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Annual calendar raises funds for Friends of Turlock Animal Shelter
Friends of Turlock Animal Shelter 3
John Pinkerton and his wife Leeanne showcase the new 2015 Friends of the Turlock Shelter calendar which features dogs and cats that have been adopted out to loving homes in the community.

What turns a house into a home? Ask John Pinkerton and he might just say hanging a Friends of the Turlock Shelter calendar on the wall.

A nonprofit that has rescued over 10,000 pets and adopted them out to individuals since 1996, the Friends of the Turlock Shelter is a no-kill organization that spays and neuters cats and dogs for adoption through partnerships with local veterinarians. For the past three years the Friends of the Turlock Shelter has created a calendar that features local dogs and cats, all of which have been adopted out to loving homes, as well as many local businesses that have donated to the cause.

“I thought it would be a fun way to raise money, let businesses get more advertising, and to let the public know what we’re doing,” said Pinkerton, the president of the organization’s board.

All of the proceeds from the calendar are reintegrated into the nonprofit to finance the spay and neuter assistance program of 2015. While adopting out pets is the main venture of the nonprofit, the rescue mission also helps to control the animal population.

Those who frequent Monte Vista Crossings may recognize the Friends of the Turlock Shelter’s adoption trailer which is frequently parked outside of Pet Extreme on the weekends. Pinkerton has been stationed outside of Pet Extreme since the store’s founding and prior to that adopted out pets in conjunction with Pet Smart in Modesto, making it the number one pet adoption site in the nation. While locals may croon over the cute cats and dogs visible through the windows of the mobile trailer, Pinkerton steers clear from developing an attachment to the furry creatures though he has adopted four of his own pets from the nonprofit.

“I love the pets, we treat them all the same, but I love to see them go to good homes,” said Pinkerton.

While the nonprofit is permitted by the City of Turlock to maintain up to 60 animals, Pinkerton tries to not bite off more than he can chew, aiming to acquire the pets before they get to the Turlock shelter in order to ease the burden for the shelter.

“I base my intake on my outtake,” he explained. “If I am going to take in an injured animal for instance, I’m going to make sure I can find a vet to give it the care it needs.”

When Pinkerton isn’t busy adopting out pets to loving homes, he runs the Family Pet Mortuary, a business he and local veterinarian Robert Santos “put together from scratch.” The only business of its kind in Stanislaus County, Pinkerton plays an integral role in not only introducing community members to the joy of owning a pet, but also helps locals come to terms with the passing of their pet as well. 

“I call it the circle of life,” he said.

Friends of the Turlock Animal Shelter calendars are available for purchase for $10 and can be found at Pet Extreme, Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital, Community Veterinary Clinic, as well as other businesses in town. They can also be purchased online at the Friends of the Turlock Shelter website and the nonprofit will mail them.