Thanksgiving is a time of family, celebration and food, which makes it easy to feel sorry for your kitty or pooch. They will make sad eyes, beg and even try to steal when you aren’t looking. Cooked turkey bones and even raw bones can be very dangerous to your dog or cat’s health. Cooked bones splinter very easily, getting lodged in your pet’s mouth, throat or GI tract. The result could be an emergency vet trip and even surgery. If you do give your pet turkey this Thanksgiving, make sure you remove all the bones. They don’t really need them and would much rather be healthy then have a bone to chew.
The beginning of the holiday season can mean more chocolate is making its way into your house. Make sure you immediately put any chocolate in a place where your furry friend can’t reach it such as a drawer, closet or counter. Milk chocolate can make animals quite sick and baker’s chocolate is toxic.
Many people start putting up festive Christmas decorations in their house around Thanksgiving. Items like tinsel and lights may look very pretty but to a playful cat or curious dog these objects spell danger. Make sure to hang ornaments and other tempting decorations up above eye level or at a level that your pet can’t easily reach. This will dissuade them from attempting to play with these holiday items.
Tree lights are also decorations that cats and dogs are tempted to chew on. Start stringing lights higher up on the tree to keep them at a safer distance from your pet and keep excess dangling cords to a minimum. Turn off and unplug tree lights when you aren’t home and at night. To deter chewing you can also invest in a bitter spray to put on electric cords to make them taste unappetizing.
Most houses have a lot of guests and family members coming and going during Thanksgiving. With cats, you may want to keep them in a closed bedroom or bathroom with food, water and a litter box to prevent accidental escape. For dogs, you can put a leash on them before company arrives and simply grab the leash as people walk in to keep them from sneaking out.
Hopefully these simple tips can help you and your pets celebrate Thanksgiving safely.

Fifteen Creative Ways to Be the Best Animal Shelter
It is our responsibility to make the life of the animals around us pleasant by sheltering them. The following fifteen tips will help you set up the best animal shelter.
Foster the Animal
Occasionally, the shelter may be too small due to the increasing number of animals. In addition, fostering helps in rearing the young animals while teaching young kids on proper animal care.
Walking the Animal
Of course, animals need exercise, and walking them around once a week or during your free time will allow them playtime.
Share Adoption Profiles on Social Media
Social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest help in identifying the perfect foster family for the animal.
Animal Training
Before putting an animal for adoption, it is paramount to take it for obedience class. This makes the animal more adoptable.
Writing
Shelters do scores of writing, including, seasonal newsletter, advertise for upcoming events, donations, and grant applications.
Support Services
Most high profile people in the society are stepping up support on shelters. In a bid to support shelters, it is humane to seek the services of these individuals’ e.g. local artists and businesspersons that mind the welfare of animals in order to help your local shelters.
Appearance
Animal shelters should be neat with no foul smell. Additionally, animals should also be healthy, clean, and well fed.
Personnel
A good shelter offers volunteer opportunities this ensures that the animals are not abandoned in case one of the staff falls ill.
Extension Services
A good animal shelter will offer after adoption services such as treatment, vaccinations, pet insurance, and animal training.
Photographs
Shelters can benefit massively from photographs particularly during rescues.
Rescue Home
Start your rescue home where pets can be located in case they are lost and found.
Throw a Party
Throwing a party while at the same time asking for shelter donations or gifts is a great way to have a fundraiser.
Transport the Animal
When putting up the animal for adoption, it is a great idea to drive the animal to its new foster home.
Make it legal
Animal shelters are in dire need of volunteers blessed with the expert legal experience. Therefore, review your copyright and join the animal legal defense fund.
Bookkeeping
Being a non-profit venture, a shelter’s records must be properly managed to meet the expenses of caring for the animals.

If you are the first point of contact for a dog who is coming in from a puppy mill situation, you have just become the representative of a new life and a second chance.
1. Have a veterinarian assess the dog’s physical condition. Puppy mill dogs are often long undernourished and may have gone without basic medical care. If weight gain is needed, ask for a recommendation for feeding.
2. Provide a safe, comfortable place that is out of heavy traffic for the dog to rest or retreat to when overwhelmed. Provide food and water in a no-strings way to facilitate quick recovery.
3. It is likely a rescued dog will be apprehensive or outright fearful of people. Help make a new, positive connection by tossing a treat whenever the dog looks at, approaches or investigates a person, even if it is only a step at first. Walk near casually and toss a treat. Gradually, as trust is gained the dog will move closer to you.
4. Puppy mill dogs are often under socialized. This can make them fearful of everything. In a very slow, relaxed manner, repeat above procedure when exposing a dog to new worries. Never push a dog to move past its comfort zone, this may result in a stronger fear or lashing out.
5. Leave obedience training until the dog is no longer fearful, or as close as you can. Training a frightened dog will be frustrating, and you are likely to see few to no results. Also, some behaviors like fear or submission urination will often subside with time but respond poorly to training.
6. Enure that a prospective new owner knows about any current difficulties in behavior or health, as well and progress so far. It is important that someone taking a rescued dog have the skills to continue their rehabilitation. Not knowing will simply result in more dogs returning to the shelter.
7. If you have a professional dog trainer on staff or the ability to seek the help of one, do so. A fearful dog can quickly escalate when handled wrong, potentially causing harm to people and more harm to the dog in the end.
It is not always easy to deal with taking on the extra responsibility of an abused or neglected animal, but for some, you may be a brand new or very last chance at life.

Owning a dog comes with important responsibilities such as training for behavioral purposes, grooming care, properly feeding your friend a well-balanced diet and making sure it gets lots of tender love and care. However, most pet owners do not think about the responsibility of having dog bite liability insurance. It is important to have for a handful of reasons.
#1 Coverage of Dog Bite Damage: In the event, your dog bites someone accidentally or on purpose, the cost of damage and injury to the victim is coverage. This is good for you because you do not have to pay any out of pocket expenses when your dog attacks someone, which usually can be extremely costly.
#2 Live Where You Choose: Some states have local laws that require dog owners to have liability insure for certain breeds of dogs. If you have one of those breeds without the insurance and want to move to a certain state that does not allow certain breeds without it, you can be prevented from moving to the area you wish with your four-legged pal. Even some apartment buildings, rental homes and condos require this type of insurance in order to rent out a place for your and your pal to live happily. Without the coverage, it raises a red flag to the rental service, which could cause your rental application to be denied. After all, rental companies like to protect themselves and other renters from unnecessary chaos and damage that could potentially harm them in anyway.
#3 Coverage for Property Damage: If your furry pup for some odd reason escapes your care for a short period, you will wish you had liability insurance for it. This is especially true if it decides to take an adventure without you to dig a hole in your neighbor’s yard or garden, or decides to chew and scratch the heck out of a stranger’s favorite yard décor piece. With liability coverage, you will not have to pay out of pocket expenses to cover the cost of that damage in the event your dog is reported. We all know our dog has have their own mind and tend to make messes wherever the choice even when it is not in their own yard.
For more information on this important topic, please call AWOIP at 1-800-673-2558 or 717-630-1030 or go to are website at awoiponline.com for the dog bite liability insurance.

There are so many animals that need homes that it seems impossible to have enough animal shelters and rescue clubs. It is also hard for the ones that exist to keep operating if they do not have the funds. Nevertheless, there are options available with grants from various organizations that will help out by providing your non-profit organization a grant. There are plenty of funding that can be found for shelters trying to find homes for animals and wildlife rescues.
Bernice Barbour Foundation
This foundation was developed after an animal advocate that aimed to protect animal rights and to improve their lives. Up to $900,000 is given out each year to assist rescue groups and veterinary research institutes along with animal shelters. You can receive health and wellness assistance, veterinary medical assistance and even wildlife rehabilitation through this foundation.
Maddies Fund
This grant was named after a miniature Schnauzer who’s care givers wanted to name the foundation after her in support of her love. They aim to help senior pet adoptions and medical treatment for homeless pets in animal shelters. They strive to get the word out by the use of television ads to promote adoption, particularly for older cats and dogs as they tend to be the last adopted.
Animal Assistance Foundation
Assistance from this foundation is for non-profit organizations that provide animal care and shelter for animals needing a home. This grant will assist with paying for medical care and getting cats and dogs spayed and neutered. They provide assistance to keep shelters running so that the animals are safe and healthy.
These are just a few of the grants available for animal shelters to make sure that the homeless dogs and cats can see a brighter tomorrow in a loving home. Those funding wildlife rescues provide assistance to give these animals a second chance at life in a safe environment.

Fundraising Ideas for Winter

November 10, 2014

Raising money for animal welfare organizations in the winter may seem hard to you, but it can actually be done easily and sometimes even be loads of fun. Below are some ideas to help you get started.
1. Pet Treat Bake Sale: Hosting a pet treat bake sale for your furry pals inside a facility that is warm and welcoming such as a winter’s farmers market or sporting event where fundraisers are welcome can be a great way to raise the financial means you wish to donate to the animal welfare organization you choose too. Even hosting a bake sale full of sweet treats, people love eating, could work too.
2. Ice Skating Party: Do your or someone you know own a pond that freezes over well in the wintertime? If you do, you could host an ice-skating party where you request a small fee to participate in the event. Advertising in a local paper is important for ensuring people come and money is raise for the animal because you wish to donate too.
3. Animal Face Paintings: Raising money by doing face paintings at special events such as winter carnivals and festivals, or birthday parties can be fun and rewarding. Children and even adults love a good face painting once in awhile, but make sure the ones you offer are animal ones such as cats, dogs, tigers, birds, reptiles, bears, or fish. After all, you are raising money for an animal welfare organization. Make sure you keep the face painting fees reasonable such as ones between $5 and $7.
4. Host a Winter Dance: Hosting a winter event in your local town can be a sweet way to raise money for the animal welfare cause you are donating too. Make sure you choose a fun theme and charge a reasonable fee that people can afford. Make sure you also advertise the event weeks in advance to ensure a good turn out.
5. Winter Bonfire Party: Host a winter bonfire party and charge a small fee to get into it. Advertise well and say what kinds of fun will be had at the bonfire event such as smore making and storytelling. Be creative and have fun with this idea.
6. Hot Beverage Stand: Serve hot beverages such as coffees, teas, apple ciders and cocoas for a small fee at a stand at a certain event hosted in your local area.

There’s nothing that takes a greater toll on pet owners than realizing they can’t afford to feed their pets. Animal food banks are a great way to make sure the pets continue to get the proper nutrition while the pet owners work to get back on their feet.
If you want to help local pets by creating an animal food bank, you’ll be pleased to know the process isn’t terribly difficult.
Create a Business Plan
You might be starting the animal food bank out of the kindness of your heart, you still need to approach it the same way you would any other business which means you’ll need a business plan. Not only will the business plan help you address issues such as how to market the animal food bank and where you’ll store supplies but it also allows you to apply for non-profit certification and approach people and businesses about donations of time, money, and supplies.
Elements of your business plan should include;
• recipient eligibility
• How to attract volunteers
• Startup costs
• Long term costs
• Services provided

Apply for Non-Profit Status
One of the first things you need to do when creating an animal food bank is enlisting the aid of a lawyer and filing the paperwork the food bank needs in order to qualify for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. This allows you to accept financial and food gifts and also helps you qualify for grants.
Keep Things Simple
It’s easy to have grandiose plans when you decide to start an animal food bank, but in the beginning you should keep things small and simple. Set up one day a week or month when in need pet owners can pick up the things they need. You can expand the number of pet owners you work with and the number of distribution days later.
Once you have decided how frequently you’re going to distribute and where the distributions will take place, you will need to create a schedule so at need pet owners know when they can pick up the supplies their pets need.
It’s encouraging to know that the number of animal food banks all over the country have been steadily increasing. Hopefully, this will go a long way towards making sure responsible pet owners who have fallen on hard times never have to make tough decisions regarding their pets.