When two large shipping containers were recently delivered to a parking lot in Napa last month, passersby may have assumed that they were simply temporary storage vessels or dumpsters for trash. Instead, the 20-foot structures were quickly transformed into a life-saving resource center for animals in need.
Faced by unprecedented challenges with the pandemic and fires that have resulted in shut-downs, loss of tourism and massive layoffs, many people are struggling to keep their homes and challenged to feed family members, human or not.
As the shutdowns began last spring, Brenda Burke, community outreach manager for Jameson Humane, began to seek donations of dog and cat food.
Historically, Jameson has been involved in community outreach, founding the Paws on Wheels program that delivers donated pet food to Meals on Wheels food recipients who also have pets, and collaborating with Adobe Homeless Shelter and the Napa Sheriff’s Office to distribute pet-friendly holiday gift bags for individuals living in an open environment with companion animals.
When the pandemic hit, a partnership with OLE Health provided the opportunity to distribute donated pet supplies along with food for humans. Within a few months, 25,000 pounds of dog and cat food had been distributed, rapidly growing to 40,000 pounds by August.
While food and survival assistance for people are common, especially during the holiday season, the need for an established location to support the feeding and care of animals sparked the idea for a local pet pantry dedicated to animal family members.
Last month the new Community Pet Pantry and Disaster Supplies Program opened to help pets and their guardian families.
According to Monica Stevens, co-founder of Jameson, “Beginning in March when COVID hit, we immediately came together and said, we’ve got to provide dog and cat food, and we have been doing that for several months. Then we decided, can we erect a pet pantry and do this year-round, no matter if we are in a disaster or not? Disasters are not the only time that people need pet food.”
The pantry will be open one afternoon each week. Already, more than 100 families in need have accessed the pantry, which in turn has helped with the feeding and care of more than 100 dogs and 23 cats. In addition to food, an array of supplies such as leashes, collars, beds, crates, litter pans, cat trees, and ramps for animals who need assistance are available, as well as supplies for other animals such as bunnies and birds.
Located at CrossWalk Community Church, 2590 First St., Napa, the pet pantry will also serve as a county-wide disaster relief distribution center when disasters occur in the future.
Darlene Valencia, executive pastor of CrossWalk as well as the food co-chair for Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), cut the ribbon to officially open the pantry,.
In her role with COAD, Valencia said that one of the needs has always been pet food, “People will go without a meal to feed their pet. This way they don’t have to, they can still eat and they won’t have to relinquish their pet."
The church site is already designated as an official evacuation shelter by the Napa County Office of Emergency Services. Napa Recycling and Waste donated the huge containers that have been transformed into the permanent distribution center, with additional support from Pet Food Express, Doris Day Animal Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Greater Good Charities, RedRover and Beverly Wendel in memory of her late husband Barry Wendel.
“It’s amazing work that Jameson Humane is doing for the community,” said Michael Murray of Napa Recycling and Waste Services, which helped procure the storage units.
Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht praised the program. “This pantry is very important. It gives people a chance to have animals and to help,” he said.
“Jameson does not want any animal to go hungry, ever. Keeping humans with their pets — and out of shelters — is one of our primary goals," said Stevens, noting that everything has been donated.
Anyone in need is welcome to visit the Community Pet Pantry, which is set up as safe and socially-distanced drive-by site. Strict COVID-19 precautions are in place to protect both recipients of supplies as well as the volunteers.
The hours of operation are listed on the Jameson website at JamesonAnimalRescueRanch.org. Operating hours for the balance of 2020 are on Tuesday, Dec. 22 and Tuesday, Dec. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Donations from the community are also welcome online. The Pet Pantry is currently in need of leashes, collars, harnesses, beds, jackets, sweaters and bowls of all sizes that can be delivered to Jameson Humane at 1199 Cuttings Wharf Road, Napa.
Feel free to contact Monica Stevens via email at monica@JamesonHumane.org or call 707-927-3536 for more information.
NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – The financial hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic have not only taken their toll on people… but also on pets.
A North Bay animal sanctuary has stepped up its efforts to help.
A steady line of cars paraded through the Crosswalk Community Church in Napa.
These are families in need, and their pets are part of the family.
