Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Part Two: Making Change For Animals and A Give Away Contest

Hiya! Savannah here!! Well this is a really exciting post today,at least for me…

If you read my B4TC post on July 15, you remember I talked about a Person, Miss Tammy, a dog, Sammie, and Pilots, Pilots ‘N Paws.

Now, I am taking about another pilot, a van, lots of people, some dogs and two Food Banks…all working together to Be the Change for Animals.  Cool, huh??

Miss Tammy is the link to this because she volunteers with my former shelter  called Kitty Corner, and it is owned and operated by a private, non profit organization called the Contra Costa Humane Society (CCHS).  My Mom and Dad volunteer here too.

CCHS has several programs, but I’m just going to share a couple of really unique ones I want to show off to my readers.

First, the dogs, the van, the pilot and some people….

CCHS partnered with our local county public shelter,  Contra Costa Animal Services and with a private non profit no kill shelter, Southern Oregon Humane Society, to put into action a program called Operation Rescue Paws.

CCHS works with Contra Costa Animal Services to pull dogs from this shelter, which does euthanize, and then CCHS coordinates transportation for the dogs to Southern Oregon Humane Society where they have furrever homes waiting for them!!! YEA!!!

This is mostly small dogs…at risk of euthanization and the Oregon shelter guarantees adoption.

Now for the transport from Northern California to Southern Oregon. Here comes the pilot and the van!!

The first group of dogs was small, only 4 or 5 of them…and a very kind pilot, not part of Pilots N Paws, volunteered to transport these dogs to Southern Oregon.

…loading up…

…ready for take off!!!!…

…now the people volunteering to drive the van in stages to Oregon…

…this van had 14 dogs…

…some passengers before loading…

…and look at this special little doggie…he was fine…just needed the cone thingy ‘cuz of a small issue…

Isn’t that a pawsome program!! And CCHS will be doing it again…as soon as they can get some funds raised to help with the cost. Of course, they also have to coordinate foster homes for a few days for all those doggies before they go on the trip to Sourthern Oregon.  Lots, and lots of work…but what a great ending!

Another program CCHS has…and I really think this one is totally cool…helps dogs and cats and people!!

Here come some more people, some dogs and cats, and two food banks.

All of us cats and dogs know how much joy, love and healing comfort we bring to our human families.  But as the peeps’ economy has sort’a tanked…so many peeps struggle to not only feed their human family, but their aniFamily members too.

So, CCHS partners with two local county food banks, Contra Costa County Food Bank and Solano County Food Bank, to help families be able to feed and therefore keep their aniFamily members.

The food banks give CCHS any dog or cat food they collect. CCHS then puts it into 4-6 pound bags (dry food…canned food is distributed by so many cans based on need) …and then CCHS distributes the dog and cat food on the same day and site each month that the food bank distributes people food.

As with people food banks, our program called Animeals, is intended to only be supplemental. CCHS cannot provide a whole month of food, but we are trying to help people keep their dogs and cats.

CCHS does have one requirement, and it aligns (vocab builder) with their Spay and Neuter services…that requirement is that people who receive the supplement dog and cat food must show that their pets are spayed or neutered. (a sort’a sad reflection on peeps’ lack of education about the need to spay and neuter…is that when CCHS instituted this requirement…the number of peeps coming for dog and cat food dropped by about 150)

…CCHS has food barrels distributed around our county…they are placed at many pet food stores…asking people to donate…

…this is a distribution day…

I hope you learned about CCHS and maybe got some ideas for programs like these in your area…

It is just one more way that people, a van, a pilot, and rescue organizations and food banks are being the change for animals every day.


Keeping the focus on Being The Change for Animals and Rescue…I am giving away 5 copies of the great book I talked about in my July 15 post… Dog Is My Co-Pilot, by Patrick Regan.

  • To win, just leave a comment and tell me “what have you done to rescue a cat or dog?”  Briefly mention on or two challenges you overcame with your rescue
  • It can be about your own dog or cat you rescued or maybe you helped someone else
  • This is open to all readers to whom I can send the book via AMAZON…I will order it and have it shipped to you direct from AMAZON

How to select the 5 winners…hmmmmm…tapping claw up,down,up,down…AHHH HAA..

  • I will have Miss Tammy read all the comments and pick the 5 that make her have  “HAPPY LEAKY EYES”! … I’m talkin’ about the leaky eyes like lots of you had when you read about her dog, Sammie.

Mom is reading the book to me every night before bed…a couple of stories each night….we sniffle…hug each other and smile a lot…I know  you will enjoy this book.

Paw Pats, Savannah

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51 thoughts on “Part Two: Making Change For Animals and A Give Away Contest

  1. Well, evFURRY other Sunday, I let Mom take The Zen-terra to help get khanines khloser to home!

    They usually start Saturday AM in Georgia – overnight in Roanoke VA or so – then hit the road again on Sunday AM with New Jersey being the usual final stop – although sometimes it goes to New York – especially if the passenger(s) are heading to Connecticut –

    Mom has been doing this fur four years now – June 2008 was her first time – she was akhtually doing them weekly but fur various reasons, usually does them bi-weekly –

    Each of the legs are 45-75 miles – following naturally along I81 – Mom’s roundtrip is just under 200 miles as we are about 25 or so miles from Harrisburg –
    If necessary, Mom will do Harrisburg to Allentown instead of Hagerstown to Harrisburg – OR she’ll even split a leg if that will keep the transport from failing –

    She’s met SO many great people – and SO many great passengers – with about a dozen or so touching her heart in THAT way – meaning, she would have LOVED to bring them home – but in most cases, her passengers already have homes waiting!

    Of course, Mom’s most special reskhue was ME! Six years ago as of 8/26 – I was her birthday pressie to herself SO we share a Gotcha Day! I khame from our lokhal SPCA which is about two miles from here!

    I hope this will khover what woo wanted to see in a post!?!

    BTW, what a great great topikh! Just look bakhk our my Monday MOMday posts fur more proof!


    • awww Khyra!!! I luvluvluv this story!!! and now my Mom is gonna find out how she can help do transport here in Nor Calif…she has a TOyota 4 RUnner…and know dogs…she used to show, train, Sibes…only 14 years….but she was really good…IMHO!!! Thanks so much…

  2. We have a special place in our hearts for pilots who volunteer to do this – what a wonderful gift it is! Ryker was rescued from a breeder who was going to have him put down because he had a corona virus. Maxwell was rescued with horrid health issues (upper respiratory, awful ear infections, and deaf). In both cases, we spent literally months and months (almost hal a year in Maxie’s case) caring for them daily and nursing them back to health. Ryker never was 100% healthy but he brought us joy for every one of the almost 14 years he was with us. Thankfully, Maxie has returned to complete and robust health – except for his hearing impairment. Because of these cats, I’ll always look for a less-adoptable cat or one with special needs. The rewards are tremendous!

  3. I also want to share another story, about another puppy farm dog my Aunt took on before she met Missy. Amber was a cavilier king charles spainel.

    She was beautiful but ungainly. Her legs bent into awkward positions which made walking hard. Her legs were like this because of so many forced pregnancies in a tiny space with hardly any room to move. She was scared of everything. Illness and fear followed her every step. She lived with my Aunt for nearly eighteen months and was just begining to trust humans again when she passed away. Unfortunately, despite only being young the years of abuse had taken their toll on her body. She was useful to the original owner for her beauty. How awful is that? He destroyed her beautiful body but not her spirit. She fought till the very end.

    Although she never really trusted anyone again I like to think that she was happier with my Aunt than she had ever been before. She died a happy dog with a safe home, good veterinary care, a loving family and with the knowledgable that not everyone was going to beat her or lock her in a dark space and steal her puppies.

    It is maybe not as happy an ending as other stories but it is true and happens more often than people are willing to think about.

  4. This is the story of how Callie adopted me. I went to the local SPCA to look for a kitten I had seen on PetFinders. As I walked into the building, before anyone could help me find the kitten I came to see, a little tiny calico kitten walked up to me and started meowing. I picked her up and loved on her a little. But I told my mother I did not think I should adopt her however, because she looked a little like the cat who came before her and I was afraid it would not be fair to her if I adopted her and then expected her to be like my beloved Mousie. So I sit her down – for a second. I then decided to pick her back up to hold her “just for a little while”. I started looking around at the other kitties – sadly there were many, many up for adoption. I found the one on PetFinder, but it just did not feel like the right match, I decided while still holding the little calico. I looked at a siamese, while clutching the calico. After a half an hour of looking at many cats, my mother pointed out that the whole time I had been looking, I was still holding the calico. I looked down at her and she reached up and patted my cheek. That calico – now known as Callie (a.k.a. Trouble) came home with me. And by the way, her personality couldn’t be more different from Mousie’s – and I am just fine with that!

    • I luv your story!! My Dad was adopted by my before me brother, Boris…Dad was looking at a kitty in a lower cage (Petsmart rescue adoptions) and Bories reached out of the upper cage and whonked Dad on his head MOL…and then he saw the shy, scared Tortie in the back of Boris’ cage, his sister. So Dad insisted they take them both ‘cuz no one would take the Tortie ‘cuz she was so shy…just like me…and Dad is the one that found me too….big purrrsss

  5. Wonderful post (we’re just catching up now). Kudos to the pilot(s) involved and all those who are rescuing, transporting, etc.

    We’re rescues/shelter kitties, and angels Annie and Chumley were too. Our human wouldn’t think of doing anything else. No special story from us, though. 🙂

  6. Hi Savannah, we are US- “outsiders” too, but I want tell our rescue-experience:
    One of our formerly Huskies was adopted from a vet. A guy came into the vets office with this one year old Husky bitch and want a mercy-killing for her,
    because the dog was bought as a “toy” for his kids and their are no longer interested on it. She was alone in the appartment for 8 hours daily and the neighbors were complaining about howling the whole day. The vet refused to kill this dog and made the proposal, that he will find a new home for the dog. The guy agreed, but he said if anyone will adopt the dog he want the price he has paid for it. What an a..hole! The vet was very outraged about this guy, got the dog and told the guy to leave his office immediately. Normally we don’t want a second dog, but this was so absurd and cruelty, that we adopted this Husky bitch. She lived for 14 years with us and was the best girl what we ever had. We never regretted to adopt her, not for one moment. It was the best decision we could made.
    I’ts hard to write about her, she passed away in 2009, but it does still hurt as if it would be yesterday – OMG where to buy a water resistent keyboard?

  7. Harrrooooo Savannah!! We are all rescue pups here! Pops also drives transport regularly, play bows deary,

    RA, Isis & Nanük

  8. What a great blog post!!! 🙂 That is so cool…. there are so many good people out there who love us wee babies. 🙂

    Shelle, Milo, Dixie and Newby,

  9. Hi Savannah…..what a great blog this is today with so much wonderful information on all the things involved in rescuing. I was a rescue since I was in a kill shelter when my parents came one day to adopt a kitty. In fact, I was the ONLY kitten in the whole shelter at the time. I was in a cage by myself – pushing a little jingle ball around waiting to see if someone would save me. I’d arrived at the shelter with some other kittens (I presume my brothers and sisters) and they’d all been adopted but me – nobody wanted me because I had extra claws on my paws! Imagine that…..the shelter people said humans thought I was “weird” because I was polydactyl. Well, my Mom and Dad didn’t think that – they thought I was adorable (rightly so!). I was very happy that they took me home that day because I know that everybody in that shelter was living on borrowed time. I was one of the lucky ones and I’ve lived in the lap of love and luxury for twelve very happy years!

    Your Friend, Sammy

    • isn’t it weird how peeps have so many ‘restrictions’ on the type, color, look. etc of a cat or dog they will adopt. As for your toesies Sammie, they are one of your furry best features!!! Thank you for sharing your story.

  10. What wonderful stories and a great giveaway. We hope you’ll put together the stories you get from all your readers – suspect you’ll have a HUGE number of heartwarming tales.

  11. mollieandalfie on said:

    Alfie here, tooo look at mee’s you would fink I had alway’s been spoilt and led the life of luxury, well’s dat’s not the case. I use to live with a family, they wern’t very nice to me cos they picked me up, took me in the car and dumped me. Yes, just dumped me. I didn’t nose where I was. I was scared and sooo fightened. I loves to be wiff people but there was no peoples about. I don’t nose how many day’s I spent, walkin on my own, trying to find somewhere to live, someone to give’s me some dinner. I hadn’t eaten in yonks! I eventually came across an old gal, she took me in and did give mee some food. I fought my luck had changed. She put me outside her back door and told’s me to go on my way. On mee way where’s?? I didn’t have anywhere to gooo. The weaffer was getting real bad, rain and cold. I found a bush to cuddle up in. The rain was still heavy and I had to keep lookin for a home, someone I could luv’s and someone to luv’s me. I was now a bag of bones!! Soo weak, I smelt, I was dirty, wet, yoo’ s name it. I found my way to a little close, wiff a few houses. I jump’s wiff the little strength I had left, onto a window sill. I stared into the house. It was cosy and looked so warm. I was soaked through and shakin. Then I saw a Human comin to the window, meee heart started fluttering and a managed a small meeeow ( help ). The Human took me in, wrapped me in a blanket, gave me a drink and some corned beef. ( that’s all she had as they didn’t have pets ) She asked around if anyone new where I had come from. Someone mentioned the old gal but she didn’t want me. Human took me off to the cat doctor, I was injected, prodded , de flead and microchipped. Did this mean I had found a new home ???? Yes… and that’s how Human became HUMOM ! Now I’m fat, lazy, warm and cosy and spoilt. This isn’t a story, it’s true.

    • I know it is true…and now Mom needs a newe keyboard ‘cuz hers is water damaged! Oh sweet Alfie, you are brave, your are strong and you are a survivor…you ROCK ALFIE!! I luvluvluv the photos you sent me. Mom is printing them so I can have one hung by my office bed and one by my Bird Watching Tower….purrrrrsssss

  12. What a great idea and there are some wonderful caring people around!!

    I don’t think we qualify to enter as we are outside US, but will just quickly share about Austin. The little guy is a rescue kitty and was found badly injured inside a car engine (which is why he is called Austin!). The rescue people thought he was about 7 months old (but he was probably older as he grew so quick once he came here). We have no idea where he came from, but he was a stray not feral, that seemed clear. He mended very well and you wouldn’t know he had a wonky hip as he’s just got a bit of a lump on it but it doesn’t impede him at all!

    Nearly five years down the line he rules the roost, but I can tell he remembers the bad times sometimes, as he can get quite nervous and he only likes to eat if I am watching his back. He is friendly to some people but not others! He hates dogs and all other cats except his old pal Tigger. He thinks I’m his momma!!

  13. spittythekitty on said:

    Hello darling! All the Human’s kitties have been rescue/pound/stray kitties, but I was (am) her BIGGEST challenge. I was a SUPER-FERAL boy and growled and hissed for months. I’m still not very cuddly, and I’m 8 now! Ha ha meow!
    Drop by tomorrow because I am giving you an awardie XOXOXO

    • awwww Spitty!!!…I am so gonna want to interview you when I get my Interviews With Rescues going..right now Katnip Lounge is helping me with the “beta test” of interview questions. Then I will do two per month for one year. I wanna help the peeps understand that we rescues, especially any of us over 1 year when rescued, have challenges, whether medical or behavioral…and encourage the peeps to not give up…we still always give back tons of pleasure and love, in many different forms. Thank you Spitty…hugs and purrrrs, Savvy

  14. Every critter in our family is a rescue. The biggest challenge has been DeDe. She told some of her story today. She has food allergies that took two years to diagnose. And once that issue was resolved, the hyperthyroidism and other problems showed up. her meds cost around $200 a month. Many people think behavioral challenges are hard with rescues, but it’s the medical issues, especially with older dogs, that can be so hard to deal with.

    • Thank you so much Rumpers for telling me this. I did read Miss DeDe’s story today, I am just late in comments. will do tomorrow. And you are so correct about the medical for our special needs rescues…very impawtant facts thank you

  15. orientallily001 on said:

    It’s me… Nissy… again. I should just mention that my aunties were in their mama’s tummy when she flew here to Canada. Yeah… she was preggers, again. So… my peeps didn’t just rescue one cat from there. They rescued five for the price of one! Thank goodness, too, ’cause my aunties are now fifteen years old but I don’t think they would have ever survived had they been born over there in South America.

