Archive for the ‘rescue organizations’ Category

We Made It!

November 20, 2011

Quinn and yours truly in travel mode

I’m pleased to report that our menagerie (my hubby and I included) have arrived, safe and sound in North Carolina! Thankfully, our trip was mostly uneventful. We had only one hiccup along the way and that occurred in our very own driveway in California. We had packed the bed of the pickup truck with oodles of stuff including a wooden table. With the very first turn out of our driveway, the gooseneck of the horse trailer pushed the corner of that table right through the rear window of our pick up truck. The result was an explosive noise and flying glass. Fortunately, no one was injured, but I’ve never witnessed two dogs fly from the back seat of a vehicle into the front so quickly! We cleaned up the shattered glass, used cardboard and “gorilla tape” to replace the missing window, took a really deep breath, and headed east. The remainder of the trip was smooth sailing.

Our overnights were spent in Bakersfield, California (where our younger dog Quinn was rescued from a “kill shelter”), Flagstaff, Arizona (a gorgeous place), Tucumcari, New Mexico (I love the way the name of this town rolls off my tongue, but never have our dog’s feet encountered such nasty stickers), Cromwell, Oklahoma (this year a tornado, an earthquake, and a severe drought have ravaged the area), and Jackson, Tennessee where we truly felt like we were in the “east” for the first time.

Part of the gang right after arriving in North Carolina

We encountered fabulous people at every overnight stop along the way. All had fascinating stories to share about their lives and why they ended up where they have. The common thread for all of our hosts was a profound love for animals as evidenced by properties filled with horses, dogs, cats, sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. Michelle, our host in Cromwell, Oklahoma has several adorable rescue dogs desperately in need of homes. If you live anywhere near Cromwell and are ready to add a new member to your own menagerie, please let me know and I will put you in touch with Michelle. By the way, she also has a rescue horse she is hoping to rehome.

We arrived at our North Carolina home in lovely 70-degree weather and some remaining fall color. Some of the leaves are such brilliant shades of red and orange, that trees appear as if they are on fire. After six days on the road, we all thoroughly enjoyed stretching our legs. My husband’s horse galloped around his new pasture (I am currently horseless, but hopefully not for too much longer), our kitty enjoyed inspecting her new surroundings, and my husband, the dogs, and I took a long hike through a six inch carpet of crisp leaves. The dogs must have run a good five miles on our one-mile hike. It feels great for all of us to be in our new home and we are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving here.

Have you ever moved cross-country with animals in tow? If so, would you ever consider doing it again?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

The Time of Year to Think About Colorblind Adoptions

October 16, 2011

I see pumpkins everywhere in my neighborhood reminding me that Halloween is right around the corner. This might be a good time to repost the following blog that I wrote a couple years back. Enjoy!

Dr. Nancy Kay with her dog Lexie (all black before her muzzle turned grey)

Whenever I meet with a patient (the pet) and client (their human) for the first time I always ask some version of, “How long have you two known each other?” I love watching my client’s face light up as they recall that first moment of kitten or puppy love.  I delight in hearing the wonderful and amazing tales of how their lives managed to cross paths. If my patient happens to be a black cat, I always provide kudos to my client for having performed an extraordinarily good deed. You see, black kitties are notoriously more difficult to find homes for than are cats of other colors. Perhaps this is related to black cat Halloweenish superstitions. What I hadn’t realized, until now, is that black dogs are also more difficult to place than their colorful canine counterparts.

According to an NBC News article by Emily Friedman, just as is the case for black cats, large black dogs tend to be the last ones to be adopted from shelters. There are a few theories as to why. Many shelters offer no natural lighting, making it hard for the face of a black dog to stand out. It is more difficult to distinguish their facial features than it would be in lighter colored dogs or those with contrasting markings. Kim Saunders, the head of shelter outreach for the Web site Petfinder.com believes that black dogs are overlooked because they don’t photograph as well as lighter colored animals. When people are shopping for the next love of their lives, they are looking for a face that stands out with special appeal. Some theorize that it is human nature to be drawn to things with more vibrant color or riveting hair coat patterns. Placing solid colored black cats and large black dogs can be so difficult that some shelters run promotions and try to create more color and appeal- necks adorned with colorful scarves, discounted adoption fees, and even superhero names.

When you are ready to begin searching for the next canine or feline love of your life, I encourage you to pay special attention to those that are solid black in color. They’re in need of a special advantage when it comes to landing in the type of loving, caring home that every dog and cat deserves.

Have you ever adopted a dog or cat with a solid black hair coat? I would love to hear your story.

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

 

 

 

 

Puppy Mill Awareness Day – September 17, 2011

September 10, 2011

Photo Credit: Susannah Kay

Heads up everyone! This Saturday, September 17th is Puppy Mill Awareness Day.  I’ve spent plenty of time on my soapbox in an uproar about puppy mills  and I will continue to do so until I no longer have to witness the physical maladies, behavioral nightmares, and broken hearts created by those who profit from the mass production of puppies.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day is all about educating as many people as possible about the inhumanity and insanity of puppy mills.  Might you know someone who is thinking about adopting a puppy?  If so please counsel them on the importance of avoiding an impulsive pet store purchase (guaranteed the “livestock” there were born at puppy mills).  Also, teach them that purchasing a pup online, sight (and site) unseen just about guarantees they will be providing income to a puppy mill. Rather, encourage them to adopt from a rescue organization, shelter, or reputable breeder.

About the only thing that keeps me sane when it comes to puppy millers are those wonderful souls who reside at the opposite end of the human spectrum- namely those who work in shelters and rescue organizations because they are passionate about giving animals a second chance.  As a way of honoring these folks and “celebrating” Puppy Mill Awareness Day, I hope you’ll help me out with the following plan.  Please tell me about your favorite rescue or humane organization and why you believe it is special.  Provide me with the group’s email address and contact information. From the list of responses I receive I will choose 10 organizations to receive a free copy of Speaking for Spot  and when I mail the book to them, I will let them know it was a gift from you (so be sure to include your full name).  Thanks ever so much.

Now get out there and spread some puppy mill awareness!

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

 

Madonna of the Mills: Puppy Mill Exposé on HBO

August 21, 2011

Mark your calendar for Wednesday August 24th so you can watch the HBO documentary, Madonna of the Mills. I was able to preview the film and liked what I saw. The movie documents the passion of Laura Amato (the Madonna) on her forays into Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her sole purpose for traveling into the heart of Amish country is the rescue of puppy mill dogs, specifically those who are “used up” (no longer capable of breeding) and slated to be destroyed.

Laura is an intriguing main character. Her composure remains completely passive as she interacts with puppy mill breeders. She is therefore allowed access into the kennels and, on occasion the camera is allowed to follow. When this happens, what we see is predictably gruesome. One wonders how Laura can remain so emotionally detached while in the midst of such inhumanity. Clearly, she understands that such passivity is required if she is to accomplish the task at hand, namely the rescue of innocent victims, one at a time. The movie credits state that Laura has rescued more than two thousand dogs.

For those who are familiar with puppy mills, there’s really nothing new revealed here. The kennel conditions are beyond horrific, the dogs are physically and psychologically traumatized beings, it is clear that legislation is needed to make things better, and there are some happy endings thanks to generous, kind-hearted, patient people.

One could argue that, through her actions, the Madonna is enabling puppy mills to thrive. It wasn’t clear to me if Laura actually purchases the dogs she rescues. What was clear was that that none of her actions would deter the puppy mill trade. Laura is clearly a prisoner of her passion. One senses she would give up anything and everything in her life before surrendering her rescue missions. In a brief moment of emotional vulnerability she talks about the enormity of the puppy mill situation while seemingly trying to convince herself that by rescuing one dog at a time, she is making a difference.

Whether or not you agree with what Laura is doing, the beauty of this documentary is that it will educate the public about puppy mills. Someone contemplating purchasing a pup from a pet store just might be dissuaded from doing so after watching this movie. By the way, I wish the movie had more strongly emphasized that pups purchased on line (site and sight unseen) are also likely to be puppy mill progeny. Nonetheless, kudos to those responsible for making this documentary. Have a look and tell me what you think. Have you already heard more than enough about puppy mills or do you think there’s room for more?  By the way, you may want to have a box of Kleenex close at hand, and perhaps something to soothe your nerves while viewing the graphic scenes.

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

 

Adopt the Internet

March 14, 2011

  

Please, will you join the “Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet Day” effort on March 15th?  Email your dog loving friends and relatives.  Feel free to share this blog post with them.  Heck, write a blog post of your own! Together we will increase awareness about adopting homeless pets and hopefully create the kinds of happy endings that Quinn and my family have enjoyed.  

Do you have your own story about adopting a homeless pet?  We’d love to hear it.   Know of an animal who needs a home?  On March 15th, please post a photo along with adoption contact information on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/speakingforspot).

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook  

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

March 15, 2011: Adopt the Internet Day

March 10, 2011

Photo © Susannah Kay

 

When I first met Quinn, he was a two to three month old pup with a soft orange and white coat and an even softer disposition.  That was two years ago and I often find myself reflecting on the fact that the life of this adorable dog I love so dearly came disastrously close to being purposefully ended.   

Quinn was one of many orphans in an overcrowded shelter in Bakersfield, California.  The notion of “no kill” is nonexistent there, which is why this shelter is a regular stop for a wonderful rescue organization called The Dog Spot (http://members.petfinder.com/~CA1428/index.html). Their hard working volunteers make it a habit to scour the California central valley pulling adult dogs slated for euthanasia out of shelters. On what will always be Quinn’s luckiest day, The Dog Spot volunteers made an exception and opted to rescue a few puppies as well.   

The Mighty Quinn Photo © Susannah Kay

 

The Dog Spot rescues are showcased on Petfinder (http://www.petfinder.com/index.html) and that’s exactly where my daughter began her search the minute our family agreed we were ready to add another dog to our family.  The Petfinder photo of Quinn captured her attention and his personality captured all of our hearts.  It has been an ongoing love affair ever since.  

Why am I telling you all of this?  The organizers of Petfinder are asking us to do something special in honor of their 15th birthday.  They would like us to join together online on Tuesday, March 15th to promote the adoption of homeless pets.  Frankly, I’m willing to do most anything Petfinder asks of me.  Not only did they help my family find the world’s cutest dog, they work tirelessly to do a fabulous job rehoming millions of wonderful animals each and every year.  Petfinder is truly remarkable and I am profoundly grateful to this fabulous organization.   

  

Please, will you join the “Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet Day” effort on March 15th?  Email your dog loving friends and relatives.  Feel free to share this blog post with them.  Heck, write a blog post of your own! Together we will increase awareness about adopting homeless pets and hopefully create the kinds of happy endings that Quinn and my family have enjoyed.  

Do you have your own story about adopting a homeless pet?  We’d love to hear it.   Know of an animal who needs a home?  On March 15th, please post a photo along with adoption contact information on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/speakingforspot).  

Best wishes for good health,  

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook  

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary

March 4, 2011
Steve and Alayne with Daisy

I first communicated with Steve Smith when he and Alayne Marker enrolled their nonprofit organization in the Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program.  Located in New Hampshire, Steve and Alayne are the proprietors of the Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary. Their mission is to provide a sanctuary focused on caring for animals with disabilities. As stated on their website, “These are the animals who are the least likely to be adopted and among the most likely to be euthanized in traditional shelters.” Visit Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary and you are likely to encounter blind dogs, cats, and horses as well as animals with irreparable neurological and orthopedic issues.  Steve and Alayne report that the animals are incredibly content- none seem to “feel sorry for themselves”.  This is certainly no surprise to me- based on my experience I know that most disabled animals remain happy and energetic.  They are true experts at living in the moment- excellent role models for us, don’t you think?  

What prompted me to write about Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary was a blog post I recently received from Steve describing a wonderfully innovative way he and Alayne are feeding their dogs and cats. Their concern for animals extends well beyond their own facility, so much so that for a period of time they tried feeding a vegetarian diet to their dogs who apparently responded with, “No thanks!”   In the blog, Steve describes that they’ve opted to raise their own beef cattle as a self-sustaining food source for their dogs and kitties.  Looking at the Rolling Dog Ranch website, I get the impression that these cows have a pretty darned perfect bovine life other than on their very last day.  This beef project was started in 2008 and Steve described the process of taking Sebastian, their first steer to slaughter.  As Steve describes it, “I was able to walk through the entire facility with the owner, stood on the kill floor, and examined their entire process for how they do the slaughtering.  It was quiet, clean, and as stress-free as any facility like that could possibly be.” 

 

Steve and Alayne use a website called Balance IT to help them create balanced homemade diets.  They are doing their best to use all local ingredients.  In their blog post (http://blog.rollingdogranch.org), they provide resources for finding and purchasing humanely raised food for you and your pets.  They recommend that people visit farms to see for themselves how the animals are raised. 

I must tell you that I am intrigued by and enamored with the innovative things that are happening at Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary.  Steve and Alayne are two wonderfully forward thinking people who have provided me- and now you- with some fabulous food for thought.

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Home for the Holidays: let’s make some magic!

December 4, 2010

While I’m busy recovering from some back surgery, you have the good fortune of reading posts from some of my favorite doggie bloggers!  Today’s post comes from Dr. Jessica Vogelsang (“Dr. V”) who blogs regularly at www.pawcurious.com.   Please make her feel welcome by posting your wonderful comments.  Be back soon! 

