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  • The Santa Rosa Press Democrat featured 4 Paws in their article, "Using Four Paws and a Tail to Help the Community".
  • To all of you who came to the Pet Adoptathon and Wellness Fair, we thank you for your participation. In the next few weeks we will gather more photos, vignettes and list our vendors, rescue groups and our very generous donors with links to their sites. We plan an even better gathering next year. Our tally of adopted animals is close to 25 and because of interest generated by the Fair, there are other animals who found new and forever homes.

    The following photographs were taken by Richard Parry-Jones, a member of the Redwood Chordsmen and photographer. Thank you, Richard, for sharing your work with us.

    redwood chordsmenThe Redwood Chordsmen serenading Snoopy and his new best friend.
    joanne yates, jerry smith, kathy exelbyJerry Smith (center) with Joanne Yates (l), President, and Kathy Exelby (r), Vice President of 4Paws. Jerry is a retired Harlem Globetrotter who was the event's Emcee for the Pet Parade.
    lagunitas carCo-Sponsor Paradise Pet Resort displayed their special Lagunitas Race Car in honor of the brewing company's generous donation to the event.
    leg liftersThe Leg Lifters, a Bluegrass string and vocal group, brought toe-tapping music that was a joy to hear.

  • Maggie in her Easter outfitMaggie, a recent graduate of 4Paws, takes time to wish everyone a very happy Spring in her new Easter outfit.
  • 4Paws Has a New Home!
    4Paws has some very special guardian angels. First, Sharon and Robert Freed gave the non profit a generous donation that allows the board and volunteers to plan for a special event early next year.

    Second, Mike Campbell, owner of Paradise Pet Resort, has offered office space and the use of his newest facility in Rohnert Park to 4Paws. Mike’s resort (formerly Camp Bow Wow) specializes in quality boarding, grooming, day care and positive dog training. His new resort is located at 5800 Commerce Boulevard in Rohnert Park and offers even more opportunities to his clients.

    A serendipitous meeting between Mike and 4Paws board members at the Pet Food Express Adoptathon and Pet Fair quickly led to common ground and an offer from Mike to look at his new space. A tour of the property and finalizing details came next. Soon after that emerged the idea for the first annual Sonoma County Adoptathon and Health Fair for Pets and People. In the meantime, volunteers and friends are invited to visit 4Paws’ new digs.

  • Sharon Marshall and greyhound Whitney LuaVolunteer Sharon Marshall and greyhound Whitney Lua (owned by Michelle Lua) were featured in The Community Voice. Whitney Lua is one of the dogs involved in the Readers of the Pack program at the Rohnert Park-Cotati Library. They are pictured here during Doggy Play Day at Sonoma State University.
  • St. Helena patron makes a spring donation of $2500 to support new programs.
  • Rescued dogs have second chance as therapy canines: 15 chosen for My Mutt Posters courtesy of Pet Food Express.
  • Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Rincon Valley Library and Pawsarotti's support 4Paws' social therapy training programs by offering classrooms for training classes, canine certification and Readers of the Pack™ instruction.
  • Readers of the Pack™ and social therapy volunteers reach at least 50 children per week, and some 100-200 adults.
  • Each week, young readers now earn a free book and pencil through the Readers of the Pack™ program. Our goal is to help everyone, but particularly those who are disadvantaged by language, physical or learning challenges.

Santa Rosa's Newest Non-Profit Aims to Please Pets AND People

Annoyed by people who don't leash their dogs in parks? Or wondering if you should cook homemade meals for pets? Tired of the same old dog walks around the block?

4Paws Learning and Wellness wants to help solve those problems—and a lot more— in order to make life better for pets and people.

Ten pet lovers, inspired by a veteran and fearless animal advocate, intend to create a community center where people can have fun with their pets and become better owners and ambassadors for animal companions. Dogs have been helping people for thousands of years, says Joanne Yates, President of 4Paws. With all we know now, we can make up for some of that one-sided friendship.

With instructors like Karen Schuppert, chef and nutritionist, Andrea Kern, certified animal massage therapist, and Patty Malnick, talented dog trainer and behaviorist, the group has a good start on their plans. Through classes, demonstrations and special programs, the community is invited to learn about positive training techniques, exercise programs for owners and pets, nutritional guidelines, and behavior and safe interaction between pets and children.

People don't seem to understand that dogs on leash are threatened by dogs that are free to run up and investigate them, explains Patty Malnick. She has seen dogs react aggressively on leash for many reasons. Sometimes it's an instinct to protect the owner. Sometimes a dog feels trapped—he can't run away and wants to defend himself. Rules are important, Malnick says. Whether you have small dogs or large ones, well-behaved or well-meaning exuberant ones, owners must obey leash laws for everyone's safety.

Most of the organizers of 4Paws were involved in social therapy and felt that service was important to include in the new organization. Our canine companions want to please us, says Robin Marshall. They enjoy having a job and that is an important part of our relationship to maintain. More than that, the board member explains, we have a lot of people, young and old, who depend on our visits each week.

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girl reading to readers of the pack dog in library



To learn more about 4Paws, to donate, or become a volunteer, please visit the applicable pages on our website, email us at or call (707) 861-0235 to leave a message.