A P R I L   2 0 1 7
A-PAL Humane Society initiated the Community Cats program in 2013. This program enabled A-PAL to take feral cats from the animal shelter, spay or neuter them, and return them to their original colonies. This is "TNR" (Trap/Neuter/Return). The adoption of TNR in Amador County eliminated the mandated 72-hour-hold and euthanasia of feral cats formerly in place. Under a TNR program, ferals are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered at no cost to the individual, and returned to the location where they were captured. To most animal advocacy organizations, it is a humane program far preferable to the "Catch and Kill" method of feral population control because it eliminates the ability of treated animals to reproduce without killing them. It encourages community participation by removing the threat of death from the process. People who have been feeding feral cats need not worry that "their" cats might be euthanized should they elect to participate in the program. Neutered cats show far less aggressive behavior once back in their colonies, reducing the negative impact on local wildlife and domestic pets while retaining the hunting instincts that help control unwanted rodent populations. For TNR to be successful, all trapped cats should be returned to avoid what is called the "vacuum effect". When cats are not returned, other fertile cats will move in and the problem will continue to grow. Returned sterilized cats serve as place-keepers, eating food and keeping other cats from moving in. Colony managers/feeders must watch for new cats entering a colony that do not have the clipped ear designating them as sterile.
In Amador County, humane traps can be borrowed from Amador County Animal Control and Adoption Center for a refundable deposit of $75. They are also available from the Feed Barn, for the same refundable deposit plus a $3-a-day rental. Detailed instructions for the use of these traps are available at http://www.feralcat.com/trapinst.html .  If you need assistance with trapping, please call A-PAL at 209-223-0410.
All veterinarians in Amador participate in the TNR program. Contact the vet of your choice and let them know you are trapping cats, so you can arrange a day to bring them in. The spay/neuter procedure will be performed free of charge to residents of the county. All ferals receiving surgery will be given a rabies vaccination, also free of charge. To reduce cat overpopulation and the suffering that results from it, TNR must be a routine procedure. Jump in today. Help TNR succeed with FREE TRAPS, FREE SURGERY and FREE RABIES SHOTS



Friday the 24th
at the Feed Barn

Saturday the 1st
at the Paws Center

Saturday the 8th
at the Paws Center


Friday the 19th at  Jackson Rancheria


$9 for 9 LIVES for 9 DAYS


at American Legion Hall

BARK in the PARK 
Saturday the 30th at Detert Park, Jackson

All Treats, no Tricks

Animals and their people

Bring JOY to your WORLD

Saturday the 2nd
at the Feed Barn
Check these links for more information on TNR.
Alley Cat Allies on TNR
How big is this problem? 

Spotlight on STAFF: Andrea Fuentes
Caring.  Compassionate.  Committed. These are words that describe Andrea Fuentes.

Andrea joined the staff at ACAC & AC as a part-time employee in 2003. She had four years' prior experience in animal care working at Pine Grove Veterinary Clinic. In 2005, Andrea became a full-time Animal Care Technician at the shelter and today, she manages that department.

The job is varied in some respects and more like the movie Groundhog Day in others. While the animals come and go as they are adopted, day-to-day duties never change. Dogs and cats must be fed, their quarters cleaned and volunteers updated.

The best part of the job is seeing dogs go to good homes. "We love our dogs," says Andrea.  "All of us spoil them. They get a lot of attention." The kitten program keeps her busy, too, especially in late spring and early summer. The shelter receives kittens from two to eight weeks old.

