Monday, January 31, 2011

100 Dogs Killed After Tourists Go Home

My heart is heavy. My soul hurts. My mind is full of questions. My voice is at ready to rail against injustice. When it comes to including animals in our entertainment venues, we humans have never considered much on the impact it might have on them. Oh, sure, we talk endlessly about humane care and maintenance, and quality of life is batted about endlessly in discussions; but looking at the whole forest, instead of single trees, hasn't been our strong-suit. And yet, so often we hear of horrible consequences, sad endings, unintended suffering, all caused specifically by, or as a result of, our use of these animals purely for our entertainment.

Sometimes I wish we, as a society, would follow the lead of the Native American Indian, and other indigenous people from around the world, who seemed to have a solid respect for nature and all within it. To "use" an animal would only be morally okay if one needed it for survival - for food, warmth, shelter. And at that, to use the entire being; not to waste or use carelessly by only a portion, discarding the rest. But I realize that's not the reality of our world. And I realize there are plenty of people who believe our entertainment warrants enough priority to allow for the use of animals.

One of the main discussions that have been going on in recent weeks has been over the use of the word "euthanasia", and the question of whether it is a euphemism shielding us from the awful truths of the killing that goes on in shelters to rid them of "excess" animals. Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me began the current conversation; posing her question about our use of the word; Kim Clune continued it on her blog, This One Wild Life. The conversation is highly-charged, and surely far from over.

Let me make myself clear upfront here: I believe euthanasia is the humane, caring and considerate ending of a life appropriate for an ill, suffering, dying being. I would even support it for humans, if there was a way to incorporate that successfully into our society. I do not believe what goes on in shelters, or as I'm about to describe in other places, can be included in the category of euthanasia. To refer to the ending of lives at a shelter - determined to be necessary because economically, physically, practically the shelter cannot sustain the number of animals it has - to me, is about the furthest thing from euthanasia. It is killing. Just as there are different terms for the action of ending a human life in our legal system, whether it be voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, murder, war or even suicide - the intentions and the means of killing animals in our society must also be properly designated.

On to the story. Last spring, when all the hooplah and hurrah died down after the Winter Olympics were held in British Columbia, Canada, 100 dogs died as well. With a cadre of 300 sled dogs, a company had amassed what apparently was an additional population specifically for the big tourist invasion expected with the arrival of the Olympics. Afterward, there were too many dogs. An employee of a company charged with the duty of doing something about these dogs went out and literally shot 100 of them to death. Mind you, shooting an animal is legal where this occurred; the only stipulation is that death is immediate. It is done by farmers or ranchers, and although usually done for humane purposes, it is nonetheless legal.

The man who shot and killed the dogs ended up requiring services for his resulting PTSD from the event. It's no surprise someone would suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after such an ordeal, particularly when you learn the details. Apparently these were not all "clean shots", causing the dogs to immediately fall to the ground dead. Details include the dog whose cheek was blown off, eyeball hanging out, still running. The man had been dumping the bodies into a mass grave; he turned to see a dog struggling to climb out of it, obviously not dead (yet). For those that did not die from the gunshot wounds, this man then went and slit their throats. I can only imagine (and lord knows I wish I didn't have an imagination!) the horrendous, bloody, gut-wrenching sight this place must have been.

The SPCA has now gotten involved, researching as to whether or not any of the dogs suffered during this incident, whether some were tormented by a slow, painful death. It's looking pretty definite their results will be positive on that one. The man himself has not only admitted to killing the dogs, but also has relayed the details of the ones who suffered during the ordeal. The man may be charged. Honestly, I think going after him is losing sight of the picture; this man is an employee of a company, he was trying to do what he'd been ordered to do, and without the resources and support he needed to do so in any other way. He has stated that he had tried to get the dogs adopted. This may sound flimsy, until you learn that sled dogs are very difficult to adopt; they are bred and raised in an entirely different manor than what would work in a home as a pet. They are pack members, will go after smaller prey (like a cat!), and require enormous amounts of high-level exercise.

What about the company that ran the dog sledding business? Obviously, they made their profits off the Olympics, and now that they no longer needed the dogs, where were they? According to their company spokesman, the company had offered assistance to this employee, including euthanasia (note: this term was used by them to refer to shooting deaths). Forgive me for doubting the validity of their defense; between their vague response, and a man's now-mortally wounded soul as evidence he has a heart, I'm seeing discrepancies here.

The bottom line? Dog sledding is big in Canada, and makes for huge entertainment and profits by those who provide it to the general public. These dogs were apparently nothing but commodities, to be used and then discarded when no longer needed. The tourists had long gone back home, unaware of the fate of the dogs they'd enjoyed watching. And now the company may get a slap on the wrist, and who knows what punishment the employee may receive. There is something wrong with this forest.

100 Sled Dogs Killed In British Columbia Due To Slump In Tourism

Recalls: Merrick Petcare's Jr. Texas Taffy Treats & Manno Pro's Horse Feed

There are two recalls of note, issued by FDA today; Merrick Petcare Jr. Texas Taffy Pet Treats, and Manno Pro's Family Farm 10 Horse Feed.

Merrick Pet Care, Inc. is recalling Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats item #27077, UPC #02280827077 (for lots up through #10364). The product may be contaminated with Salmonella, which can infect both pets and humans.

For pets: Salmonella infection can cause lethargy, diarrhea, fever and vomiting. For some, only some of these symptoms may occur, or they may have a decreased appetite or refusal to eat. If any possibility of infection, contact veterinarian.

For humans: Infection can cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Although usually self-limiting infection, Salmonella can lead to more serious complications; if any possibility of infection, contact your physician.

It is important that you use care when handling any pet food or treats, as there is a risk of exposure. Please note also that Salmonella is an infection which can be transmitted, those who have been exposed to it may be carriers. Should you have any of these products currently, discontinue use immediately, and dispose of them safely.

If you have purchased the affected treats, you may return whatever product you have left to your place of purchase for a full refund.

Should you have any questions, you may contact Merrick Pet Care at 1-800-664-7387.

For those with horses, please be advised Manna Pro Products, LLC is voluntarily recalling Lot #1006 of their Family Farm Complete Horse 10 horse feed. UPC#0 95668 90151 6, ("Made 010611W") in a 40lb package, is being recalled because it may contain monensin sodium, also known as Rumensin. Monensin sodium is a medication approved for some livestock and poultry uses, but can be deadly to horses should they receive a substantial amount.

