Where to turn for pet-care help
WHEN IT COMES to animals, Americans are a strange and schizophrenic bunch. On the one hand, we spend many millions of hard-earned bucks on pet food and chew toys. We buy raincoats for our dogs, put horses in our wills, and own cats instead of having children. On the other hand, sometimes we're downright beastly to the poor critters. For instance, some 15 million unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized at animal shelters around the country every year.
But let's be fair: taking good care of animals ain't always easy. What if you want to spay or neuter your dog, but your bank account doesn't measure up to your good intentions? What if your beloved Bowser won't stop barking? Where should you turn if Garfield suddenly goes missing? And the situation gets only more complicated when wild animals enter our lives: what the hell can you do if raccoons invade your yard?
If these questions have your leash in a tangle, you can relax. North Bay residents have an almost unmatched set of resources to help them with animal-care issues. Low-cost spay-neuter programs, lost-pet websites, full-service humane organizations: we've got them all.--P.S.
Humane Society of Sonoma County
5345 Hwy. 12 W., Santa Rosa
Main number: 707/542-0882
Spay/Neuter Assistance Program: 707/526-5312
In addition to sheltering homeless animals, this nonprofit organization offers a low-cost spay/neuter program and free veterinary support for animals whose owners have AIDS.
Sonoma County Animal Shelter
1247 Century Court, Santa Rosa
Main number: 707/565-7100
Lost and found: 707/565-7104
This county-run animal shelter provides online photos of adoptable animals and some limited help with veterinary care.
Pets Lifeline Animal Shelter
19686 Eighth St. E., Sonoma
A private, nonprofit animal shelter, it offers everything from free ID tags and low-cost microchipping identification services to free pet food for low-income families.
Petaluma Animal Services
840 Hopper St., Petaluma
Main number: 707/778-4396
Spay/neuter coupon program: 707/776-4994
This city-run animal shelter offers spay-neuter discount coupons, as well as online tips on animal behavior and a list of local dog parks.
Charging only a small fee for Sonoma County residents, this website posts pictures and descriptions of their wayward animals. Postings are sorted by city.
Marin Humane Society
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato
Main number: 415/883-4621
Spay-neuter program: 415/883-4621, ext. 372
One of the best-funded humane societies in the known universe, the MHS offers a wide range of services, from a low-cost spay-neuter program (male cats can be fixed for a mere $10!) to an online list of local dog parks. Have a dog with some problem behaviors? The MHS animal behavior and training department offers 14 dog-training classes each week, as well as a drop-in clinic (415/883-0116). The organization's website also offers tips on dealing humanely with problem wildlife, from raccoons to deer.
A mobile vaccination unit that comes to Marin County on a regular basis, it also offers heartworm and leukemia testing.
Humane Society of Napa County
942 W. Imola Ave., Napa
Main phone: 707/255-8118
Spay-Neuter Clinic: 707/252-7442
This organization offers low-cost spaying and neutering (just $15 to fix a cat), low-cost vaccinations, and an online photo gallery of animals in the shelter.
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From the July 19-25, 2001 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.