Seeing a  pet that was once homeless, frightened and sad happily going home with their new family is a very rewarding experience.   A successful adoption can make all the hard work of animal rescue seem worthwhile.

While adoptions are a continuous goal of rescue groups, hosting adoption events is a great way not only to encourage adoptions but to promote animal rescue.  Involving other rescue groups can somewhat lesson the workload of  running adoption events, but can draw more people to see the pets.

If your rescue would like to organize an adoption event, there are some suggestions you may want to consider.

Location, Location, Location

Choosing a venue is one of the first things to do when planning an adoption event.  If you would like to have the pets at the event, make sure they would be welcome at the location.  There should be space for dog walking and the venue should be easily located.   This may encourage those passing by the venue to visit and hopefully, consider adoption.

Get the Word Out

People need to learn about the adoption event.  Place posters in places of high foot traffic.   Radio stations may do “local event” announcements for non-profit groups.  Use social media to announce and promote the adoption event. Place photographs of some of the available pets on your advertising materials.

All Hands on Deck

Adoption events require a lot of work.   Recruit as many volunteers as possible and provide them with information about the pets needing homes and your group’s adoption process so they can inform visitors.   Volunteers will also be needed to walk dogs, ensure water is available for animals present.   If cats are part of the event, volunteers can engage them in play to showcase this aspect of their personalities.

A Common Goal

If several different rescue group are participating in event, each organization may have different adoption fees, procedures and requirements. Do not allow these differences to interfere with the ultimate goal of adoption events, placing homeless pets into loving homes.

More Then Adoption

An adoption event is a great opportunity to educate the public about the plight of homeless animals, the benefits of adopting adult pets and how adoption saves lives.

What is Rescue Waggin?

June 17, 2014

It’s far too easy to fill animal shelters and rescue centers with unwanted and abandoned companion animals. So many dogs and cats desperately need homes; meanwhile, misinformed people continue to choose the puppy boutique over the Humane Society and the neighborhood breeder over your rescue group. If your county or city has an overpopulation problem, you probably can’t even imagine empty kennels or cages. Surprisingly, some facilities in the United States actually do have vacancies from time to time, and many have a greater demand for certain dogs.

That’s where the Rescue Waggin’ program comes in. Nonprofit PetSmart Charities found an original way to give homeless pets a second shot at finding a forever home; they added wheels to the adoption experience! In addition to giving Humane Society animals exposure in PetSmart stores and offering affordable spay/neuter clinics, the organization also runs this invaluable transportation rescue service. In 2004, the Rescue Waggin’ started transporting dogs to shelters where they were more likely to be adopted; partner shelters work together to make sure every dog finds a family.

Any shelter or pet rescue group can take advantage of the The Rescue Waggin’.  For example, if you have families on waiting lists but haven’t found the right matches for them yet, you could become a “destination partner” for the Rescue Waggin’. That means the bus would pick up dogs from a shelter somewhere else in the country, make sure they had the proper assessments, vaccinations, and other treatments, and then drop them off with you to find good homes for them.

Actor Josh Duhamel even teamed up with the organization to produce an original web series, “Rescue Waggin’: Tales from the Road”. At first glance, the show follows the happy journeys of homeless dogs and puppies who ride the Rescue Waggin’ to their forever homes. However, it doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality of pet overpopulation, tackling everything from puppy mills to euthanasia statistics. In one episode of this eye-opening series, actress Kristen Bell even introduces her two rescue dogs and makes an emotional plea about the repercussions of buying from a breeder, rather than the Humane Society.

The Rescue Waggin’ is just one more example of people working together on behalf of animals, to spread awareness and save lives. The best part? 60,000 dogs are alive today because of it.

Obesity can be a problem with animals as much as it can be with humans. After all, many house pets have a tendency to eat, sleep and lay around, so animal obesity is quite common. This can lead to many health problems, and often an early death for the pets. For cats, there are many ways excessive weight gain can be prevented. Here are 5 steps to prevent animal obesity in cats.

1. Buy Special Cat Food.

There are numerous choices of cat food on the market, and they all serve different needs. For cats with weight problems, there are many choices. There is special diet cat food available that will help regulate a cat’s weight. Also, for strictly indoor cats, there are indoor formulas available by most major brands of pet foods.

2. Play With Your Cat.

While its true that cats sleep a lot, they also have their feisty, playful sides. Most of the time though, they are just waiting to be brought out by you. Buying some cat toys like a laser pointer, and any variation of a string on a stick will get your cat moving. This will ensure your fat cat will shed a few pounds.

3. Let Your Cat Outside.

You may be too busy to play with your cat, but there is a whole world out there for your kitty to explore. When you let your cat outside, they can run and play all they want, which is an excellent source of exercise. Of course, your location may not be ideal for your cat, so proceed with caution. Its also wise to put some flea medication, or at least a flea collar on them before letting them outside.

4. Don’t Feed Them People Food.

Some people may feed their cat table scraps, and this is bad for several reasons. Not only does it teach them bad habits, but it could be making them fat. You should discourage this behavior at all costs, as it will improve the quality of life for both you and your pet.

5. Take Them To The Vet.

Its possible you’re doing everything right in taking care of your cat, but its still obese. If you’ve tried everything but still have no results, the reasons for your cat’s weight gain could be beyond your control. Consulting your local veterinarian can give you some answers, as well as treatment options.

There is much joy to be had while running an animal shelter. Finding animals forever homes on a regular basis can be hard work, but is very rewarding. However, for all the things that can go right in your shelter, there are many others that can go wrong. That is when a liability waiver comes in handy. Liability waivers can save you a lot of headache and financial hardships. Here are a few examples of what a liability waiver can protect you and your shelter from.

1. Dog Bites.

Dogs are the most sought after animal in a shelter, and the majority of visitors in your shelter will likely be looking to add one to their family. When perusing the dogs, the visitors may put their hands in the dogs cage to initiate contact. While many dogs will be docile and friendly, others may perceive this as a threat and bite the stranger’s hand. This can be problematic because injury or disease can happen as a result. If that visitor signed a liability waiver though, then you are clear of any blame.

2. Cat Scratches.

Cats are another animal that is highly sought after in a shelter, and chances are your shelter houses many. One of the cats in your shelter may come into contact with many visitors in a day, and may scratch them. While a cat scratch, or bite may seem harmless at first, it can have lasting consequences. A cat scratch can lead to a nasty bacterial infection known as cat scratch fever. A visitor who contracts cat scratch fever from one of your shelter cats may hold you liable. However, a liability waiver would say different.

3. Slips, Falls. Etc…

Even if your shelter animals are well contained and on their best behavior, there is still many things that can go wrong. A dog may urinate on the ground, and someone could slip in it. The puddle may have gone unnoticed by the shelter staff until this accident occurred, so a wet floor sign didn’t get put out. Liability waivers can include a clause for this situation, and any other non animal related incident.

One of the key drivers for keeping the buildings of an animal rescue shelter in spick-and-spank condition is the health of the animals. An environment conducive to good animal health is a basic requirement for any shelter. Proper building maintenance is one way of ensuring your animals reside in habitable conditions. Here are some tips to help you jump-start your spring building maintenance.

Primary Enclosures – Check all primary enclosures for damage and repair immediately. Check for faulty latches, edges that are sharp, open spaces, and other flaws. If enclosures are not well-secured, then the likelihood of the animals being injured is highly possible. The animals could break free from their places of confinement if enclosures are defective. Kennels, runs, cages and pens are some primary enclosures that should be routinely checked and maintained.

Ventilation – Proper ventilation is essential for good animal health. The quality of the air in the animal rescue shelter directly impacts the health and well-being of the animals. Fresh, clean air is needed for the animals to strive well. Check your ventilation systems to ensure that they allow clean air to circulate while removing stale, unclean air.

HVAC – Dust and hair from animals can become trapped within the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The HVAC can distribute contaminants in the air which can cause ill-health and disease at the animal rescue shelter. Proper maintenance of the HVAC system is important since the quality of the air affects animal health.

These few preventative maintenance tips can alleviate many problems and safeguard the health of the residents at the animal rescue shelter.

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.

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.

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.

Animal Shelter Insurance

October 14, 2013

Animal shelter insurance does not have to be a mystery. In fact, there are all types of coverage available for your animal shelter or agency. This includes property insurance, which protects your physical structure from fires, vandalism, and natural disasters. There is also insurance that secures proper restitution if your shelter gets robbed or burglarized. While animal shelters protect countless dogs and cats, one of the main issues at these venues revolves around bites and accidents. Whether you are a volunteer, employee, or visitor, there is always a chance of being bitten by a dog. Therefore, your center should have dog bite insurance available. This protects your shelter from lawsuits and other legal mishaps.

Sadly, too many animal shelters simply do not have insurance. This is due to a number of reasons, such as cost and affordability. Other centers believe they are too small and therefore do not require coverage. While animal shelters are philanthropic in nature, they are not exempt from lawsuits or other legal problems. A number of animal welfare directors and managers simply do not understand how animal shelter insurance works. While it’s true that animal insurance plans can be confusing, help is always available. Simply contact or visit AWOIP online today. They specialize in liability insurance for animal shelters, the SPCA, humane societies, and animal rescue agencies. With years of experience, these experts can discuss a range of insurance options that effectively meet your needs.

To secure timely and affordable animal shelter insurance, you have to carefully weigh your options and choices. While there are several types of coverage available, which form of insurance will benefit you and your workers? Since you are dealing with animals, you will definitely need insurance that protects your business from daily mishaps and accidents. This includes people falling and slipping due to animal urine and droppings, along with bites and scratches. Since all animals are checked for diseases and appropriately treated, there is no chance for anyone to acquire life threatening illnesses. Still, you need insurance that protects your center from faulty claims via customers or even in-house workers.

You can also purchase property insurance. This protects your entire shelter from internal and external problems. This includes car accidents, along with people falling due to cracks on the ground or surface. For more information on which insurance plan is right for you, visit or contact AWOIP online today.