Homeward bound- the incredible journey of Hercules

A tale of a pet owner, a curious cat named Hercules and a very persistent neighbor.

picture of Hercules
Hercules the adventurer

Julie, the owner of Hercules the cat, noticed that every so often Hercules would go missing for a few days at a time. Julie was curious about where Hercules was going. Turns out, Hercules was quite the foodie and was traveling far and wide to sample exotic cuisine. His favorite jaunt to satisfy his insatiable pallet was the neighbor’s house. The neighbor would regularly feed Hercules and she soon became quite a fan of her regular customer, so much of a fan that she decided she wanted to keep Hercules as her own.

At first, Hercules’ owner Julie was not at all willing to give the cat away to her neighbor, however after exhaustive arguing and insistence on the part of the neighbor, Julie finally gave in.

A couple years later, Julie received a strange call from the local humane society. She was informed by the people at the shelter that they had her cat. Confused, Julie informed them that she did not have a cat. The people at the shelter asked her if Hercules was not her cat. Julie then remembered Hercules, her former cat that had found a new home with the neighbor. As it turns out, the neighbor had moved way and left Hercules behind.

So how did this serendipitous reunion that allowed Julie and Hercules to be reunited come to be? Hercules was microchipped.

A Microchip is a small devise(about the size of a large grain of rice) that is placed under the animal’s skin. The implant contains a unique number which can be read through the skin by a special scanner. The number that the scanner reads is matched to a number kept in a national database, which also has information about the name of the pet owner and their contact information.

It is extremely useful in the quick and accurate return of lost pets, like Hercules. Having pets microchipped, in combination with having them wear a license tag, is far more efficient than using an ID tag alone. Collars are often lost or removed when the animal is straying, however a Microchip cannot be lost.

If the pet has a microchip it is beneficial to the shelters because they are able to return lost animals to their home and do not have to put out the cost of feeding and sheltering the animal. It is beneficial to the animals and their owners because they can be reunited in a timely and efficient manner.

All pets adopted from Butte Humane Society are microchipped as a part of the adoption fee. BHS will doing a $15 microchip special during April for animals that have not yet received the implant. Regularly, the price of a microchip implant is $30.

Please take some time to learn more about microchipping by visiting our website.


-Monica Hitchcock, Public Relations Intern



Vote NOW for Butte Humane Society!

Today (April 4) marks the beginning of the Qualifying Heat for the ASPCA $100K Challenge. Help us qualify by casting your vote for Butte Humane Society once a day, now through April 15, at http://www.votetosavelives.org.  It’s quick and easy – you do not need to register on the site, but you will need a valid email address in order to vote. Then be sure to spread the word to your friends so they can vote too!

Weaver, transferred in & adopted in 2009!

Butte Humane Society, along with 90+ other shelters across the nation, are vying for 50 spots in the ASPCA $100K Challenge. With your votes, we can qualify and become contestants  – and then it is up to us and the community to do our best in this year’s Challenge, to be held August 1 through October 31, 2011.

The goal of the Challenge is simple: save more lives. This will be judged by the percentage increase in the number of adoptions as compared to the same time period last year. If/when we make it into the Challenge, we will be working together with our regional partners and communities to encourage successful adoptions through a combination of outreach, education, marketing, and innovative matchmaking programs. ASPCA even offers grants to Challenge contestants for the development of adoption-centric programs, and we are very eager to further develop our ideas and programs, and to share this info with other agencies.

Our shelter experienced a tremendous amount of community support during the Zootoo.com Million Dollar Shelter Makeover Contest in 2009, and during that time our adoption numbers were the highest they’ve ever been. In fact, so many people were adopting from BHS that we were able to save even more lives by bringing in adoptable animals that were scheduled for euthanasia at other shelters, and placing them into permanent loving homes. Though our primary focus is finding homes for all the animals currently housed in our shelter facilities and foster homes, we were thrilled to be able to help other shelters and rescue groups complete our shared goal of finding a home for every pet.

If Butte Humane Society wins a cash prize in the Challenge (ranging from $20,000 to $100,000) we will use the funds to further improve the

It's tough keeping dogs cool in our outdoor kennels - one of many projects in need of funding.

care, services and programs offered for our community’s homeless animals. This includes increasing the amount of low-cost spay and neuter surgeries we provide at our clinic; developing a new indoor kennel area for adoptable dogs; and providing on-site educational presentations for children of all ages.

Please join us in supporting Butte Humane Society during the Qualifying Heat of the ASPCA $100K Challenge – vote now at http://www.votetosavelives.org.

If you are interested in further helping Butte Humane Society in this endeavor, please contact Heather Schoeppach, communication and events associate, at heatherschoeppach[at]buttehumane.org.

Thanks for your continued support – big hugs from your furry friends at the shelter!!


Luv-a-Bull, promoting a love of and understanding for Pit Bulls

Aggressive, frightening, threatening– these are a few stereotypes that some people have of Pit Bulls. However, Pit Bulls have not always had the reputation they do now. Throughout the centuries the Pit Bull has changed, as has the culture surrounding them.

