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By Roz Rogoff

Adopt a Shelter Pet

Uploaded: Jun 10, 2014

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat month. It is also the start of kitten season. Oh no, too many Kittens! It may be cute for you and your kids but not for the kittens or the momma cats. If more cats were spayed and neutered, there would be fewer unwanted litters and more kittens and older cats could be adopted.

As my readers know, I used to be a cat foster for Safe Cat Foundation. Safe Cat holds weekend adoption events at the Petco and PetSmart in Dublin and Pet Extreme in Livermore. I adopted four of my Safe Cat fosters.

Even though June is Adopt a Shelter Cat month, all kinds of animals who have been abused or abandoned need homes. When my brother's sons were still in school and living at home they had a Guinea pig in a box in the kitchen. It was a cute animal and lived to be four years old, which I gather is the typical lifespan for a Guinea pig.

A small animal like a rabbit or Guinea pig can be kept in a cage almost anywhere and does not require much effort to care for it. These make good "starter" pets for young children to learn responsibility in caring for a pet. Save a Bunny holds adoption events in San Francisco and San Jose. East Bay Rabbit Rescue holds adoption events in Dublin. Local shelters also have Guinea pigs and bunnies for adoption.

Many rescue groups take dogs and cats from shelters that are cared for in foster homes. Because cats and dogs and other small, adoptable animals are fostered in homes instead of cages in scary shelters, they can be more relaxed and outgoing at adoption events. The pet's foster can answer questions about each pet's behavior and personalities so you can find the right one to fit into your family.

Privately funded shelters, like Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek, or the SPCAs in Dublin and Oakland, take in the most adoptable animals and house them in comfortable rooms instead of cages. You might think that adopting from a "boutique shelter," doesn't help animals being held in municipal shelters, but there's a reverse domino effect.

When you free up space at ARF or Muttville Senior Dog rescue, they can take in another dog from a shelter or the foster can take in another one from the rescue group. Muttville in San Francisco takes older dogs, which are usually harder to get adopted. Muttville is holding a Senior Saturday this Saturday, June 14th.

If you don't find your perfect pooch at Muttville, there are three other rescue organizations within one block on Alhambra and 16th Street which has been officially named Rescue Row.

Now you know where to find dogs and cats and bunnies and Guinea pigs, but what if you are looking for something bigger. I'm not sure you can adopt an elephant, but you can certainly help a horse, pig, goat, or donkey. Horses Healing Hearts in Danville rescues horses which are available for adoption. An adoption center for rescued donkeys is located near Sacramento.

We don't usually think of San Ramon or the Tri Valley as farm country, but there are still farms here on the West side of San Ramon near Castro Valley and the East in Tassajara Valley. So here's a final link to Farm Sanctuary's Animal Adoption Network. Some of these animals have had hard lives and deserve a nice place to retire and be cared for the way they deserve to be.