“What a great time now that we’re not working you know. Get any kind of help we can get,” said pet owner Luke Ramirez.
“You’ve got the food banks. You’ve got the food drives. But not very many people think about providing the pet food, and the animals need just the same thing we do,” Brenda Burke said.
Jameson Humane has been providing free pet food and supplies for more than five years. Notably during the wildfires that devastated Northern California last Summer.
The pandemic has brought new pain and hardship, and this bi-weekly giveaway is easing the suffering.
“We have two pets at home. We have a cat and we have a dog. We care about those,” pet owner Cesar Hernadez.
When asked if the pet drive makes a big difference Gabriella Arbala said, “Of course. Absolutely! During a really hard time for everyone. Especially for the dogs and cats, a really hard time.”
“Probably 80,000 meals we’ve provided for cats and dogs since we started in April. So it’s a real need in the community,” Brenda Burke said.
And it’s not just food. Pet beds, blankets, collars and toys are also donated by local suppliers.
It’s become so popular and needed that surrounding counties and agencies are reaching out to Jameson to learn how they can set up their own pet food pantries to help animals in need.
“I believe that this pantry, similar to something like this will be a real integral part for another county, other people, other communities to create.”
The pet food drive-throughs will continue on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 2 to 4 pm at the Crosswalk Community Church.
Jameson Humane receives grant to help low-income Clearlake residents with spaying and neutering pets
CLEARLAKE, Calif. – A newly awarded grant will help address canine overpopulation in the city of Clearlake.
Dogs Trust USA, based in New York, has awarded $30,000 to Jameson Humane to help fund its “Neuter Now Lake County Project,” which was launched in November 2020 and will last until October 2021.
Jameson Humane, headquartered in Napa Valley, has begun allocating spay/neuter vouchers, microchipping and vaccinations for dogs of low-income residents from Clearlake.
The group, founded in 2014, offers spay/neuter assistance across nine counties in the Bay Area and beyond.
Jameson Humane representatives said the group was honored to accept this funding so it could continue to directly impact the lives of animals by working with the community and collaborating across multiple organizations to offer financial assistance for those in need.
“Every day in the United States, 70,000 dogs and cats are born against only 10,000 humans – we will never rescue our way out of the problem if we don’t look at the systemic problem - overpopulation,” said Monica Stevens, Jameson Humane president and cofounder. “This is why Jameson Humane funds and facilitates lifesaving spay/neuter surgeries, necessary vaccinations and microchips throughout our extended community. By funding to date 5,000 lifesaving spay/neuter surgeries, Jameson continues to stem the tide of overpopulation, thus addressing the root of the problem.”
Over the past six years, the organization has provided the community with nearly 5,000 vouchers, resulting in an estimated 1,875,000 animal lives saved.
Since its inception, Jameson Humane has offered key assistance to local animal rescue organizations and animal control agencies in Lake County.
In 2015, just a year after its founding, Jameson Humane played a major role in assisting in the response to the Valley fire, helping evacuees and pets and gathering donations.
The following year, it was part of a team – including the SPCA of Lake County – that opened the “Pet Pantry” in Lower Lake to support Clayton fire survivors and their pets.
The group has continued to support and co-sponsor free spay and neuter and vaccination clinics in Lake County, particularly in Clearlake, in the years since.
Familiar with the continuing need to address pet overpopulation within Lake County specifically, Jameson Humane said it was primed to respond.
The city of Clearlake has a high poverty rate relative to the rest of the county – about 34 percent – which is why it is the top priority for the distribution of vouchers, Jameson Humane siad.
With the dog population in Clearlake estimated at around 8,900, this project contributes to Jameson Humane’s overarching goal to further increase the live-release rate at the two local shelters while also decreasing intake at a rate of 10 percent by 2022.
Jameson Humane representatives Amanda Vollstedt and Alyx Redmayne-Titley, who are part of the community animal assistance program, visited with Clearlake Animal Control staff and toured the new animal shelter on Dec. 17.
Charmaine Weldon, animal control technician as well as the adoption and rescue coordinator for Clearlake Animal Control, estimated that of the dogs that come through the shelter, 99 percent of them have not been spayed or neutered.