No illnesses or deaths have been reported; however, due to the presence of a significant amount found in testing of this lot, the recall has been issued and it is recommended that you immediately stop using this product.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Steve Dale and Pet World

Steve Dale is something of a legend in the Chicago area; not that awareness of the man is only local, though. He has written "DogGone Chicago: Sniffing Out the Best Places to Take Your Best Friend" and "American Zoos", been quoted in major newspapers and magazines, and is a contributing editor for both USA Weekend and Cat Fancy. Steve is on the Board of Directors for Winn Feline Foundation, CATalyst Council, American Humane Society, as well as Tree House Humane Society of Chicago. He has been awarded numerous awards, and in 2001 received the AVMA Humane Award, as well as the Syndicated Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year.

Dale is a certified animal behavior consultant, whose knowledge and opinions are sought throughout the world. In Chicago, he writes a syndicated column, "Steve Dale's Pet World", is the host of radio shows "Steve Dale's Pet World" and "The Pet Minute", and has appeared on all major Chicago television stations. His love of animals, passion for animal welfare and his dedication to all things animal leave you with quite an impression. In Chicago, he rose to become the voice for animals and pet owners through his work on WGN radio, and television. Interviewing and meeting with celebrities, politicians, experts, authors and pets, Dale initiated many needed crucial reforms and reversals. At times he was extremely influential in drafting or instigating legal approaches or opinions; examples are his work on breed bans, dog parks, the inanity of taxing rabies vaccines, acceptance of service dogs by taxicabs and hotels, mandatory spay/neuter issues, and the validity of TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) programs - to name a few.

Steve Dale worked with the Winn Feline Foundation to establish Ricky's Fund, to gather funding for research on HCM (hypertrophic myocardiopathy) in cats, in honor of his beloved cat who died from the genetic disease. He helped found the CATalyst Council. He founded and co-chairs Alderman Gene Schulter's City of Chicago's Task Force on Companion Animals and Public Safety, as well as serving on many other committees. Over the years, Dale was involved with current events as they unfolded; 9/11 and the dogs involved, Hurricane Katrina with not only all the pets affected but also breaking the story about what happened to the dogs that were shot and killed after people were told to leave them behind at St. Bernard High School in New Orleans, and conversations heartily disagreeing with the practices of the well-known dog behaviorist, Cesar Milan, again to name a few.

Dale currently writes his Pet World column via Chicago Now, which can also be accessed also through his Facebook page,  Steve Dale. It was thanks in part to Steve Dale that the city of Chicago took a tougher stance on dog fighting/ He was on hand during the signing with Chicago's Mayor Daley, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn last fall of stronger enforcements, which led directly to the results of the dog fighting bust detailed here in From Dart to AWL. There's no question, animals' lives have been made better thanks to a man by the name of Steve Dale.

In his words: "I really believe if we treat our pets better, one day we will learn to treat one another better." *

*Farewell from Pet Central Show
 Steve Dale's Pet World/About

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Found Chicago and the Three R's

Found, in Chicago, is a rescue organization with an interesting history, including something of an accidental beginning. Perhaps it would more appropriately be described as a canine-induced initiative. Michael Heltzer, founder and president, was looking to sell the manufacturing property from his just-sold successful furniture design business in 2006, when one of his two dogs who lived on the premises became seriously ill. He rushed the dog to the vet, and the dog thankfully recovered. From this experience, he began to think instead of a use for the facility that would benefit dogs, and the Stay boarding and daycare hotel was conceived. Now the largest boarding and daycare center in the area, Stay is a place I'd like to stay at!

By last year, Stay had become an impressive center, complete with training, temperament testing, on-premises veterinary care and treatment, and a growing base of knowledge and experience in assisting dogs with behavioral and medical issues. When the building next door went up for sale, Heltzer took it on to expand the services, finally able to establish an area for animals in need. Knowing that in 2009 alone 10,000 dogs had been killed in Chicago, purely for behavioral or medical reasons - all of which were treatable - Found was initiated to rescue those who would otherwise be put down for non-life-threatening reasons.

Found operates on a mission basis of three R's:  Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rehome. The organization takes in animals in need of behavioral or medical treatment, works with them and gets to know them well. Once the animals are stable, they are available for adoption. Adopters have the benefit of knowing the particulars of each pet, and educated on how to help them and to incorporate them into their own homes. Does the training stop with Found? No, says Heltzer; being in a new environment requires training again, or on a continual basis. The organization seeks not only to rescue and rehome animals, but also to provide a solid future for these pets, diminishing future issues by addressing them upfront, These animals are saved from death row, given the opportunity to be the spirits they really are, and offered the dream of forever homes.

Found works with the community as well; the organization provides a pet pantry for local community members in need, and offers educational and informative assistance to further the cause of bright futures for pets in the area. The new facility opens this year; In addition to Stay, the hotel, there is also Animal Ark Vet Clinic to provide orthopedic and alternative treatment, grooming and training services and the Found center for rescue and rehab. Incorporating some  of the latest ideas of best business practices and housing protocols, Found provides glass-walled suites for the animals that temporarily live there. It is a 501c3 no-kill organization; unless a pet is in extreme pain and at death's door, there is no euthanasia.

Rescuing animals that would otherwise be senselessly destroyed, rehabilitating them through behavioral techniques, training and state-of-the-art equipment, and then rehoming them into permanent homes that are equipped with the information they need to sustain their relationship with the pet - these are the pillars of Found in Chicago. Michael Heltzer has been busy doing good for animals!

Puppies and a Cat

Amazing how many puppies are held at bay by the mere glance of one cat!

Happy Caturday!

And now on to the famous Saturday Pet Blogger Hop - enjoy!
Brought to you by Life with Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and  Confessions of the Plume -

Friday, January 28, 2011

Live From Atop the Sears Tower

There's something in the air...a change, an unusually direct wind blowing, an energy that's hard to resist...and it's in the form of a voice. Ever hear of Blog Talk Radio? Ever listen to a program on it? Well, I'm here to tell you it would be a great idea if you did, you'll be glad you did -
and you'll enjoy it, too!

The voice belongs to Joshua-Paul Angell, of The Joshua-Paul Show. His show is an eclectic mix of politics, fashion, "unexplained phenomena" (Josh is a Spirit Medium himself), and of course - pet rescue and adoption. You see, Josh loves pets, cares about homeless animals, and volunteers his valuable time and energies with the Almost Home Foundation. Get this: all of the proceeds from his show go directly to the foundation, to care for the animals. How's that for dedication? Need any other reason to listen to his show??

Joshua-Paul Angell is a fascinating Person-to-Know. He is a man of many talents and interests. He is an artist and photographer; an activist who doesn't shy away from the subjects and opinions he holds dear; a Spirit Medium; a fashion designer for celebrities; former reporter, nurse...and hugely involved with the animal welfare world. His previous experience affords a guaranteed intelligent conversation on subjects the likes of relationships and drug addictions, hot topics of great interest and concern for young adults, music and great entertainers, animal rescue and adoption - and even psychic readings. This week he has interviewed Kelly Tome, of Love Paws (a great animal rescue community resource), Tanya Gates (psychic, live readings) and Michele  Tyler, of Bella Donna - A Tribute to Stevie Nicks...combined with some surprisingly good Indie music (when I hear that term, I assume it's gonna be some funky, over-the-top stuff!) ... Sound intriguing?

For anyone who has a blog, website, Facebook page - JP is offering a button and link directly to the show, including replays if you choose - for free. You can access the code at his Facebook Notes page. Now you can offer your friends something interesting to listen to, as well as what they're viewing! I put the button on my blog in about two seconds flat - easy-peasy!! And remember, every cent earned from clicks to the show, even for the archived ones, goes straight to help rescue animals. It just doesn't get any better than this. And entertainment doesn't get any better than Joshua-Paul Angell's show!

Check out Joshua-Paul Angell :
"like", fan and follow him at

Get the link or button -
Facebook Notes

And...follow him on his blog - he'll follow back!
The Joshua-Paul Show


Congratulations on Your Newest Little One

Perhaps even more special than special adopters - those who go the distance for homeless pets - are adopters who are also parents. Parents who adopt rescued animals not only provide a new pet for their children, they teach them invaluable lessons in the process. These children will eventually grow up to become wonderful, knowledgeable adults who may, in turn, choose to be special adopters themselves.

When people make the choice to adopt a rescue animal, they don't just walk into a store and purchase a cute puppy. Taking the time, effort, perhaps even driving a distance to visit a shelter or adoption event, these future pet parents very often choose carefully on the pet they will bring home.

They discuss the animals, and the particular traits and needs of these animals, with an adoption counselor. They fill out forms that help the counselors determine if they and a particular animal would be best fit for each other. And they don't mind these few extra steps in the process of selecting and bringing home their new pet, because they understand and have a respect for the importance of it all.

These adopters bring their children with them for this important occasion, including them in the process of making a sound choice. By doing so, they demonstrate patience, tolerance and respect. Before the pet even goes home with them, these lucky children are already learning some of life's biggest lessons.

Once home, the adoptive family spends time with the pet, each getting to know the other and learning to live together. Anyone who has ever spent any time with rescued pets knows, these animals have a special appreciation for people who care about them and provide for them. There is a palpable gratitude that eminates from a pet whose life was once insecure, and the usual unconditional love given by animals is only magnified. Imagine what experiencing this might mean for a child!

To do right by an animal, to do something good = wonderful love and appreciation from the animal in return. These are children who learn, through their parents' actions, that if we behave in a positive way toward our earth, nature, our fellow creatures - positive things flow back to us. They witness firsthand how we can make the world a better place.

When parents choose to adopt a homeless animal, they not only save that pet and provide a future for them; they also provide a solid foundation for their children, and a blueprint for the future. What a beautiful gift for us all!

Oscar and Precious
Precious and Oscar were adopted by a terrific family. Mere kittens, yet already bonded with each other, this family accepted both into their home to keep them together. The kittens grew along with the children; both kittens and children have been playmates and comforting friends for each other.

Dad now volunteers his time with the rescue group the kittens were rescued by; his son has an avid interest in, and is looking forward to, working with animals some day himself. Oscar and Precious are two very lucky, happy kitties in a loving home - with a very happy ending to their stories!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Forever Hearts

So...a dog or cat (or a bunny or a gerbil or fill-in-the-blank) was found, taken in to be cared for under a rescue organization's protective wing, even lovingly seen to by a foster home. Now along comes someone who would love to take them into their own home - for good. A forever home. A forever family. We call it that because, as we all know with animals - love and commitment are forever. Animals don't love or appreciate part-way; they don't hang around for a bit, then decide they don't like you anymore. Animals are forever. And an adopter is now going to love an animal forever. Though in physical presence until the bridge parts them temporarily, they will always be united.

Adopters are very important people. Certain adopters are even more special. These adopters choose their pets from places that have many animals in need, and they aren't interested in making the almighty buck off of them. They care not whether the pup has papers or a pedigree; these are not people who judge a book by its cover. They make an effort - to visit shelters and rescue organizations, to find one animal that seems to want them as much as they want the animal. The bond begins. And one less homeless animal can be counted in this crazy, oft-times cruel world. Adopters are saviors; big hearts that know where to find the golden hearts, true animal lovers without question.

One really monumental way you can do something positive for animals and their welfare is to adopt one in need. You may only be bringing home one dog or cat or bunny....but the entire animal kingdom surely appreciates you for it. And to that one pet - it means the world. To take into your home and love forever one animal, you make a deposit in this world of living things that reaps rewards beyond anything else. What you give is returned to you many times over. It is the way of nature. It is the universe sending back to you the positive you have put out. It is a good thing. Good things come to good people.

I have fostered many; I have loved them as my own pets and felt a loss when they left our home. Yet, for each and every one of them, I have met new, wonderful people with big hearts and open arms. These people, the special adopters, now share their homes and their love with animals who once faced uncertain or horrible futures. The animals are cared for, loved - and have bright futures ahead of them. Rescues, shelters, volunteers, fosters - all are important in the process - but ultimately, what is most important and to be celebrated, are the adopters. The crucial link to health and happiness for once-lost or once-threatened animals is the loving home that will take them forever.

Adopters rock!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Great Animal Lovers

Woohoo! Our rescue that we volunteer for, Almost Home Foundation, is featured in yesterday's edition of I Love Rescue Animals!

Day 24: Almost Home Foundation
I Love Rescue Animals, Day#24
Ashley and Nikki are the founders of the site, and have pledged to highlight one animal group each day throughout this year. Their goal is to raise awareness of all that people are doing on behalf of animals, and to encourage everyone to get involved. Yes, they have a 365 day project, too! Theirs is better; each day, Ashley models the shirt of a group or organization that works on behalf of our beloved creatures. Nikki and I agree; Ashley looks fabulous in this shirt!

We've covered each of these wonderful pet rescue promoters here before - this year's project by I Love Rescue Animals, and the rescue group, Almost Home Foundation. Both work to make the lives of homeless animals better, and both deserve all the support we can offer them!

Thank you, Ashley and Nikki, for your dedication to pets everywhere! And thank you, too, for highlighting our own rescue organization.
Yes...we love rescue animals!

Now...go check out the article! You can see some other great organizations and efforts while you're there, too! I Love Rescue Animals And send them a shirt if you have an organization you support!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Alley Cat Allies

Being pet lovers seems to go hand-in-hand with being animal lovers in general. And as animal lovers, we want the best life afforded to each and every one of them. This holds true, too, for cats who are not someone's pet. Whether they're the "big" variety that most of us have seen in zoos and admired images of, or the smaller ones residing outdoors without a home to speak of - we value their lives and the uniqueness of their kind. Feral cats, or cats that have not been socialized to live indoors with people, are part of that group.

 For decades now, ferals have had a strong advocate on their behalf - Alley Cat Allies. The organization was conceived in 1990 by two women who were dedicated to the idea that strays and ferals should be treated as humanely as those living in homes with families. The organization grew; with providing education and documented information, as well as spreading the word that there are alternative ways to managing situations with these cats than just killing them, feral cats all over are now closer to having the freedom to live out their lives where they are most comfortable - outdoors. As an avid advocate of all cats, Alley Cat Allies has promoted many causes that affect the lives and health of cats, and its message is spreading globally. In its short time, it can be credited with having changed the attitudes and solutions of many feline issues, in favor of cats, and paved the way for communities to treat the feral cats within their boundaries with respect and appreciation.

There is much you yourself can do to help feral cats  - you can become "an ally", sign up for newsletters and alerts from the organization to stay up to date on current and evolving issues; become a colony caretaker of ferals in your area; volunteer with a local feral group or to assist with TNR when needed; advocate for more humane treatment of feral cats, or cats in general, in your local laws and ordinances, local shelters; spread awareness of the ways we can improve the lives of these cats, and spread the word on current issues; and of course, you can donate to worthy causes.

By advocating for humane treatment, promoting reasonable and sustainable alternatives, and providing educational resources, Alley Cat Allies has made an indelible and vital difference in the lives of cats everywhere, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. While not all cats found outdoors could be classified as truly feral, the ones that are have had an organization fighting for and speaking on behalf of them for two decades now. And there is hope for those that are living in areas not yet enlightened on just how wonderful life can be for their communities if they would only just consider humane alternatives.

View Alley Cat Allies Milestones Project, for a summary of accomplishments over the past 20 years.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kitties Outside

I don't know about how it is over in your neck of the woods...but it's been FRIZZIN' here!! As in icy-cold, paw-stickin'-to-the-snow, frigid and freezin' - frizzin'!! Now, I'm no husky; I like my snuggies and the corner of the couch with the pillows for extra space to store some heat (and bones).
But when I look out the window, I sometimes see a kitty out there. There are two in our neighborhood, they don't have a home of their own and they're afraid of people. So no one can get close enough to them to bring them inside. And I've invited them to come in by me a gajillion times, but they just give me a weird look and walk away. I even told them about how we could play. How are they keeping warm out there??

I asked Mom about this, and she said that there are nice people down the street who make sure there is lots of food and water for the kitties. But what about this frizzin' weather?? Well, Mom said that the kitties are smart (hey, I'm a dog - I know they're not as smart as me!) and that they know how to find places to rest where the wind doesn't howl through their ears. I don't know about this. I would think it would still be too cold out there for more than a little, itty-bitty walkie. But I'm no cat.
Instructions and More Ideas - Pact Humane Society
Mom showed me some pictures of little hidey-holes that people make or buy for the kitties to keep warm in. They're pretty cool, I want one of those to play forts! The kitties can play hide-and-seek in them, and stay safe from the big animals who aren't so nice to them. So they're safer, and warmer, and have a place to sleep. That sounds pretty good. You can see some different ideas here from Alley Cat Allies.

I'm glad for the good people who give the kitties some food. I would give them some of mine, but...well, no I wouldn't. I like eating it too much. BOL Hey, I'm honest! Mom says there are lots of people who do what they can to take care of the animals that are outside. That's nice to know, 'cause I have suspicions that there are more kitties out in the cold besides the ones by my house. By the way, when's the last time you came across a doggy who wouldn't come in your house to get warm and eat food? I rest my case. Dogs are smarter.

Do you take care of kitties that are outside? What do you do? How do they keep warm?
Oh, and ask them if they want to come play with me.

CindyLu ^'..'^

image source: Dreamstime; by Gary Auerback

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It Works

Ask the city of Duluth, Minnesota. Adoption and Spay/Neuter programs - work. The results of increased emphasis in both areas - by the combined efforts of the Animal Allies Humane Society, the Northland Spay and Neuter Clinic, and even the city's shelter - in what has been called the Campaign for Zero, are in. Duluth has now been named as one of the top five safest cities in the country for homeless pets. Why? In 2010, the city's shelters achieved their goal of zero euthanasias involving (healthy) shelter pets; this is an incredible, exciting time!

The rate of adoptions in 2010 increased by 10%, while at the same time, the clinic performed an average of 26 spays and neuters each day. The campaign included donations from maurices, which helped with expenses by donating $10,000 and then also offering the backing of a special adoption promotion, to help offset the lowering of adoption fees and make adoption more attainable for more people.  A mere five years ago, the shelters euthanized 700 animals in 2005, even though most were in good health. This past year, 217 were euthanized - and none of those were healthy.  Alongside the steep drop in euthanasias, adoptions of homeless pets increased by 10% in the last year alone, and the number of pets saved during the past five years increased from 68% to 92%. That translates to more pets saved, less pets put down needlessly, and more pets in their forever homes. In addition, hundreds more pets neutered, reducing future possibilities of unwanted pets.

