• Contra Costa Humane Society (CCHS) - December 5, 2017


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    For today’s #TinaTuesday I had the opportunity to visit with Cheryl Nickerson (Executive Director) at the Contra Costa Humane Society.  Let me just say, I almost walked out of there with a kitten.  I was smitten.  I still may go back. 😉
    The Contra Costa Humane Society (CCHS) is a private non-profit organization that is not related to any other humane society, SPCA, rescue group, county shelter or government agency.  All of their funding comes from private and corporate donations as well as grants.  Their mission is “to improve the quality of life for animals, decrease euthanasia rates, and educate the public to foster compassion, responsibility and respect for animals.” Basically, (CCHS) gets their animals from the local animal shelters who are at risk of “running out of time” at those shelters.  The local shelters can get inundated by the sheer number of animals that are surrendered on a daily basis, and they work very hard to find homes for the many animals at their facilities, but sometimes they can’t.  This is where CCHS comes into the picture.   For dogs, because CCHS’s current location doesn’t have room to shelter them, CCHS has a Foster Program.  These dogs are placed in CCHS foster homes and given the care needed to re-adjust to life in a home.  All dogs are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and given age-appropriate vaccinations for their new home. Oftentimes, further medical care has been given, such as flea treatment, heartworm treatment, de-worming, stool samples, or specific surgeries. On average, CCHS invests over $300.00 per dog, which includes their medical treatment, food, treats, toys and other needs. Once they are ready, they are placed as available for adoption to the public.  In 2010, CCHS developed what they call “Kitty Corner,”  which is a free-roam cat shelter where the cats can be lounging in the sun, or sprawling out on comfy beds, cat towers, chairs and perches.  It’s also a place for potential adopters to spend time with the cats in a relaxed, living room like environment.  All of the cats are spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and FeLV/FIV tested (over 6 months of age) and are ready to be adopted into their forever home. 
    Here are some of the other programs CCHS has…
    AniMeals: In partnership with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, CCHS distributes pet food and supplies to the neediest families, in order to help them keep their pets. The pet food and supplies are all donated from community groups, businesses and individuals.  They would love for more small businesses to host an AniMeals food drive.  They are always in need of kitty litter, new leashes, food dishes and other animal supplies.
    Education and Resources: CCHS helps educate the public on animal-care issues, including owner pet-care issues and advocacy.
    Re-homing Assistance Program: CCHS’s Re-Homing Assistance Program is a service provided to the public when they can no longer care for their companion cats and dogs. Oftentimes, a situation arises in which an animal must be re-homed, and after exploring all other options, CCHS will post a photo and biography of the companion animal available for re-homing. These are not animals in CCHS foster care; rather, CCHS acts as a third-party advertising method for the animal. 
    Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP reduces the number of unwanted pets in our county by providing financial assistance to low-income residents to have their animals spayed or neutered. They also provide services for feral cats.
    Phinny Fund for Emergency Medical and Special Needs Animals:  This fund was named after a recuse dog named Phinny and it enables CCHS to provide in-need dogs and cats the ability to receive the specialty care necessary to lead fulfilling, normal lives.  Phinny’s story is a sad story, but with a great ending.  If you want to read more about Phinny and the Phinny fund you can go here https://www.cchumane.org/phinny-fund-for-emergency-medical-and-special-needs-animals/  
    Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center, Danville: This is a new partnership with Pet Food Express in Danville that was started in October 2017, where they have an onsite cat adoption center (M-F 9:30-8pm; Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 10-6pm).
    Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to share all that CCHS is doing for animals in need throughout our community.  I am so grateful for your organization, staff and 170 volunteers that save and care for as many animals as possible.  By the way, CCHS is looking to move into a bigger facility in the next few years, so they can start accommodating dogs and more cats.  If you would like to help them in their endeavor to make this happen, give Cheryl a call.  For more information on their programs and events you can go to their website https://www.cchumane.org/

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