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Humane Society of Sonoma County: COVID-19 Operation Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Thanks to generous support from the Petfinder Foundation, we have been able to provide critical vaccinations for animals on their journey to adoption, giving them a solid foundation for a happy, healthy life ahead – including DHPP, bordetella and rabies vaccines as well as heartworm tests.

The Humane Society of Sonoma County wishes to thank the Petfinder Foundation for your generous support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of our community’s shelter-in-place orders, we have temporarily closed our adoption center to the public. Early on, however, we implemented protocols to safely adopt animals online and by appointment. The response to these efforts has been very well-received. Potential adopters view adoptable pets on our website, then call to schedule a meet-and-greet with the pet(s) they are interested in.

Social distancing is practiced during all interactions: Dogs are met onsite in predetermined spaces outside. Cats, rabbits and small companion animals meet their potential adopters via video call. When people are ready to adopt, all paperwork is completed online and our staff meets them outside, ready to safely transfer new pets via leash or carrier.

From March 16, 2020, through July 22, 2020, 383 animals have been adopted through our Santa Rosa and Healdsburg shelters. In addition to local families adopting by appointment, we have had adopters coming from Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Sacramento to bring home new fuzzy family members. With so many working from home, people are using this time to bond with their new pets and help them settle in for a life of love and mutual companionship. This is truly a silver lining of compassion in the midst of uncertainty.

Each animal who comes in to our care receives a medical examination and any necessary veterinary care to ensure that they can live their happiest, healthiest life ahead. Vaccinations are a critical step on the journey to adoption. We are pleased to report that the number of animals we have been able to help with this grant is higher than we originally estimated. Our shelter medical team has been working with a new vendor and has been able to procure discounted pricing on vaccines. Thanks to your support, we have been able to provide DHPP, bordetella and rabies vaccines as well as heartworm tests for 115 dogs – ensuring a solid foundation of good health ahead.

We are grateful for the positive impact the Petfinder Foundation makes in the lives of shelter animals, and are deeply thankful for the difference you’ve helped us make for the animals in our care. We are honored to have your partnership and proud to share the impact we have made together to our Facebook followers and in our July “e-Animail” e-newsletter.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Tyler is a senior mixed-breed dog who came to HSSC as a stray. He arrived with a severe skin infection that was clearly making him uncomfortable (second photo) – he was very mopey and couldn’t even enjoy reassuring pats from our medical team. After his initial exam, our veterinary team administered vaccinations, medicated baths, antibiotics and omega fatty acids. Soon, Tyler was feeling better and was showing us his happy side (first photo) – and his puppy-like enthusiasm for playing fetch! While he was recovering in our care, he enjoyed daily hikes and even drive-through “pupaccino” dates with one of our dedicated volunteers. Last month we placed Tyler into a wonderful home with an adopter committed to giving Tyler the love he deserves – for life!

Kepler, a golden 5-year-old Lab mix (bottom three photos), arrived at our Healdsburg shelter as a stray. He was very stressed and anxious and having a hard time settling in to the shelter environment. After performing his intake exam and giving him a bit of time to settle, our veterinary team administered routine vaccinations and prescribed a mild medication to help ease Kepler’s anxiety. Soon Kepler was feeling much more comfortable and soaking up all the love we could give him. We quickly learned that he loved a lot of human companionship and – as an active busybody – would require an equally active, attentive family and lots of room to stretch his legs.

We are pleased to report that Kepler is now spending his days alongside his new dad, inspecting the family’s vineyards, getting spoiled and going for rides in their antique VW Bug. This is the kind of sweet togetherness we wish for every animal in our care and we are so grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for helping make these happily-ever-afters all possible.

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