Despite the current economic climate and nightmarish stories from shelters all over the country about foreclosure pets and unfortunate pets doomed to the streets for lack of their owners ability to care for them  now, Duluth has proven that if we concentrate on adoption, in addition to controlling new influxes of homeless by providing spay/neuter services, we can make a difference in the lives of homeless pets. And shelter pets need not be put down simply because there are so many. This city is no different than any other, they just made a commitment to pursue the logical management and solution of homeless pets. Great job, Duluth!

Northland's News Center
Twin Ports

Saturday Giggle

I hope this gives you the chuckle it gave me -
funny pictures - Rutgar farted once more, moving him a little farther. He was on to something, here.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Have a fun and happy Weekend!

Thanks to our hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume, it's Saturday Pet Blog Hop time! Enjoy the reads...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pet Blog Directory

Love dogs? Lucky enough to share your life with dogs? is a great destination for you, then. It's a site chock-full of all things doggy. My kind of site! BOL All kinds of information, right at your fingertips, to save you money, save you time, save you effort - it's all included in this site, and more!

Of course, my favorite part is the Pet Blog Directory; in it you will find ME! If you're a blogger, head on over and become a member of the directory. Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the humans behind the site, working hard to offer tips and help for doggy people. They're doing a great job of that! If you love to read about dogs (and what better thing is there, except maybe spending time with one?) then this newly-created directory is a must to bookmark. And of course, it's imperative that you go see how great I look in it! Just kidding. Kinda.

Thanks to Dogtipper, our humans can take good care of us, AND read all about us, too!

CindyLu ^'..'^

100 Followers, and An Award!!

So, yesterday we hit a real milestone here - 100 followers on Google! There was a time, not so very long ago for sure, that a number like that seemed impossible for this lil' ol' blog. What's even more amazing, the very same day that my 100th follower joined us, I joined HER BLOG - as the 200th follower!! Not kidding! And all I can say is...synchronicity.
According to the World English Dictionary, synchronicity is
"an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated"...
Now, Wendy's joining our group of friends caused me to wander on over and check out hers, but there's no way we could manipulate the numbers! Is this cool, or what?!!

And here's another cool thing...
In honor of having become her 200th follower (and according to CindyLu really because Wendy loves CindyLu) we've been honored with our very first AWARD!!
Thank you, Wendy aka Quillfeather!
Is this beautiful, or what?! Wendy even framed it herself. We are so proud here. And thrilled to get to know this awesome writer! We recommend you visit her cave; she's an aspiring children's author who LOVES ANIMALS! Our kind of lady! The bonus - you'll get to make friends with someone from New Zealand. Now that's the global wonder of the internet at its best. all our friends, readers, followers - THANK YOU. Thank you for your support and encouragement, for your friendship and kind words, for being a part of our online family here. And thank you, Wendy, aka Quillfeather, for bestowing such a gracious award upon us. I'm going to go now, before I start getting really mushy about it all...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Heart Pal-pitations...

I am sooo jealous - just look at all the fans my hero gets! Why am I not standing there beside him? Tell me, people!! (You can't blame me, he is such a hunk! BOL)

I love you, Bo!!
Cindy Lu xoxo

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Room for One More

Although not all the available pets that have been mentioned in this blog spent Christmas night lounging under the lights of their own tree or at the feet of their new humans, the ones that we know of were at least in a home; pets who are waiting to be adopted through the organization we volunteer with are taken into foster homes. This is a practice that you might find with many rescues. These temporary homes serve to provide a pet with a stable and loving environment, offer an opportunity for much one-on-one interaction with the pet, and also enable a better understanding of the the pet's particular personality, behavior, and needs.

Ella, adopted
Foster homes are truly beneficial for animals waiting for adoption; what may be even more beneficial is what these pets bring to their fosters' homes. There is possibly nothing more rewarding than the grateful adoration and love of a homeless pet. Seriously, anyone who has ever fostered, or adopted, can tell you these animals literally display a sense of gratitude and appreciation. Perhaps we underestimate the emotions and abilities of animals, those creatures who we, as humans, deem ourselves to be superior to. One example is the non-human ability to forgive and forget, which can be found regularly with animals who have previously suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of the humans in their life at that time. If only we two-legged, "superior" creatures would just take a lesson or two from these wonderful animals!

Taking an animal into your home on a temporary basis, caring for it and ensuring physical and emotional needs are met - as well as paying attention to any particulars that might characterize this one as in need of a particular environment or certain type of people, and their interactions with other pets, children and strangers, enables a broader and more complete picture of the pet, thus helping to ensure an appropriate permanent home. Granted, there are some rescue groups and shelters that take this responsibility a bit too far - in becoming so focused on the details of the pets, they sometimes lose sight of the flexibilities of both people and animals which eventually would overshadow such details. In general, though, the foster arrangement is very successful for both pet and future family.

Although it varies by rescue or shelter, many of the requirements for doing so are the same. For some, the cost of supplies is covered, by others it is not. For some, the temporary home is required to bring the pet to adoption events, necessary veterinarian appointments, special events; for others there are other arrangements. Depending on the time you wish to commit, you may be able to offer your home for, say, a weekend - to cover for fosters who will be out of town. Others prefer a more substantial commitment. Through it all, though, being a foster home means offering a place for a pet to stay, to live in, until their forever home is found.

Do you get attached to your temporary charges? Of course! You surely wouldn't be offering to do this if you didn't already love animals, and it doesn't take long to get attached. Although choosing to adopt the pet is always an option, thereby never having to say goodbye to them, it is best if possible to pursue a new home for them. Why? Because then you can take in another who needs a place to stay. And the more often you take one in, the more accustomed you become to the whole process, making it a little easier on that goodbye part. For many, the knowledge of having been able to assist along the way in a beautiful animal's journey toward it's forever home has been truly gratifying in itself. And they remain with you always, anyway - because they leave their pawprints on your heart!

Kudos to all those who open their homes and hearts to animals in need of a place to stay! For every shelter that feels they cannot hold just one more animal, may there always be a foster home stepping forward. Fosters are an integral part of the process of bringing Fido (or Fluffy) off the street, and into his very own loving home. If you think you might be able to do so as well, check with your local shelter or rescue group, give it a try! A home is a terrible thing to waste.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Homeward Bound - I Wish I Was

Imagine losing your home, your family, all that you've ever known. Imagine the kindness of strangers taking you in, giving you a place to stay and food to eat. Now imagine how much you'd love to find someone to call you their own - part of their family, part of their home - forever.

