Shelter on the Hill, A Humane Society

Kristin and Pam Puppy
Training Video




Dear Friends,

Gracie 1 Gracie 2 Not every pet we help is a victim of neglect or abuse -- many suffer from medical issues which at some rescues can be just as cruel. The medical costs of specialized veterinary care, combined with the general costs of housing and caring for so many animals at once, can create an emergency financial need which, if not met places an otherwise highly adoptable animal at risk for euthanasia.

Little Gracie was born with a condition known as "cherry eye" which appears as an oval mass protruding from the dogs's third eyelid. This mass is an important tear-producing gland which protects the eye from dryness, irritation, and infection. The best treatment in putting the the tear gland back in it's proper location and tacking it in place, a surgical procedure which can cost up to $2,000.00.

Gracie is asking for Shelter on the Hill's Friends to please check out her Go Fund Me Campaign that the Shelter created to raise money for her cherry eye surgery.

Little Gracie loves cheese and snuggles and her yellow squeaky toy.

Your support will allow us to help Gracie, and more animals like her, so loving despite her disfigurement and possible blindness. Please donate now so we can begin her treatment and recovery.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, and from all of us at the Shelter on the Hill, thank you for all that you do to help homeless pets!

Warmest Regards,

Candace Huskey, President
Shelter on the Hill: A Humane Society

Highway Patrol Visits Shelter on the Hill

Our story began when Public Information Officer Brian Moore from CHP Fort Tejon pulled over his patrol vehicle to have a chat with one of the Shelter's Volunteers, John Danko, who was out enjoying a lovely walk with Piper, a gorgeous two year old Lab/Mix, who is available for adoption.

Officer Moore kindly asked John was there any way that the local CHP could help Shelter on the Hill?

Fast forward a few weeks and a most enjoyable phone call later...a date was set for Officer Moore to come visit Shelter on the Hill.

On Tuesday February 21 Officer Moore arrived at Shelter on the Hill with fellow Officer Eddie Munoz. The Shelter was abuzz with excitement knowing that this would indeed be a very special day!

Officer Moore and Officer Munoz arrived complete with warm friendly smiles and full of delightful enthusiasm.

Officer Moore's SUV became "Open House" for the Shelter's furry residents for the entire morning. We had a lot of fun placing our adoptable pets in their patrol SUV and on the hood of the car as well!

What a treat for all, happy faces everywhere, dogs with wagging tails and White Foot the charming Tuxedo Kitty Cat checking out the back seat ride with Volunteer Connie Baldin.

Miss Piper also enjoyed a little "Search and Find Adventure" with Officer Moore, Officer Munoz and John Danko in the picturesque field adjacent to the Shelter.

What better way to capture the visit with our local law enforcement than a video showcasing our dogs and cats meeting their new friends Officer Moore and Officer Munoz.

We can't thank Officer Moore and Officer Munoz enough for their time, great media advice, enthusiastic support as well as the most sensational video that Officer Moore so kindly created.

Thank you to CHP Fort Tejon for becoming a part of the Shelter on the Hill Family.

Shelter on the Hill can't wait for our next adventure together!

CHP Photo #1 CHP Photo #2 CHP Photo #5 CHP Photo #4 CHP Photo #3

What a Pack of Rescue Dogs Taught Me

By Andrew Malcolm

When I started volunteering at a local animal shelter this year, I thought I'd be doing a good deed for some lost little creatures. Little did I know what else.

Like my father, I was raised in a rural culture where four-legged animals are an integral part of life. They're co-inhabitants of the same space, not exotic things to visit. Walking to the school bus winter mornings, I'd see the footprints of wild neighbors - bunnies, deer, raccoons - going about their lives in our shared space. Jamie and Andrew

At 7, I did not get breakfast until I'd fed my horse, dog and cats. Most of our pets came from shelters. So, when the decay of print newspapers caught up with my 50-year career, it seemed natural to invest some free time there.

Shelter On The Hill and its corps of caring colleagues in Lebec accepted me as a TLC volunteer, simply providing pettings, playtimes and cuddles to four-legged guests. Like humans in care facilities, despite good meals and care, they get institutionalized, depressed.

So I visit in off hours when, I figure, loneliness might find fertile soil in frightened minds. I just sit on a little stool. I talk. They sniff. We become pals. Jamie

As in human families, touches are the language of love. Scratches. Pats. Eventually, cuddles. Many shake uncontrollably at first.

Here's an amazing thing: After the introduction protocol by nose, these little dogs are remarkably open and friendly.

I can only imagine the neglect and abuse they've endured; many get abandoned in parking lots. They carry wounds and signs of neglect. Yet, at the slightest sign of affection, the creatures I work with respond in kind.

