Pet of the Week: Julius

It’s no contest with four-year-old Julius! This friendly orange tabby is a savvy politician who will easily convince you that a belly rub or some extra catnip is in both your best interests. Julius is currently on a campaign to conquer your heart and home so he can be entered into our 2014 pet photo contest, Is Spot Hot or Not? The deadline for entries is July 24. For more information, visit, call (925) 426-8656 or visit Valley Humane Society at 3670 Nevada Street in Pleasanton.



Pet of the Week: Emily

Whoever said that dog is man’s best friend obviously never met Emily! The six-year-old Maine Coone loves attention and isn’t afraid to show her appreciation when she gets it. If you’re looking for a friend that will stick by you through thick and thin, then Emily is the one for you! Take her home today just in time to enter our 2014 pet photo contest, Is Spot Hot or Not? starting July 10. For more information, call Valley Humane Society at (925) 426-8656 or visit us at 3670 Nevada Street in Pleasanton, or online at


Emily face

My Pet Valentine

My Pet ValentineWho has your heart? Show us by posting a cute and creative photo of you and your pet Valentine! Post on Facebook or Instagram until February 23, then tell your friends to vote. The photos with the most likes (one cat and one dog from each website) will win a $25 pet store gift card.

Contest Rules

To enter, submit a picture of yourself with your dog or cat on either Facebook or Instagram. Entrants may submit a maximum of one photo per website; multiple entries will otherwise be disqualified.

Photos must be posted no later than Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:59 pm.
Voting will continue until 3:30 pm on Monday, February 24, 2014.
Winners will be announced at 5:00 pm on Monday, February 24, 2014.

Teen Mktg Session 2 Valentine Promo pic_editTo submit on Facebook: Post your picture to Valley Humane Society’s Facebook page (wall) with the status “My Pet Valentine.” Entries will be uploaded by VHS to our album, “My Pet Valentine” throughout the contest period. Entrants will be notified by comment on their original post that the photo has been uploaded. Then…tell your friends and family to vote!! The cat and dog photos with the most likes received by 3:30 pm on Monday, February 24, 2014 will each win a $25 pet store gift card!

To submit on Instagram: Post your picture to your feed. Use the hashtag #mypetvalentine, and tag @valleyhumanesociety in your post. Photos that are not hashtagged will not be entered into the contest. Then…tell your friends and family to vote!! The cat and dog photos with the most likes received by 3:30 pm on Monday, February 24, 2014 will each win a $25 pet store gift card.

The winning photos will be determined by the highest number of likes. Winners will be announced by 5:00 pm on Monday, February 24, 2014. Winners will be announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as listed on this website.

Submissions depicting content that is deemed inappropriate, indecent, or obscene will be removed. Likewise, pictures depicting animals which appear to be sick, injured, under stress, duress, or in danger will be removed. No animals may be harmed for the purposes of this Contest (though embarrassment is perfectly acceptable). By submitting a photo, entrant agrees photograph may be used by Valley Humane Society for publicity, education, fundraising, and/or marketing purposes with no additional permission, notification, or recompense.

Pet of the Week: Nike

Nike will give you a run for your money! Bounding with energy, the one-year-old rat terrier mix is on the fast track to a new home…it could be yours! Don’t wait for a signal – just do it. Visit Nike at Valley Humane Society (VHS) Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am – 4 pm and Sundays from 12 noon – 4 pm, 3670 Nevada Street in Pleasanton. For more information please call (925) 426-8656. Be sure to cast your vote for cutest pet in our 2013 photo contest, Is Spot Hot…or Not?


Pet Photo Contest


Enter Your Pet for Free Today!

Show off the furry, feathered, freckled or scaled faces in your life with our 2014 Pet Photo Contest, Is Spot Hot…or Not? Whether your companion is decidedly dapper or happily homely, they are undoubtedly adored (and probably spoiled). All types of pets are welcome in this fun photo contest to spotlight our belief that every pet is loveable and worthy of love.

Enter Now

Entry is free. There are awesome prize packages for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Share your entry with family and friends using the easy social media and email links on your pet’s profile page. Winners will be decided by public voting, so the more support you generate, the better your pet’s chance of winning!

Votes are $1 each, with a minimum donation of $5 (five votes). Votes can be split amongst entries or placed all on one, and even saved to apply later.

