Monthly Archives: October 2016

50 Ways to Help At-Risk Animals

Help them stay out of the shelter in the first place!.

  1. Spay and neuter (or fundraise for spay/neuter programs.)wrangler-blinddogrescuealliance-nj
  2. Trap, neuter, return (TNR) feral kitties.
  3. Support your local pet food pantry. You might be surprised who comes to them for help.
  4. Volunteer for (or start) an AniMeals program in your community.
  5. Pitch in at a fencing project so a dog that was on a chain can be safe (and one step closer to indoors.)
  6. Volunteer at a community wellness clinic for pets.
  7. Visit an elementary classroom and talk to young people about being a good friend to animals. Kindness starts early.

sam-2nd-chance-ct-moUse your talents!

  1. If you can sew, quilt, crochet, knit or even braid, make beds and blankets for homeless animals.
  2. Good with a hammer and saw? Build a house for cats, paint a dog house or help create a canine obstacle course.
  3. Offer to take flattering photos of adoptable pets.
  4. Invite your pals over for a cat scratch party. Gather carpet scraps and wood (or whatever tickles your cat fancy) and donate the results.
  5. Are you in communications? Write a press release or an opinion piece or a newspaper article about your favorite shelter or rescue.

Give your time

  1. Volunteer to walk, pet, read to or play with animals.martha-panora-pets-ia
  2. Offer to clean kennels. It’s not fun, but someone has to do it. A clean environment makes for happier, healthier pets.
  3. Help train adoptable pups. A dog that already knows basic commands is going to the more desirable option for families!
  4. Spruce it up! Round up friends of coworkers and offer to have a makeover day. Clean, paint, show off your best handyperson skills.
  5. There are so many small but important tasks to handle that don’t require special knowledge. Pack goodie bags. Make copies. Answer simple email questions. Take down phone messages. Move food. Do laundry. Two hours to you could be life-saving for them. Just ask!
  6. Make kitty safe houses for strays and feral cats. One of the greatest needs for rescues, is people who will regularly help at adoption events. Committing to once a month (or more) means less time spent training for the organization and more confidence for you.
  7. One of the greatest needs for rescues, is people who will regularly help at adoption events. Committing to once a month (or more) means less time spent training for the organization and more confidence for you.

mabel-lost-our-home-azCollect stuff

  1. Organize a drive in your school, job, church or neighborhood to collect pet food, blankets, and other supplies.
  2. Give a portion (or all) of the proceeds of your next yard or garage sale to your favorite group.
  3. Ask your employer if you can put out a collection jar. You can even have a competition between departments, floors or ‘friendly’ companies.
  4. See if your company does a match program. Many companies will match their employee’s cash donations – and sometimes time – to a nonprofit.
  5. Partner with a local restaurant to plan and host a ‘foodraiser’ where a percent of revenue, or tips, are donated.
  6. Some grocery stores (and Amazon) will give money to your favorite nonprofit when you shop with them. Does yours?
  7. Jeans day event at work. Talk to your boss to allow employees to wear jeans for a cost, donate that money to a local shelter or rescue.
  8. Fundraise with a bake sale. Work with your neighborhood school or your child’s PTO to organize a bake sale to benefit homeless pets in your community. This is a great way to educate children on the topic, create community buzz around available pets, and help provide funding to the animal organizations that need it most.

Do it from home

  1. Foster a mama dog and her puppies. Nobody wants to have their babies in a scary shelter! Plus, puppies!
  2. Bottle feed newborn kittens. Sometimes these babies end up without their mom and they need a bit of extra care.
  3. Share your knowledge – politely, and when asked (of course). Explain why spay and neuter is important, why microchips are lifesaving, why heartworm prevention is so important, why dogs need to be socialized and why kitties are healthier when they live indoors.
  4. Distribute flyers for low-cost spay and neuter programs to residents in low-income neighborhoods.
  5. Challenge a senior community or church group to craft pet beds to donate to shelters.dora-and-cora-gurdon-ak
  6. When you replace your gently used leash and collars, donate them.
  7. If you’re changing your bedroom décor, give old comforters and blankets to the animals.
  8. Gather all those single socks, fill them with empty plastic water bottles and give them to your local shelter. Dogs love to crunch them!
  9. Ask local grocery or box stores if they’ll donate ripped bags of pet food which you can then collect monthly and deliver to pantries in the area.

