Changing the world one animal at a time
Insider Report
- October 2017 -
Board Report
By:  Sharon Lynn Sherman 
       Chairman of the Board
In less than the four weeks of September, 26 kittens, all under 6 weeks of age, and 4 adult cats were abandoned in boxes outside the front door of the Coronado Animal Care Facility (ACF), after hours and after dark.    The outside lights at the building were repaired to light up the front door and the parking lot, but then another 3 kittens and 2 adult cats were left in a box on the sidewalk near the entrance to the Old Ferry Landing.  

kittens in a crate
Two dogs were also abandoned at the ACF in September.   A sweet little dog named Siri was tied up by her owner to the gas meter outside the building, and a beautiful Husky was left inside the shelter when his owner said he would return with identification but never did.   A Basset Hound puppy we now call Adelaide and a Labrador puppy we now call Fidget were abandoned in Tidelands Park and Spreckels Park, respectively, and luckily both were brought to the shelter by Good Samaritans.   And, most horrifying of all, a 12 week old puppy, was thrown into a dumpster at Tidelands Park and luckily discovered by a Good Samaritan who heard the little one whining and then dumpster dove to pull her out.  

basset hound puppy
All of these animals are now in good hands, being cared for and loved.  The kittens have all been placed in foster homes until they are old enough and big enough to enter the shelter.  Siri, Fidget and Adelaide have been adopted. The Husky was transferred to the San Diego Humane Society as she was from outside of our jurisdiction.  The puppy found in the dumpster has been named Heather by the woman who saved her life and is now being fostered at her home.  

So, why is this all so worrying if all these animals are now doing well?   Most people think of animal cruelty as beating, or starving or neglecting an animal, and it is.  Some look at hoarding as animal cruelty, and it is.  But abandoning a helpless creature, who cannot ask for help, who cannot take care of him/herself, who could be hit by a car, who might fall prey to other animals, or to humans with inappropriate agendas, is just as surely the worst kind of animal cruelty.  

I suppose the people who abandoned these cats and dogs in September hoped for the best: that they would survive the cold and damp night air, the lack of food and water, the attention of unkind persons or the attacks of other animals seeking their prey.    

According to several behavioral measures, research suggests that dogs' mental abilities are close to those of a human child aged 2 to 2.5 years.  (Science Daily, April 2009).  Would these same people who abandoned these cats and dogs abandon a 2-1/2 year old toddler and simply hope for the best?  I pray not.

And I pray as well that people will stop thinking of animals as "less than."  That they will come to realize that all living creatures deserve our respect, and care and concern.  That even cats and dogs no longer wanted by their owners, have a life to live and joy to give to others.

It is not O.K. to leave kittens in boxes outside of shelter doors or on the streets.  It is not O.K. to tie up animals outside buildings or abandon them in parks.  And it is not O.K. to throw away an animal in a dumpster like a piece of trash.  

In our community there is never a need to do so.  The Coronado Animal Care Facility is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Staff can be reached at 619-522-7371.  After hours, the Coronado Police Department will accept any call regarding a lost, stray or injured animal.  They can be reached at 619-522-7350.  They will bring healthy animals to the ACF and place them for safekeeping in warm kennels with food and water.  They will transport any ill or injured animal to an emergency veterinary hospital.  I will accept calls at any time, as will Karen Dwinell, the ACF Medical Director, from anyone who needs to relinquish an animal but wants to keep their situation private.  Karen can be reached at 619-437-0220 and I can be reached at 619-435-2282.  It is O.K. to call any one of us.  We are here to help.  And calling and asking for help is the only thing that is O.K. when an animal's life is at stake.
The Stray Cat Strollers
Story and Photo by Kim Johnson

PAWS of Coronado has its own version of the Stray Cat Strut, but on wheels.   Nancy Stone and Debra Benson, PAWS volunteers, spend their Sundays taking our kitties out for some fresh air and new scenery.  
It's so fun to see our felines jump into these strollers, excited for a new adventure and a chance to watch birds and all the bay side activity of a tourist town.  

Because the public is genuinely curious, these kitties raise awareness of our facility location and its mission.  

When I see these ladies with the strollers along the Ferry Landing, it makes me smile to know how much compassion, time and love our volunteers offer our furry friends in need.  

And, their efforts don't go unnoticed by our kitties.  Spencer, a young male Tabby, gives hugs before and after each session.

Progress in Detecting 
Ovarian Cancer

It's no secret, dogs can identify several cancers, including prostate, breast, colon, lung, thyroid, and melanoma at an early stage in their development.  But, ovarian cancer is a silent killer.  "There is no early detection test, leaving many women with a Stage 3 or 4 cancer by the time it is diagnosed.  If a simple blood test could offer a very early diagnosis, many lives would be saved," says Vallie Szymanski,  co-founder and executive director of the non-profit, Chicago based Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness (OCSA).  

Dr. Cynthia Otto, executive director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, and Associate Professor of Critical Care at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, is working in collaboration with Monell Chemical Senses Center, Penn Physics and Penn Medicine and is close to identifying which chemicals dogs are specifically targeting when they sniff ovarian cancer. The outcome is astounding, and Dr. Otto says that as a result of the work, scientists may develop a blood test for early detection of ovarian cancer.  

One of several collaborators in this project is an oncological surgeon who provides blood samples. The dogs sniff the blood from patients with ovarian cancer, are clicked (using a clicker dog trainers use), and promptly rewarded with a treat and praise. Eventually, a normal blood sample is added to the line-up, but the dogs are only clicked and rewarded when identifying the cancer sample. Soon, upping the ante, a blood sample is added from a woman with an ovarian-related medical problem, such a cyst (benign ovarian disease), but not cancer. Dogs quickly learn to distinguish the difference between this "false alarm" and real cancer.

Dr. Otto says that dogs take about two weeks to begin to catch on, and after a few months of training they get it right at least 85 to 90 percent of the time.  "This is clearly statistically significant," says Dr. Otto. "There are three choices for the dogs and only one is right. It's mind boggling as to how dogs can do this so often. I'm even amazed at the possibilities."

While Dr. Otto's funding comes from many sources, a major one is OCSA which created a fund named for pet book author and certified animal behavior consultant Darlene Arden, who succumbed to ovarian cancer in February, 2017.  In addition to partnering with chemists and physicists who are attempting to determine which chemical changes occur in ovarian cancer patients, Dr. Otto has partnered with veterinary medicine from the very beginning of OCSA's efforts. 

Says Dr. Otto, "It's a profession dominated by women and obviously reaching women is our target. And we're also reaching out to veterinary students."  Says Kurt Kleptisch, DVM, of St. Charles, IL who serves on the OCSA Board, "I know how much our clients share with us.  Veterinarians know that it's not unusual for clients to share their own health concerns with us. I point out I am not 'that kind of doctor.' But based on the trust clients have in me, they share. By making veterinarians aware of ovarian cancer symptoms and encouraging clients to see their doctors, we've helped a lot of people."   Adds Ms. Szymanski, "We've always known that dogs can play a role.  But we didn't know how vital that role might be until we were introduced to Darlene Arden, and then Dr. Otto."

Said Ms. Arden, shortly before her death, "A dog's nose is God's greatest miracle. It's no coincidence that "dog" is God spelled backwards. Eventually, researchers on the human side may find a drug or treatment for ovarian cancer. Too many women can't wait for that to happen. Veterinary funded studies get things done!"

Falling in Love with Uno, 
Bruno ... Juneau!
by Christine Donovan

"Uno," looking like a German shorthaired pointer mix, was picked up as a stray in Coronado on January 1, 2017 (hence his shelter name), and estimated to be 12 years young. Although Uno bore the scars of a hard life - unneutered; with half his left ear torn off; a mouthful of missing and broken teeth; and some literal facial scars - he was handsome, healthy, and even-tempered. 

