How to Start a Animal Food Bank

Halloween Safety Tips For Pets

Halloween Safety Tips for Animals

Nation’s First Cat Cafe Opens in Oakland

Visit to Omaha Shelter

By Diane Robertson

August 2014

On a recent business trip, I was lucky enough to have the time to visit the local shelter.  This post is about what I saw, experienced and have since learned about this facility.

SPOILER ALERT!  This is the nicest shelter I have visited yet.  Read on to find out about this shelter.

First, Omaha is a pretty big city with all the usual types of neighborhoods.  Wealthy, low-income, white, black…they seem to be fairly diverse but obviously more white than other races . The population of the city is around  421,000.  I found the following graphic if you are interested in a visual of the race breakdown.  I include this information for every city I visit these days because I have found that knowing a bit more about the city residents can be helpful to understanding cultural differences in their approach and attitude toward pets as well as potentially a language barrier to getting the message out effectively.  In California, some cities are overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking and it is my opinion that some of the animal population problems are the result of people not speaking to the residents directly, in their first language and keeping their cultural differences in mind when designing education campaigns and/or media campaigns.  We have to do whatever we possibly can to reach out to our community members effectively to reduce the suffering and death occurring in our municipal animal shelters.



Back to Omaha.  In Omaha, someone or group of people did a truly awesome job first by having the non-profit Nebraska Humane Society in charge of the city animal shelter/services as well as acting for the entire county.  Second, the design and layout of these facilities is just fabulous.  Let me describe the layout of the buildings.  First and foremost, there is a giant purple sign (the color of animal causes) by the road that one simply cannot miss.  This is a sign that probably once belonged to a bank or similar business – you know the kind you expect from banks and fast food restaurants.  Here is a picture now that I have put it in context of how large this sign truly is.


On the left is the animal services building with their fleet of vehicles for transporting animals.  Next to that on the right is the animal shelter.  The intake area is on the left side, closest to animal services.   Imagine that, someone thought about placement of facilities for effective and smooth flow of animals and people!  Believe it or not, many facilities are or seem to be just thrown together with little or no thought for best flow.

Next to the intake area, in the center of this building, is the beautiful entrance for the public.   More about this later on.  Next to the shelter building is the “Humane Education” building.  This is a very large building that is probably bigger than the shelter itself.  It looks like it was once a strip mall.  This building is devoted to education for people and dogs! On reading their website a few minutes ago, apparently they also offer training at the owner’s house!  So cool.   I did not capture of a picture of the entire education building, only a small corner of it with the big education sign.  In addition to the animal services building, the very large shelter building and even larger education building, there is the low-cost spay and neuter clinic where residents can do the right thing and have their animals “fixed”.



Every facility should be so blessed to have a devoted education area.  How many more animals could be saved if this was standard of practice everywhere?  Oh, I think that number surely would be in the millions every year!  Just my opinion, but I would love to be proven wrong by having this become a reality.

Now back to the public entrance to the shelter.  My first view as I am approaching from the right is shown below.  So colorful and landscaped, I am impressed before I have seen much of anything.

approaching entrance from side


In the center of the walkway, by the sidewalk closest to the parking lot, is a water fountain/bird bath with a dedication placard.  Let’s not overlook the stone walkway and yes, this appears to be a gigantic granite fountain that is much taller than my 5 foot tall frame.  Impressed yet?  Wait, there’s more.



To the right and left of the beautiful fountain is the memorial garden.  Here are a couple of pictures:


























And yes, there is more…

They didn’t forget a truly important message for the summer time (it was raining the day I was there but summer none-the-less).  At the entrance doors here is a 3-4 foot tall sign reminding folks about how deadly the heat can be for pets left in the vehicle:

4 foottallsignatdoor


When you walk in the door there is a foyer of sorts.  Kind of the space between the outside and inside of the shelter.  (Probably for helping to keep heating and cooling costs down-remember this is Nebraska).  In this space, one entire wall is covered with a photograph of a woman and her dog with a placard with some details.  Off in the corner of this area is the cutest bench ever.  Check out the picture below.  Yes this photo really touches ceiling and floor, it is that big!   Sorry for the quality of these photos, I am not a professional photographer obviously.



