Critter Chronicles Newsletter - September 2005

    Cover - September 2005

    September 2005 Volume 1, Issue 1

    Inside this issue:

    It's All in the Title

    After making many changes to the newsletter, there was still one thing missing… a catchy name! The title had to be original, and represent OC Animal Care in a unique way.

    In order to try and solve this small, yet significant problem, we held a newsletter title contest at the shelter for all employees to participate in, and the input we received was very creative! After some deliberation we decided that ACO Mike Ramirez's title, "Critter Chronicles" was perfect.

    Mike Ramirez photo

    Our winner, ACO Trainee Mike Ramirez

    Officer Ramirez is one of our newest additions to our field services team. He was hired in June, and has just completed his ACO training. So far, Mike is enjoying the vast amount of information his coworkers have been sharing with him. "I have been very impressed with the breadth of knowledge and experience represented among the other ACO's here. I have already benefited from their expertise during the various training modules, and I look forward to learning more from them."

    While Mike does not have any pets of his own, he does admit to enjoying the time he spends playing with his sister's cat named "Kitty." Mike also hopes that he can get on board as a foster parent and help save the lives of special needs animals.

    When asked how he came up with the title, "Critter Chronicles," Mike replied, "I often refer to the animals we work with as "critters." Some are cuties, and some are not so cute. Regardless, they all have a story, and OCAC is apart of that. I imagine that the newsletter will chronicle some of these stories… hence the name!"

    back to top

    One Lucky Dog

    Spunky' photo

    "Spunky" the day he was
    brought into the shelter.

    Spunky, a 4 year-old Chihuahua mix, came to OC Animal Care back in late February 2005. His story is special to OCAC because he was brought in as an animal cruelty confiscate by one of our Animal Control Officers.

    When Spunky arrived, he was completely emaciated, dehydrated, and was lacking the essential nutrients to maintain a healthy body weight. Spunky weighed a total of 11.4 lbs on his initial weigh in. After just eleven days of a consistent diet, he had gained 5 more lbs, which turned out to be over a 46% increase in his body mass!

    In March, Spunky's family signed papers which officially gave OC Animal Care custody over him, and the right to find him a new home. After maintaining a healthy body weight for a couple months, Spunky was neutered, micro chipped, and received updated vaccinations. While being handled by employees, Spunky showed that he was very good on a leash, and great with other animals.

    Spunky' photo

    "Spunky" just 2 months
    after being cared for
    by OC Animal Care.

    Once a small and timid dog, he soon became the life of the party! Spunky loved to play with other animals and was great with people of all ages. Spunky was a trooper at mobile adoption events, and enjoyed all of the interaction with the public, but just could not seem to capture a new owner. Back at the shelter, Spunky finally won over the hearts of his new owners. Spunky was adopted on June 19th, 2005 from the shelter, and is enjoying his new home. For more information on how to adopt an animal from the shelter, call (714) 935-6848 or visit us on the web at

    We're Here for You: Animal Care Center: (714) 935-6943 Stray Animal Pick-up: (714) 935-6848 After Hours Pick-up: (714) 935-7158 Volunteer Information: (714) 935-6194 Pet Licensing Information: (714) 935-6300 Visit Us on the Web:

    back to top

    Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

    Everyday in the United States, more than 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. When you compare this number to the 10,000 human births each day, it's clear that there can never be enough homes for all of these animals. Now if you consider the long term effects of not having your pet spayed or neutered, in six years one female dog and its offspring can have as many as 67,000 puppies. Even more than that, one female cat and its young can produce 420,000 cats over a seven year period!

    It has been proven that spayed and neutered dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives. Spaying and neutering your pet can eliminate or drastically reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult to treat. Female animals that are spayed have a lesser chance of developing uterine, ovarian and breast cancers. Male animals that are neutered are less likely to develop prostate cancer.

    Not only is spaying and neutering good for your pet(s), but it is beneficial for you too! Altered animals make more affectionate companions, and are less likely to show signs of aggression. You are less likely to experience destructive behaviors that usually occur when an animal goes into heat. For instance, altered male cats are less likely to spray and mark territory when neutered, and female cats are less likely to show signs of stress as well as attract unwanted males. Below are some common concerns expressed by pet owners about the effects of spay/neuter surgeries.

    Spay and Neuter: Excuses, Myths and Facts

    "But my pet is a purebred"- So is at least one out of every four animals brought to animal shelters around the country.

    "I want my dog to be protective"- Spaying and Neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect its home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and its environment than by its sex hormones.

    "I don't want my male dog or cat to feel less male"- Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering a male dog or cat will not change its basic personality. It doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.

    back to top

    Become An OC Animal Care Volunteer

    Julie Inzana photo

    Do you love animals? Are you interested in learning about the Animal Care field? Want to give more of your time to a good cause? Become a volunteer with OC Animal Care, and you will see that the benefits are endless! OCAC has two unique programs that offer youth and adults the opportunity to work with animals in a variety of ways.

    The Explorer Post 538 program was established in 1974 and is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. This program includes a survey of every aspect of the animal occupational field, and is open to young men and women ages 15-21 years of age. Explorers learn about animals, animal control procedures, basic law enforcement, how to work with the public, and more importantly learn about themselves! Leadership training is a huge component of the program as well as learning to help others along the way.

    Explorer Post meetings are held every first Thursday of each month from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the shelter. Volunteer hours are flexible, and it is required that while in school, Explorers must fulfill a total of 10 hours per month. Interested Post volunteers should contact Susan Miller, Post Advisor: (714) 935-6927.

    Julie Inzana meets and greets at Station 1 during the 2005 Pet Fair.

    The "New Leash on Life" program is designed for adults ages 18 and older. These volunteers are extremely important to OCAC in that they provide extra special TLC for all of our critters. Throughout the months of April-June, OCAC volunteers contributed over 10,000 hours of service! Some of the duties they performed to reach this figure included: animal grooming, kitty cuddling, exercising/walking dogs, greeting the public, assisting at mobile adoption and shelter events, and much more.

    There will be a volunteer orientation meeting on October 1st, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the "New Leash on Life" program, please contact Natalie Silva, Volunteer Coordinator: (714) 935-6194 for more details.

    Last year, our shelter volunteers contributed over 56,000 hours of service! We owe them a ton of thanks for the hard work and dedication they have put forth towards our animals.

    back to top


    adopt a pet animal photos

    Name: "Babs"
    ID#: A0715600
    Sex: Female
    Age: 2 years
    Breed: Mini Lop

    Name: "Tina"
    ID#: A0702992
    Sex: Spayed
    Age: 8 years
    Breed: German Shepherd

    Name: "Bella"
    ID#: A0718032
    Sex: Female
    Age: 1 year

    adopt a pet animal photos

    Name: "Charlie"
    ID#: A0686707
    Sex: Neutered
    Age: 5 years
    Breed: Australian Shepherd

    Name: "Wrinkles"
    ID#: A0677314
    Sex: Neutered
    Age: 2 years
    Breed: Chinese Sharpei Mix

    Name: "Cherry"
    ID#: A0719849
    Sex: Female
    Age: 2 years

    Orange County OC Animal Care makes every effort to promote all of the wonderful animals we have available for adoption. At the time of publication, these animals were in need of lifelong homes.

    All adopted animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and micro chipped prior to leaving the shelter. If you are interested in adopting a pet, please visit us online at, or simply come down to the shelter!

    back to top

    Services Provided by the Animal Care Center

    Besides taking care of the many adorable animals that come through our shelter, we also provide many other services to our communities. OC Animal Care is an on-going 24/7 agency, and is dedicated to providing the best customer services we can!

    OCAC contracts with 21 Orange County cities to provide a variety of services which may include: dog licenses for pet owners, and regulating pet stores. Per year, we license over 150,000 dogs and 640 pet care/product businesses.

    Out in the field, our ACOs are always on call. They work hard at bringing in stray animals found throughout Orange County. Our officers also assist in picking up injured, sick, or dead domestic and wild animals. Should you need their assistance they are available day and night. Please refer to the numbers listed on page 1 for day/after hours assistance.

    OCAC also handles all nuisance complaints, and has established a specific process to help any members of the public that need to file their concerns. Animals that are considered vicious and/or potentially dangerous are also handled by OCAC, and we also monitor rabies control & zoonotic diseases.

    The first Tuesday of each month, between the hours of 7-8:30 p.m., OCAC hosts a low cost vaccination clinic at the shelter. Pet owners can update their dog and feline vaccines, and we have a variety of different packages available to suit their needs. Rabies is as low as $6.00, and FvRCP (for felines) is only $14.00! Come visit us next month on October 4, 2005.