dixie-tysons-chance-animal-foundation-kyDo it online

  1. Thank the people who do the daily work. A simple “thanks for all you do!” on a Facebook page can do wonders on a hard day.
  2. Share an adoptable pet on social media. We’d all love to have time and resources for unlimited dogs and cats, but the reality is we don’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t share. You never know which of your friends might be looking to add to the family.
  3. A post with a lot of ‘likes’ is judged to be ‘valuable’ by Facebook’s algorithms so don’t feel bad liking!

Give from the heart

  1. Every dollar counts. If you don’t have much in the way of extra funds, collect recyclables and return for cash, then donate.
  2. Save your change and every quarter convert it to bills to donate.
  3. We all know a cat’s favorite toy is the nearest box, but they like balls and toy mice too. Consider picking some up at the dollar store.
  4. Buy BOGO Bowl and feed a homeless dog or cat without any extra time or cost on your part. Easy peasy!
  5. Support pet-friendly businesses. Many companies try to help by contributing items to fundraisers or collecting donations.
  6. Give an adoption gift certificate to a friend looking for a new pet!
  7. Sponsor a pet – especially an animal that will need to stay longer such as a senior or a medical case.
  8. Drop off new water or food bowls.

Road trip!august-trempleau-wi

  1. Like to drive? Sometimes an adoptable animal is in one place and his new family is another (like BOGO Bowl dog Chance who came to Des Moines from Topeka). Offer to drive a leg of a transport!
  2. You don’t have to drive long distances to help on transports. Some legs are just an hour or two!
  3. There’s even a group that transports dogs in privately-owned small planes. Have one?

aiden-stars-gaMoney isn't everything

  1. Be a good role model. Show the world how animals should be treated. You never know who’s watching!

And of course...

  1. Well, duh. Adopt! Every animal in this blog is available at one of our BOGO Buddies!

A Guide for People Considering Fostering a Dog

By Jenny Wise

dogFostering provides much-needed care, love, and attention for a homeless dog. Some foster families give a dog a home until he is adopted, and others provide a loving environment for a predetermined amount of time. The reasons for fostering a dog vary: some may need a safe, quiet place to recover from an illness or injury, some may be too young to be adopted or enter a shelter, and some may be from a rescue group that does not have a shelter. If you are considering fostering a dog but aren’t sure of what it entails, the following guide is a helpful resource for you.

Reasons for Fostering a Dog

Fostering a dog can be a rewarding experience for an individual or an entire family. When you foster a dog, you know that you are providing a temporary home full of love and attention for a dog that needs a place to live until he is adopted or taken in by a shelter. In most cases, foster families help shelters or rescue groups by freeing space in a shelter or rescue facility. Some dogs need help being socialized, getting used to other pets, or getting used to people before they can be adopted. By fostering a dog, you are helping the dog prepare for his forever home and you are more than likely making it possible for the shelter or rescue group to take in more dogs and help them than they could without the help of a foster parent.

Other people choose to foster a dog because they love animals and want to have one of their own but cannot provide a forever home because of work or family situations. Some people foster dogs because they enjoy taking care of other people’s pets by boarding dogs in their own homes and want to help homeless dogs receive the same love and attention.

Know What to Expect

Sometimes, people who foster dogs are surprised by the amount of time and energy that goes into providing a home for a homeless animal. All dogs are different, and some may need more love and attention than others, especially if they need to be socialized or if they need your help breaking a bad habit like chewing or having accidents in your home. As a foster dog parent, you may be responsible for training the dog, acclimating him to living inside, and helping him become ready for adoption. You may need to purchase a crate to train the dog, invest in a sturdy leash, and more in order to provide the dog with all of the structure and walks he needs.

