In this issue:
The Walk for Animals affirms the community’s passion and support for animals. And that’s why when you raise money to help animals less fortunate than your own, you’ll be thanked with some really cool Walk gear so you can wear your support on your sleeve — literally!
Raising money earns you cool stuff, but most importantly it allows Animal Humane Society to continue the programs and services that the people and animals in our community need. Best of all, the more money you raise, the more animals we can help! Click here to view the full list of prizes and see the much-needed care your donations will provide for the animals.
Take advantage of early check-in to turn in your funds and collect your prizes without waiting in line on Walk day! Early check-in is available for all walkers who’ve raised funds on Thursday, April 28, from 4 – 8 p.m. at our Golden Valley and Saint Paul locations. Be sure to visit us online for information on parking, shuttle bus service and check-in, and more. You can also download a map of the Walk route and locate all your favorite stops, like the new Crave burger bar! Maps will also be available at the Walk. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!
Need a little extra motivation to help with your online fundraising efforts as we approach the final stretch? We’ve got some amazing prizes to give away all week long. Here's the lowdown on all the goodies you can score by raising money for animals in need!
Two Grand Prizes (winners to be announced onstage at the 2011 Walk for Animals)
For details on how to win our daily prizes, keep your eyes glued to our Facebook and Twitter for announcements. This is our way to say thank you for all your hard work as you keep fundraising until the big day!
When Animal Humane Society humane agents found Windsor during an investigation, he wasn’t receiving adequate care and was extremely underweight. The 23-year-old quarter horse needed to be removed and brought somewhere safe for rehabilitation and a chance at a new home. Thankfully, through a partnership with the MN Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation (MHARF), Windsor is now on the road to recovery. This kind gelding loves being groomed and his enthusiasm for food is helping him gain some much needed weight. Once fully recovered, he will be available for adoption through MHARF.
Windsor is just one of many horses that Animal Humane Society humane agents have rescued from situations of cruelty or neglect. Because our shelters are not set up to accommodate them, MHARF takes in many of the horses we rescue and cares for them until they are adopted. At any given time, MHARF typically has around 80 horses in their care, all from cruelty or neglect situations. Approximately 200 are adopted each year through an adoption process that ensures they go to good, safe homes.
When a horse arrives at MHARF, they are given healthy food, shelter, a physical examination and medical care, and begin the process of gaining weight as many are undernourished when they are rescued. The average horse will need three to four months of care, rehabilitation and training before they are ready for adoption.
Caring for so many horses takes a financial toll on the organization. The bills quickly add up for veterinary care, hoof and dental work, vaccinations, food, hay, training and more. MHARF is privately funded and solely relies on donations, fundraisers, and adoption fees to continue their work.
The rescue and adoption work of MHARF goes beyond horses. They take in any animal that does not fit in a traditional shelter including chickens, turkeys, peacocks, llamas, alpacas and pot-bellied pigs. After receiving proper care, these animals are also adopted out. The majority of animals cared for by MHARF are housed at its main shelter in Zimmerman, Minnesota, approximately one hour from the Twin Cities. If a large number of animals are seized or surrendered at once, they also have foster homes throughout the state that can take in some of the animals awaiting adoption to make room at the main shelter for those that need immediate care.
Animal Humane Society is so grateful that MHARF is able to care for and adopt out so many rescued horses. MHARF is always in need of loving individuals and families willing to give a horse the second chance it deserves. If you are interested in adopting a horse, visit their website for more information and to view the adoptable animals. If you’d like to take a tour of the facility and visit with the horses, call (763) 856-3119. Visits are by appointment only.
Best friends 'til the end
Max and Django's heartwarming journey
To tell the story of how Django joined our family, I need to step back a bit from that day in November. In June, our family lost Jessie, our 12-year-old golden retriever. She left behind her best friend, Max, our 13-year-old Lab mix. I knew Max was nearing the end of his own journey, and what a journey it had been for the two of us. We had lived in three different time zones, moving from the ocean, to the mountains, and finally to the snowy northland. I assumed it would be too hard for an old dog to accept a new puppy, so I made it the best summer I could for my old friend. By November, his years were showing, and I hoped to share one more Thanksgiving with him before saying goodbye.
A couple weeks before we would give thanks, a friend needed me to take her Lab for the weekend. Max just lit up having a canine friend in the house — and made sure I noticed. He would touch noses with his friend, look at me with those big, bright eyes and then touch noses again. When I would come home, he greeted me at the door like he did when he was young, tail wagging and full of kisses. I heard his message loud and clear. The next morning I headed off to Animal Humane Society to see if there was a fit for our family.
When I arrived at the Coon Rapids shelter, I saw so many people milling about, but so many more animals hoping to go home. There were only a few younger dogs, and I brought two brothers into a visiting room for a few minutes. One pup cavorted around me, flirting and romping happily. The other pup sat frozen in the corner, afraid to lift his eyes, unwilling to even take a treat. Eventually, the staff person needed to return one dog to the adoption center, and I asked to have a bit more time with the broken-hearted puppy.
We sat together quietly in the room and I couldn’t imagine how this dog could fit into my lively household. I decided to try one more time with the treat. He very tentatively took the treat from my hand, walked a few steps away from me, dropped the treat on the floor and sniffed it very carefully before tasting it. I burst into tears, knowing I had found my match — this was the exact same ritual my Max performed every time I gave him a treat.
After a silent ride home, I carried the new puppy into our backyard where the sun was shining, the grass still warm. I set him down on the lawn and slowly his head came up and as he looked around, his ears perked up. He stood to his full height and his tail began to wag in slow, long sweeps. It didn’t take long to know Django was the perfect fit for our family.
Now, spring is fast approaching. As the snows recede, Max and Django are exploring parts of the yard that were shut off due to deep snows and Max’s bad hips. Max is teaching Django about the best places to explore, what to do with squirrels, and how to bark at passing cars. While I know Max’s time with us is limited, Django has given us one more Thanksgiving, one more Christmas, and one more chance to lay down in the grass together, soaking up the warm sun.
Story submitted by Shannon C.
Sadly, a few weeks after this story was sent in, Max’s journey came to an end. He passed away peacefully on a sunny day in his favorite spot of the yard, his little brother Django romping around him. Our hearts go out to Shannon and her family at this difficult time.
Is your pet itching to add a few tricks to his repertoire? Do you have questions about your pet’s behavior and what you can do to help her be a better family pet? In each issue of Pet Dish, Animal Humane Society Behavior and Training Manager Paula Zukoff will provide video answers to your questions—whether it is about your dog, cat, guinea pig, or rabbit. Let us know your training question by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet tips with Paula Zukoff
You're all ready for the Walk for Animals - but what about your pets? Get them festival-ready with help from Animal Humane Society Behavior and Training Manager Paula Zukoff.