Please support your local animal shelter

Believe me, I hate asking for money as much as anyone. I could never work in development in any of the non-profits where I’ve worked or that I support. I am terrible at schmoozing, and I’d love it if we didn’t have to ask. But we do.

Yes, we all work hard for what we have. Most of us have causes near and dear to our hearts. I give money when I can, usually to animal shelters and rescues. I know people are in need as well, and I am glad that there are advocates for children, the homeless, the hungry, the environment.


In searching for numbers, I found that in 2015, Americans gave $373.25 billion to charity in 2015, a record whether measured in current or inflation-adjusted dollars. That is incredibly generous. Americans also gave their time. Also in 2015, about 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization. Non-profits depend on generosity of heart, mind, and, obviously, wallet.


My cause of choice is animal shelters and rescue. For more than 6 years I volunteered at the East Bay SPCA in Oakland, California. I made many friends and met some of the animals who now live with me. I still try to help out by fostering cats and kittens.

Chiclet, my most recent foster for the East Bay SPCA.


I have been fortunate enough to change careers to now work for another animal shelter in the community, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).


Baseball’s Tony La Russa founded ARF after the famous incident of a cat, later named Evie, running onto the field of an Oakland A’s baseball game.



Located in Walnut Creek in the East Bay area of California, ARF is a wonderful facility. A private shelter, we rescue animals from the over-crowded public kill shelters and give them the time they need to find their forever homes.

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ARF offers many wonderful programs and services in addition to adoptions: many youth programs (my favorite being All Ears Reading), dog training, the Pet Hug Pack therapy animals, FoodShare (pet food pantry), the ARF Emergency Medical Fund, low cost spay/neuter services, a mobile clinic, and the awesome Pets for Vets program.

Children develop reading skills by reading aloud to Pet Hug Pack animals through All Ears Reading.



So, here’s the part where I ask for money.



I am fundraising for ARF’s yearly Animals on Broadway event, a pet walk and festival on Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek on Saturday, May 20. I won’t be walking in the event, as I have to be at work at the shelter helping adopt out animals! I am a virtual walker, a walker in spirit.


My fundraising goal is fairly modest, at $500. I have $300 as of the writing of this blog post. Thank you from the bottom of my animal-loving heart to those of you who have donated. I love you all!

If you can give any amount, please consider helping out. If not to my fundraising page, to someone else’s, or to your local shelter, or to whatever cause is important to you. If not money, time if you have it. Getting involved was the best decision I ever made. You won’t regret it.

Snuffalufagus says Give!



City of Oakland, You Suck! (Or, a Tale of a Valiant Fight against a Parking Ticket)

I don’t get angry very often these days. I used to be more moody and volatile but I generally present a sunny disposition to the world.

Just call me Little Mary Sunshine. Only Genevieve, not Mary. It’s my name.
My angst years have given way to my rose-colored glasses days.

But the City of Oakland has succeeded in crossing a line and getting me riled up. I’m as mad as hell, and I am not going to take this anymore!

Yes, this is about a parking ticket. I am a law-abiding citizen. I pay my taxes. I have never been pulled over by the police. I return library books by the due date and if I don’t I happily pay the fines. I dot my i’s and cross my t’s. I PAY TO PARK WHEN IT IS REQUIRED.

Monday, Otober 10, 2016 was a Federal holiday for Columbus Day. Where I live, the holiday is celebrated as Indigenous Peoples Day. I’m fine with that. Monday is a day off for me anyway; my weekends are Monday/Tuesday in my new job.

columbus-day2indigenous-peoples-day-posterI did try to put money in the parking meter just down the street from Ultimate Grounds Coffee on Park Boulevard. I inserted my debit card but the meter wasn’t taking money. Then I saw the Meter Holiday sticker. Well, it seemed clear to me. The machine was telling me that I didn’t need to pay. BUT I WOULD HAVE IF REQUIRED.

All I wanted was a chance to relax over coffee with my friend Ann.

Ann was the one who noticed the City of Oakland Parking Patrol out writing tickets. So we ran outside to talk to the rather grumpy gentleman. He walked down to where he had already ticketed my car. We showed him the meter with the sticker. He shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t get the day off so as far as he was concerned it wasn’t a meter holiday. But he did suggest I send photos of the meter sticker to the City of Oakland with my online submission for a wrongfully issued ticket. Which I did, right away.

Right there between Labor Day and Veteran’s Day.
October 10, 2016. Indigenous Peoples Day/Columbus Day.

Yesterday, I received in the mail (how primitive, snail mail) the decision that the ticket was properly issued and valid.


Properly issued? Valid?

Now this is the part that really gets me–in order to file an appeal, I have to pay the ticket, then have a hearing, then, if I am vindicated, get a refund. I think they are counting on me not having the time or gumption to fight it. They bet wrong!

They’ve pushed me over the edge!

It’s really not about the $58. Yes, it’s a lot of money for me. I don’t make a whole lot more than minimum wage working in animal rescue. I’m in it for the psychic rewards, not the material ones. This is what my work days are like.


I could do a lot with $58. Donated to an animal shelter, it would do a lot of good for the animals: toys, food, microchips, towels, blankets, there’s always need.


So I am going to fight tooth and nail for the $58.


City of Oakland, watch out. You don’t know who’s coming for you! My inner warrior has been unleashed and she is a mighty force. At least I think she is; it’s my first time meeting her. I’m picturing Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games.


Or Melissa McCarthy in Ghostbusters. Whatever.


Who you gonna call? Me, that’s who! I just have to see if I have postage stamps because it’s a mail hearing. Snail mail. Sigh.