To the rescue…

According to Wikipedia, an “animal rescue group or animal rescue organization is dedicated to pet adoption. These groups take unwanted, abandoned, abused or stray pets and attempt to find suitable homes for them….rescue groups exist for most pet types (reptile rescue, rabbit rescue, bird rescue), but most are common for dogs and cats…rescue groups often find volunteers with space in their homes for temporary placement.”

Can an animal shelter also be an animal rescue group?  What is the SPCA?

Like a rescue group, the SPCA is funded by donations and is dedicated to finding new loving homes for animals. We do this for between eight and nine of every 10 animals we receive which is especially meaningful given we never turn away animals. We accept unwanted, abandoned, abused, neglected and stray animals daily! This includes physically and behaviorally broken animals and animals that no amount of resources could possibly make well.

Here’s how we’re different from typical animal rescue groups:

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Make it Rain for the Animals!

We’d like to see rain tomorrow. Not a heavy downpour and gusty winds that rattle windows and cause power outages. Just the kind of steady rain that might cause people to stay off roads and inside, curled up by the TV, preferably with a loved pet on their lap or at their feet. We’re also hoping for no big breaking news, unplanned presidential messages or the release of the Mueller Report!

Why?  Tomorrow is the SPCA’s annual “Share the Love” telethon, 6 am to 8 pm, on KSBW 8 and Central Coast ABC.

During commercial breaks of your favorite shows, fabulous KSBW news anchor Brittany Nielsen and irrepressible meteorologist Gina DeVecchio — animal lovers in their own right — will introduce heartwarming stories about animals you helped rescue, and they’ll be joined by yours truly and other SPCA staff.  You’ll learn about everything your local, independent SPCA does for pets, people, and wildlife in Monterey County.

Here’s a spoiler alert: we do a ton. Animal sheltering of every kind of animal from guinea pigs to horses, humane education for children, rehabilitation of domestic animals and wildlife, low-cost spay/neuter, animal cruelty investigation, disaster response and behavior classes.

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The Tiniest Storm Victim

The SPCA for Monterey County Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is caring for a tiny baby hummingbird who was a victim of the winter storm.

During the powerful storm last night, a tree blew over on Kennedy Road in Salinas. A local resident had been watching hummingbirds nest in the tree over the last few days and knew, sadly, the tiny nest was somewhere in the debris.

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150,000 and counting…

We snipped our way to 150,000!  The SPCA’s low-cost spay/neuter clinic, which has served Monterey County since 1976 as the area’s only consistent provider of low-cost spay and neuter, reached the life-saving milestone this week.

We celebrated the feat with an unsuspecting pet owner — lucky number 150,000!  Next week, we’ll party with our clinic staff. A sheet cake customized for spay/neuter work could go in a few interesting directions, but I didn’t want to be the one to describe this over the phone to a bakery. We’ll keep it simple, sweet and non anatomical.

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Ghost of Christmas Past

If you’ve visited animal shelters between here and the SF Bay Area, you may have noticed the name George Whittell on a building. It’s on the SPCA’s Education Center, in fact. The made for Hollywood story behind this would be a perfect vehicle for Bradley Cooper or Gary Oldman.

George Whittell Jr. died in a Redwood City hospital at the age of 87 in 1969. He left three quarters of his $40 million estate to the National Audubon Society, the Defenders of Wildlife and a number of animal hospital and pet cemeteries. Of the remainder, $6 million was bequeathed to the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to “relieve the suffering and pain of animals.” The problem was that no such organization with that exact name existed.

Naturally, the ambiguously worded will created a field day for animal groups. More than 50 staked claim to the $6 million remainder, some with stronger cases than others. The humane society located near Mr. Whittell’s Woodside estate had a good case, as did the San Francisco SPCA, since he owned property there and belonged to many social organizations. He purchased several acres on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe and may have had landholdings in Carmel.

(As a New Year’s resolution, you might review your own estate plans to ensure your wishes are honored and not left to courts to figure out).

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