As a young mother, Kirby was brought to the local county shelter with her three young babies.

In the short time she was there, the volunteers helped her nurse her young children, fed her, and cared for her. The county shelter was not the ideal place for a mom with three babies. A staff member at the shelter saw the sadness in her eyes and that was when we received the call.

It was the middle of March and it was still cold out; we hadn’t expected kitten season so soon. We were very wrong. East County Animal Shelter had called us, the Valley Humane Society, to tell us about Kirby and her young babies who were just days old. We were ecstatic because it was our first “mom and babies” of the season. This meant that kitten season was finally upon us!

Our Animal Care Manager started calling her foster families and seeing who was interested. We got a quick response from a new foster who wanted to get her feet wet in the kitten fostering world. We knew this family would do a great job and we couldn’t wait to go pick up Kirby and her kids. Shortly after confirming the foster family, our Animal Care Manager drove down to ECAS with a kennel in tote. When she arrived, she met a beautiful brown tabby no older than a year, with three small kittens. There were two brown tabbies and one Siamese.

We were still in our old building at the time and needed to keep them healthy until their foster home arrived. The safest place to hold them was our storage room.

This may sound silly, but they were not at risk of catching anything that may have been floating in the air there. While our Animal Care Manager and myself sat in the storage room with this new mom, we took photos and thought of name ideas.

Sitting next to us in the room was no other than a vacuum cleaner. As silly as it was, we named those kitties after vacuum cleaners. As you already know, the beautiful brown tabby mother was named Kirby. Her three kittens were named Dyson, Hoover, and Bissell.

Kirby and her kids went into foster only a short time after we named them. Their foster family exclaimed that Kirby was quite the talkative cat and loved chatting. Kirby and her babies were in foster for about two months until they could all get spayed and neutered.

Once they were all fixed, they came back into the shelter and were put up for adoption. Bissell, Hoover, and Dyson were all adopted almost immediately. Yet, Kirby stayed behind and nobody noticed her true beauty and kindness.

Our staff members could tell she was getting frustrated with having to live her life in a kennel. Our staff and volunteers were doing everything we could to try and comfort her and assure her that she too would find her forever home shortly.

We had even put her in one of our back rooms and she had the ability to be out all day in this room without having to be kenneled.

Nothing seemed to help, Kirby was very stressed out and we could all tell that all she wanted was a forever home. Then, the time came for us to move out of the old modular and into the brand new facility next door. Kirby was one of the first ones to move into the new Kitty City.

We chose one of the biggest kennels and gave her the comfiest beds. But, even as time passed, she still was unhappy. Our volunteers would sit and talk to her and let her out into our enclosed cat run, hoping this would help her out. The cat run certainly eased her spirits, but she still chose to be grumpy instead of happy.

After about two months of living in Kitty City, I couldn’t handle seeing Kirby so upset anymore. She was so stressed that she had even developed diarrhea and began acting very lethargic. During the day, I took her out of her kennel and brought her up to my desk in the reception area. I made sure she had access to a litter box and food. That was when I fell in love. Kirby’s attitude had totally changed; she just needed somebody to be her “person.”

After two weeks of her spending the daytime in our reception area, I permanently moved her up here. She got to live in the office, making her our “office cat.” Just a few short days after, she perked up and her diarrhea stopped. Kirby was finally happy.

I can definitely say that Kirby is a sassy cat but she means well. She is a typical cat; she will love you on her own terms. But, she will always chat with you and keep you occupied if you are looking for a friend. She has charmed our office staff and volunteers and everybody always asks, “Where is Kirby?”, “How is she doing today?”

We all love her and have taken her under our wings. Sometimes I call her “my own,” but I know I cannot take her and I play the role of a temporary foster mom for her.

I have two alpha female cats at home and neither would be pleased if I brought another alpha cat in. I also just adopted a wild puppy who would frighten Kirby. Nonetheless, I love this cat with all of my heart and it pains me to see her stuck here at the shelter and not in a forever home bonding with her “person.”

Kirby is a delightful cat. When I come in in the morning, she greets me with a head butt and many loud purrs. When I sit at my desk, she jumps up and curls up behind me. Sometimes she will jump on top of my purse and lay there for hours.

Aside from these two locations, she has a kitty castle that she sleeps in. Her kitty castle is one of her favorites! Lastly, our Executive Director’s office has two beautiful windows that Kirby absolutely adores. Kirby enjoys being an indoor kitty, but if you have an enclosed kitty area in your backyard, she would be delighted.

Kirby is a wonderful cat who just needs somebody patient and willing to take the time to get to know her.  She would make an absolutely wonderful feline friend and I promise you she will keep you company by curling up next to you and chatting to you when you engage her. Kirby deserves more than living as an “office cat” and I want to see her find a home sooner rather than later.

Please help me find this beautiful, chatty kitty find a forever home. Kirby will be waiting for you.

If you are interested in Kirby or any other pet at the Valley Humane Society, call 925- 426-8656.

Blog Redesign

Welcome back to the brand new VHS Blog!
We know it has been out of “service” for a while, but it is getting booted back up bigger and better than ever.
Expect to see more photos, more stories, more Pet of the Weeks, and more updates, more often!

I hope you look forward to it.

Top 15 Update

Here is an update for the Top 15 (currently) in the Calendar Contest!

1. Photo 15 Sydney (590 votes)

2. Photo 14 Dublin & Zoe (431 votes)

3. Photo 18 Buddy C (420 votes)

4. Photo 67 Mocha (336 votes)

5. Photo 16 Buddy W. (305 votes)

6. Photo 58 Buddy A. (215 votes)

7. Photo 29 Martini (181 votes)

8. Photo 36 Alfie (146 votes)

9. Photo 60 Lucy (130 votes)

10. Photo 31 Bichette (121 votes)

12. Photo 12 Three Brothers (110 votes)

12. Photo 13 Moses (110 votes)

13. Photo 19 Betty & Wilma (105 votes)

14. Photo 27 Licorice (85 votes)

15. Photo 15 Cookie (78 votes)

Total votes: 4169

Keep voting folks! The contest doesn’t end for another 10 days!

2012 Calendar Contest!

Wanna Make Your Pet a Star?

Submit photos of your favorite companion from

July 1, 2011 through July 22, 2011 and enter your cute pet into our 2011 Calendar Contest!

Photos may be submitted to Melissa at VHS via email to

or mail them to

VHS Calendar Contest, 3670 Nevada Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566

Each submission is $15. (please note: not all photos submitted make it into the top 50 for voting)


– No cell phone photos are accepted.

– No people in photos.

All companion animal photos are welcome: dogs, cats, birds, pigs, reptiles, etc.

Online public voting for the Top 50 photos will begin at midnight on August 4, 2011 and end at midnight on August 31, 2011.

Calendars will be available for purchase in November.

All proceeds from the calendar contest benefit the homeless pets of Valley Humane Society. Give us a call for more information at 925.426.8656.

No Place to Call Home

Phoebe was not ready to come back to the shelter when she did. She had such a perfect life where she was and she had no clue what was happening to her. About four years ago, we rescued a five year old cat named Jellybean from impending euthanasia at a local county shelter. She was all black and was a bit shy. When we rescued her, we did not know what a special cat she would be. As she sat in our adoptable cat room, nobody ever paid any attention to her; instead, visitors went straight to the kittens and the younger, “better” looking cats. The stress of not being in a home caused Jellybean to sit in her kennel and pull out chunks of her hair. Although we gave her some medicine to help her be a bit less stressed, it did not seem to help. One volunteer saw the hurt in Jellybean’s eyes and could not stand it anymore. That day was probably the best day of Jellybean’s life. Volunteer Susan took Jellybean home to a warm, caring, and comforting environment. Her first day at home, Susan renamed her Phoebe as it fit her personality better. Susan was a regular volunteer, which meant that we got updates at the center daily on how she was doing. We loved the stories she told us and listened attentively. Phoebe lived happily and quietly in Susan’s home for almost five years. Her peaceful life changed suddenly one day when Susan was diagnosed with cancer.

All of Susan’s family lived out of state and Phoebe had nowhere to go while her mom was in the hospital. While we waited patiently for Susan’s recovery, Phoebe spent time in an extra office at Valley Humane Society. But, when we needed the office, she would go back and forth between foster homes. Not only was this stressful for her, but it was hard for Susan to know that her kitty was being transferred from home to home. The hair pulling problem quickly started again, and we all just wanted Phoebe to feel better. Every once in a while when Susan was feeling okay, she would go and visit Phoebe wherever she was at. One day, we got the phone call that we had been dreading for so long. After a long battle, Susan had passed away from cancer. This left Phoebe homeless and she never got to say her final goodbyes to her mom. Poor Phoebe was a ten year old kitty with no place to go. We took her back into our adoption program here at the center where she has been for over four months. Just like before, everybody passes her by and goes to look at the young and the playful.

Phoebe is a delightful cat with so much love to give. She greets visitors when they walk into our adoptable cat room and enjoys laying out in the sunshine with a person there talking to her gently or petting her. Although she is ten, that does not mean that she has a short life left. Most cats can live up to twenty years, which means she is only half way done living her life. She would make the perfect addition to your home and would provide you many years of love and comfort. Although we do everything we can here to comfort her, nothing is better than a “fur-ever” home.

Blog Birthday

Hello everybody,

This Sunday, the blog will be celebrating it’s second birthday. Can you believe that? I know I sure can’t.
It’s been a swell two years. Hopefully these stories have intrigued your interest in Valley Humane and I hope to continue writing great things for everybody to read.
If there is something related to VHS you would like me to write about, please let me know in the comments or by emailing me at
Thanks everybody!

Pleasanton Patch

Hello all! I was asked to start blogging with the Pleasanton Patch and I wanted to share my first post with you too!

Here it is:

My name is Melissa and I work for Valley Humane Society, Pleasanton’s very own no-kill animal center. I started at Valley Humane Society when I first attended a new volunteer orientation in October of 2007. From the first time I stepped in the door, I felt the warm energy and knew I belonged! Animals were always my passion, and now I had a place to share my love for our feline and canine companions. When I began, I volunteered with the Care & Comfort Team where I cleaned up after and fed kitties once a week. Every Thursday I came in and worked with two loyal volunteers, Sharon and Susan. Quickly, we all became friends and I knew that I never wanted to leave! Soon after starting, I was offered an opportunity to take our “Pet of the Week” onto local TV30 every Thursday. I jumped at the chance! Every Thursday from November 2007 until July 2008, when the news program’s budget was cut, I took a new kitty on local TV. From this, my passion for the organization only grew. After a short time helping out at our summer camp, Critter Camp, I was offered a job as an ‘Animal Care Assistant’.

I still remember my first day “on the job”. When I was handed a key to our modular and began training, I felt so proud and so happy to be helping hundreds of orphaned animals. As the months grew on, I became more and more involved with VHS and consistently wanted the best for us. At school, I would pass out flyers or pass on the word about what we do in hopes other people would understand. In February of 2010, VHS got its first big chance, when the Board of Directors and senior staff decided that we were able to start building a real facility. This real facility would be able to house plenty more cats and we would finally be able to accommodate and house dogs! As the days passed on, I caught myself dreaming about the new facility, and envisioning myself sitting in it, and saving more and more lives!

In August of 2010, construction began. I began a photo documentary of the move and now have posted those photos on the Valley Humane Society Facebook page. The photos can be found here. The construction process was long, but it was so worth it. About one month ago, the construction crew finished up. Although we are still not moved in, we have began slowly moving in boxes and some miscellaneous items. Just today, we moved cabinets out of the modular we are in now into the storage room in the new facility. We also have our current work room all packed up and ready to move next door! Currently, we are gearing up for the Maddie’s Fund Adoptathon, and we could not be more excited!

