How can you be a great animal shelter volunteer?  Follow these five steps and you will become one.

1) You must be dedicated to the health and welfare of the animals you take care of in the shelter by giving them your love and kindness, showing them you care by taking care of them when they are sick and feeling left out, being their friend when they have lost their friend.

2) Make sure that they are fed and watered as per the instruction for the animal.  If an animal requires a special diet make sure that they only get the food that is recommended for that animal.

3) Take the time to play and walk with the animals.  Some animals require more vigorous work outs to keep them happy, others only require some petting and attention.  Take the time to know the animals you work with.

4) Once you know the animals read what other volunteers have said about the animals in their write-ups.  Keep track of what you notice about the animals and add your own information about each and every one.  Some of the items you can keep track of are:

  • How well they respond to voice command while playing
  • How well they walk around people and other animals
  • How well they play with other animals
  • Weather or not they adapt to having animals of other species around them (cat and dogs)
  • Weather or not they are approachable by other people

5) You must always be there at your appointed time because the animals depend upon you to be there.  An exceptional volunteer will also make time in their holidays to make sure that the animals are well taken care of.

So if you are thinking of becoming an animal shelter volunteer then the five items above will give you a clear idea of what is needed.  This is really what any animal needs weather or not it is at a shelter, in the home, or a stray.  They all need love and attention.

 

Animals in shelters typically come from a background of abuse and neglect. Sometimes these animals have little or no social skills with other animals or humans. Similar to humans, social skills with humans or other animals are vital.

What is socialization?

Socialization teaches dogs to interact with humans and other animals in a friendly manner. Those responsible for socializing dogs use different tactics and methods. Placing dogs in foster homes and forever homes requires they have certain socialization skills. The skills required depend on the makeup of those homes. Do the homes have children, other dogs, or other pets? How does the dog respond to children, males, females, and other animals?

Often times, animal shelters know little about the dogs in their care. Especially when the dogs are found abandoned. In these situations, how do you know what type of environment they will thrive in? The best shelters perform aggression testing to determine what social skills are in place and which need to be worked on.

Proper socialization decreases the dog’s stress and the chance of lashing out. Shelter dogs need to be introduced to socializing differently than a 3-week old puppy. Follow these steps for socializing your shelter dogs:

  1. Choose the right volunteer. Choose volunteers who are calm by nature. Anxiousness is easily detected by the dogs. If the volunteer is anxious or quick to yank on the leash, the dogs get scared.
  2. Introduce them to other shelter dogs. During the initial meetings keep both dogs on a loose leash. This gives the dogs chance to move freely to check out the surrounding environment. Keep the dogs about 8 feet apart to avoid a face to face meeting which many dogs don’t enjoy.
  3. Pay attention. Take notice of how the dogs react to one another. Look for signs of discomfort – stiff body, bared teeth, or growling. Maintain distance between the dogs in these situations or stop for the day if they don’t calm down.
  4. Introduce them to a group setting. After the dogs do well in the one on one introduction, they can be introduced to a group setting. Have the volunteer take the dog into a group environment on a leash. Drop the leash inside – give them chance to explore while still having a method to manage them. Take them off the leash after 20-30 minutes of good behavior. Continue to watch them for another 20- 30 minutes to make sure they remain calm.
  5. Slowly move them full-time to the group setting. Move new dogs into the group setting in stages. Let them stay for a few hours adding time every day until you work up to a full day with the other dogs.

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.

 

Everyone loves the 4th of July! Summer holidays are a time of celebration, fun, fireworks, and lots of yummy BBQ. Many of us with pets want them to enjoy this day with us, and still others usually allow their pets to roam free outside. However, this is one of the more chaotic holidays, so some extra safety precautions are important to keep in mind.

Lots of extra people and pets 

The 4th of July brings almost everybody out of their homes! While this is a fantastic social time, it can be risky or scary for your pets. Free roaming pets should be kept indoors that day to avoid accidents or encounters with other animals, and dogs coming to events with you should always be kept on a leash. If you’re bringing your dog into crowds during summer holidays, watch their body language carefully. If they are scared or feel threatened by all the rowdy children, sparklers, etc, they may act in uncharacteristic, aggressive ways.

Prepare for fireworks

Although we tend to enjoy fireworks during the holidays, most pets do not. Their hearing is much more sensitive than ours, and they don’t understand that these loud sounds don’t signal danger. Many pets can panic or get very agitated while fireworks are going off. It’s a good idea to keep your dog on a leash and all free roaming pets inside that day and night so they don’t panic and run in front of a car or get lost.

Food

4th of July food is good for us, but not for pets! While a little bite of your plain hot dog probably won’t hurt your dog, letting them gorge on leftovers or candy lying around can make them very sick. Chocolate and other human foods are toxic for dogs, so watch out! Also be careful with the grill; dogs may try to grab food that is not good for them to eat, or they may knock over the grill and cause serious injury or a fire.

Heat

It’s going be hot, hot, hot! Just like you have to keep yourself cool and hydrated during summer holidays like this, your pets have the same needs. They need access to cool water and shade, and to rest when it’s especially warm.

Fire Safety Tips

October 19, 2014

Safety in the workplace should be a priority. Having safety meetings once per month is essential for ensuring employees know what to do when an emergency comes up in their environment. One topic that is not discussed enough is fire safety. Knowing how to handle a fire incident properly is important for keeping everyone safe when one does occur. Below is a guide to some of the topics you can discuss during your first fire safety meeting.
Prevention Tips
• Keeping work areas clean are essential for preventing fires. This means properly disposing of flammable substances and materials after you are done with them. Leaving them hanging around can lead to an unwanted fire, which can start from a simple spark of fire.
• Keep all electrical circuits balanced. Overloading them with electrical devices can cause them to overheat and start a flame. It is also important to unplug electrical appliances and devices at the end of each day to ensure additional safety.
• Place all heat producing equipment away from dry walls and anything flammable such as papers, fabrics and furniture.
• Keep fire extinguishers in areas that are easy to access in the work place if in emergency does occur.
• Having a fire safety blanket on hand is also essential because it can help snuff out a fire on a person.
• Make sure every employee knows where the fire exits are. Consider creating a fire safety map so everyone knows the ins and outs of the building they are in.
• Replace batteries in smoke detectors often and make sure they are placed in areas where everyone can hear them.
Safety Measures in the Event of a Fire
• First, call 911 even if you think you can handle the fire yourself. Fires can become out of control quickly.
• Evacuate building in the event of a fire and make sure you close the doors behind you to prevent smoke inhalation and the rapid spread of fire.
• If you catch on fire stop, drop and roll. If an employee, catches on fire tell them to stop, drop and roll, grab a fire safety blanket and wrap them up with it, and call 911. Burn injuries are serious and will need medical attention immediately.
End Notes
Knowing this important information is essential for saving lives and keeping everyone safe in the event of a fire. After all, you can never be too safe while working hard.

A recent study conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) shows that people who adopt dogs from animal shelters are more content with their pet than people who buy a dog from a pet shop. This tears apart the stereotype of animal shelter dogs being “damage goods”, unfriendly and slow.

The truth is that animal shelter dogs are incredibly grateful to leave their strict confines and enter into your world. Can you imagine how good it must feel to leave a crowded shelter with little space to roam and play? You are doing an animal shelter dog an enormous favor by bringing him home even though you might not notice it right away. It might take your adopted dog a day or two to feel comfortable in your home but rest assured that deep down he is ecstatic with his new spacious digs, his new yard and his new family.

The survey mentioned above also indicates that dog owners who adopted from animal shelters were more than two times as likely to recommend adopting from the shelter than those who purchased a dog at a retail outlet. Part of the reason is the fact that dogs adopted from animal shelters typically require much less treatment and care from veterinarians than those bought at retail pet stores. So, you’ll be opening your heart and your home to an animal in need but you won’t be opening your wallet as much as those who opt to shop for a dog.

Part of the reason why owners who adopted animal shelter dogs are so pleased with their new pets is that the majority of these dogs lived with families in the past. This means that they will be able to quickly and easily socialize with you and your family. They’ll also be much more likely than pet shop dogs to seamlessly transition into your living environment and blend in with the rest of your household.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of adopting a shelter dog is that you are saving a life. Every dog deserves to live and live in a quality home. Just think about how much a shelter dog would appreciate the chance to live comfortably alongside a friendly family in a spacious home. Adopt a shelter dog today and save a life.

Business organizations under the leadership of their managers operate in different business environments with unique challenges. Just like there are many things that affect the operations of an organization, managers need to wear many hats if they have to make their businesses succeed.

Some of the issues that present crucial challenges to businesses are the work-related injuries and illnesses that can impede the productivity of employees and pose serious legal challenges to organizations. With the rising medical costs, purchasing accident & health insurance coverage can make sure your employees are healthy – physically, financially and emotionally.

Hospital (Inpatient) costs can be daunting for you and your employers, and there can never be a better helper than an appropriate insurance coverage. Some work-related accidents can be traumatic, especially if they involve fractures. Accident & health insurance covers fatal fractures through its fracture benefit plan.