Off to the side is this full size sitting bench made of colored stones.  How cute is that!20140827_154139



I didn’t get a lot of pictures inside the building but the awesomeness continues.  There is a large welcome desk to the left, seating area to the right and individual cat “cages” directly ahead.  There is a center room where they keep the cat litter and other supplies, with sinks and other areas for cleaning and prep.  I know this because the cat cages are glass and I could look through the cages to the center and see all this.  Guess what, no smell.  No kitty litter odor.  Why…because it is all contained within the center room that is not open to the public.  From this center room, workers can reach into each cage and clean as needed without ever exposing the cats to  other cats or people to the horrible smells that catteries can generate.  I LOVED IT.

Besides this center room that houses say 50 kitties or so, each in their own cage, there are a number of glass visiting rooms with closing doors that people use to get to know a particular kitty they may be interested in adopting.  Going down the hallway (on left or right) that the center room lined with cat cages creates you eventually come to several cattery rooms.  In what I would call the main cattery (only maybe 6-7 cats in there), there is a gigantic water feature, beds for each cat, small food and water bowls placed like for each cat.  Again, so clean I did not notice any smells, despite  at least a couple of cat boxes in the cattery.  Here is a picture of one of the residents and the water feature:

acatteryresident                                                                                                               oneofthrwayetbowlsyepawaterfeatureinyhecattery











A single cattery would not do for such an awesome facility so there was a kitten cattery and at least one other small cattery along the back wall and another visiting room.  Check out the super cute holes they punched in the glass so the kitties and people could touch but not hurt each other.  So you could see better, I stuck my fingers the “pad” part of the kitty foot print hole.  There were a number of these cute access points in these small catteries along the back wall.

the cute holes to the csttery











Just for fun I took a pic of one cat lounging in a bed mounted about 4 feet off the floor.  There were a number of these wall-mounted beds as well as beds on the floor, etc.



The Dogs

The dog area is accessed via a closed glass door off the hallway by one of the visiting rooms.  So, it is not directly in sight of the cats or next to cat cages, etc.  Nice placement!  So thoughtful!  There are two large dog rooms that are separated again by glass doors.  I think the first room is for the female dogs and the back room is for the male dogs.  The kennels were clean, did not smell and had a bed and bedding.  Every kennel is sponsored by someone or a group and that sponsorship is noted on a blue placard on each kennel.  So awesome.


Besides the nice placards that help illustrate that it takes a lot of money and dedication to have such wonderful facilities, I noticed that just about every kind of dog imaginable was here.  I saw a couple of grey hounds, beagles, Chihuahuas, black lab, golden lab, Irish Setter, Newfoundland giant dog, a few pit bulls, an awesome chinese crested, etc.  I was amazed at the quality of the animals and variety.  Like any kennel, it could get loud with dogs barking, which was scary to some dogs and it was every bit as sad a place for dogs as  any other shelter I have ever visited.  It only helped a little to know that there were awesome staff and volunteers doing their best to take care of so, so many homeless dogs.  I guess by the time I got to the dogs I was expecting something different because the rest of the facility was so awesome.  Nope.  That are well cared for, air-conditioned, great descriptions posted for each dog, etc but it was so sad it broke my heart, as usual.





PJ the Chinese Crested…he’s an odd-looking little dude!





















And here are two super-cute pug/beagle mixes I had the pleasure to meet:




Finally, I just had to know…what are the statistics for this facility? Do the operations match the shiny presentation?  They publish their numbers on their website.  Kudos to them for this!  Nicely transparent as all publicly funded/contracted facilities should be.  Anyway, I would say that they mostly operate to the level of their pretty, shiny exterior but I think their numbers can be a lot better.  They are apparently working on improving these numbers, which I applaud.  Never stop trying to do better and finding new ways to save more lives.  Below is a link to their numbers and a summary count of ” EUTHANASIAS” , which I call what it actually is…number of cats and dogs that were killed:

December 2013:

Total Intake:  17,854

Total Dogs killed:  1379  Total Cats killed: 3759

Adjusted to account for owner requested kills:  Dogs: 977  Cats: 3560

Thank you for sharing my enthusiasm for saving as many as we can and for reading this post.

A Poem to My Foster Dog

A Poem to My Foster Dog by Diane Morgan.

A Poem to My Foster Dog by Diane Morgan

A Poem to My Foster Dog by Diane Morgan

Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls do not deserve to die by the thousands.  Do your part.  Adopt, don’t shop.

Stop Breeding Pit Bulls

Loose Dog? Don’t chase! Stop, Drop and Lie Down

Nice blog post for dog lovers.

