Drought Conditions Prompts Valley Humane Society to Cancel Popular Annual Fundraiser

Those who donate $25 toward the “Hidden Gardens of the Valley” tour cancellation will be given a free copy of the 2014 Wine Country Critters calendar and will be entered to win a Petco Card

Patch photo archive. Photo provided by Valley Humane Society
Patch photo archive. Photo provided by Valley Humane Society
With California still deep in drought, Valley Humane Society has decided to cancel its annual Hidden Gardens of the Valley tour. Though this decision will leave the organization with a budget shortfall of $10,000-13,000 dollars this year, they feel strongly that their social responsibility goes beyond the organization’s needs.  

“Promoting a fundraiser which encourages participating gardeners to excessively water their yard in preparation, and requires similar use of water for tour attendees to obtain like results feels irresponsible,” said Melanie Sadek, Executive Director.

The Hidden Gardens of the Valley tour has been a staple fundraising event for Valley Humane Society since 2006, raising well over $100,000 since its inception. Through it, participants have the opportunity to tour the private backyards of ten Pleasanton homes to gain useful tips and inspiration for their own yards, as well as to simply enjoy the beautifully landscaped offerings.  

“This was a tough decision, made after careful thought and consideration,” said Sadek, “but we know it is the most responsible decision for the community we serve. We are hopeful we can make up this lost revenue in other ways.”  

Though the water needs of dogs and cats aren’t necessarily significant compared to a normal household’s needs, Valley Humane Society recommends that some basic steps can be taken to help conserve water. For example, don’t bath pets more than once a month, unless advised differently by your veterinarian.

When bathing, try to use a sink or bathtub where water can be contained, thereby requiring that less be used. If an outdoor water source is available for animals, such as a hose bib attachment that allows them to lick it when thirsty, make sure it is secure and not leaking.

Even the smallest water-saving measures can have a significant effect on overall conservation.  

Community members interested in reducing the impact of the event cancellation on Valley Humane Society’s animal rescue efforts are invited to donate online at www.valleyhumane.org/events2/garden-tour or in person at the adoption center.

Valley Humane Society is located at 3670 Nevada Street in Pleasanton; facility hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Donors who contribute at least $25 toward the Garden Tour cancellation will receive one complimentary copy of the 2014 Wine Country Critters calendar (while supplies last) and be entered in a drawing for a $100 Petco gift card. Drawing will take place on or around May 15.  

Envisioning a world in which every animal is loved and every person knows the love of an animal, Valley Humane Society (VHS) creates a brighter future for cats and dogs by encouraging and strengthening the bond between people and pets. VHS rescues and rehabilitates companion animals, champions responsible caretaking, shares pets’ soothing affections with people in need of comfort, and supports and preserves existing pet-guardian relationships. Whether you’d like to adopt an animal, share your passion for pets, or meet like-minded people, VHS is Your Means to a Friend™.

—Information submitted by Valley Humane Society
Linda Carolson April 16, 2014 at 11:26 AM
Why not do a fundraiser that promotes gardens that utilize water conservation techniques and design. Rather than just featuring ornate gardens, feature homes with designs and plant selections that use less water, or utilize greywater systems for watering.


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