Deaths that result from accidents or other employee engagements can have enormous impact on the financial base of the organization when the beneficiaries file a wrongful death suit. Accident and health insurance covers wrongful death and workman’s liability if the employer is injured in the line of duty. Therefore, the right insurance cover will help protect your organization against financial effects of bodily injuries. This insurance could help you cover your employees lost wages, hospital expenses and rehabilitation expenses in case the injuries subject your employee to long-term ailment.

Instead of worrying about how much your plan will cover, you will be concerned about getting better. For an employer, you will stop wondering what will happen in the event unexpected medication will be required to help treat your employees. Instead, you will let your insurer cater for virtually all costs, including inpatient and outpatient expenses until your employee fully recovers.

Cash payments (out-of-pocket) payments can run out of control and can cause an organization to loose money. In addition, it can cost n organization thousands of dollars to cater for daily needs of an employee. It is worth noting that a combined insurance coverage will be there at the time when you need that important help. A good accident and health insurance, you don’t have to freak about unplanned costs since your supplemental insurance will fill the existing gaps of your health coverage.

With the right accident insurance, employers can provide their employees with insurance benefits and cushion themselves from costs that come with wrong or lack of proper coverage.

 

A landlord may feel the need to require animal insurance as a means of limiting her liability. Landlords, although appearing to have an interest primarily in their tenants and the tenants’ well-being, actually have a greater interest in themselves and the condition of their security property, otherwise known to  the rest of us as merely  our apartment or house. Because the condition and safety of their property interests is at the top of their lists, they must take practical steps to protect that property and their own liability as the owner of the property.

Animal insurance is important because it protects landlords against two types of liability, both of which scare property owners.  Animal  insurance covers the landlord in the event of any damage caused by the animal and  covers liability the landlord may incur as a result of an injurious act of a pet.

Animal insurance covering pet damage to a rental unit can be added as a rider to a tenants regular renter’s insurance policy for an additional policy premium. Insurance which includes liability insurance covering injuries caused by the tenant’s pets can also be added as a rider to the tenant’s renter’s insurance policy in locations where that coverage is available for renters to purchase. i f a  policy purports to cover various pet related injuries, be certain that the policy does not offer such limited coverage that it becomes impracticable to give effect to that provision. Coverage for anything is available in a particular state  only when that state’s legislature authorizes that coverage

There are additional contractual ways of offering protection to a landlord in addition to requiring animal insurance coverage provided by tenants on the acts of their pets. Certain pet agreements entered into by landlords and tenants may serve to reduce risks to landlords caused by pet misbehavior but does not replace the protection of animal insurance. One of these agreements can be put into effect by clearly stating the nature of any acts the landlord is responsible for and which acts of the pet’s behavior are then the sole  responsibility of the tenant-pet owners.

Any landlord making use of a pet agreement  to assign rights and/or responsibilities relating to pets on the premises must maintain a  list of the specific pets covered b the agreement and must further be vigilant to keep the list updated.

 

There are many great funraisers that can help your community raise money for the local animal shelter. The poor beasts that live at the shelter need continuous care, food, and attention. There is often too little to go around, and every little bit helps keep the shelter running smoothly. Every animal deserves a shot at a great life. The sad dogs and cats that enter the shelter are often abandoned with serious medical conditions. Unfortunetly, many are put down because the cost to heal them is too high. Even healthy animals are put to sleep because of overcrowding. However, all that can change with a fundraiser that helps keep every animal happy and healthy until they find a permanent home.

A Benefit Dinner

Organize a benefit at a swankly location in town. Ask for donations for a silent auction that will raise even more moneuy. You can even try to get a local celebrity to say a speech about their love for animals. This could attract more preople to the benefit. Hire the best band and caterer in town to keep people entertained and satsified all nightr long. Offer a cash bar where people can donate whatever they like to help keep the costs of the animal shelter down. If you get the alcohal dontated, then every penny made on top will go directly to the shelter.

Your city hosts a plethora of benefits; therefore, you need to think of a way to make your stand out. It is for a good cause, and most people love any excuse for a party. However, a unique theme could make it even better. For example, a masquerade never goes out of style. You could even host a Monte Carlo themed event with gambling tables all around. This will be a night that nobody forgets, and it will raise an incredible amount of money for the shelter if done right.

The Great Raffle

A raffle is one of the easiest fundraisers around because it costs very little to pull off. All you have to do is buy a big ticket item. The prize could even be donated if you ask the right people. All you will have to pay for is tickets and advetising. This is much less than organizing an event, and it could raise the same amount of money too. Hopefully, a combination of these ideas will help the animal shelter.