Vollstedt said Jameson Humane continues to want to assist Lake County, noting that about 50 percent of its requests for assistance come from here.
“We know the resources are limited,” Vollstedt said.
Jameson Humane estimated that the grant-funded 200 vouchers, some of which have already been distributed, will help prevent thousands of dogs being born who might have otherwise faced euthanasia.
“We are incredibly grateful to Jameson Humane for the ongoing partnership and collaboration the past five years. It takes a community and the success is attributed to the belief in the work that the city of Clearlake is doing for its animals. We thank Dogs Trust and Jameson Humane for making these 200 dog spay and neuters available to our community and keeping their pets healthy,” said Clearlake Police Chief Andrew White.
Ensuring that qualifying residents are aware of the opportunity to get their dog spayed/neutered, Jameson Humane has begun working directly with the SPCA in Lake County in Kelseyville and Totem Animal Small Animal Veterinary Practice in Napa County, which are the two designated clinics where the spay/neuter surgeries take place.
The veterinarians carry out an average of five surgeries per week, or 20 per month, Jameson Humane said.
"As president of the SPCA of Lake County, I am all too aware of the tremendous need in this county of pet owners. Lake County is large in geographical area, yet small in population, in a fairly remote area. Many of the people that live here are retired or disabled and living on a fixed income. The basic needs/expenses of companion animals such as vaccines, spay and neuter are often a financial stretch for this population,” said Brenda Crandall, SPCA of Lake County’s immediate past president.
“Jameson Humane has recognized that need and stepped in repeatedly to assist, through yearly vaccination clinics and through providing free spay/neuter vouchers to be used throughout the year. Because of Jameson’s assistance, the SPCA of Lake County is able to render assistance to a larger number of animals than would be possible without Jameson, and it is my firm belief that through this ongoing process, Lake County will have a reduced number of homeless dogs and cats in the coming years,” Crandall said.
“Totem Small Animal is greatly looking forward to helping the dogs and their guardians of lake county with this spay/neuter project,” said Dr. Katy Wilson of Totem Small Animal.
Impact is measured through shelter data from the two public shelters in Lake County – Lake County Animal Care and Control in Lakeport and the shelter in the city of Clearlake.
Jameson Humane said it focused on intake rates as a measurement metric for this project and obtained data on litters too to better represent the effects of its efforts.
Thanks to its collaborative relationship with local authorities, Jameson Humane also tracks the number of calls to animal control to report stray dogs and expect them to decrease over time.
A limited amount of vouchers are still available, so low-income Clearlake residents are encouraged to email email@example.com or contact the Jameson Humane helpline at 707-927-3536 as they are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The requests for vouchers are approved based on a series of questions on income, proof of receipt of government assistance or other type of financial aid.
Those who are allocated a voucher receive instructions on how to schedule an appointment and drop off pets at the hospital.
If it weren't for this award, cross collaboration, and participation by the residents, these dogs’ health would remain at risk, including being more susceptible to cancer and pyometra, Jameson Humane reported.
“The education that results from such a service such as this, helps affect real change and save animal lives,” the organization said.
LISA ADAMS WALTER
Queenie and Winifred are two brave, feline survivors of the recent Glass Fire. Fortunately for them, in Napa County, a team of first-responders for animals was in place to help when disasters strike.
The Mund family of Deer Park were unable to catch their two cats when they had fled for their own lives as the fire rapidly approached their home.
When the family returned to assess the devastating damage, they found Winifred, who unable to walk or meow due to burns. Soon after, Cal Fire firefighters rescued Queenie, who was pinned beneath a tree and also suffering from life-threatening wounds and burns.
The cats, both with badly burned paws, were transported to an emergency veterinary care hospital, which was then outside of the active fire and evacuation zones.
Dr. Jeff Smith of Middletown Animal Hospital in Lake County cared for the burn victims, with Jameson Humane supporting the effort by covering the cost of their care.
When Monica and David Stevens founded the non-profit, no-kill, animal sanctuary Jameson Humane in 2014, widely devastating wildfires were not regular occurrences in Northern California wine country.
According to Cal Fire, wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, yet now the fire season in our state and across the West is beginning earlier and lasting much longer. Climate change is considered to be a factor that continues to propel the trend.
