The Fremont Podcast

Episode 108 Fostering Compassion and Community in Fremont's Animal Scene with Diane Shaw

March 01, 2024 Ricky B and Diane Shaw Season 3 Episode 108
Episode 108 Fostering Compassion and Community in Fremont's Animal Scene with Diane Shaw
The Fremont Podcast
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The Fremont Podcast
Episode 108 Fostering Compassion and Community in Fremont's Animal Scene with Diane Shaw
Mar 01, 2024 Season 3 Episode 108
Ricky B and Diane Shaw

In this episode, we chat with Diane Shaw, president of the Ohlone Humane Society. She shares the vivid patchwork of her life, stitched together with stories of post-college adventures, a fulfilling career, and a retirement that's anything but idle. Diane's story is a testament to the beauty of civic involvement, revealing a journey where even the smallest acts of volunteerism blossom into a richer experience of community connection.

As we spotlight the lifeline forged between humans and their cherished pets, our conversation illuminates the network of care that the Ohlone Humane Society extends to our feline friends through their innovative Trap Neuter Return program. Without a traditional shelter, their approach is as unique as the wildlife they protect, including a wildlife rehabilitation center tucked away in Newark. It's a heartening look into how dedicated fosters, volunteers, and the TNR team are pivotal in responsibly managing community cat populations and preserving our local ecosystem, weaving a narrative that intertwines with Fremont's own rich history.

Join us for an exploration of how engaging in the community can reshape not only the lives of countless animals but also our own. We talked about Diane's commitment to the Ohlone Humane Society and her multifaceted path to leadership. It's a conversation that champions the ripple effect of volunteering — how a single act can inspire continuous involvement, shaping both individual lives and the wider community. Discover the power of collective effort and the unexpected joys of uncovering hidden community gems with us.

Check out Own It Fitness for your professional fitness solutions. You can find their website here. 

Connect with them on Instagram here. 

If you are interested in supporting the podcast, please reach out to us at thefremontpodcast@gmail.com, or you can contact us here. 


Fremont Bank has been partnering with and supporting people and small businesses for over six decades.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

Additionally, Banter Bookshop is the best little bookshop in Fremont. They are a sponsor of that podcast. And we are excited to have them as a partner.

If you are in need of services for design or printing, check out Minutemen Press in Irvington. They have been serving the community for over 20 years, and they stand strong by their work and service.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we chat with Diane Shaw, president of the Ohlone Humane Society. She shares the vivid patchwork of her life, stitched together with stories of post-college adventures, a fulfilling career, and a retirement that's anything but idle. Diane's story is a testament to the beauty of civic involvement, revealing a journey where even the smallest acts of volunteerism blossom into a richer experience of community connection.

As we spotlight the lifeline forged between humans and their cherished pets, our conversation illuminates the network of care that the Ohlone Humane Society extends to our feline friends through their innovative Trap Neuter Return program. Without a traditional shelter, their approach is as unique as the wildlife they protect, including a wildlife rehabilitation center tucked away in Newark. It's a heartening look into how dedicated fosters, volunteers, and the TNR team are pivotal in responsibly managing community cat populations and preserving our local ecosystem, weaving a narrative that intertwines with Fremont's own rich history.

Join us for an exploration of how engaging in the community can reshape not only the lives of countless animals but also our own. We talked about Diane's commitment to the Ohlone Humane Society and her multifaceted path to leadership. It's a conversation that champions the ripple effect of volunteering — how a single act can inspire continuous involvement, shaping both individual lives and the wider community. Discover the power of collective effort and the unexpected joys of uncovering hidden community gems with us.

Check out Own It Fitness for your professional fitness solutions. You can find their website here. 

Connect with them on Instagram here. 

If you are interested in supporting the podcast, please reach out to us at thefremontpodcast@gmail.com, or you can contact us here. 


Fremont Bank has been partnering with and supporting people and small businesses for over six decades.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

Additionally, Banter Bookshop is the best little bookshop in Fremont. They are a sponsor of that podcast. And we are excited to have them as a partner.

If you are in need of services for design or printing, check out Minutemen Press in Irvington. They have been serving the community for over 20 years, and they stand strong by their work and service.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Speaker 1:

We all do the stuff out of our homes, and so all the people that we have a lot of fosters. We have about 40 to 45 fosters at any one time Taking care of the kittens in their home and then having adopters go and get kittens adopted through their home.

Speaker 3:

Wow. Yeah, so everybody's out of their homes. How many volunteers are there?