Andrea has been married to Mike for 13 years and has two daughters; Skyie, 12 and Payton, 6 who are active in baseball and softball.  They have created a workout room at home that gets a lot of use. Not surprisingly, the household includes several animals.
The daily routine at the shelter may seem repetitive, but not when they are done by someone who truly loves her job.  And that is the best way to describe Andrea Fuentes.
WALKING DOGS... Observations from a volunteer
I have been a dogwalker at the Amador County Animal Control and Adoption Center for about seven years.  Whenever I tell someone that I volunteer at the Animal Shelter, the most common response is, "Oh, I couldn't do that. It's so sad."  Or, "I would want to take then ALL home." Maybe I'm hardhearted, but I really don't feel that way.
Is it too sad? While here, it's true, the animals stay in concrete kennels with metal bars for doors. But in all other respects, they receive a quality of care comparable to that of a home. The ACAC&AC staff is exceptionally dedicated and caring.  Cages and kennels are cleaned every day.  Animals are fed, seen by local vets for medical issues, and dogs are walked twice a day by volunteer dog walkers like me. There is a fenced play area where they can run around. Staff and volunteers are committed to giving the much-needed love and attention that many of these animals were not getting before they arrived here. In some instances, I truly believe the animals are better off at the shelter than they were with their former owners, because they have a chance for a new life.
Want to take them all home? Why not adopt the more practical goal of developing a positive relationship with them at the shelter--a goal that encourages them to be better pets in their own new homes? It's true that not all of our animals go out the front door. Because we are a county facility there are times when, due to behavior or health issues, an animal must be euthanized. However, our shelter does an awesome job of placing all adoptable animals in new homes. The save rate for dogs at ACAC & AC in 2016 was an amazing 90%.

Overall, I like to think that bringing some sunshine into the animals' lives by being present for them far outweighs the negative aspects associated with volunteering at a shelter. If you'd like to be a volunteer, stop by the shelter and complete an application or click  here to check out the County volunteer application form in advance. You'll be glad you became a volunteer!

Lisa Peterson has been a volunteer at ACAC & AC since 2010. Her energy brings a lot of joy to the dogs who meet her here. If you think you'd like to make a difference in the day of a shelter dog, consider joining the ranks. 

KAYA: Shelter Dog to Rescue Dog

from Margaret Blair

Kaya is a 2-year-old female German Shepherd that had been surrendered to ACAC & AC because her owner could no longer keep her.  She had been so out of control at the shelter, they could not even do their own temperament test.  When she first came to Twin Cedar K-9, it was all I could do to control her.  Once we got her to settle down a little bit, we tested her with 6 different people and 8 different dogs. Although she had absolutely no manners, she never showed any kind of aggression during her tests.  Even though I already had one dog from Amador County in my Second Chance Program, I made the decision to add her, in the hope that we could get enough control instilled in her to make her an adoptable dog.  Over the next several weeks we noticed the following behaviors in Kaya: 
  • She was very independent and not social with people at all. 
  • She got along with other dogs as long as they stayed away from her balls and toys.
Because of her obsessive behavior with toys, I decided to test her for trainability to become a working dog.  I am currently a member of the Amador County Search and Rescue team with my SAR K9 Vito. Vito is trained for trailing/tracking, can find deceased people, evidence, and anything that has gunshot residue. Because Vito is now 9 years old, I had been thinking for some years about training my next dog. Kaya fit the bill.

From the very first training trail we laid for Kaya, it was obvious that she was a natural!  She followed the exact path that my assistant took, which included turns and creek crossings.  She was just as happy as could be when she found her toy which the "lost person" had walked away with!  She's been working wilderness and urban trails and just loves what she is doing.  Kaya and I will be travelling to Canon City, Colorado in May and September to attend trailing seminars with the Canine Training Academy.  Kaya is still not social with people, but she absolutely loves finding them so she can get her toy back! Her behavior, temperament, and attitude have made a real transformation since we have given her a job.  She is a very happy girl now and she just can't wait to come out and get to work. Kaya is the second "Second Chance" dog to go into a search and rescue home. 
You can learn more about the Twin Cedar K9 Second Chance Program by going to my Twin Cedar K-9 website. 

we'd love to hear from you. Send your story, with photos if you have them, to Lisa Peterson.

I'm asleep. BUG OFF.

RED ALERT! Thinking of becoming a VOLUNTEER?
The need for volunteers  at Amador County Animal Control & Adoption Center has reached a critical level. I f you think you'd like to join our ranks, please, drop by to the shelter at 12340 Airport Road in Martell and request a volunteer application. We desperately need dog walkers, but anything you are able to do will help immensely. You can review  the  APPLICATION for VOLUNTEER WORKER   here, but you will need to fill out an original pink copy, available from the shelter.  
PHASE 2 of the original building plan for ACAC & AC's new facility called for a barn. That project has stayed on the shelf since the shelter was completed (in 2005), until a recent endowment from the estate of a local and generous animal benefactor got things moving again. Look for an article in an upcoming Newsletter on the past, present, and future of this project, plus details on how you can help get our barn built.

The firm that will design the barn has been chosen and will be onsite before the end of the month to take measurements for the customized design.