January/February 2023 Newsletter
WE’RE Letting the Dogs Out!
Notes from our Founder, Cara Achterberg
Three years ago, Nancy Slattery and I sat in a bar in Alabama, exhausted after another long drive and shelter visit. It was in that bar that we launched the idea of Who Will Let the Dogs Out and our mission to raise awareness and resources for homeless dogs and the heroes who fight for them.
During our shelter visits in the South, we’d seen many struggles but also some victories. We believed (and still do) that the homeless dog crisis was solvable. We planned to work our tails off (pun intended) so that in 10 years there would be no crisis. Our ultimate goal was to put ourselves out of business.
And with that goal in mind, the Who Will Let the Dogs Out Board agreed at our first 2023 meeting that we will focus on solutions. To reflect this additional objective, we’ve amended our mission:
The mission of Who Will Let the Dogs Out is to raise awareness, share solutions, and provide support for shelter dogs and the heroes who fight for them.
In support of our revised mission, this year we plan to:
- Raise awareness with a renewed focus on PR
- including a new website COMING SOON (thanks to the incredibly generous work of IMGE)
- increased effort to expand our reach and have a bigger impact utilizing dedicated PR volunteers (thanks to Kristine and Beth)
- develop our social media presence with a focus on Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube (and we need more volunteers)
- use of our gorgeous new wrapped vehicle (thanks to Max & Neo) on our shelter and rescue visits
- Share solutions by
- continuing to develop and expand our free online Resource Guide full of ideas, programs, practices, and grant opportunities
- reaching out to our partner shelters and rescues with assistance from our wonderful new grants advisor, Nicole
- utilizing our web of volunteer shelter liaisons (and recruit more) to gather ideas and innovations that are working
- working on the book, Who Will Let the Dogs Out, based on our travels to over 100 shelters, which will include an overview of the challenges shelters face and the solutions that work, plus our Resource Guide and a directory of organizations that aid shelters and communities
- To provide support, we will
- establish our Instagrant Program (thanks to a “grant to regrant” from the ASPCA and our donors) to provide immediate help in the form of training or resources that will directly impact a shelter’s ability to save lives
- travel to at least 50 shelters and rescue organizations to tell their stories and offer support for their work
- deliver donations and encourage online donations to our shelter and rescue partners
Please join us on our mission and goal to end the homeless dog crisis in the U.S. by donating to or volunteering with Who Will Let the Dogs Out. Your support will make a difference!
Until Each One Has A Home,
Cara (and Nancy)
P.S. In case you missed my post about our North Carolina shelter tour in mid-January, you can read it HERE During this tour, we hit the milestone of 100 Shelters visited!
How about them grants!
January/February is a great time of year to research upcoming grant opportunities, create an application timeline, and start gathering the materials required for animal shelter grant applications.
Some of the biggest animal shelter and rescue funders require that you first become a partner organization of their networks before you submit a grant application. It means more time and effort, which can be very difficult in a small organization. However, it can be worth generous grants that can make a huge difference for you!
Here are links to three of the animal shelter funders that require your registration as a partner before submitting a grant application:
Make sure to read the partner qualifications very carefully to determine if your organization meets the partner eligibility. If you do and once you’re registered as a partner, you can search for grants that best match your need and/or your program.
When you’re ready to fill out a grant application, check out the many grant writing resources and tips in WWLDO’s online resource guide. Reach out to us at info@WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org. Good luck!
In this YouTube video below, Cara interviews shelter volunteer, Merideth, and our grants advisor, Nicole, who offer ideas for how to get started on the grant process.
Need Fundraising Ideas?
Ever heard of a Valentine’s Tree? It is a great way to engage your organization’s supporters and allow them a way to remember the love of a current or former pet on the most “lovey” day of the year.
Find a (not too tall!) tree (or use that fake Christmas tree before you store it for next year) and invite people to purchase “hearts” to hang from it. The pet owner can decorate the hearts and donate to your organization to honor their pets, whether living or deceased.
You can also do this virtually and create the hearts yourself from items that a pet owner sends you. Then you can do a short Facebook live (or on other social media) to show the hanging of the heart on the tree. Decorate the tree with the hearts, lights, and roses for a Valentine’s day look.
Get your local newspaper to cover this event to engage your local community. Be creative with your campaign! Engage schools, community groups, and businesses to promote their doggie Valentine. And afterwards, let us at WWLDO know all about it!
Have you ever heard of CUDDLY? Cara was a guest on their podcast to talk about Who Will Let the Dogs Out. You can listen to that episode here. CUDDLY is a FREE fundraising, wishlist, and email marketing platform solely dedicated to helping non-profit animal welfare organizations raise donations for the medical animals in their care. By partnering with CUDDLY, your organization can ask for monetary and wishlist donations in one place, tap into new donor communities, have access to free email marketing tools, receive one-on-one personal fundraising support, and have access to free advertisements and promotions for your fundraisers. You can visit cuddly.com/register or email them at email@example.com.
Partner Highlight: Max & Neo
Max & Neo gives away high-quality dog supplies to rescues and shelters. Is your organization registered to receive your 3-times-a-year FREE boxes? Click here to check. Note: Municipal shelters that are not 501(c)(3) organizations but are working to save lives DO qualify. We are super proud to partner with Max & Neo who donated our rescue vehicle and fill it with supplies to give out on each tour! Rescues and shelters can get additional donated items by joining the Rescue Ambassador Program. Read about it here!
Connect with & share WWLDO!
How to Support WWLDO
You can also mail a check to ‘Who Will Let the Dogs Out’ at 128 W. High St, Woodstock, VA 22664
Until Each One Has A Home