Saturday, July 12, 2008

Koko, hearing dog extraordinaire!

Latest news...

Commonwealth Club appearance:
November 18, 2008

Event: The Dogs That Hear for You
Don't miss Martha Hoffman & Glenn Martyn as they perform a demo for the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. By alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing to important everyday sounds (such as the telephone, smoke alarm and door knock), hearing dogs can significantly improve a person's quality of life and independence. In the wake of the SF/SPCA's decision to end its hearing dog program, a new organization has been formed to continue the proud San Francisco tradition of providing people with highly-trained hearing dogs. This presentation includes a live demonstration of these sound-alerting skills, and showcases these fascinating dogs at work. You will learn about the program, the work that goes into training a dog, and the dedicated trainers that make it all possible.
Location: Blue Room, Commonwealth Club
595 Market St #2, San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 597-6700
Time: 4:45 p.m. reception, 5:15 p.m.
Cost: $8 members, $15 non-members
In association with The Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California
Program Organizer: Patrick O'Reilly

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Report on the June 12 meeting of the Commission on Animal Control and Welfare: 5:30, Room 408, City Hall. NOTE: The commission acts as the "eyes and ears of the Board of Supervisors regarding animal issues" and welcomes participation by the public.

The upshot of the Commission on Animal Welfare meeting is that the Commission claims that, after consulting with the deputy City Attorney, they do not have any jurisdiction over the policies of a private organization. We did connect with Sargent Herndon, from the SF police, who said he was involved when ACC & the SF/SPCA made their Adoption Pact in 1994 for Maddie's to take "all adoptable animals" from ACC. He said one way to affect change would be to learn exactly what the pact is and to see if the SPCA is violating it. The Commission was for the most part very sympathetic about our concern, and several members approached us during breaks in the proceedings to listen to our concerns and to take Press Packets. The Cat Crusaders were at the meeting, and after the Chair limited the topics of public comment to areas over which the Commission has clear jurisdiction, we all tried to adjust the thrust of our concerns to focus on the idea that SF has always been considered no-kill, and that it hurts animals, people, & the City's reputation to change this practice. Several commissioners suggested we lobby to make "no-kill" SF's official policy for all shelters, but that until such time as a City ordinance to that effect is enacted, the Commission claims to be powerless to help in any official capacity. We did succeed in getting the word out to many dog people who will continue to spread the word. We are now at a divergent crossroads, and we have to decide how much energy we are going to put towards fixing the SPCA while building a new HDP.

Thanks to Gillian Ladd for leading this effort!

For more information about the Commission on Animal Control and Welfare, visit

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Hearing Dog Program supporters conducted a rally on Saturday, May 31, at the San Francisco SPCA, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Attending the rally were 50-75 concerned hearing dog partners, donors, SPCA volunteers, and supporters of the program. NBC news and the SF Weekly were there too and a video broadcast was posted on the NBC website:

The purpose of the rally was to demonstrate our passion for the cause of continuing the Hearing Dog Program as a new independent organization.