No Dog About It Blog

StopDropLieDown Have you ever had a dog escape your arms or car or home? What is the first thing you do? If you’re like most people, you chase after them. They run and then you run. It seems almost instinctual, doesn’t it?

I’ve come to believe that it REALLY IS INSTINCT that takes over when we chase after our loose dog(s). It’s not just something we do when our own pets get loose, but something we do when a friend’s dog gets out of the house or when we see a stray dog running down the street or the highway. There is even a recent video showing police officers chasing after a dog on a highway in California. They never even had a chance of catching him. It was a losing proposition.

The problem with our first instinct (to chase) is that it rarely gets us closer to getting them. In fact, the…

View original post 828 more words


Diane Robertson

Updated:  04/22/2014

If you know me, then you know that I have to research new topics to death to before I can begin to write or otherwise work with the new information.  This post is a central location for the pieces of information I discovered about the NEXT SHANE’S WAR PARDON.  Shane and Janet have just announced that the next Shane’s War Pardon will be at the

Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms, CA.

Coachella contracts with the Riverside County Department of Animal Services for shelter services.  Riverside seems like it is proactively trying to educate the public to reduce unwanted dogs and cats and reduce owner-surrendered pets to the shelter.  How very refreshing!

Here are some information points:

  • The website address for the city of Coachella, CA is:  The city contracts with Riverside County Department of Animal Services for its animal services.
  • Riverside County Department of Animal Services have a mobile spay & neuter bus, nicknamed The ANSWER on Wheels.   Let’s make sure that bus is totally booked up for the week as part of the pardon.
  • Riverside County Department of Animal Services actively works with Animal Samaritans SPCA Inc.  According to their website:  Animal Samaritans SPCA is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit animal welfare organization committed to eliminating the euthanasia of adoptable animals. Programs and services in place to save the lives of healthy and treatable animals include prevention through humane education; low-cost spay and neuter; low-cost vaccinations; microchipping; shelter and care; and adoptions to lifelong homes. They also offer free services that enhance the bond between people and animals, such as a volunteer-based animal assisted therapy program for hospitals, health care, special needs facilities, and Juvenile Hall.  Animal Samaritans SPCA, founded in 1978, is the Coachella Valley’s lead animal welfare organization.
  • The new Animal Samaritans low-cost veterinary clinic is now located at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus. Animal Samaritans’ adoption center is still at its Ramon Road location at 72307 Ramon Road, Thousand Palms, California.
  • Riverside lists 4 shelters on their website but the Coachella Valley City/County Animal Shelter seems to be the main facility.  This facility provides complete animal services for the unincorporated areas of Riverside County. It also provides shelter and adoption services for Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage.  Riverside County Animal Services provides field services for county areas and the above cities, except La Quinta, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage. Those cities provide its own animal-control officers.
  • Coachella Valley City/County Animal Shelter operating hours as follows:
  • According to, the city of Coachella is almost entirely Hispanic.  It would appear the demographics of the city council is fairly representative of the city residents.  In this area, it is critical that the spanish-speaking news outlets be included in the community outreach and event coverage.


  • The Riverside County Board of Supervisors includes District 4 Supervisor John J. Benoit.  The Fourth District is geographically the largest by far, covering the eastern two-thirds of the county. Within the Fourth District are the cities of Blythe, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.
  • Finally, let’s look at the outcomes for Riverside Animal Services.  I haven’t seen numbers this good from a shelter in a very long time.  Well Done Riverside!  Obviously the problem area are animals with issues that are treatable being killed.  Would love to hear what plans they have to get that number far, far lower.  Still, I think they are well on their way to a no-kill shelter.  Can you please go to San Bernardino and show them how to get this done!!!!RiversideCountyAnimalServicesOutcomeReport

Bully Breeds Information Sheet

Information compiled by Diane Robertson

Bully Breeds come from the root-stock called “Molosser”.  These were large, ancient Greek dogs with large bones and muscles, pendant ears and short muzzles.  Today, the term Bully Breeds typically refer to the following breeds:

  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boxer
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier
  • Alpha Blue Blood Bulldog

Following is a little information about each of these breeds:

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth-coated dog with great strength for his size, which is typically 14-16 inches at the shoulder..  He is active and agile and comes in six color varieties: solid red, fawn, white, black, blue or brindle.  These dogs range in size between 24 and 38 pounds.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier serves primarily as a family companion and is seen in the show, obedience and agility rings.