    The Animal Care Center is open 7 days a week: Monday-Sunday 10-5

    p.m. and Wednesdays 10-7 p.m. All of these services are dealt with on an individual basis, and are established for the greater safety of our communities, families, and pets.

    Orange County OC Animal Care is contracted to provide assistance to the following cities:

    Aliso Viejo Anaheim Brea * Buena Cypress Fountain Valley Fullerton Garden Grove Huntington Beach Laguna Hills Lake Forest La Palma Orange Placentia Rancho Santa Margarita *Santa Ana San Juan Capistrano Stanton Tustin Villa Park Yorba Linda Unincorporated Areas (* = Shelter Services Only)

    Annual Licensing Fees for Pets

    Unsterilized Dog: $70.00 Sterilized Dog: $19.00 Puppy, (6 months & younger): $19.00 Senior (65+) Unsterilized: $70.00 Senior (65+) sterilized: $9.50 Late fee per dog: $37.00 Cat license ( Optional) $4.00 Cat license applies to both sterile & unsterile)

    back to top

    Mobile Adoption Events for September and October

    The Mobile Adoption van makes transporting animals easy and efficient.

    OC Animal Care is always looking for ways to promote adoptable animals, and bring them into the public eye. One way that we do this is through our participation in local community events. Each week we prepare animals at our shelter to go out into the public, and potentially find a new home. Mobile adoptions are a great way to promote animals, provide information to the public, and inform our local communities of the services we provide.

    Here is a list of the upcoming mobile events that OCAC will be participating in:

    • Saturday, September 24th, 2005 "Save Our Strays" at Lake Park in Huntington Beach: On Lake St. between 11th and 12th Sts., (8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.)
    • Saturday, October 1st, 2005 "Irvine Pet Trek" in Irvine, 1 Civic Center Plaza. (8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.)
    • Saturday, October 8th, 2005 PetsMart Mobile Adoption in Costa Mesa 620 W. 17th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.)
    • Saturday, October 15th, 2005 K-9 Benefits Show at California State University, Fullerton. Event is being held at the university's baseball field, (3:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.)
    • Saturday, October 22nd, 2005 Fountain Valley's Red Ribbon Fall Festival. Event is being held at the Fountain Valley Police Dept. 10200 Slater Ave., (10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
    • Saturday, October 29, 2005 "Dog"tober Fest! Get ready for a Spooktacular adoption day!
    • OCAC is always looking for new events to participate in. If you have an upcoming community event that you would like for us to be a part of, please send your information to Rachel Gorman, Public Education Officer, at the address listed below, or call her at 714-935-6301.

    back to top

    Success Story of the Quarter

    Orange County OC Animal Care takes great pride in promoting the successes we have in adopting our animals to lifelong homes. We often get letters from visitors that tell us heart warming stories of how they were either reunited with their lost pet, or had found the perfect companion to take home. When "Barkley" a Maltese mix had arrived at the shelter in March 2005, he was in very poor condition. Here is one such story from a visitor that was able to give "Barkley" the special attention he needed, and a second chance at a great life!

    "I wanted to take the time to write you all and update you on the status of my little Maltese mix that I adopted from your shelter on March 5th, 2005. As you can see from his before photo, he was terribly neglected. I owe a great deal to your on-site veterinarian, Dr. Manclark, who went to great lengths to test him and consult me before agreeing that he be adopted.

    Upon taking him home, the vet and groomer expressed concern about his condition. Not only did he have a yeast infection on his chest, which caused him to lose his hair, but his nails had grown into his pads, and he had been stitched under his neck from what looked like an embedded collar. He smelled terrible, and was constantly shedding skin. The prognosis was slim to none that his hair would ever grow back."

    "As you can see from his most recent photo, taken two months to the day I brought him home- Barkley is a new dog! He is so happy and living the life of a king. He is enjoying his big brother Winston, who is also a shelter rescue. I can't imagine how this little guy was ever allowed to get into the state he was in. I only hope he has a limited long-term memory, and will only remember the good from this point forward."

    - Sincerely, Kari

    Have a story to tell? Send it to Rachel Gorman, Public Education Officer, 561 The City Dr., South, Orange, CA 92868. You can also e-mail it to her at: We look forward to hearing from you!

    Barkley photo Barkley photo
    "Barkley" here at the shelter in March 2005. "Barkley" 2 months after being adopted from OCAC.

    back to top