Contest begins Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 10:00 am. The photo entry period runs until Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 10 pm, and the voting period ends Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 10 pm. See contest site for complete rules, prize package details, and entry information.



Pet Photo Contest Opens for Entries July 10

Cockatoos, rats, and cats, oh my! Pets of all stripes are invited to enter Valley Humane Society’s 2014 online pet photo contest, Is Spot Hot…or Not? beginning Thursday, July 10, 2014. A way for pet lovers to show off their beloved companions, the contest opens the door to both the decidedly dapper and the happily homely, illustrating that every pet is loveable and worthy of being loved.

Contest winners will be determined by public voting. Votes cost $1 each with a minimum donation of $5, or five votes (votes can be split among multiple entries). Entrants are encouraged to share their pet’s picture through email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to enlist the support of friends and family and help their pet win. Every dollar funds Valley Humane Society programs, including the rescue and rehabilitation of cats and dogs awaiting the love and security of their own forever home.

The contest runs from 10:00 am on Thursday, July 10, 2014 through 10:00 pm on Thursday, July 31, 2014 with the deadline for entries on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 10 pm. Complete rules are available through Prize packages will be given to the first, second, and third place winners as determined by public voting. Among the prizes are a Pet Food Express “My Mutt” poster, a private wine tasting at Concannon Vineyard for eight, a personal shopper experience for four at Nordstrom, gift cards, and public recognition of the winners in the Pleasanton Weekly.

Whether your pet is camera-ready or has a face only a pet parent could love, they are undoubtedly adored. Every vote is a vote for compassion and companionship. Join VHS for this fun photo contest by entering your own companion today or voting for your favorite at!

Free Pet Adoption May 31 and June 1

May 14, 2014—Water may be scarce, but there is no shortage of dogs and cats in need of loving homes. Valley Humane Society will be flooded with dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies during Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days, May 31 – June 1, 2014. All weekend long, cats, dogs, kittens, and puppies will go home fee-free to qualified adopters. Located at 3670 Nevada Street in Pleasanton, the adoption center will be open Saturday, May 31 from 8 am to 5 pm and Sunday, June 1 from 10 am to 5 pm. Valley Humane Society will also adopt animals out of Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, and from 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

“We hope to be inundated with a steady stream of adopters as well,” says Executive Director Melanie Sadek, “so that all the animals in our care can find placement.” She added that adult cats in particular tend to be overlooked, despite offering an abundance of personality and affection, and invites community members who have experienced the joy of adopting an animal companion to share their stories with friends and family to encourage pet adoption. “Word of mouth is the best way to match up individual animals with people who will treasure them,” says Sadek.

Now in its fifth year, having become America’s biggest free pet adoption event, Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days is a collaborative effort of countless people who want to save the lives of shelter animals—a testament to what can be done when people rally together for a common cause. More than 200 participating organizations in fourteen communities nationwide aim to find homes for 10,000 animals during the two-day event. Each qualifying dog or cat that finds a new home generates a grant back to the adopting shelter ranging from $500 to $2,000; Maddie’s Fund® has earmarked $10 million for this year’s event.

In preparation for the event, Valley Humane Society is seeking individuals and families who would be willing to foster animals in their home for approximately two weeks. Interested parties should contact Operations Manager Yayoi DaCosta at (925) 426-8656. For more information, about the event or available animals, please visit or the Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days website at

Envisioning a world in which every animal is loved and every person knows the love of an animal, Valley Humane Society creates a brighter future for cats and dogs by encouraging and strengthening the bond between people and pets. Valley Humane Society rescues and rehabilitates companion animals, champions responsible caretaking, shares pets’ soothing affections with people in need of comfort, and supports and preserves existing pet-guardian relationships. Whether you’d like to adopt an animal, share your passion for pets, or meet like-minded people, Valley Humane Society is Your Means to a Friend™.

Twenty years ago, the love of a little dog inspired a $300 million legacy to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. Maddie’s Fund® ( is the family foundation endowed by the founder of Workday® and PeopleSoft, Dave Duffield and his wife Cheryl. It is named in honor of Maddie, their beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997. Today, through its grant giving, hands-on animal care, research and education, Maddie’s Fund is helping to achieve and sustain a no-kill nation by providing solutions to the most challenging issues facing the animal welfare community.