  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1975.
  • Ranging in size from 14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder and 24 to 38 pounds.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Courageous and strong, the American Staffordshire Terrier (Am Staff)’s athletic build and intelligence make him ideally suited to many dog sports such as obedience, agility, tracking and conformation.  He is people-oriented and thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do.  He is often identified by his stocky body and strong, powerful head.  The breed’s short coat can be any color, and either solid colored, parti-colored or patched.


  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1936.
  • Ranging in size from 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder.



The well-conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom, the Boxer is a powerful dog with an intelligent and alert expression. While they are instinctive guardians, the Boxer loves to be with his people. This personality has allowed them to succeed as couriers during war-time and as seeing-eye dogs for the blind. Appearing in both fawn and brindle colors, the Boxer currently ranks as one of the most popular dogs in the United States according to AKC® Registration Statistics.


One of the breed’s most notable characteristics is its desire for human affection, especially from children. They are patient and spirited with children, but also protective, making them a popular choice for families. The Boxer requires little grooming, but needs daily exercise.

  • Working Group; AKC recognized in 1904.
  • Ranging in size from 21 ½ inches to 25 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Large game hunter, guard and companion dog.

American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull is a very muscular, stocky, yet agile dog that is extremely strong for his size.  The ears are generally cropped.  The Pit Bull Terrier was created by breeding Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs together to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog.  These dogs were bred in England, and arrived in the United States where they became the direct ancestors of the American Pit Bull Terrier.  Pit Bull Terriers successfully fill the role of companion dogs, police dogs and therapy dogs.  Pit Bull Terriers also constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dog fighting in the America.


Height: 14 – 24 inches (35 – 60 cm)
Weight: 22 – 78 pounds (10 – 35 kg)



Known for their loose-jointed, shuffling gait and massive, short-faced head, the Bulldog is known to be equable, resolute and dignified.  A medium-sized dog, they are not your typical lap dog, but would like to be!  They are a popular breeds due to their lovable and gentle dispositions and adorable wrinkles.  The Bulldog may be brindle, white, red, fawn, fallow or piebald.

bulldog Bulldog2

  • Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1886.
  • Ranging in size from 40 to 50 pounds.

Boston Terrier

Truly an “All-American” dog, the Boston Terrier is a lively and highly intelligent breed with an excellent disposition.  Conveying an impression of determination, strength and activity, he is short-headed and compactly built, and must be black, brindle or seal with white markings.

  • Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1893.
  • Weight is divided by classes as follows: Under 15 pounds; 15 pounds and under 20 pounds; 20 pounds and not to exceed 25 pounds.

boston_terrier1 boston_terrier2

Alpha Blue Blood Bulldog

The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog results from three generations of an old breeding program of PaPa Buck Lane of Rebecca, Georgia. The program started back in the 1800s and was intended to rescue the “plantation dog” of southern Georgia that was nearly extinct.  This rare, bulldog-type guard dog descends from Buck Lane’s dog named Otto.

The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a well-developed, exaggerated bulldog with a broad head and natural drop ears.  The prominent eyes are set well apart.  The Alapaha’s coat is relatively short and fairly stiff.  Preferred colors are blue merle, brown merle, or red merle all trimmed in white or chocolate and white.  Also preferred are the glass eyes (blue) or marble eyes (brown and blue mixed in a single eye). The ears and tail are never trimmed or docked. The body is sturdy and very muscular. The well-muscled hips are narrower than the chest.  The straight back is as long as the dog is high at the shoulders.  The dewclaws are never removed and the feet are cat-like.


Height: 24 inches (61 cm)
Weight: Males up to 100 pounds (47 kg) Females about 78 pounds (34 kg)
There is a considerable difference between the males and females. Males can be almost twice as heavy as the smallest females.


Scratcher of heads, rubber of bellies

Official Selenium Blog

Just another weblog

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Girls Just Gotta Have Funds Blog

Remember, Girls Just Gotta Have Funds!

No Dog About It Blog

It's all about dogs!

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Gabriel Lucatero

The Official Website


This site is the cat’s pajamas


Sharing News, Views & Petitions Regards Animal Abuse. Plus Various Animal Stories From Around The World

Kitty Bloger

Just another site about cats

Tails of a Relentless Rescuer

Saving dogs and grinding axes... all here in Texas


Just another site

Schroedinger's Cat

Many worlds and one cat

Hollis Plample

draws comics


Covering News, Weather and Sports News That Matters

Project Light to Life

A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.

%d bloggers like this: