Mendocino Coast Humane Society   

Some of our Best Friends have Special Needs

As the primary animal shelter in our region, Mendocino Coast Humane Society takes in hundreds of animals every year, no matter what their condition or needs may be. During the past year, we have received many dogs and cats with special needs due to advanced age, injury, illness, or behavioral issues. With increased medical care, behavioral rehabilitation, and longer recovery periods, these animals often require much more time, effort, money and specialized attention in order to get the second chance they deserve. We recognize this ongoing trend, and despite our limited veterinary and training resources we strive to sustain a high level of care so that every animal will succeed and find a loving new home. Of course, there is only one way for us to be able to respond to every animal's unique needs: your continued support.

I'd like to share with you the stories of a few such animals whose happy ending was made possible by donors like you. 

Our mission: To contribute to a better life for animals and to inspire public awareness of animals' needs.


   Due to county and statewide orders regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, MCHS is closed to the general public with the exception of limited essential services by appointment only. This includes returning stray animals to their owner, adoptions, and spay/neuter clinic services. If you’d like to inquire about making an appointment, please call 707-964-7729. We kindly ask for your patience as we are trying to return calls as quickly as possible while our office is not staffed regularly throughout the day.
   Because we are only able to provide limited services at this time, our shelter’s income is very limited as well. Compounding this difficulty is the temporary closure of the Ark Thrift Shop, which is our primary revenue source. At this time, most of our paid staff has been laid off. The five remaining staff members are rotating to cover all animal care duties 7 days a week, while striving to maintain a safe distance from each other at all times.
   Our greatest need at this time is monetary donations to support our essential services and the animals in our care. If you can, please consider making a donation via check or Paypal. We know times are difficult for everyone right now, and we greatly appreciate your support.
Chuck  Tourtillott
Executive Director
Mendocino Coast Humane Society
19691 Summers Lane
Fort Bragg, CA 95437


Chester was found in Point Arena, injured and wandering alone for more than a week before arriving at MCHS in early March. His left front leg was broken, and he had been shot with a pellet gun causing an infected wound. Despite his painful injuries and neglect, Chester is very trusting of people, and quickly made friends and captured hearts at our Adoption Center.

Like so many of the animals MCHS takes in, we don't know Chester's history. We estimate he is about five years old, but we will probably never know how he was injured or why he was left all alone to fend for himself. We don't even know his real name -- but since the Good Samaritan who brought him to us was from Manchester, the name 'Chester' seemed to fit him perfectly, and he seems to like it too!

Radiographs revealed that his broken leg could be repairable, but only with immediate surgery - so despite our limited facilities (we have no radiograph, for example) we elected to try the more expensive and time-consuming course: to repair and save his leg rather than amputating it. As it turned out, Chester's leg ultimately could not be saved; however, he quickly adapted to three-leggedness, and we're happy to report he has been adopted.

Beautiful blue-eyed Heaven came to us as a seven-year-old spayed female Lynx Point Siamese with a dislocated kneecap and multiple wounds on her abdomen, including a herniated puncture after being mauled by a large dog.


We treated her wounds and, thanks to our volunteers, transported her to a local clinic where she received the surgeries necessary to repair her kneecap. Heaven recuperated at our Adoption Center and rewarded us with the good feeling that comes from saving the life of such a gorgeous, friendly feline ...and in time she was adopted by people who understood her trauma and appreciated her durable sweetness and beauty.

Louie entered our Adoption Center as a puppy in May 2015. Louie's rich chocolate coat, expressive bright eyes, and engaging personality made him an instant favorite!

Unfortunately, we noticed that he had a hard time keeping his food down, and we determined that Louie had megaesophagus, a condition where the muscles of the esophagus are unable to swallow food or water. This results in a spectrum of problems for the affected animal, including the danger that food can be aspirated into the lungs and cause pneumonia.  


For months, we worked to keep Louie hydrated and nourished, and wondered what we could do for Louie since helping him live with his condition was going to require some kind of special solution. Dr. Ann Newcomb, our veterinarian, researched the condition and learned of the Bailey Chair. These chairs are custom built to allow a dog to sit in an upright position while eating and for about 20 minutes afterward. We had a Bailey Chair made for Louie, and it has helped him tremendously. With the help of gravity, Louie's food and water move down into his stomach. He is now quite accustomed to his chair routine, and enjoys all the attention he receives while in it.

Louie is now fully grown and has become a sort of mascot of our Adoption Center during his extended stay; we invite you to come meet him and see what a wonderful dog he is. All he needs now is that special permanent, loving home with a family that can continue to help him live successfully with his condition. To learn more about Bailey Chairs and megaesophagus, visit .

We are delighted to say that Louie has been adopted by a couple who visited with him, helped him with his chair, and kept coming back to visit again. Lucky Louie!

These animals are just a few of the hundreds that have come through our doors in the past year. Although not every animal has such costly and time-consuming special needs, many do, and this trend will continue. We are committed to providing the best possible care for every animal in our Adoption Center, but the hard truth is that our finite resources will ultimately determine what we are able to do. Your support is vital in order to sustain our commitment to helping every animal in need -- and your level of support will directly influence how much we can do. Please join us in support of our mission to help make life better for animals in our community.


For a lost, shy young dog, the world can be a very scary place. Toby, a two-year-old lab mix, was found running stray in December 2014. On the ride to our Adoption Center, he tried to hide under the seat in the car of the kind people who found him.

Understandably frightened by the strange surroundings and loud noises, Toby mistrusted the unfamiliar people surrounding him. We knew Toby would require many, many hours of attentive care to recover from whatever unknowable mental trauma he suffered. With lots of patience and love, our staff and volunteers sat with Toby in his kennel, comforting him and speaking gently to him, gradually earning his trust.

After several months and untold hours, Toby began showing some interest in spending time with people and got comfortable enough to walk on leash. 

With the hope of adoption on the horizon, our staff and volunteers continued working with Toby to help him regain trust and comfort with people. Although Toby will likely always be shy and cautious around strangers, we were able to help him connect with a new home and he’s reportedly doing well with his newly adopted caregiver.

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Mendocino Coast Humane Society

Adoption Center
19691 Summers Lane

Ark Thrift Shop
18274 Highway One

Fort Bragg, California 95437


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