2014 Garden Tour Cancelled in Support of Community Drought Efforts

April 14, 2014—With California still deep in drought, Valley Humane Society has decided to cancel its annual Hidden Gardens of the Valley tour. Though this decision will leave the organization with a budget shortfall of $10,000-13,000 dollars this year, they feel strongly that their social responsibility goes beyond the organization’s needs.

“Promoting a fundraiser which encourages participating gardeners to excessively water their yard in preparation, and requires similar use of water for tour attendees to obtain like results feels irresponsible,” said Melanie Sadek, Executive Director. The Hidden Gardens of the Valley tour has been a staple fundraising event for Valley Humane Society since 2003, raising well over $100,000 since its inception. Through it, participants have the opportunity to tour the private backyards of ten Pleasanton homes to gain useful tips and inspiration for their own yards, as well as to simply enjoy the beautifully landscaped offerings.

“This was a tough decision, made after careful thought and consideration,” said Sadek, “but we know it is the most responsible decision for the community we serve. We are hopeful we can make up this lost revenue in other ways.”

Though the water needs of dogs and cats aren’t necessarily significant compared to a normal household’s needs, Valley Humane Society recommends that some basic steps can be taken to help conserve water. For example, don’t bath your animals more than once a month, unless advised differently by your veterinarian. When bathing, try to use a sink or bathtub where water can be contained, thereby requiring that less be used. If you have an external water source for your outdoor animals, such as a hose bib attachment that allows the animal to lick it when thirsty, make sure it is secure and not leaking. Even the smallest water-saving measures can have a significant effect on overall conservation.

Community members interested donating to help Valley Humane Society reduce the loss associated with the cancellation of the garden tour are invited to do so online or in person at the adoption center. Valley Humane Society is located at 3670 Nevada Street in Pleasanton; facility hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Donors who contribute at least $25 toward the Garden Tour cancellation will receive one complimentary copy of the 2014 Wine Country Critter calendar, while supplies last.

Two Local Businesswomen Appointed to VHS Board of Directors

December 6, 2013—Valley Humane Society (VHS) is pleased to announce that Elisabeth Au-Yeung and Gina Piper have been appointed as new members to the board of directors.

Ms. Au-Yeung is vice president of marketing at Sensiba San Filippo LLP (SSF), a leading Northern California-based CPA and business consulting firm. She looks forward to working with the VHS board to leverage her more than 17 years of experience directing global and domestic marketing departments in such high-caliber companies as KPMG LLP, Deloitte Consulting, and PeopleSoft, and “contribute to this wonderful organization.” Ms. Au-Yeung and her family have lived in the Valley for more than 10 years.

Ms. Piper is a successful realtor of more than 18 years and a Pleasanton native. She has served in multiple leadership roles, including President of the Valley Marketing Association, President of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Director of the Bay East Association of Realtors, and Director of the California Association of Realtors. Ms. Piper is currently a member of the City of Pleasanton Economic Vitality Committee, a board member of Pleasanton Rotary North, and creator of the local Facebook page “Living in Pleasanton.” Giving back to the community which has given her so much is important to her.

Ms. Au-Yeung and Ms. Piper join a board of well-respected Tri-Valley professionals and animal lovers, including Board Chair Pamela Ott, the City of Pleasanton’s Economic Development Director; Treasurer Scott Paull, Senior Vice President of global supply chain and corporate operations at KLA Tencor; Secretary Phillip Vermont, partner at Randick, O’Dea & Tooliatos LLP; and Executive Committee Officer Lisa Hazlewood, Senior Manager of Human Resources at Equinix, Inc.

Feature Room Murals Celebrated November 6 with Artist’s Reception & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Carly Krakauer_crop smallOctober 31, 2013—Please join Valley Humane Society (VHS) and Tri-Valley city dignitaries for a formal ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, from 6 to 7:30 pm at 3670 Nevada Street in Pleasanton. The event marks the introduction of five newly-decorated animal feature rooms to the public, highlighting colorful murals coordinated by Carly Krakauer.

Krakauer arranged the project to beautify VHS, brightening the walls for both animals and visitors and encouraging a positive experience for pet adoption. Each mural represents one of the five cities served by VHS: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, and Danville. Krakauer’s efforts took over one year and more than 600 volunteer hours to complete, and will net her a Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony is a reception to honor Carly and the local artists who contributed their time and talent to design and paint the murals, including Debbie Wardrope, Megan Parks-Haller, Yang Liu and Kathleen Hill.

