A gift to last a lifetime

It’s a classic holiday image: the irresistibly fluffy little puppy with a red ribbon around his neck, bursting from a gaily wrapped box to lick the nose of the surprised and delighted gift recipient.

While the idea is charming, the reality of pets given as gifts can be vastly different. At the Sacramento SPCA, our Receiving Department often takes in animals from members of the public who simply don’t have the time or the desire to care for their four-legged holiday presents.

“We saw a gift surrendered just a few weeks ago,” says Amanda Schultz, assistant customer service supervisor. “A child received a rabbit as a present from a family friend, but she was horribly allergic to it. Her mother brought her in to surrender the bunny, and it was a very sad scene with a lot of tears.”Pull quote

Customer Service Manager Jaime Johnson agrees that gift surrenders are often emotionally fraught. “People feel guilty giving up an animal that someone chose for them,” she says. “But they often just don’t have the time, or the desire, for a pet.” Johnson notes that small breed dogs and puppies are the most commonly relinquished “gift pets.”

Learn the best way to give a pet as a gift. The Sacramento SPCA offers an alternative for those who want to enrich someone else’s life with an animal companion. Gift certificates are available for purchase that can be redeemed by the recipient for the pet of their choice.

“Gift certificates are so much better than giving an actual animal as a gift,” says Adoption Counselor Sonya del Gallego. “The person can be involved in selecting their new pet, and they can form a bond before the animal is in their home.”

Sacramento resident Tiffani Juarez knew that the holidays would be a challenging time to adopt the puppy her children had been clamoring for. “With all the visitors, parties, and travel to see relatives, adding a puppy to the mix during the holidays would have been a disaster,” she says. “So we wrapped up a box that had a collar, a leash, and a Sacramento SPCA gift certificate for the kids last year, and promised them that we would visit the shelter in January to find our new family member. And that’s when we adopted Rocky.”

Does Juarez regret not having the big puppy-in-a-bow scene under the tree? “Not at all,” she says. “That would have been cute, but we wanted to do it the right way.”

Gift certificates are available to purchase at the Sacramento SPCA’s Adoption Center during regular business hours. They make great stocking stuffers and can be redeemed for adoptions, as well as for merchandise and services!

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Sacramento SPCA current recipient of Whole Foods’ Nickels for Nonprofit

Perfect timing!

Just after Governor Brown passed legislation banning single-use plastic bags*, we heard from our friends at Whole Foods Market Sacramento about being the current recipient of their Nickels for Nonprofits program.

Through January 18, they are allowing you to pass on your reusable bag credit to the Sacramento SPCA. Shop for your pumpkin products and help us to help more animals.

It’s a win-win-win!

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*We realize the ban doesn’t go into effect until 2015, but ask that you play along.

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eTales: Santa Paws

Visions of tennis balls danced in their heads
Santa Paws, November 8–9

Santa PawsWhether your four-legged friend has visions of sugarplums or simply dreams of a fuzzy new tennis ball, she’ll have the opportunity to express her fondest holiday wishes to Santa Paws during our annual photography event on Saturday, November 8 and Sunday, November 9.

Join us either day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (no appointment needed) to have your pet’s portrait taken with the jolliest Santa this side of the North Pole. Packages start at only $25 for digital images; prints, enlargements and photo greeting cards are also available. All proceeds directly benefit the Sacramento SPCA.

Participants are welcome to bring dogs (on leash, please), cats, and other small animals (in carriers). Human family members are welcome to be in the photo as well.

What makes the Sacramento SPCA’s Santa Paws event unique is that the set design changes from year to year. The theme for 2014 is “Golden Wonderland,” featuring a gold background, tree, ornaments and pillows. Although your animal companion may not visibly age much from one year to the next, it’s still worthwhile to attend annually because the images are so unique.

“We never miss Santa Paws, and we love how every year the photos have a completely new look,” says Sacramento resident Debra Townsend. “We’ve been coming since we were newlyweds with our two dogs.”

The Townsend’s photos show those same dogs with their first baby who is now almost nine years old. One dog has since passed, but they’ve added two more over the years — and another daughter.

“It’s just a joy to look back and see our family’s history in these pictures,” she says.

We’re pleased to welcome back local photographer Patrick Storm for a second Santa Paws season. Storm expertly captures that perfect moment when your dog, cat, iguana, or child looks his/her best.

Questions about Santa Paws 2014? Please call (916) 504-2849 or email ddrake@sspca.org.

