Shelter Like It’s 2015

High tea, cucumber sandwiches, orphaned baby kittens, and a “mangy” Pit Bull.


Trunks, a dog with mange at Petaluma Animal Services just got done taking a bath and was ready to play.  He’s  fantastic: a ginormous goofball head, wiggly body, and all heart.

Yesterday, my family and I visited Petaluma Animal Services. Like many shelters, it is on the “other side of the tracks.” Literally. You get there by crossing the train tracks, going down an industrial road past government buildings like the sewer department and you finally arrive at the animal shelter. Out of sight usually means out of mind for many shelters. They are not only purposely built with a 19th century mindsight—in the cheapest way, in an out of the way location—but with a 19th century mission—to warehouse and kill animals at the lowest possible cost. But not Petaluma.

The Petaluma motto is “Shelter like it’s 2015” and that is what they do. Rather than offer excuses, they embrace solutions. With a “can do” attitude and a passion for saving the lives of Petaluma animals, they’ve achieved a 99% save rate for dogs, 94% of cats, and 100% of other animals (including wildlife). “We figured out how to save over 97% of ALL our animals in an open admission city pound,” they told me. “By doing so, we have tons of donations, tons of volunteers, and tons of happy adopters: Kill shelters are on the way out. Modern, high achieving shelters are going to make sure of that.”

While there, the three of us—Jennifer, Will, and I—bottle-fed baby kittens, petted cats and bunnies, and partied with Trunks, the most fantastically big headed, big hearted, goofy dog ever to walk the Earth. He was just coming out of one of his weekly baths for his mange and he was ready to play. So that is what we did. In other words, we sheltered like it’s 2015.

Then, being the cultured bloke that I like to believe I am, we headed out for high tea the same way–with 21st century values–at Muir’s Tea Room which means all vegan scones and clotted “cream,” crustless-cucumber sandwiches, mini “sausage” pastries puffed to a golden brown, and petit desserts. We were grateful that the animals of Petaluma were in good hands and we toasted to their good health and long life (both the animals and people of the shelter).


Who wants some baba?


Kitten does…


Me, too!


No rabbit gets left behind. Not one. They have a 100% save rate for bunnies and other animals.


The building is typically located: on the other side of the tracks surrounded by other government agencies. But what is inside is not. In fact, it is far from typical.


Part of the Winograd clan and the Petaluma Animal Services team.


Afterwards, we went to Muir’s Tea Room in Sebastopol  for high tea and vegan scones.


All vegan scones and clotted “cream,” crustless cucumber and eggless sandwiches, mini “sausage” pastries puffed to a golden brown, and petit desserts.


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