This month we are focused on the possibilities of shelter dogs. Too often people assume that shelter animals are ‘throwaway’ dogs with issues and health problems. That could not be further from the truth. We meet dogs all over the south who have landed in shelters through no fault of their own.
Right now, pretty much every shelter and rescue we know is struggling with too many animals and not enough adopters (or rescues that can pull dogs). This was caused by a perfect storm of issues brought on by the pandemic (read about that storm here.), but in nearly every case has nothing to do with the quality and potential of the dogs filling our shelters.
We love hearing the success stories of dogs we’ve met at shelters who have been there much too long. Nancy, cofounder of Waldo (and the talent behind all our great pictures) and I met because of one such dog. I fostered Edith and her litter of 12 tiny puppies (born on the morning of transport and arriving at my house with umbilitcal cords still attached!). Edith was heartworm positive, starving, pregnant and in a shelter with a Live Release Rate of just over 10% (yes that’s not a typo – the shelter regularly euthanized 90% of their animals). Nancy shares Edith’s incredible story later in this newsletter.
But Edith is just one story and I know there are thousands. If you’ve got a story about the possibilities of shelter dogs, send it to us (with pictures please!)- we’d love to share your story and inspire others to imagine a different future for a shelter dog.
There’s lots more in this newsletter – our upcoming online auction to fund our fall shelter tour, resources for shelters and rescues to use right now, fundraising ideas, and even some great tips for anyone who has a dog. I hope you enjoy it!
Three ways you can help Waldo help shelter dogs –
- We’d SO appreciate it if you’d leave us a review (click ‘share your experience with this organization’) at Great Nonprofits to help us earn our badge. Here’s the link: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/who-will-let-the-dogs-out
- You can donate an item for our upcoming online auction and/or share our auction donation link.
- We are co-sponsoring a work weekend at Saving Webster Dogs (with Tails of Hope and For Otis’ Sake) August 5-7. We need help purchasing supplies, vaccines, and dewormers; you can support us by donating to cover some of our expenses through our Facebook fundraiser or by donating through the website. We could still use a few more hands on deck. If you’d like to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all you do to help us solve the problem of so many adoptable dogs languishing in shelters and sometimes dying because people have failed them. We believe this problem is fixable. It doesn’t exist because people don’t care, but because too many people don’t know.
Thanks for helping us tell them.
Until Each One Has a Home,
Cara (and Nancy)
Our First Online Auction!
This will be our largest fundraiser for the year and we hope to generate enough funds for upcoming tours and for emergency shelter assistance. If you have any items to donate or know of any businesses willing to donate items, please contact us (email@example.com).
We are looking for a variety of items including gift baskets, gift cards, handmade items, services or entertainment experiences, really anything of value that may catch a bidders eye and is easy to ship! This online auction will be available to anyone across the US, so physical items must be able to be shipped. Etsy stores and online shops are ideal – and it’s a win-win because we’ll promote the business at the same time! If you have something to donate, upload info and pictures here.
Contact us today if you’d like to support us with a silent auctiondonationor know of any businesses willing to donate. Receipts for tax deductions will be available. We’ve already got a few items listed, you can see our auction here. The auction will be live September 6-September 16!
Dogs Playing For Life
One of the best resources we know for bringing out the possibilities in a shelter dog is Dogs Playing for Life. When we visit a shelter, we can tell pretty much instantly if that shelter utlizes play groups. Their dogs are calmer, quieter, less stressed. It shows in how they react to us when we tour the kennels, the way staff talk about each dog, and how quickly those animals are moving out via rescue groups and adopters (especially ones looking for a companion for the dog they have).
DPFL offers training and technical assistance through “Shelter Enrichment Seminars” and “Mentorships” to shelter personnel and volunteers to advance skills in handling and training. The website has a downloadable brochure about the program and a free 120-page training manual, plus free webinars. Often several shelters will join together and host a DPFL seminar for all the shleter and rescue groups in their area. Not only is it a way to help the dogs, it’s an opportunity to network and make connections that will ultimately save lives.
Glad Dogs Nation
Glad Dog Nation’s “SPEUTER AMERICA” initiative is developing innovative ideasto make spaying and neutering more appealing tothose whohave been toughest to convince.They work with shelters and rescues to generate excitementand provide incentives to participate. If you have a spay/neuter program that needs funding,click hereto complete a short form.
Glad Dog Nation also offers FREE toys for shelters and rescue groups! These toys are a combination of donated dog toysthat are sanitized and lightweight toys sewn by scout troops, kids, and other groups. Click this link to complete the form for free toys shipped directly to you!
Want more great ideas for fundraising, grants, volunteers, canine enrichment, humane education and more? Check out our Resource Guide on the website!
Create a ‘Possibilities of Rescue Dogs’ Calendar
You can highlight the fact the possibilities of shelter dogs AND raise money by creating a calendarfeaturing dogs adopted from your shelter with jobs: Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs, K-9 Dogs. If you don’t have enough stories, you can expand your featured dogs to include dogs who have changed their adopters lives in a positive way. Add facts and quotes that help educate about the possibilities of rescue dogs and/or can run a contest for pet owners to submit an entry in order for their pet to be featured (and charge for the submission).
