I’m especially grateful for organizations that help homeless senior pets. All rescue work is difficult and heart-wrenching, but those who go the extra mile for senior, disabled, or otherwise difficult to place animals deserve extra support and acknowledgment. Thus I was pleased to learn about the charity of the month at The Honest Kitchen, a company that makes nutritious, “human-grade” dehydrated dog food. The Honest Kitchen has a “Pawlanthropy” program in which they select a charity to benefit from a percentage of online sales that month. September’s charity is the Compassion program of Just A Dog, a pit bull rescue in San Diego, CA. The Compassion program takes elderly or ill pit bulls who would otherwise be euthanized in shelters, and ensures that their final days are spent in a loving and caring home environment. I’m sure it is difficult work, but what a wonderful way to make a difference in an animal’s life, even if only briefly.
Archive for the ‘Favorite Animal Nonprofits’ Category
If you want to view something truly uplifting, check out the Nevada Humane Society’s Adoption Dance video. At this shelter, they have a tradition of ringing a bell whenever an adoption occurs. In this fun video, the staff do a dance parody of the wedding video where everyone dances down the aisle. Must admit I had tears in my eyes at the end! Loved it and the message it conveys about lifetime commitments and forever homes. I hope Cooper has a wonderful new life!
Okay folks, here is another springer damsel in distress. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the plight of older dogs who end up in shelters through no fault of their own – often due to changing family circumstances. Their lifelong guardian dies, or becomes ill, or moves into a nursing home, or can no longer afford to care for them. They are likely to be passed over for adoption in favor of the younger dogs. A lucky few, like 8 year old Sophie, are saved by rescue groups. As part of Be the Change For Animals, a group of pet bloggers are posting on causes important to them, and I am choosing to spread the word about the plight of older dogs like Sophie. (more…)
One of the ripple effects of the Gulf oil spill is not only endangering wildlife, but family pets. According to this story, out of work fishermen are surrendering family pets to local shelters, including the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), because they cannot afford to feed and care for them. PAWS is completely full and has a growing waiting list of pets needing a safe haven. How can you help? Make a donation or offer to sponsor a pet in need. PAWS is also providing free pet food on a first come, first serve basis, in an effort to keep pets and their families together. Please help get the word out of the plight of these pets, especially to pet food companies who might donate pet food to help with this crisis.
I’m back from presenting a workshop on starting and funding a pet therapy program at the American Holistic Nurses Association Conference in Colorado Springs. In future posts I will share some of the fund raising tools that have worked for us at Paws with a Purpose, but I wanted to say a special thanks to the two Delta Society pet partners who participated in our workshop. Both dogs had interesting stories. Lacey, a lovely golden retriever, was originally trained as a hearing assistance dog by a prison inmate, in a program where prisoners teach dogs basic obedience skills. Although Lacey did not become a service dog, she found her calling as a therapy dog and became registered with Delta. She works with American Humane Association’s Animal-Assisted Therapy and the American Red Cross K-9 Therapy programs, visiting a variety of military and health care facilities, and is especially gifted at working with disabled military veterans. The other pet partner, Ladybug, is a cute-as-a-bug Yorkie. Ladybug came from a puppy mill situation and had no idea how to act like a normal dog. She simply froze, if asked to do anything. She spent an entire obedience class standing in one spot, refusing to move or react in any way. Her new family worked hard to bring her out of her shell, and discovered that she loved children and also loved agility work. Through much patience and love, Ladybug learned to trust and love back, and became a registered therapy dog, also serving with the Red Cross K-9 Therapy program. At the conclusion of our workshop, both Lacey and Ladybug were the center of attention as attendees crowded around to meet them. It was heartwarming and inspiring to see these two dogs spreading smiles, comfort and love to a room full of strangers, and to think of the hearts that they heal every day. (more…)
Here is a clever contest from the folks at Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI). Go to Thatsagoodhuman.com and complete a few simple steps to take the vow to be a good human to your pet. You can upload a photo of your pet to the site, and personalize your vow, such as, “I vow to teach Alex more tricks.” Then vote for your favorite charity, choosing between the American Animal Hospital Association Helping Pets Fund, the Animal Cancer Foundation, Canine Companions for Independence, or the Helen Woodward Animal Center. For every 5,000 votes, VPI will make a $1,000 donation to that charity!