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

Note:  Dr. V’s article appeared on her blog in early November at the start of her one week campaign to generate food donations for shelters through The Iams Pets In Need program.  Her one week campaig generated 45,700 meals!  You can check out the results at http://www.pawcurious.com/2010/11/happy-surprises-part-one/ .  While her campaign is completed you can still earn food donations for shelters through the links provided.

——————–

I despise the week between Christmas and New Years.

Why? Because without fail, I see piles upon piles of new holiday pets. Pets from pet stores, whose owners overpaid for them and can then not afford to treat them for the parasites, distemper, or congenital disease they all too often wind up with. It happens every year.

In 1999, Mike Arms at The Helen Woodward Animal Center decided to change that. With 14 local shelters, they launched the “Home for the Holidays” campaign to encourage people to adopt a pet instead of buying one.

To say that it was a success is a bit of an understatement. Since its modest beginnings in 1999, Home 4 the Holidays has seen the placement of 4.6 million pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles, and birds. It has grown from 14 Southern California shelters to over 3,500 animal organizations in over 21 countries.

Helen Woodward has partnered with Iams to make this program a worldwide movement. This year’s goal is to adopt 1.5 million animals and donate 5 million bowls of food to shelters in need. You can help make this a reality! Here’s how:
1. Adopt a pet in need and/or encourage others to do so.

Even if you aren’t ready to adopt a pet yourself, I bet you know someone who is. Someone who has mentioned they are looking for a dog/cat/ferret/whatever. You’d be surprised how many people are still not aware that the shelters and rescues are overflowing with puppies, kittens, purebreds, and whatever it is they think they won’t find there.

Petfinder is one of my favorite sites in the whole world and I still meet people every day who had no idea it exists.

2. Leave a comment here. (You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx)

Seriously. It’s that simple. Comment on this post and Iams will donate 25 meals to a shelter in need. Any comment counts. Tell your friends, tell your Facebook buddies- we have ONE WEEK to drive this as high as we can. My goal between now and November 8th is 400 comments. Can I do it? Can we do it? I need your help!!

3. Post a picture on my Facebook page to generate FIFTY meals. (You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx)

•“Like” Iams on Facebook.
•Go to the pawcurious Facebook fan page.
•Upload a picture of your pet with a caption that says what your pet is most curious about. Get it? curious?
•Make sure the picture is tagged with @Iams to select their page. That tag is what will generate the 50 meal donation.
•To sweeten the pot I will pick one picture from this group to receive a prize. Don’t ask me what since I don’t know what it will be yet, but it will be a prize and it will be delightful.
Easy, right? Can I count on you guys to help me get 400 comments this week?

Dr. V – Pawcurious

Dr. V is a small animal veterinarian.  After a brief and feverish attempt to throw 8 years of college out the window and become something else entirely, the dogs won her over. They always do. She decided to start a blog about her pets and the veterinary field after I realized just how many people are interested in the odd little vignettes that make up her day, both in and out of the vet clinic.

You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx

Dr. V’s promotion through her website was a 1 week campaign in early November. 

_____________________________________________________

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

Free Christmas or Chanukah gift wrap with books purchased between now and December 25th (www.speakingforspot.com/purchase.html).

Home for the Holidays: let's make some magic!

December 4, 2010

While I’m busy recovering from some back surgery, you have the good fortune of reading posts from some of my favorite doggie bloggers!  Today’s post comes from Dr. Jessica Vogelsang (“Dr. V”) who blogs regularly at www.pawcurious.com.   Please make her feel welcome by posting your wonderful comments.  Be back soon! 

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

Note:  Dr. V’s article appeared on her blog in early November at the start of her one week campaign to generate food donations for shelters through The Iams Pets In Need program.  Her one week campaig generated 45,700 meals!  You can check out the results at http://www.pawcurious.com/2010/11/happy-surprises-part-one/ .  While her campaign is completed you can still earn food donations for shelters through the links provided.

——————–

I despise the week between Christmas and New Years.

Why? Because without fail, I see piles upon piles of new holiday pets. Pets from pet stores, whose owners overpaid for them and can then not afford to treat them for the parasites, distemper, or congenital disease they all too often wind up with. It happens every year.

In 1999, Mike Arms at The Helen Woodward Animal Center decided to change that. With 14 local shelters, they launched the “Home for the Holidays” campaign to encourage people to adopt a pet instead of buying one.

To say that it was a success is a bit of an understatement. Since its modest beginnings in 1999, Home 4 the Holidays has seen the placement of 4.6 million pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles, and birds. It has grown from 14 Southern California shelters to over 3,500 animal organizations in over 21 countries.

Helen Woodward has partnered with Iams to make this program a worldwide movement. This year’s goal is to adopt 1.5 million animals and donate 5 million bowls of food to shelters in need. You can help make this a reality! Here’s how:
1. Adopt a pet in need and/or encourage others to do so.

