reptiles, and 77 rabbits, guinea pigs, domestic rats and mice.

PHS/SPCA highlights some of its available animals at www.PHS-SPCA.org, but strongly suggests people visit in person, and allow an hour at the end of the day to start and complete an adoption. Shelter hours are 11 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 11 am to 6 pm on weekends.

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PHS/SPCA President Pardons 32 Turkeys

August 3, 2006 (San Mateo) - Today at 8:30 am, 11 remaining turkey chicks from the original 40 receiving shelter and care at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) since mid-July were driven by a volunteer to the Farm Sanctuary in Orland, CA, where they will live out their lives at the non-profit’s sprawling, rural facility.

Last Saturday, 21 turkey chicks were transferred to another farm animal sanctuary, the Humane Farming Association in San Rafael, where they will live out their lives.

Many of the original 40 chicks arrived at PHS/SPCA in poor condition following their July 13 ordeal on Northwest Airlines, and eight died at PHS/SPCA between July 14 and July 29 as a result.

Soon after sheltering the turkey chicks – all just days old -- on July 14, PHS/SPCA began seeking permanent homes and was considering individual adopters and farm animal sanctuaries.

“For us and for the turkeys, this is a fabulous ending,” said shelter spokesperson Scott Delucchi. “I joked with our President Ken White and told him he far outdid any past US President by pardoning not one, but 32 turkeys.”

“We wish to thank the small number of individuals who expressed interest in adopting a chick or two. Now, all the chicks are with very experienced folks who are set-up to care for them,” continued Delucchi.

For more information about the Humane Farming Association, visit
http://www.hfa.org/about/index.html, and for more information about the Farm Sanctuary, see http://www.farmsanctuary.org.

The shelter’s Humane Investigation team is still pursuing animal cruelty charges against Northwest for the conditions under which the turkeys were shipped and will likely bring this case to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office in the next week or so.

Only July 13, Hybrid Turkeys, a commercial breeder in Canada, instructed Northwest Airlines to ship 72 boxes of turkey chicks on one flight and anther 72 boxes on a separate flight. Northwest disregarded the instructions, placing all 144 boxes of chicks (11,000 total chicks) on one flight and more than 9,000 of the 11,000 chicks died. The chicks were destined for Zacky Farms in Fresno.

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Humane Society’s Partnership with Petco to Save Rabbits’ Lives

July 28, 2006 (San Mateo) - Wednesday afternoon, local Petco stores began offering space for “rescue” rabbits in response to the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s (PHS/SPCA) recent shortage of space at their 12 Airport Blvd. shelter location.

PHS/SPCA staff delivered six rabbits each to the Redwood City Petco (520 Woodside Rd.) and San Mateo Petco (3012 Bridgepoint Pkwy), where Petco staff had awaiting spaces, care sheets, plus signage identifying the “rescue rabbits” and describing the new partnership with PHS/SPCA.

In addition to providing space, Petco donated new caging for the rescue rabbits and committed their staff to the rabbit’s ongoing care and education for store visitors.

Technically, the rabbits will be adopted, not sold, from these stores. Interested rabbit caregivers will give Petco a $20 adoption fee, plus a $75 spay/neuter deposit. Once they make arrangements for their rabbits to be fixed at the PHS/SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic – at no cost – they can recover their deposit.

“Truly, this is a wonderful partnership in every way imaginable,” said PHS/SPCA President Ken White. “Everyone, especially the rabbits, wins.”

Late last month, PHS/SPCA seized 80 rabbits from a South San Francisco resident keeping the rabbits in his backyard, apparently unfamiliar with spay/neuter.

Prior to the seizure, the shelter was near its capacity for rabbits with two dozen available for adoption and 20 more awaiting space in the adoption areas. The large seizure brought the situation to a near crisis level. Unlike dogs and cats which usually enter the shelter as strays, most rabbits enter as owner-surrendered pets, dumped by people no longer able or willing to care for them.

“Short of this kind of partnership, it would have meant that healthy rabbits would be euthanized for nothing other than a lack of space,” said shelter spokesperson Scott Delucchi. “It’s clear to us that Petco is concerned with providing appropriate, temporary space and finding good permanent homes.”

As rabbits are adopted– the first was adopted yesterday from the Redwood City Petco – Petco will accept additional rabbits from PHS/SPCA. Most of the rabbits being made available at the Petco stores are less than one year old. Rabbits can live 8-10 years.