Combined with an existing mural painted by Chikako in Kitty City, the feline adoption room, the newly-vibrant feature rooms complement the happy atmosphere found at VHS.

Animal Lover’s Holiday Boutique Set for November 2

September 19, 2013—The Animal Lover’s Boutique, which is located year-round in the lobby of Feline Medical Center (FMC), 3160 Santa Rita Road in Pleasanton, will hold their 14th Annual Holiday Sale for the Animals event on Saturday, November 2nd. Proceeds from the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. boutique will benefit Jackie Barnett’s Just Like New (JLN) Fund, a Valley Humane Society program that aids sick and injured pets.

The one-day Holiday Sale will showcase a book-signing by local author, Fern Dahlstrom, of A Home For Charlie. Additional items will also be available during the Holiday Sale, including animal-themed and holiday gift items such as planters, garden art, wind chimes, ornaments, home and kitchen decor, purses, jewelry, greeting cards, handmade items and much more. “Stella and Dot” jewelry and unique pet-themed vendors will provide more shopping choices. For pampering your pet, browse the cat and dog toys and dishes while seeking opportunities to win several gift baskets.

The Just Like New Fund was founded in 1995 by Pleasanton animal advocate Jackie Barnett, who passed away in 2009. The fund, which now bears Jackie’s name, provides financial assistance to Tri-Valley residents who cannot afford emergency, lifesaving veterinary care for their pets. Since its beginning, the JLN Fund has helped save the lives of nearly 500 companion animals.

Today volunteers are continuing Jackie’s work. Volunteers raise money for the JLN Fund by making and selling catnip toys and other handmade items and by operating the Animal Lover’s Boutique at Feline Medical Center. Although FMC does not offer veterinary services on weekends, it is opening its lobby on Saturday, November 2 for the Holiday sales event. For more information, please contact Cindy Ferrin at (925) 323-8517.

VHS Volunteer Receives Red Cross Hero Award

September 10, 2013—Valley Humane Society (VHS) is pleased to announce that volunteer John Flotten will be honored by the Bay Area chapter of the American Red Cross as a Community Service Hero. John’s work on behalf of VHS community programs recommends him as “one whose actions exemplify the spirit of heroism through courage, dedication, and character.”

Giving thousands of hours of his time each year, John coordinates VHS’s AniMeals and Canine Comfort Pet Therapy programs. Under his leadership, AniMeals, which distributes dog and cat food and animal supplies to eligible low-income families, has grown from distributing a few thousand pounds of food each year to more than 30,000 pounds annually. His efforts have allowed VHS to help hundreds of loving companions remain at home with their families and out of the county shelter system.

John oversees recertification for Canine Comfort dogs and handlers and forges relationships with new facilities, schedules therapy visitations, and mentors new teams. An active handler with his dog Miles, John has helped start visitations in local school districts and city libraries, allowing thousands of school-age children to improve their reading skills through the gentle companionship of dogs. John and Miles also visit the Veteran’s Affairs Health Care Center in Livermore and work with Hope Hospice to sharing the unconditional love unique to dogs with individuals facing death.

John has been a lifelong volunteer, jumping at the chance to educate school children about the business world, teaching computer skills at the local Senior Center, sitting on education boards, and coaching sports. Valley Humane Society is proud to have him working on our behalf.

The award ceremony will take place during the 13th Annual Heroes Recognition Breakfast on Friday, September 27 from 8-10 am at the Hilton Oakland Airport, One Hegenberger Road, Oakland. Community members are invited to attend the award ceremony in support of John and other honorees; tickets may be purchased at

Teen Marketers Have Chance to Hone Skills, Help Animals

August 22, 2013—Possessing real-world experience in one’s desired field can make all the difference to a student in stiff competition for college admission. Valley Humane Society (VHS) announces a new program offering future marketers the chance to work with industry experts and hone their skills while helping animals and people in the community. The Teen Marketing Program kicks off September 9, 2013, and is limited to 20 students in each of three available sessions. Additional sessions begin December 2, 2013 and March 17, 2014.

Funded by a grant through the City of Pleasanton, the Teen Marketing Program is currently open only to Pleasanton high school juniors and seniors; there is no fee to participate. Marketing professionals will offer instruction and advice, which students will use to create and launch their own marketing campaigns to promote VHS animals, programs, and services. Campaigns will be featured in local media outlets.

Topics include graphic design, videography, social media outreach, and brand development, presented by experienced individuals from a range of both corporate and nonprofit environments: Robert Half International, Pleasanton Downtown Association, Ogden Costa Creative Group, Spring Street Studios.

Each session is comprised of twelve weekly 90-minute classes, plus 2 hours to be determined. Students interested in enrolling must commit to attending all meetings in the session to qualify for the program. In addition to hands-on marketing experience, participating students will earn 20 community service hours toward their high school civics graduation requirements. Please visit this page for class dates, downloadable application, and additional information.

Festival Makes Helping Animals a (Dog) Walk in the Park

August 1, 2013- It’s time to get moving and register for Paws in the Park, Valley Humane Society’s charity dog walk and animal festival! Scheduled for Sunday, September 22, 2013, the 3rd annual Paws in the Park offers animal lovers a fun, dynamic, easy way to support the rescue, care, and adoption of Tri-Valley dogs and cats. The walk begins at 10 am at Amador Valley Community Park in Pleasanton, followed by a free, family-friendly community celebration until 4 pm.

Walkers are encouraged to register early at and get a good start on collecting donations to help the animals. Registration fees include a t-shirt and goody bag, and cost $25 for individuals, $40 for couples, and $10 for youth age 12 and under, ARF alumni dogs with guardian, and “virtual” walkers. Children age 12 and under who do not wish to receive a t-shirt may also register for free.

Collar your friends and family to create a dog pack for extra fun, and don’t forget to bring Fido! The team that raises the most money toward the $25,000 goal will be treated to a private Yappy Hour for 20 people at Valley Humane Society. Paws in the Park also makes a great teambuilding activity for employees and coworkers. Create or join a pack today!

Everyone is invited to enjoy the afternoon’s animal festival, featuring pet-friendly vendors, canine demonstrations like rally/obedience and Frisbee, performing dogs, pet contests, children’s activities, music, and fabulous gourmet food truck fare.

Paws in the Park is presented by Pet Food Express, NBC, Contra Costa Times, and 101.7 KKIQ. Additional sponsorship opportunities and vendor booths are still available; please contact Lori Rice at for more information.

footer calendar of events

July 10: Pet Photo Contest Begins

July 14: Critter Camp – CC Essentials

July 28: Critter Camp – Cat Caretaker

August 28: New Leaf Community Market’s Community Day

September 28: Paws in the Park

Success Stories

Have you recently adopted a VHS dog or cat? Let us know how things are going! Send your cutest, clearest photos and all those adorable details about life with your new best friend to Be sure to include your first and last name and your pet’s VHS name (if known).

Your stories and photos will show others that happiness and love may be found with a rescued animal, and encourage them to consider adopting their next pet. VHS may use the items you send in print or online, in The Scoop newsletter, program brochures, donor mailings, social media, or other materials. Items may be edited for length, content, and/or quality. Need some ideas to get started?

Rusty squareRusty

To everything there is a season: it’s true for dogs as well as people. Sometimes all you need do is wait. When Rusty’s first adoption wasn’t as successful a match as it initially appeared, he quickly returned to our adoption center…along with the pang and rue that frequently sprout in such situations. But at eight years old (that’s nearly 50 human years!), Rusty was sage enough to recognize that it wouldn’t be long before he was picked again.

When the Pasqual family came to VHS looking for a canine companion, Rusty’s personality flowered. As soon as the door to his doggie condo opened, he went directly to them and rolled on his back, tail threshing. “It was as though he was waiting for us,” writes mom Cheryl. “He is a loving Corgi mix who loves playing ball and enjoys his yard. Thank you VHS!” Indeed, Rusty (now called Buster) loves to stop and smell the flowers – as you can see from this idyllic garden photo, his entry in our 2014 pet photo contest. There’s always time for that!

Stretchingout squareBiscotti & Holly

Last summer, the La Blanc family came to VHS looking for a kitten. Cat lovers and feline guardians for many years, they ended up being adopted by Biscotti and Holly (now called Hazel), two adorable sprites from different litters. “The ‘girls,’ as we affectionately call them,” mom Julie writes, “Have brought so much love and joy to our home. They are quite spoiled.” Though initially wary of each other, the pair became “the best of buddies” by Day Two.

Still, the experience was not without its casualties; namely, a houseplant. HazelcleansBiscotti SuccessAs this year’s kitten season goes into full swing, Julie offers great advice for those planning on bringing home a young animal of any kind: “Kitten-proof your home,” she cautions, “Just like you would for a child. Those sharp little kitten teeth need lots of appropriate toys to keep them occupied. We have learned to put cords away and play, play, play to wear them out.” Sounds like a cat’s idea of the perfect day!


Donner & Family Success StoriesDonner

December, 2012. Ten tiny “reindeer” pups pranced into VHS looking for love. Among them, soot-black Donner with the snowy white patch on his chest was the one who stood out the most to the Garcia family. They had a new house, and made a family decision to adopt a puppy who needed a home. Now, more than a year old, Donner has turned into one dashing dog. He enjoys daily walks, begs to play fetch with his green ball, and winning everyone over with his mischievous personality. “He came to a home full of love and affection,” writes his dad, Jesus. “It was love at first sight.” Now called Meeko, the once-miniature Lab mix weighs more than 80 pounds. Meeko and his puppy brother, Luz, enjoy lolling around the living room together during family movie time just as much as hiking in the fresh air with mom and dad.

Java home 3_editJava

Java had been percolating for a while in Kitty City when the Turner family came looking for a new feline companion during VHS’s Adults Only cat adoption promotion. After visiting with several KC residents, the Turners turned their attention to Java. That’s when her personality came bubbling out! The perky brown tabby with the milky chin captured the family’s playful spirit. Happily home, Java is generous with her kisses, is “super lovey,” and makes sure everyone gets a chance to let her sleep on their bed. “Thank you for bringing her into our lives,” they wrote, several days after taking Java home. “She’s a wonderful kitty and we love her so much!”

Bieber 4 cropBieber

Bieber wasn’t off to a very good start with his potential adopter. The tiny Chihuahua hadn’t even bothered to get up and greet her, dozing sleepily with eyelids drooping and tongue sticking out. “I don’t think so,” was the reply when Kris texted a photo of him to her boyfriend. Neither did she. Still, she returned the next day (despite injuring her knee that morning) to bring her two existing adoptive dogs–Finster a pug mix, and Mina, another Chi –for a meet-and-greet. The trio clicked, and Bieber found himself the coddled baby of a very loving family. Renamed Eddie, the timid, indifferent dog soon blossomed into an energetic, playful, fun-loving friend. Says mom Kris, “I thought I was bringing him home for his sake, but he’s given me so much.” She notes that it took being loved and showing love to create the beautiful pup she knows today. “I can’t imagine life without him!”

Ozzie Adoption Success pageOzzie

Just a little ball of fluff with oversized paws, Ozzie was one kitten who didn’t have to worry about losing his “mittens!” The long haired tabby was a polydactyl with more than the usual number of toes. Adopted during our 2012 Maddie’s Adoptathon, tiny Ozzie went home to live with two adult tabbies, Elliott and Olivia…and now he’s as big as they are! His extra toes still have him strutting around the house, but his ego isn’t as big as his feet. Ozzie is besties with Elliott and Olivia would do anything for him! “Ozzie is a huge addition to our family,” says his adopter. “We love him so much. Thanks again for the wonderful work you do.”

Rudy fireplace webRudy (dog)

Adrift on the streets, Rudy landed at Tri-City Animal Shelter in Fremont as a stray. Unfortunately, the public shelter was overflowing with animals. They sent out an SOS, and VHS responded. Soon, the one-year-old Border Collie mix was headed for safe waters. With his mismatched eyes and rusty spots, however, Rudy didn’t dock here long! In June he set sail with new adopters, the Scaruffi family. Now called SS Murphy Blue (the SS stands for “Short Stuff”), this salty pup is riding high. He captains a fleet of mutinous bunny rabbits and keeps his favorite peanut butter-filled bone closer than a lifejacket. His adopter reports, “He loves his squeaky toys and always brings one on the bed when he wakes me in the morning,” reports Mom Debra. This is one sea dog who knows how to keep his crew happy!

Rudy & Siamese sisterRudy (cat)

Rudy’s imperial bearing is evident in every picture the large orange and white feline appears in. From his noble adoption photo standing between his new guardian and her companion, to a regal portrait pose with his new fur-sister, Rudy’s royalty shines through. And he’s definitely become king of the castle in his new home! Rudy’s new guardian reports that he’s energetic and full of love for his older Siamese sister. “Thank you all so much for your hard work and for all the happiness you help bring to these animals and families every day,” she writes. “Rudy has been such a joy and a great addition to our family.” No doubt Rudy will reign in their hearts for many years to come!

