Monday, April 18, 2016

A-Z of #Dog Rescue: Other Options — #AtoZChallenge


So… After fourteen posts (fourteen! we made it past the halfway mark, people!) you’ve decided that rescuing isn’t for you—but you still want to help. Here’s a list of ways—spanning from the creative to the simplest to the budget-friendly (and even the no-budget)—to help you help them.

Adopt

Like Nike... Just do it.

Help me shower love & good wishes on Susan Brody (of TheArtOfNotGettingPublished; her A2Z on the Middle Ages is well worth a hop over, by the way), who just adopted a rescue dog on Saturday. Susan, you made my month! All happy things for you, for your family, and for this luckiest of dogs. WE WANT PHOTOS!

Remember the seniors

Everyone wants the puppies, no one wants the grizzled muzzles. But these older guys are the ones that most need your affection. (As a reward, you get to skip right over the nightmare of puppy training.)

Foster

Can’t add a dog to your lifestyle permanently? Consider doing it temporarily. Plus, all costs are covered by the shelter or rescue organization (food, medical, etc.). 

Volunteer

No room for a dog in your life at all? How about becoming the fun aunt or uncle? Shelters & rescue organizations are always scraping the financial barrel, so any salaries they save mean more funds go towards the animals. There’s plenty to do: anything from bathing dogs to walking them to giving medication to answering phones. And it’s at your convenience, from once in a while to every day, depending on your schedule.

Donate

Every cent helps, but it doesn’t have to be money. Kibble, HeartGard, anti-tick and -flea protection, shampoo, old towels and/or bedsheets, toys, treats, leashes, collars, food bowls—all of these, and pretty much anything else you can think of, make a huge difference.

(For the crafters among you, these could be cool projects.)



Sponsor

You can pledge to cover the costs of a dog’s upkeep. In many shelters, especially in large cities, this is the key to saving a life. Dogs get a certain period of time to either be adopted, go to a foster, or find a pledge; if none of these happen, they’ll be put down.

Medical sponsor

Let your vet know you’re willing to help out a dog owner who can’t afford a necessary treatment for their dog. Be as general or specific as you like: maybe you want to sponsor a sterilization surgery, or the first batch of vaccines for a litter of puppies. Maybe you want to keep it on a case by case basis. It’s up to you. (If you don’t have a house vet, check with local shelters for some suggestions.)

Become a home-finder

Help your local shelter or rescue organization promote the animals ready for adoption. This can be as easy as talking to your friends (and asking them to talk to their friends), or designing flyers, or talking to a local magazine or newspaper about running a (free) ad featuring a weekly dog, or... Any other cool ideas?

Put your unique skills to work

If you’re an accountant, volunteer to help out with the shelter’s admin. If you’re a graphic artist, maybe you can design some cool posters to promote adoption or raise funds. If you’re in PR, help them organize their next fundraiser. If you’re a lawyer, you could volunteer to help with legal issues, or get involved in lobbying for animal-friendly legislation. If you’re in construction, volunteer as a handyman once a month. If you’re a social media maven, maybe you can help run their Facebook and Twitter pages. If you’re a writer, you could write copy for them: leaflets, flyers, ads, their website. Whatever you’re good at, I guarantee it can save lives.


And, last but certainly not least:

Avoid pet shops that sell puppies

Even if you’re just buying fish food, or a leash for your niece’s stuffed poodle, please buy it from a store that doesn’t sponsor the breeding industry. (Commercial breeding is the largest single factor responsible for the dog overpopulation problem we have today.)


There you have it, folks. If this list got you brainstorming, share your ideas in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

Thanks a million for the visit, and happy 2nd half of A2Z!


P.S.—We have a FAQ session coming up on Wednesday, for Q. If you have any questions, feel free to include them in a comment and I'll do my best to get you an answer. And, if I can't get it by Wednesday, I'll post about it as soon as I do—'cause it's bound to be something interesting :)


32 comments :

  1. Tnis is an excellent list, Guilie. And Gepetto, in the first video, does look a bit like Eos!
    Q looks like it'll be fun.

    Keith Channing A-Zing from http://keithkreates.com

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    1. He does, doesn't he? Though I think he's smaller than Eos; she looks mid- to mid-large-sized in your photos... But maybe that's just because Trevor is the point of reference? (Awww... No, don't tell him I said that :D )

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  2. Both my dogs are rescues. I got my Jax from a rescue that fosters dogs until a home is found and my Lila was picked up from a county shelter. I love my babies!!

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    1. You're a hero, Holli! Giving a rescued animal a home is the noblest of things :)

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  3. It's so important to adopt seniors. I follow a lot of animal rescue pages on Facebook, and it's always heartwarming to hear about seniors who were given second chances in the nick of time. It's deplorable how some owners dump their pets in kill shelters just because they got old.

    For your FAQ, I'd be interested in your opinion on hobby breeders, people who only breed a small number of litters a year and carefully screen adoptive families, as opposed to the mass-breeders at animal mills.

    Welcome to My Magick Theatre
    Onomastics Outside the Box

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    1. I'm with you, Carrie-Anne... Seniors make up a huge chunk of homeless dogs, and, sadly, because of ignorance and general lack of compassion, they have the least chance of being adopted again. I read this heartbreaking story yesterday about an 11-year-old German Shepherd whose family lost their home and were living in the street, and were forced to give him up. He's now in a shelter, totally confused and, I imagine, with his soul in pieces. Ugh... And that's just one story... :(

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  4. I think it's great to get a senior dog...they may have always been on the street or come from a home and now feel so lost. I actually am thinking about volunteering but not sure if I can due to my joint issues.

