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'Tis the Season
'Tis the season for giving thanks for our many blessings of which there are MANY!
From the numerous volunteers to the network of Rescue Angels nationwide which support our endeavors, the miracles we have witnessed have far exceeded our expectations this past year. Every shelter dog we have networked which has made it out alive, every homeless dog which has made it off the streets into a loving home or rescue organization, every injured or sick dog which has been given the chance to become "whole" again, is because of all of YOU!
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for donating your hard-earned funds, your time, your hearts and your energy with the animals who, without you, would not be here today. You have given them the greatest gift of all -- the gift of life.
May you, your family and your friends enjoy a safe, peaceful, blessed Holiday Season!
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Regardless of your demographics, rest assured that there is an animal shelter or rescue organization near you in need of help.
Before I began working deeply in canine rescue, I knew that there were "dog pounds" out there which housed dogs in need of homes. I also knew that not all of them survived. What I didn't realize was the staggering number of animals that are euthanized DAILY, or the conditions the dogs were kept in at most under-staffed shelters around town.
In addition to running the day-to-day operations of our organization, I began volunteering my time at one of the local animal shelters. It was only then that I realized the need for volunteers on a regular basis. There are water bowls and buckets to be washed and sterilized, laundry to be done, crates to be cleaned. Although considered one of life's little luxuries for the animals, I began preparing an occasional feast of "mush", filling bowl after bowl of kibble mixed with canned food and water -- just to offer them something different than the usual dry dog food. I began making trips to the local pet store to purchase cases of pig ears. Handing them out to the dogs has become a mandatory part of my visits to the shelter, too. It offers the dogs something to do for a little longer than chewing a milkbone does... and I haven't met a dog yet that doesn't devour them.
More importantly, the dogs need to be exercised and socialized. They get little of either without the help of volunteers. The dogs are confined to small spaces without toys, treats or anything else to occupy their minds with. All they can do is pace - or sleep. Although the shelter I volunteer at does have indoor/outdoor runs, other shelters in our area have dogs confined to indoor kennels only -- offering them no opportunity to see the light of day or to feel the grass under their feet UNLESS volunteers come to walk them.
Rescue groups also need volunteers, people willing to: foster animals (on both a long-term and/or short-term basis); assist with transporting animals to and from adoption events; volunteer at adoption events (walking the animals, providing them with water and treats, socializing them, and greeting visitors); and, most of all, helping to spread the word to others about the animals within their program in need of forever homes.
Donated supplies are also needed at both venues -- bleach, paper towels, blue Dawn dish soap (great for de-flea'ing the dogs), dog food, cat food, laundry soap, dryer sheets, sponges and kitty litter are among the most sought-after items. Flea preventative (in all sizes) comes in handy, too.
The homeless pets are counting on each of us to do our part to better their lives in some way. While the ultimate goal is to find loving families for as many of them as we can, they should not continue to be "forgotten" as they sit in our local shelters waiting to find a place to call HOME.
The need for volunteers is never-ending. If you love animals as much as we do, please take a moment out of your day (or out of your week) to visit your local shelter. Take a dog for a walk or to the play yard for exercise. Offer to bathe a dog and spend time brushing him or her. Take treats to hand out to the animals (seek permission from the shelter staff beforehand). Roll up your sleeves and sterilize crates and bowls. Snap a few photos of your favorites and network them far and wide to find a rescue group or forever family for them! Take supplies with you when you go.
The animals whose daily lives are to be confined to a kennel with an uncertain fate will appreciate your kindhearted efforts and generosity more than you will ever know.
We are thankful for the many individuals and businesses who work with us in saving lives. Without their skills, generosity and compassion, we would fail to exist. "Thank You!" will never be enough. Please click on the buttons below to learn more about these fabulous places.