About two months later, my husband, Mike, happened to be at the Coronado Animal Care Facility when a trio of adorable poodle-mix puppies were brought in, one of which looked just like our own poodle-mix, Cassie, who we adopted from PAWS as a puppy four years ago.  (We also have an adopted male Shih Tzu who is now 15 years old.)  Mike texted me a picture of the puppies, and my mental wheels started spinning ... another little dog would be easy to handle!

Down to the shelter I ran, thinking I could be first in line for the Cassie lookalike. Once there, however - despite the overwhelming cute factor! - I knew that a "new" puppy was not for me. In fact, I had already decided that Cassie would be my last puppy (I refer to her as my "late-in-life" baby). In addition, I had had a great experience adopting an adult border collie mix, who had died a few years before - the best dog ever! - so I knew firsthand how easy it was to fall in love with a dog well past the puppy stage.

That's when I spied Uno in an adjoining kennel - 12 years old?!


Gosh, how sad! I immediately began conjuring all sorts of heart-wrenching scenarios of his previous owner: A senior citizen who was forced to relinquish Uno because his/her next residential facility wouldn't allow dogs; a navy family en route to an overseas assignment; an owner who couldn't afford Uno's geriatric care. It soon occurred to me: I could save this dog and put his previous owner's mind to rest!

As I was to find out, Uno's backstory is unknown (PAWS thought he might have been "dumped" in Coronado). Although his age did pull at my heartstrings, Uno also looked like the kind of "hunting dogs" I had grown up with; there was a comfortable familiarity that reminded me of my dog-loving dad. Beyond that - despite the two "littles" that currently share my home - I love big dogs, and I've had a big dog or big dog/little dog household for most of my life. 

I wanted to get to know this big dog better, so I decided to apply to the PAWS dog-walking program. Well, that was short-lived!  After one walk with Uno (I was the accompanying trainee), I decided to adopt him, and home he came.

What's it been like to adopt a 12-year-old shelter dog? For me: life-changing! For one thing, I didn't know that I could be as devoted to a recent "aged" adoptee as I am to the dogs that I've raised since they were in their youth ... but I am. Immediately, I (along with my husband) focused on Uno's well-being ... and even his name. I prefer "people" dog names, so I knew "Uno" wouldn't work, and given his German heritage, I quickly segued to "Bruno" (I wanted something that rhymed) ... but it never felt right. And then my husband came up with Juneau - although not a typical human name, it sounds respectful, and it suits him. 

As it turns out, the name Juneau - as in the Alaskan city - is from the French, meaning: youthful ... tres apropos! In fact, the most surprising thing about Juneau is his youthfulness! He's exuberant, playful ... even silly! I like to say he's twelve going on two! He acts like a puppy (bouncing around the house at a gallop), and he loves his squeaky toys (my husband thinks Juneau may have never had any toys before he was at PAWS - hence his fascination).  

Uno - toys

Integrating Juneau into our existing pack has been pretty easy, thanks to Juneau's easy-going disposition. Our poodle-mix had already assumed the role of alpha dog, as our Shih Tzu aged, and Juneau slipped right into position as dog #3 in their canine hierarchy. And since Juneau is not a couch-sitter or a bed-sleeper, unlike my other two, there's still plenty of canine real estate to go around.
Integrating Juneau into our existing pack has been pretty easy, thanks to Juneau's easy-going disposition. Our poodle-mix had already assumed the role of alpha dog, as our Shih Tzu aged, and Juneau slipped right into position as dog #3 in their canine hierarchy. And since Juneau is not a couch-sitter or a bed-sleeper, unlike my other two, there's still plenty of canine real estate to go around.