For the past three years, PHS/SPCA has placed 100% of healthy dogs and cats into new homes. The placement rate for healthy rabbits has come close to 100%, but the recent influx of rabbits would certainly have threatened this success.

For years, Petco stores in San Mateo County and around the country have offered space to cat rescue groups.

PHS/SPCA will soon make arrangements to deliver another half dozen rabbits to the third San Mateo County Petco, located at the Shops at Tanforan in San Bruno. All Petco stores carry high quality rabbit enclosures, bedding, food and toys.

Of PHS/SPCA’s 3,880 adoptions during the 2005 calendar year, 193 were rabbit adoptions.

Care and socialization of rabbits at the shelter is handled by paid staff and volunteers. If interested in volunteering to help socialize bunnies, please contact Brian Probst at 650/340-7022, ext. 328 or bprobst@PeninsulaHumaneSociety.org.

For more information about Petco, headquartered in San Diego, see www.petco.com. For more information about PHS/SPCA, see www.PHS-SPCA.org.

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Peninsula Humane Society Investigating Northwest Airlines Following Death of 9,000 Turkey Chicks on Recent Flights

July 21, 2006 (San Mateo) – The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is pursuing animal cruelty charges against Northwest Airlines after more than 9,000 turkey chicks died on their July 13 flight #347 from Detroit to SFO. More turkey chicks from the same supplier and flown to the same destination on July 19 by Air Canada also perished. Northwest Airlines handles cargo for Air Canada.

In both cases, the turkey chicks were being shipped as “breeders” by Hybrid Turkeys, a commercial breeder in Canada, to Zacky Farms in Fresno. The breeder offspring would then be sold for food.

Hybrid Turkeys drove an initial shipment of 144 boxes of turkeys chicks (each containing 80 chicks) 2 ½ hours in a climate-controlled truck from Canada to the airport in Detroit. They instructed Northwest to divide boxes between two flights and had a driver at SFO waiting to drive the chicks in another climate-controlled truck from SFO to Fresno. One flight was scheduled to arrive at SFO at 7:30 pm and the second at 9:30 pm.

A Northwest employee shipped all 144 boxes of chicks on one flight, despite Hybrid’s instructions. Most of the turkeys – more than 9,100 – died while on the 4 ½ hour, non-stop flight. Both Hybrid Turkeys and PHS/SPCA believe the massive loss was due to overcrowding. The turkeys couldn’t breathe, became overheated, dehydrated and died.

Hybrid Turkeys, a division of Nurreco Canada Inc., has been in business for more than 50 years. As with all Hybrid Turkeys shipments, this one was given a US Department of Agriculture Health Certificate before the flight.

Just 1,900 of the 11,500 chicks made their Fresno destination alive. A day later – last Friday morning -- Northwest called PHS/SPCA after discovering 168 living turkey chicks still in their possession. PHS/SPCA Humane Investigators quickly transported the chicks from SFO to the San Mateo shelter for care. More died within hours and just 40 remain alive today as of 2:30. It is not known how many remain alive at Zacky Farms.

On July 19, Hybrid Turkeys filed a claim with Northwest Airlines for $107,263.83; $102,812.00 for mortality and $4,451.83 for the shipment’s freight charge.

At 10 pm on Thursday, July 19, PHS/SPCA received another call from Northwest Airlines, again requesting pick-up of dead turkey chicks. Hybrid Turkeys sent a large shipment (117 boxes, with 80 chicks per box) to SFO, this time via Air Canada on three separate July 19 Air Canada flights, presumably a replacement shipment for the more than 9,000 chicks which died on the July 13th flight. One of the planes had a mechanical malfunction and landed in Las Vegas, where cargo was unloaded and sat for hours in 108 degree weather before being loaded on to American West to SFO.

When chicks were picked-up at SFO for transfer to Zacky Farms, 28 of the original 117 boxes were left behind, as chicks in these boxes were dead or dying.

PHS/SPCA first unsuccessfully attempted to have either Hybrid, the supplier, or Zacky Farms, the customer, take responsibility for the chicks left behind. By 2 am, the shelter’s Humane Investigation team drove to SFO, where just two of the 28 boxes remained. Northwest Airlines cargo handlers discarded the other 26 in a trash compactor. Shelter staff attempted to recover boxes from the trash compactor to look for living chicks, but could not, as they were already compacted.

Within the two remaining boxes there were 62 chicks, and just 22 alive at 2 am. By today, all but one died.