KumaKuma drink_crop

With the face of a teddy bear and the body of a grizzly bear, 5-year-old Kuma was a study in contradictions. Fortunately the grinning Shepherd mix found himself an adopter who had no issues cuddling with a pup the size of a miniature horse. His first day home, Kuma went straight for a puddle of water in front of the house and plopped down like it was his own personal water trough. “We’re going to buy him a small, shallow pool to have fun in,” writes his new mom. Better watch out for those cannonballs!


Toulouse & BetaWEB

Toulouse and Beta aren’t anything alike. Toulouse is splashed with black and white like an abstract artist’s canvas, while Beta bears the more orderly tiger stripes of a brown tabby. Toulouse prefers to bury himself in blankets for a power nap, while Beta would much rather romp with visiting doggie friends. Fortunately, the two have the best possible thing in common: a family. After many trips to VHS looking for the perfect kitten, it turned out that for adopters Adam and Anjuli, there were two. So it was that Toulouse and Beta (now named Keeber) share love and laughter with a wonderful new family, including new sibling Gia, a German Shepherd who adores them. “They constantly keep us laughing,” says Anjuli. “They have both brought so much joy to everyone who meets them!”

Joe Joe_crop

Joe the kitten: proof positive that good things come in small packages. He was just a ball of grey fluff, with owl eyes as big as a barn, and shy to boot…yet Joe managed to steal the hearts of the Hashimoto family. “Bringing Joe into our home is one of the most joyful things we could have ever done,” they write.

Now called Heizo, Joe sleeps with them on the bed. He’s all grown up and is well-spoiled with love and attention, though he’s still a tad shy with strangers. His loves chasing a laser light while playing with the family’s daughter. “We are very happy to have him as family,” writes the Hashimoto family. “Thank you so much for letting us adopt him.”

GracieGracie, an adopted dog

In January, VHS rescued a vivacious Chihuahua mix whose hind leg was a dangling ruin. Found as a stray, perhaps hit by a car…who knows how long she wandered in pain? But it didn’t dampen her spirits a bit. Quick as a flash, we got her to a veterinarian, where the mangled mess was removed. Then we asked our Facebook friends to help us name the little dog, and Gracie kindled our imagination.

She didn’t bask long in the warmth of our affections, however…Gracie promptly got herself adopted by the Dunia family, whose hearts she melted. Though they renamed the little dog Sparkie, the Dunia family reports she could have been called Mini-Me because of her resemblance to their other dog, Carmichael. “She is a snuggle bug,” says dad Chris. “The first night my boys had with her we had to keep setting the timer so they could take turns holding her.” He also notes that Gracie doesn’t miss her amputated leg. No wonder…she has gained so much more!

TwizzlerTwizzler, a cat

Twizzler had enough siblings and cousins to fill a concession stand. The cats came to VHS as part of a bulk private surrender from a guardian who realized that her feline fascination had grown beyond her capacity to care for them. One by one, Dot, Skittle, Starburst, and the gang went home to sweeten the lives of new families. Yet long after his candy-coated siblings were gone, Twizzler, a handsome, affectionate, and lively orange tabby remained at VHS awaiting adoption.

Hanging near Twizzler’s kennel was a letter written by one of his foster guardians recommending him as a very nice cat. It was that letter which convinced the Nostrand family that Twizzler would be the perfect addition to their family. Being good with kids just sweetened the deal. Now called Buster Posey, Twizzler has fully adjusted to family life. “I know he was with you a long time,” says his new mom. “We are very grateful for the good care he received from VHS.”

Ideas to Get Started

  • Did you change your pet’s name?
  • What is the new name? How did you come up with it?
  • How does your pet interact with others in your household (people and pets)?
  • What does your pet like to do/play with?
  • Does your pet exhibit any quirky behavior or personality traits?
  • Where does your pet sleep?

Past Events

Cinema Series at Wente Formula

Enjoy a family evening under the stars this summer with The Cinema at Wente Vineyards. Dine at the Reel Classics Cafe, where casual offerings are served outdoors on our terraced lawn, or make reservations in The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. All dining options are available before the start of feature presentation. All movies are complimentary and begin at Twilight. Come early and enjoy music performed by various winners of Livermore’s Got Talent competition. Cafe and seating open at 6:30pm!