They don't know much about games yet. But part of the plan is to socialize them for a family life soon. Some have medical issues requiring treatment and long care. But my patient colleagues invest countless hours teaching manners, obedience and, above all, trust.

Imagine my surprise when on return visits, the lost ones no longer hide. I swear they recognize me. They get excited, barky, can't wait for the touching. Truth be told, neither can I.

They know which pocket has the treats. If they see an idle hand, they know a nudge starts the petting. And they learn my lap is a safe zone. The highest compliment is when they doze off there.

All rescues need volunteers; just Google "animal shelter" with your ZIP code. Friends claim they can't volunteer because they'd want to adopt everyone. It is tempting. We did take in one toothless Westie to join our border collie.

But I've learned changing a discarded life only takes a little love and time. Shelter on the Hill finds homes for scores of dogs and cats every year. We celebrate when Allie, Darth or Buckley graduate to forever homes.

Here, I thought I was doing these lost animals a favor. Now, this year I've learned I actually get back way more than I can possibly give. Payment comes in licks.

Crate Training/Housebreaking

By Tami Kearny - Mtn Top K-9 Training

What is Crate Training?

Tami and dogs Crate training is the process of conditioning your dog to accept being in a crate, which will eventually become his own "den." Crate training is used for a variety of reasons: it is an effective tool for housebreaking, and gives your dog a safe, secure place of his own. Having a dog who is comfortable being crated is also useful for confinement for short periods when necessary, for safe transportation via car or plane, and for keeping a dog calm and confined when recovering from surgery.

Dogs have a natural instinct not to soil where they sleep, and this is what makes crate training such an effective housebreaking tool as well.

What Type and Size of Crate will I Need?

There are two main types of crates. The better choice is the hard plastic kind that consists of a top and bottom that snap together, has ventilated slats on the sides, and a metal grille door. There are also crates made of heavy gauge wire that fold down into a suitcase shape. These are NOT approved for airline use, but some people prefer them for heavy-coated breeds because they offer better ventilation. Both can get costly, but the investment is well worth it in the long run. A damaged carpet alone would cost you more to replace!

The crate should be just big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is a puppy, do NOT buy a huge crate for him to grow into. Having all that room will defeat the purpose. You may need to buy a puppy-sized crate now and a larger one later or purchase a crate that comes with dividers so you can gradually expand the puppy's space as needed.

Is Crate Training for Adult Dogs, too?

Yes, absolutely! Many people are under the false impression that crate training is just for puppies, and that older dogs will not take to a crate. Untrue! Older dogs often learn faster than puppies, and most will appreciate the comfort and security a crate offers.

How do I Introduce my Dog to the Crate?

Put a blanket or old sweatshirt that has your scent on it in the bottom of the crate. This will not only be comfortable for your dog, but helps the bonding process as well. (Note: There are some dogs who will urinate if soft bedding is present; if this is the case with your dog, remove the bedding altogether.) Keep the crate where you want your dog to sleep, for example, by the side of your bed. When you first introduce the crate, be sure the door is propped open so as to not swing shut by accident. If your dog doesn't go in to explore on his own, toss treats inside, or feed a few meals in there. Try not to force your dog into the crate (this could form an unpleasant association and make things more difficult for both of you). Each time your dog goes into the crate, say, "Go to bed" or "kennel" in a high, pleasant voice. Your dog will eventually come to associate the verbal cue with going into the crate.

The first night, say, "Go to bed" or "kennel" as you gently help your dog in, then softly close the door. You may want to put a toy in with him. It is perfectly normal for a dog to whine, bark, or even throw tantrums the first night in a crate. Do NOT reward the behavior by petting your dog, whispering soothing words, or worse, by letting him out. Try simply ignoring him for a while. If he doesn't stop after a reasonable amount of time, simply say, "No" in a firm voice, or tap the top of the crate and say, "Quiet." Just don't get into the cycle of your dog whining and you saying, "Quiet" each time, thereby reinforcing the behavior by responding to it at all. There are some dogs who will have trouble holding their bladder all night (usually young pups). You will quickly come to know the difference between a normal whine and a need-to-urinate whine. If the whining becomes frantic during the night, open the crate door, pick your dog up, and bring him out to the spot where you want him to eliminate. As he does, praise him in a high, happy voice, then immediately return him to the crate. Most dogs get used to this routine very quickly and soon sleep through the night without interruption.

