October 24, 2013
Planning for that special occasion can be fun and exciting but it also needs organization to be a success. It is important to make the right planning decisions and to have a grasp of what your audience may expect from the special event. Below are some simple tips:
One, identify the sort of event you want and the audience expected to attend the event. For example if you’re planning a cocktail party you might consider providing alcohol, appetizers, some music, perhaps a live band. With music you’ll need to consider the age group attending the party.
Two, decide on the budget and stick to it. Remember when compiling a budget to take into account rental, location of the venue, food and drink, seating, music or live entertainment, decorations, audio equipment, electrical supply and invitations stationary.
Three, choose your vendors which might be: caters, entertainment and florist. When choosing a caterer remember who your audience is, age, meat eaters or vegetarians or those who might need special diets.
Four, send invitations in good time but not too early. You don’t want people to forget and make other arrangements, but at the same time you’ll want to give them good warning to prepare for the special event. The right timing to send invitations is important. You’ll also need to know by return of the invitations slip who is expected to attend.
Five, Pick a theme and buy decorations to suit. Also will you need eating utensils, table cloths, napkins, cups and plates etc?
Six, appoint someone to be overall responsible for the event. Keep contact numbers and addresses and have a plan ‘b’ should something go wrong or someone important to the event doesn’t show up.
Lastly, be sure you have all the necessary insurances. You can buy special event insurance, but look carefully at the terms you may need additional insurances for liability or loss or damage to hired equipment.
If you plan carefully you special event will be a success and enjoyed by all who attend. The perfect special event has been well planned throughout from the moment of inception.
October 11, 2013
Happy National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! We all know that most cities have multiple animal rescues and even rescues that are just for a certain dog breed, but what many people don’t know is how it all started. The very first dog shelter was founded 189 years ago in Britain by a few philanthropists. Following the beginning of the dog shelters came the start of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1824. Finally, after a long road with trying to get the community to agree with the mission of the SPCA, the now famous animal shelter grew in popularity. Queen Victoria became a part of that mission in 1840, allowing the society to be renamed the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She loved dogs so much that she owned 35 Pomeranian at one time!
Eventually the United States was introduced to the ASPCA in 1866 and everything started speeding up from there. In Pennsylvania, three years later, one of the first animal shelters was created – the Women’s SPA of Pennsylvania. In 1877, after the introduction of the ASPCA, came the formation of the American Humane Society and other animal rescue organization. Finally, laws were in place to keep our furry friends safe!
October 4, 2013
This is THE month for your animal welfare organization to get those dogs adopted. Why is that? Because it’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Many people in your community probably haven’t heard of this National Month celebration, so, by just informing your community that it’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month will get the people listening. Now that you have their attention, it is important to inform them. Many people have misconceptions about animal shelters. Either they want a purebred (which most animal shelters have!), they want a puppy (animal shelters have that too), or they think they have behavior problems. By informing the public that there are purebred dogs, puppies, and the sweetest furry friends you could ever find at a shelter then you might change their mind. Now that the community is very interested, post pictures and videos of your adoptable animals on your website or social media site. Many people would prefer to peruse the pictures and videos at home before driving to the shelter (especially if they have children) so, make this convenient for them (and don’t forget to get a shot of those puppy eyes). Now they are hooked and through their new family member, they will be able to spread the good of animal shelters.
September 26, 2013
Animal shelter volunteering is something that can make a great difference in a community as well as in the lives of homeless animals. Whether it be walking a few dogs during the day, completing paperwork or helping to raise funds for a specific shelter or animal who is in need, volunteering at a local shelter is a labor of love that goes a long way.
Thousands of people across the country a working to help animals find new homes that are safe and nurturing. Not much, if any, funding goes towards the shelters that are located in almost each city so animal shelter volunteering something that these places rely upon to keep going. It’s not just about care of the animals but also about spreading the word about what it means to be a responsible and caring pet owner as well as how to care for and protect an animal.
While animal shelter volunteering may not bring home a paycheck, volunteers get paid in plenty of animal kisses and snuggles. Keep in mind that these animals don’t have a warm and cozy home to live in and their lack of owner can sometimes take its toll. Many of the animals that are located in shelters crave companionship, playtime and interaction. The more volunteers that a shelter has the more interaction an animal will receive and this works for not only the animals but for the shelter as well.
Volunteering at an animal shelter usually requires a person to do a number of different jobs. If a shelter has someone available to them they might have them complete a number of different tasks throughout the day. Dogs aren’t the only animals in the shelter that may need attention. A volunteer may be required to spend some time with the cats that are confined to cages otherwise as well as other animals that may be at the shelter including rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, etc. Some shelters even ask for volunteers to foster animals in their home to provide extra space in their facility and to ensure an animal is receiving proper care.
Animal shelter volunteering is a rewarding opportunity that not only benefits the animals involved but also the volunteer themselves and the shelter. Volunteers are what help keep a shelter going and this is what helps so many animals find new homes each year.
September 12, 2013
Managing risk is a key factor when operating an animal shelter. Every director or manager of an animal welfare organization or animal shelter should work on developing and devising a well thought out and highly detailed plan for managing risk factors. Such a plan is considered a risk management plan and calculates the degree of risk involved in working with animals for the benefit of the public as well as the animals under the organization’s care.
Risk management plans increase safety awareness among staff members and volunteers and lower insurance liability for shelters by addressing multiple risk factors with both people and animals in mind and by incorporating best practices from throughout the animal service industry.
You may direct an animal shelter or simply love animals, but you wish that they are well treated and protected while cared for at public and nonprofit shelters. These guidelines offer a foundation for developing a risk management plan.
10 Factors for Every Animal Shelter’s Risk Management Plan:
- All staff members and volunteers are required to undergo initial training and orientation before working with animals
- Protective gear worn while working or interacting with animals
- Security procedures outlined and displayed for kennel areas and their entrances
- Feeding procedures for serving animals displayed and reviewed with every staff member and volunteer
- Ensure proper management and maintenance of facility, i.e. lighting, water, waste, etc.
- Security equipment installation and monitoring to protect the shelter, its animals, staff members, volunteers and visitors; video cameras, fencing, entrance and exit doors, etc.
- Emergency evacuations procedures and periodic drills for natural disasters such as fire, flood, or any other natural disaster, even security breaches that place animals, staff members, volunteers or visitors in danger
- Mandate immediate reporting of risk factors to immediate supervisory staff, including animal cruelty, safety violations, and security noncompliance.
- Develop safety procedures regarding animals, staff members, and others
- Discuss, distribute and periodically review all shelter policies and procedures with all staff and volunteers, i.e. staff/ volunteer handbook
A risk management plan can serve as a major component of the daily operations of an animal shelter while providing guiding principles for reducing risk throughout the organization. By putting such a plan into action, you not only identify risk factors but include policies and procedures for reducing and eliminating them as well. Overall, a risk management plan can prepare you and your shelter for offering the best and safest service possible.
September 5, 2013
Off-site adoptions are a great way for your shelter to increase adoption rates, visibility and support for your animal shelter. Many local businesses and specialty pet retailers nationwide, such as PetSmart and Petco, partner with animal shelters and rescue organizations to run adoption programs. Pets looking for good homes stay in the store and are cared for until they are ready to be adopted. Placing animals in a high volume retail location greatly increases the chance that they are adopted into good homes. Many people who would otherwise not visit their local animal shelter are exposed to animals needing adoption. This is extremely beneficial to animal shelters facing overcrowding issues as it provides additional housing for animals, while simultaneously increasing the rate of adoption. Typically, such an arrangement does not require your shelter to provide any additional staffing on-site as most businesses are happy to care for your animals and handle off-site adoptions.
Additionally, the high number of people visiting these stores will have the opportunity to learn more about your shelter and your activities within the community. Some may even wish to volunteer their time or donate money to your organization. Provide pamphlets or flyers at these events to update the public on the work your shelter does and demonstrate why you need their support. This provides the dual benefit of matching needy animals with caring people and increasing awareness of your shelter’s needs and activities. Some stores and businesses may be willing to partner with your shelter on larger events such as adoption drives or a weekly adoption event. Sponsoring these events brings more customers into the store, while providing your shelter with even more visibility and chances for adoption.
Partnering with local businesses or major retailers for off-site adoptions can be a boon for your shelter or rescue organization. These mutually beneficial arrangements allow your shelter to increase adoption rates, reduce overcrowding and increase visibility and awareness while bringing in more customers to your host’s business.