Get ready for the Walk for Animals!
It’s so easy to share your passion at the 2012 Walk for Animals — and to get started check out the Walk for Animals website where you can create your own fundraising page. It’s filled with tools to make the process super easy, super fun, and so very social.
New this year are 35 different virtual badges you can earn to mark the milestones of your fundraising efforts. You can earn them in many ways, including sending emails, receiving donations, or even being on a team. With a click of a button your badges can be shared on Facebook to further promote your efforts.
Other new features include a Facebook comments wall on your personal page so your friends and family can cheer you on. When someone makes a donation to your effort, s/he will receive a “Do-Gooder Award,” which they can proudly display on Facebook.
New email templates for you have been added, and if you were part of a team last year, select the option, “Join an existing team,” which will locate the team you were on last year, eliminating the need to recreate it — so easy.
Fun prizes are awarded the day of the Walk at various fundraising levels — from limited edition pet bandanas for those who raise $50 to Animal Humane Society hoodies for those who raise $500, just to name a few. Check out the website for the full list of great prizes. Those looking for more immediate gratification can participate in our weekly fundraising challenges for chances to win gift certificates, pet treat baskets, digital cameras and more!
The Walk for Animals begins at 8:30 a.m. with check-in at Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley. The five-mile round trip walk begins at 10 a.m. and heads through Theodore Wirth Park to the Cities 97 turnaround with a return to Animal Humane Society. Walkers are encouraged to enjoy the festivities and vendors at the turnaround point, but can stop, start, return or rest anywhere along the trail (facilities available).
We’d like to thank our sponsors in advance for helping the 2012 Walk for Animals be what we think will be the best walk ever: Fox 9, Cities 97, Radio Disney, My 29, Crave, Subaru, Cub Foods, Health Partners, and Lavender Magazine.
Celebrating the successes of 2011
Animal Humane Society’s Animal Admission Center received a call from a couple that needed to surrender their two cats. They were expecting a baby and their doctor had expressed concern about caring for cats while pregnant. Because of the appointment-based surrender process launched in January of last year through our Bound for Home initiative, our staff was able to address their concerns and provide solutions for keeping the cats in their home. The couple was relieved to know they could keep their new baby safe while also keeping their pets.
The Animal Admission Center takes calls from tens of thousands of people who are looking to surrender a pet for a variety of reasons. Our staff discusses the reason the caller is considering surrender, offers resources and alternatives to them, and for those issues that can’t be resolved, schedules an appointment for those individuals and their animals.
When we look at the number of animals surrendered in 2010 and 2011, it paints a picture of an intake process that is working to help animals in new ways. In 2011, we took in 25,604 animals through our intake-by-appointment process. Always diligent to make sure animals aren’t ill-affected by our new process, we evaluated all the calls received plus those we made as follow-up to people who didn’t show up or cancelled their appointment.
We were happy to discover during those calls that our efforts to proactively work with the community to reduce the number of animals surrendered helped us reach just as many people and their pets in the community as we did the year before— 34,533 in total. Not only were we able to refer hundreds of families to our free Behavior Helpline, but we also learned from the follow-up calls how we influenced people during our discussions.
Some of the top accomplishments include more than 1,100 families that decided to keep their animal after we were able to provide them with resources and/or alternative solutions. Nearly 1,000 more were able to find a new home for their pet without having to bring it to a shelter, while some 200 others were able to personally locate the owner of a lost pet before bringing it to the shelter.
Now, because we’ve been able to proactively help the community with their pets, we are able to use our resources to do even more for animals that that come into our shelters and have special needs. We look forward to continuing on this path and making 2012 an even more successful year for animals!
Being a best friend to your pooch means that you’re also its teacher, trainer, mentor, caregiver and coach — and, not to forget — playmate. Like you, Animal Humane Society is here to serve the life of your pet, and our Introduction to Dog Training classes will help you get started in helping your pet be the best companion possible.
Animal Humane Society Training School Supervisor Kate Varns says the introduction class is a great way to learn how to begin training with a dog of any age. “The free Introduction to Dog Training class is designed as a walk-in, leave-your-dog-at-home, no-obligation class to learn about all we have to offer,” Kate says. “You can fill out an application at the class or online in advance. We talk about the positive reinforcement style of training that we use and what you can expect from each level.”
The training program is designed to be family friendly, flexible and self-paced. Bringing family members to the introductory sessions and any class is encouraged.
“For training classes, you essentially purchase a two- or four-month pass, so you can come as frequently as you like or your pet needs,” Kate says. “You can attend at any of our sites that offer the classes when you are in the program, including Golden Valley, Coon Rapids, Woodbury and Now Boarding.”
Puppy Kindergarten is for pups under 18 weeks, and older dogs can start at Level One and advance through three additional levels once they learn the skill set in a particular level. There is also a Wallflower class for shy dogs or a class called Reactive Rovers for dogs who bark or growl at other dogs.
When your dog can perform 10 specific skills that show he or she has good manners around people and other dogs, you can take the optional AKC Canine Good Citizen Test offered once a month in Golden Valley or Coon Rapids. The training school also offers a tricks and games class, playgroups and fungility classes, plus therapy dog classes.
Don’t let fear of your pup’s behavior (perhaps naughty?) as compared to other dogs make you reluctant to take classes. “The fear of how their dog will act is the biggest fear that people have, so we like people to know that we will also provide educational resources and private classes for stubborn behavior problems,” she says. “Most, however, do just fine."
“Training issues are a big part of the reasons that pets are surrendered,” Kate says. “We want to give pet owners a fun way to work with their pets and to give them the skills to solve behavioral problems before they get overwhelmed and ever consider surrender.”
A discount on classes is available to those who have adopted from AHS if they register within the first three months after adoption. Adopters of a pit bull or pit bull mix get a free two-month training pass. For more information on dog training, contact the AHS Training School at (763) 489-2217.
Laughter and barking filled the air as people and their pups went on a dinner-date with nearly 600 other animal-loving folk and 275 dogs at Whisker Whirl. They enjoyed games, a VIP reception with Cities 97 radio host Brian “BT” Turner, paparazzi shots with their pets, dinner, silent and live auctions, and a martini bar complete with Paws-mos, Mutt-inis and Cherry Chihuahuas.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when partiers watched a video about the heartwarming story of Phoenix, a cat rescued from a dumpster and nursed back to health at Animal Humane Society before being adopted into his new home. Take a look back at the evening and make sure to join us next year for the event named a Top 10 Party with a Purpose by Mpls St. Paul Magazine.
Animal Humane Society is grateful for the support of Whisker Whirl sponsors including Channel 45, Mpls St. Paul Magazine, Cities 97, GLS Companies, and Purina One.
Learn some useful tips for preparing your pet for spring break from AHS Trainer Kate Varns.
Now there's more ways than ever to stay connected to us! You probably know we are on Facebook and Twitter, but have you checked out our Google + or Pinterest yet? Join the conversation!