Column: “Smart Paws” on – Maddie’s Adoption Recap, How Many Dogs Come to the Shelter on the Weekend? + Upcoming Events

June 18, 2014 14:00 pm · 29 comments


Hello Claycordians!

First, I wanted to recap a bit of the Maddie’s Adoption weekend I told you about on my last column. Their goal was 10,000 adoptions nationwide. Remember, Maddie’s Fund was footing the bill for all of these adoptions and they had a lofty goal and a large $10 million dollar budget. But as you can see from this snippet of their press release, they smashed their goal, and then some!

“In 2014, its fifth year, Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days was held the weekend of May 31 and June 1. More than 200 shelters and rescue groups in 9 states worked hard to find homes for more than 15,000 shelter pets – an increase of 78% over last year’s 8,432 adoptions! Maddie’s Fund originally set aside $10 million this year to underwrite these adoptions, but the total donation amount is likely to be much higher.”

Locally, our shelters and rescues did very well. It was an amazing weekend full of so much enthusiasm and hope for these animals. I watched in awe at a couple of different adoption locations at the sheer dedication and care by the volunteers of the rescues, and both staff and volunteers at the shelters. But, the push to find homes for our local homeless animals continues. Remember, you can continue to support our local shelters and rescues even after the Maddie’s event by clicking on this list of local shelters and non-profit rescues.

Did you know that it’s not uncommon for 40+ dogs to come through the Martinez shelter doors on any given weekend? Yes, just a weekend. Some are strays and will be reunited with their owners. Some are surrendered by their owners. And still some, are never claimed. If they pass their temperament tests, they go up for adoption. Almost every breed you can imagine goes through the shelter doors, what’s your favorite? And it’s not just the shelters. Think of the rescues. There are many local, reputable rescues, some specializing in certain breeds. Each time you adopt from a rescue, you free up a foster home so they can pull another from the shelter. If you’re not ready for the commitment of adoption, think about fostering. Rescues need you!

We will continue to feature available dogs (and cats) at our Smart Paws Facebook page and you can always search by zip code at There are currently 30+/- dogs available at the shelter waiting for their forever home. The shelter is located at 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez. You can call them at (925) 335-8300.

And for you kitty lovers, another great program going this June at the Martinez shelter:

“June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. We are celebrating all month long by waiving all fees for senior cats 7 years and over as part of our “Senior Moment” promotion. Please consider adopting an older cat. They still have a lot of love left to give!

We’re are open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10am until 5pm and Wednesdays until 7pm.”

Finally, we leave you with just 4 of the over 30 dogs available for adoption now at the shelter. Go down there and meet your new best friend! You can search for their ID numbers at Adopt, don’t shop! “Like” us on Facebook so you can help us share these deserving pets waiting at the shelter!

Sandy Eggo June 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Love this column. I went to the Maddie’s Adoption event at Baldwin Park in Concord and it had a pretty good turnout. Everything from the usual dog and cat rescues, to a potbelly pig rescue and even a rat rescue. So neat to see so many fellow animal lovers working to find homes for these sweet critters.

Fur Familes Unite! June 18, 2014 at 2:44 PM


jtkatec June 18, 2014 at 2:50 PM

A worthy event.

But, my Zoe would have never passed a temperament test. It took us over six months for her to stop snarling when she was pet, and over two years to get her to stop growling if you wrapped your arms around her.

She’s a love-bunny now and even allows us to touch her tail which was big snarl/bark unitl just last year.

Don P - N. Concord June 18, 2014 at 3:59 PM

I want Coco!

Dorothy June 18, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Love cats and dogs, birds not so much. But allergic to them.

ANNONeeemoose June 18, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Don, go see Coco! Seriously, she’s running out of time down there 🙁

Momo June 18, 2014 at 4:48 PM

All my animals are rescue pets. One kitty I have was going to be euthanized because of her timid personality. She has turned out to be the most fun cat that I’ve ever had.

Annon June 18, 2014 at 4:51 PM

I am sorry but I have a bitter feeling right now, it is great getting these animals adopted, but you are bringing money also. The martinez animal shelter emailed me back to say kittens go faster, but there is no such thing as a no kill shelter in contra costa county. I have called Tony Larusa in walnut creek 2 times and left messages and emailed no response. I guess I will have an adoption in my front yard and hopefully find some good homes. It all sounds great, and you see just a small picture of what is happening when you go to these adoptions. I am so disappointed.

Cowellian June 18, 2014 at 5:01 PM

We have a couple of wonderful rescue dogs. We chose one of them and the other one chose us. It’s funny how that works.

ANNONeeemoose June 18, 2014 at 5:04 PM

What are you talking about Annon? You mean you don’t think it should cost anything to adopt an animal? Do you know that when you adopt an animal from either the shelter or a rescue they come with immunizations, spayed/neutered, wormed, vet checked and often microchipped. There are no truly “no-kill” shelters in the area. And while ARF likes to say they are, they also get to hand-pick the dogs and cats they bring in for adoption. I’m not understanding what you’re bitter about? You think giving away puppies and kittens in a front yard with no immunizations and not being spayed/neutered/vet checked is ok?

