National Train Your Dog Month ▪ Healdsburg's Happy Tail

Shelter Medicine & CVC Updates ▪ Resources For Pet Owners  And MORE…


January is National Train Your Dog Month!

Start your year out on the right paw! 

One of the most important ways we show our shelter dogs that they are loved is through individualized, positive training support. It lets each dog show us their true nature and helps build confidence so they can feel comfortable in a variety of settings – for instance, whatever fun adventures await them with their future families.  

Our Academy of Dog training classes can help you do the same for your dog! At the shelter and in our classes, our Canine Behavior and Training team promotes a positive reinforcement philosophy, which essentially rewards desirable behaviors and ignores not-so-desirable ones. This method not only makes the learning process fun and error-free, it’s a powerful, evidence-based tool that helps us understand each dog’s unique communication style.  

Enrollment is now open for… 

It’s Elementary Level 1  This course is geared to helping you learn to read your dog’s body language. Rather than teaching “manners”, we’ll set you and your dog up for success by encouraging you to learn to communicate with your dog. In this relaxed environment, you’ll be able to build your bond with your dog and enjoy each other’s company as you practice connected leash walking, recall, sit, down and much more.  

It’s Elementary Level 2 This course builds on the great work you did in Level 1, adding distance, duration and distraction to the lessons. Take it to the next level with games, tricks and luring exercises.  

Junior Varsity Level 1 and 2 Now it’s time to take the show on the road! Level 1 includes field trips to the Barlow and walks in downtown Sebastopol. The goal is for your dog to stay relaxed and focused on you in “real life” situations. JV1 culminates with an ice cream social at Screamin’ Mimi’s. (Best reward ever!) JV2 includes hikes to Ragle Park (think: squirrels!) 

Are you ready to start 2023 on the right paw? Deepen your connection with your 4-legged bestie this year and create more space for JOY, LEARNING, FUN and LOVE by signing up for a class today! 




Phillip's Happy Tail! ❤

Phillip is a lovably goofy 90 pound Bullmastiff mix who became an instant favorite among our volunteers and staff. He charmed us with gentle snoring through his afternoon naps, and his tippy tappy toe dancing when he gets excited! Given how friendly and fun this big guy is, we wondered why he hadn’t found the right home yet. He spent many months waiting at the shelter for the right family to come along. One of our staff members even brought him home for Thanksgiving to give him a break from his shelter life.

After spending all those patient months at the shelter, we are happy to report that Phillip's wait for a forever home came to a happy end when Raychel and her family visited the shelter and met our sweet boy. It was instant mutual love! This big, goofy sweetheart is the newest member of this very happy family!


❤ Ready to bring home your new fuzzy family member? Click here to see how!! ❤




Saving Senior Dogs 

We’re so grateful to have support from the The Grey Muzzle Organization. Their generous grant is helping us provide dental care on a sliding scale for owned senior dogs in our community.

Many of the senior dogs we see at our Community Veterinary Clinic have advanced stages of dental disease, which makes it painful for them to eat and impacts their overall health. Once treated, their quality of life can improve almost immediately – you can just tell by these sweet smiles!

Thank you Grey Muzzle Organization! Together we are helping senior dogs thrive in their golden years!




Highway To The Home-Zone!

Highway was found as an injured stray in Healdsburg. His tail was broken and partially degloved. This poor kitty had been through a lot, and his injuries needed immediate attention. He was transferred to our Santa Rosa shelter where our Medical team performed an amputation on his tail. We named him Highway in honor of a former shelter cat named Freeway (who was featured in our December eAnimail) with similar injuries. Highway was a very good patient and he recovered well. His affectionate nature and adorable fluffy looks made him irresistible, so it was no surprise that he was adopted quickly! We're so very thankful to our outstanding Shelter Medicine team for helping Highway heal and thrive, and to our amazing Adoption team for helping him find a forever home.


In this challenging economy, your support helps Our Community Veterinary Clinic and Shelter Medicine department provide lifesaving procedures and surgeries for animals in need. Any gift you can spare right now allows our medical teams to continue saving these precious lives.