PHS/SPCA intends to file California Penal Code 597 (b) charges against Northwest Airlines, pending a necropsy report ruling out disease. PC 597 (b) addresses inadequate care and attention and subjecting an animal to needless suffering.

The shelter’s Humane Investigation team is still exploring whether the actions may also meet the legal standard for PC 597 (a) charges, which address unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty while transporting animals, and 597 (s) which addresses animal abandonment.

PHS/SPCA contacted the USDA and the California Dept of Food and Agriculture to see what position they might take against Northwest Airlines – if any. It does not appear that either agency will pursue action against Northwest Airlines, but the USDA has sent a number of the dead chicks to a lab for testing and will send results to PHS/SPCA in approximately two weeks.

The shelter may also seek reimbursement from Hybrid Turkeys or Zacky Farms either through restitution or billing for staff time and care of the birds, including the euthanasia.

PHS/SPCA is now attempting to place all healthy turkey chicks with adopters immediately. If interested, please call 650/340-7022, ext. 314. PHS/SPCA is working with Animal Place, a Vacaville-based farm animal sanctuary, to secure permanent homes.

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Marmoset Found Stray in East Palo Alto Rescued by Humane Society

June 29, 2006 (San Mateo) – Late Tuesday afternoon, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) received a call from an East Palo Alto resident reporting a stray monkey running across his back fence.

Within minutes, PHS/SPCA Humane Officer Brian Schenck was able to secure the monkey, later determined to be a marmoset, one of the world’s smallest primates, endemic to forested areas in Central and South America.

The marmoset – specifically, a tufted eared marmoset -- is male and weighs 310 grams. He seems to be in good health and ate several grapes yesterday and today.

PHS/SPCA’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center staff spent Wednesday contacting the Department of Fish & Game to first see if anyone in the neighborhood where the marmoset was found possessed a permit to keep one. As expected, no permits were issued for residents in that area.

Now, PHS/SPCA staff will keep the tiny marmoset quiet until they can make arrangements for him to make his next home at Primarily Primates, a primate sanctuary near San Antonio, Texas.

Six years ago, PHS/SPCA received another marmoset surrendered by the owners. She was flown to Primarily Primates.

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July 4th Safety

June 28, 2006 (San Mateo) -- The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is urging all pet owners to take precautions as we near the July 4th celebration. Each year, the shelter experiences a spike in stray dogs the evening of July 4 and the few days after. Most incoming strays have become frightened from the sights and sounds associated with fireworks and flee their yards, often climbing over or breaking through fences and gates. They arrive at the shelter scared, exhausted and very often with minor injuries such as paw pad abrasions.

PHS/SPCA asks pet owners to take these precautions:

  • If at all possible, bring dogs inside, in rooms with the curtains drawn. Turn on a radio or tv to drown out outside noise.
  • Make sure fencing and gates are secure.
  • If you know your pet has trouble with this holiday, ask your veterinarian to prescribe a mild sedative.
  • Make sure your dog has current and visible identification. PHS/SPCA recommends a tag on the dog's collar AND a microchip form of identification, which can be purchased for $20 at PHS/SPCA any day of the week, no appointment necessary.
  • Have two current photos of your pet -- a head shot and body shot -- which you may need for a "Lost Pet" flyer.
  • If your pet becomes separated from you, visit PHS/SPCA in person immediately, and return every other day to look for your lost pet. Shelter hours are 11 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 11am to 6 pm on weekends. The shelter will be closed July 4.

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Humane Society Disregards Controversy Surrounding Discounted Animal Adoptions, Announces New, Reduced Summer Fees

June 2, 2006 (San Mateo) Due to an increase in incoming, homeless animals and in an effort to attract more adopters, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) has drastically reduced adoption fees for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Beginning today and until further notice, the adoption fee for dogs five years of age and older and for cats two years old and above is just $20, down from the regular $70 adoption fee. And, all rabbit adoptions are just $20 as well, down from $40.

Adoption discounts have traditionally been viewed by many in the animal welfare field as controversial. Those opposed feel that specials and promotions are better suited for material items -- like cars and clothing -- and should not be applied to living things.

"Our approach may be different from other organizations, but we have one goal -- to give many animals the second chance they deserve -- and we'll continue to make our option as attractive to people as possible," said PHS/SPCA President Ken White. "We have many animals who need homes and most studies show that people who add a pet to their home, get that pet from a shelter less than 20% of the time."

"PHS/SPCA does not simply open the doors and say 'take what you want,' " said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. "Our staff matchmakers work hard to know our available animals and find the best possible matches for people who visit. The process is educational, as our staff has much to share in terms of how best to bring a new pet into your home."

PHS/SPCA tracks returns as well as adoptions. For most months approximately 10% of the animals placed into new homes are returned to the shelter, with various reasons being cited. "Compared to our state's divorce rate, looks like we're doing quite well," quipped Delucchi.

PHS/SPCA adoptions include a microchip form of identification, all vaccinations, a San Mateo County license, spay/neuter surgery, a pre-adoption behavior screening and health exam by staff specialists, and a post-adoption health assuredness plan.

This year to date, PHS/SPCA has placed 1,502 companion animals into new homes and expects to surpass 4,000 adoptions for the calendar year. On average, PHS/SPCA places between 11 and 12 animals into new homes each day.

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Humane Society to Graduate First "Dog Training for Children" Participants

May 18, 2006 (San Mateo) -- On Tuesday, May 23, at 4:30 pm, a handful of children will be the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA's (PHS/SPCA's) first graduates of a new "Dog Training for Children" class. The class, believed to be the only one of its kind in the area, is for kids between 8-13 years old.

During the six-week course held inside the shelter's Auditorium, PHS/SPCA trainers have been showing kids how to teach their dogs basic commands, the same material trainers teach to adults in traditional, group obedience classes.

"We know that in many families, kids want to be involved in their dogs' development, and that parents support and encourage this sense of responsibility in their kids," said PHS/SPCA Behavior & Training Manager Maria Eguren. "But, prior to our new class being offered, it was difficult for children to find training classes or materials tailored specifically for them, which is exactly what we've created."

The first class will graduate 4-5 kids, while enrollment for the next session, set to begin in June, has tripled. "More kids in class means we'll see better behaved dogs and fewer dogs dumped at the shelter because of behavior issues," said Eguren.

"Our mission is to bring people and animals together," said shelter spokesperson Scott Delucchi. "And this mission is certainly not limited to adults. We will add more sessions for kids as the need grows."

The cost for the six-week course is $120, or just $85 for dogs adopted from PHS/SPCA. The Dog Training for Children class is just one of several currently offered by PHS/SPCA. Special classes for puppies, dogs advanced in their training and dogs who've had some training but need a refresher are also offered, as well as one class taught in Spanish. For more information, call 650/340-7022 or visit www.peninsulahumanesociety.org/services/behavior.

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Peninsula Humane Society to Host "Exotics" Talk

May 18, 2006 (San Mateo) -- On Tuesday, May 23, from 6:30-8:00 pm, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) will host a special talk titled "Exotic Reptile & Amphibian Care," led by Dr. Chris Sanders of Wildwood Veterinary Clinic in Portola Valley. The talk is part of PHS/SPCA's ongoing Creature Features series for the public.

Dr. Sanders' talk is designed for those considering an exotic reptile or amphibian as a pet or those who already have one, and will cover: appropriate housing, including size and lighting, temperature, humidity and "interior decorating"; healthy diets; safe handling; detecting signs of illness and attaining proper medical care.

Dr. Sanders has a wealth of experience working with and treating exotic species.

The program will be held in the PHS/SPCA Auditorium, located at the south, or far right end of the 12 Airport Blvd. location. Suggested $5 donation at the door. For more information about this program or to be part of PHS/SPCA's announcement list for future programs, please call the PHS/SPCA Education Department at 650/340-7022, ext. 369.

Each year, PHS/SPCA finds new homes for dozens of exotic pets, discarded by their original owners. Adoption fees vary, depending on the type of exotic pet. For a list of exotics currently available for adoption at PHS/SPCA, visit www.peninsulahumanesociety.org/adopt/otheranimals.

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Peninsula Humane Society Receives Mayor's Award

May 4, 2006 (San Mateo) -- Last night at the Peninsula Country Club in San Mateo, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) received the Mayor's Award during San Mateo's 11th Annual Business Awards, presented by the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Mateo.

San Mateo Mayor John Lee presented the award to PHS/SPCA President Ken White, noting PHS/SPCA's significant growth in adoptions and perfect record finding homes for healthy dogs and cats, the Society’s work to help animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina, a new mobile spay/neuter program, and PHS/SPCA's recent success investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty cases in cooperation with the County's District Attorney's Office.
Other businesses honored included The Berube Company (Small Business), Borel Private Bank & Trust (Medium Business), Mills-Peninsula Health Services (Large Business), See's Candies (Good Neighbor), the Rotary Club of SM (Community) and the Peninsula Community Foundation (Frances Bohannon Nelson Legacy Award).
" Of course, we work for the animals and not the honors, " said White. "Still, it is certainly gratifying to have the efforts of our organization singled out and recognized by our community."

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Melanie Craft Ellison Joins Humane Society Board

May 1, 2006 (San Mateo) -- Effective Tuesday, May 2, Melanie Craft Ellison will be a member of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA's (PHS/SPCA) Board of Directors. The author of three novels and wife of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Ms. Ellison joins the private nonprofit's Board of Directors as PHS/SPCA celebrates its third consecutive year finding homes for 100% of healthy dogs and cats and faces a challenge and opportunity of building a new home for its charitable functions.

"Our society's treatment of animals shows both the best and the worst in human nature," said Ellison. "PHS/SPCA is on the front line of the fight for compassion, and their hard work allows us all to live in a better world. I have deep respect for their dedication, creativity and proven record of success, and I'm proud to support them in every way that I can."

Ellison, 36, is a graduate of Oberlin College and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Her most recent novel (written as Melanie Craft) was released by Warner Books in 2004. She also serves on the board of the Ellison Medical Foundation. She resides in Woodside with her husband on property specially designed with an eye to providing safe and welcome sanctuary for visiting native wildlife.
PHS/SPCA President Ken White first met Ellison through two other Board members, Vanessa Getty and Amanda Brown Chang (author of the novel Legally Blonde). The three are founding members of PHS/SPCA's new auxiliary group, the San Francisco Bay Humane Friends, whose first project has now successfully launched a mobile spay/neuter clinic which provides free sterilization for the pets of low-income families in three Bay Area counties.

The PHS/SPCA Board of Directors, currently at 25 members, guides the organization's strategic direction and helps raise operational and capital funds. Individual members serve as volunteers.

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Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA to Host Baby Bird Orientation, Offer Unique Care Giving Opportunity

April 13, 2006 (San Mateo) -- On Saturday, April 22, Noon to 2 pm, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is offering a Baby Bird Orientation that will enable local residents to help the Society feed and care for the many baby birds already arriving at the shelter in need of special care before being released. This spring and summer, the shelter expects to receive hundreds of baby birds who require human intervention in order to survive.

Beginning this year, PHS/SPCA is offering this traditionally adults-only role to junior volunteers, age 15-17. Junior volunteers will learn proper feeding techniques for baby birds and lend a hand with cleaning duties and general animal husbandry.

PHS/SPCA's Wildlife Care Center, located separate from but under the same roof as dog, cat and small animal housing at 12 Airport Blvd., cares for 3,500 to 4,000 native, wild animals each year. All incoming wildlife are sick, injured or orphaned and many are nursed back to health and released back into their natural habitats. The Society's wildlife rehabilitation function is supported entirely by donations and not by government or County funding.

If interested in attending the April 22 orientation, RSVP by sending a message to rallen@PeninsulaHumaneSociety.org or calling 650/340-7022 ext. 314.

Baby birds and other sick, injured or orphaned wild animals make their way to the shelter one of two ways: by humane officers who pick-them up while out in the community or by concerned citizens who bring them to the shelter's front counter.

In many cases, orphaned wildlife, especially baby birds, are "over-cared" for. Fledgling birds, those with feathers who are just learning to function on their own, are often left alone by their mothers for periods of time. This is part of their normal development, and they do not usually require human intervention. However, nestlings, younger birds with few or no feathers, do require human intervention. They can be placed gently back in their nests or, when nests cannot be located, transported to PHS/SPCA for care.

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Local Resident Sentenced to Nine Months in County Jail for Animal Cruelty Felony Conviction

March 30, 2006 (San Mateo) – Yesterday, a San Mateo County judge sentenced East Palo Alto resident Anthony Makoni, 19, to nine months in county jail for unleashing his dog and allowing it to maul a cat on February 9, 2006. Makoni, unaware at the time that a Menlo Park police officer was witnessing the act, pled guilty to the animal cruelty felony on February 16.

The cat, Meilani, a 12-year-old pet belonging to Menlo Park resident Madeline Jaeger, was euthanized on the evening of the attack, due to extensive, resulting injuries.

"The cat's owner spoke at the sentencing and explained how her cat had been a loved pet for 12 years," said Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) Lead Cruelty Investigator Debi De Nardi. "This was difficult for her, yet I believe it had an impact on the sentencing."

The Menlo Park Police Officer's eye witness report noted that Makoni had a passive response and a smile on his face during the attack, two other factors which likely influenced the sentence.

“Tragically, Ms. Jaeger's cat couldn't be saved due to the severity of the injuries,” said PHS/SPCA President Ken White. “The one positive result from this case is that it should, once again, send a message to this community that our officers and investigators, working with local law enforcement and the District Attorney's Office, will do whatever they can to ensure animal abusers are punished."

In addition to the jail sentence, Makoni received three years' probation (during which he cannot own animals or seek employment related to animals), he was ordered to complete a minimum of five sessions with a licensed therapist regarding the issue of responsibility and appropriate care for animals, and pay the victim restitution to be determined by the County's Probation Department.

In the weeks following the Feb. 9 attack, PHS/SPCA called for a Vicious Animal Hearing, where a County hearing officer would determine the dog's fate. Today, PHS/SPCA received notification of the decision. Based on information presented during the hearing, an on-site evaluation of the dog and information about the dog's owner, the final administrative decision was for the dog to be humanely euthanized. This decision can be appealed by filing a Writ of Mandate within five days.

San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Morris Maya was the prosecuting attorney of record. The sentencing judge was Hon. H.J. Ellis of the County's Southern Branch.

In animal cruelty cases, PHS/SPCA's role is to collect evidence and provide a report to the District Attorney's Office, which then decides whether or not to pursue the case. This past year, the DA's Office has pursued every case presented by PHS/SPCA, which indicates the strength and thorough presentation of cases as well as the District Attorney's Office's strong interest in punishing people who have abused animals.

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Humane Society's Education Department to Host Domestic Rat Program and Animal Camp

March 24, 2006 (San Mateo) -- The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is hosting The Wonderful World of Rats on Sunday, April 2, and a week-long Animal Camp for 9-12 year olds from April 10-14.

The "rat fest" will be held from11am-4pm in the PHS/SPCA Auditorium at 12 Airport Blvd., and, for a second straight year, coordinated by Rattie Ratz Rescue, a partner group of PHS/SPCA. This special event for individuals and families, is dedicated to promoting domestic pet rats as quality companion animals. People are encouraged to drop in for information on rat care, buy supplies, check out children’s activities and meet adorable rats available for adoption. Goodie bags (for rats) given to the first 100 people through the door. Free admission. Visit www.thewonderfulworldofrats.org or call 650/340-7022 x369.

A week later, PHS/SPCA is offering a special session of the shelter's highly popular summer camp for 9-12 year-olds. During the week-long camp, held 9am to 2:30pm each day, kids will learn about responsible pet care and the humane treatment of all animals. Camp activities will include touring the shelter, learning basic obedience training with dogs, observing surgeries in the Spay/Neuter Clinic, staging a mock trial for animal-related court cases, and meeting a variety of animal guests. Campers work in pairs to prepare short presentations for the last day of camp and share newfound knowledge with their families. The cost is $175.
Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact the Humane Education Department at (650) 340-7022, ext. 369 or amyd@peninsulahumanesociety.org

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Baby Barn Owls Rescued from San Mateo Construction Site Recovering at Peninsula Humane Society

March 9, 2006 (San Mateo) -- A pair of baby barn owls rushed to the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) from a San Mateo construction site on February 23, are expected to recover fully and be released back into their natural habitat within the next three to four weeks.

In response to a call from an employee at the site for the new County Juvenile Center at 26 Tower Road, PHS/SPCA Officers Sabrina Castro and Julie Nasevicius found the thin and dehydrated owls. The employee who made that initial call was Lisa Hellgren, project coordinator for Turner Construction, the company building the new center. "The officers were very nice, very calm, and very careful," said Hellgren. "It was fascinating to watch them do their work and it all ended quite nicely."

Officer Castro was assisted by the site superintendent who took her up approx. 30-35 feet on a scissor lift to secure the owls perched inside the central plant building, which will eventually house the Juvenile Center's HVAC equipment. The rescue took just over 30 minutes.

"On one hand, it's pretty neat because the owls are fascinating and we receive far fewer of them than injured dogs and cats," said shelter spokesperson Scott Delucchi. "On the other hand, it's all in a day's work for a humane officer. They are trained to rescue and handle all kinds of animals in all types of situations."

