Whiskers for days!


Pepe and her foster dad heading to UC Davis.


Pepe after surgery.

The first thing you notice about Pepe Le Pew are her magnificent whiskers... there are so many adorable white whiskers going in every direction!! What wasn't immediately noticeable about this sweet girl was that she was born with a congenital condition that would lead her and her foster parents on a long journey to recovery.

Pepe Le Pew was one of a litter of bottle baby kittens that came in as strays at the peak of this year's kitten season. Her foster parents bottle fed her and her litter mates around the clock for weeks until they were old enough to eat on their own. While the other kittens transitioned to solid food easily, Pepe was unable to keep solid food down.

Our shelter medicine team took x-rays and found that Pepe had a congenital abnormality called a "Vascular Ring Anomaly". This happens before birth, when the kitten's heart is developing, and a band of tissue wraps around and constricts her esophagus. Kittens with this condition have trouble keeping food down, lose weight and are at higher risk of developing pneumonia.

We consulted with the team at the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine regarding treatment options for Pepe. It turns out Dr. Ingrid Balsa, a UCD surgeon, has a special interest in this condition and her research on vascular ring anomalies has even been published in veterinary surgery journals!

Unfortunately, at 14 weeks old Pepe did come down with pneumonia... The CT scan confirmed Pepe's diagnosis but brought good news: she suffered from the most common cause of vascular ring anomaly, which can be corrected with surgery! 

While still under anesthesia from the CT scan, Pepe was taken to surgery and the constricting tissue wrapped around her esophagus was removed. She spent the night in the UCD ICU for close monitoring.

Pepe, or Princess Peppita as she is now being called, is doing very well. She is currently recovering at home with her devoted foster parents who report the good news that she is keeping all her food down and doing very well since the surgery!!

The other thing her foster parents reported? That after all they'd been through together, they simply couldn't let her go so they have formalized her adoption!! ❤️

We are so fortunate, and Pepe most of all, to have such dedicated foster parents, the skill and expertise of Dr. Ingrid Balsa and a partnership with U.C. Davis, who generously discounted the cost of her surgery.

Your donations to cover her surgery bill of over $4500 will allow us to help the next tiny being in need!!  Thanks to your support, we can continue to go the extra mile for the animals in our care!

If you would like to help us cover Pepe’s surgery costs, please simply click on the "Donate Now!" button, below, and choose "Angels Fund" in the drop-down menu. Contributions to our Angels Fund directly support Pepe and other animals in need of lifesaving medical care on their path to adoption. Thank you for being such a vital part of their journey!

❤️ Thank you so much for helping to give animals like Pepe their happy ever afters! ❤️


Happy Tails 

While all adoptions are special, there is something especially heartwarming when a senior animal finds the perfect home.
12-year-old Dante had a tough time on the streets before finding himself in the shelter. Happily however, this charismatic cutie was only at our Healdsburg shelter for a few days when the Holly family made an appointment to come in and meet him.
Even though Dante could be a bit shy, he quickly warmed up and worked his way into their hearts! The Hollys decided to make the adoption official and bring Dante home for all the love and lap time he deserves.

Happy trails, Dante! 💗


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

News from our Community Vet Clinic

Our recent public vaccine and wellness clinics were a tremendous success!

As many of you know, during the COVID-19 pandemic and Shelter-in-Place ordinance, wellness services - especially low-cost wellness services - have not been available in our area.

So, we teamed up with Dogwood Animal Rescue Project to put on a couple wellness clinics to help the animals in our community during this challenging time. At each clinic we were able to provide wellness services - including exams, vaccines, deworming, flea and tick preventative, heartworm tests and prevention, and microchipping.

We helped over 131 animals!!

We want to thank Dogwood Animal Rescue for partnering with us for such important and needed outreach to our community and their pets! We also want to thank Kelsey Joy Murphey for these beautiful photos!!

While we respond to the fires and the pandemic, HSSC's Shelter Medicine and CVC programs continue to provide life saving procedures and surgeries. We are so grateful to have such dedicated medical professionals caring for the animals who need it most.

Any gift you can spare right now will do a world of good for our shelter animals and allow our medical and animal care teams to continue saving these precious lives.


Healdsburg Shelter Update

Our community has had it's fair share of challenges... most recently in the form of the Walbridge Fire that had us evacuating our Healdsburg shelter. We hesitate to say we're used to evacuations but we would say we've become more efficient at them - we were able to quickly and safely move all of the animals to our Santa Rosa shelter when we got the warning!

