Archive for the ‘Pets & Animals’ Category

Single but can’t mingle? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pet

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

Photo: Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society offers 14 ways

Valentine’s Day is hard enough for singles, but with COVID-19 and quarantining, finding a date for the big day isn’t just difficult, it’s downright dangerous. 

However, if you have a pet at home, all is not lost. Your dog or cat aren’t just content to spend this holiday with you...they just happen to be some of the best companions around for a celebration of any kind, including Valentine’s Day. They’re also happy to do free or low-cost activities (unlike a high-maintenance human date).  

“Valentine’s Day is all about love, and the best way to show our cats love is by helping them feel like the wild cat they were born to be. Get out a wand toy and help them hunt and catch the dangling prey on the endYour cat will love you forever for that,” said Samantha Bell, cat expert for Best Friends Animal Society. “After feeling satisfied with themselves from the hunt they’ll be ready for cuddle-time. 

Dogs bring something a little different to the table, according to Marissa Sunny, CPDT-KA and senior dog lifesaving specialist at Best Friends Animal Society.  

Dogs are the best dates ever. There is no need to get all dressed up, because they love you unconditionally and are the best cuddlers,” she said. “Just keep in mind your dog’s energy and tolerance level for certain activities. Ask yourself, ‘What would my dogs perfect date be?’ 

With that in mind, Best Friends offers the 14 best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pet: 

  • Karaoke: Too shy to sing for your human friends? Here’s a chance to be a pop star with a built-in devoted audience! Bonus, no Simon Cowell-like critique!  
  • Remote roulette: If you can’t figure out what to watch from the thousands of options, put the remote under your pets paws and watch whatever comes up. 
  • Spa day: A relaxing bath, blow dry, and mani/pedi sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? Recreate that experience for yourself and then do the same for your dog with some leisurely grooming time. Since most cats don’t like water, try a gentle brushing session instead.  
  • Picnic: Take your leashed and harnessed travel-friendly dog or cat down to the local park, lake, or beach for a little fresh air and an alfresco meal with healthy treats for both of you. 
  • Scenic ride: If those four walls are closing in on you, leash up your dog or crate your travel-friendly cat for a drive to somewhere beautiful. A change of scenery will do everyone good. Don’t forget to post a selfie to share with your nature-deprived friends! 
  • Wine with art: Pull out your art supplies and pour a glass of vino to unleash your inner Picasso. Pets can have unexpected talents, too – just check out this video to get them started on a masterpiece. 
  • Pet Project Runway: If you’re good with a needle and thread, how about creating something spectacular for your fashion-forward pooch? Dogs who love clothes will really enjoy wearing something made just for them by their favorite person. Capture the fun on social to make your friends smile, too – and for added fun, tag Tim Gunn 
  • Dance party: Nothing gets the heart pumping and endorphins flowing like a good boogie. Select your favorite tunes and invite your dog or cat to join in the festivities. 
  • Concert for two: Whether you’re a beginner or advanced musician, there won’t be any traditional opportunities to play with other people for a while. So why notake out that instrument and play a ditty for your pet? (You can also Google your favorite band to see if there’s any new concerts online to watch together) 
  • Baking treats: Don’t fret over missed chocolates. Make yourself something to satisfy that sweet tooth and a healthy something extra for your pooch, too, with special recipes just for them.  
  • Pet-themed movie marathon: Instead of watching sappy human love stories, reimagine Valentine’s Day pet-flix for a night of binge-watching that both of you can relate to. 
  • Yoga class: Who doesn’t need a little Zen right about now? Check out YouTube for yoga classes, lay out your mat, and do some downward dog with your dog or cat. 
  • Make a playlist: From “What’s New Pussycat?” to “Who Let the Dogs Out?,” there are dozens of songs to create a fun soundtrack to share with your pet. Bring it along on your next drive together to really set the tone! 
  • Read a good book: The perfect (or purrfect) introvert experience that can be easily shared on a couch or a bed with lots of pillows, blankets, and your four-legged buddy by your side. Top picks: “Total Cat Mojo” and “The Art of the Racing in the Rain.” 

Of course, if you don’t already have a pet, now is a great time to adopt. There are dogs and cats of all ages, sizes, and personalities just waiting for Cupid to connect them with the perfect adopter. To get started, visit www.bestfriends.org and find a shelter or rescue near you.  

 

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2021 Contra Costa County Fair canceled

Thursday, December 10th, 2020

ANTIOCH – As a major event facility, The Contra Costa Event Park has been weighing all of its options, as we monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. There is no higher priority than the safety of our Fairgrounds family, patrons, vendors, promoters and sponsors at the Contra Costa Event Park. It is with heavy heart and great regret due to this ongoing situation the Contra Costa Event Park Board of Directors met last night and unanimously voted to cancel the 2021 Contra Costa County Fair scheduled for May 13 – 16.

We understand that this decision has both financial and emotional impact on all of our Fair partners. After thoughtful consideration, we do not feel it would be a responsible decision to continue with the planning of the 2021 Contra Costa County Fair, when it could potential be canceled at the last minute.

The Contra Costa County Fair has been an annual event for over 80 years, and has operated uninterrupted, with the exception of a few years during World War II. The Fair is a large part of our communities’ history and tradition, and the decision to cancel the 2021 Fair did not come lightly.

We thank the community and all of our partners for your continued support during these challenging times.

We look forward to seeing you all safe and healthy for the 2022 Contra Costa County Fair May 12 – 15.

 

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Owner of NorCal K9 in Antioch sentenced to two years in state prison for animal cruelty

Monday, July 13th, 2020

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa District Attorney

Garry Reynolds.

On July 10, the Honorable Patricia Scanlon sentenced the owner of NorCal K 9 Garry Reynolds (39-years-old) to two years in state prison. Earlier this year, a jury found Reynolds guilty of four felonies – all counts of animal cruelty for each dog under the care and supervision of NorCal K9, a dog training business. The jury found Reynolds was criminally negligent in the care of four animals under his company’s care in Antioch. (See related article)

Reynolds was remanded into custody immediately after he was sentenced. Judge Scanlon also denied a motion by Reynolds’ attorney to reduce the charges to misdemeanors and the motion for a new trial. Deputy District Attorney Arsh Singh prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. DDA Singh is assigned to the Felony Trial Team.

“I am satisfied the defendant will serve time in state prison due to his extreme negligence and disregard for the animals under his company’s care,” DDA Singh stated. “This case should serve as a wakeup call for any dog training company in our community. Animals deserve to be protected and treated well. Our Office will not tolerate the abuse of any animal.”

The City of Antioch started an investigation into the house where the dogs were located at 5200 Lone Tree Way. The investigation started as a code enforcement matter but progressed to a criminal investigation led by the Antioch Police Department due to a dog’s death. Two dogs were eventually euthanized due to the injuries the dogs suffered.

The investigation also led police to Devon Ashby, an employee of NorCal K9. Ashby was charged by the DA’s Office for his involvement in this case and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.

The following dogs were associated with the jury’s earlier guilty verdict:

  • Gunner, Doberman
  • Favor, Cane Corso
  • Zeus, German Shepherd
  • Rambo (Bo), Labro-Poodle

Case information: People v. Garry Reynolds, Docket Number 05-191200-5

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Antioch Friends of Animal Services to provide pet adoption fees beginning Thursday

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

By Antioch Friends of Animal Services

The following adoption special at Antioch Animal Services will begin on Thursday, April 2nd and will remain in effect until Saturday, May 2nd. It may be extended depending on if mandatory lockdown dates are extended.

Need a companion, co-worker, walking partner or playmate to keep you and the family company during the mandatory stay at home order as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Antioch Friends of Animal Services is sponsoring the adoption fees of all animals at Antioch Animal Services to encourage the public to adopt a homeless pet. There is no better time than now, when you are home and can help that new furbaby adjust to a home life.