In this blog, I will be able to update you on current VHS happenings and events. I cannot be more excited to share my stories and reflections with an organization that I am so fond of and proud of. Thank you everybody!

Update on VHS Cat Melody

I recieved this email today, and I wanted to share:

“Wanted to send you a note about Melody who we have renamed “Bitsey”. She is one year old today and absolutely adorable!
We think she is about full grown now and is on the smaller size. She is 7 lbs 2 oz.
She is very playful — loves her toys and carries them around. She sits by the computer and watches the screen while we work. She especially loves to eat and knows the words, “dinner”, “treat”, “eat”, “kitchen” and probably a few more…
Bitsey sleeps with us in bed and is learning to not start playing until we get up (5:00 is too early!). She and Bee Gee (who was originally Cha-Cha, and is your cat’s sister) have really developed a nice relationship. They play together until Bee Gee (now 3) gets tired and cuts it off. If it’s real cold, they’ll sleep next to each other.
Well, this is getting too long and is probably pretty normal cat info. We just wanted to thank you, the wonderful foster homes and all the volunteers for working hard to give these cats and kittens a good temporary living place.
We absolutely love Bitsey and wanted to let you know that she is doing great!

Tom and Eunice”

The sound of barking dogs echoes through the hallways of Valley Humane Society’s brand new animal adoption and education center. Although the Pleasanton animal welfare organization is still a few weeks away from moving into their new facility, they have taken on the task of assisting with a dog rescue, in cooperation with the Animal Planet Confessions: Animal Hoarding.

Ten mixed-breed dogs ranging in age from three months to four years were removed from a home in the Sacramento area on Monday, April 18 by a team from Valley Humane, with the cooperation of the dogs’ owner. “The owner voluntarily surrendered his dogs,” said Steve Glavan, Valley Humane Society’s Executive Director. “This was not a criminal case, and this individual and his family have taken steps to address this issue with our help.” According to Jereme Watt, producer for the Animal Planet program, “We wanted to work with a no-kill shelter with a strong reputation for animal care and placement and Valley Humane came highly recommended. They were sensitive to the situation, professional, and from watching them work we had the utmost confidence that all the animals would be cared for and find good homes.”

Valley Humane Society will be working with local experts and their own staff to assess the physical and behavioral condition of each of the dogs in the coming days, with the goal of making them available for adoption as they are ready. According to Glavan, “We know that a lot of people have a passion for animals that come out of situations like this. These are special dogs, and some may require patience and love to adjust, but we believe we can find a loving home for every one of them.” Valley Humane Society plans to update the progress of these dogs regularly on their Facebook site, as well as a blog, both of which are accessible from their website,

Glavan recognizes that taking on this project will stretch Valley Humane’s resources, but says the opportunity is too important to pass up. “We still need to raise a significant amount of money as we move into our new facility, but this is our mission. We are confident that the community will respond to support this effort, and the work that Valley Humane Society does on a regular basis.” Glavan says that he is not afraid to ask for support. He is asking people to give, and give generously to Valley Humane. “We need financial support, not only to move into our new facility, but to sustain the programs that are so vital to our community.” Local companies, including Murphy’s Paw and Pet Food Express, have already stepped up to provide supplies and volunteers to assist with the care of the rescued dogs.

The story will air on Animal Planet’s new hit series “Confessions: Animal Hoarding.” The series explores stories of people who own more pets then they can care for. The problem of animal hoarding is little understood, but far more common than most people realize. There are over 3000 reported cases a year, and at least ten times that number that go unreported. The series brings families together to voluntarily find humane solutions that work for both pets and people.If you know someone who might be an animal hoarder, you can learn more

To learn how you can contribute directly to the ongoing care of the Valley Humane rescue dogs, or support Valley Humane Society’s ongoing programs, visit their website or call Valley Humane’s office at (925) 426-8656.

New Families

Here are Bruschetta and Andy in their new homes. 😀