We Are Here to Help! 

Difficult economic times can create challenging decisions for pet owners. The Humane Society of Sonoma County works hard to provide resources that assist pet owners in need, and help keep pets with their loving families.

Our Pet Food Pantry is replenished daily at both our shelter locations with donated pet food and supplies for pet owners experiencing financial hardship.

Our Community Veterinary Clinic provides low-cost, subsidized veterinary care for low-to no-income local pet owners.

HSSC’s new Community Action Team, provides equal access to pet food and supplies, low-cost preventative care, education, as well as connections to other resources for all pet owners in our community.

We offer behavior support. In addition to our popular public Dog Training classes, we provide over the phone and in-person to help pet companions understand and effectively manage their animal's behavior using positive, supportive techniques. To find behavioral support and information, visit our library of references and resources on our website:

We know sometimes re-homing a pet is unavoidable, and is always a difficult decision. The Adoptions by Owner page on our website offers a free service, assisting pet owners with re-homing their pets in hopes of avoiding surrender to a shelter. HSSC does take in surrendered pets, but only as space allows and by appointment only. Find our re-homing packet as well as our Adoptions By Owner page on our website.




Pay it forward this new year

You can begin 2023 by paying it forward for the animals in our community. Consider making your will—no matter where you are in your life journey—and including a gift to the Humane Society of Sonoma County in your plans. It’s a simple way to ensure every animal receives protection, compassion, love and care for generations to come. Our partnership with FreeWill: a free estate planning tool allows you to create your will and legacy gift in just 20 minutes for free, so pay it forward today!




Thank You Press Democrat! ❤

The Press Democrat, our cherished local newspaper, is a beloved sponsor of HSSC.

“At The Press Democrat, we are dedicated to keeping our community connected and informed,” said Karen DeLuca, Community Relations Manager. “Like the Humane Society of Sonoma County, our goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of residents."

“The connections that we share with our animals have been especially important over these past couple of years. We always encourage our readers to support local, and when it comes time to add a furry new member to your family, please visit our friends at the Humane Society of Sonoma County. Adopt, don’t shop.”

Thank you so much to The Press Democrat for your ongoing support!

(Pictured is Ollie the kitten, one of the many cats adopted from the Humane Society of Sonoma County by Press Democrat employees.)




A Little Help Goes A Long Way:

Become a Humane Partner

It can be such a challenge to give to the causes you love when times are hard. Sometimes giving a little at a time makes it easier to keep your loving support going. A monthly, automatic payment through our Humane Partner program ensures ongoing support for the animals through thick and thin - it's a subscription to a lifetime of love! ❤

With as little as $5 a month, your Humane Partner gifts provide homeless animals with safety, stability and the time they need to find their new forever homes. Every penny makes a difference, and you touch so many little hearts with the kindness of your recurring gift. 

Click the button below to become a Humane Partner

Thank you! ❤


Join us at Dutton Estate Winery for a weekend of fun! ❤🐾

Saturday January 28th and Sunday the 29th book a discounted seated and guided tasting of five wines that will benefit the animals at HSSC! There will be a pet supply drive accepting donations as well as our Kissing Booth and assisted therapy dogs! Reserve your spot today at:


Thank you to our loving community!


❤  Was our eAnimail forwarded to you by a friend?  ❤

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Your ongoing support enables us to continue our lifesaving work for the animals during changing times.

Together we are providing every animal protection, compassion, love and care. We are so grateful for this
connection that inspires so much hope. 


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HSSC's Santa Rosa Shelter:
5345 Hwy 12 West
| Santa Rosa, CA 95407
707-542-0882 |

HSSC's Healdsburg Shelter:
555 Westside Rd
| Healdsburg, CA 95448
707-431-3386 |


Humane Society of Sonoma County
Board of Directors 2023

Kristen Trisko , President
Sophia Grossi, Vice President
Vee Wright, Secretary
Kelly Stromgren, Treasurer

Kati Aho, Sandy Chute, Johnny Drake, Chris Kittredge, Steve Maass,
Robert Quail, Tim Wingard

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