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.

 

Planning Your Disaster Kit

February 5, 2014

When the unthinkable happens and you have to evacuate animals out of a shelter, what is the bare minimum you need to get your pets where they need to go? While disaster preparedness for animals is often aimed at the pet owner, some of the same information applies to shelters as well.

Have a Plan

One thing you need in your disaster preparedness kit is the evacuation plan. Where you evacuate to depends on what disaster could befall you.  A hurricane or a wild fire may take out a large area and may require an evacuation zone of several miles or hundreds of miles, depending on the severity. Your evacuation plan needs to have several back ups in case more than one evacuation area falls in the danger zone.

Animal  Health and Vaccination Records

Having records on all the animals is imperative to be sure that all are healthy and will not spread disease where they are going.

Collars and Leashes/ID Tags

Within your disaster preparedness for animals kit should be leashes, collars, and ID tags.  Every animal from the shelter will need some way of being identified if it gets out. Another possibility is to use ID microchips which can be read by various pet microchip readers.

Travel Crates

When evacuating a shelter, you can’t have enough travel crates and carriers. Unless your shelter already has portable cages, you should plan on having enough crates to keep the animals safe and secure.

Food and Potable Water

Carrying enough food and water for all those animals is daunting, but if you’re forced to evacuate, food and water are going to be high on the list. Depending on how bad the disaster is, you may not be able to make it out of the area in a timely fashion.  Plan on at least three to seven days worth, according to the ASPCA. These need to be split up with the transport vehicles.

Animal Emergency First-Aid Kit

You should also bring your animal first-aid kit.  No matter how many transport vehicles you have, each one should have their own first-aid kit in case they get separated.  Have a veterinarian come up with the best supplies for your kits.

During the Holidays

November 5, 2013

During the holidays, you will probably worry more about your bank account receiving a beating or is it your pet getting poisoned? Both are important but the former will surfer more if your pet got poisoned. Worry not, because knowing pet poison prevention tips can come in handy during your holidays and, consequentially, save you a lot of money, heartaches, and hassle.

During holidays different types of food and possessions such as chewing gums, handbags, and decorations are ever a common sight. These things that rarely seem harmful can actually be lethal to dogs and cats. For instance, fruit cake contains raisins and currants; this can easily, if ingested by a dog, cause kidney failure. You wouldn’t want that for your pet, now would you?

Everyone prefers the best there is and I bet you are no exception. Getting your pet insured is the best way to go in helping curb poison related issues, even though getting the best there is can be a daunting task. But why remain undecided while the best option is within your reach? AWOIP (Animal Welfare Organization Insurance Program) is one such reputable insurance organization that offers quality services and worth for your money.

Take action today for your animal and pet. For more on this, visit AWOIP and help save yourself sleepless nights.

Wildlife Rescue Insurance

October 29, 2013

Wildlife rescue insurance is simply important for organizations that help protect endangered species. Like animal shelters and clinics, these venues specialize in protecting and rescuing wild life. They also feature onsite physicians that treat animal injuries and other mishaps. These organizations are found across the nation, and offer services for both domestic and wild animals. They also take care of animals that are housed at local zoos and even animal museums. While these entities offer valuable services to the community, they are not exempt from lawsuits or other legal issues. In order to protect your animal or wildlife agency, you simply need the right insurance.

If you are struggling to find coverage for your organization, sites like AWOIPOnline.com. They specialize in helping animal welfare organizations find the right insurance plans and coverage. When it comes to wildlife rescue insurance, there are different types of policies available. According to experts, general liability insurance is a must. This type of coverage protects your organization from faulty claims and legal issues. It also protects your agency from lawsuits that stem from falls, slips, and other mishaps on your property. Whether it is a guest, visitor, or even an employee, you want to protect the physical integrity of your property as well. As a result, property insurance is also a worthwhile and lasting investment.

While all shelters strive to protect their volunteers, visitors, and animals, accidents do occur. This includes dog bites, along with injuries resulting from slips or falls. Whether you’re a director, manager, or volunteer, accident and health insurance is simply mandatory. In fact, this is considered the most common type of wildlife rescue insurance on the market. Sadly, a number of accidents occur within animal shelters and organizations each year. While the most common accidents are animal bites, volunteers have also been exposed to certain illnesses and medical ailments. With proper health or accident insurance, however, their medical costs will be covered by the respective organization or company across the board.

If you require property, professional liability, or accident insurance, AWOIPOnline.com is committed to meeting your needs within time and budget. Remember, even wildlife rescue agencies can be sued or face legal threats on a daily basis. To effectively secure your property and volunteers, simply get comprehensive coverage that offers maximum protection at every turn. For more information on wildlife rescue insurance, contact AWOIPOnline.com for convenient quotes and plans.

Many organizations choose to have adoption events at community events or at stores such as Petco and PetSmart. These events are very important to bringing exposure to your organization and finding homes for the dogs and cats that are under your care. If your organization holds off-site adoptions, reducing the chance of injuries to the public should be one of your utmost concerns.

Injuries that could have been easily prevented can be a drain on your financial resources and raise your insurance premiums. In some cases, a history of liability claims may result in cancellation of your insurance coverage.

  • You can prevent injuries by enforcing the following policies:
  • Make sure that you have enough staff on hand to supervise the pets and the people who stop by to visit your area
  • Trim the nails of the pets for adoption before the event, if possible
  • Do not allow people to pick up or handle the animals without assistance from your staff
  • Setup your area so that all pet cages are in view in order to make sure the animals are not unduly disturbed
  • Keep small children away from the pet areas because they may be prone to placing their faces or fingers too close to the animals or teasing them If possible, have all animals up-to-date on vital vaccinations such as their rabies shot
  • Provide disinfection stations for people to clean their hands before and after visiting with the pets

By following these policies, you can prevent insurance claims from injuries received at off-site adoptions. This will help keep your insurance premiums in check and maintain a good reputation for your organization.

Volunteer insurance is available to animal rescues and shelters as protection for their volunteers. It covers volunteers from injuries that are incurred while doing their volunteer duty. It provides peace of mind to the rescue owner because it gives protection to both the volunteer and the rescue organization. Volunteers can feel secure because they know that if they get injured they will be covered and not subject to costly medical bills from their volunteer work. This helps volunteers feel secure in doing their job and in turn makes them happier and more confident.

Rescues are always working on a tight budget and all it would take is one accident or lawsuit to shut the whole operation down. If a volunteer at your organization were to suffer some kind of accident that their insurance wouldn’t cover, would you be prepared? What if there is an injury and you are sued, are you prepared for that? If you have had a hard time getting insurance for your rescue then call us. Volunteer insurance is not something that regular insurance companies deal with and it’s even possible they don’t know it exists. Companies that do know how to deal with animal rescues and shelters know exactly what you need and can make recommendations of how much insurance to buy.

Volunteer insurance can be a comforting factor for volunteers. When you tell them that you have an insurance policy that covers them at your rescue you are letting them know you are running a professional organization and that you really appreciate the work that they do.  A volunteer who knows you have taken the time to get insurance for them will be more motivated to work and that translates into better care for the animals and for the guests of your rescue.

Take the time to explore what volunteer insurance can do for your organization. The peace of mind for both the owner and volunteers at the rescue is well worth the cost. If you have been searching for insurance for your rescue and encountering dead ends then dealing with a company that specializes in volunteer insurance could be the solution to your problem.

As the director of an animal rescue, you’re going to face many challenges. One of those challenges will be the fact that at least some of the animals you take in won’t have been properly vaccinated and could be quite ill. If you don’t have a plan for handling Zoonotic diseases, illness can quickly spread through your shelter, putting the lives of the animals you’re trying to save at risk, while simultaneously increasing the amount of money you have to spend on vet care.

To decrease the chances of an outbreak occurring, you need to take the time to train your volunteers on how to identify, respond to, and treat the different Zoonotic diseases they encounter.

Educate Your Volunteers

Before you let anyone do anything at the shelter, you should have a training period. At least part of this training program will involve discussing the diseases common to your area and the types of animals you receive. By the time they complete the training program they should be able to identify the signs of common illnesses, and what to do if they suspect they’ve just taken in a sick pet.

Teach Them What Questions to Ask

If you take in pets that have been surrendered by the owners, you need to make sure that your volunteers have been properly trained on what questions they should ask about what vaccinations the animal has had, and collecting the contact information for the animal’s vet.

They Need to Be Alert

The trick to preventing zoonotic diseases from spreading throughout your shelter is recognizing that one of your animals isn’t feeling well. Make sure your volunteers know that as soon as they suspect an animal is getting ill, they need to place it in quarantine and promptly start sterilizing the pen, toys, and feed dishes the ill animal used.

Stress the Importance of Protecting Their Own Pets

Since someone is volunteering at your shelter they obviously love animals and most likely have a few pets of their own. Make sure you make it very clear that by helping out in the shelter there’s a chance that they could come into contact with diseases which they could carry back home with them, and that the best way to keep their own pets safe and healthy will be by keeping on top of their pets standard inoculations.

Running a non-profit animal shelter means that you’re already squeezing every dime for all it’s worth, and cutting back as much as you can on your expenses. Considering how much liability insurance can cost, and how infrequently it gets used, it’s understandable that your insurance might be something you think about dropping.

Don’t do it.

Your Animal Rescue is Important, Make Sure it’s Protected

You know that your animal shelter is safe for both your pets, the people who come to visit them, and your volunteers. The odds of someone getting hurt while on your property might seem slim, but there’s a big difference between slim and impossible. All it takes is one careless moment, or one unforeseen circumstance and you could find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit that puts your entire animal rescue program at risk. The fact that you are dealing with animals, and can’t predict exactly how they will react to visitors or situation further increases the chances of someone getting hurt.

Having SPCA insurance means that you, your shelter, and your volunteers will be protected if an accident happens, and that you will be able to stay open for business.

What SPCA Insurance Covers

Your animal rescue isn’t like every other rescue, there are traits that make it unique. SPCA insurance providers know this and have done a great job of creating insurance plans that can be customized to perfectly suit your needs.

Getting the Most Out of Your Insurance

In addition to choosing a SPCA insurance policy that covers every aspect of your animal shelter, you should also take care when choosing the agent you will be working with. You’re going to be happiest and feel the most protected when you have an insurance agent who loves pets and is excited about the work that you do. Finding one who has hands on experience with animal shelters similar to yours is a bonus.

If something does go wrong, you need to notify your insurance agent right away!

Having good homes is an important aspect of running a pet shelter that handles adoptions. Going to a foster home allows animals to adjust to the challenges they will face when they’re adopted by their forever home. Knowing how to choose the volunteers that will make the experience positive for the pet is critical.

They Need to Be Experienced

Anyone who wants to provide a foster home for any of the animals in your shelter needs to have experience with that type of pet. Ask lots of questions about what they did with their pets, how they handled training issues, and what they learned from the pet.

Make Sure they’ve had a Family Discussion

The lives of every person in the house will be impacted by their new foster pet. During the interview process, you need to make sure that everyone is on board, and ready to handle whatever challenges they encounter.

Tour the Home

As the director of the animal shelter, the pet’s safety and well being is your responsibility. You need to make sure the foster home doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the animal’s life. Just because you have identified areas that cause you concern, you shouldn’t automatically dismiss the families application. Discuss the situation. If they’re willing to make some changes, it’s a positive sign that they will be good foster parents.

Discuss How they Plan to Handle Training and Discipline

Every person who turns in a foster application will have their own ideas about training and discipline. You need to make sure those ideas align with yours. Find out if the applicant is willing to go through a training program to learn how to deal with the challenges fostering a rescue animal can create.

Be Prepared to Part

The hardest part of the fostering process is the fact that the time will come when the foster parent and pet have to say good-bye. It’s very important that you make sure the families who volunteer for the process are prepared to part. If the entire process has been positive, it won’t be long before they’re ready to take on another pet who’s in need of fostering.

Once you have selected a family to foster a pet, it’s important that you stay in regular communication with them.