Daily Routine

First thing in the morning, open the crate door and carry your dog to the preferred elimination spot. (If you let him walk out on his own he might urinate before making it to the door.) As soon as your dog begins to circle and sniff, or otherwise indicates that he is about to potty, use a soft verbal coaxing, "Go potty"! Over time, by repeating your instruction just before he urinates, your dog will eventually become conditioned to urinate upon hearing your verbal cue. (Use the verbal cue each time you take your dog out to potty, just be sure to wait for signs that he is about to go before you say it.) When he goes, reward lavishly with a little play and a few treats. After the morning elimination, either place your dog in a baby-gated area such as the kitchen, or keep him with you, tethered to you with a long line or tethered to a nearby piece of furniture where he'll be within your sight. Do not let your dog out of your sight, as accidents happen in a split second; you need to be there to interrupt as they happen. Your dog can also be crated for brief periods during the day if you are unable to keep an eye on him, for example, if you need to take a shower.

If you notice your dog starting to circle and sniff or squat, startle him with a sharp verbal, "Eh-eh!" (or if necessary, by clapping your hands), then quickly bring him to the proper elimination spot. If he goes, don't forget the praise! If you find an accident that has already happened, consider it your own mistake and clean it up quietly. A dog will not associate a correction with what he did wrong if it's after the fact. Take your dog out to eliminate upon waking after naps, after meals, after playtime, and before bedtime. That means standing outside with him so you can praise him when he goes, as opposed to letting him out and assuming he's done his business.

If you must leave the house, you can leave your dog crated up to 3-6 hours at a time, depending on age. This will prevent housebreaking accidents as well as preventing unwanted chewing or destruction. Potty your pup before placing him in the crate, and place a favorite safe toy or bone in the crate with him.

Once your dog is housebroken, you can still use the crate for confinement periods if necessary. Many people end up taking the door off the crate entirely, and their dogs still sleep, hang out, and take refuge in their "dens." Crate training is well worth the time and investment, and giving this permanent place of safety and comfort to your dog is really a gift to you both.

Our Pal Cal

By Margaret Blanchard-Cuss

Cal Rudy and I adopted our little dog Cal is Worthy, aka Cal or Little Buddy from the Shelter on the Hill in Lebec, California on September 11, 2015. His name was Sammy,which didn't seem right to us, so we set out to find a new name for him. I posted a "name our dog" contest on Facebook. We received many name suggestions, but it was my neighbor Ann Marie who suggested "Cal" after the church we attend, Calvary Chapel Frazier Park. So it was, his name was to be Cal. We officially named him "Cal is Worthy." Cal truly was worthy of a good home. All dogs should have their own "Fur Ever" homes.

Our vacation was set for October, a three-week trek through out Oregon. We wanted to take Cal along. For Rudy and I this was a first, traveling with a dog. Our challenges were to find hotels that would accommodate a dog, and how to make this fearful dog, Cal, enjoy the journey. We took along Mini Monk and a new stuffed mouse to be companions for Cal. Rudy named the mouse "Nester" because Cal always tried to hide by "nesting" himself, whether under the covers in our bed or hiding somewhere in the house. The trip, we thought, would be a great way to bond with this fearful and distant dog.

Cal As time went on, we noticed that Cal was not coming out of his shell. We used to sing to him "no e-m-o-t-i-o-n" (Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith). What ever we did, we could not make this little dog totally happy. Then, we thought we would foster a dog from the Shelter on the Hill, maybe Cal needed a friend. So, at Christmas time, we got Skeeter. Skeeter brought so much life to our home. Unfortunately, Cal became really depressed and was going deeper and deeper into his unresponsive ways. We had to do what was best for Cal, we returned Skeeter to the shelter.

Little by little Cal started coming out of his shell. Cal's favorite activities were walking and riding in the car. I started calling him "My Pal Cal". Cal became my constant companion.

At the end of May, our long awaited vacation to Hawaii was upon us. Rudy’s mother and sister were going to doggy sit Cal for a week in Torrance, California. Cal had been to their home many times and was always happy to be there. As we were drinking our coffee and listening to the waves of the ocean in the early hour of the morning, we received "the call". Cal had run away. Our week longtrip in "paradise" was now full of tears and gut wrenching pain. And then, another call, Cal had been seen over by the 110 & 405 freeways.

Cal Our hopes were high but also full of anxiety. We were checking constantly on the shelter site in the area of where he had been seen, no Cal. Looking for Cal became a number one priority for Rudy. Searching before and after work each day. Connecting with strangers who soon became friends of Rudy's, everyone was on the "look out" for our Pal Cal, aka, Little Buddy. Posters up, friends changing their routes to work each day in hopes of seeing Cal, setting up a cage with food and clothing with our scent on it, all to no avail. Cal was lost. In my mind and heart, gone for good. Rudy never gave up praying and searching for our Pal Cal. Lives have been touched by the never-ending search for Cal.

One day a mechanic, who was working at Penske, thought he saw Cal. He noticed how emaciated this dog was. Although this dog was not Cal, the mechanic chose to rescue this dog and gave him a "Fur Ever" home.

Cal I really did not want another dog, ever! Then one day I went to the Shelter on the Hill and the next day we adopted two little pups which we named Faith and Hope. These little girls have been a joy in our lives. Now, we were a family again; and then the call from the Torrance Police Department. Cal had been found, 65 days after he ran away. I took one look at these two puppies and wondered if Cal would think we abandoned him "again" by bringing these pups into our home while he was missing. Personally, I wondered if I even wanted Cal back, he was such an emotionally weird dog. What would he be like? Could I handle this "special needs" dog again? Would he just lay on the couch every day with that so familiar “distant look” as I smother him with kisses and hugs? My drive to Torrance to see our Pal Cal was filled with so many questions and doubts. As I pulled into Rudy's mom's driveway, there was Cal, wiggling his butt and tail so quickly as he saw my car. When I got out I heard this non-emotional dog cry hysterically for me! After many hugs and kisses, Cal jumped into my car, settled into his doggy bed as if to say, "Let's go home!"

The long drive home was just like old times. The first thing Cal did as he got out of the car was sniff the air, he was home! Upon meeting his new sisters, Faith and Hope, Cal was fine. Some times I wonder where Cal is only to find him snuggled up with Faith and Hope. Cal is no longer alone, no longer is he that "special needs" dog.

What has changed? Cal now knows why we named him "Cal is Worthy". Cal "is" worthy of a good home. For the first time since we have had Cal, he plays, chews on his toys, wags his tail, looks into our eyes, and no longer hides. We have our dog back and he has found happiness. None of this would have been possible if Cal did not have a chip that identified him as belonging to Rudy and I.

The moral of this story is, that although pets do go missing, they can be reunited to their loving owners. Chip your pets!

Colorful Kittens

It is no surprise that it is kitten season at the shelter. We have a variety of kittens and here are a few orange tabby cuties that are available for adoption. Kitten play time is 24/7 but we are open for visiting Thursday, Friday, the first Saturday of the month and by appointment.

Color Kitten #1 Color Kitten #2 Color Kitten #3 Color Kitten #4 Adopt a Cat

A Spoonful of Reality

By Becky Trask

Homeless Not everyone will want your cat's kittens, or your dog's puppies ... some will be unwanted ... Even breeders have this problem ... and will pay the fee to get rid of them at a shelter, so they can make room for more tiny ones -- those are the ones most people want -- the easier ones to sell and give away.

Not the yearlings (last years leftovers),

Not the middle aged (too old to breed mamas and "Were moving away and it's easy to replace her/him with a pup or kitten when we're ready again" or we messed up with THAT one, we'll get it right with the next one)

Not the seniors (they'll be getting sick soon, can't afford the vet bills -- some kind-hearted person will adopt) Actually about 1 out of every 300 adoptions is an older senior -- over 10 years old -- even though cats can live over 20 years, and many dogs to 15 + years. Nearly every senior dog or cat that enters a shelter will never come out alive. AND most non-county shelters will never accept that senior cat or dog -- those "old ones" are refused at the door. The shelters already know those animals won't be adopted and don't want to waste good space with ANOTHER old one.

And the puppies and kittens that you gave away will not be in forever homes their entire lives. Many will be abandoned, passed around to different families, relinquished into shelters, and lost -- hit by cars, etc or impounded/euthanized.

Do your part -- stop wasting good animals and good lives. Help stop the pet population explosion for the animals that rely on us for their support, love, and care. Simply SPAY and NEUTER your pets.

Teamwork is the Answer

Day to day operation at the Animal Care Center is a labor of love and dedication. We are an all-volunteer shelter. We are approaching our very first anniversary with great pride as we realize the extraordinary success we've had in adopting out more than 100 dogs & cats who have come to us as abandoned, injured, unwanted and lost animals.

Not only do ACC volunteers nurture, exercise, socialize, train, feed, clean kennels, groom, vaccinate/medicate and microchip, they also provide transportation to spay and neuter clinics and veterinarians.

We are especially fortunate to have a professional trainer who works closely with our volunteers as well as helping our dogs with their specific needs.

We are always looking for more volunteers. We begin with having you walk dogs in the afternoon with one of our experienced staff. Stop by our Shelter on a Tuesday or Thursday and fill out a volunteer application if you think you might like to be a part of this team.

At Shelter on the Hill, we love "happy endings." Be a part of our story.

Teamwork 1
Madison and Whisper
Teamwork 2
Pam, Jan and Gypsy
Teamwork 3
Trainer Kristin
Teamwork 4
Teamwork 5
Michelle and Fred

Things you can do to help animals in your neighborhood!

Kitten Photo