Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.


He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Wednesday, 09 June 2021 08:47

Feral Cat Joins the Crew at Northern California Body Shop

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Anderson went from a feral street cat to a lazy entitled house cat after doing his time at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA. Anderson went from a feral street cat to a lazy entitled house cat after doing his time at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA.


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When I started covering the collision repair industry 15 years ago, I was writing for an automotive publication where the editor didn’t like pets or animals in general.

I began noticing many shops---both collision and mechanical---had animal mascots, mostly dogs. Since I love animals more than Dr. Doolittle, I would often include a picture of a shop’s dog mascot with one of my stories.


This particular editor would invariably crop them out. “We are not Pet Fancy magazine," he would remind me. Fortunately, the publishers of Autobody News are animal lovers, so I get to write this.


For years, I have been thinking of producing a calendar featuring auto body shop dogs and calling it “The Canines of Collision.” Recently, I reached out on social media to find out how many collision repair shops have pet mascots on-site and the response was phenomenal.


I got a ton of great pictures of dogs in shops all over the country. There were even a few photos of shops with unusual animal members of their crew, including a chicken, a pig and get this---an iguana!


Some dogs seem to enjoy the hustle and bustle of a busy body shop, while others prefer to find a comfortable doggy bed and sleep throughout the day in a corner somewhere.


To find out which breeds are better shop mascots, I asked Johan Van Olden, a world-renowned dog trainer who owns a company called Canine Trade Group in Delaware that trains other dog trainers.


He said German Shepherds are ideal for a body shop environment because they are smart and remember faces. Beagles are inquisitive and a little dopey as a rule, so keep them in your front office and away from paint products, etc. Collies and Labs are ideal for body shops, Van Olden said, because they’re laid back and are less likely to bite insurance adjusters.

Recently, a shop manager in Santa Clara, CA, told me a story about a cat that resonated with me because I love happy endings, and this "tail" surely has one.


In May 2013, a gray cat started showing up at Anderson Behel, a body shop in Santa Clara. As a feral feline, he was content...

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