Speaker 2:

Coming to you straight from Fremont, California. This is the Fremont podcast, dedicated to telling the stories of the past and present of the people and places of the city of Fremont, one conversation at a time.

Speaker 4:

I'm walking in between two houses Well, I'm walking in between four houses on one of these secret neighborhood pathways. I am a big fan of these little pathways. This one near Victoria Avenue Eventually, once I go across the street here, goes all the way to the Blakehound neighborhood park. Fremont has a lot of these. I like them because they are in between spaces that haven't yet been homogenized. They are also lovely little ways of getting from place to place on your own two feet, like these slightly windy set of stairs that go from the dead end of Noria Road down into the Ohlone Village shopping center, and this one near Country Drive, which is quiet now but is often filled with teenagers from Washington High School. Oh my, the teenagers come across the crosswalk and I should probably leave them to it. And yes, if you live in the Gomes area, secret little pathways are your every day. Ooh, a jacket on a tree, I am kicking a tire and you are listening to episode 108 of the Fremont podcast.

Speaker 2:

Now here's your host, Ricky B.

Speaker 1:

And so those are the types of connections that you can sometimes make just by reading something out. Oh, I think I might be able to help them.

Speaker 3:

That's exactly right.

Speaker 1:

Let's see what we can do and let's find out a little bit more about the situation.

Speaker 3:

Yeah that's really good. I think that organizations like the Ohlone Humane Society I think it's a good example of something that is a, I guess what I mean is a significant need to be addressed within our community. That is maybe what I'm looking for is a common need. When you have something that concerns pets people's pets or animals that are considered pets, I think that's definitely a common need. And so when you can come together and create an organization around that common need, it definitely does open your eyes or causes you to at least start thinking about things in terms of what are the needs that are there and then how can we intervene or how can we help care for some of those needs along the way, because those are going to become more common, I think. I mean you just have a lot of people have pets and you have a lot of animals like I have a lot of feral cats that are around my house.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's interesting because animals are. It doesn't matter who you are, what socioeconomic benefits you have to your life, doesn't matter whether you have a roof over your head or you don't, doesn't matter what religion you are. Necessarily, pets are something that are, you know, people really have a passion for and in some cases, especially with the unsheltered and even with people who are just lonely and live by themselves their pets are their, are their you know friend, their best friend, and that's who helps them. See them through the good times and the bad times.

Speaker 1:

And so it really does affect everybody, and because of that, I think that's why we can be so successful in finding people to help, as both monetarily and with their time, because it just does affect everybody, and so people that do have the finances are willing to help those that don't and those that don't are willing to sometimes put in the time in order to pay back, because it's all about paying it forward.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's right, I was just reading. I have a copy of your mission statement here. It says a lonely, humane society strives to inspire respect and compassion for all animals, advocate for their interests and welfare and instill in our community that all living beings have a right to be treated humanely. And I think that, like what you're saying, is truly a reflection of that. You know being able to provide an opportunity where people who care for pets, they are connected to pets and in many cases, you know a pet is more than just a nice thing, more than just a you know, more than a mouth to feed is.

Speaker 1:

they say, yeah, that's exactly right.

Speaker 3:

In many cases, pets are like someone's lifeline you know, so I grew up in the Midwest and I grew up in a farming community and so, like for me, when I consider pets, I could say I've had pets most of my life and I believe that that includes cats, meat and cash that müsste peanuts from a farming community. The dogs stayed outside. They, you know, most of the time were chained up or fenced in.

Speaker 1:

You picked, you raised and then you ate. Yeah, that's the chickens you raised and then you ate.

Speaker 3:

That's exactly right, yeah, so for me, like I mean, I had a pet, my first dog that I would say was my dog, you know, he stayed in the back. She stayed in the backyard. It was a fenced in area. We never allowed them in the house, you know, but I spent a lot of time with them and it was a dog that I loved. And because I saved them, we bought a pair of sister dogs. They were mutts that we got on an ad and but they beautiful and I had them for a year.

Speaker 3:

My sisters, my sisters, were the owners of one of them and I was the owner of the other one and we had them for years. But I grew very connected to my dog. I think people would label me to be like an insensitive, uncaring pet owner because of the way that you know, it was. Just, they are outside and, yeah, we had a doghouse for them and you know whatever, but it was. But when I look at the way pets are viewed today by a lot of people, it's very different than what I grew up.

Speaker 1:

It is but it isn't. I mean, it is in some of the communities, but you go back to the Midwest, it's still the same thing right. You go up into other Sanoma County, it's still the same. You go into the districts. It really depends on where you are and and and. To me there's no right or wrong, because I've had both inside, I have outside. I currently have both inside and outside pets cats. And they're suited for that life. It's a life they chose not.

Speaker 2:

I'm not choosing for them.

Speaker 1:

They choose it. You know, the ones that are inside are very happy because they, you know I can open the door and they don't even go out there.

Speaker 1:

Like no why would I want to go out in that big, old, old place? So, but yeah, it is a little different because there are there are some people that go to extremes when they take care of their pets. Yeah, but we're just here to to basic. And you know, when we got started in 2017, I shouldn't say started, but when I got involved in this, it had to do with when we we found out that the shelter was euthanizing more animals than we, the community really realized, and so the community kind of the community as a whole kind of got up in arms and ended up meeting and talking about it and so got involved to say what can we do? How can we help? And so it's.

Speaker 1:

It's evolved a little bit, but you know, it was really focused then on on the cats and doing trap, neuter, return and then kittens, but we've now evolved the program. So one of the biggest changes that we've had over the few years is our pet meals on wheels program. It was a very small program when it first started, started with a volunteer had this idea. She did it from her house, amazing. But then we realized that we could expand it and we started working with people to expand it and now it's gotten really big. We're feeding you know it's the 8,000 pounds of food a month to different organizations that we're partnering with people now as opposed to the person who started did it all herself Finding partners where you can get all that out and finding out how many people especially during COVID, we found out how many people really needed that food for their pet and it allowed them to keep their pet and so, and now we have our pet therapy program. Okay.

Speaker 3:

That's interesting.

Speaker 1:

I haven't been to too many of them, but you know they do the read to a dog at the library events so the kids can go and read and they're reading to a dog and the dog is there. We visit hospitals, we visit care homes. I think they visited. They had quite a bit last year. We, you know, once again that program has evolved, so we do a lot of that. And then our special assistance is kind of our undocumented.

Speaker 1:

You won't find it on our website because, we recognize that it's an area that could run out of funding really soon, and that's the area where I talked about helping with the dog.

Speaker 1:

So trying to help people who can't afford it when they have unexpected vet costs is trying to help them. So, whether it be that the dog got hit by a car or needs some medicine or some treatment, if you're a low income person and meet all the criteria, then we will help you up to $1,000 with your vet bills. So we've, like I said, it's kind of on the.

Speaker 1:

We talked to the vets about it so the vets know about it, and so if a vet has somebody that comes in and can't afford it, they refer them to us. And then word of mouth, and now that we've helped a few people in the shelter, word of mouth is getting out there, of course, but it's also an interesting thing, because some people don't always know what's best for their pet right, and so trying to have that middle ground where we're, we're trying to support people, but we need them to understand what their responsibility is as well, that they have some responsibility in this and we have to do this as a team Can sometimes be challenging.

Speaker 3:

Huh, I think it's really helpful for me to hear Back back. We'll be right back. There you go. You can hear the rest of this conversation in just a moment. If you need help navigating the local real estate market, contact Petracelli Homes on Niles Boulevard. With almost two decades of experience, this family-owned brokerage is an expert in the local real estate market. Give Jennifer Petracelli a call. With her wide-ranging knowledge of the real estate industry and expert negotiation skills, jennifer goes above and beyond for her clients. Jennifer helps her clients make smart real estate decisions that benefit them in the long run. So if you're looking for a realtor who knows what they're doing and who genuinely cares about your needs and wants, reach out to Jennifer today and discover why Petracelli Homes is the right choice for all of your real estate needs.

Speaker 4:

Bantor Bookshop has a morning book club and it's going to be Wednesday, march 27th at 9.30. And the Bantor Bookshop morning book club selection will be a different kind of club the Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. The book club is going to be limited to 25 people and you do need to RSVP. So go to BantorBookshopcom to do that. If you're going to be part of the club and read the book, please buy the book from Bantor Bookshop and if your purchase of this book is made in conjunction with this book club, you will get 15% off the title. Wednesday, march 27th at 9.30. For more information to sign up BantorBookshopcom. Slash events and scroll down just a little bit. Bantor Bookshop is located in Fremont on Capitol Avenue.

Speaker 3:

And now back to our conversation. So what exactly is the Aloni Humane Society and what is it not Like? What is it that I mean? There definitely seems to be a lot of advocacy.

Speaker 1:

We are a rescue.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

And we are mostly focused on cats cats and kittens. Because we don't have a physical location, because we don't have a physical shelter, we have no place to put them. Dogs, you have to have a place to put them in.

