Animal shelters and rescues have the weight of the helpless animal population on their shoulders.  They find ways and methods to accomplish their significant missions and visions with minimal funding and resources. Animal shelters and rescues rely heavily on the support of donors who provide needed items as well as financial donations.  The last thing they need to add to their daily worries is the risk of a cyber attack that compromises their donor’s confidential information. According to a recent study released by The Global State of Information Security, security incidents increased by 38% and theft of “hard” information rose by 56% in 2015 when compared to 2014.  With the threat of cyber attacks on the rise, it is a real concern for many nonprofit animal shelters and rescues. Implement a cyber security program to protect your donors and your animal shelter or rescue.

Here are eight items to include in your program:

  1. Backup your data. Create a backup of information stored on your computers and server daily. Hackers have the power to compromise your electronic information, making it inaccessible. A backup provides you with an up to date list of your donors and their contact information, simplifying the notification process (a little at least).
  2. Secure physical data. Store physical donor files and confidential information in a locked, fireproof filing cabinet. Allow access to this information on an as-needed basis.  The fewer hands that physically touch the files, the smaller chance they can be misplaced.
  3. Limit the information you collect. A great rule of thumb to implement immediately is “if you don’t need it, don’t ask for it.” The less data you collect from donors, the less information a hacker gains during a breach.
  4. Purge unneeded information. If you have years of donor information stored in a back room at your animal shelter or on discs, it may be time to purge it. Keep only information you need. Often times, older files are stored and forgotten about. Holding onto donor files and information increases your chance of suffering from a breach.
  5. Update computers and software. Update computers and software programs on a consistent basis. Companies release updates and patches to help protect their customers from data breaches.  If updates are left unattended, your risk for a breach increases.  If you are not technology savvy, hire a local IT company to help keep your system up to date and secure.
  6. Use encryption. Use a data or donor collection service that encrypts the information your donors enter. Encryption encodes the information making it only accessible by those authorized to view it.
  7. Train your volunteer staff. Volunteers are a significant help to animal shelters and rescues. They can also be a great risk.  If your volunteer team is not internet or computer intelligent, they may unknowingly download malware or spyware.  Educate them on what is an acceptable use of the organization’s computers and emails.  Make it mandatory that downloads are not acceptable and should be approved by the director.  Phishing schemes are a common hacker specialty. Train your team on these to protect your shelter or rescue.
  8. Purchase cyber liability insurance. Cyber liability insurance is beneficial if it is purchased prior to a cyber breach or theft.  Cyber liability insurance protects your nonprofit animal shelter at the time of the breach by paying defense and settlement costs. The best cyber insurance policies take care of the state required notifications, which can be a long and treacherous task.

Cyber breaches are a serious threat to nonprofits like animal shelters and rescues.  The unfortunate news is hackers are becoming more creative in their schemes, making it difficult for companies to keep information secure.  Implement a cyber security program outlined here to protect your nonprofit animal shelter or rescue.

 

Animal Shelters and rescues attend adoption events as exhibitors to help raise mission awareness and increase adoptions.  Events range from a small open house to a larger event with multiple animal shelters and rescues.  Deciding to attend an event comes with risks. Plan in advance to minimize these risks. Train your volunteer team on how their actions can help protect your animal shelter or rescue. Here are five things your animal shelter needs to know before attending a special event:

  1. Does the event align with your mission? Look at the mission or goal of the event.  Does their goal align with your mission? If the two do not align, the event is not in your best interest.  Attending an event that does not promote your mission, leaves you open to negative publicity or loss of a positive reputation.
  2. Read the contract. Most event organizers require you to comply with rules and an agreement to become an exhibitor. Make sure you read the contract or agreement to determine if you can meet these requirements. Common event guidelines include set-up and tear down times, proof of insurance, vaccine requirements for animals, and expectations for how you present yourself during the event. If you are unable to meet the requirements outlined in the agreement do not register as an exhibitor.  You risk a negative impact to your animal shelter or rescue if you attend and do not follow the guidelines.
  3. What can go wrong? Prior to attending an event, make a list of all the potential risks. Risks include animals getting loose, volunteers not showing, animals injuring attendees or volunteers.  Once you have a list of possibilities, create a proactive plan that identifies how you will minimize the potential for these.  For example, one significant risk is an animal jumping on an attendee and scratching that individual.  A plan to keep that from occurring includes making sure volunteers are assisting the attendees while talking to, petting and playing with the animals.
  4. Choose the right animals. Choosing the right animals to take is a key in minimizing the risk of injury to attendees. Your goal is to increase adoptions by attending the event.  Animals that have just recently entered your care may not be a good fit.  Choose animals that can handle social situations and interaction with strangers.  Animals that are skittish or easily scared have unpredictable behaviors and should remain at the shelter or in their foster home during events.
  5. Choose the right volunteer team. Volunteers who attend the event need to be knowledgeable of your animal shelter or rescue, your mission and how to present themselves during an event. If you choose to send new volunteers, make sure you pair them with an experienced volunteer that understands adoption event logistics and your expectations.

Adoption and special events are a powerful way to educate and involve your community with your shelter.  Follow these steps before attending an event to create a positive experience for all involved.

 

Whether your dog is small or large, getting into stuff is their specialty and that includes chocolate, but what do you do if your dog gets into chocolate? Well, immediate medical treatment is usually required since chocolate contains a toxin known as theobromine, which is a stimulant beneficial to humans, but not to dogs. In fact, if chocolate gets into your pup’s system side effects could occur almost immediately.
Side Effects that Occur in Dogs that Have Eaten Chocolate
• Heart Rhythm Problems
• Central Nervous System Failure
• Muscle Tremors
• Seizures
• Coma
• Diarrhea
• Vomiting
• Excessive Urinating
• Hyperactivity
• Balance Problems
• Increased Thirst due to Dehydration
• Inflammation of the Pancreatic
• Possible Death
What amounts of chocolate are consider toxicity levels for dogs?
The amounts of chocolate needed to cause toxicity in dogs is around three milk chocolate bars, but chocolate bars made from pure dark chocolate are even more poisonous to pups. In fact, baking cocoa and bars contain 70% more theobromine that a milk chocolate bar, which makes it deadly to dogs who consume even an ounce. If you suspect your pup has gotten into a considerable about of chocolate it is wise to call your vet for immediate help.
Treatments Prescribed to Help with Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs
The treatments prescribed by a veterinarian to help aid in chocolate poisoning are simple. The doctor will prescribe a pill that induces vomiting or use an IV to provide fluids to flush the toxin out of the dogs body. Sometimes charcoal medications are prescribes if large amounts of chocolate have been in your dogs system for more than two hours to help relief a racing heart and to prevent seizures and other possible side effects from occurring or worsening.
Chocolate Foods to Keep Out of Your Dogs Reach
• Chocolate Bars
• Hershey Kisses
• Chocolate Ice Cream
• Chocolate Cakes
• Chocolate Milk
• Chocolate Frosting
• Hot Cocoa
• Chocolate Chips
• Baking Chips
• Chocolate Pies
• Fudges
• Homemade Fudge
• Chocolate Sauces
• Hot Fudge
• Chocolate Chip Pancakes
• Cocoa Based Cereals
• Cocoa Powder
End Notes for Dogs Consuming Chocolate
The best way to prevent your pup from ever consuming chocolate is to keep it up and out of the way. If your eating it and drop some on the floor, pick it up immediately. Remember, large amounts of chocolate can cause deaths in dogs so if you suspect your dog has chocolate poisoning the best thing to do is seek veterinarian help immediately.

Every day animals are mistreated. One of the ways to help stop all kinds of animal abuse is to get involved with the animal welfare program and do something about it. If you are wondering, what you can do to make a difference in the lives of animals the tips below can provide some insight to help you get started.
#1 Become an Animal Welfare Public Speaker
Stopping the mistreatment of animal’s starts by telling the public about animal welfare along with how the program helps save and protects the lives of animals all over the world. You as a public speaker could share important information about the animals you love and want to protect with schools, special clubs, local neighborhood groups, religious gatherings and special events.
#2 Gather Donation Money for the Animal Welfare Program
One of the best ways to help animal protection programs is to collect donations that will provide the financial support that is necessary. It takes many financial means to take care of animals in need. Animals need shelter, toys, food, water, medicines and veterinary care. Placing canisters in public facilities in your hometown in places such as diners, grocery stores, doctor’s offices and any place that allows the donation canisters goes along ways to gathering that financial means necessary to help improve the lives of animals in need.
#3 Volunteer at a Shelter
Volunteering at a shelter is helpful. You could walk and play with dogs and puppies, snuggle and play with kittens and cats and help keep them well feed and bathed so adoption is possible. You could also help shelters out by becoming a foster parent for pets in need of homes to prevent them from being put down in kill shelters. Every year several loving animals that are well behaved are put down simply because there is not enough room in shelters. Be those animals voices and speak out for them to help save their life and find them a good home.
#4 Help find Affordable Pet Clinics
Pets deserve proper medical care and that includes wellness exams and low cost spayed and neutering procedures to prevent unnecessary litters. If someone you know needs help finding an affordable clinic for their pets, help them find one. You could even offer to pay for a pet visit if the owner is going through financial hardship and wants their pet in good health.

Each year thousands and thousands of animals enter into shelters. Sadly, some of these shelters are kill shelters meaning they put to sleep animals that are in perfect health and fun of love. This is because many shelters lack proper communication with their local communities about each animal that is in them. If shelters would, share important information about the animals that come into their shelters the animals would have a better chance at becoming adopted. If you are a shelter, wondering what needs to be shared with the community take a look at the list below for guidance.
#1 Share with the Community that Not All Animals in the Shelter have Behavioral Problems
It is important to share with the community, not all animals that come into your shelter have behavioral problems. Some are well behaved and just neglected and need a new loving home. Share information about particular animals in your shelter that do have certain behavioral issues, but also share how these issues can be resolved with tender love and care and lots of patience.
#2 Share with the Community that Not All Animals in the Shelter have Health Issues
It is common for people to believe that animals in shelters have troublesome healthy issues, but this is not always true. Discuss with your community that the animals that come into your shelter are most of the time healthy, but on some occasions, you do get animals with health issues that are treated successfully. In addition, talk about the animals that are loving, and well behaved, that simply need ongoing treatments to live happy healthy lives so they can have a chance at becoming adopted too.
#3 Share with the Community that Adopting animals from the Shelter is More Affordable and a lot Safer
If you think going to the pet store and purchasing a new puppy is affordable, guess again. Adopting a new animal from a shelter is actually more affordable. This is because most of the animals from shelters are fixed, have already had a wellness check by a veterinarian hospital, and are up to date on all vaccinations. This means you simply get to enjoy the new pet you are bring home. Most importantly, animals adopted from the shelter have had behavioral evaluations, which helps properly place an animal in the right home that is safe for them and their new owners.
#4 Discuss with the Community that Adopting a Pet can Enrich Their Lives
It’s important to discuss with the community that adopting a pet from the shelter can enrich their lives. This is because animals can provide love, laughter and protection too. In fact, not only do animals from shelters provide love, laughter and protection, but animals are also a great remedy for curing loneliness and sadness. They can even help a person with a certain health condition to become more independent.
Bottom Line for Shelter Animals Needing New Homes
The best way for a shelter to find animals new loving homes that fit their needs and their new owners needs is by communicating with your community properly. Proper placement of an animal can ensure they have a home for life and their new owners have a new pal they will just absolutely love and adore. So, get the word out in your community about the animals you have in your shelters by posting articles in a local newspaper, posting flyers in your community areas and send news letters to each member that lives you’re your community. Let everyone know the truth about your shelter and the animals you have in them.

Everyone knows someone with the perfect, purebred dog. The puppy that arrives with a certified family tree documenting all of its award winning ancestors. Yet, do these families really know where this dog came from? Are they aware of the health risks associated with over breeding among many popular breeds? The decision to purchase a dog or other pet from an animal breeder is a personal, yet important decision to consider seriously. It’s important to contemplate all the options before welcoming a new pet into your home.
When searching for the new addition to your family, consider looking towards your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization. This alternative of adoption brings many rewarding benefits not only to the adopted pet in need of a loving home, but also to you, its new family. These animal shelters are full of all breeds, sizes and types of animals searching for their forever homes. Many are mixes of several breeds, while others are left behind purebred breeds whose families didn’t have time for them. Others, sadly, are animals recovering from abuse and neglect, in desperate need of a loving family.
When deciding between adoption from an animal shelter and purchasing from a breeder keep the following pet adoption rewards in mind. Upon adopting an animal in need, you will enjoy an infinite amount of rewards. Your pet adoption:
• opposes puppy mills and other illegal breeders.
• provides new hope to an animal which had otherwise been forgotten.
• keeps one less animal on the streets, without a home.
• fights over breeding and its many associated health risks.
• welcomes a new loving member into your family.
• rehabilitates and protects a neglected or abused animal.
All pets deserve a loving home and family. As you search for your perfect pet, remember to visit your local shelters and consult with animal welfare organizations which can assist you in finding the perfect match for your family.

Your business provides you and your love ones with the income you need to support every day life essentials. Being a strong leader at work is necessary in order for that business to thrive. After all, you want your employees to love who they are working for and provide the best service and care to your business so it can expand and succeed.

Five Tips on Being a Better Leader

1. Structure Leaders must provide structure by creating a plan that keeps the business working properly and the employees working together. This means creating a schedule that works best for you and your employees. Sitting down for a meeting each week with your employees and coming up with a work schedule together ensures everyone has the opportunity to choose the hours and days they wish to put in so when they do come to work they can work more effectively.

2. Compassion Having compassion for your employees goes along way to being a strong leader. Compassion shows that you are human just like your employees and that mistakes happen and emergencies come up that can easily be understood and handled properly. However, this doesn’t mean being a doormat and excusing a particular employee for calling out of work constantly or coming into to work late. When this occurs warnings need to be given and consequences need to occur. This ensures that the company has function so it can run properly.

3. Stay Calm When mishaps happen in the work place as a leader it is important to stay calm, think things through and handle the situation that came up in a manner that does not add more chaos. Remember, chaos only causes more problems and makes matters worse.

4. Respectfulness Having respect for each individual working for you is essential for gaining respect back and having a team of employees that is willing to work with you.

5. Listen To be a strong leader you must listen to your employees concerns and thoughts. Then you must address them in away that is beneficial to all of you and your business. After all, listening to each other is apart of teamwork and teamwork is needed in a business to thrive and grow.

In order to work efficient at your job, you must be able to work with your co-workers as a team. Ten steps you can take too improve the way you work together with your co-works are:
#1 Respect
Even if you do not like the co-workers you are working with, having respect for them anyways goes along ways when you actually have to work together with them on a project in the workplace.
#2 Honesty
Being honest with your co-workers keeps the team working together properly. Honesty forms trust, which is needed when working for a company. Without trust and honesty, no one relies on anybody for help when it is needed.
#3 Communications
Communicating with one another while working helps the team of employees work together without complications. However, complications can arise and when they do, this is when communication is most important because it is needed to help come up with a solution to fix the problem.
#4 Reliability
Being reliable is essential for having respect for your co-works. This means showing up to work on time and stepping up as a leader or strong co-worker when help is needed. This keeps the team relying upon each other, which keeps the team strong.
#5 Listen
Listening to each co-worker, you are working with helps with communication. Without listening, communication will not occur and this could cause chaos in the work force.
#6 Offer a Helping Hand
If a co-worker needs help, help them with out complaining. If the co-worker looks like they need help offer it or just walk over an assist them. It shows you can be dependable as a team member.
#7 Be Willing
When a co-worker gets sick and needs coverage, be willing to go in and cover their shift until their better. This gains you respect and helps the team stay working together effectively.
#8 Be a Motivator
The key to having a team work together is motivation. You being a motivator can help keep the team working together with ease and efficiency.
#9 Plan Together
Keeping a team working together means planning together when it comes to projects or improving the work environment. When you plan together, everyone knows what to do in order to get the task or tasks done.
#10 Be Positive
Being a positive co-worker helps bring positive energy into the workplace, which keeps everyone working together with upbeat attitudes.

Holidays are not just the time to give to people. It is also the time to give to local animal shelters to help provide them with the necessities they need to care for animals until they are adopted into loving homes as pets. One of the money common gifts giving to animal shelters throughout the holiday season is cash donations, but that doesn’t have to be what you donate this year to help keep a shelter thriving and caring for animals that need tender love and care. If your wondering what you could possibly donate to help your local animal shelter this holiday season view the list below.
#1 Pet Food
Throughout the year, animal shelters go through endless amounts of pet food to keep the animals well feed and nourished. One of the best donations you could give is pet food such as wet or dry cat or dog food and special animal treats. If your local animal shelter cares for small animals too such as bunnies, birds, and other small pocket animals, consider bring pet food tailored to these types of critters.
#2 Toys
Animals love to play too, which is why it is important to donate new critter toys to your local shelter as well. Simply go to your local pet supply shop and fill up a small basket or shopping cart with some neat toys that could make some animals very happy.
#3 Beds & Blankets
Pet beds and blankets are some of the most comforting gifts to give sheltered animals. Animals need warm comfy things too. It helps them feel safe and snuggly.
#4 Litter
Cat litter is another useful necessity in a shelter. Animal shelters go through so much cat litter in a year to help provide a clean place for those furry whiskered friends to go potty. You may not think this would be a helpful donation, but shelters would be more than thankful for this donation.
#5 Leashes, Collars, Pet Grooming Supplies and Crates
Leashes, collars and pet crates can be helpful too. Necessities such as this helps the animals in the shelter travel safely whether it be in a car or out for a walk on a nice beautiful day. Even pet grooming supplies can help greatly too. It can help the volunteers are the shelter keep the animals looking their best so they have a better chance at finding loving homes.

One way that pet owners often show their affection for their beloved pet is through food. However, they do not realize the detrimental impact that animal obesity may have on their pet’s health. Like humans, obesity in animals may cause diabetes, heart problems and arthritis. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures to avoid animal obesity becoming an issue for your pet. If you are a dog owner,  here are five simple steps you can take to prevent your dog from becoming obese.

1.    Discuss calorie intake with your vet. Different sizes of dogs have different dietary requirements. The larger the dog the more calories they will need. It is important that you know exactly how much your dog needs.

2.    Plan an exercise routine. Exercise is a important part of general health and fitness. Dogs need regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, either through walking or through energetic play. Look at your daily routine and make a plan for when it is best to exercise your dog.

3.    Skip the snacks. While offering your dog healthy snacks as a reward or as an occasional treat is fine, giving them treats between meals on a regular basis or slipping them food off your dinner plate is not.

4.    Spread your dogs meals. If your dog seems hungry between meals, then give them more meals throughout the day but in smaller portions. This is similar to the human diet concept of eating little and often.

5.    Use a smaller bowl. There are some studies that have shown that if you have a large bowl you will feed your dog a larger amount of food than they need simply to fill the bowl. So, by using a smaller bowl you are more likely to feed your dog a realistic amount.

By following these five simple steps you are taking sensible precautions to avoid animal obesity and you are being a responsible pet owner. These tips will help to lower the risk of your dog suffering from a wide range of health problems that could affect their life span and quality of life.