I sent this email message to the entire SPCA staff two weeks ago:
Next year’s SPCA Wag n’ Walk fundraiser will take place on 4/20. We will invite local marijuana dispensaries to have booths at our event and this will increase the revenue stream from vendors. Once the pot heads are on-board, that will open-up countless opportunities and this is where I need your help to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on ideas. For example, a marijuana vendor might charge $5 per hit for our participants (Puffs for Pups!). Easy money for shelter animals, right? As another idea, we’re looking at having a special Zig Zag agility course just for humans who have taken the most hits. That could be more fun than watching the dogs in their agility area! In fact, we could go all out and rebrand this event as the Wag n’ Weed which would enable us to reach an entirely new audience. Our highly popular event T-shirt could say this on the back: “I inhaled (but my dog did not!) at the SPCA’s Wag n’ Weed.”
Before you report me to the local authorities, please know I sent this April 1. We have to have fun where we can! And, yes, I did fool a few people for at least a few sentences!
“We rescued her minutes before she was going to be euthanized.”
I’ve heard countless variations of that statement and people I know who work at other shelters will tell you they’ve heard the same from adopters in their communities.
I heard it again today. A friend bumped into another person walking a dog, then struck up a conversation. One dog walker told my friend how she had “rescued her dog from the clutches of death just in time” at our SPCA. She claimed the SPCA adoption counselor told her we give the dogs about a month. She said she was given the dog’s intake date, noted that it was close to 30 days, so felt she just had to adopt to “get her out of there.”
This drives me nuts! My only theory is that some adopters, like some people in general, like being dramatic. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Update: A suspect is now in custody. Our investigation identified a suspect who was arrested early this morning in Salinas and booked into Monterey County Jail for animal theft, animal cruelty, arson, and possession of controlled substances. Thank you all for your outpouring of support. We will keep you updated as more information is available. Your donations make all of this possible – we simply can’t do it without you. Thank you!
The SPCA for Monterey County is local and independent. We aren’t a chapter of any other agency and we don’t have a parent organization. Everything we do to help animals and investigate over 800 reports of animal neglect and cruelty every year is only made possible by our donors. Thank you!
Original Story: On Tuesday, March 27, at 9:30 am, a Soledad Police Officer found a severely burned black and white American Pit Bull dog on Metz Road just outside the city limits of Soledad. The dog was immediately transported to a nearby veterinary hospital and humanely euthanized due to the severity of his horrific injuries.
It was later learned that the dog was stolen from a home in Soledad.
The name Marie Aronson isn’t familiar to many of you but she’s special to the SPCA. When I walk through our adoption courtyard where potential adopters spend time getting to know our dogs — where the magic happens — I pass a bench with this inscription: “In Honor of Deputy District Attorney Marie Aronson – Champion of Animal Rights.” Marie’s co-workers, colleagues and friends made a generous donation for the naming rights for a bench to memorialize her shortly after she passed away last year.
Marie, as a member of Monterey County’s District Attorney’s Office, prosecuted animal abuse cases for 15 years. When she first arrived at the DA’s office in the 1980s, she “self-identified” as an animal lover and protector, and actively pursued cases that SPCA humane investigators built and submitted for prosecution.
Longtime residents may remember a widely publicized animal abuse case in the mid 1980s where a little dog was sealed in a box and tossed over a cliff in Carmel. This wasn’t Marie’s first case, but among the first to receive significant publicity and it helped local residents understand our mission included investigating cases of abuse and cruelty.
We half joke that Mamma, a non-releasable adult Great-Horned Owl who acts as a surrogate mother to orphaned baby owls at the SPCA’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, is our hardest working volunteer. After all, she mothers babies ‘round the clock and has raised more than 50 owl chicks since arriving years ago with a significant, untreatable wing injury preventing her release.
SPCA Volunteer Jeff Weill may have knocked Mamma off her perch. Figuratively-speaking, of course.
Jeff joined the SPCA as a volunteer in June 2016, when he was looking to enrich his lighter schedule after wrapping-up a career as a Department of Defense project manager. He was familiar with the SPCA, having adopted a Shepherd/Lab mix (a “Schlab,” one of our specialities!) from us when he was 19 years old, and that sweet companion was with him the next 14 years.