50 Years: How Times Have Changed

A Golden Milestone in Compassion and Changes Animal Welfare

In 1973, the year Napa Humane was founded, Richard Nixon was the President and a gallon of gas cost $0.39. How times have changed! Back then, dogs were rarely purchased or adopted – usually people just knew someone whose dog had puppies. Dogs often spent most of their lives in the backyard or garage, tied to a tree with only a doghouse for shelter. Not so long ago, obedience training relied on choke chains and punishments to shape behavior. Dogs were expected to be practical, contributing members of the household – a far cry from today’s “fur babies!”

Our relationship with pets has evolved a lot over the years, thanks to a variety of social, cultural, economic, political and even technological changes that have shaped our outlook and values. Modern research has shown us that pets are good for our emotional and physical health. (It’s sure hard to beat their unconditional love and companionship!) The need to walk and entertain a dog often pushes owners to get out of the house, stretch their legs, and connect with nature and other people face to face.

People are much more reluctant to leave their pets home alone now, so our dogs tag along with us – which makes manners and socially appropriate behaviors even more important. More people than ever before are enrolling their puppies in pre-school, where fear-free methods and positive reinforcement have replaced choke chains and physical discipline.

These days, folks are much more willing to spend money on their pets, whether that’s on training, pet outfits, or other animal-themed bling. We also have many more services available to support (and pamper) our pets, like pet health insurance, government-funded dog parks, doggy day care, and pet-friendly travel accommodation. At the same time, veterinary medicine has taken mighty leaps forward, allowing us to raise the standard of care for our pets tremendously.

Napa Humane has been there every step of the way to ensure that all pets have access to wellness, training, and education regardless of one’s income, and we are continuing to strive for purrfection as we head into our next 50 years!

Of course, we aren’t doing this alone. Because you love animals and want the best for them, YOU and people like you have ensured that spay/neuter is accessible and affordable in Napa County – so that puppies and kittens are not born to an uncertain future.

YOU made it possible for Napa Humane to bring affordable dog training classes and puppy socialization to our community, so that pets and their people have the tools they need for success when we take them to parks, work, vacations, and even restaurants with us.

YOU understand that every pet should be able to see a veterinarian for regular check-ups – and certainly during times of illness or injury. As we navigate the current critical veterinary shortage, you might want to support Napa Humane as we fund Veterinary and Registered Veterinary Scholarships that bring more qualified pet caregivers into practice.

Since you know shelter animals and community cats are most vulnerable, you may choose to support Napa Humane so we can continue to provide veterinary rounds at the Napa County Animal Shelter, and spay/neuter services for unowned cats.

For 50 years, Napa Humane has received no government funding. We rely 100% on private grants and YOU to keep Napa a humane place for our beloved pets.

With your help, we can rise to meet the changing needs of Napa Valley’s animals in the next 50 years – and stay one step ahead through smart, preventative programs that make the most of every dollar you entrust to us!

Your donation of $50 ensures 5 pets can get microchipped, making it far easier to reunite them with their family if they are lost.

Your donation of $500 ensures that 4 community cats are spayed/neutered – or that 4 dogs and their people can participate in humane, effective dog training.

Your donation of $5,000 helps pay for veterinary school, so that we have more skilled veterinarians and RVTs available to care for our pets when they need it.

Can you help with a gift today? Every dollar you invest in preventative programs today saves thousands of future dollars dealing with animal suffering that could have been avoided.

You have the power to make a difference!


Together, we make Napa humane.

Wendi Piscia, Executive Director

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Napa Humane’s mission is to promote the welfare of companion animals through protection, advocacy, education, and by example.

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