  • Wizard of Oz 6/30 Costume Contest and Humane Society Pet Adoption
    Tiantian Lan (Viola) 7:30 performance. 18 and over 1st place winner of Livermore’s Got Talent.
  • Young Frankenstein 7/28
    Belinda & Virginia Yan, Gu-zheng music (Chinese harp) 7:30 performance. 17 and younger 1st place winner of Livermore’s Got Talent.
  • Dirty Dancing 8/25
    Ryan Flynn – Flamenco guitar 7:30 performance. Text Vote winner of Livermore’s Got Talent.

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VHS Hidden Gardens of the Valley Tour Will Benefit Homeless Animals

The sixth annual “Hidden Gardens of the Valley Tour,” a fund-raiser for Valley Humane Society, will take place on Sunday, May 15 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

The event features a self-guided tour that will take participants to 10 unique and outstanding gardens at private homes in Pleasanton. The tour provides an excellent opportunity to gain ideas and inspirations for garden designs, fountains, flower and shrub combinations, decks, patios, gazebos, outdoor kitchens — and more.

Television personality Buzz Bertolero, the “dirt gardener,” will be on hand at one of the tour locations to chat and answer gardening questions.

Non-refundable tickets are $35 each and can be purchased online at and at Valley Humane Society, 3670 Nevada Street, Pleasanton. Cash, checks, MasterCard and Visa are accepted at VHS. Tickets are also available at Alden Lane Nursery, 981 Alden Lane, Livermore; Armstrong Garden Center, 7360 San Ramon Road, Dublin; and the following Pleasanton locations: Murphy’s Paw, 410 Main Street; Towne Center Books, 555 Main Street; The Wine Steward, 641 Main Street; and Western Garden Nursery, 2756 Vineyard Avenue.

Garage Sale for the Animals

Valley Humane Society will hold a fundraising Garage Sale for the Animals on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3229 Curtis Circle, Pleasanton (in Parkside near the Pleasanton Sports Park). All proceeds will benefit Valley Humane Society’s building campaign and animal care programs. The two-day sale will feature a wide variety of donated items including furniture, small appliances, home decor, housewares, linens, books, jewelry, toys, sports equipment, and gently used children’s and adult’s clothing. We also have a well-maintained and very clean Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerator, as well as a stereo system and computer equipment. For more information contact Vicki Zeigler, garage sale chairperson, at (925) 872-7668;

Spring Fling- Animal Lover’s Boutique

A special one day boutique featuring gifts for pets and the people who love them, will be held at Feline Medical Center (3160 Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton). Proceeds will benefit Jackie Barnett’s Just Like New Fund, a VHS program that provides financial assistance to pet owners who cannot afford emergency life-saving veterinary care for their pets. The Animal Lover’s Boutique which is located year-round in the FMC lobby will be expanded for this special Saturday event that will showcase new items for spring and Mother’s Day including animal themed garden art, wind chimes, scarves, handbags, and much, much more. The Spring Fling will be held on Saturday, April 17th from 10AM-4PM.

Pet First Aid Fundraiser

The American Safety Academy is hosting four different ‘Pet First Aid’ sessions at their Dublin location late February. The sessions costs $50 and all of the proceeds benefit Valley Humane Society. You can reserve your spot in one of these classes at 1.877.380.4CPR. The two dates offered are February 26 and February 27.

6500 Dublin Boulevard, Suite 100 Dublin, CA 94568

The course will cover topics such as recognizing an emergency, performing CPR and first aid, treating common illnesses or poisoning, administering medications, stocking a first aid kit and more!

Pet Food Express Dog Wash Fundraiser

Throughout the whole month of January, Pet Food Express hosted a ‘Pet Bath’ Fundraiser. Anybody who visited the Pleasanton store anytime in January and purchased tokens for a dog bath, all of the proceeds went directly to Valley Humane Society. The tokens could be used at anytime, not just January, which was the best part! Pet Food Express is located on 1737 Santa Rita Road in Pleasanton.

After taking time to tally up all of the monetary donations, the event raised $7,950.


July 10: Pet Photo Contest Begins
July 14: Critter Camp – CC Essentials
July 28: Critter Camp – Cat Caretaker
August 28: New Leaf Community Market’s Community Day
September 28: Paws in the Park