Once evacuation orders were lifted and it was safe to move back in, we repopulated our Healdsburg campus with some adorable kittens and cats and happily resumed our online adoptions by appointment.

We are so grateful to the first responders and fire fighters who worked so hard to keep us all safe during this event. We are also incredibly grateful for YOU. Your outpouring of love and support has helped us stay resilient and able to focus on doing the very best for the animals even in stressful times. Thank you! 


Psst... did you know that you can vote for us for the 2020 Healdsburg Business Awards? 

We'd love to have your votes for "Most Creative Virtual Experience" (our Wags, Whiskers & WiFi Gala) and "Best Acts of Kindness (local non-profit)"

Vote here now:

*Limit one vote per person. Polls will be open until end of day, Wednesday, September 23.


Community Partner Spotlight

You already know that KZST’s chart-topping playlist puts some pep in your step and their fun, positive on-air personalities keep a smile on your face… but did you know the good people behind this local radio station have a longstanding love of animals and community?  

In 2013, the station started sponsoring a “Pet of the Week” feature on-air and online, a tradition which continues to this day—each Wednesday at 8:10am, HSSC Executive Director Wendy Welling can be heard talking about one of our adoptables with Brent Farris on his morning show. 

KZST has also been a valued sponsor of our annual gala. This year, their generous support helped make our Wags, Whiskers & WiFi virtual event such a wonderful success – for the animals! 

KZST - your format might be “Adult Contemporary”, but we think you ROCK!!! 

Join Us


We'd love to have your vote for Press Democrat's Best of Sonoma County 2020!!!

We're so proud to be nominated! Visit the "Uniquely Sonoma County" category and vote for us for Best Fundraiser, Best Local Non-Profit and Best Summer Camp and under the "Real Life" category vote for Dr. Ada from our Community Veterinary Clinic for Best Veterinarian here: https://www.pressdemocrat.com/best/

Voting is open from Sept 4th - 27th!



Please Help us Purchase a New Generator!

We're raising money as quickly as we can to purchase a generator large enough to power the entire shelter during an outage. We're off to a strong start thanks to generous donors, including the Cohn Charitable Fund and the Redducs Foundation, who stepped up following the Kincade Fire. We need your help right now to raise the remaining funds as this year's fire season is upon us.

Help us keep our promise to the animals - to make sure they are safe, no matter what.


Grab your Very Good Dog and Join us for In-Person Training!

Did you recently bring home a fuzzy new family member who needs a little guidance? Are you looking to build a life-long bond between you and your canine companion? Or just looking to sharpen skills that have slipped away with age? Humane Society of Sonoma County is here to help.

We are now offering safe, socially distant in-person training at our Santa Rosa and Healdsburg shelters!! For more information about our our classes and to register visit: https://humanesocietysoco.org/public-training/class-calendar/


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

Did a fellow animal-lover send our newsletter your way? Sign up here to make sure you get HSSC's amazing animal stories and shelter news delivered directly to your inbox! 


Kibbles 'N Bits


There are so many ways to help the animals. ❤️

We receive lots of questions about estate planning - including HSSC in your will or trust is a wonderful way to ensure our lifesaving work continues into the future.

To learn more about this planned giving option, please visit https://humanesocietysoco.org/give/ and click on the Leave a Legacy tab. Or contact Priscilla Locke, HSSC Director of Development & Marketing, at (707) 577-1911 or by email at plocke@humanesocietysoco.org.


First and foremost, we want you all to stay safe and healthy. We will continue to post updates about
our programs and services on our website
here and on our Facebook page as COVID response
continues and fire season progresses.

Your ongoing support enables us to continue our lifesaving work for the animals during this challenging time.

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


HSSC's Santa Rosa Shelter:
5345 Hwy 12 West
| Santa Rosa, CA 95407
707-542-0882 | info@humanesocietysoco.org

HSSC's Healdsburg Shelter:
555 Westside Rd
| Healdsburg, CA 95448
707-431-3386 | info@humanesocietysoco.org

Humane Society of Sonoma County
Board of Directors 2020


Kati Aho, President
Kristen Trisko , Secretary
Darlene Brazil, Treasurer

 Jim Barnes, Sandy Chute, Johnny Drake, Chris Kittredge, Frank Kulbertis, Grace Lucero, Steve Maass, Maren McCloud, Marty Olhiser, Robert Quail, Danielle Sandoval, Vee Solter, Kelly Stromgren, Shannon Tracey, Tim Wingard

Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.

The Humane Society of Sonoma County never shares any contact information, including email addresses, with other organizations. Your privacy is always protected and very important to us.