Even if you aren’t ready to adopt a pet yourself, I bet you know someone who is. Someone who has mentioned they are looking for a dog/cat/ferret/whatever. You’d be surprised how many people are still not aware that the shelters and rescues are overflowing with puppies, kittens, purebreds, and whatever it is they think they won’t find there.

Petfinder is one of my favorite sites in the whole world and I still meet people every day who had no idea it exists.

2. Leave a comment here. (You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx)

Seriously. It’s that simple. Comment on this post and Iams will donate 25 meals to a shelter in need. Any comment counts. Tell your friends, tell your Facebook buddies- we have ONE WEEK to drive this as high as we can. My goal between now and November 8th is 400 comments. Can I do it? Can we do it? I need your help!!

3. Post a picture on my Facebook page to generate FIFTY meals. (You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx)

•“Like” Iams on Facebook.
•Go to the pawcurious Facebook fan page.
•Upload a picture of your pet with a caption that says what your pet is most curious about. Get it? curious?
•Make sure the picture is tagged with @Iams to select their page. That tag is what will generate the 50 meal donation.
•To sweeten the pot I will pick one picture from this group to receive a prize. Don’t ask me what since I don’t know what it will be yet, but it will be a prize and it will be delightful.
Easy, right? Can I count on you guys to help me get 400 comments this week?

Dr. V – Pawcurious

Dr. V is a small animal veterinarian.  After a brief and feverish attempt to throw 8 years of college out the window and become something else entirely, the dogs won her over. They always do. She decided to start a blog about her pets and the veterinary field after I realized just how many people are interested in the odd little vignettes that make up her day, both in and out of the vet clinic.

You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx

Dr. V’s promotion through her website was a 1 week campaign in early November. 

_____________________________________________________

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

Free Christmas or Chanukah gift wrap with books purchased between now and December 25th (www.speakingforspot.com/purchase.html).

Be the Change for Animals

October 15, 2010

Today is Blog the Change day, a quarterly event focused on efforts to “Be the Change for Animals”.  

The Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program shares proceeds from purchase of Speaking for Spot with animal centered nonprofit groups.  If your favorite  nonprofit  rescue group  is not already participating, please invite them to register at http://bit.ly/Register_SpeakingforSpotGivesBack.

Please share your ideas for being the change for animals. 

Wonderfully fun names such as “A New Leash on Life,” “Wags to Riches,” and “Fairy Dogmother Rescue,” are to be found at PetFinder.com. This is definitely the place to go in cyberspace when thinking about adopting a new pet.  Before I go one step further, rest assured I am aware that the PetFinder site likely features some puppy mills amongst their gazillions of legitimate nonprofit organizations.  I’ve no doubt that in spite of the fact that PetFinder performs their due diligence, some puppy mills likely slip through the cracks.  In my mind, this does not detract from the profoundly positive outcomes PetFinder facilitates.  Rather, it means that we need to perform our own due diligence when using this website.

At the time of this writing, PetFinder features 13,184 nonprofit adoption groups (shelters, humane societies, SPCA’s, and rescue organizations) and over 297,457 pets in need of a new home. PetFinder states that they’ve facilitated more than 13 million adoptions since 1995. Wow, that’s one heck of a lot of animals’ lives changed for the better!  I have a tremendous respect for the many thousands of people who invest their time, energy, and financial resources helping animals in need of a new lease on life.  Their generosity and desire to “give back” are inspirational.  I’ve initiated the Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program with hopes of providing a little bit of support for the amazing work they do. 

The Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program is open to all animal-centered nonprofits including service organizations and adoption and rescue groups.  Here’s how the program works.  Participating organizations appear on a pull down menu on the purchase page of my website (www.speakingforspot.com). When someone purchases Speaking for Spot they can designate which nonprofit organization will receive 20% of the book sale proceeds. The Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program is a win-win situation – not only will participating organizations raise much-needed funds, those who purchase the book will have a wonderful resource that will last a lifetime!

Please support your favorite animal-centered nonprofit organization by encouraging the folks who work there to learn more about the Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program.  They can either contact me directly (Dr.Kay@SpeakingforSpot.com) or visit http://www.speakingforspot.com/speakingforspotgivesback.html.  And when you are ready to expand your own menagerie, I hope you will begin the search at your local rescue organizations, shelters, and humane societies.  Have you already adopted from such an organization?  If so, I’d love to hear your story!

Best wishes to you and your four-legged family members for abundant good health, 

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life

Website: http://www.speakingforspot.com
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

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