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You Can Save a Life This Year!

January 1st, 2012 2 comments


Richie went from the shelter to a rescue and was then adopted!

Many people ask me how it is I can volunteer at a shelter that euthanizes. They think that since I go there I must condone the action. I can tell you that I absolutely do not! There is NO GOOD REASON to euthanize an adoptable pet. These same folks are also of the mindset that they will never adopt from or support an organization that does this. In their minds they think by not supporting it, then that means the shelter will get the message and stop doing such an activity. Right?

While these folks have their hearts in the right place, their logic is out of whack. There is a never ending stream of pets coming into the shelters, and these shelters won’t turn them away. When someone decides not to adopt or support a shelter that euthanizes, what they are in effect doing is contributing to the euthanasia. After all, they are one less person going through those doors to adopt, they are one less person volunteering their time to help these pets get into rescue and they are one less person advocating adoption of these animals to their family and friends. It’s not the pet’s fault that it landed in a shelter that euthanizes, so why would you turn your back on them just because of the shelter they’re in?

That’s my opinion and the reason why I volunteer. I can’t turn my back on them. There’s no question that volunteering at a shelter that euthanizes can be difficult emotionally. One minute you’re elated because your favorite just got adopted and the next minute you’re crying because your other favorite is leaving in a body bag. It can knock you on your ass. But I keep going for the ones that are still there. They still have a chance at getting out and living a happy life. But they need help in order to get out. There are only so many hours in the day, and the shelters are generally understaffed and the staff is overworked. Volunteers play such an important role in the lives of these pets. Here are some ways volunteers can help:

  • Become a foster parent – The pet you foster is actually saving two lives. The one you foster, and the one that can now take the space of the cage just vacated. Keep in mind that the shelter may want you to volunteer for a certain length of time before they will allow you to foster. They want to know that you’re going to stick around and that you’re trustworthy.
  • Contact rescues – Do you have a favorite breed? Chances are there’s a rescue that deals with that breed. Reach out to them to see if they’ll help out should that breed land in the shelter.
  • Transport pets – You might find a rescue willing to take one of your pets, but you’re in Kentucky and the rescue is in Ohio. Volunteers are needed all of the time to help drive these pets from one leg to the next to get the pet from your shelter to the rescue group.
  • Website maintenance and social media – If you’re tech savvy, sign up to help with the shelter’s website. The website expands the reach of the pet beyond the physical location. The more ways you can communicate to the public about a pet you have, the greater the chance the pet will get adopted. This includes promoting the pets on sites like Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Photograph or video tape pets for the shelter’s website – They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A good picture can make a world of difference in getting that pet adopted. Videos add so much more to the story. It gives the potential adopter a chance to see its personality before they stop down to meet it.

Bear was treated for heartworm and entropion thanks to fundraising efforts. He was adopted!

  • Fundraising – Many pets come into the shelter with medical conditions that are very treatable (i.e. heartworm, demodectic mange, broken bones, etc). If the shelter has no money to treat these conditions, then the pet doesn’t stand a chance. These medical conditions can take several weeks to treat which is one more reason fostering is so important. Shelters generally don’t have the luxury of letting a pet sit in a cage to undergo weeks of healing time.
  • Grooming – Some of the pets you’ll see in shelters were severely neglected and it will break your heart to see the condition they are in. Generally speaking potential adopters will look at this pet and feel sorry for it, but they aren’t able to look beyond the mess and see what a beautiful pet it can be. They’ll keep walking. If you’re good with clippers, there’s sure to be a pet in dire need of a spa day! Check out the video below of Muppet’s transformation!

Becoming a no-kill nation won’t happen over-night, but if we can each resolve to do our part, just imagine what we can accomplish. It just takes one person to make a difference in the life of a shelter pet. Are you that one person? I am.

Categories: News & Views

Social Petworking

December 29th, 2011 2 comments

I’m not alone…being followed. Someone always watching what we do…
From the song “Being Followed” by Duran Duran

Facebook Fan PageIn this day and age with all of the social media platforms out there it’s easy to feel like you’re being followed. I feel tremendous gratitude toward all of you that decided to follow The Shelter Shack on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page. I know the incentive for many of you to follow was to try and win the Social Media for Social Good raffle. I appreciate the follow and hope you’ll stick around now that the raffle is over. Congratulations goes out to the winner of the raffle, Kristi W. and her charity of choice which is the Leon County Humane Society in Tallahassee, Florida.

So what does the quote from the Duran Duran song above have to do with all of this you might ask? Well, outside of a shameless plug for my favorite band, it serves as a lead in to talk about how those in animal rescue are not alone, and being followed on social media sites can only help to get those homeless pets adopted!

If you’re involved with a shelter or an animal rescue group and you don’t have a presence on a social media site…get one! They’re easy to set-up and they’re free to use! It’s one of the quickest ways to send out information to the masses about your adoptable pets. It’s also a great way to build community support.

It gives you the opportunity to connect with your supporters in a way unlike any other before. Outside of showcasing adoptable pets, you can announce upcoming events, share content from others about animal care tips or current animal related news, post happy tails of previous adoptions and post requests for donations.

A word of caution on the donation requests, keep those postings to a smaller percentage from everything else. People know you need donations and a gentle nudge every now and then will suffice, but requesting on a daily basis could cause you to come off as too needy and you will lose followers.

As a general rule of thumb, keep your postings fun and informative and you’ll keep your followers engaged. An even bigger rule of thumb is to respond to your followers comments. Even if all you’re doing is “Liking” their comment, that can be enough. It shows that you are paying attention to what they are saying. So animal rescuers…go forth and be followed!

Since I started this post with a shameless plug for my favorite band, I might as well end the same way. Here’s the music video for the song quoted above. It is from the album All You Need Is Now. Enjoy!

Categories: News & Views

Animals Sing “12 Days of Christmas”

December 22nd, 2011 No comments

Categories: News & Views

Circle the Wagons! Last Chance to Enter to Win

December 22nd, 2011 No comments

Here’s you last chance to win cash for yourself and your favorite animal charity. Previous ways to enter this contest have been to “Like” Facebook Pages and to “Follow” Twitter accounts. Today’s method of entry is to join the “Circle” of Google+ pages listed in the Rafflecopter below.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about this contest, you can still go back and enter it through the Facebook “Likes” and Twitter “Follows”. You have through December 28th to enter the contest through any of these three methods.

The winner will be selected at random from all entries over the course of the contest. The winner will recieve $112 and the winner can also select an animal charity of their choice to recieve $213. The winner must have a PayPal account in order to accept the prize. If you don’t have an account you can sign up for one should you win.

This “Social Media for Social Good” contest is being put on by Two Little Cavailers and Pamper Yourself in Pink. Since they’re running the contest, the participating bloggers are also eligible to win. If the Shelter Shack wins, our charity of choice is Canine Lifeline. So who is your animal charity of choice? Tell us in the comments section.

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Categories: News & Views

Twitter Follows Could Win You and Your Favorite Charity Cash!

December 18th, 2011 1 comment

Want to win some cash for yourself and your favorite charity? Here’s your chance! All you have to do to enter the contest is follow any of the Twitter accounts in the Rafflecopter below. The more accounts you follow, the more entries you get into the contest.

The cash prize is as follows: $112 will go to the winner and $213 will go to the winner’s animal charity of choice (must be a 501(c)(3) organization). You and the charity will also need to have a PayPal account in order to accept the prize. If you do not have one, you can easily set one up should you win the contest. The winner will be selected at random from all entries over the course of the contest.

Don’t have a Twitter account? That’s okay, because there are a few other ways you can enter to win. Hop on over to our “Social Media for Social Good – Follow Us on Facebook” post to enter by “Liking” the Facebook pages listed in the Rafflecopter there. You’re next chance to enter the contest will be December 22nd. Look for a new post then which will focus on Google+. If you don’t have an account for any of these social media platforms, you can still enter by posting a comment to any or all of the 3 blog posts for the contest. Not sure what to say in the comment section? Go ahead and tell us what charity you want to win the cash for.

This “Social Media for Social Good” contest is being put on by Two Little Cavailers and Pamper Yourself in Pink. Since they’re running the contest, the participating bloggers are also eligible to win. If the Shelter Shack wins, our charity of choice is Canine Lifeline. If you would like to follow them, it won’t get you an entry into the contest but they’ll definitely appreciate the support! They can be found on Facebook ( and Twitter (

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Categories: News & Views

Social Media for Social Good – Follow Us on Facebook

December 14th, 2011 No comments

The Shelter Shack is participating in a holiday blogging event for pets in need that is being put on by Two Little Cavaliers. This is a two week event which has a cash prize attached to it. The prize will be divied up between the winner and the winner’s 501(c)(3) animal charity of choice. The cash pot is at $112 to the winner and $213 to the winner’s charity of choice. This event is also a way for bloggers to build their fan base on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

The charity I am hoping to win the money for is Canine Lifeline. I am a co-founder of the organization and also a Board member. Canine Lifeline has been rescuing dogs from death row for a little over 2 years now. So far in 2011 we have rescued over 350 dogs from euthanasia. We regularly take on dogs with medical needs such as heartworm, demodectic mange, cherry eye, broken bones, etc. We affectionately refer to these dogs as our “Mended Mutts”.

Pictured at left is one of our Mended Mutts, Toby, who came to us with a six pound tumor on his leg. We were able to get him the surgery needed to remove it and I’m happy to say it was not cancer. I’m also happy to say he has found his forever home. Canine Lifeline is an all volunteer organization that relies soley on donations for the care of our dogs, so winning this contest would be a big help.

If you would like to enter this contest, all you have to do is “Like” various Facebook pages listed in the Rafflecopter below. You’ll receive an entry for each Facebook page you like. You’ll also receive an entry if you add a comment below to this post. The winner will be chosen at random at the end of the two weeks. Stay tuned for your next chance to enter to win on December 18th! Next up we will be following Twitter accounts!

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Categories: News & Views