This past weekend Alex and I participated in the annual “Paws on Parade” walk-a-thon to raise funds for our local pet therapy organization, Paws with a Purpose. The event is held in a park that has a lovely trail winding through the trees, next to the river, and always attracts a good turnout of dogs and their humans. As we parked and got out of the car, I could see that Alex was not eager to join the assembled group, so instead of his usual flexi-leash, I put his slip lead on, as he’s been known to try to back out of his collar if spooked by something. I allowed him plenty of time to check out the scene and the other dogs, though he clearly did not want to be part of the party! As the walk got underway, we were joined by a group of children from a local agency that offers residential and other counseling services for children in the foster system. The pet therapy dogs serve this agency with visits to teach “life skills” such as respect, teamwork, and personal responsibility, and have been a very popular and effective addition to the curriculum.
A group of the kids from this agency began walking with one of the pet therapy volunteers. She had brought both of her dogs that day, two friendly and goofy goldendoodles, and as the parade made its way through the park, the children took turns holding the dogs’ leashes. Alex and I were walking just ahead of this group, and I was glad that he was finally relaxing and ignoring the dogs, joggers, bicyclists, and walkers we encountered along the path. Then a small boy, part of the group walking behind us, ran up along side me and asked eagerly, “Can I walk your dog?” (more…)
I am always looking for fun (and easy) fund-raising ideas for animal organizations. Actually, this idea could be used for any organization, not just animal-related. It’s from the Delta Society.
The class project – ‘help others’.
Each student in the 5th grade class was given the assignment – find a way to help others. The children were to work independently, not with other classmates, to come up with their own way to make a difference in other’s lives.
11-year old Alyssa decided she wanted to help bring more joy, compassion and comfort to others through the Delta Society Pet Partners program, and she decided to raise money to support this program. She contacted Delta for promotional materials for use during her fundraiser, including coloring sheets for kids, informational pamphlets for adults and a banner. At that time she wasn’t sure what her project would actually be – maybe a bake sale. But she came up with a very creative idea.
Alyssa wrote, “I wanted my fundraiser to be unique and fun and something that no one has ever done before. I knew a lot of people in my school had dogs so I decided to have a Cute Dog Contest. People seemed to like that idea because I got 18 entries!”
She mounted the dogs’ pictures on a board, and next to each dog there was a number. There were 18 cups with lids near the poster. If you wanted to vote for one of the dogs you would look at the number next to it and put a coin in the cup with that number. The amounts of the votes were the amounts of the coins, for example a quarter would be twenty five votes.
The contest went on for two weeks. The winner of the contest got a huge gift basket with toys and snacks, and the runner-ups received smaller gift baskets with two items. The fundraiser raised $424.29!
I love this story because it shows that small donations add up and make a difference. Congratulations, Alyssa!
One of the stars of our local pet therapy organization, Paws with a Purpose, is a joyful Airedale named Pubb, who walks the hospital halls spreading smiles, comfort, and love to everyone he meets. Pubb and his “mom” Marti often visit pediatric cancer patients, as well as children who are about to undergo a forensic interview in situations of suspected child abuse. No matter why the child is at the hospital, Pubb’s furry medicine gives them the courage to face the often scary future. Pubb is estimated to be nearly 13 years old, and he recently passed his re-certification test as a Delta Society therapy dog, which is required every two years. On that occasion, Marti wrote the following heartwarming letter to the family who rescued Pubb. It’s a testament not only to Pubb, but to how a simple act of compassion continues to touch many lives.
April 18, 2010
You may remember that in 2003 you picked up an Airedale in a lot of trouble on the side of the road and named him Pubb. He was on three legs, weighed 30-some lbs, had little hair, battle scars, plenty of heartworms and every other possible parasite. You and your family nursed him through the most critical phase of recovery and then Airedale Rescue transported him to his foster family.
Let me say up front that this isn’t one of those sad letters written upon the death of a dog—he is absolutely fine and still acts like a puppy. Getting a little stiffer in his advancing years, but still would rather hike with me than breathe. Wrestles and plays endlessly with the three other Airedales in the house, and was the first to befriend the now-seven month old puppy Punch. His signature is a bulldozer-like move through one’s legs and he has been known to pick small people (I being one of them) off their feet. And when people hear how old he is (we guess about 13 now—estimates of his age when you rescued him were 5 to 7), they are in absolute disbelief.
Anyway, this is by way of a love letter from Pubb, and it’s by way of letting you know the ripples of good things your good deed created. For my own part, I don’t think there has been a day since he arrived that Pubb (also called Bubbie—Pubb morphed into an affectionate Pubba-Bubba and thus he answers to Pubby, Pubb, Bubbie, Bupps, Bubb, Pubbster, Boobert and the rattle of a food bowl) has not made me laugh aloud, and the value of a dog that can do that is inestimable. (more…)
During Be Kind to Animals week, the American Humane Organization honors children and teens who are making a difference for shelter animals. Congratulations to Asheville’s own Janis Brehler, a 10 year old who volunteers several days per week at the Asheville Humane Society, socializing the pets and helping the shelter staff with a variety of tasks. Janis is a runner-up in this national contest! Read about Janis and the other winners here. What an inspiring group of young people making a difference for shelter animals!
Although I’m not in the market for another dog just yet, I frequently check out the available dogs on the English Springer Rescue site. I greatly admire the folks who provide foster care, and I love the stories they write about each dog, so that the prospective adopter can find the perfect match. Recently, a beautiful black and white springer named Molly caught my eye, as she resembles my Emily. After a few weeks getting acclimated in her foster home, Molly was spayed. Shortly thereafter, her foster parents noticed bleeding around the incision. What followed is completely harrowing, but shows the power of a caring group of volunteers and veterinary staff, working hard to save Molly. (more…)
Here is a heartwarming story from the most recent edition of the Springer Rescue newsletter about a down on his luck Springer spaniel. Found wandering the streets with a rusty chain collar hanging from his neck, the dirty and hungry spaniel was picked up by Animal Control. Although the dog’s owner was contacted several times, he was not claimed. He was assigned to a pen in the back of the shelter because “nobody would want him.” Fortunately, Animal Control called Springer Rescue, and a caring volunteer “sprung” him. She recognized a “diamond in the rough” in this little guy, who she named Prancer. He was smart, playful and had a strong drive to retrieve toys, so she thought he might be suitable for Search and Rescue work. Then she learned of a police department looking for a new narcotics-sniffing dog. Prancer easily passed the screening test, showing an aptitude for scent detection, and is now a working member of the police force in Dekalb County, Georgia. He is now known as “Officer Rusty.” I love these stories of “throwaway dogs” who are making a difference, because someone gave them a second chance!
Not long ago I was asked by a hospice social worker to arrange for a client’s beloved poodle to be groomed. Unfortunately before I could make arrangements to pick up Cindy and have her groomed, the client had to be hospitalized, where he passed away. Fortunately, Cindy was adopted by a family member. However, I know many pets are not as fortunate when their human passes away, and they end up in a shelter. I recently discovered an organization in Colorado, Safe Place for Pets, whose mission is to find forever homes for pets of terminally ill people. According to their web site, they “strive to provide peace to those leaving this world by assuring that a beloved pet will continue to be safe, treasured, and loved. To some it is what matters most.” The web site has a downloadable form on which you can record your wishes for your pet’s future as part of your estate planning. The web site also has wonderful pets for adoption! I’m sure this type of organization is needed in every community. Thanks to the wonderful folks at Safe Place who place these beloved pets in new homes.
As I look outside on the latest snowfall, I enjoy dreaming of spring and outdoor fun. The walk-a-thon season is almost upon us! Here is a cause that is dear to my heart, as I have lost four beloved dogs to cancer. The Morris Animal Foundation, which sponsors research in many areas of animal health including cancer, is planning K9 Cancer Walks to raise research money. This year, you can participate virtually! What Is a K9 Cancer Walk? (more…)
Here is a heartwarming story!
Matted Max: Stranded Victim of Neglect Gets Second Chance
Asheville, NC – Against all odds, an adorable little Shih Tzu has a new chance at life thanks to the staff and volunteers of Asheville Humane Society. Max, a year-old male Shih Tzu, was brought to Asheville Humane Society by a compassionate motorist who found him in a crate on the side of the road with a cardboard sign that read “My Name Is Max.” Inside the crate was a mass of matted fur. Fearful the dog was dying, his rescuer immediately drove Max to the Asheville Humane Society shelter located at 72 Lee’s Creek Road where staffers were saddened and appalled by his horrible condition. (more…)