Happy holidays from the ASPCA!  »

Awwww, so cute. Adorbs, if I may say so. Let’s watch cute videos all day!

I have a soft spot for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals because that’s where I got both my cat and my dog. What I REALLY wanted to post today was a new ASPCA commercial I saw starring Roberta Flack! It’s another one of those super-depressing commercials where they show the shivering puppies behind bars. Sad face. I can’t really handle those commercials, for real. But this time, the commercial is with Roberta Flack! Roberta Flack and cute sad animals—the ASPCA is trying to kill me! Keep an eye out for it.


Adopt a Giants-loving kitty for $9!  »

Even though the Giants totally blow and the Phillies have a way better typeface, I am happy to report that the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA in exotic San Mateo is having a special adoption rate for kitties with the Giant’s team colors. That RULES! Just like when the Philadelphia Flyers did this four months ago. So even though the Giants are going down, this is an excellent time to get a kitty and show your team pride! Even if your team is a bunch of jerks!*

You have through Sunday, Oct. 31 to adopt your black or orange kitty for $9. Do it and send me pictures!

*Our Megan Rascal is a loyal Philadelphian.


SPCA kitty portraits!  »

Kira Stackhouse is an SF-based photographer who does super-great pet portraits! Yay pet portraits! She also volunteers her camera abilities to give weekly photo updates of the kitties available at the SF SPCA. If there’s one thing I love more than cute animal pictures, it’s cute adoptable-animal pictures!

How tough is Joseph? Hint: SO TOUGH. He’s like, “Oh, look at this wise guy wit the camera ovah here. Frickin’ hilarious.” And Cheddar needs to get in my purse like right now.

Kira also has a line of dog clothes that are made entirely from vintage people clothes. Figaro does not yet own one of these originals but if she ever makes a Yuengling one, holler at your girl!


Animal-free circuses don’t blow!  »

I recently wrote a lil’ rant about how much I hate circuses and I damn near broke Vegansaur Steve’s heart! As he points out:

It really sucks that “circus” automatically makes people think of animals, because there’s a lot of really great circus performance here in SF (along with Circus Center if you want to become a circus freak yourself) and none of it has anything to do with animals.

He’s right, there are some great animal-free circuses! And like he mentions, some animal-free circus schools too. The SPCA, Humane Society, PETA, and Born Free USA all have lists of animal-free circuses! Like Steve mentioned, in San Francisco there’s the Circus Center, where you can take classes and be a clown! There’s also a drop-in trapeze class. A DROP-IN TRAPEZE CLASS! I assume there’s a prerequisite but still, you can roll up and be like, “I wanna fly, motherfuckers!” The Circus Center is also home to the New Pickle Circus, formerly the Pickle Family Circus, founded in San Francisco in 1974. Bonus: The Circus Center is having some sort of showcase at the end of August! You should totally go and send me pictures!

There are also some smaller circus acts in the area that can be hired for fundraisers and other events like The Earth Circus in Half Moon Bay. There’s another one based out of 522 Haight St., Circus Finelli. I love this description from PETA: “Four unruly women clowns present a Slavic, slapstick cabaret with daring comedy and dangerous cutlery.” There are more schools too, like Trapeze Arts and the Kinetic Arts Center, both in Oakland. More proof Oakland is full of circus freaks. Just kidding! No I’m not!

[flyer from The Circus Center’s website]


How to help the other animals affected by the BP oil spill  »

Get ready for a downer. A CNN corespondent visited the Louisiana SPCA to see the other side of the BP oil spill’s effect on animals. There’s been a huge surge of pets surrendered to Louisiana animal shelters because families who’ve been hit hard financially by the oil spill can no longer afford to care for them. One rescue, the St. Bernard Parish animal shelter, saw 17 dogs surrendered by their owners in June, 2009; this year they had 127 dogs surrendered in June. Fucking A. The SPCA is calling for BP to start chipping in to help families keep their pets. They are also offering free veterinary care for people in the fishing industry in certain coastal regions. If you want to help out, you can donate money to this effort on the Louisiana SPCA website. The St. Bernard Parish animal shelter is also calling for volunteers. Everybody is looking for more foster homes as shelters are at capacity.

Another organization getting involved is the Animal Rescue of New Orleans, a rescue formed to help animals affected by Katrina. As a no-kill shelter, they have people driving all the way to their shelter near New Orleans to surrender their pets in the hopes they won’t be put down before they can find new homes. This little white dog is Chloe, she was surrendered and required surgery to remove bladder stones. With people barely able to provide for their healthy pets, pets that need expensive medical care are probably screwed. ARNO is also trying to keep pets in their homes with their Pet Retention Program. This program helps low income and unemployed people keep their pets by paying for their care. They are in dire needs of funds right now and you can donate (with paypal!) here.