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    1. Indeed, Birgit; these older dogs break my heart. I'm so glad you're thinking about volunteering! There will definitely be something you can do that doesn't wreak havoc on your joints... You could even do something from home, or take a dog out for socializing... It really depends on what facilities (and needs) your local shelter or rescue organization has, but if you call them and explain about your joints, I'm sure they'll be super happy to have your help :)

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  5. Great list, and definitely something for everyone here
    Debbie

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  6. There's so much to be said for taking on an older dog. My husband did it years ago and never regretted it.


    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that, Susan! Yep, older dogs are wonderful, and the perfect fit for many families.

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  7. Right now all I can do is donate. Hubby isn't ready to let me get another pet, and he wouldn't agree to fostering. I like the idea of being a volunteer walker though that is something I can do on my own! Great idea, thanks!

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    1. Yolanda, donating—money, time, or kind—is what keeps the rescue world turning. Not everyone can take in a dog, whether permanent or temporary; it's a big step. And I'm glad you like the idea of volunteering for taking dogs out! You'd be great with them... It's not just about the exercise (though that's really important), but also about socialization... You'd be exponentially increasing their chances of finding a great home :) Let me know how it goes!

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  8. I'd just like to give a shout-out for rescues of other animals, too. If you haven't got room for a dog, consider a guinea pig - all the same considerations apply to rescued guineas, and they make marvellous companions :)
    Jemima Pett

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    1. Jemima, I couldn't agree more! Compassion is the motor behind the rescue of any animal, and true compassion cannot be limited to any one species. Once you feel for one, you feel for them all. And guinea pigs, adorable beyond words, are subject to all sorts of cruelty in labs and testing facilities. Giving a rescued guinea pig a home is a lofty thing. Thanks for bringing it up! (I'm actually talking about the universality of rescue for U day ;) )

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  9. I love the DIY bed and hideaway! Great tips on what to do if you can't rescue!

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    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed this — and thanks for coming by!

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  10. Awesome list with at least one thing for everybody. And thank you so much for the shout-out! This experience of searching for a shelter dog has been an education for me, to say the least. I had never even heard of Amish puppy mills until a few weeks ago. Absolutely horrifying.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this list, Susan. I'm so happy you found Leo — and he's a senior, too! You're doing a lovely, lovely thing. I look forward to hearing all about it :)

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  11. My oldest daughter just got approved yesterday to adopt a Corgi! She's really excited. She lost her 8 year old Corgi in the 2015 Valley Fire. The adoption place rep drove about four hours to get to the house where my daughter is staying. It's amazing how dedicated the rescue is to these dogs. I love it!

    Shelly @ http://hangryfork.com

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    1. Fabulous news, Shelly! Wow, a four-hour drive certainly denotes commitment :) But if it's the right home for the dog, it's all worth it. Here in Curaçao we often send rescued dogs to Holland (people there are more open to adopting), and that's a nine-hour flight... So, yeah. For the right family, nothing is too much ;)

      Thanks for the visit! And I'm loving your blog :)

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  12. Great suggestions! We always donate and also round up old sheets and towels for the local shelter, which is no-kill. My husband is reluctant to get another dog, but I hope to wear him down, eventually. In the meantime, the clients' dogs fill the void.

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    1. Debbie, you're already doing something wonderful with all those sheets and towels... Seriously, they make such a big difference. Lots of dogs have nothing soft or warm to lie on in shelter cages, and they'd love an old towel. Some skittish dogs calm down when their cage or kennel is covered up; the space feels more enclosed, and they feel safer—so an old bedsheet helps there, too. Do not underestimate the value of donating :)

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  13. I'll think about additional questions.
    But one question for today's. I am learning more about not adopting a pet from a pet store. But what would be the harm in getting supplies from a pet store? I can't imagine that would harm an animal in any way.

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    1. Ah... I missed this one for the FAQ, Jeffrey. Sorry about that. I'll add it, but in the meantime let me reply here. Buying supplies from a store that sells animals doesn't harm animals directly—but, by giving your business to the store, you're contributing to them staying in business, which means they'll keep on selling animals. On the other hand, by not buying anything from them, you're making a statement, drawing a line, so to speak. Enough people do this, and these stores will begin to listen—and stop selling animals :)

      Thanks for the visit!

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  14. Awesome list. The one about sponsoring the costs (ie paying the fees of a vet) of looking after a dog makes sense.
    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

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    1. Thanks, Aneeta! There's always something one can do to help out :) This morning we rescued a young female from the street; there's nowhere to take her, no one that wants her, so the plan is to spay her and return her to the parking lot where she and her siblings (and, apparently, her mom) are living. Not the ideal solution, but at least she won't be having puppies, and those puppies won't grow up in the street. The only reason we could do this was because there was a sponsor willing to pay for her surgery. So, you see, there's a huge difference to be made :)

      Thanks for coming by!

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  15. I am going to save this post! Some wonderful suggestions to stay involved.

    I would love to foster dogs, but right now our lifestyle is not conducive. I have often wondered if volunteering at a shelter would be a good fit for me. I adore dogs, but am very allergic to cats.

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    1. I hear you, Molly. In order to foster, and foster successfully, it's important your whole lifestyle can bear the weight. I wouldn't worry about your allergies; I'm sure your local shelter/rescue has plenty of stuff you can help with that doesn't involve even minimal contact with cats. If you do check it out, let me know how it goes :)

      Thanks for the visit!

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