A Month in the Life of Napa Humane

February may be the shortest month of the year, but you wouldn’t know it from all the activity at Napa Humane.

Clinic Staffing

We have hired a new Clinic Assistant Manager, Hayley, who comes to us with management and animal welfare experience. I am beyond excited to add this depth to the Clinic team, and have been busy re-arranging the Clinic office furniture and loading her computer so we will be all set to welcome her on Tuesday the 27th. 

We also have a new Vet Assistant/Client Services Coordinator starting Monday. Esai will be filling the shoes of Hilda, who is starting Registered Veterinary Technician school in March. We wish her well and hope that she re-joins us once she is certified! One of our former full-time RVTs is helping out while we continue our RVT search. Happily, we are in talks with a great RVT candidate and hope to offer her a position soon.


Two new interns from New Tech High School joined us this month, spending 4-5 hours each week working and learning with our staff. We have also laid all the plans needed to welcome a new intern in March, in partnership with Moving Forward Towards Independence. We have worked with Moving Forward quite a bit in the past to provide Paid Internship Programs, which allows them to pay adults with developmental disabilities in order for them to gain work experience. Our Moving Forward intern will be joining us for 16 hours a week for 6 months. She comes to us with a passion for animal welfare and some experience in the field already. 

Shelter Support with Napa County Animal Shelter

In addition to the general veterinary rounds, disease control, feline neuters and education that we provide to the Animal Shelter staff at each visit, we have been able to jump to the rescue in some interesting cases this month. The Shelter recently rescued 38 chihuahuas from a single home. When the vet that the Shelter usually contracts with said that they do not provide health certificates for animals, we were able to step in and quickly provide exams and health certificates for 20 of the dogs, so they could be transported to an out-of-state shelter. 

Believe it or not, there are some parts of the country where chihuahuas are rare, and enterprising California shelters like ours will often transport these dogs to the states where they are coveted and very quickly adopted. We also were able to see a few of these dogs for their neuter surgeries, so they could be put up for adoption locally. I am happy to report that besides needing some serious socialization, they were in fairly decent shape.

Additional Shelter Support

Our Humane Education Manager, Alyssa, provided an hour-long training for employees of Abode (the shelter for unhoused humans), the County and some of the team at the Animal Shelter. She spoke about behavior, the use of muzzles, general safety and addressed the staff’s questions about safety and how to handle the frequently recurring situations that arise with some of the larger canine residents at Abode. Alyssa has also provided a few one-on-one sessions with a couple of the Adobe residents, who needed assistance with their dogs’ behavior so they could fit in and co-exist peacefully with the other shelter residents.

Through our new PAWS Program for the Pets of the Unhoused, we have provided 3 spay/neuter surgeries for this population in the past week. Our case manager holds office hours at Abode each week so we can meet with the residents and discuss their needs. Most of the visits are for food, warm pet clothing and general veterinary care. The County has already asked us to expand this program to include serving the residents at the new Motel 6 shelter, and another Abode-related housing complex on Coombs. We are excited to make this work.

Dog Training

Napa Humane’s dog training courses and workshops are in full swing, with Alyssa teaching 5 classes on Sundays, and 2 per night Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We held three special one-time workshops in February, and finished our first “Tricks ‘n’ Treats” and “Intro to Dog Sports” classes this month – and the dogs did awesome! Clients have requested that these be offered regularly, and we hope to be able to oblige.  Check out all of our dog training classes here!

Other Clinic Updates

In beautification news, we have added new gravel to the Clinic parking lot, as the non-asphalt portion was quite bare and incredibly muddy during times of rain. Van Winden’s Landscaping was kind enough to discount and deliver the product. We also owe a special shoutout to Salvador from Taqueria el Rey (a delicious food truck parked near the Clinic), who saw the pile of gravel, recruited a friend to help, and came to our rescue – spreading the truckload out for us. Our Clinic Manager’s husband generously pressure washed the outside of the Clinic, and everything is looking so much better. Next up: a few beautification projects on the inside of the Clinic, including some caulking and a painting refresh.

2024 Wellness Clinics

vet consultationOur Wellness Clinic program aims to remove the language and financial barriers that can often stand in the way of pets receiving care. Due to a lack of veterinary volunteers and a few other extenuating circumstances, we unfortunately had to cancel our planned February wellness clinic. Even so, we were able to provide significant essential services to the targeted population. So far, we have seen 22 pets for spay/neuter at our clinic and have provided free microchips, vaccines, flea meds and nail trims to those clients. We have an additional 23 pets scheduled for surgery next week. Being able to reach 45 pets for spay/neuter and other life saving services is huge, and has made a real difference in supporting this pet population.

Spay/Neuter and Vaccination/Microchip Clinic

In addition to all of the above, we are methodically working our way through a fully booked spay/neuter calendar. The Clinic has performed 288 spay/neuter surgeries in just 17 surgery days so far this month (at the time this was written) – an average of 17 surgeries EACH DAY. At the four Friday microchipping and vaccination clinics this month, we also treated 259 pets – more than 64 animals per day, on average. Our incredible Clinic team is running like a well-oiled machine, saving lives and improving others every day.

I leave you with this photo of Harry, a community cat who was neutered yesterday under our Feral Cat Package, and who is already well on the way to living his best life.

Lisa Alexander

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