Town Crier Pets of the Week: Where are they now?

Elly Mae

From dogs and cats to guinea pigs and carrier pigeons, the Town Crier strives to present a Pet of the Week within each edition.

The pets featured are available for adoption through Palo Alto Animal Services (PAAS) – the contract provider for Los Altos and Los Altos Hills – and many have suffered abuse and/or abandonment before arriving at the shelter for their second (or third, or fourth) chance at a loving, long-lasting home.

PAAS registered vet technician Sachi Hwangbo recently checked in with the families of past Pets of the Week for updates on their post-adoption progress. Here’s what she learned.

Elly Mae (Oct. 5, 2016, Pet of the Week)

Elly Mae, a domestic shorthair cat, spent two years at PAAS and rallied from two unsuccessful adoptions to finally secure a home with Martinez couple Nikki DeFeo and Shannon Smith Feb. 4, 2017.

From the very start, the “big-boned” Elly Mae showed no fear of DeFeo and Smith’s dogs, golden retrievers Maddie and Tally, according to Hwangbo. In her spare time, Elly Mae enjoys hanging out in DeFeo and Smith’s loft and opening cardboard boxes.

“Elly Mae wasted no time making her new home her own and (established) her queenly status,” Hwangbo wrote in her report.

George (May 17, 2017, Pet of the Week)

George, an American bulldog, suffered from emaciation, dermatitis, overgrown nails, visual impairment, a swollen testicle and an unsteady gait when he first arrived at PAAS.

“George is very near and dear to our hearts because we found him in dreadful condition, and he landed a wonderful family!” Hwangbo wrote in her report.

When shelter life rattled George, PAAS volunteer Melody Malachowsky offered to foster him in her home. He ultimately benefited from a “failed fostering,” meaning Malachowsky and her husband and sons fell in love with him and adopted him themselves.

“Melody reports that George leads a happy life, enjoys car rides and follows her everywhere,” Hwangbo wrote.

Teddy (Feb. 7 Pet of the Week candidate)

Teddy the guinea pig was brought to PAAS after the driver of a pickup found him “hitchhiking” in the truck’s bed while passing through Palo Alto. Town Crier editorial staff members intended to feature Teddy as the Feb. 7 Pet of the Week but were happy to hear that a Palo Alto family adopted him before his 15 minutes of fame came to fruition. Instead, the unusual circumstances of Teddy’s discovery earned him coverage on page 3 of the Town Crier’s Feb. 14 edition.

Although Teddy’s new family members were initially apprehensive about how their dog Mocha would react to a guinea pig, they discovered the two enjoy each other’s company, according to Hwangbo.

“Teddy and Mocha are now best buds, they play nicely together and sometimes they even share a bed!” Hwangbo wrote.

For information on pets available for adoption, call PAAS at 496-5971, visit or stop by the shelter at 3281 E. Bayshore Road.

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