Tri-Valley Animal Rescue Saves Lives
By Hacienda Pulse Staff Writer
Tri-Valley Animal Rescue (TVAR) strives to end the unnecessary euthanasia of homeless animals. TVAR cooperates with area shelters and other animal rescue groups to provide homeless animals with socialization, foster homes, medical care, and an opportunity to find a forever home. Over 29 years, TVAR has saved the lives of thousands of innocent animals with the help of its more than 250 local volunteers.
“We feel the work we do at that shelter is critically important to the health and well-being of the animals as well as the community,” says Sue James, TVAR President, who has been with TVAR in different volunteer positions over the past 15 years.
TVAR does not have its own facility. All the animals it takes into foster care live in a foster home until they are adopted. This process allows the animals to become socialized in a home environment, and it allows those caring for the animals to match their personalities with the right types of homes. It also allows caretakers to give potential adopters information about how a pet adjusted to a home environment, which adopters find extremely helpful.
The animals at Dublin’s East County Animal Shelter (ECAS), which is under the supervision of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, benefit greatly from the important role TVAR volunteers play in helping deal with the many animals that end up at the shelter through no fault of their own. All strays from the area as well as owner surrenders are processed through ECAS. Keeping these animals happy through human contact and love with walks, doggy yard play, kitty play time, and training is a big part of the TVAR’s shelter volunteer programs.
Those programs include the Shelter Dog Program, the Shelter Cat Program, and the Teen Junior Program in which teen volunteers interact with stray and owner surrendered dogs and cats at the shelter. Teen volunteers walk, groom, and socialize dogs under the direction of experienced volunteer adult supervisors. All of the shelter programs help showcase the animals at the shelter to help get them adopted, work to socialize the animals, and help the shelter with the adoption process.
Prior to 2020, TVAR helped save 1,000 animals each year for over a decade. Last year was a challenge. ECAS was closed for several weeks; TVAR had to suspend all adoption events; all adoptions were performed on a one-on-one basis with each adopter; and area shelters were not experiencing their prior volume of surrenders. Even so, TVAR placed twice as many kittens in forever homes during January and February of 2021 than it did during that time in 2020.
That is because TVAR volunteers became especially resourceful in promoting adoptable animals during the Covid-19 pandemic. The group used its website, Facebook, and other social media to help adoptions continue. During the lock-down period, volunteers continued to set up meetings between animals and potential adopters in a safe way that followed social distancing and other health requirements.
“Our volunteers work with other rescues if TVAR does not have an available foster home, often transporting them to other rescues’ facilities,” notes James. As needed, “we also send animals to a board and train facility where they are given basic obedience training, which then helps those dogs find their forever homes.”
In addition to volunteering, supporters can help TVAR by making a one-time donation, a recurring donation, or contributing to specific programs. Traditionally TVAR holds an annual fundraiser, which is expected to resume in 2022 and is considering other ideas as well.
“TVAR relies solely on public support to fund our life-saving programs,” says James. “We would love to work with the Hacienda business and community readers on fundraising events.”