Upon intake at PHS/SPCA, the owls spent time in an incubator-type enclosure and required force-feeding, but have been progressing well and are now eating on their own. Yesterday, the pair was moved to the final stage of recovery: the shelter's two-story flight aviary.

The shelter's wildlife staff believe the owls, about 12-14 inches tall, were between four and six weeks at the time of intake.

PHS/SPCA's Wildlife Rescue Center, located at 12 Airport Blvd, but tucked away from dogs, cats, other domestic animals and public areas, receives approximately 3,500 native wild animals per year. This includes all of San Mateo County's and some of San Francisco's injured, sick and orphaned wildlife. Volunteers assist just four paid staff to provide care for all incoming wildlife. The shelter's wildlife rehabilitation work is funded entirely by donations.

To inquire about donating funds to help sick and injured wildlife, call 650/340-7022, ext. 327. To volunteer at the shelter's Wildlife Rescue Center, call 650/340-7022, ext. 328.

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First Felony Animal Cruelty Conviction in 2006
-- PHS/SPCA, Community Continue to Benefit from Determined DA’s Office

February 17, 2006 (San Mateo) – Yesterday, East Palo Alto resident Anthony Makoni, 19, pled guilt to felony animal cruelty charges for unleashing his dog and allowing it to maul a cat on February 9.

Makoni originally pled not guilty shortly after being picked-up by a Menlo Park police officer who witnessed the brutal attack, noting a passive response and a smile on the dog owner’s face during the attack.

“It’s as positive an ending as we could expect in such a heinous act of animal cruelty,” said Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) President Ken White. “Once again, this clearly shows that our Cruelty Investigation team and the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office treat these cases with the utmost seriousness and that those who commit animal cruelty acts will be punished as severely as allowed by law.”

A date for Makoni’s sentencing has not been set. He faces the possibility of a $20,000 fine and a year in County jail.”

Makoni’s dog, an unaltered, male pit bull, will likely be humanely euthanized. The cat, a 12-year-old pet, was rushed to PHS/SPCA on the afternoon of February 9, but could not be saved due to the severity of injuries, including two broken front legs. Shelter staff performed a necropsy and, as expected, injuries were very consistent with those of a dog attack.

“Really, there were multiple victims in this case,” said PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi. “First and foremost are the cat which suffered horribly and her owners who will continue to suffer emotionally.”

To a much lesser extent, a police officer had to witness this brutal attack and our veterinary staff had to end the life of a cat who couldn’t be treated, then communicate this to a devastated family. Finally, good, responsible pit bull owners and good dogs suffer another blow due to the actions of one unconscionable owner.”

Animal cruelty cases are "wobblers," meaning they can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, though the vast majority result in the lesser, misdemeanor charges for the offenders. Felony charges are difficult to file and to earn convictions. The state code, 597 (a), stipulates that prosecution must demonstrate maliciousness and intent for a felony conviction.

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Peninsula Humane Society to Host Class for Expecting or New Pet "Parents"

February 8, 2006 (San Mateo) -- On Wednesday, February 15, 6-7:30 pm, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) will offer "Getting to Know Your Dog," a special class for people who are either preparing to get a dog or have recently added one to their family. The class will be held at the shelter, located at 12 Airport Blvd. in San Mateo.
The class, offered bi-annually, is designed to help people start off on the right paw with their new friend. Staff behavior experts will offer participants advice on issues new dog owners commonly face: housetraining; controlling jumping; and walking on a leash without pulling. Participants will also learn how to introduce a new dog to animals already in the household and what effect breed and age can have on a dog's behavior.
Participants are asked to please leave dogs at home; this class is for people only. Suggested $10 donation at the door. To sign up or for questions, please call the PHS/SPCA Behavior Dept. at 650/340-7022 x306.

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Following Peninsula Humane Society Investigation, Local Pet Store Owner Banned from Selling Dogs and Cats

January 24, 2005 (San Mateo) -- Last week, Mohammed Olfat, owner of Laurelwood Pets in San Mateo's Laurelwood Shopping Center, pled no contest to one count of violating California Penal Code 597l, a misdemeanor which outlines pet shop maintenance, care of animals on premises and sales of animals. The plea was the result of many months of work by Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA's Cruelty Investigation Department.

Olfat will be sentenced March 17, 2005 and will not be allowed to sell dogs and cats. He faces up to 15 days in jail, three years probation, plus related fines and restitution.