There are literally many millions of pets in need of a home, in addition to millions of cats and dogs that are put down every year. The situation is, and has been for some time, a mad crisis. Yet, as beautiful, lovable pups sit in pounds, cages, or - at best - foster homes, stores are still selling dogs, many mere puppies whose breeders and originations are intentionally unknown. We know now so much more than we did years ago; spay and neuter helps greatly in reducing new crops of unwanted pets, shelters and rescues are able to manage themselves in much more efficient and humane ways, pet stores are selling puppy mill dogs in spite of the stores' claims, and much can be accomplished through the newer world of social media. These are ideas that represent the new world for pets. Although based on common sense and certainly inarguable, so many people still choose to ignore these facts or the details of stories heard, refusing to be just plain sensible.

Dog Adoption
So, if you know of someone who is considering getting a pet, and particularly if they've mentioned a pet store - share your knowledge of the truth, and encourage them to consider adopting through a shelter or rescue. There are so many around, all trying, hoping, praying to find homes for the pets in their charge. Let that person know about how you can find the most amazing pet in the world at a shelter - heck, show them CindyLu's cousin, he came from one - and that they can even find purebreds if they prefer, there are plenty of those at the shelter as well. Direct them to, where they can browse through pets available in their local area; view photos and even occasionally videos. offers not only an amazing directory of pets looking to be adopted, but also serves as a resource for pet owners. Tips, advice, lost and found, classifieds, games, videos, pet news - the site is like a virtual library. You can join in the flow of information, news and fun on Facebook and Twitter. is THE place to go, before heading over to your local shelter or rescue, when you're contemplating or planning on adopting a new best friend.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Home Sweet Home for the Holidays

So it's the middle of January, and feels as if it's been such a long time ago already since the holidays. But just a month or two ago, we were participating in the Iam's Home for the Holidays program, with lofty goals of finding homes for pets in time for the holidays. The goals set by Iam's program were reached; so many animals are now living with their forever families; painful, difficult pasts are all but forgotten. Many of those very same animals were featured during the blogging event held last September, "Less-Adoptable Week", when the goal was to highlight pets who've been branded as less-desirable simply because of something they cannot help, and which doesn't amount to a hill of beans once they're in a home and loved.

Some of the pets we featured here -- during Less-Adoptable week and October's Shelter month, the Home for the Holidays program, or just-because -- enjoyed the holidays with love, a family, and a warm home this year. I don't know about you, but for me, just knowing the little bit about these dogs and cats makes me want to go hug someone to hear they're now HOME! Whether they're young or old, special-needs or of a certain breed or color, they're all just as wonderful (if not more so) as any other pet. Sometimes having something a little different seems to make them that much more special; and pets who've known what it's like to be without home and family are that much more attentive to those who accept them, regardless. I love these pets.

Weebles, the little black kitty who has a neurological condition, was adopted in time for Christmas! Still practically a kitten, he now never has to know what it's like to be without a home at the holidays. We love you, Weebles!

Francesca, Mercedes and Mamacita all found someone to love them, for just who they are - simply wonderful!


Corporal, Ginger, Keith, Nectarine, Paige, Pearl Bear and Roman - all enjoyed a special holiday season! Age, color, breed, problem!


Pearl Bear




And Cleo, just featured here at the beginning of the month, has also now found her Forever Home.
There are still way too many pets waiting for a home, so make sure to pass the word - Don't shop, Adopt! While we all work to make sure these pets will be comfortable and loved until they, too, are forever home, we also need to celebrate the great fortune of those who are now living the dream. We know that Weebles, Francesca, Mercedes, Mamacita, Pearl Bear, Ginger, Wasco, Nectarine, Corporal, Roman, Paige, Keith and Cleo all are in loving homes now, and though their foster homes might miss them, there's no doubt everyone is very happy for them.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Go Pet Friendly and Amy Burkert

This weekend we've just finished round one of this year's Blog the Change for Animals - imagine 100 blogs, featuring causes and ways for you to get involved and do something for the welfare of our furry friends. Imagine, too, the impact of these blogs; each with their own readership, spreading awareness about wonderful things being done and suggestions for what people can do. Who even knows how many posts were read through Facebook, Twitter, emails...! It's been an exciting weekend, full of hope and promise for our animals.

Blog the Change for Animals was inspired by the Be the Change Challenge, put forth during the first pet bloggers conference of BlogPaws in March, 2010. Afterward, Kim Clune and Amy and Rod Burkert discussed how it would be wonderful to continue what had been an amazing idea and enthusiastic results - and Be Change for Animals - BTC4Animals - was born. It's purpose is to gather together the community of animal lovers, provide support for communications of the needs and issues, and to highlight some of these issues. Blog the Change occurs quarterly throughout the year, with bloggers and social media posters all promoting their favorite causes, concerns, solutions. Kim Clune was featured here two days ago, and if you haven't checked out her sites yet, please do so. I highly recommend them!

Amy Burkert is someone you should also know of; she is not only the co-founder of BTC4Animals, she is the Social Media Director of the collaboration. She is also co-founder of, an extremely insightful, useful website that aims to provide all the information anyone would need whenever travelling with their pet, be it a short drive or an extended trip. She and her husband, Rod, travel frequently with their dogs;she and Rod created the website after finding it frustrating to obtain good information pertaining to travelling with pets and her blog, Take Paws, is filled with great travel tips and stories of the couple's adventures with their dogs, Ty and Buster.

Whether you take road trips with your dogs, are considering it, or just like to bring Fido along when you visit your grandmother, these websites are invaluable tools. Enjoyable to read, too! As for Amy, she is one more example of how one person, who happens to love animals, found a way to use her skills and interests to better the lives of animals.

In addition to the website,, you can find Amy's great tips at

Saturday, January 15, 2011

That Others May See

Blog the ChangeThis is the weekend we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his dedication to pursuing equality and rights for all.  He will always remain a man to be deeply revered; his belief in peaceful advancement of a cause, his ability to bring people together, his bravery in taking the lead in marching toward a better country. God bless you, Reverend King, and thank you.

Today is Blog the Change for Animals Day, encouraged by the amazing team of Be the Change for Animals. The concept is to utilize blogs and other social media avenues to spread the word about whatever cause, organization or person you respect and wish to spread awareness of. Believing in the power of unity, Blog the Change Day empowers each and every one of us to take action - to speak up, to discuss, to pass information to others, to offer ways people can get involved. It is a call to action for the welfare of our beloved animal friends.

If you've been a follower of this blog, you know that the goal this year is to daily highlight a person, organization or combined effort that is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of animals. So, in a way, I've been doing this each day already. I have favorite causes: rescue and adoption of homeless pets; feeding and ensuring care for pets of the homeless (those pets who aren't homeless, just happen to not have a home), as well as providing needed supplies for pets of those who are struggling;  puppymills and pet stores that sell them; the stigma and consequential lack of adoptions of black-colored pets ( Black Dog Syndrome, or BDS); the care of feral cats. In short, I care about the welfare of animals.

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see." 

In the spirit of the late Dr. King, I say to you - I have a dream. I have a dream that light is shed on that which we do not see, and all will know the truth and the way. I have a dream that one day all pets will be in warm, loving homes; that no pet will be forced into the streets, to wander without food or shelter; that no pet will suffer at the hands of a human who so lacks respect for them, they are used, abused or neglected. I have a dream that some day all humans will hold animals in high regard, that they will not use their superior status as an excuse to corrupt, abuse, destroy the natural resources of this great land, and that no human will approach a decision with callousness toward creature or nature. I have a dream that every human, each and every one, will take it upon themselves to do one thing, at least one thing, toward improving the lives and welfare of their fellow earthly creatures. I dream of one world, one human race, that bestows a love and gratitude - for all that God has graced this planet with - upon their own children. I have a dream that one day all of God's creatures, mankind included, will live peacefully and happily together. I have a dream.

"Individually, we are a drop. Together we are an ocean." - Ryunosuke Satoro

Do your part: post on blog, Facebook, Twitter, Digg...visit Blog the Change for Animals or the list below, read what those participating are writing about today - see what is being done, and what you can do. Decide to volunteer, donate, participate in an event, foster, adopt. Get involved.
Be the change for animals.

Friday, January 14, 2011

This One Wild Life and Kim Clune

Regardless of your opinion about Sarah Palin, Kim Clune's "Palin-free'' Alaska series is an absolute MUST to  view. She shares, through videos, her explorations of this magical land. Her blog, This One Wild Life, celebrates all that is beautiful, wonderful, fascinating and heartfelt in our world of nature and animals. She is a nature enthusiast, an animal activist; and with an arsenal of talent and dedication, aiming to spread the word about rescue pets and adoption.

When Kim and her husband are not traveling the globe, absorbing the beauty and wonder of all that wildlife offers, she is a website designer and writer. The couple are heavily involved in pet rescue and adoption; Kim is one of the founding members of Be the Change for Animals, an embracing effort to combine the avenues of online media to further animal causes, with the people who wish to spread the word about their desires for hope and change.

Kim Clune is an example of how "just" one person can effect enormous change, involvement and commitment to our animal friends. Her tireless efforts, her endearing humor and her skill in coalescing like-minded people from around the world is impressive! Visit her website Mixed Media Matters for your web design needs; follow her on Facebook, Twitter and her blog - you'll see why I love to follow her myself, too!

National Dress Up Your Pet Day

January 14th is National Dress Up Your Pet Day. What a cool day!! While Mom's still working on her new camera stuff (yeah, like she's even touched that with all the other stuff goin' on!), I proudly bring you a Guest Post...the one, the only - my handsome, wonderful cousin - Vedder!
Hi! I'm Vedder, CindyLu's coz. I live in a suburb of Chicago, and you could say I'm a big Blackhawks fan. EVERY game that's on TV plays from beginning to end at our house. Silence   is observed during the games; it's crucial to not miss a minute. Although, it's not very quiet when the Hawks score - my dad does a lot of hootin' and howlin' then. I'm workin' on the Score Howl myself.

I first got interested in the hockey games when I came to live with my new Mom and Dad. They watch all the games, and sometimes even go to where they are! But I'm not allowed to go to those. After cuddlin' up with Mom and Dad on the couch night after night, I kinda got used to watchin' that ball Dad calls a puck zippin' around. 

What do I like best about the Blackhawks? It makes my mom and dad really happy when they win. I love to see them doin' happy dances!

Lookin' good, Vedder, lookin' good! 
smooches, CindyLu 

Turkeys Chasing Laser

...and you thought only your pets did this!


How many other types of creatures do you think enjoy (or feel compelled to) chasing lasers?

Friday Blog Hops we're participating in

Visit Simply Stacie

Visit Never Growing Old

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nathan Winograd

Nathan Winograd
Nathan Winograd is best known for his No Kill advocacy work. A graduate of Stanford Law School, former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney, Nathan has assisted with writing animal protection legislation at state and national levels, and spoken here and abroad on issues concerning animal shelters. He has written books, appeared on major television and radio programs, and currently is president of  No Kill Advocacy Center.

Mr. Winograd has led shelters across the country in a model he created for efficient, progressive management that enables the eradication of the common euthanasia practices still adhered to by many. His beliefs are strong; in effect, he feels the reasons animals are killed in shelters is due to archaic practices and thinking held by many shelter managers, as well as the continued pandering to those very shelters by some of the major animal protection agencies in this country. Nathan's idea is simple: we are a people who love animals, abhor the idea of killing them just because they do not have a home, and there is no justifiable reason for such killing. The fault lies within the shelters and the minds of those who defend the need to euthanize, rather than achieve adoption.

Some of his past achievements include, most notably, a role he filled as Director of Operations for the San Francisco SPCA, where he managed a progressive and unique approach to maintaining and improving shelter conditions, resulting in an unprecedented success rate of saving lives as opposed to euthanizing.  From there he became Executive Director at the Tompkins County SPCA in New York, managed and reorganized a vast array of animal control and adoption services in a rural community, along with overseeing a newly created Pet Adoption Center, also achieving unprecedented results. With these successes, he proved shelter management can change in style to accommodate the needs of animals, without resorting to killing them for lack of space, funds, etc. He is credited with having created a successful model for shelters to follow, and for his vast knowledge on the subjects of both animal protection and animal shelter management.