Recent wildfires, sparked by both natural and manmade events, have been devastating for humans and animals alike. Both human and animal lives have been lost, along with homes, barns, pastures, and business structures, as well as thousands of acres of wildlife habitat that have been damaged, altered or destroyed.
Jameson Humane has evolved along with the recent, frightening fire trend. With the initial goal of improving animal welfare through collaboration, Jameson Humane has listened closely to local communities to address the needs of both animals and their human guardians.
There are many animal welfare organizations that assist with the process during a natural disaster, addressing needs such as evacuation, short-term boarding, reunions with owners, and critical medical care.
After the wine country fires in 2017, Monica Stevens said that many animal agencies and organizations came together to figure out what each group was great at executing.
Stevens explained the action-driven organizational chart: “Napa Community Animal Response Team (Napa CART) is at the top, they get activated by the Napa County Office of Emergency Services. Napa CART acts in many ways. They activate the Napa County Animal Shelter to be prepared to take in companion animals such as dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits.”
“Napa County loves their animals,” Stevens continued, explaining that Napa CART is set up to accept large and farm animals such as emus, horses, llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep, cows, pigs, and chickens.
Most of these larger animals are temporarily housed at the Napa Horsemen’s Association. “It is set up beautifully there for large animals,” said Stevens, who also reports that Napa CART does all of the organizational and operational tasks to take care of humans and animals in need. “They have a 24/7 hotline, where they run point and tell people where to go.”
At this point, Jameson Humane is poised to help. “We jump in and can help with supplies, medical needs, and other things. Collaboration with other organizations makes us a really great team. We are all doing it for the animals with Napa CART at the high level, and Jameson Humane offering financial support as well as boots on the ground.”
The Glass Fire also created an urgent, mandatory evacuation for St. Helena’s We Care Animal Rescue, another no-kill refuge that has been focused upon saving cats and dogs since 1982.
“We Care’s executive director made a great choice, and contacted us, stating that they needed help. We called Napa CART and sent up three trailers, along with Jameson Humane’s van and SUV.”
Stevens credits the We Care staff as managing the hard part, getting all of the cats, 90 in total, into crates and temporarily relocating them to Napa Valley College.
“Jameson Humane brought in big crates, blankets, and sheets, while We Care cared for the cats for ten days.” When evacuation orders were lifted, We Care called back and the same team of Napa CART and Jameson Humane got all of the cats delivered from Napa Valley College back to the refuge in St. Helena.
Queenie and Winifred are now thriving after their surgery, and well into a long recovery, as frequent bandage changes are required for burn patients. They received the gift of survival, while the Mund family, received the gift of a glimmer of hope. As well as one less thing to worry about, while beginning the process of rebuilding and healing.
“The kitties are doing great,” reports Stevens, “We look for a solution, it was a collaborative effort. My heart bleeds for all of these animals.”
Stevens added that Sonoma Community Animal Response Team is also part of the local disaster response effort, as wine country is really one region with nearby counties leaning on and supporting each other.
“Three years ago no one was ready for these fires, no one was paying attention.,” Stevens recalls. “Now we meet every quarter, there is a lot to it. The main thing is that just like the wine industry, the animal community is very relationship-focused. We have a very high- functioning leadership team. I am proud that Jameson Humane is part of it, we all work together and know what we do best. We stay out of each other’s way. It really is a triangle of love. We are all talking to each other. At the end of the day, it is wine country, and we put our best foot forward not only for the public but for the animals.”
Ole Health’s weekly food giveaway came to St. Helena last Friday, as the nonprofit organization passed out free food outside Vintage Hall.
Ole Health provided a pair of grocery bags to 607 families and 2,386 individuals during the drive-through event.
Jameson Humane was also on hand to distribute 1,000 pounds of free pet food.
Since the end of March, Ole Health has distributed food to 6,723 families and 29,492 individuals. The next giveaway will be on Friday, May 22, at Napa Valley College in Napa.
Napa Wildlife Rescue is poised to escape a situation as dire as those faced by the orphaned baby birds and injured creatures that it saves.
The nonprofit cannot stay in trailers at a county road yard along Silverado Trail beyond this summer and had no place to go. No home meant possibly going out of business after 29 years.
