Category Archives: Good Friends

Clarke County Animal Shelter - one of our rural Buddies

"We are like most shelters and overrun with cats, our average cat stay before adoption is 6 months to a year. We run on donations for food and supplies, any money goes to paying for our bills, lights, heat, water.... " says Joy, the director of Clarke County Animal Shelter in Osceola, Iowa. "We house 11 cats in our adoption area! We house 12 dogs for adoption at one time! We work with rescues and shelters around us." 
Read the story of Ripley, as told by a volunteer:
Ripley came to us as a city stray and was found around the 400 block of N. Main St. in Osceola, Iowa. Sadly when he came to us he was in a very horrible condition that would make even the most strong of stomachs become squeamish. With fur so matted you couldn’t even tell for sure if he was a boy or a girl at first. The fur was covered in what we thought might be car oil grease as well as mud that made his smell very unpleasant. If you saw his feet they were covered with fecal download-2matter and the toe nails were starting to press into the pads of his feet, where they weren’t wrapped in hair that is.
By this point we were searching and searching for his owner, in hopes there could be some light shed on why this poor dog was in such a state. For all we know he had been missing quite some time and was never able to be caught before now. We really tried to find the owner, but this was with no avail. And the owner for Ripley never came forward to claim him, which in time meant he became a shelter dog. Once that happened Ripley was immediately set up to get a shave down to see how severe his problems really were under all the matted and mud covered fur.
Little did we know at that time what we had gotten ourselves into and what we would find under ever little patch of fur we shaved away from his body. After the first few passes we already could tell he had been this way for even longer then we had thought at first. His skin had red patches of irritation that came from lack of air being able to reach it as well as the fleas chewing away in the same area. When we got the body almost done we tried to work on his face some to help him be able to see a bit better. That is when we noticed that his ear had been split open by a tooth of another dog.
Soon after that we finished his shave down completely and we were able to find out he was an intact male Shih-tzu. It was hard to believe under all that matted mess that there was a cute little dog that always seemed to have a smile on his face. The fur that came off the dog filled up about half of a 10 gallon garage bag, that is a lot of fur from one little Shih-tzu.
Through all of this, Ripley never did lose the smile on his face. And because of this he was quickly adopted by a great and loving family that understood he had a rough life before them and came with a few quirks of his own.
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Calhoun County Canine Shelter - one of our rural Buddies

In June we're featuring rural Iowa shelters, spotlighting their lifesaving efforts on behalf of animals in their communities. First up is Calhoun County Canine Shelter. Not only do they keep local animals safe, they've also thought outside the box - or maybe inside the box - to help animals, and people. Read more below.
 Image result for calhoun county canine shelter
Calhoun County Canine Shelter is a small shelter that began for animal control about 20 yrs ago, as the county had no such program. The program has steadily grown to a small shelter that houses 5 or so dogs at a time. We have gotten several grants and done a few fundraisers and now have indoor/outdoor runs in a dedicated building and even have heated floors! The dogs can go outside as they choose or can stay indoors.
We started working with our local Correctional Facility about 10 years ago and used men who were trained by Leader Dogs for the Blind. When they didn’t have a leader dog they worked with shelter dogs! That not only helped with their skills in dog training but got our adoptable dogs trained and helped them make a better transition into a forever home! We have had many wonderful families and dogs come together this way! Now the Leader Dog program is no longer there and we are able to have about 5 dogs housed out there at one time for training. The dogs are able to stay with their handler until adopted. The men also gain from this program and have learned to give back to society and take great pride in the dogs they put out into families.

Learn more about Calhoun County Canine Shelter here.
Learn more about Leader Dogs for the Blind here.

 

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50 Ways to Help Homeless Animals

puppytHelp them stay out of the shelter in the first place!

  1. Spay and neuter (or fundraise for spay/neuter programs.)
  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.
    Use Your Talents!
  8. If you can sew, quilt, crochet, knit or even braid, make beds and blankets for homeless animals.
  9.  Good with a hammer and saw? Build a house for cats, paint a dog house or help create a canine obstacle course.
  10.  Offer to take flattering photos of adoptable pets.
  11. Invite your pals over for a cat scratch party. Gather carpet scraps and wood (or whatever tickles your cat fancy) and donate the results.

    1603e7_4536a06b3bd2411caf817ea846adc564Give Your Time

  12. 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
  13. Volunteer to walk, pet, read to or play with animals.
  14. Offer to clean kennels. It’s not fun, but someone has to do it. A clean environment makes for happier, healthier pets.
  15. Help train adoptable pups. A dog that already knows basic commands is going to the more desirable option for families!
  16. Spruce it up! Round up friends of coworkers and offer to have a makeover day. Clean, paint, show off your best handyperson skills.
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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.

    Collect Stuff

  20. Organize a drive in your school, job, church or neighborhood to collect pet food, blankets, and other supplies.
  21. Give a portion (or all) of the proceeds of your next yard or garage sale to your favorite group.
  22. Ask your employer if you can put out a collection jar. You can even have a competition between departments, floors or ‘friendly’ companies.
  23. See if your company does a match program. Many companies will match their employee’s cash donations – and sometimes time – to a nonprofit.
  24. Partner with a local restaurant to plan and host a ‘foodraiser’ where a percent of revenue, or tips, are donated.
  25. Some grocery stores (and Amazon) will give money to your favorite nonprofit when you shop with them. Does yours?
  26. 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.
  27. Fund raise 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.

    dogDo It From Home

  28. Foster a mama dog and her puppies. Nobody wants to have their babies in a scary shelter! Plus, puppies!
  29. Bottle feed newborn kittens. Sometimes these babies end up without their mom and they need a bit of extra care.
  30. Educate. 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.
  31. Distribute flyers for low-cost spay and neuter programs to residents in low-income neighborhoods.
  32. Challenge a senior community or church group to craft pet beds to donate to shelters.
  33. When you replace your gently used leash and collars, donate them.
  34. If you’re changing your bedroom décor, give old comforters and blankets to the animals.
  35. Gather all those single socks, fill them with empty plastic water bottles and give them to your local shelter. Dogs love to crunch them!

    Do It Online

  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
    Give From Your Heart
  39. A post with a lot of ‘likes’ is judged to be ‘valuable’ by Facebook’s algorithms so don’t feel bad liking!
  40. Every dollar counts. If you don’t have much in the way of extra funds, collect recyclables and return for cash, then donate.
  41. Save your change and every quarter convert it to bills to donate.
  42. 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.
  43. Buy BOGO Bowl and feed a homeless dog or cat without any extra time or cost on your part. Easy peasy!
  44. Support pet-friendly businesses. Many companies try to help by contributing items to fundraisers or collecting donations.
  45. Give an adoption gift certificate to a friend looking for a new pet!
  46. Sponsor a pet – especially an animal that will need to stay longer such as a senior or a medical case.

    Road Trip

  47. Drop off new water or food bowls.
  48. 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!
  49. You don’t have to drive long distances to help on transports. Some legs are just an hour or two!
    There’s even a group that transports dogs in privately-owned small planes. Have one?
    Money isn't everything
  50. Be a good role model. Show the world how animals should be treated. You never know who’s watching!

    And of course...Image result for dog in a shelter cage holding hand

  51. Well, duh. Adopt!
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