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A Safe Haven for Animals
November 2015
A Circle of Healing
Maya's puppies, Miles and Mickey 
Sometimes we heal animals and sometimes they heal us... often, it's a little bit of both! In the 10 years that Anne Belden has fostered animals with the Sonoma Humane Society, she has been an important part of the healing process for many. This past summer, she was called upon to help provide some emotional healing for a fearful mama dog and her two puppies.

Maya, a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix was terrified when she arrived at SHS. Anne described her as being "afraid of the world" when she first met her. Within a month of nurturing care from Anne though, Maya's confidence began to grow. She went from a trembling dog afraid to leave Anne's side, to one who loved to run and play with other dogs.
Maya: a confident care-giver! 

"As time neared for her to go up for adoption," Anne shares "I feared she wouldn't transition well into another home. I knew she needed a gentle home where she could be held a lot" She needn't have worried. One day, with Maya in tow, Anne went to visit her father in the care home where he lives. The owner of the facility, Nicole, fell in love with Maya and shortly afterwards, adopted her! Maya now accompanies Nicole to the care home each day and offers her own special brand of therapy to all the residents. Nicole says that Maya's presence has transformed the place, "I believe she has warmed all the residents' hearts. The environment is calmer, the anxiety level is lower." Maya seems to have helped residents who have suffered from depression-"it's reduced dramatically, which I've never seen before."

Maya hard at work bringing
smiles to the care home!
Nicole says that Maya takes her care-giving duties very seriously. From the moment they arrive in the morning, Maya goes from room to room greeting each resident with a dose of sweetness as they wake up. "She recognizes each resident's behavior and disabilities and she knows how to navigate those." Maya often leads a patient named Fredricka out to the backyard to enjoy the sunshine, and has given a sense of purpose to Fredricka's days. Another resident, Elizabeth says Maya has made her feel much brighter. "We all sit together and she keeps us company. She keeps an eye on everybody. She's brought Bob, who's here with a dislocated hip, and me closer as friends because we care about her so much." Echoing those remarks, Bob explains "We've all become very much attached to her." With some of the residents confined to wheelchairs, "we focus on our relationships. And Maya is most delightful."

Anne still gets to enjoy Maya's friendship too. "Whenever I visit, Maya goes crazy to see me, but then lets me leave, knowing she's needed there."
And as for Maya's puppies? They've gone on to bring lots of smiles in their forever homes too! Anne had just picked up one of her foster pups, Miles, from an SHS vet appointment and was picking up her car from the auto body shop. She brought Miles in with her, and within 30 seconds the shop owner said he wanted him. "His wife had been depressed since losing their longtime dog last year. She met, fell in love with Miles and he now has a perfect home."  Maya's other pup Mickey was then adopted by the shop owner's son and his wife! 

As the days grow shorter and we approach Thanksgiving, we hold our beloved pets close-grateful for the warmth and light they bring to our lives! Here at Sonoma Humane Society we are also grateful for wonderful foster volunteers like Anne who help us heal lives and bring animals and people together. And we are grateful for YOU; your compassion is an integral part of our circle of healing. Every donation, big or small makes it happen-click here to help!

Healdsburg Center Happy Tails!

Here are just a few of  
our friends who have found forever homes through
the Healdsburg Center this month! 


Please note the new date for the Healdsburg Center's Give Me Shelter event. Mark your calendars for February 20, 2016. Space is limited! If you would like more information, please contact

WS is coming to town!
Create some fun holiday memories with a photo of your dog with Santa! Our friends at the Healdsburg Dog House are hosting this fun event which also includes raffle prizes, treats and more! Admission to the festivities is free. Photos are $20 a piece with 100% of proceeds benefiting Sonoma Humane Society's Healdsburg Center! Call the Healdsburg Dog House for more information and/or photo reservations: 707-431-1044
Walk-ins welcome!

We are excited to be expanding animal care services for this beautiful part of our community. For more information about what we offer at the Healdsburg Center and for ways to get involved, please visit
This month we are proud to feature adoptable animals from our OASIS program. These
"Offsite Adoptables Seeking Interested Soulmates" are enjoying time in foster homes and are available for meet and greets by calling our Foster Department at (707) 577-1919.

WILLA is a beautiful terrier mix who is just over a year old. She came to us from Lake County during the Rocky Fire and has been having fun and gaining confidence in her foster home. She's ready to find an easy-going permanent home where she can blossom into the well-loved dog she was born to be. Read more about her here.

ROCKET knows the importance of maintaining a good balance of play and naps throughout the day. While he does enjoy opportunities to play and zip around, his favorite thing to do is curl up in your lap for a snooze. He is a youthful 7 year old Tabby and would love to be your constant companion. Get the scoop on Rocket here.

Friendly FELIPE came to us with quite a severe skin condition. In his foster home he has healed well and his glorious poodle-mix coat is now in full effect. As a social 3 year old, Felipe could do well in a home with another dog and maybe a cat. He prefers going for walks over playing with toys and has impressed his foster mom with his stellar leash skills. Are you Felipe's new BFF? Learn more about him here.  
Winter Camps Registration Now in Progress! Click here for details!

Join Our Animal Assisted Activity Program!aaa 
Do you and your dog like to explore your community and meet new people? Is your dog a social butterfly while being calm and polite? Then the SHS Animal Assisted Activity Program may be for you! The program places trained and certified volunteer dog teams in schools, libraries, senior facilities, and convalescent and rehabilitation centers providing companionship and a smile through weekly visits. SHS offers all the training courses required to get certified and prepared to volunteer in the program. To learn more please contact the coordinator, Beth Karzes, at 707-577-1902 or 

Training Classes
Tacky. Offensive. Inappropriate.
These words should be used to describe Christmas sweaters, not your dog's manners! Our Behavior and Training Team is here to help. Check out some of our upcoming classes:

Companion Dog 1 (Accelerated): Saturday, November 21 - December 19 @ 2:30pm
KinderPuppy Training: Wednesday, December 2 - January 6 @ 6:15pm
Companion Dog 1: Wednesday, December 2 - January 6 @ 5pm
Workshop: Tricks - Holiday Edition: Monday, December 14 @ 5:30-7pm
For course descriptions and a complete listing of all classes, please click here!

We've got a lot to be thankful for, including bountiful opportunities to see you at the following events benefiting the animals of SHS!

Let our holiday elves do the gift wrapping for you! Your donation will go to our Angel's Fund, helping provide medical care for our shelter animals. At various locations starting 11/27. Get all the details here! 
Mary's Pizza Shack Dine and Donate
Save a turkey, eat pizza instead! On 12/1, Mary's Pizza Shack on Summerfield Road will donate 20% of your bill to our animals! Be sure to bring your flyer, please follow this link to get one!

Mutt Lynch Winery Ugly Howl-iday Sweater Paw-ty 12/11  

Don yourself (and your dog!) in your most hilariously hideous holiday garb and join in the fun. $10 at the door benefits SHS!

View all our upcoming events here!
Other ways you can help:
 Donate your vehicle    |    Shop    |    Volunteer    |    Host an Event   |    Donate