Another, more fun way to help is to sponsor an animal. On the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society’s website, you can sponsor an animal and they will even send you a cute picture of “your” animal like this one to the right. I think sponsoring animals is a great way for kids to get involved in rescue efforts. They get a pet by-proxy and they also learn about the realities homeless pets as opposed to pet shops selling animals.

There’s an interesting personal account of a visit to the St. Bernard Parish animal shelter on the blog ohmidog. You have to scroll to the bottom as it was a stop on a road trip. The writer discusses the conditions of the shelter as well as disaster economics.

That’s all for today. I don’t have any good jokes because I am sad. It’s sad that the pets don’t have homes, it’s also sad that people don’t have their pets anymore. Pets are good for you!


Awesome people doing awesome things for animals: Sacramento’s Brooke Byrd!  »

Vegansaurus loves food! And yelling about injustice! And telling you how you can help fight injustice, especially through food! We also love—no to the DUH—animals, and the people who love to help them! That’s why today we’re bringing you an interview with one such volunteer, Brooke Byrd!

Vegansaurus: What are the Apawstrophes?
Brooke Byrd: The Apawstrophes is my team for the Sacramento SPCA’s annual Doggie Dash fundraiser. The team name is a play on my love for both grammar and animals, and my constant desire to mix the two (The Catastrophes was a close second, and would also be my roller derby name). So far the team is just me and a few close friends (plus some other random animal-lover I’ve never met). We’re raising money and pet supplies!

How did you get involved in this?
In November I started volunteering for the Sacramento SPCA, and I know first-hand the high volume of animals that come through. As a nonprofit, the SPCA relies entirely on donations through events like the Doggie Dash to take care of all the critters it houses.

How can other people get involved?
Find your local SPCA or animal shelter (donating directly to the local facility will put funds where they’re needed on the ground) and donate supplies, money or time. Most shelters are always in need of blankets and towels, and toys, treats, office supplies, etc. are always appreciated. Most shelters have volunteer programs as well—be prepared to dedicate some time to training.

How long have you been volunteering for animals? Do you do any other volunteer work, or are you exclusively animal-oriented?
I’ve only been at the [Sacramento] SPCA since November, but in college volunteered at the California Raptor Center in Davis. I’m also dedicated to the cause of marriage equality, and spend time at Equality California headquarters nearly every week-–if you’re in Sacramento and signed a petition at some time, I’ve probably called you. I also spend time as an escort at Planned Parenthood when needed.

You love animals—tell us about your current menagerie.
Currently I have three cats, one of which has developed a recent habit of enthusiastically vomiting on my carpet; two snakes named when I was first reading Harry Potter (Sly & Gryff); and a Tokay gecko named Spike who barks & hisses. Spike’s a girl, btw. I’ve also had a hedgehog named Puck and leopard geckos, and my parents currently house our family horses and dog.

What’s the deal with Sacramento—is it really terrible, or are there hidden treasures? Are there secrets animal lovers should know about it?
Sacramento, especially the midtown area, is changing pretty rapidly—for the better. We’ve got some pretty awesome little stores (Sugar Shack!) and restaurants, and the whole town is thoroughly saturated in Gold Rush-era history. It may not be your thing, but it’s still pretty cool to know about. And, it’s always amusing to watch tourists in knee socks and sandals taking a carriage ride through Old Sacramento. There’s also almost always something to do—concerts in the park and farmer’s markets everywhere, plus they even celebrated the first-ever Sacramento Beer Week in February. The Amgen Tour of California just happened in mid-May. Sac is also pretty perfectly placed-–less than two hours to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, wine country & Northern California.
And, while I’m not a big fan of veggies, Sac surprisingly has quite a few vegan/vegetarian options—there’s a food cart in downtown that has awesome eggplant, and Sugar Plum Vegan Café is also popular (the bakery looks awesome) [Ed: it is!].

As an employee of a California tourism organization, what about the state is especially awesome for animals? Animal-lovers?

Sacramento has tons of dog parks—my friend is obsessive mommy to a puggle and I swear she visits a different one every weekend. There are also tons of cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating, where pets are welcome.
For animal lovers, there are some amazing local spots to check out wildlife—rafting down the American River or hiking the Yolo Basin. We’re also close to Davis and the Raptor Center, which rehabilitates hawks, eagles and owls, but also has some resident creatures. And, if you don’t mind zoos, the Sacramento Zoo recently opened a majorly renovated giraffe exhibit with a huge raised deck.