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eTales: Fall book sale

Forging bonds page by page
Annual fall book sale, November 13–16

Book saleAs the weather turns cool, stock up on good reads to fill those long evenings ahead by the fireside (with your animal friends curled up beside you, of course). Join us for the Sacramento SPCA’s Fall Book Sale, November 13 through 16 in Citrus Heights.

The SPCA’s famed book sales, held in autumn and spring, are the longest-running charity used book sales in the Sacramento area. Categories for the fall sale include audio books, biography, Christmas, history/politics, mystery and fiction. All proceeds directly benefit the animals in our care.

“What sets our sale apart is that we accept book donations year-round,” says SPCA Community Services Director Val Masters. “Our volunteers log hundreds of hours each month sorting, categorizing, pricing and making sure that only the very best books are offered for sale.”

The sale is in a new location this year at Greenfaire Village. The extra-large storefront means even more room for the high-quality selection and low prices that the community has come to expect and enjoy over the years.

Don’t miss the annual fall book sale

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eTales: Purrses for Pets

New homes found in cocktail clutch
Purrses for Pets, November 20

PurrsesYou don’t have to be a woman to enjoy the Sacramento SPCA’s Purrses for Pets event, but it helps.

“It’s all about the purses!” says Anna Zablah, special events manager for the SPCA. “Everyone just goes crazy for them.”

Held at the renowned Arden Hills Resort & Spa, Purrses for Pets is an elegant evening of cocktails, hors d’ouevres, wine and desserts — and shopping… for purses. Oh, and jewelry and accessories, too. But did we mention the purses?

“The selection really runs the gamut,” says Zablah. “We have brand-new bags from Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors and other great designers, and some that aren’t designer but are really adorable and fun. We also have a terrific selection of pre-owned designer and non-designer purses in excellent condition. There’s something for everyone.”

All proceeds from the event benefit the SPCA’s programs and services. So remember, that Dooney & Bourke bag you buy doesn’t just look fabulous — it’s helping animals live better lives. And so is that darling cocktail clutch, and that beachy tote. Don’t the homeless pets deserve for you to get that Vera Bradley that perfectly matches your ballet flats?

Purrses for Pets is Thursday, November 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets to the event, which include auction, raffle, appetizers, cocktails, and desserts, are only $45. It’s a sell-out every year, so be sure to buy your ticket now, or risk being left… with last season’s handbag.

Join us for Purrses for Pets

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Something for everyone this season

We can’t wait to see you at these great upcoming events. This holiday season, there is a little something for everyone…

Santa Paws Holiday Photo ShootChristmasKitten
November 8–9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gather those smiling faces in your family (both two- and four-legged!) and join us for this two-day event with Sacramento photographer Patrick Storm. Then rest easy knowing that you have the family holiday photo checked off the list well before the holiday!

This year’s set includes a white couch surrounded by a gold holiday tree and other gold decor and, of course, Santa Claus, you, and your amazing pets!

No appointment needed. Packages start at $25 for digital images. Prints, enlargements and photo greeting cards also available.

Held in the Sacramento SPCA Adoption Center.


Annual Fall Book Sale
Thurs.–Sat., Nov. 13–15 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 16 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Join us at Greenfaire Village for the annual Sacramento SPCA Fall Book Sale —
the Sacramento area’s longest running charity used book sale.

Click here for more information on the annual fall book sale.


Purrses for Pets
November 20, 2014 from 6–8 p.m.

Join us at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa for an evening of luxury and a little self indulgence.

Shop among hundreds of purses, bags, jewelry, and accessories ranging from splurges to steals! Join the fun with a silent auction, raffle, appetizers, cocktails, and desserts.

Click here for more information on Purrses for Pets.


Holiday Boutique Sale
December 2–9

Make this year’s holiday one to remember with unique gifts from the Sacramento SPCA Thrift Store. Give yourself an early holiday gift with a trip to the sale for deep discounts on everything from jewelry to new-to-you holiday decorations.

Event is held during regular store hours, including Monday!

Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


 

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eTales September 2014: Back to school

Back to school for kids — and Marlee!

Smiling boyWith the arrival of autumn, the Sacramento SPCA’s adoption center no longer buzzes with the activity of our wildly popular summer day camp programs for kids.

Instead, we’re in classrooms throughout the community, bringing our messages of kindness, compassion and responsible pet ownership to elementary, middle, and high school students in Sacramento, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Folsom.

Teachers can request presentations on a variety of subjects, from dog safety and bite prevention (kindergarten through fourth grade) to pet overpopulation and the importance of spaying and neutering (middle school and above).

The Sacramento SPCA is on the road and in the classroom two to three days a week. In 2013, more than 6,000 students attended our presentations.

“We have many teachers who invite us back year after year,” says Dee Dee Drake, the Sacramento SPCA’s Humane Education Manager. “We meet a fresh group of children every time and they’re always interested in learning about animals.”

MarleeAnd what would a visit from the Sacramento SPCA be without the presence of a four-legged friend?

Eight-year-old pug Marlee accompanies Drake on all school visits.

“Marlee’s the ideal education ambassador for the organization,” says Drake. “She’s friendly, loves to visit new places, and absolutely adores children.”

Drake adopted Marlee from the Sacramento SPCA in 2006 and the kid-crazy canine has been in the education biz ever since.

“I try not to take it personally that most of the thank-you notes we receive begin, ‘Dear Marlee,’” Drake says. “I’m just the chauffeur for the real star of the show.”

Local classroom teachers can request a visit by email or by calling (916) 504-2849.

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eTales September 2014: Welcoming creatures of all kinds

Welcoming creatures of all kinds

Join us on the morning of Saturday, October 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the Sacramento SPCA’s second annual Blessing of the Animals.

Friars from the Ecumenical Order of Saints Francis and Clare will be on hand to bless the public’s animal companions during a brief, but moving ceremony.Friar Haug-West

Friar Cyd Haug-West, a former Sacramento SPCA volunteer, remembers the success of last year’s blessing. “We love blessing the animals!” she says. “After last year’s event, my fellow friars and I all agreed that we had received at least as much blessing as we had given. As we bless each animal, we are privileged to witness, up close, the deep love between people and their animals. Blessing the animals with our hands and prayers also connects us, beyond the limits of time, to our beloved Saint Francis, who had a particular love for and connection with creatures of all kinds.”

Haug-West credits her time spent here as a volunteer with helping her along the path to becoming a Franciscan. “My favorite definition of the Franciscan world view is from Richard Rohr, OFM, who says simply, ‘Everything belongs,’” she says. “Each and every dog I spent time with embodied this statement in the way they all lived completely in the present: in their joy to get outside, to walk or run, to smell all the smells, to chase butterflies, to see birds or jackrabbits, to get their ears rubbed, to play with a ball, to get Blessingtreats. Every dog reminded me to live in the moment with gratitude.”

And four-legged area residents aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the blessing. “We hope all who take part will leave with a renewed sense of the special bond we form with our pets, that goes far beyond any kind of ‘ownership’ of one species over another.”

Dogs must be on leash, and cats and other small animals should be secured in carriers. All species and faiths are welcome! There is no charge for this event, but donations are always welcome.

Subscribe to eTales for more information on the happenings at and the stories of the Sacramento SPCA.

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New foster parent orientation

Interested in becoming a foster parent for the Sacramento SPCA? We have all sorts of animals who need your help.

The orientation will take place at the Sacramento SPCA in the Multipurpose Room (just off the adoption center).

We’ll go over training, supplies and the reasons animals need to go into foster care.

If you would like to attend, please send an e-mail to Sacramento SPCA Foster Care Coordinator Sarah Varanini or give her a call at (916) 504-2808.

Thank you for your interest in the Sacramento SPCA!

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SNAAP program

SNAAP logo

Donate goods for the SNAAP program

The Sacramento SPCA, in partnership with City of Sacramento Front Street Shelter and Sacramento County Animal Care & Regulation, recently embarked on a journey to directly assist families in areas where they need it most.

Each day SNAAP Coordinator Mike Vasquez knocks on neighborhood doors and provides services to families whose pets might not otherwise receive them. This includes food, toys, vaccines, microchips and collars with tags — even transport to and from the Sacramento SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic.

If you’d like to help, donations of the following items are in high demand:

• Beds, for all sizes of cats and dogs
• Collars, for all sizes of cats and dogs
• Food for cats, dry and wet
• Leashes
• Litterboxes, medium-sized
• Toys, enrichment focused for both cats and dogs

When making your donation let the staff person receiving it know it’s for the SNAAP program.

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If you know someone who needs help with their pet, but doesn’t live in the SNAAP program target area, tell them about KeepYourPet.com. It provides robust information to help people keep their pet an important part of the family.

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