He remains an active voice for the protection of animals in shelters, at times in very controversial and heated debates with animal activists over his views, yet we know this man can also be credited with having brought the idea of a plausible No-Kill society into the forefront of modern beliefs. He has proven to be a force to be reckoned with; he does not shy away from criticizing the behavior, or lack of it, by anyone at any level in society, if he believes they have not acted in the best interests of of animals.  He is, and undoubtedly will remain, a powerful voice for the animals.

source: Nathan Winograd

Special Message: Happy Birthday Marilyn!

May you have the most amazing year ever!
Happy Birthday, Marilyn!

Your furry friends, Chester, Chandler, Rascal, Bo,
and of course...CindyLu!!

Friends, if you'd like to drop by and wish Marilyn a happy birthday, her blog is Writeacher's Thoughts and her kitties' blog is Momma Grace & Company

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Black Cat Rescue

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase, 'bad luck'? Friday the 13th? Walking under a ladder? Anything else? Chances are, 'black cat crossing your  path'. There is just absolutely nothing unlucky about that!! There are those of us who, in fact, consider it to be quite a lucky event. But we're biased. The only bad luck involved with a phrase including "black cat' - is for the cat, at least if they're homeless.
Black Cat Resue, Galaweb Design

Black pets face the most discrimination, and the longest odds of being adopted. Those in shelters that are not no-kill face the highest risk of euthanasia, simply because of their color. How can this be? The term Black Dog Syndrome, or BDS, sums it up. There is no logical basis for it, it just exists. It applies to most, if not all types of pets. From unfounded fears of mythical bad luck to a preference for pretty-and-colorful, people are not exactly pounding down the doors to get at a black pet. I know, I'm fostering two black cats. They've been with me for a very long time, longer than any other foster. Yes, I've had some black kittens who were adopted, but even as cute, adorable kittens it took longer for them to find their forever homes. In shelter and rescue life, being black sucks.

Those of us who have had the privilege of knowing, let alone sharing our lives with black pets know a secret - one we're more than happy to share with the world. Black pets rock!! Seriously, I can tell you black cats tend to have the most interesting personalities! And let's face it; you're not getting a pet because you're going to put it on a shelf and just look at it. You're going to want to spend time with this pet, become best buddies, snuggle, play, carry on conversations or sleep with get the idea. It goes back to what our mothers taught us: never judge a book by it's cover. So, I'm telling you - the cover on black pets may be one solid, "boring" color, but underneath that coat is one heck of a pet, and lifelong friend. I'm not making this up, I'm not exaggerating.

I've wished for a long time now that I could think of some way we could change our culture - make it a really trendy, cool, hip, Paris Hilton or whoever kind of thing to have a pet that's black. Our president has a black dog now, maybe that will help? Probably not enough. Hello, Hollywood! Hello, mass media! Have you gotten the latest word? Black is Back, even on the back of your pet!! Run with that story before you're trailing your competitors. And bring your black pet with you for photo ops!

Shelters and rescue groups try valiantly to put a style to their black pets-in-waiting; they hold special events, like black-tie parties, or black-pet-only adoption events, in honor of these beauties. It helps some, but the stigma runs deep. Lately, the thought has crossed my mind, wondering if it would even be feasible  to have a black-only rescue. So, I googled, "black cat rescue". I found a rescue that works to find homes for black cats! Honestly, I couldn't believe it. I was sure I wouldn't find any. Mind you, I only found one. One lone group of brave souls. The Black Cat Rescue, of Boston, MA.
Black Cat Rescue Logo
I don't know a bit about this organization; I haven't a clue if they're run well, if they achieve many adoptions, if they even take in many cats in the first place...and I don't care. There is a group of dedicated people in this country who focus their mission on finding homes for black cats that need them. That is worthy of an award. There are rescues all over this great land who refuse to take in a black cat because they know it's going to take a long time and a lot of effort, just to possibly get the little gem adopted. Not Black Cat Rescue. They even say it in their name - this is mega-guts.

From what I was able to get from their website on, Black Cat Rescue, and their Facebook page, is that they are a nonprofit 501c3 organization, completely volunteer foster-based group of dedicated individuals determined to save the lives of black cats, and place them in their forever homes. 'Nuff said. We need more committed people like these!! At the very least, we need more rescues to accept black cats (and dogs), and work to find them homes, too.

Anyone who has the cajones to intentionally embark on this courageous undertaking has my utter adoration. Kudos to Black Cat Rescue, for doing the right thing by black cats,and for making the lives of black cats possible - and better.  Our black kitties everywhere deserve this - they're simply the best!

Do know of this organization? Or any other that focuses on black pets?

image source: Wikipedia, Black Cat Rescue

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pets of the Homeless

Well, it sure isn't might say it's the dog-days of winter! Snow, ice and frigid temperatures rule the day. It's a great time to stay indoors, curl up with a cozy afghan and a good book. But, what if you're homeless? What if you're homeless with a pet? Shelters usually don't allow for pets, they're stretching their budgets just tending to the needs of the humans - especially these days. And those who are homeless tend to have extremely strong attachments and concern for their pets; often they would rather remain outside in the wicked elements, risking health and danger, than abandon their beloved best friend.
Source: PetsoftheHomeless
This is where Pets of the Homeless steps in. I previously wrote about their program, Feeding Pets of the Homeless, which gathers funding, organizes and then distributes pet food, as well as vet care for just such pets. An additional program, the Crate Project, aims to provide (human) homeless shelters with soft-sided, collapsible crates, feeding bowls and even the needed cleaning supplies for use as sleeping quarters for the animals who can then sleep right by the side of their two-legged friend. According to the organization, anywhere from 5% to 25% of those who are homeless have a pet. That could mean a lot of people seeking shelter who otherwise wouldn't. It could also mean saving lives, both human and animal.

Also through this wonderful organization, which operates throughout Canada and the United States, grants are provided to veterinarians who volunteer to offer their services for  pets of homeless, as well as to shelters that will provide the space to stay indoors. Pets of the Homeless is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, donations can be made in several ways; the website also details information on how to volunteer or donate pet food (at collection sites). Pets of the Homeless is always in search of more businesses volunteering to become collection sites, and more vets to voluntarily join their grant program for vets. And, as these recent years have been economically difficult on everyone, they too are in need of monetary donations.

Please spread the word about this great project; the more who learn about it, the more who will pitch in to make life a little better for those less fortunate than us (and our pets)!

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