In this issue:
There’s no mistaking the animals available for adoption at AHS are some of life’s lucky charms. A few of the luckier dogs and cats have gotten “dooded up” to let you in on their secret. Stop by any of AHS’s five facilities in the month of March to find out why providing them a forever home is magically delicious.
Tricks aren’t just for pets anymore - Online fundraising tips for the Walk for Animals
We’re just 47 days away from the largest animal fundraiser in the Upper Midwest—Animal Humane Society’s 35th annual Walk for Animals. At this point, you probably fit into one of two categories: 1) You’ve already set up your online fundraising page or 2) You’re going to get started soon. No matter what stage, anyone can benefit from the following online fundraising tips and tricks.
Customize your page—Sharing personal stories and photos with your friends and family about how your animals impact your life motivates them to support your efforts. Online websites such as http://pixenate.com/ offer free tools that allow you to edit your photos without having to download any software on your computer.
Set a motivating fundraising goal—It gives you something to aim for, it also sets the tone for your donors. They want to help you reach your goal and aiming high helps you get there.
Communicate with potential supporters often and in different ways—Don’t be discouraged if people don’t make a donation the first time you contact them. We all have busy lives and sometimes need to be reminded. Sending out occasional reminders and updates about your efforts keeps people thinking about how they can help you.
Get out and network—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites are wonderful ways to reach out to a larger audience. While you might not feel comfortable asking your old grade school classmate to make a donation on your behalf, you can set your Facebook status update to include your link. You may be surprised at which people will respond generously. Similarly you can post a video on YouTube of your pet’s crazy antics and leave a link to your Walk page in the video’s description.
The possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to be creative and get your message out there!
Have a great fundraising tip you'd like to share? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A change of scenery
Sometimes life’s biggest problems can be solved with one solution—a change of scenery. Nike is a healthy, one-year-old French bulldog with a full, shiny coat who snorts with glee every time she meets a new face. But a few short months ago she was living in conditions that left her without hair on her front legs, chest and tail and parts of her back and belly. With the help of her friends at Animal Humane Society, she got a much needed change of scenery, and therefore, a new leash on life.
“The situation she was kept in was the reason for the mange,” says Kathie Johnson, veterinary services director for Animal Humane Society. “The environment an animal is kept in will always impact their health.”
In late January, Nike—with 14 other dogs and five cats—was rescued from a breeder’s filthy and neglected house in Anoka County. Most of the animals were kept in the house; seven suffered from demodex mange, a condition often found in animals with weakened immune systems caused by stress. Nike was one of those dogs.
After arriving at AHS for care, Nike was soon transported to Kathie’s house. Kathie was so touched by Nike’s spirit that she brought her into her home as a foster. The change of scenery, along with treatment, turned Nike around. “She is the sweetest thing,” Kathie says. “She’s so friendly and people-oriented. She adores kids and other animals. And within one month, almost all of her hair grew back.”
As is the case with most animals that have been raised in the conditions Nike has, she struggled with housetraining. She also suffered from mild shy and fearful tendencies. Kathie and a dedicated volunteer named Cheryl committed to helping Nike unlearn the negatives from her past and come around to interacting with people. She made tremendous strides in just a month’s time and is now a member of Cheryl’s family.
Continue to read Pet Dish for an update on Nike in her new home…
Where are the other animals rescued from the home? Of the 15 dogs rescued, 10 have been adopted and five are currently in foster care. Of the five cats rescued, four have been adopted and one adult is going to rescue because he has a severe heart murmur.
Two of the area’s hardest working professors come from Animal Humane Society. They reach a broad spectrum of students from elementary to high school, from private to charter schools and even various community groups. These professors teach students about pet responsibility and the humanity involved in treating animals and people right. Their names are Stewie and Pierre. And they do it all at the ripe old age of three.
Stewie and Pierre are only two of the eight animals on staff in the AHS Education department. They hit the road each week with AHS humane educators to area classrooms in an effort to help kids learn about animals and how our relationship with them can help us learn some of life’s most important lessons—how to be responsible, compassionate, patient and safe. These life lessons are taught by AHS humane educators through course topics including:
Help your child learn these great life lessons. Forward Pet Dish to their teacher and let them know about the humane education programs available at AHS. Or for more information, call (763) 489-2220 or e-mail email@example.com.
Wait a minute Mr. Postman
The door bell rings and your pups round the corner, knocking over the hall table and splaying the plant (and all its roots) and your assortment of potpourri—yet again. They arrive at the front door just in time to plaster their tongues, teeth and barks on the glass, jolting the mailman into a few back steps that cause him to stumble down the stairs throwing all his pre-sorted conveyance to the wind. This scenario cries for you to work your canines (and felines) through a few counter conditioning and desensitization techniques.
** Learn how to utilize these techniques and others by perusing our online Pet Behavior Library. **
Counter conditioning and desensitization are often used to change unwanted behavior in dogs and cats. Just as the term implies, counter conditioning means training an animal to display a behavior opposite the unacceptable behavior in response to a particular stimulus. For example, a dog cannot be trying to bite the letter carrier and at the same time greeting them in a friendly, excited manner.
Desensitization involves gradually exposing a pet to the situation, without provoking the unwanted reaction. If an animal is highly motivated to perform an undesirable behavior, and if that behavior is easily and quickly displayed, competing behaviors may be difficult to elicit. That’s where the desensitization part of the process comes into play. It exposes an animal to a stimulus beginning at a very low intensity—so low that it does not result in the undesired behavior.
Performed simultaneously, these techniques provide a way in which an animal can be gradually taught to show acceptable behavior in the face of a stimulus that used to elicit problem behavior. (Learn more about these techniques… )
Of course, we understand you may be facing situations other than your dog or cat going a little “postal” when a visitor stops by. For more information on how you can resolve frustrating or confusing situations, please call our Behavior Helpline any time, day or night or continue to review our online Pet Behavior Library.
“Local escape artist returns home”
That could be the headline to your story if you have your pet microchipped. If your pet is ever lost, your chances of finding him/her significantly improve if s/he is microchipped—given a permanent form of identification. AHS provides a convenient, low-cost microchipping service. Simply make an appointment by calling (763) 489-2222 or stop by a Microchip and Nail Trim Clinic. Click here for more information.
Step up for animals
Saturday May 2 is the 35th annual Walk for Animals—that’s 35 years of taking to the streets (and pedestrian-safe walkways) on behalf of animals in need. This year, the need is as great as it has ever been. Animals also suffer the effects of tough times and this is exactly the time when our commitment must be at its strongest. Read more…
Unleash your child’s love of animals
Unleash the inner veterinarian, the wildlife advocate and the animal-loving imagination in your kids by registering them for Unleashed, AHS’s animal-themed summer day camp for kids grades 312. Campers spend a week immersed in animal-related learning activities, animal interactions, visits from special guests and adventurous “research trips” into the field. Space is still available at AHS’s Buffalo facility. Register today!
Thinking like Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” Can you imagine your pet(s) not having enough food and water or a warm, safe place to sleep? What if they weren’t given human companionship? Unfortunately, those dire circumstances are all too real for many dogs and cats across Minnesota. Consider Abe’s statement and join our efforts to help them.
Want to help the animals?
Help make the Walk for Animals happen. Each year, the success of the Walk for Animals depends on the help from hundreds of volunteers like you! Help with registration, games, food service, traffic and crowd control, and more. And if you raise funds and volunteer… just imagine the tail wags and big meows you'll receive! For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.