All adoptions at Antioch Animal Services are by appointment only due to social distancing requirements. Please call (925) 779-6989 daily from 8am to 5pm to schedule a meet and greet with any animal (or animals) that you are interested in meeting.

You can view available pets at www.antioch.petfinder.comwww.petharbor.com or by following the Antioch Animal Services and Antioch Friends of Animal Services Facebook Pages.
The sponsored adoption fee includes: spay/neuter, microchip and age appropriate shots
Antioch residents will be required to pay a $20 license fee for dog adoptions.

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Antioch Animal Services participating in $25 Empty the Shelters adoption special through April 1

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

BISSELL Pet Foundation assists animal shelters with reduced adoption fees by appointment only

By Bri Olson, Communications Coordinator, BISSELL Pet Foundation

In response to COVID-19, BISSELL Pet Foundation will sponsor reduced adoption fees across the country starting Thursday, March 26 in efforts to assist animal shelters that are struggling with fewer volunteers and staff to care for their animals. With a rather atypical Empty the Shelters adoption special in place for the next week, the foundation hopes this will encourage families to add a furry quarantine buddy into their home in a time when it’s needed the most.

“Many shelters have already been forced to eliminate all foot traffic in their facilities, so overcrowding is becoming a real issue, said Cathy Bissell, Founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Organizations are scrambling to find fosters to take pets in during this desperate time and they need our help. That’s why BPF will also reduce fees for foster-to-adopt cases.”

Thanks to BPF funding, you can adopt a pet from Antioch Animal Services for $25 by viewing adoptable animals online at www.bissellpetfoundation.org/ets. Once an online application is submitted, shelter staff will work with potential adopters to schedule an in-person appointment with social distancing in mind. The Antioch shelter is located at 300 L Street in Antioch.

“COVID-19 is responsible for canceling many scheduled fundraisers and events that shelters rely on to operate, “says Bissell. “We will continue to ease the burden on our partners and work to find solutions for them in any way we can. This week, you too can be a part of the solution for homeless pets by choosing to adopt.”

BPF encourages interested adopters to be reminded that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there is no evidence to support any cases of transmitting the virus to/from pets.

“If you are able to bring a pet into your home, now is a perfect time,” says Bissell.

Reduced-fee adoptions are scheduled to extend until Wednesday, April 1.

If you’re unable to adopt, please consider donating to BISSELL Pet Foundation at www.bissellpetfoundation.org/donate. With a partner network of over 5,000, BPF has impacted over 250,000 homeless animals across the country since 2011.

About BISSELL Pet Foundation:

BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501©(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and emergency support. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, BPF is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. BPF has since partnered with over 5,000 shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada to help pets find loving homes. The foundation is supported by generous donors and BISSELL Homecare, Inc where every purchase saves pets. To learn more, visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org.

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2020 Contra Costa County Fair canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

By Joe Brengle, CEO Contra Costa County Event Park

ANTIOCH – As a major event facility, The Contra Costa Event Park has been monitoring the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. There is no higher priority than the safety of our Fairgrounds family, patrons, vendors, promoters and sponsors at the Contra Costa Event Park. Due to this ongoing situation the Contra Costa Event Park Board of Directors met last night and unanimously voted to cancel the 2020 Contra Costa County Fair scheduled for May 14 – 17.

The Fair Board realizes that the individual’s most affected by this cancellation is the youth livestock exhibitors of our county. The Fair Board did approve to let a committee of Contra Costa County 4H and FFA parents work on a Youth Fair where these youth livestock exhibitors could show and auction their animals. The Fair Board agreed to provide support to this committee as needed. If the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Contra Costa County Health Department, or the Governor of California lengthen the current restrictions and orders, it is possible that a Youth Fair will not take place. At this time dates for Youth Fair are yet to be determined.

We thank the community for your continued support during these challenging times.

Mark your calendars for the 2021 Contra Costa County Fair May 13 – 16.