Speaker 1:

So we are focused on cats as a shelter. Now, that's one of it. And we have a trap neuter return team. We have a foster kitten team, we have the ones I talked about pet meals on wheels, special assistance, pet therapy. But one thing a lot of people don't know that we do have a physical building. We do have a wildlife rehabilitation center. Really.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and that is a physical building, okay.

Speaker 1:

So it's open to the public because with wildlife you can't be open to the public and it's located actually in Newark.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

And they've been around. They're the ones that have been around for probably the longest, but any wildlife foxes, raccoons, squirrels we just had some baby squirrels We've had people bring us like little skunks, where the mother got hit by a car and the babies were there. They would bring the skunks and we would raise them until they can be released into the wild. Wow, so it's all about rehabilitating owls. Wow, we've had owls, we've had all kinds of stuff there, and so we rehabilitate them. Ducks we have ducks with a little pond and stuff for the ducks and then, once they can be released, they get released out.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so we are. I don't know if govern is the right word, but we're under the US. The department of California, department of Wildlife and. Fish and Wildlife Managed by that. That is actually the. The manager there of the Wildlife Center has to be certified, and all of that.

Speaker 2:

Really Okay.

Speaker 1:

So they are. She is a paid employee, and we have one person who helps her who's a paid employee, but other than that, we are all volunteer based.

Speaker 5:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

And we all do the stuff out of our homes, and so all the people that we have a lot of fosters. We have about 40 to 45 fosters at any one time. Wow, taking care of the kittens in their home and then having adopters go and look, you know, and get kittens adopted through their home, wow, yeah, so everybody's out of their house.

Speaker 3:

So everyone, how many volunteers are there?

Speaker 1:

So we have about. I'm going to say we have probably 60 to 80 active volunteers.

Speaker 4:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

Our trap neuter and return team has grown this in 2023. It grew. It had gotten kind of small in 21, 22, with only probably about 10 people, and now I'm going to say we're probably closer to 15 or 20 that are actively working with us to trap those that. So we it's two services. One is and once again we've learned that we're better to partner with people. It's the whole thing about teach somebody how to fish rather than just give them a fish.

Speaker 1:

Right, and so the trapping team. Now, while they will, you know you can put in a request if you have a feral colony that needs help by you and you want help, you can put that request in. It's a long. It's a long list and a long takes a long time to get to you. But there is that, um, or we can teach you how to trap yourself.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

And we will. The team has some extra traps and things like that that they can give people. They teach them how to do it. We have vouchers that we provide, so first you can get a voucher for $60. So you can get a cat fix and then Ohlone pays the remaining amount. Um, that's still a lot of money, though, with some of these colonies.

Speaker 2:

You got 20 cats in a colony.

Speaker 1:

To get them all fixed is really expensive.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I'm, I'm, I guess I'm curious. What happens once they get trapped? Like, what's the process? Like you, either you trap them or you you teach somebody how to trap them. What happens to them after that?

Speaker 1:

So what we tell people is you don't want to trap until you have an appointment to get them fixed.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

Um, so let's say we and we call a month ahead and we get all the appointments for the month for for our team and then our team goes out. Once you trap them, it's easy the night before the appointment you keep them in your garage or someplace overnight, you bring them to the, somebody brings them over to the vet to have be fixed, someone picks them up in the afternoon and then they're recovered what we call recovery. So they're either recovered one night in a house or two nights, depending on whether male or female.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

And then they're released back to where they were trapped.

Speaker 3:

Okay, so they. So it's not like they're trapped and removed from like the community. It's like they they actually it's more or less trying to keep the population down. So they're trapped for the purpose of maybe doing evaluation or and or, like um taking care of the reproduction.

Speaker 1:

It's all about taking care of the reproduction. So, um, whether you know this or not, but when once you um fix a community cat, they're called community cats.

Speaker 2:

Now to to the feral.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Although some people will call the community cats the friendly ones that are outside, and then they call them feral if they're not the friendly ones. But um, they'll have their ear tipped when they're fixed.

Speaker 5:

And so a lot of times you can tell when they're fixed or not.

Speaker 1:

Um, the hardest part is, you know, if you have a colony of 20 cats and none of them are fixed, it's easy. You can get a bunch of them fixed right away. But then when you get some fixed and you got to get the remaining, then it gets a little bit more challenging just to get the right cats to go in the trap.

Speaker 3:

So what you're saying is is like, if there's like like I've got, I think, probably five cats around my house that I that you know, that I see on a regular basis. So you're saying that if, if I'm out of all of my neighbors, everyone on my street, if I'm the one that decides I want to take responsibility for them, then there's a certain like, then I would. I would go out and either go through the process of getting them trapped whether I did that myself, learn how to do it myself, or whether I had you guys do it, but then I what I pay for that, but then you guys also chip in and help out with it as well.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and what we get some people doing lately. You'll see go fund me is out there, um, and you, the go fund me can work two ways. You can give it to a person, you can give it to an organization. So we have had people do go fund me's that go straight to a Loni and then we track that and every cat they bring in we don't charge them, we take it out of the money that they raised.

Speaker 1:

And so we tell them as a community um, a lot of communities we say go to your neighbors, put a flyer in. I'll bet you, if you're willing to take on the responsibility to get this work done, they'll help you they will help you pay for it but just give them a flyer, make it really easy.

Speaker 1:

We can even do it like a QR code on a flyer that automatically goes to the link on a Loni that says this is, we did one at Union city flats. This is for Union city flat cats. Okay, Um, and we can track all of that to help neighborhoods do that.

Speaker 1:

So we're trying to help people do the work themselves, but they need to be part of as usual. They need to be part of the process they need to do a part of, they need to take some accountability. Um and um, and as long as the good thing is, you know, once they're fixed and they all get together, they all get along. Otherwise they would have moved on right. Um, the problem is when you get people that are being dumped and you know that's what's happening these days, where people are getting evicted losing their housing.

Speaker 1:

They can't take their animals with them.

Speaker 3:

So they just letting them go. When I, as I've started to like, go to the um the pet store here in centerville, they were talking about finding these rabbits. Uh, especially during COVID, they were just finding these rabbits running everywhere and they were. They were pet rabbits that people were letting go because they couldn't take care of them. And there was somebody who I met in there that, um, she was like that was her thing, was just going out and catching these wild rabbits or these pet rabbits, and that had been let go and trying to find a home for them. And, um, yeah, it was just like what do you do with that?

Speaker 1:

It's amazing to me how many people get little pet rabbits for the kids for Easter and then two months after Easter, you see a lot of them out there.

Speaker 4:

So hello, Fremont. I'm remembering back to the first episode of this season, episode 103. It was the woodturning episode and the guest, Brad Bond, said something about what a community chooses to support and how that reflects upon the community.

Speaker 5:

And I think that there's something really, really cool about that, and I also think that there's something. There's something of value to a community that chooses to support somebody who is looking to obtain mastery of craft. That's great, right? It's great, um, and I think. I think that the value goes beyond, like we all get nice bowls or nice shoes or whatever it is. I think that there is substantial cultural value in being able to support somebody through the beginning stages of something, because the eventuality reflects well on the community.

Speaker 4:

This is season three of the Fremont podcast. We are still fairly new to this game and I would like to not have this be the final season. I would like this to be the beginning of our craft. I think the guy with the lathe has a point when he says it can reflect well on a community when a community chooses to support things that are at the beginning stages because they can see the longterm value. We are trying to entertain you and we are also trying to foster community in, honestly, a space and a time where it's very easy to be isolated. We are asking for $1 a month from our listeners. Buy me a coffee, dot com. Slash the Fremont podcast, slash membership One very small dollar a month here at the beginning, so that this beginning isn't the end.

Speaker 3:

The cats around my house. My son has names for all of them. Now They'll come and sit in our back little patio area, especially when it's sunny. Yeah, yeah, they'll come and just sit out there, will you?

Speaker 1:

have your son start checking their ears and having him figure out which of his names, which of his pets, have been fixed and which haven't. And then he can watch to see if that changes, because that's what you don't wanna see. You don't wanna see it grow, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

So by that it's interesting. So the idea in some sense you're trying to do what's good for both the community and these animals, just to make sure that they're not, things aren't getting out of control and they don't become pests, more than anything, I guess.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the male cats are the big cats. If they're not fixed they tend to get more fights, and so once they're fixed they settle down a little bit. You don't have as many fights. So when you're hearing fights in the yard, you know that you have a Tomcat in there, and so you get a lot less fights. You get a lot less animals getting hurt and then over time then hopefully you get a more of a managed colony.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, how does the more domesticated animals, the? What were you saying? Not feral cats, but was the other?

Speaker 1:

one Community cats.

Speaker 3:

Community cats. So how do those interact with? Say, what is the relationship like with the wildlife community in our city? Because you've got I mean, I've got raccoons that are constantly in my backyard, you know, and they're looking for everything. You know, I've got possums, I've had skunks, we've had mountain lions that come out of the hills right down here on Mission Boulevard, like how do what's? Are there concerns with these community cats being plentiful? I guess, in that sense, maybe drawing wildlife out, like, have you seen any kind of issues or things like that that are of concern?

Speaker 1:

No, I haven't seen any issues where they would draw the wild out, life out, but you know there are people that live in the hills here and when they have outside animals, they tend to not have a long lifespan.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

So the community, the feral cats, end up having a much shorter lifespan out there. The biggest thing right now when they're an adult cat, they sometimes can they know to run from a raccoon and they can go hide Right.

Speaker 1:

It's the kittens and so and that's what happened, like last year, we ended up taking in. It was a litter of five kittens that was in somebody's yard and we were full and we said we don't have any fosters, we're full. Next thing we know, a raccoon took one of the kittens away and they would have taken more.

Speaker 3:

Oh, my goodness.

Speaker 1:

And so then we're like okay, we'll figure out where we're putting these four kittens. Now it's five turned into four. I think it was five turned into four, and so you do see the raccoons getting the kittens, the little ones, so they're very pretty defenseless and need some support.

Speaker 3:

I know you've mentioned all of this, but I just want to kind of like put it into a nutshell. You said that the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center that you guys are connected with that actually that it pre-existed a lonely, humane society, or because you said that kind of came around first, or how, like, when did everything start and how did everything come together?

Speaker 1:

You know it started in 1983.

Speaker 3:

Oh oh so yeah, and it spent a long time. That's a lonely, humane society, started in 1983.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and they were called something else, original, maybe Tri-City Friends of Tri-City Animals or something. But they got incorporated and the Wildlife Center is actually at the old Tri-City shelter. So they built the new shelter next to the police department and I shouldn't say it's probably not new anymore. I don't know how many years ago that was, but the Wildlife Center then took over the old shelter over in Newark and they've had different programs.

Speaker 1:

I don't know totally what they did during that. A lot of it was focused on the wildlife and then I can only really speak a lot to 2017 when we kind of came in and said you know, let's focus on the cats and figure out what we can do to help work with the shelter. We were doing some. We do work with the shelter we would. It's changed a little bit.

Speaker 1:

We're trying to work with the community to also put some pressure on the city to do more in this area and so because at one time they had a vet that would help us do the, that would help fix the cats for us. So that was much easier to be go somewhere local.

Speaker 1:

We now have to go. We are taking cats to San Francisco, pleasanton, redwood City. Sometimes we go down to San Jose but to be honest, they don't always give us appointments and allow us to go there. But we're taking cats that far to get fixed because there aren't enough vets in the area and or and or enough vets who are willing to do fixing cats for a rescue.

Speaker 3:

Wow, wow, that's interesting. So how many? How many cats are you dealing with? Usually like in a year, like or in a month or whatever I think we had 300.

Speaker 1:

We did three. I think we fixed 300 cats last year.

Speaker 3:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

And it's changed each year depending on how big our team is, but we also. The other thing we do have is a voucher program for low income families. So you, if you own your own pet but, you're, but you're considered low income. We also will provide you a voucher so you can get your animal fixed as well, okay. And we don't necessarily count those in the same numbers. You know, to be honest with you, I haven't looked. Our numbers are all on our website.

Speaker 2:

We're very transparent about that.

Speaker 1:

But we also have those that we fix. So it's called spay and neuter program and it's to try to help people be responsible with their pets.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

And hopefully the cost isn't what stops them from doing that.

Speaker 3:

So that's great, and we'll have links to the, your website and anything else that that helps people connect with you in the show notes on on this episode and please connect.

Speaker 1:

I will. I will put a plug in for volunteers. Yeah, because I'll tell you it's really rewarding work and the one thing that's nice about it is there's no set time. We're not telling you. You got to work five days a week or five hours a day. There's really all kinds of work to be done. Whether you like working with animals and you want to foster for kittens, that's a great way to have an animal for a short period of time.

Speaker 1:

Okay but not full time. You want to try it out. You want to see what it's like. You know it's a four to six week type of arrangement, but we also have admin work. We need people to help us just do administrative stuff, okay, and so you can work from the luxury of your house.

Speaker 1:

As long as you know have a computer and have a link and can get emails from people. You know you can help us go through invoices and reconcile bills or put together these vouchers. You know we have to write up the vouchers when we do things can write up vouchers. There's a lot of different type. You know social media fundraising, if you like, to put on events. We need people to help us do the events of different places. So there's a lot of different opportunities for people. Yeah, we're also trying to put together. We have a humane education program with the schools and we're doing a lot of stuff with the schools now because our belief is that if we can teach the kids today to understand animals and to respect and to be compassionate with animals, they'll grow into adults that do the same. That's great.

Speaker 1:

And so we have a lot of humane education and we're trying to put together some youth volunteer opportunities. We do like with our pet meals on wheels we need people to package food up.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

And so sometimes the kids can do that with their parents.

Speaker 3:

Okay, and right now we're doing it on Tuesdays and Saturdays and looking for volunteers to help package food for us so that we can do the distributions to so there, yeah, so it sounds like there's really a lot of opportunities for people to volunteer and even for you know, I don't want to, I don't want to marginalize or label anybody but even for people who don't necessarily like animals or like pets, they could still, you know, help in the community with this without having to directly deal with animals Correct If they don't want to be pet in a pet or taking care of a kitten.

Speaker 1:

Yes, there's still a lot, a lot of opportunities to help us.

Speaker 3:

Well, that's great. That's great, and they can find out the process for becoming a volunteer that should be able to find on the website. It's all on the website.

Speaker 1:

And we have resources on the website for people that might need different resources. There's other resources for where they might get help. And then we do have an info line and we need people to cover our info line. That's another example of where we need. We need somebody that would just work, you know, four hours a day, and basically it's taking messages and calling people back and distributing their call back. So, you know it's once again, it's, it's. It's straightforward stuff and easy to do and anybody can help us.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think you said that you already have. Like, when you were talking about volunteers, you, you know, you listed between like 60 or 70. But when it's, when it's volunteer work, you know 60 and 70, you know, maybe good on one day, but on another day it, you know, it may be nothing, you know. And so I think that the more people that are willing to get involved, I think the lighter the load is for the people who are giving more of their time and attention to the work that you guys are doing. So I definitely think that you know, even if I can just give an hour or two hours a week towards something like that, it's, it's an hour or two hours of attention that you can give that that wasn't already there before, so that's really great yeah.

Speaker 3:

So I'm with Diane Shaw and you are the president of the Eloni Humane Society and you've been the president since 2017. Is that what you?

Speaker 1:

no, I, just last year I became president, okay, but you've been connected with the Eloni Society since then.

Speaker 3:

Okay, yes, you grew up in the area, up in the area here.

Speaker 1:

I didn't. I moved out here after college.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

I, I actually grew up, I actually was born in Mouththoos, it's oh cool but moved to the Midwest. Minnesota Actually went to high school and college in Minnesota and then got a job out here and then never left.

Speaker 3:

Okay, so, and you were a volunteer as well, with this yes, okay so it. So being a president is not does it mean anything?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, other than more time.

Speaker 3:

So what kind of things have you found yourself doing in the area then, like it's, when you moved out here, worked a job, worked a job. Did you move to Fremont, or where did you move to in the Bay Area?

Speaker 1:

You know, originally I went to our United Airlines, and so I originally have done the peninsula for a couple of years. But I moved to Fremont because this is where I could afford to buy a house back in the 80s. And, and I've been in the same house since then. Wow, so, and it's interesting because from a community perspective I never was that involved in Fremont.

Speaker 1:

Okay To me it was where I live, where I slept at night you know, but but to be honest, probably in the early 2000s, when I changed jobs and started getting more involved in different things, I did start getting involved in social activities and then, when I retired, see people think about retirement, they say I don't know what we'll do. I can tell you there's lots of things to do when you retire. When I retired I really became involved in the community.

Speaker 1:

Got involved in a lot of nonprofits and with the Fremont Elks and Fremont Kiwanis, and then in doing a lot of nonprofit work, and so through that is where you meet other nonprofits and you learn what this community really has to offer, which is really great. And then I am elected. I also got elected to the AC Transit Board of Directors.

Speaker 3:

And so I've been doing that since 2018.

Speaker 1:

And that really gets you involved in the community, and so all the different hats I wear. It's great. This is a great community. I love being here, and there's a lot to offer, and there's a lot to offer that people don't know about and I think this podcast that you're doing in the conversation we were having earlier about learning different people and understanding where they both come from and what they do today, you learn a lot about what's in this community that you didn't even know existed.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's right and that's what's really really good. I think there's different things that are kind of like the catalyst for that happening for people especially who have lived here for a long time. And that is like people have lived in a particular area for a while, they kind of have their routines, they get in a particular rut. And I say rut, I don't mean that necessarily in a negative way, I just mean it.

Speaker 1:

It's a routine.

Speaker 3:

It's what I do, it's where I go. And then I have found that for people moving into the area, sometimes they know things about the community and I felt like that was me when I moved here, cause I moved here about 10 years ago. I came in and I would talk to people. I was like, oh, did you know this? And have you ever been to this? And they're like I've never heard of that. And I'm like what? You've lived here? How long have you lived? I've lived here my whole life. You've never been. And what happens is I'm looking at it through fresh eyes and I'm trying to discover new things, whereas somebody who's lived here for a long time is like I didn't even know that existed. And so I do think that there is a helpful. There are these kind of like, these mechanisms. I guess, if you will, that kind of like cause us to be aware of new things, so like maybe for you, even retirement being one of those mechanisms, that like caused you to shift and look through different lines.

Speaker 1:

I know I can stay home all day long, and so it's like what am I gonna do with my time? So, starting to look at that and then realize you know, and the more you get involved, the more you get involved Because you learn more about what's going on and you go. Well, that's really great. I wanna help there and you see all the things, areas that you can help with. You know everybody needs help and so you know I tell people retirement's great because you get an opportunity to do the things you wanna do Not necessarily sit home, but go out and help people, help students, If you like to work with kids go work with the schools.

Speaker 1:

If you like to work with adults, go work with some of the places here that need it. That's great.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I do think that you were saying earlier, which I find interesting when you go to a place and you work as a volunteer with other volunteers, you start finding out things that they're connected to or passions that they have, that all of a sudden there's like this cross-pollination that begins to happen where you're like I helped out with the Tri-City food pantry or whatever, and then it's like what else do you do? Why volunteer over this? Oh really, I didn't know that that was a thing, I didn't know that that existed. And so when you start hanging around people who have, whose mind and passions are bent toward a healthier community, you start discovering things that oh well, that's cool. I wanna know more about that, I wanna be more involved in that and then you share it.

Speaker 1:

I mean that is the one good thing. I mean I will say that on some of the different social things I will share things and go. People will say I need help with this. Have you ever did you know we had this Did? You know this service was available to people and a lot of times people don't know these things are available to me.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's right. That's right. Well, that's cool. Yeah, I really appreciate your time and all the information you've given. You've served the community it sounds like for a little while now, and I think that that's really cool. Is there anything particularly that you yourself, apart from some of the other things that you've been involved with as a volunteer or becoming an official with the AC Transit, is there anything particularly that you have discovered over the last I don't know, maybe decade that has been especially I guess I'm using the same word. Is there something that's been a special discovery for you as a Fremont resident that has been new and fresh and exciting for you?

Speaker 1:

Well, the one thing I'll say, working with the Loni, that I have found is this is a very giving community, not just financial, as well as other things. When people need help, they come out, and I'll you know this is not in our community, but was very close to me the Lahaina Fires over in Maui, Okay right right. We said we need to help. There's some issues over there with the cats and we won't go into that, but it's like I wanna be able to help over there.

Speaker 2:

And so.

Speaker 1:

I put out a response and this community came through. That's awesome, and so whenever you really have a need, if you put it out, this is a very giving community.

Speaker 3:

That's great. That's great. I love that. So that's been great. I love that. Well, I appreciate you and the work that you're doing. Thank you for your time and sharing your story, a little bit of your story and the perspective here with the podcast. And, like I said, if people want to know how to be more involved and wanna learn more about the Oloni Humane Society, we can look in the show notes or they can reach out to you and get plugged in in person.

Speaker 1:

Please do wwwolonihumanesocietyorg. Awesome, awesome A lot of stuff there, a lot of good stuff. Thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it. Yeah, thanks.

Speaker 2:

Diane. This episode was hosted and produced by Ricky B. I'm Gary Williams, andrew Cavett is the editor. Scheduling and pre-interviews by Sarah S. Your reviews help other people find this podcast. If you would please leave a review on iTunes. Be sure to subscribe wherever it is that you listen so you don't miss an episode. You can find everything we make, the podcast and all of our social media links at thefremontpodcastcom. Join us next week on the Fremont Podcast.

Speaker 3:

This is a Muggins Media podcast.

Fremont Pet Care Programs Interview
Aloni Humane Society Overview
Community Cats and Wildlife Conservation
Discovering Community Involvement Through Volunteering