Fashion has dictated that Pit Bulls have different builds, and The American Kennel Club does not recognize the breed so there is not an official standard for appearance, said Lindsey Lieberman, Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed.

Although the AKC does not recognize the Pit Bull as an official breed, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are recognized, according to Pit Bull Rescue Central. Pit Bulls is a generic term used by the public to describe these dogs.

As a result of selective breeding, the temperament of Pits Bulls has also changed.

Responsible people are breeding aggression out of Pit Bulls, while dog fighters and other individuals who do not have the best interest of the dog at heart are breeding aggression and other guarding tendencies into the dogs, Lieberman said.

“That, along with huge differences in upbringing and training, is why there are great Pit Bulls and less fortunate Pit Bulls out there – but it’s worth noting that the qualities brought out in a dog – be it Pit Bull, Chihuahua, or Golden Retriever – are owed entirely to humans,” she said. “Dogs are what we make them.”

There are many things that contribute to the negative stereotypes that surround Pit Bulls. One myth is that Pit Bulls have permanently locked jaws, but aside from normal variation in skull shape among dogs, Pit bulls have essentially the same skull structure as other dogs, Lieberman said.

Pit Bulls do have a high drive and good tugging abilities which allow them to hold on when biting, however this does not mean that all Pit Bulls are aggressive by nature.

Aggression in dogs can be learned or inherited, and historically there has always been a dog stereotyped as being aggressive. In the 1970s German Shepherds had a reputation of being aggressive and in the 80s and 90s Rottweilers did. Currently Pit Bulls do, as some owners are breeding them for the wrong things, such as guarding or illegal dog fighting, Lieberman said.

According to Karen Delise, author of The Pit Bull Placebo, The media also contributes to many of the stereotypes surrounding Pit Bulls. Often times newspapers will misreport dog attacks. For example, a woman in San Francisco was attacked by a dog and media outlets initially said she was attacked by Pit Bulls and Bullmastiffs, however it was later identified that she was actually attacked by a Presa Canario.

The truth is that Pit Bulls are people-soft and can make great family dogs and wonderful companions. Helen Keller’s companion dog was a Pit Bull. There have also been famous Pit Bulls in pop culture. Pete, the lovable and loyal companion of the Little Rascals, was a Pit Bull. Pete was gentle, loving and a great friend to the Rascals. He serves as a more accurate depiction of the Pit Bull.

Our Gang’s Pete the pup

The need to dispel myths and stereotypes about Pit Bulls is the reason why Butte Humane Society holds Luv-a-Bull. It is an educational event that gives community members an opportunity to learn more about Pit Bulls. They are also given an opportunity to meet BHS’ breed ambassadors. These stately dogs are friendly, well-behaved, have good genetic make-up and are not expected to be aggressive. Butte Humane Society can help match these dogs to homes that will be appropriate for the Pit  Bull and the adoptive family.

The ultimate goal of Luv-a-Bull is to give people factual information about Pit Bulls so the cultural ideas about Pit Bulls can again be changed, but in a way that is positive, fact-based and that shows that Pit Bulls, like any other dog, are deserving of love and appreciation.

Luv-a-Bull Event Information:

Date and Time:

Saturday, March 26

12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.


Butte Humane Society

2579 Fair Street

Chico, CA

Admission is FREE!

***Cancelled if raining***

-Monica Hitchcock, Public Relations Intern

Be an advocate for spay and neuter

Those of us who love animals want to be a hero to animals.


Sometimes thoughts of being a hero to animals can be elaborate— People may conjure up images of a fire truck racing through the streets to save a cat stuck in a tree, but being a hero to animals doesn’t have to be so dramatic. In fact, it can be quite simple.

On the last Tuesday of February The Humane Society of the United States holds Spay Day USA, a campaign meant to inspire people to save the lives of animals by spaying or neutering pets.

Spaying and neutering saves the lives of animals because it reduces the number of unwanted litters that can lead to an overpopulation of homeless animals, and that is how we can be a hero to animals.

Many myths surround spay and neuter procedures, all of which can be easily dispelled:

Myth: -“Female cats and dogs should have one litter for health reasons.”

Fact: There are actually medical benefits to having a female pet spayed before her first heat.

Myth-“Spaying or neutering can make a cat or dog fat, lazy, less productive or will change his or her personality.” “Neutering my dog will make him loose is manhood.”

Fact: Spaying or neutering your pets will make them calmer and more focused on you, and a healthy diet, in combination with plenty of exercise, will help keep your pet fit and active.

Myth-“Homes can always be found for puppies and kittens.”-

Fact: According to The Humane Society of the United States, in the U.S. an estimated six to eight million homeless animals enter shelters every year and only half of these animals are adopted while the other half are euthanized.

Myth: “Chico is a small town with a relatively small population, therefore pet overpopulation is not likely to be a problem here.”

Fact: – Butte Humane Society receives 49 animals for every 1,000 people,  but the national average is lower, at 30 animals for every 1,000 people. One of the reasons for Chico’s overpopulation problem is that irresponsible or backyard breeders produce too many unwanted animals. The breeds produced can commonly be found in shelters.

Be Part of the Solution-

Spay or neuter your pets and educate fellow pet owners about its importance. Butte Humane Society’s Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic is a great place to have your pets spayed or neutered at an affordable cost.

BHS Spay and Neuter education presentations at Butte Humane Society’s Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic:

Date: Call The Butte Humane Society to set up a tour

Do you have a class, Boy or Girl Scout troop, youth group or other group of kids you would like to learn about responsible pet ownership? Butte Humane Society is offering tours of the Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic. If you are interested please contact Lori Wells at – loriwells@buttehumane.org. We would love to have you!

Other resources for spay and neuter-

PAWS & Mangrove Veterinary Hospital Celebrates Spay Day 2011

Date: 2/26/2011

Time: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Send in an easy to fill out application that can be downloaded on the Paws of Chico website.

Minimum cost is $25 and space is limited.  For more information call 530-895-2109

Monica Hitchcock, Public Relations Intern.

A Day in the Life of Cupcake

CupcakeMy name is Cupcake and I am a 3-year-old American Pit Bull mix and I’m about to tell youwhat I do all day at Butte Humane Society. First thing in the morning, after I eat my kibble, you can find me lying in my dog igloo for most of the day. I do come out of my bed whenever I hear something or see another dog barking, I will run around my kennel to see what it is and bark at whatever it is.  The other dogs all bark to, we all have our unique bark so it sounds like a symphony.

For those who have not been to Butte Humane Societymy kennel looks like this. I have two dog igloos beds, yes they are shaped like igloos and there are blankets in there so we can sleep on them. There is also a water bowl clipped to the kennel fence since we are dogs and need water.  My kennel is large, enough to run around and play in and there is a small tire to play with.

Cupcake Running

I am very sweet but shy when I first meet you, so be patient until I get to know you. Once you get to know me you will find that I am a big love bug and love to be pet. Take me out of my kennel and I am pretty good on leash except I have a bit of a jumping problem at first.Treats are my favorite and if you train me to not jump then I will listen if you use treats, when you call my name, I will prance right over to you. I like to play with the tug toy and the ball but can’t stay focused past three or four throws. After I get tired of playing tug and chasing after tennis balls I love to find a spot in the sun and lie there until you take me back to my kennel. Oh ya, I also love belly rubs.

Once you are ready to put me back in my kennel I will walk right next to you on leash and go right into my kennel. Give me a treat and I am set for the afternoon and will go back to lying in my dog igloo.

ChanceUp until last week, I did have my own kennel. I was moved to another kennel that wasn’t in the shade. Pit Bull’s have very thin hair and we are all muscle so we don’t have much to keep us warm. I have a kennel mate named Chance. He is a 10-month-old Terrier Pit Bull mix and has been at BHS since December 22, 2010. He is a very sweet and playful puppy, and we get along great. He does like to sleep in my dog igloo even though with dogs it doesn’t matter where we sleep as long as we have a bed.

My new neighbor is Steve; he is an older dog, 11-years-old, Labrador retriever, Mastiff mix and has been at BHS since November 8, 2010. He may be an older dog but he is still full of life and loves relaxing in his kennel and going for walks with the volunteers. Steve and I get along great. We were both out in the socialization area and we both ran up to each other and stiffed each other through the fence. Steve was recently moved to a kennel inside. I am happy to report that he was recently adopted out and hope he loves his new family. Marvin

My old kennel neighbors are named Marvin and Delilah. Marvin is  a very sweet and loving 3-year-old Beagle, American Pit Bull mix. He is one of the few dogs that have been here at Butte Humane Society the longest.  He has been here since October 25, 2010, but hasn’t been my kennel mate for very long. Marvin likes to lay down with his bottom against the kennel fence. He will bark whenever he hears something or someone walk by but that is normal.

DelilahDelilah is a 3-year-old Terrier Pit Bull Mix and has been here since July 3, 2010. She did get adopted out but then came back when her owners were moving and couldn’t take her. She also likes to lie in her dog igloo but does come up to you if you call her. Whenever Delilah hears something or someone she is very energetic and will jump on her dog igloo bed and bark.

Throughout the day I don’t do a lot, just hang out in my kennel and hope that someone will adopt me. I also hope that a volunteer will take me out of the kennel once in a while and take me for a walk and play with me! I love the volunteer’s because they come and clean up my kennel and feed me and give me loves. But, other than that my days at Butte Humane Society are not as exciting as being in a regular home!

I have been here since October 31, 2010 and am available for adoption for $75. I also come with a 30 days or pre-paid health insurance and come with a lot of goodies to get you started.  Again, my name is Cupcake, and I’m very sweet and loving and would make a great addition to any home. Tell all your friends and come visit me today!

-Monica Gunther, Public Relations Intern