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Adopt Your Pet of Gold with reduced fees at the Antioch Animal Shelter March 14-21, cats $10 all month long

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Spring Hospital Day Saturday, March 21

By Antioch Friends of Animal Services

During the period of Saturday, March 14th through Saturday, March 21st Antioch Friends of Animal Services (FOAS) will sponsor reduced adoption fees of $17 for all dogs. Antioch residents will need to purchase a one-year dog license at time of adoption. Antioch FOAS will also sponsor reduced adoption fees on all kittens under one-year-old.

Qualified Adopters will be responsible for the $17 adoption fees, which include: spay/neuter, microchip and age appropriate vaccinations.

Cats one-year-old and over have a $10 Adoption Fee the entire month of March sponsored by Antioch Animal Services.

Antioch FOAS will be hosting a Spring Hospitality Day in the shelter lobby, 300 L St in Antioch, on Saturday, March 21st from 1 to 4 pm. Antioch FOAS President and Founder, Barbara Sobalvarro will be on hand to greet the public. Refreshments will be served.

 

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Owner of Antioch based NorCal K9 found guilty for four felonies of animal cruelty

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Screenshot from CBS13 TV news report of Garry Reynolds.

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County District Attorney

Martinez, Calif. – A Contra Costa County jury found defendant Garry Reynolds (39-years-old) guilty of four felonies – all counts of animal cruelty. Reynolds is the owner of a dog training company, NorCal K9. The jury found Reynolds was criminally negligent in the care of four animals under his company’s care. Additionally, the jury found Reynolds not guilty on three counts of animal cruelty. (See related CBS13 TV news report) (See videos of dog training on Garry Reynolds’ YouTube channel)

In 2018, at a house in Antioch rented by the defendant, Reynolds and his former co-defendant Devon Ashby were responsible for the care of various dogs. Unfortunately, these dogs were neglected and not cared for in a proper way. Ashby pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty and testified during the trial for the People.

Reynolds faces up to 10 years in state prison due to his prior strike offenses. Judge Patricia Scanlon will sentence Reynolds later this spring. Deputy District Attorney Arsh Singh prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. DDA Singh is assigned to the Felony Trial Team.

“Animal cruelty cases are heartbreaking as these animals are innocent and deserve excellent care. Garry Reynolds took advantage of his customers and his ownership style contributed to the maltreatment of these dogs and the horrible death of Gunner,” DDA Singh stated. “The defendant claims to be a premier dog trainer yet showed no remorse and did not accept responsibility for the dogs under his care. I want to thank the jury for the important verdict in this case and the message sent to any dog trainer in our community that our Office will not tolerate the mistreatment of animals.”

The City of Antioch started an investigation into the house where the dogs were located at 5200 Lone Tree Way. The investigation started as a code enforcement matter but progressed to a criminal investigation led by the Antioch Police Department due to a dog’s death. In June 2018, Antioch police officers showed up at the house and found unsuitable and dangerous living conditions that jeopardized the health of the dogs staying at the property. In total nine dogs were removed from the property.

The conditions at 5200 Lone Tree Way were unsuitable for any animal. Antioch officials testified at the trial and reviewed with the jury that rotten raw chicken meat was found in various dogs’ kennels, urine and feces were not picked up or disposed of in a sanitary manner, and the house’s ventilation system was not properly used. When officers arrived on June 25 to the property, the weather in Antioch was extremely warm and the ventilation system in the house was not being used. Dogs under the care of Reynolds were placed in small rooms or the kitchen in stacked kennels all close together. Further, there was an immense amount of trash and debris inside and outside the house.

The following dogs were associated with the jury’s guilty verdict:

  • Gunner, Doberman (Count 5)
  • Favor, Cane Corso (Count 6)
  • Zeus, German Shepherd (Count 7)
  • Rambo (Bo), Labro-Poodle (Count 8)

Case information: People v. Garry Reynolds, Docket Number 05-191200-5

Publisher’s Note: A photo posted with this report, earlier was not of Garry Reynolds. Apologies for the mistake.

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