On Saturday, staff from the Mendocino County Library and the countyâ€™s Animal Care Services collaborated to offer families a fun event showcasing adoptable dogs, creating opportunities for children to get up close and personal to friendly furry friends.
The â€śDog Days of Summerâ€ť event was well attended, with families and individuals petting dogs in the childrenâ€™s room at the Ukiah Library, with some visitors taking a look at the dogs available for adoption.
For two years, a similar library event has featured shelter cats and kittens, but organizers thought this would be a great opportunity to share some of the shelterâ€™s adoptable dogs who are eager to find a home.
The shelter brought over four adult dogs and two puppies were available for adoption, noted Sage Mountainfire, shelter supervisor for Mendocino County Animal Care Services. Shelter volunteers Chandra Brouillette, Ann Montgomery, Laura Mares and Peri Partington-Judge assisted with the event, along with shelter interns Alicia Campbell and Madison Judd. Alison Herrold, who teaches the Nose Work training program at the shelter was also on hand.
Parents, children and other visitors spent time with each of the dogs, who represented a good mix of the types of dogs that can be found at the shelter. Campbell and Judd, both 14 years of age are working as interns at the shelter with the hope of pursuing animal or veterinary careers. The girls were taking care of two puppies that were just put on the adoption list. â€śThey are part Golden Retriever and about two months old,â€ť notes Campbell.
The students help out at the shelter in numerous ways. â€śThe girls are in charge of giving out toys as part of the shelterâ€™s enrichment program. They work with animals on training, obedience, confidence. â€śWe take all of the cat photos and clean some of their cages,â€ť says Judd. â€śWe help out on surgery days and with animal evaluations. Every day is very different,â€ť notes Campbell.
Seal is an adult American â€śBullyâ€ť who was being handled by Peri Partington-Judge, who is the director of Bug a Bull, a non-profit organization founded in 2012. â€śWe started out in Woodland doing dog events at libraries. From there we branched out to middle schools and other events.â€ť She estimates that her dog has been seen and pet by over 20,000 children. But today, she is hoping to help Seal find a home. â€śSeal is a great dog. She was abandoned, and sheâ€™s got a little weight to lose, but sheâ€™s just a big, loving friendly dog,â€ť says Partington-Judge.
Kids worked on coloring projects, made dog pull toys from cut-up T-shirts and took home DIY dog treats, ready to bake in the oven. Childrenâ€™s Librarian Jannah Minnix is in the process of finalizing an adoption herself.
â€śEveryone assumes librarians are cat people, but I grew up with dogs. We had a lot of animals, but my father did not like cats, so I have never had a cat,â€ť says Minnix. That is about to change. â€śI have been begging my partner for an animal. He was open to having a cat. I will soon be wearing my official librarian badge as a cat owner, but Iâ€™ll always have a paw print in my heart for dogs,â€ť she smiles. Minnix has visited the shelter several times and has found a cat she is interested in.
Laura Mares is with Anderson Valley Animal Rescue. She was the handler for Bunny, who is a mixed breed, 3-year-old dog who has been at the shelter for several months. â€śBunny is very sweet. She knows how to sit and how to take treats with a soft mouth. She is a very social dog. When Bunny is in play group, she is a rock star,â€ť says Mares.
â€śAll the animals at the shelter are truly loved by the volunteers. We spend so much time with them. We walk them. We care for them. We love them and we worry about them. Shelters are never ideal places for animals. But I would rather see an animal who needs a new home at the shelter, rather than being alone, tied up in a backyard,â€ť says Mares.
Mares is a psychotherapist who has brought her therapy dog to the library, to hospitals and nursing homes. â€śFollowing last yearâ€™s fires I was doing trauma training. I brought my dog along with me to fire survivors. Sometimes they werenâ€™t ready to talk, but the opened up by petting my dog,â€ť she explains.
By the end of the event, it looked as though two dogs were going to be adopted. Mountainfire also noted that for the month of July, all kitten adoption fees are reduced to $75. The cost includes licensing, spay/neuter, all vaccines, microchipping and tests for feline HIV/Leukemia, which would normally total $133.
For more information about adopting an animal or other upcoming shelter activities, visit http://www.mendoanimalshelter.comor phone (707)463-4427. The summer programs at the library are in full swing and include the summer reading program, musical events and classes for people of all ages. For upcoming library events visit https://www.mendolibrary.orgor phone (707) 463-4490.