While you do not need to be home 24 hours a day to foster a dog, you do need to be home often. Working 16-hour shifts is not ideal if you want to foster a dog, nor is going away for an entire weekend. Agreeing to foster a dog requires a time commitment, and you should be prepared to stay in more than you do when you aren’t caring for a dog.

Be Prepared for a Difficult Goodbye

One of the most difficult aspects of fostering a dog is saying goodbye when the time comes. Eventually, you will need to give up the dog. The good news is, there are steps you can take to make the process a little easier. One of the first things you should do is select a foster dog that you would not necessarily want to keep long-term; for example, consider choosing to foster a large dog because you prefer small dogs. Another step you can take is to ask the rescue organization if you can assist in the adoption process; you will have an easier time saying goodbye to your foster dog if you know that he is going to the best possible forever home. You also may ask the adoptive family to send you photos and updates so you can keep tabs on the dog and feel better knowing how happy he is with his new family.

Of course, the best way to get over saying goodbye to your foster dog is to foster again. There are countless dogs in need of good foster homes, and opening your home to more dogs will give you more chances to share your love and attention and ensure the dogs in your area are going to be adopted by caring families.

How to Start Fostering a Dog

The best place to start the process of becoming a foster parent for a dog is to check out the rescue organizations in your area. (If you're not aware of any organizations in your area, check out 911 Foster Pets.) You want to be sure that they are run professionally and that you know exactly what the expectations and requirements will be for the organization and for yourself. In most cases, fosters must be at least 18 years old and submit an application to become a foster for a dog. Some organizations require training or classes before you can provide a home for a dog; others have an orientation process.

Once you are accepted by a rescue organization to foster a dog, they will match you with a dog that fits your lifestyle and the answers you provided on your application and during training or orientation. Typically, you will pick up the dog and provide transportation to your home.

Fostering a dog is an incredibly rewarding experience, and it is one that saves the lives of dogs looking for good homes.

Image via Pixabay by vylip


Are Your Pets Overweight? It’s National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

By Lyndsay Marvin

Did you know today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day? On October 12, 2016, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) will conduct the Tenth Annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey.

Pet obesity is a serious problem in America. An estimated 53.8% of US dogs are overweight or obese (BCS 4-5), and an estimated 58.2% of US cats are overweight or obese (BCS 4-5). Obesity in pets can cause type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and many forms of cancer. It can also decrease life expectancy by 2.5 years (and we definitely don’t want that!).

Approximately 65% of US households own at least one pet. That’s 79.7 million homes (source: 2016 APPA). In addition, 68% of adult Americans are overweight or obese, which is approximately 148 million people (source: 2015 CDC). There seems to be a pattern.

Here are a few facts:

  • 41.9 million US dogs are estimated to be overweight or obese
  • 26.1 million US dogs are estimated to be overweight (BCS 4)
  • 15.7 million US dogs are estimated to be obese (BCS 5)
    (based on 77.8 million US dogs - 2016 APPA)
  • An estimated 20.2% of US dogs are obese (BCS 5)
  • 49.9 million US cats are estimated to be overweight or obese (BCS 4-5)
  • 23.7 million US cats are estimated to be overweight (BCS 4)
  • 26.2 million US cats are estimated to be obese (BCS 5) (based on 85.8 million US cats - 2016 APPA)
  • An estimated 28.1% of US cats are obese (BCS 5)

All figures 2015 Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Common overweight dogs are bulldogs, yorkies, dachshunds, and chihuahuas.

Pet obesity is serious. What are you doing to ensure your pet stays at a healthy weight?
Our recommendations are:

  • Make sure they get enough exercise (walking, running, playing).
  • Feed them healthy food (like ours!).
  • Feed them the appropriate amount of food.
  • Limit the amount of treats they receive.
  • We offer Healthy Weight Dog Formula, which you can find here.


Statistics Source: