If there is a violent criminal wandering the streets of your town wreaking havoc, a police officer will be dispatched to subdue him or her, and arrest them. They have the training and the tools to do such a job, and that is why we call upon them time and time again. When it comes to violent animals, they may not be so prepared. If a rabid dog or some other form of wild life is in your neighborhood, that is a job for an animal control officer. It is a position many may take for granted, but when you need them, you will be glad they are there.

Just like a regular police officer, an animal control officer has the skill set and the tools to handle any situation within their domain. They keep neighborhoods safe from dangerous animals. They have training to subdue and capture animals in the most humane way possible. This service is often overlooked, but it is much needed.

They also recover stray and runaway animals before they get killed, or become more lost. Otherwise, they may end up getting hit by a car or end up in the wrong hands.  If you have had a dog or cat run away, only to find they have been recovered at an animal shelter, you have an animal control officer to thank for their safe keeping.

Animals can be unpredictable at times, and just like humans, they sometimes need policing. If they were left to their own devices, our world would be a lot more chaotic. Luckily, this is something we do not have to think about, because we live in a world with animal control officers. This service may not carry the same respect as the police or fire department, but when you need them you will be glad they exist.

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.

What Life have they Had?

September 25, 2013

How would you feel if one moment you had a family and a home and the next minute it was all gone?  How would you react?  Would you be afraid? When you see an animal in a shelter, instead of looking at flaws, take a second to think a little deeper.  Animals don’t just magically end up in a shelter.  Unfortunate circumstances can cause even the most well behaved pets to end up with this bleak fate.  There are many people who take on a pet without evaluating how much responsibility is involved.  Similar to children, pets require time, love, and attention.  Lack of training, costs, health issues, or lifestyle changes can lead to an individual being unable to keep a pet.  Stray animals who do not have a home also end up in shelters as well as pets rescued from abuse.

Although life in a shelter is by no mean glamorous, it offers a safe environment for animals. If you want to make a difference, donate food and other provisions to your local animal shelter.  Take time out of your busy schedule to volunteer and provide a friendly face for the animals to look to. Every little bit can help during this difficult time of transition for a displaced pet.

Starting an animal rescue shelter requires planning, equipment & facility preparation and sufficient funds. The initial step is to decide which type of animal you need to create shelter for and the number of animals you will comfortably cater for. Depending on your resources and facilities, you can take any number of animals you want. Below is a quick guide on how to start a rescue shelter.


Assuming you have the necessary skills and training in taking care of animals, you need to find a suitable location to set up the facility. You need an ample space to ensure safety of the animals. Do not forget to check out zoning regulations for the piece of land that the facility will be built on. Take you time to evaluate whether the existing structures on the land can be converted for your own use.

Legal considerations

If your rescue shelter qualifies for 501 c 3 status, donors and contributors will be allowed to offer you supplies, food and money. Usually, it takes three to six months to attain 501 c 3 status after completing the paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service. Ensure that you have checked the licenses required by your city and state to run such a venture.

Donations and fundraising

This is most crucial part in starting an animal rescue shelter. You can start a membership program for animal lovers in your community. This way you will be able to raise some funds to support your venture. You can also add donation buttons on your website and be sure to acknowledge those who support you. Pet food companies may offer discounts on your purchases and well wishers may offers services and goods which are equally important as financial contributions.

Veterinary services

Proper health care services is another important issue when setting up a rescue shelter. It is advised that one should build a good relationship with a local veterinarian. Some veterinary clinics will accept to offer discounts on health services for all animals that have been rescued.

Finally, you will also need to obtain insurance to cover you in case a person in injured or bitten by your animals or hurt in your premises. Typically, starting an animal rescue shelter needs personal contribution, passion for animals and patience in order to achieve your ambitions.

What is Canine Insurance?

September 23, 2013

Owning a dog is a wonderful thing. They’re a source of unconditional love, protection, and have an uncanny ability to make us feel better about ourselves. We strive to be the kind of person our dogs see when they look up at us.

Owning a dog also carries some degree of risk. No matter how gentle your dog might be in most circumstances, there’s always a chance that they could bite someone, and that single bite can trigger all sorts of lawsuits and could cause you to lose everything. Canine insurance also known as dog bite insurance helps protect you and your dog.

Not Health Insurance

When most people here the words canine insurance, they think it’s a type of insurance that will help cover the cost of vet bills should the dog get hurt. While dog owners do have the option to purchase health insurance for their pet, there’s another kind of canine insurance they should consider. This type protects them if their dog does bite someone.

Who Should Have Canine Insurance

The most obvious answer to the question, who should have canine insurance is anyone with a dog that has aggressive tendencies, or has any type of history of biting. Some home owner’s insurance companies have a clause that states they won’t insure a house if certain breeds of dogs live there and don’t have separate insurance that kicks in if the dog bites someone. These breeds generally include chows, labs, pit bulls, and Dalmatians.

Even if you have a dog that seems to love everyone and isn’t a member of a high bite risk breed, if you live in a situation where the animal is constantly surrounded by people, you should consider getting insurance, every dog has a point where it feels cornered or has been pushed to far which can make them bite. If your animal ever reaches this point, you will be glad you purchased the insurance policy.

Most dog owners who opt to get liability insurance for their dog decide to purchase an umbrella policy.

Animal shelters try to find good homes for the animals in their care but not all are successful. Dogs are great family protectors and make excellent companions for the elderly but often do not get a chance to for adoption because the people coming in to the shelter are few and far between. One way to encourage more pet adoptions is to advertise in various ways some of the animals the shelter has that need good homes. Here are a few ideas for ways to increase animal adoptions by raising awareness and educating potential pet owners.

Spotlight a featured animal

Every shelter has at least one favorite pet that volunteers would take home if they could. Why not take out a small ad in a weekly publication and spotlight one animal per week?  Or a mention on a local public television channel. These animals have personalities and will make someone a great pet if given a chance.

Hold a Pet Fair or Fundraising Event

These are great events to get pet owners and potential pet owners to come out and participate. People can come out and meet a few of the animals brought to the event and get to know them. This gets the public out to meet the animals and possibly find one they want to take home.

“Sponsor a Pet”

A school class or local business adopts an animal as a group or sponsors an animal adoption by actively participating in activities and events to encourage people to adopt that animal. Businesses can put up a flyer or business size card with information about the animal and shelter contact numbers in their office for visitors.

Make Animal Adoptions Affordable

Family budgets are tighter these days than they used to be and many families would like to adopt a pet but may not be able to afford the fees to do so. One suggestion is to make adoption more affordable by waiving fees or offering a free spay or neuter for each animal.

Educate the Public about Pet Breeds

Many dogs have been given a bad reputation because of their breed. Some people won’t adopt a dog that they think will grow to be too big, or because they’ve heard they can be aggressive. The public needs more education about dog breeds and dogs in general, and then we’ll see more animal adoptions and reduce the population of homeless animals.

It’s not just us getting bigger, it’s our pets too.  It’s likely that your veterinarian has brought up the subject of animal obesity at some point during regular check-ups, and there are steps you can take to get them back on the right track:

  • Limit treats – our love for our pets can sometimes spill over into too many chocolate drops, or even morsels from our own plates.  The odd treat is good for a pet, particularly when they’re new to your home, and you’re trust-training.  However too many calories will have the same effect on your pet as they will on you, so make sure that treats are a once a day, or even every other day treat, and not a major part of your pet’s diet.
  • The right weight range – a veterinarian will always weigh an animal before giving them medication to make sure that dosages are correct, so you will be able to keep a close eye on any gains and losses.  Ask your vet whether your pet is a healthy weight, and what you can do to help them lose weight safely if they aren’t.
  • The right diet – even commercial pet mixes that are supposedly nutritionally-balanced may be too fattening or salty for your pet, and can result in animal obesity, or other health problems.  The internet can be a useful source of information to get the balance right. and even supplement mixes yourself with tasty, filling, nutritious extras that will help your pet stay healthy.
  • Tag your pet’s collar – this is one for cats, really, but we’ve all come across felines that will happily eat at home, and then go and eat extra dinners elsewhere.  A quick plea not to feed your pet will help your cat eat a normal amount.
  • Exercise – dogs need walking, but caged animals also need regular free-range time.  If your pet rat looks more like a small melon than a rodent, it’s time to use its natural curiosity to build ramps and mazes to encourage activity.

With animals becoming like family members for so many of us, it’s very important to take their health – and their weight – as seriously as we do our own.

If you are looking for a new addition to your family in the form of a pet, you should definitely consider adopting one of the many animal shelter dogs that are looking for a home.  These dogs can often make the most loyal and loving pets you will ever experience, as if they know that they were once abandoned for some reason and are simply seeking someone to show them the love and affection they are yearning for.

Many animal shelter dogs are a mix of breeds ranging from Alaskan huskies to Yorkshire terriers.  They are not always strays – many dogs find their way into the caring hands of an animal shelter because their previous family simply could not care for them properly, or had to move to a home where they could not keep a pet.  In some unfortunate cases, however, they are abandoned or neglected and are taken from abusive homes to await adoption by someone that will give them the lifetime of companionship and love they desperately want.

A dog from an animal shelter really is a great family addition, because they will love you unconditionally for as long as you’ll let them.  Most of them are already mature and have been socialized with people, so they do have manners!  Quite a few of them also understand basic commands, and all of them are ready to go to a new home.  Adopt a shelter dog today and give at least one animal a chance at a happy and long life with a new and loving family.

You may have heard some volunteer horror stories circulating around the organization.  Or even conversing with peers, you may have discovered the struggle of recruiting qualified volunteers.  Needless to say, volunteers are essential to a nonprofit organization as they assist organizations in fulfilling its mission and purpose.    As a result, recruiting dedicated volunteers has become essential to the functionality of many nonprofit organizations.

Creative Approaches to Locate Great Volunteers

It’s time to get rid of the old, passive, traditional means of recruitment and implement more creative and innovative approaches to find the volunteers your organization requires.  Depending upon your target audience, there are many options available to attract volunteers.   Here are some creative sources that are great recruitment tools that will assist your animal welfare organization in the implementation of effective recruitment techniques:

VolunteerMatch – A website specially designed for nonprofit organizations in the recruitment and management of volunteers.  This website navigates organizations through the steps in the development of personalized volunteer postings specifically identifying volunteer opportunities and creating a personal profile of the organization.  Furthermore, VolunteerMatch offers online support and training tutorials to enhance the effectiveness of volunteer opportunity postings and in the overall recruitment efforts of volunteers.

Develop Partnerships Partnering with local youth organizations, service groups, sports clubs, pet supply stores, groomers, veterinarian offices, animal clubs and churches are great ways to find dependent volunteers.  Networking with local businesses is also another great way to recruit volunteer groups.  Many employers will partnership with nonprofit organizations allowing employees to fulfill various volunteer projects during work hours.

Idealist Another great website to promote animal shelter volunteer opportunities within your organization,   Idealist attracts potential volunteers from all backgrounds.  Through this easy to use website, volunteers are able to search for opportunities by type, keyword and location.

Social Media – Engage prospective volunteers by incorporating social media into recruitment efforts.  Social media websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are useful websites to get the word out about available volunteer opportunities, requirements and how to apply.  In addition to this, social media is a great source to inform potential volunteers about upcoming animal shelter volunteer fairs.

There is no doubt, animal welfare organizations are challenged in recruiting quality, passionate and dedicated volunteers.  However, these helpful resources can assist your organization in finding credible animal shelter volunteers to ensure the mission of your organization is fulfilled.

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:

  1. All staff members and volunteers are required to undergo initial training and orientation before working with animals
  2. Protective gear worn while working or interacting with animals
  3. Security procedures outlined and displayed  for kennel areas and their entrances
  4. Feeding procedures for serving animals displayed and reviewed with every staff member and volunteer
  5. Ensure proper management and maintenance of facility, i.e. lighting, water, waste, etc.
  6. Security equipment installation and monitoring to protect the shelter, its animals, staff members, volunteers and visitors; video cameras, fencing, entrance and exit doors, etc.
  7. 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
  8. Mandate immediate reporting of risk factors to immediate supervisory staff, including animal cruelty, safety violations, and security noncompliance.
  9. Develop safety procedures regarding animals, staff members, and others
  10. 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.