Since the stand-alone facility opened in 2009, we have completed over 10,000 spay/neuter procedures on cats and dogs. In addition to our main undertaking which is spay/neuter, our staff will go the extra mile by providing humane medical treatment to animals in need so they can live a healthier life. I know I tell you all the time but the resolve, enthusiasm and complete love of animals by all of the employees and volunteers is incredible to see and dear to my heart.
-Diane Bentz, President
As more pets are rescued from shelters, fewer dogs and cats are being euthanized unnecessarily. However, many of those rescued dogs need treatment for what is known as “Separation Anxiety.” SA is not a condition limited to rescue dogs; but it is more common in pets that have been abandoned, relinquished to shelters, or separated in some other way from their caretakers. We see dogs of all ages and breeds afflicted with Separation Anxiety; but mixed breeds top the list. Dogs with SA may be destructive, vocalize excessively, pant, or salivate when you leave them home alone; or get overexcited when you return. Typically, these pets are very needy and clingy. They are constantly looking for attention. If their behaviors are severe, we need to address the problem immediately. If their symptoms are mild, we want to make sure that the condition doesn’t escalate. Record or video your dog when you are away for more clues. If you think your pet has SA, it would be helpful to look at your behavior as well. Do you encourage independence in your dog? Do you praise and reward good, calm behavior or do you pet your dog when it seems concerned and is barking or jumping on you? Do you give attention every time your dog begs or nudges you? It may be surprising to learn that owners can contribute to the anxiety that develops into a problem by unknowingly reinforcing the undesirable behaviors. Some owners have told me that they actually like their pet’s overexcitability or excessive vocalization when they come home, because it communicates, “I missed you.” The owners don’t realize that rewarding calmer behavior would be more helpful for their pet. For example, if your dog is very excited and jumping on you, and then you pet it, your dog will be more likely to continue to jump on you, because your touch, like a food treat, reinforces that behavior. It would be better to say “sit” and then pet your dog and praise it when it obeys. So touch appropriately! The symptoms of SA can be decreased, but it takes time and patience and a clear plan of action. It’s best to work with a professional: a behavior specialist or a skilled trainer experienced in coping with this problem. You may want to speak with your veterinarian if the anxiety is severe, as sometimes medication can be prescribed that may be helpful if used in conjunction with behavior modification. Using medication alone to treat Separation Anxiety is not as effective.
Article by: Deborah Krasner / Education Outreach Volunteer / Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant
On a beautiful day in late October 2016, life was about to abruptly change for a stray black and white long-hair tuxedo kitty, now called Mandy. Mandy was living with other stray and feral cats and a small mom-and-pop restraint located in the town of Fillmore on Highway 126. Volunteer Extraordinaire, Cara German, had been actively humanely trapping these restaurant cats for the TNR program (Trap, Neuter, Return). She had been at the restaurant site for many nights and was close to completing her mission of getting all of the cats spayed and neutered. Then on that Friday, Cara received an emergency call from the restaurant owner. Several of the cats, who normally stay behind the restaurant, had gathered under a car at the front of the restaurant. When the car was started, two cats ran to safety behind the restaurant, but the tuxedo cat, in her confusion, ran to the front and out onto Highway 126 where she was hit head-on by one of the many trucks that travel that busy roadway. Somehow, Mandy managed to drag herself to the restaurant door where she collapsed. Cara rushed to the restaurant and gently gathered the injured kitty. Cara placed a frantic call to Diane Bentz, Simi Valley Spay Clinic Director, and arrangements were made to have the kitty seen. Mandy was given First Aid and stabilized. She had visible head trauma and major lacerations. The Non-Profit Spay Clinic arranged for Mandy to be seen by a full-service veterinary office with an X-Ray machine, where it was revealed that she also had a broken elbow. Mandy was taken back to the Non-Profit Clinic where a staff veterinarian cleaned and sutured her wounds and prescribed medications. Carol Olson, also a Non-Profit Spay Clinic volunteer, took Mandy home and took over nursing and rehabilitation duties. Mandy has made a miracle recovery. Her face and head injuries are totally healed and the deep lacerations are just a memory. The broken elbow continues to heal, but will take time to finish mending. She plays with toys, and never misses her litter box! Mandy has now been spayed and FeLV/FIV tested negative. Mandy is sweet and playful and desperately needs a forever indoor home with a mature family. If you have the heart and home for Mandy, please call our Non-Profit Spay Clinic at
Last year, our mobile team has traveled to Lamont, CA numerous times. Lamont is a small farming community east of Bakersfield which does not have easy access to spay and neuter services or even a veterinary clinic. We partnered with Kern County Animal Services to be able to offer free spay and neuter to the Lamont area. Unfortunately, with almost any farming community, there are many stray cats living in or near barns. On each visit to Lamont, farm workers brought sick and very young kittens to the mobile clinics desperate for help. One litter in particular pulled at our heartstrings. A man who had physical disabilities, had brought many cats during our previous visits but did not show up for his appointment. Our staff was concerned because they knew he had many more cats that needed to be spayed and neutered, so they called him. He told the staff he was not able to get the cats to their appointment but the team could come over and whatever cats they could catch they could fix. The staff drove over and there were so many cats running around – and one litter that was so young and so sick! These little girls had such bad eye infections that their eyes were glued shut with discharge. They were thin, covered with fleas and had ringworm. Our vet looked them over and came up with a treatment plan. Over the next several weeks they have become friendly and healthy kitties. They have most of their sight back and once spayed will be ready for adoption!
On July 22, a kitten was found after being hit by a car. The kitten was in deep shock with multiple injuries to its rear legs and tail. The cat was immediately treated for shock, and medications were administered for pain. Surgery was performed the following day. The tail was amputated and the detached skin involving both rear legs was repaired. This kitten required four weeks of hospitalization. Without financial help from the Benevolent Fund, this kitten would most likely be euthanized. When no owner called to claim the kitten, she was put up for adoption. Jeff and Christine Griffith heard about the kitten from her rescuer and adopted her, to join their other two rescued cats. Newky is doing very well and has many behaviors that Christine feels indicate she was a stray before the accident. One is her collecting behavior. She will pull and drag large objects, such as boots, dragging them by the laces under the bed where she will stash them. If anything in the house is missing, Jeff and Christine know exactly where to look. Newky “purrs like a generator” and will wake Jeff and Christine with her loud noise when she sits on them while they are sleeping. Her many antics bring happiness and amusement to her family.