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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

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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People and Other Animals: Stray Cobra Found But Who Else Is Out There?

(9) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 12:40 PM

Residents of Los Angeles' Thousand Oaks neighborhood had a bit of a scare last week when an albino monacled cobra was spotted making his or her way across Rancho Road. Most stray snake reports turn out to be garden hoses but not all of them, and certainly not this time....

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People and Other Animals: Remembering an Extinct Species

(1) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 9:52 AM

Back in March I wrote about extinction, specifically about extinction resulting from the hand of Homo sapiens, focusing then on how man's appetite for food and fashion as well as simple blood lust led to the extermination of what was once the most common bird on the planet, the passenger...

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People and Other Animals: Pets and the Next Earthquake

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 5:57 PM

Last weekend's Napa earthquake left many of us promising, again, to now finally get together that personal disaster preparedness kit. Those of us who continue to find the upsides of Bay Area life outweigh the negatives (housing cost and quakes high on that list) are routinely reminded that a major...

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Baby Screech Owls

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 6:51 PM


Unlike most humane organizations, Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA also provides care for injured and orphaned native wild animals. And this time of year especially, the lives we see -- the lives we save -- come in all shapes and sizes.


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A Treasure Trove of Animal Mummies

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 3:49 PM

The current issue of Archeology magazine includes the article "Messenger to the Gods: During a turbulent period in ancient Egypt, common people turned to animal mummies to petition the gods, inspiring the rise of a massive religious industry." It describes 30 boxes which lay for decades completely forgotten in storage...

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When It's Not Safe to Feed or Treat the Animals

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 3:40 PM

This relates to two emails I recently received about products made and sold for our pets' well-being but which are proving to be anything but good for them.

The first email came from Carolyne Zinko, staff writer for the Sunday Style section of The San Francisco Chronicle. Her family decided...

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Hospice Care for a Homeless Dog

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 5:53 PM


Since Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA accepts all dogs and cats, we get dogs and cats with all sorts of challenges -- and we do our very best to do right by each of them. Bessie, pictured here, underwent extensive veterinary...

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Cesar Chavez and Animal Welfare

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 11:40 AM

I've not yet had the chance to see the new movie, Cesar Chavez: History is Made One Step at a Time, but I did manage to find in my files a letter written by Cesar Chavez back in December 1990. Written on United Farm Workers of America stationary, Mr. Chavez...

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Making the World a Better Place for Chickens (or Maybe Not So Much)

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 11:35 AM

Let me jump to and answer the obvious flack I may receive for this post: my agenda here is not to try and convince anyone what to eat and what not to eat. This is not an argument for or even in defense of a vegetarian or vegan diet. This...

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Extinction at the Hand of Man

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 6:40 PM

As someone who lives in the Bay Area, it's almost always on trips away from home when I find myself bumping into people who deny (a) that there's climate change ("what do you mean global warming, this is the coldest winter I remember"), (b) that climate change is a function...

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Mix Breeds Get Their Day (or at Least a Few Hours)

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 1:53 PM

Among the many great Groucho Marx quotes: "I don't want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member." It may be a stretch, but that quote came to mind as I read about the Big News out of N.Y.C. recently: That after 140 years of sticking...

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The Slaughter of the Dolphins

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 2:12 PM

In a move surprising for its bluntness (and getting attention for that as well as the issues raised) U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy recently made clear her deep objection to an annual event in a small town in Japan: the drive dolphin hunt or kill. She tweeted...

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