Olfat was convicted of the same penal code violation once before, on August 12, 2004. He was placed on three years' probation and ordered to keep his pet shop up to legal standards. He also served five days in jail for this violation.

After Olfat was placed on probation in 2004, PHS/SPCA continued to receive complaints from citizens who purchased sick dogs and cats from Olfat's pet shop. Specifically, residents complained of unsanitary conditions in the store and said that Olfat sold $800 cats falsely advertised as purebred Bengals, that he sold cats with ringworm and dogs with ringworm and mange, and, in one case, that he sold a cat with a hereditary disorder that could have easily been detected by a veterinarian.

The Society responded to the complaints by asking the owner for his sales records, then called other customers to ask about their experiences. The investigation uncovered more cases of sick animals being sold. The Society's Lead Investigator, Debi DeNardi, submitted a report to the San Mateo County District Attorney ' s Office in the summer of 2005. In turn, the DA's Office filed five counts of violating penal code 597l and a probation violation from the August 2004 conviction.

"We rely on local residents to be our eyes and ears for the animals," said PHS/SPCA President Ken White. "We continue to tell people and prove that San Mateo County is among the safest places for animals and the least safe places for people who abuse or mistreat them. We thank the District Attorney's Office for taking these cases very seriously."

Close to 20 witnesses took time off work to testify in this case. They presented veterinary bills and receipts for medications.

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Peninsula Humane Society's 2005 Year-End Report:
6,670 Animal Lives Saved -- Third Consecutive Year With Perfect Adoption Record

January 19, 2006 (San Mateo) -- Considering the number of domestic animals placed into new homes, lost domestic animals reunited with owners and wildlife rehabilitated and released, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) saved 6,670 animal lives during the 2005 calendar year; on average, more than 18 per day!

The shelter found new homes for 3,780 animals led by cats (1,853) and dogs (969). PHS/SPCA also found new homes for 958 small and exotic animals, including rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, mice, turtles, snakes and iguanas. This total translates to nearly 11 adoptions per day, considering the shelter was open 355 days last year.

Shelter staff and volunteers were also able to reunite 1,910 lost animals with their owners; 1,575 stray dogs, 260 stray cats and a few dozen stray, small animals and exotic pets were reunited with their owners.

The past calendar year also saw shelter staff rehabilitate and release 980 wild animals back into their natural habitats. The shelter's Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center handles all of San Mateo County's and some of San Francisco's sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.

"By any measure, this was an outstanding year for PHS/SPCA," said PHS/SPCA President Ken White. "We're certainly happy that, for a third consecutive year, we found new homes for 100% of the healthy dogs and cats who came into our care. But we're even more proud of the fact that we made well, then adopted 1,970 treatable animals through our Hope Program. The great majority of these Hope Program pets would not have received a chance anywhere else."

This year, for the first time, shelter staff and volunteers also found homes for 100% of the healthy rabbits and domestic rats received.

Donations to the Society's Hope Program allow staff to medically treat or give one-on-one behavior attention to sick, injured, unsocial or extremely frightened or shy dogs, cats and small animals. Some require and receive this specialty care or treatment for months before being placed into new homes. On average, the shelter cared for then placed into new homes 164 Hope Program pets each month. The Hope Program is made possible entirely by donations -- no government or County funding.

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PHS/SPCA to Present Second "Understanding Pit Bulls" Workshop

January 11, 2006 (San Mateo) -- Next Thursday, January 19, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) will present a workshop at Shaberg Branch Library in Redwood City, located at 2140 Euclid Ave., from 7-8:30 pm. Key staff from the shelter's Behavior and Animal Care Departments will explain the breed's history, body language, and early warning signs owners should recognize and act upon.

This free, public program is designed for pit bull owners, people considering adopting a pit bull or pit mix, dog walkers and pet sitters, or those who may have a pit bull in their neighborhood. The program is for people only - please leave pets at home.

For more information, contact Shaberg Branch Library at 650/780-7010.

PHS/SPCA staff gave a similar presentation last summer at the shelter to a standing-room only gathering.

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Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion
Adoptions | Education | Wildlife | Administration
1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone 650.340.7022 Fax 650.685.8428

Coyote Point Shelter
Lost/Found | Animal Intake | Spay/Neuter | Animal Control
12 Airport Boulevard, San Mateo, CA 94401
Phone 650.340.7022 Fax 650.348.7891