You could also have a “photo contest” on Facebook for anyone interested in having their rescue dog who “works” in a Possibilities of a Rescue Dog calendar – include the dog’s day job.The 13 photos with the most votes win the opportunity to be in the calendar. Or use a theme like, “Love of a Rescue Dog” or “Talents of a Rescue Dog”.
Consider contacting local businesses to sponsor the project. Lots of online services make beautiful calendars. Waldo uses Printing Center USA for gorgeous glossy calendars at a reasonable price, but there are lots more options if you do your homework.
Shelter/Rescue of the Month
Big Dog Ranch
Big Dog Ranch really knows how to imagine shelter dogs in a new way. They have a full-scale training facility and dog training program for rescue dogs that are trained to be service animals for veterans suffering from PTSD. This service is free to veterans, and BDR has many fully-trained dogs that are waiting to be matched with deserving veterans. This program is for veterans from across the United States, and info can be found athttps://www.bdrr.org/veteran-dog-training.
PETCO LOVE FOUNDATION GRANTS FOR ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS: DUE AUGUST 30!
CONTACT PATTY LARSON, WALDO GRANTS ADVISOR, FOR ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE PREPARING YOUR GRANT REQUEST:firstname.lastname@example.org
As one of the nation’s largest funders of animal welfare causes, the Petco Foundation seeks to support organizations that continually endeavor to achieve a high standard of doing more and are determined to save as many lives as possible with our lifesaving investments.Decisions are not made, and funding is not allocated by purpose of funding or program type.We believe that leaders of effective organizations are best positioned to determine the animal needs in their communities. Funding decisions are based on your organization’s past effectiveness, and the likelihood that Petco’s investment will make a positive impact on saving animals’ lives in the future.
NOTE: PETCO FOUNDATION IS ONE OF THE FEW FOUNDATIONS THAT SUPPORT GOVERNMENT-FUNDED SHELTERS AND RESCUES.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE:
- Animal Control agencies & nonprofit organizations responsible for animal control sheltering.
- SPCA/humane societies and other nonprofits that operate primarily out of an animal sheltering facility.
- Non-profit organizations that are primarily foster-based rescues.
- NOTE:Organizations with yearly intake of less than 250 animals who are NOT Petco adoption partners arenot eligible at this time to applyfor this grant.Investments of $100,000 or more are considered Lifesaving Impact Awards*. Your organization must shelter a minimum of 2,500 animals in order to qualify for an award of this size.
Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
Are you a rockstar at fundraising? We are seeking creative individuals to join our fundraising team to execute various fundraising campaigns.
Want an easy but important role? Be a liaison between the shelters we have visited and us: Learn more about a shelter and help advocate for their needs all from your phone or computer.
From Throw Away to Therapy Dog in School
by Nancy Slattery
Edith was found as a stray, pregnant, heartworm positive, and very, very thin. Her broken teeth signaled some sort of escape. From what? We will never know. Despite her difficult past she continues to absolutely love every human and animal she meets. It was natural and easy for her to become a
registered therapy dog and work at Preschool with me several days a week. Sometimes all you need is someone to sit quietly and hold your hand.
We knew she would have a wonderful, calming effect on the children. We never considered how powerful her effect on the teachers would be! When Edith enters a classroom and the teacher pets her, you can feel the entire class seemingly take a deep breath. The stress level immediately is lowered. She seems to know which child will need her at meeting time, lying down directly behind them so they can lean on her or touch her and stay focused. It is amazing to watch her lie still for large groups of eager, tiny hands. She intuitively knows which children are wanting her attention and which need a little space.
We have introduced so many lessons on Edith days. From teaching how to safely interact with a dog, to how to care for them, to how to read and respond to non-verbal communication, there are seemingly endless ways to learn from a dog. I would love to see dogs in every school. The cultural changes we seek to bring about could be greatly influenced by showing children the value of a dog. The
next generation is the key. Awareness is the first step.
Amber’s Halfway Home
Produced in partnership withFarnival Films, our Emmy-nominated, award-winning short documentary tells the story of rescue in the dog pounds of western Tennessee.
To date, Amber’s Halfway Home has been nominated for an Emmy Award, selected for fifteen film festivals and won eight awards (including Best Short Documentary, Best Audio, Best Soundtrack, Audience Choice, and Best of Fest).
We hope you will watch it and share it with family and friends. Help us use this film as a vehicle for change.
Ask Waldo – Dog Tips!
If you’ve got a topic you’d like us to tackle, email us (email@example.com). Meanwhile, here’s a round-up of some great information on making the best life for your dog (and you)!
From one of our favorite sites that matches dogs and potential adopters via personality and needs instead of breed, How I Met My Dog’s blog is always full of great tips and information – a post about keeping safe and taking advantage of summer outings.
And how about a podcast from one of our favorites, Far Fetched, Trainer Crystal Dunn talks with groomer Becca Rainwater to dispel some of the most common Grooming Myths. (And if you like this episode, be sure to tune in Part Two that follows)
Who Will Let the Dogs Out