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Ken White
Raised by alligators released into the sewers of Brooklyn by children of elderly Jews returning from winter trips to Miami, Ken migrated to S.F. in 1975, and has worked with and for the animals for more than thirty years. Starting in 1978 for San Francisco's SPCA where he created the animal assisted therapy and humane education programs, and then 1989-93 as Deputy Director in charge of day-to-day operations for S.F. Department of Animal Care and Control. In 1993, the lure of affordable housing tempted him (a mistake) to leave the Bay Area, first as v.p. for Humane Society of the U.S. in Washington, D.C., and then President of Arizona Humane Society where he completed the 20-acre Campus For Compassion and dramatically increased adoptions and life-saving programs (one example, a 62' long mobile spay/neuter clinic free service for companion animals on the Navajo Nation).
Ken returned to the Bay Area in 2002 to lead Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, which today guarantees a home for every healthy, adoptable dog and cat, makes well and adopts thousands who arrive injured and ill, provides rehabilitation for native wildlife from S.F. through northern Santa Clara County -- combined, saving 7,000 animals every year.

Entries by Ken White

Thanksgiving is the Right Moment to Thank Volunteers

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 12:38 AM

Probably like every one of you, I watch the news of late and wonder many things. Mostly I wonder, "What the hell is wrong with us?" By "us", I mean Homo sapiens, the obviously dominant animal on the planet who appears with increasing urgency to be committed to the destruction...

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Black Cats and Halloween

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 6:56 PM


The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is not placing a moratorium on black cat adoptions like some shelters across the country do in the days before Halloween. Instead, PHS/SPCA is aggressively seeking to find homes, and waiving adoption fees for black cats...

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Hi-Tech Meets Hi-Touch, or Why the Best Laptop Might Just Be a Cat

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 2:52 PM

I recently met with a young man who, after having recently adopted a pet bunny from the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, wanted to share a couple of observations and an idea. I'm always happy to meet with people, especially people who have already helped us save a life, and...

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Who Is Helping the Animals Near You? Likely Not the ASPCA

(2) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 3:08 PM

As the saying goes, it's déjà vu all over again. This weekend I received two letters from the New York City-based ASPCA. The letters were identical, although they came with different envelope stuffers. Why does this seem familiar?

Well, back in October 2010, the ASPCA sent fundraising letters throughout the...

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Clucking Not True

(0) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 4:51 PM

Last Monday's San Francisco Chronicle (August 24) front page story "Egg prices soaring as production falls" reported a now oft asserted but completely Bizarro world assertion that California's Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (2008's Proposition 2 which was passed by the voters and is now law) has made the...

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eBay, a Wildlife Chop Shop

(2) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 3:44 PM

How extraordinary that major airlines are now setting their own policies prohibiting their transporting decapitated heads of lions and other wildlife "trophies." Good on them! Perhaps now it's time to see eBay step up with a comparable policy.

I have no idea how many lion heads are the result of...

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In the Shadow of Cecil the Lion's Death, Do Something to Help Animals

(1) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 1:23 PM

The death of Cecil the lion has appropriately generated tremendous outrage. Good. But outrage only goes so far. Beyond that emotional response, there are many things you can do -- both large and small -- to help animals.

Easiest, perhaps, is the simple act of finding your...

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HSUS and ASPCA Are Not Your Local Animal Shelter (and Likely Not Helping the Animals in Your Local Animal Shelter)

(41) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 3:38 PM

Confusion reigns, sadly. I just got off the phone, again, with someone furious that "we" just sent her an expensive 2016 calendar since she already donates, can't afford to donate more, and resents that "we" are using her donation to pay for something she does not need after telling her...

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People & Other Animals: When Is the Right Time to End the Life of Loved Animal?

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 1:51 PM

Those of us who work in animal welfare are frequently asked to answer a question that has no answer: When is the right time to end the life of a loved animal? A lousy question, but I guess it's just part of the job.

I first faced this question with...

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People and Other Animals: Bay Area Boa

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 1:30 PM

2015-04-13-1428942425-1873735-rubberboa1.JPGLike it or not (and sadly most people do not), we all know there are snakes here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The most commonly spotted species are probably the Coast Garter Snake, Pacific Gopher Snake, Striped...

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People and Other Animals: Good News in California

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 1:45 AM

Good news for the animals, and for those of us who care about the animals, here in California worth reporting celebrating. So, in no particular order...

Ringling Brothers Circus has decided to drop elephants from their traveling shows. (I spent a bit of time in Tanzania and came...

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People and Other Animals: It's a Croc (Not!)

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 11:46 AM

Not long ago I wrote a piece about new research which appears to prove that T. rex was a playful dinosaur. (If you're interested, the rather academic source article is here.) So if Tyrannosaurs could play, why then not crocodiles?

An article in the publication Animal Behavior and...

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People and Other Animals: Baby Hummingbirds in Our Incubators Means That Spring Has Come

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 5:52 PM

Yea, I know, Spring should mean that a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love and other romantic conceits, but here at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA we know its Spring when the first nestling hummingbirds show up -- soon to be followed, if this year follows pattern,...

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People and Other Animals: Who's Your Daddy?

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 10:31 AM

The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA recently started testing the DNA of many of our small, brown-ish dogs who appear to be at least part Chihuahua. Why, you might ask? Not a bad question.

One answer would be that we're curious about the genetic lineage of these little guys and...

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People and Other Animals: Saga of One Little Squirrel

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 3:04 PM

We take our work home with us. Perhaps no field of work better illustrates that saying than animal welfare. Figuratively, of course, but also literally. Those of us who work at humane organizations, almost all of us, share our homes with more animals than anyone outside the field would think...

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People and Other Animals: My Old Dog and the Rain

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 10:42 AM

I know we're all grateful for it, but this last couple weeks of extraordinarily heavy rains has had its impact on my own dogs and cats, and from what I'm hearing I'm not alone in this. The three cats dive for cover when the downpour comes fast and loud (well,...

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People and Other Animals: Eating Dogs and Cats

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 6:43 AM

Surprising to me and I assume to most of us, the practice of eating dog and cat meat is legal and at least marginally accepted in Switzerland. Some Swiss citizens aim to ban that.

Since this is the Internet, I know I may see some over-sized reactions to my obvious...

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People and Other Animals: Tyrannosaurs at Play

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 7:48 PM

People like me (with long careers spent working with animals) on occasion find ourselves amused watching academics and other career scientists postulate and then attempt to objectively prove stuff we've long known to be true about animals. We know, for example, that dogs are smart and do in fact love...

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People & Other Animals: Who Rescued Who?

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 1:44 PM

On occasion, someone will send me a story which needs a larger audience and nothing else from me. This is such a story, sent (along with the photo) from Anne Sallot.

Dear Mr. White,

I just have to write you to tell you about our Maggie Mae, the sweetest...

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People and Other Animals: Helping the Animals Near You

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 12:09 PM

Back in October 2010, the ASPCA sent fundraising letters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area that told the story of a dog named Brutus who had been horribly abused then rescued and treated by ASPCA. Although some organizations with national sounding names make up their stories, I have no reason...

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