Saving Lives and Opening Doors

Though less than a year old, Napa Humane’s new Shelter Medicine and PAWS initiatives are already having an amazing impact on local shelter animals and pets of our unhoused community. By stepping in to assist our most vulnerable furry friends, we are dramatically improving their lives as well as their human connections.

Our PAWS program is a partnership with Napa County Health and Human Services, Abode (The South Napa Shelter) and Napa Humane to provide services for the pets of the unhoused. Napa Humane’s Case Manager works with Abode clients to connect them with necessary pet-related services – such as veterinary care, grooming, and Napa Humane’s own spay/neuter, vaccination and training programs. We refer pets with non-preventative medical needs to another vet in town. Napa Humane’s Friday Vaccine Clinic has helped resident pets caught up on vaccines and microchipped.

We are particularly grateful to have met one of the Abode dogs when we did. When she came in for her spay and we began operating, we discovered she had a pyometra – a serious and life-threatening infection of the uterus, for which the only cure is a spay. This spay surgery allowed us to save this sweet dog’s life. Through our PAWS program, we have scheduled 10 more dogs and cats for spays/neuters at our Clinic over the next month.

The savings for our clients using our preventative services, instead of a full-service veterinarian, are immense. For example, the partner vet that we have negotiated a discount with still charged $80 for a vaccine we offer for $15. We are glad that your donations and support help individuals save money, and redirect their funds in ways that address the other significant financial challenges one may be facing.

While Napa Humane staff spends most of our time with clients at Abode, we also recently added office hours at the North Napa Shelter (The Motel 6) and the Valley Lodge Apartments, where permanent housing has been made available to formerly unhoused people. Providing permanent housing at these two locations has allowed people with families and pets to come in off the streets together – and stay together. Demand is high for veterinary services at these two new locations and our staff is working hard to connect residents with the services their pets need.

Meanwhile, Napa Humane’s Shelter Medicine program continues to improve life for our local animals by providing veterinary rounds at the Napa County Animal Shelter (NCAS). Dr. Vance has already completed 138 rounds this year, conducting countless labs and bloodwork, setting up a ringworm quarantine, dispensing prescriptions, performing necropsies, and working on protocols and directives.

Dr. Vance will be making more frequent visits to NCAS once kitten season begins, as there will be a huge spike in feline residents. We’ll continue to neuter male cats on these days, to help shorten their length of stay in the shelter. Keeping stays short is critically important for NCAS. The longer the stay per animal, the higher the costs to the shelter. The longer an animal is confined, the greater the demand for sufficient space, interaction and environmental enrichment to prevent confinement-related stress and behavioral disorders. Quicker access to veterinary care also reduces a pet’s length of stay; the faster we can clear them from medical concerns, the faster they can head out with their adoptive family.

We’ll end with this photo of Napa Humane’s Dr. Vance and an NCAS assistant, examining a cat that was brought in with a huge abscess on his head. Dr. Vance was able to treat the abscess, neuter the cat, and get him out of the shelter to start living his best life.

Thank you for supporting Napa Humane, and empowering us to do this important work!

And thank you, Dr. Vance for being an amazing Veterinarian!  ♥

If you’d like to make a donation to help with our Shelter Medicine or PAWS programs, please click here.

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