Juneau is also incredibly affectionate; he's one of those dogs that can "hug" with his head, nestling into your neck, or your lap, or even positioning his head between your hands and the shoes you want to tie. Juneau is also super smart - eminently trainable, very alert - and a devoted sidekick/shadow (he follows me around more than my long-timers do). 

A large dog, Juneau is more physically demanding than I imagined a 12-year-old dog would be.  He requires lots of long walks (unlike my littles), but I've always enjoyed walking large dogs because they enjoy it so much! It's been a pleasure!

The best part of adopting a dog in need (the "hard-to-adopt" that routinely get passed over in shelters) is the opportunity to feel good about life every day. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about the life Juneau used to live (for one thing, my veterinarian believes Juneau's teeth are worn down because he was caged). So, every day I think, "Today, this beautiful, intelligent, earned-his-stripes, devoted, affectionate animal is mine - and I can give him his best day ever.

As it turns out, that's also a recipe for my best day ever - and there have been a lot of them since I fell in love with Uno, Bruno ... Juneau!

Woman and cat snuggling
Why Do We Do
What We Do?

Because the little ones say such a nice "Thank You!"

              AUG  '17     SEP '17
Cats           8                9 
Dogs          6                8                  

Click to view our

Our Current Adorable Adoptables:





To view all our animals for adoption, click here.  

(Photos by Kim Johnson)
Be Careful with Your Pet's Food!
By:  Insider Report Staff Writer

Our Animal Poison Control Center experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol.            

Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. 

Grapes and Raisins
Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. Until more information is known about the toxic substance, it is best to avoid feeding grapes and raisins to dogs.
Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Milk and Dairy
Since pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other dairy-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Onions, Garlic, Chives
These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies.  

Onions_ Garlic_ Chives

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Kids at PAWS


These four wonderful kids gave up their Saturday to open and operate a lemonade stand, with all their earnings given as a donation to PAWS of Coronado.  Our animals are now enjoying toys and treats purchased with their earnings.  How proud our community can be of our young animal welfare advocates!

From left to right in photo:  
Grace Morgan, Liam Gaughan, Andrew Gaughan and Audrey Gaughan standing in front.

In Memoriam

This morning our sweet Princess died following a stroke or seizure. She is now in doggie heaven.

More than 2.5 years ago, my family started fostering Princess after she found her way to the Coronado Animal Care Facility following the death of her owner. At that time Princess was eleven years old, overweight, and had a large benign tumor on her chest. No one wanted to adopt her, so Travis and I took her home as a lifetime foster with PAWS of Coronado handling her medical needs. 


Princess was a delight, a canine who loved people. She not only brought joy to our lives, but she loved visiting with our family and friends, especially Kelsey, Courtney, Karen M, Art, Tim, Sandy and Bev.

I want to thank all my friends from PAWS who helped care for Princess while I fostered her: Teresa, Polina, Karen M, Claudia, Judith, Kelly, Katie, Carol and of course, Karen D, Sharon, Raquel and Dr. B.  We couldn't have managed without you.

We will miss Princess dearly, and are thankful that we were able to enjoy her companionship for as long as we did.

With fond memories,
Beth Good

Editor's Note:  If you have lost a pet and wish to honor him or her in our Insider Report, please send an article and photograph to for publication.

Upcoming Events:

October 8, 11:00 - 4:00 -   Coronado Fire and Police Open House
October 12, 8:00 am -  PAWS Board Meeting - Coronado Golf Course Clubhouse
October 25, 5:00 - 6:30 pm -  PAWS Halloween Yappy Hour - McP's Irish Pub
November 9, 8:00 am -  PAWS Board Meeting - Coronado Golf Course Clubhouse

Halloween Yappy Hour & Costume Contest - October 25, Wednesday, 5:00-6:30pm, at McP's Irish Pub

Yappy Hour Halloween
Sheruff Apollo

Happy Hour Generic

PAWS of Coronado -  - 619-435-8247