Living With Animals: Spring

By Hope Bidegainberry on April 1, 2019
Alpine meadow full of crocus flowers at sunset.

Most people love Spring, now just two days away. The staff and volunteers of Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA have mixed feelings. Sure, warming weather and blooming flowers tickle our fancy too, but we also know the season’s real challenges. An “open door” shelter, we literally open our doors without limits to the animals who need us. And every Spring, that means thousands of young animals, many too young to survive on their own and yet separated at this vulnerable age from their mother’s care. We are fortunately not the only organization which embraces the challenge of tiny newborn kittens, but PHS/SPCA is one of very few shelters in the Bay Area – actually one of the first two in the nation – to have opened a very special Kitten/Neonate Nursery, designed and operated under strict and innovative protocols developed by our veterinarians and behaviorists, saving the lives of extremely young cats, readying them for adoption. Animals who otherwise (and still today in other places) may face euthanasia. Our Nursery just celebrated its 10th anniversary and in addition to tens of thousands of animals PHS/SPCA saved over that decade, the volunteers and staff working diligently through the Nursery are responsible for many hundreds of kittens receiving the gift of life.

PHS/SPCA was also the first humane organization in the nation to open a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, the best answer to the crisis in pet overpopulation. Our brick-and-mortar surgical center is augmented with our mobile clinic, bringing free spay/neuter surgery to San Mateo and San Francisco’s most economically challenged neighborhoods. Through this decades-long commitment we’ve reduced euthanasia by over 98%, making this among the best and safest places on Earth for pets and the people who love them.

But Spring is not just about newborn cats. It’s also about newborn hummingbirds. And squirrels. And owls, goldfinches, robins, pelicans, fox, western pond turtles, and more. PHS/SPCA is in fact the only Bay Area animal shelter open to all species. Last year, our staff-volunteer wildlife team saved the lives and then set free 1,670 native wild animals.

So whether it’s PHS/SPCA or another local animal organization, Spring is a great time to remind you how to help: adopt, volunteer, donate.

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