To create awareness for Give to the Max Day, the Animal Humane Society organized a hunt for “Where’s Max?” with clues to his whereabouts throughout the day on Facebook and Twitter. First thing in the morning, folks met up for free coffee with the big guy at two Caribou Coffee shops.
After all that coffee, “Max” trotted on two legs to help give away gift cards, pet swag, Now Boarding coupons, Minnesota Wild tickets and more. Max visited two , Lulu & Luigi pet boutique, the Mall of America, Chuck & Don’s, Café Latte and Urban Eatery, and ended the night yapping with supporters at Thom Pham’s Wondrous Azian Kitchen. Whew—he was one busy big brown dog.
Then back at our facility in Golden Valley, a Give to the Max Day miracle happened—Max the Yorkie mix (the real un-costumed dog) that arrived in our adoption center earlier in the week went home with his new forever family.
A miracle also was granted to AHS supporter Margaret Ross who won a Golden Ticket from GiveMN.org, adding $1,000 to her donation to AHS.
Matching miracles doubled supporters’ love all day, and we extend a heartfelt thanks to our generous matching donors, including Dick and Danis Byrd, Rob and Pegge Johnson, and anonymous matches in memory of Smokey and Sam, of Dusty, and in honor of Sasha. Matching donors Jennifer Weiss and Glen Coakley wrote: “Our family is the proud owner of three cats—Hamish, Henry, and Walter. While they don't like having their picture taken, the love and affection they bring into our lives is immeasurable… We support the Animal Humane Society as a way to promote humane treatment for all animals and the opportunity to have a safe, loving home for all pets. Their philosophy, programs, and dedicated staff make a tremendous positive impact on our community.”
Finally, our hearts were warmed with hundreds of comments on GiveMN's website, including this from Rose Newman: “I got my cat Oslo at the humane society two years ago and he is the best. The people who work at the humane society are the best and truly have the power to make animals feel special and loved.”
Our supporters put AHS in the top 10 highest donations in all of Minnesota, for which we received a $5,000 bonus grant. Maximum thanks, then, belongs to you—as you make AHS and the animals we care for the “best!”
“Who could ask for a better volunteer job? I work with the dogs at the Golden Valley location, taking them outside to the yard for exercise and helping customers who are interested in adopting. Unlike most volunteers, I don’t have a pet at home. So for a few hours once a week, these are my dogs.
My favorite moment is when I enter their kennels. Today I went in to get London, a medium-sized black terrier mix. He started running wildly from side to side, his tail wagging with excitement. He liked the leash even better. He ran forward, then back, then forward again, launching himself upward with jumps that took all four of his paws off the ground. Clearly this was a highlight of his day.
I didn’t think I’d get attached to the dogs. Most dogs are adopted so quickly that I only get to spend a short amount of time with them. But it doesn’t take long for a dog to reveal its personality. Murphy, a quiet, calm, brown and white Labrador retriever mix, didn’t have much use for the yard today. He sniffed around a little and then returned to where I stood on the steps and looked up at me. I sat down and he stepped up between my legs and started licking my face. He just wanted to be petted.
If it only takes a few minutes for me to feel like I know a dog, it takes customers even less. Today, a mother and her two daughters asked if they could see Sheila, a young white Labrador retriever mix. When I checked in with them after a few minutes, the mother asked me to take the dog back. Later, another woman asked to see Sheila. This time, when I opened the door to the visitation room, the woman looked up from where she was petting Sheila, a big smile across her face. “I think I’ve found my dog,” she said.
Some dogs, however, wait much longer than most to get adopted. These are the ones that break my heart. I’m thinking now about Big Bear, a huge black Labrador retriever mix who’s very affectionate but also ten years old. I know Animal Humane Society will find Big Bear a home eventually, I’m just sorry that I won’t be there to celebrate when he gets adopted.
In fact, I’m not there when most of the dogs get adopted. I would like to see many of them again, but I’m happy that they have found homes during the week. And I know that next week, new dogs will be waiting excitedly for me to step into their kennels.”
We'd like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers for their commitment to Animal Humane Society. We could not do all that we do without them. If you are interested in volunteering at Animal Humane Society, visit our website for information about the requirements and steps to take to become a volunteer.
The holidays will be here faster than your pet can scoot back inside on a cold morning. Check out these great gift ideas:
Here are some other ways you can help support the animals of AHS this holiday season:
Get your paws on some extraordinary animal-inspired jewelry and support Animal Humane Society at the same time! The Grand Hand Gallery is generously hosting a reception to benefit AHS, featuring jewelry from animal-loving husband-and-wife artists Manya and Roumen from New Jersey.
Gallery owner Ann Ruhr Pifer is thrilled to host this free event where 10 percent of all sales will support AHS programs and services. Enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres, and live jazz and blues while you peruse Manya and Roumen’s bejeweled artistry in 18k gold, sterling silver and semi-precious stones.
The event is Tuesday, December 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Grand Hand Gallery, 619 Grand Ave. in St. Paul.