Silva June 18, 2014 at 5:09 PM

My last (passed away) dog I rescued wouldn’t have passed a temperament test. You couldn’t ever put your hand near his food bowl, but he was a great dog.

SmartPaws June 18, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Hi everyone! Thanks for reading! I really want to bring awareness to the animals who desperately need your help! As some of you mentioned, it is true, some dogs do not pass the temperament tests at the shelters. Those dogs may be made available to “rescue groups” only. Sometimes, you can still adopt with a “behavior waiver.” Some dogs are just straight up scared out of their minds in the shelter. Have you visited? It is noisy, confusing and busy. Many turn into totally different dogs in a home environments, and some will still need some help with patience and/or professional training assistance.

Don, please go see Coco. She’s been there a while, and has a very treatable skin condition that can be brought on by stress. She’s beautiful, trainable, and very well liked by the volunteers and staff there. She needs out right away.

Annon, I would be curious as to your concern? Adopting from the shelter or a rescue brings a lot of benefit including vaccinations are up to date, they’re spayed or neutered, often wormed and microchipped.

Again, thanks for reading and visit the Facebook page as I post dogs and cats around the area all the time. And if you’re looking, you might just find your new best friend. Even if you’re not, you could help by sharing the photos and help get these guys out of the shelters!

Silva June 18, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Dorothy, I sure hope that NEVER happens to me. I’d be lost without my cats

Just_My_Two_Cents June 18, 2014 at 6:52 PM

My last dog (now deceased) was adopted at 3 years old from Martinez pound. She was very sweet. I had her for almost 10 years.

My current dog was adopted through Maddie’s Fund last year. She is awesome. I’m very happy.

Thank you Maddie’s Fund!

Linda June 18, 2014 at 9:06 PM

We found out wonderful guy with Umbrella Of Hope Rescue. His name is Bo he is 7 and soooo well behaved and laid back. He is well trained, and loves to be with us. We are seniors and he is a good addition to our home. Thank you Maddie’s Fund and Umbrella of Hope.

Wahhh! June 18, 2014 at 11:25 PM

I was looking at Charlie on the PetHarbor site last night and by this afternoon his picture was taken down! 🙁 I so wanted him but couldn’t make it to the shelter until Fri! Hope that means he went to his forever home. Boo hoo for me!

Cowellian June 19, 2014 at 5:03 AM

I’ll bet there’s another one, just perfect for you, there on Friday.

Annon June 19, 2014 at 6:24 AM

I am not saying its wrong to pay for adopting animals, especially if they have been sprayed or neutered, vaccinated. I am talking about shelters that are too full and the responses from some, when you are trying to do the RIGHT thing and care for animals that are not really mine. A woman from Dana Estates sent an email to link on feral cats and getting help on trapping them, getting them sprayed and or neutered and then either finding homes or releasing them…I really do not have extra money to care for 5 extra animals and vet bills, but will do this. The father cat has moved in, with the mother and 4 kittens. So I am grateful to this organization information. I will let you know how Allie cats/cat support network, works out. I am against all these non profit organizations, receiving so much money, but have limited resources for shelter.

ShelterVolunteer June 19, 2014 at 7:04 AM

I love this column. It’s great to see so many furry babies adopted and was so glad that Maddie’s did so well this year. I hope it grows every year. There are lots of animals who would be deemed unadoptable by the shelters — too timid, grouchy, growls, etc. Animals in a shelter aren’t always themselves, sometimes they curl up in a corner and appear to be anti-social, but they are really depressed. It does pay to go look at pound puppies and kitties because some of these animals may be the “unadoptable” ones who could use a chance in life. I hope everyone goes and adopts a shelter pet. I adopted a golden lab years ago. He needed training, but after training him he was absolutely perfect. He was about 5 when I adopted him, learned the basic commands after just a few times of showing him what I meant. Brilliant dog. Loved him.

SmartPaws June 19, 2014 at 7:18 AM

Hi Wahhh! It’s true, Charlie is safe! He was either adopted or pulled by a rescue. If a rescue, that means he may still be available for you to adopt from them directly. I’ll let you know if I can confirm! Polly also got adopted late yesterday!

If you visit the Smart Paws Facebook page (link above) we try to feature dogs that need homes throughout the day. Plus you can search the local shelter on anytime!

Happy adopting, there are still many that need you!

Marissa June 19, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Of course there always is…

jtkatec @ Wahh June 19, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Wahh, years back I used to visit the Martinez pound once a week because I really wanted a dog. For weeks there was this one reallly ugly brown pathetic looking dog which I always saw in kennel 15. One day I went at lunch to Martinez and there was this BEAUTIFUL black Shepherd. I hurried out to the pet store to buy a leash and collar and then back to work, anticipating 5:00 so I could rush back out to the pound to adopt that magnificent black shepherd.

Got back out to Martinez after work and boo-hoo, the shepherd had been adopted, with me standing there with collar and leash in hand.

Dang it, I was determined to get me a dog, so I walked the kennels. That pathetic ugly brown dog just watched me and so I just stopped and said “you’re it, beast”.

That dog transformed on the way home into the most happy beautiful dog, tail wagging, grinning, with head hanging out the care window.

We were best buds for over ten years and she was the BEST dog ever.

Mimi (original) June 19, 2014 at 9:27 AM

After years of showing Salukis, when the last one passed away we turned to rescues. All of our pets are rescues of one type or another: the oldest, a cat, adopted us while we were car shopping – hopped in our car, went home with us and never left. Next, a Manchester terrier/Chihuahua was adopted via ARF. A black lab mix, the runt of a little that no one wanted, was purchased on a street corner, out of a little box of puppies. The next cat, from a cat rescue group. And the last, a Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua mix we got right here at the Martinez animal shelter. We love our pets!!

Silva June 19, 2014 at 1:52 PM

#23, could you be sure that cat was homeless? While I very strongly disagree with pets being left outside on their own, many people still do. If you weren’t sure it was a homeless cat, there could have been a family left wondering what fate had befallen their loved one. Then again maybe an argument could be made that a friendly cat left outside might be fair game for a new home with a less neglectful owner. Otherwise, it’s a lot like stealing.

Wahhh! June 19, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Thanks SmartPaws for checking. Back in March my daughter and I saw a sweet Australian Cattle/Siberian mix at the Martinez shelter who was deemed unadoptable because she was in the timid dog program but avail to a rescue group. She was really responsive to us but we hmmmd and hawwwd for a week and went back the following weekend going straight to her kennel but she wasn’t there anymore. When we asked they said they had put her down that week. I think the lady was trying to be kind by saying she was really sick. Either way, we both left in tears, not even voicing the what ifs! Fortunately we already have a wonderful rescue dog but we were looking to expand our furry family! We’ll keep keeping our eyes open on the look out for the right one! Thx.

FoxyLady June 20, 2014 at 3:34 AM

Folks I think there is some confusion going on here. There are many dogs that are deemed unadoptable because they appear to be anti-social or depressed or sick or what have you. There is no sense in comiserating over those particular animals because the last time I checked..unadoptable means just that: UNADOPTABLE. The shelter does not make unadoptable animals available to the general public. It would be nice if eventually the rules could be relaxed a little for the unadoptables. As we all know, a great many things can negatively impact the appearance of an animals character while at the shelter. But that is a whole nother topic that cannot be solved over-night. In the meant time there are still plenty of adoptable animals in need of forever homes that are being euthanized daily in Martinez and Pinole, (our 2 county-run shelters in Contra Costa).

Annon: you have misplaced anger. You are doing a good thing helping a feral mom and kittens (I think that is what you are doing). I hope Alley cat helps you to understand the extreme importance of performing rescue work in a responsible fashion. Freral kittens will need to be handled and socialized a great deal if you are to have any hope of adopting them out as pets. ALL OF THE CATS WILL NEED TO BE SPAYED (not sprayed) OR NEUTERED BEFORE PLACING THEM INTO LOVING HOMES OR RE-RELASING THEM INTO A COLONY. The reason that rescue groups (whether they have non -profit status or not) cannot be no-kill is not because they are so limited in scope. Rather it is because the flow of unwanted and discarded animals is unlimited. Society, in general, still needs to make reducing the number of healthy and adoptable animals which must be euthanized a high priority. In other words it is not the shelters’ fault they have to euthanize, it is Joe Q public’s fault for failing to spay and neuter their pets and still viewing animals as diposable.

Silva June 20, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Lesson; Don’t wait till next time!

SmartPaws June 20, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Foxxylady, in fact many dogs not on the general adoption list ARE available to rescue groups. Some are in or have graduated from the timid dog program. If available to rescue , it’s not hard to find a rescue to help you pull that dog. You can foster, adopt or foster to adopt one of these “rescue only” dogs. Still others can be adopted to the general public with a “behavior waiver.” All depends on the situation. Sometimes the staff or volunteers will highlight some of these rescue only dogs. Sometimes they are very worthy of a home and if one is patient and so inclined, I would say it’s an excellent feel good way to go. Many of these dogs are like night and day outside the shelter . And for some with medical issues, the shelter and rescues already need fosters to help get the pups back to health and out to forever families.

Thanks for caring !

SmartPaws June 22, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Hi Claycordians. It is Sunday. The shelter volunteers are staffing adoption hours today at the Martinez shelter (4800 Imhoff Pl, Martinez) from 12-3 today.

URGENT for Hershey (little guy in the photo at the top of this post), his last day may be today 🙁 Unfortunately these little chihuahuas just get overlooked, there is just so many. If you’ve even halfway thought about going to meet him, please do it today. Shelter is closed tomorrow (mon). Here’s a video of Hershey: Hershey needs our help – extended to thisTuesday 6/24 – Martinez Shelter – Please come meet him today 12-3. The shelter is closed Monday.

See the Smart Paws facebook page as we’ve posted some video of Hershey and of Mattie – a gorgeous 6 yr old girl also facing the same timeline as Hershey.

Please spay and neuter! Don’t breed or support backyard breeding by buying from Craigslist. Please share the facebook posts far and wide to see if these pups can find their forever.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: