Monthly Archives: April 2016

Getting to ‘yes’

I can’t remember from which boss I first heard the phrase, “just get me to yes,” but boy do I remember its impact. The idea that “no” is not an option, that the only option is finding a path forward, resonated for me, particularly as it relates to helping animals and their guardians.

Mary Martin AnimalMD

Mary Martin, SFAS executive director

At the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, we have a team that always starts with “yes,” and works backward from there. This means the questions we ask aren’t formed around whether we can save an animal, but rather about what plan is needed to achieve the goal of keeping each animal healthy and happy until an adoptive family materializes, and how to “market” the best qualities of each animal. In addition, we go to great lengths to help animals remain in their homes. That means we will repair fences, provide medical care, along with pet food and training, knowing that the costs are far higher, sometimes deadly, if we don’t.

This philosophy is especially important as it relates to animals that have fewer fans than others. Let me explain. If we were to receive a nonstop stream of poodle puppies, for example, no special thought or effort would be required. People would (and do) line up for an opportunity to adopt. But change that poodle face to a 50-pound, energetic mutt and the pressure to find the right home for the pup becomes intense. Sadly, the majority of dogs relinquished to shelters or those having problems in the home are large breed, unneutered male animals, and our shelter is no exception. More than 65 percent of our shelter population on any given day falls into this category. The cost to care for these animals is enormous if – as we do – we refuse to consider them without value and put them to death. These dogs require hard play and intense training to keep them from losing their minds in a kennel environment, and our extremely talented staff does all that and more.

If we are given the opportunity to intervene before a relationship is severed, we will offer a multitude of approaches to solving in-home problems, as long as the family is willing to participate. We will, as I’ve noted, repair fencing, give training, provide free spay-and-neuter service, and offer affordable full-service veterinary care. We will talk to landlords so that we can mediate and advocate for families with animals. We start at “yes,” and work backward until there is nowhere else to go.

I am proud that the Santa Fe Animal Shelter team has embraced the concept of “yes,” and the challenge of getting to a positive outcome for animals. It is an honor to know each and every individual on this extremely talented and dedicated team. But the most important member of this team is our community.

For us to be successful, for every shelter to be successful, your support is an absolute must. Adopting animals and providing consistent financial assistance tells us what we do is important and allows us to help more and more animals. I ask you to think of your shelter first when you plan to add a companion animal to your family and support our work so we can ensure that what we do to save the lives of each and every animal is never unrealistic or without value. We are there for them, because you are there for us.

Animals Stories That Inspire: Kate and Cinnamon

Kate suffers from a chronic illness that makes it difficult to get out and about. Combine that with a tendency to want to “stay in and let her aching bones rest,” Kate was destined to be a recluse.katecinnamon

Until she met Cinnamon at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. She had gone to the shelter to find a dog that would fit well in her apartment complex of people 55 and older. She came back with Cinnamon. “Basically, I was looking for a dog who would fit in with my nice, clean orderly apartment,” Kate recalls. “I came out with this ragamuffin.”

Like Kate, Cinnamon had been through some rough times. A transfer from an overcrowded Southern California shelter, Cinnamon came in injured and had to have her back leg amputated. The initial adopter didn’t work out. The dog was often picked up on the streets as a stray and the guardian at the time said she “just didn’t want her.”

Kate and Cinnamon are now inseparable and not just because they love each other. Cinnamon recently became Kate’s certified emotional support dog.cinnamon

“It’s hard for me because sometimes I get up in the morning and I just feel tired, and I want to stay in. But if you have a dog, you’ve got to get up. She gets me going in the morning. She’s helped me so much; she’s my angel.”

And not just for Kate. Her fellow residents look forward to frequent visits, hugs and tail wags. Cinnamon will often jump up on the couch for kiss or roll on the floor waiting for a belly rub.

“She brings a lot of joy to everyone. At first, I was Cinnamon’s mom, before I became Kate. Thanks to her, I know at least 90 percent of the people in the complex. It’s her personality. If I had a dog that just walks past people, it would have been different. But that’s not Cinnamon. She’s got to go right up to people and wag her tail. She expects everyone to pay attention to her, and they do.”

Cinnamon also does everything with a special touch and humor. Teaching her basic commands, Kate noticed Cinnamon would get how to sit or lie down, but would only do it with a shrug and a flip to the head that made her ears flop. It’s her way.

“She always goes for the laugh; she has a real personality.”

Do you have an inspiring story that you’d like to share about your companion animal? Please email Ben at bswan@sfhumanesociety.org.

April’s sponsored pets

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll our animals are special, but sometimes we have people who want to help give homeless animals a paw up – so businesses and individuals sponsor the animals through their daily upkeep or their adoption fee. Meet April’s sponsored dog, whose adoption fees are waived through the month thanks to our friends at Back Road Pizza:
Linda is a 5-year-old mixed breed female, who looks like she might have some hound blended in her. She weighs around 55 pounds.

Linda has been in many of our doggie playgroups and our Behavior Team says she enjoys meeting other dogs. She is great on a leash and loves to go for walks.

Thanks, Back Road Pizza, 1807 Second St., Santa Fe, for your ongoing support.
An anonymous supporter is sponsoring Candy, a very laid back 6-year-old, gorgeous longhaired black kitty. A111191.004.DShe’s quite a friendly gal, one who likes to be pet and have her tummy scratched and rubbed, too!
If you’re interested in learning about sponsoring an animal, call our Adoption Desk at 983-4309 ext. 610.

Meet April’s sponsored animals!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll our animals are special, but sometimes we have people who want to help give homeless animals a paw up – so businesses and individuals sponsor the animals through their daily upkeep or their adoption fee. Meet April’s sponsored dog, whose adoption fees arewaived through the month thanks to our friends at Back Road Pizza:
Linda is a 5-year-old mixed breed female, who looks like she might have some hound blended in her. She weighs around 55 pounds.
Linda has been in many of our doggie playgroups and our Behavior Team says she enjoys meeting other dogs. She is great on a leash and loves to go for walks. We welcome you to bring in any doggies you may already have for a meet and greet with Linda.
Thanks, Back Road Pizza, 1807 Second St., Santa Fe, for your ongoing support.
An anonymous supporter is sponsoring Candy, a very laid back 6-year-old, gorgeous longhaired black kitty.  A111191.004.DShe’s quite a friendly gal, one who likes to be pet and have her tummy scratched and rubbed, too!
If you’re interested in learning about sponsoring an animal, call our Adoption Desk at 983-4309 ext. 610.

Meow Wolf’s Pet Pick of the Month

We are so happy tMeowWolf-pet-pick-April-blko welcome Meow Wolf to our family! Meow Wolf will be selecting a pet to highlight each month and supporting animals at the same time! This month’s Meow Wolf Pet Pick is C.C., a sweet and loving 6-year-old domestic longhair. This calico kitty is cuddly, enjoys being held and brushed, and is good with nice dogs and confident cats. She can be intimidating to timid cats. Come visit her, fall in love and adopt. Thank you, ‪#‎MeowWolf‬