Shelter Tour Wrap Up: Where We Went and What We Learned

Shelter Tour Wrap Up: Where We Went and What We Learned

Every time we go to the shelters, I learn something. This time was no different. We’ve been to over 80 shelters now, so you’d think they would all look alike. In a few ways (dogs in need, incredible people) they are, but in so many ways they are unique.

One of the projects we are working on is creating a Resource Guide for shelters and rescues (and volunteers and advocates). This guide, which is its own tab on our website, is where we collect ideas about grants, fundraising, shelter practices, volunteers, fosters, advocacy, enrichment, education, and pretty much any kind of resource that will help shelters and rescues save more animals.

The guide is changing almost daily as we add new ideas. After this tour, I’ve got a dozen new things to add to it at least. Ideas also come in via our shelter liaisons who monitor our shelter partners and share their ideas/projects/successes, so that others can learn from them. As a wise person once told me – “Copying is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Because often pictures speak louder than words, so we created a video on our YouTube channel that is a Shelter Tour Wrap-Up with information and pictures of the places we visited on this tour. We drove over 2,000 miles, and visited seven shelters in six states. There were lots of stories, and I will share those with you over the next few months, but for now, this video will give you a taste of what we saw and learned:

If you’d like to get involved, we have lots of volunteer opportunities. Fill out our volunteer form or send your questions/interests to whowillletthedogsout@gmail.com. We are already raising money for our next shelter tour, we’d love to have your support.

Until each one has a home,

Cara

Please help us raise awareness by subscribing (button on right side) and sharing this blog. You can also keep track of us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and now Tik Tok!

The mission of Who Will Let the Dogs Out (we call it Waldo for short) is to raise awareness and resources for homeless dogs and the heroes who fight for them.

You can learn more about what is happening in our southern shelters and rescues in the book, One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (Pegasus Books, 2020). It’s the story of a challenging foster dog who inspired me to travel south to find out where all the dogs were coming from. It tells the story of how Who Will Let the Dogs Out began. Find it anywhere books are sold. A portion of the proceeds of every book sold go to help unwanted animals in the south.

Amber’s Halfway Home  is our short documentary film produced in partnership with Farnival Films. It follows the work of a remarkable woman and one day of rescue in western Tennessee. Selected for sixteen film festivals (to date), it’s won eight awards (including Best Short Doc, Best Soundtrack, Best of Fest, and Audience Choice), and was nominated for an Emmy! It is a beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring story we hope will compel viewers to work for change. Please watch it and share it far and wide.

For more information on any of our projects, to talk about rescue in your neck of the woods, or become a Waldo volunteer, please email whowillletthedogsout@gmail.com or carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

Count Down to Shelter Tour

Count Down to Shelter Tour

A week from now we will be on shelter tour, hitting seven shelters in six states.

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Off We Go on Shelter Tour!

Off We Go on Shelter Tour!

We leave for our shelter tour in two days. As always, I’m excited but nervous and slightly overwhelmed. There are so many details, so many new people, new places, and hundreds of miles to drive.

Often when I reach out to a shelter director or Animal Control officer about a possible visit, they are skeptical. Some outright ignore my emails or don’t return my calls.

I get it. I do.

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Uncomfortable Conversation

Uncomfortable Conversation

Okay, let’s talk about something that’s super uncomfortable for me….

Money.

I try hard to keep it in perspective.

When my husband and I have to spend large sums of money on something truly un-fun or unexpected but necessary like a car or home repair, or we make a stupid mistake and waste money, or one of our kids costs us some serious dough, I always say, “It’s just money. That’s why we have it.”

I work hard to pinch pennies and cook in and shop smart. I’m all about the use-it-up, make-do, don’t-waste-a-bit. ‘Shopping’ as an outing is one of my least favorite things to do. Money, for me, is a means to an end.

Or a necessary evil. It can do so much good, and it can also create a ton of stress.

One of the reasons we formally organized our work with Who Will Let the Dogs Out was to allow us to raise money to not only help the rescues and shelters we visit, but also so that Nancy and I could stop funding our shelter tours out of our own savings.

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