Just like a last-minute cavalry charge, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous stepped forward. That allowed Napa Wildlife Rescue to buy a $950,000, 2.1-acre property with a house, barn and kennel near Cuttings Wharf in the Carneros region.
Suddenly, a group that had always leased space and was in danger of becoming homeless has a permanent home amid a garden spot of vineyards, farms and wetlands. The future has gone from looking dim to brighter than ever.
“It’s really a historic turning point for the organization,” Board of Directors President John Comisky said.
The one thing needed to make the new home official is a use permit from the county Planning Commission. That means a commission hearing at a yet-to-be-announced date.
Comisky and board Vice President Carol Poole are optimistic. They smiled as much as any new homeowner on a recent day as they gave a quick tour of the property.
They showed rooms in the 1970s-era house where volunteers are to tend to songbirds and baby raptors. They described how the kennels will be for small mammals such as raccoons and coyotes. They talked about having outdoor aviaries.
For these birds and mammals, the property at 4001 Middle Ave. is to be a temporary home until they are ready to return to the wild. For Napa Wildlife Rescue, it is to be a forever home.
“Every day, we feel more certain that this is the place we’re meant to be,” Comisky said.
Napa Wildlife Rescue has time to go through county approval steps, given the county will allow it to use the corporation yard site through the summer.
“We’re just entering baby season right now,” Poole said. “We’re getting lots and lots of baby birds and animals in every day. It’s a really difficult time for us to move. We wouldn’t be able to move in right now.”
Obstacles can always arise at Planning Commission meetings. A typical one is neighbors who are concerned about traffic and other issues. Napa Wildlife Rescue during the peak summer season would generate about 20 daily trips.
Fortunately for Napa Wildlife Rescue, the nearest neighbor has a similar line of work — Jameson Humane (Jameson Humane), which cares for cats, dogs and farm animals.
“I actually told them about the property because I wanted them to be our new neighbor,” Jameson Humane President Monica Stevens said. “I have a great respect for Napa Wildlife Rescue and a really nice friendship with all of the folks there, particularly John Comisky and Carol Poole.”
The two groups could create a kind of animal rescue focal point in Napa County. Poole sees room for collaboration, even though one cares for wild animals and the other for domestic animals.
“We’re hoping we share volunteers and maybe do some public meet-and-greets — come see what we do,” Poole said.
Stevens also sees the potential for working together.
“We share a fence line, but we also share a wonderful collaborative spirit about helping people out,” Stevens said.
Napa Wildlife Rescue cares for about 1,200 injured and orphaned wild animals annually. It has operated out of the county corporation yard site along Silverado Trail for 10 years, but must move because the county needs the space in light of an increased road maintenance workload.
It considered moving to the 5-acre Shafer property along Silverado Trail that it owns and uses for pre-release caging and aviaries. But, because the Shafer Sanctuary is in the agricultural preserve, a hospital clinic would not be allowed there without a Measure P vote.
Not having the resources for a political campaign, the group looked outside of the agricultural preserve, at Skyline Park, American Canyon’s Clarke Ranch and other possible locations. Nothing worked out.
Then the anonymous donor paid for the purchase of the Cuttings Wharf site. Because the property is in the agricultural watershed zoning area, not the agricultural preserve, a clinic is possible there with Planning Commission concurrence.
“I don’t think we could have found a more perfect property,” Poole said. “It’s absolutely perfect for us.”
Napa Wildlife Rescue is hoping that the county will agree.
Go to https://www.napawildliferescue.org to learn more about Napa Wildlife Rescue.
ST. HELENA, Calif. (KRON) — These are stressful times for many of us and one of the biggest concerns for some is getting enough food to eat — and that includes people’s pets.
A North Bay animal sanctuary is stepping up to ease some of that stress by providing free food and even medicine to those struggling to take care of their pets.
It’s even set up donation bins at Napa area grocery stores and has been giving out thousands of pounds of pet food.
Jameson Humane is also delivering pet medication to seniors who are especially wary of leaving their homes and exposing themselves to coronavirus while trying to care for their pets.
It says its willing to donate pet food to any family in need in the Bay Area and will even deliver it. To find out more, click here.