I entered a new world this week: my Nextdoor community. For those unfamiliar, Nextdoor is a private social network for your neighborhood. As their homepage states, it’s “the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips.”
You can also use Nextdoor to “catch” a porch pirate. I know, because my wife did it. We were driving to San Diego just before New Year’s and my wife received a message on her phone alerting her to activity at our front door. She immediately accessed the app that goes with our Ring system, then spoke with our unwanted visitor through the monitor on our door as he was ripping through packages left on our porch. “Hey, what are you doing…I’m calling the police. Right now!” Too bad for him, the packages contained New Year’s decorations and he apparently didn’t see himself using the cheap sunglasses in the shape of “2018.” Still, we felt violated.
Before contacting the police, we contacted our neighbor down the street, which was better. She hopped in her car, found the schmuck walking down the street, rolled up next him, then accosted him. She’s tough! She got great photos of him, asked for his name (which he gave!) and told him to stay out of our ‘hood. We took that photo plus the footage from our Ring monitor and handed it to the Sheriff’s Department, and posted the video footage of him from our porch to our Nextdoor site. An avalanche of messages followed, including some from people who confirmed his identity.
It’s a sleepy, rainy Wednesday. I finished packing up holiday decorations at home last night, officially ending the time of year I love and beginning what often feels like a “sloggy” time. I’m writing a year-end board report, reviewing financials, my cough is lingering and pitchers and catchers don’t report to Spring Training for another 47 days.
One visitor changed the day’s tone. Tiny Tim, aka The Nugget, bounded into my office, with his foster mom right behind. Just what I needed!
The Nugget just reached 10-weeks. Five weeks ago when he arrived, the runt of his litter who was rejected by his mom, reaching 10 weeks was no guarantee. Thankfully, he came into the SPCA’s care. He was weak and malnourished, weighing just a few ounces. Worse, he was suffering from a
Hurricane Katrina marked the first time animal welfare organizations, not chapters of each other and separated geographically all around the country, assisted each other to shelter animals. In the deadly hurricane’s aftermath, some took in a few displaced pets, while others as many as 100, stretching beyond their means.
We all took on a nearly impossible task: reunite pets with their owners or rehome them if the owners can’t be found. The SPCA for Monterey County took in 32 dogs, including Leroy Brown who you will meet below. We were able to reunite 18 of them with their families – a huge challenge because out of those 32 dogs, only one
The Dog that Did Not Save Christmas—But the Neighbors Did!
Guest blog by SPCA adopter Judy Crowder
“Doggone!” Normally, I, a self-professed “pun junkie,” would have enjoyed this. But on December 23, it wasn’t funny—not at all.
My husband and I had lost our beloved Scotty dog, Bridget, to old age and cancer the previous October. Although we still had Sophie, a half Bloodhound, half Bassett rescue dog, we were still feeling the vacancy. Walking Sophie alone was hard, with the sight of an empty leash hanging by the door daily reminding us that we had lost a family member. I began to half-heartedly look at available rescue dogs online. Sophie was a gem, a goofy dog that looked like a Bloodhound with short legs, so we were
900 and Counting
Just before I joined the SPCA for Monterey County, a wise mentor gave me two pieces of advice. First, he said, “You won’t know exactly what you have for a full two years.” This has been right-on. I’ve been here 17 months, I’m still learning and expect, to some extent, I will always be learning here.
Secondly, he said, “Do something big within your first six months.” I’m happy to say we made two big moves. First, we committed to a spay/neuter program targeting the Salinas community, where we have traditionally seen the most incoming, unwanted animals. By offering weekend surgery slots convenient for pet owners who work during the week and setting our price even lower than our already low rates, we found the magic formula. We’ve altered more than 400 pets from the highest need areas in Salinas since this past April; more important, comparing this year to last year when we had no special program, we’ve seen the numbers of unwanted pets and accidental litters coming from Salinas drop by 25%. These results strongly suggest a causal relationship.
Preventing animals from coming to us in the first place is priority one. Not far behind, is