What else should I have asked you that I didn’t?
How I handle sitting at work all day without any animals. The answer: Cute Overload, and my Cute Overload daily calendar, with which I have wallpapered my cubicle [Ed: check out Oct. 1!].

Thanks, Brooke! Good luck next week!

Hey pals! Are you doing something great for animals that Vegansaurus readers should know about? Get it touch! Maybe you’re cleaning birds on the Gulf Coast; maybe you foster rabbits for SaveABunny; maybe you draft legislation to keep people from shooting at animals from helicopters with automatic weapons—you’re great, and we want to hear from you.


Vegan action alert: Solano County SPCA needs help RIGHT NOW!!  »

Hey Vegansaurus readers! Eve at the SF Appeal calls our attention to a serious situation at the Solano County SPCA! On Thursday, Dec. 17, 83 puppies were rescued from California Pets & Supply in Dixon, which appears to have been a front for a pretty big puppy mill operation. The shelter presently has 100 total dogs and puppies from that rescue operation, some as young as six weeks old, and is in dire need of supplies and money.

The SCSPCA requests the following
Cleaning Supplies
Simple Green
scrub brushes
newspaper (without shiny ads)
large trash bags
gloves (latex or non-latex)
shop vac

Puppy Care

blankets, towels, sheets, &c.
carpet squares
puppy shampoo
puppy food (Kirkland brand from Costco, or Healthwise)
puppy toys (used is fine as long as they are clean)
food and water dishes, preferably that can clip to the side of a kennel
water bottles (rabbit-cage size)
Polar fleece

heating pads
laundry detergent
dish soap
crates/kennels of any size
gift certificates to any pet store, Costco or Sam’s Club

Bring these supplies to the SCSPCA at 2200 Peabody Rd. in Vacaville, or donate online. For further information, call 707.448.7722 or email.

[Ed. note: Of course, give your conscience; if you aren’t comfortable donating non-vegan items, choose other things! It’s most important to help out these poor, sick, little baby puppies, right? Of course it is.]


And God Did Say, Let There be Kittens!  »

Sorry Jews and other non-Christian minorities, it’s Christmastime once again. You would know this if you’ve been to Union Square lately—the Christmas spirit is all up in that mofo! And while living by Union Square is a foot-traffic bonanza year-round, it just doesn’t bother me as much when there’s ice-skating to be done and roasted chestnuts to be had (which are GOOD. Jerks.). My favorite part of it all…the kittens and puppies!

Every year, the Macy’s windows on the corner of Stockton and O’Farrell here in San Francisco are taken over by the SPCA. They fill them with weird miniature woodland furniture and throw in a few puppies and kittens in each window and let the magic happen (NOOO! I just mean magic like people fall in love with them. Jeez, to neuter is cuter.). If you go by in the evening, you’ll see many “adopted” signs in the windows—most of them get adopted before the end of the day.

I love these damn puppies and kittens with their wacky elfin furniture! I take Figaro down to look at them about everyday until it’s over. He’s an SPCA alumnus so he’s basically the goodwill ambassador for shelter animals. Sometimes a puppy will come up to the window to look at Fig and it’s kind of the cute Olympics. Quite a crowd-pleaser!

But there is one thing that I can’t help but think about: isn’t impulse-shopping a big no-no when it comes to pets? I feel like not only do most animal-welfare organizations warn against getting pets on a whim, a lot of them are like, “Don’t buy pets for birthdays! Or Christmas! Or Easter! Or anytime fun!” So having cute-ass little puppies in the windows of a department store in the center of the shopping Mecca at Christmas seems like…well, a genius idea! But one that could end in buyer’s remorse and a lot of homeless slightly older pups. Fortunately, while adopters can submit applications and lay claim to the bitty pets, they have to wait a day or two before they can bring them home—so anyone being super-impulsive has a chance to abandon ship.

SPCA representatives are on-hand to answer your questions and collect donations. AND GUESS WHAT ELSE! There’s a WEBCAM! It’s totally SFW, btw.

[Ed.: Please welcome a new Vegansaurus regular, the fantastic Megan Rascal! Megan Rascal moved to San Francisco all the way from Philly to study copywriting. She also moonlights as DJ My Lil’ Pony, everyone’s favorite dancing DJ. She loves her adopted dog Figaro, peanut butter, and garage rock. Check out her blogs: You Talk Funny (cultural linguistics) and The Daily Rascal (awesome shit).]

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