  16. orientallily001 on said:

    Wow! It sure does sound like you’ve got a lot of really good peeps living ’round your place. They sure do a lot to help the anipals in need. Personally, I’ve never rescued a dog or cat ’cause, well, I’m a cat myself. I was feral though so my peeps rescued me. But, they also rescued my aunties’ mama. She was living in Venezuela on a resort but starving to death. She had lost all her teeth even from feeding her babies and not getting proper nutrition herself. So, the peeps got all her papers in order and bought a carrier and a plane ticket for her and guess what? She came home with them to Canada. That’s how my aunties came to be Canadian kitties just like me. Pretty neat, huh?
    Nerissa from Nerissa’s Life

  17. I came from a rescue after being in 2 shelters. The obstacle is that I’m still a bit feral after 6 1/2 years. Most peeps would’ve returned me but mine never did. I’ll never be a lap cat and the peeps think I must’ve been abused when I was on the streets. The cat that came before me came from a rescue. TW used to work with a group who did TNR about 40 years ago. And I enter tons of contests to win $$ or food for A Call 4 Paws even though they weren’t the rescue that rescued me. If I win, I’ll prolly give the book to them for their Tricky Tray. Ta daaaa!

    • CK!!! you are PAWSOME!!! Your story is wonderful…and inspiring…for me…and one question…I am new to all of you …and it is embarrassing to ask…who is TW????…..paws covering face…turning red…

  18. Wonderful post! These are some great humans organizing to help the animals!
    Bella and DiDi

  19. catfromhell on said:

    Wow! Me and Kozmo is both rescues. All the before cats was rescues too! And wes firmly believes that rescue cats, no matter how badly they behaves and was mistreated can become happy and healthy pets.
    It can take time, and sometimes (like me) years, before we is wonderful pets!

    • errrr…ummmmNellie…would ya mind sharing just a teeny bit about your rescue or maybe Kozmo’s…I really wanna be able to share all your stories…no matter how short..just asking…I know how busy you are ‘cuz you and Koz have so much on your plates what with the CatOLympics, the FBi and such…paw pats, Savvy

  20. They are all such heros in my book!

    • awww thanks lots Brian..but I am disappointed you did not leave a comment with your favorite rescue story…I really wanna try to collect some stories that you readers have done so I can share them later..not to mention the winning of this pawsome new book!!! If you have time, purrlease think about leaving a comment with your story no matter what, paw pats savvy

  21. Whee don’t have Amazon but Mummy would like to share the story of her Auntie’s rescue dog. Missy. Affectionately known as Missy Violet or Little Miss.

    Missy (who was actually featured in Mummy’s book) is an ex-puppy farm breeding dog. When she first arrived she was scared of everything. Loud noise, moving too quickly, open spaces. She cowered under the dining room table petrified. She had never experienced the outdoors. Grass, leaves, birds, even the sky scared her.

    It has taken over a year to gain her trust. She still shakes when faced with unfamilar situations. Still flinches if you move to quickly. But her fur on her legs, which used to be stained from her licking the continuously in boredom and worry, is now clean and white. Her eyes look calmer. She will go for short walks without stiffening up in fear. She even experienced het first beach holiday and played in the sea with my Aunt’s other dog.

    Taking on a rescue can be such a big challenge, but the rewards and sense of acomplishment you feel when they progress is probably the best drug-free, legal high.

    Nibbles, Nutty, Bingo, Buddy & Mummy

  22. Excellent post! We first were made aware of pilots n paws at a pet connect meeting that Mom went to that was hosted by Michigan Humane. One of the gentlemen from Pilots N Paws was there and Mom was captivated. That is why we mentioned it in our post on the 15th as well and we have it featured tomorrow as well.

    I’m afraid that as much as we would love to win/read this book, we were never “directly” involved in any rescue so (other than when Mom took Grandpa Bobo in as a stray)…so I guess that disqualifies us. Best of luck to all who enter!

    • no no, I did not know how to word this as it is my first attempt at give away. Tell about Granpa old, what was it like, challenges to overcome, whatever…that totally counts!! Should I correct my rules????

    • ok, I just changed it…see if that works…I want it open to anyone who has rescued a cat or dog…in any way…it’s just fun I hope and maybe brings back warm memories for any who pawticipate. paw pats Dakota…and of course Cody and Miss Caren

Waving paw...HI!...what'd 'cha think...??

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