Categories
Adoption Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Breeds Cool and Fun Stuff News Non - Profits Uncategorized

Raise Funds with Pure Gold – Celebrate Pets and Books

PackPeople is so grateful to have featured Holli Pfau and her wonderful book, Pure Gold – Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers (hear the interview here) last month, and we’re delighted to share with you a note from Holli about a great way for your shelter, humane society or rescue to raise funds:

“For every copy of the book that’s sold in bookstores during December, I’ll donate $5 to a shelter, humane society or rescue group designated by the bookstore.  And it’s easy to participate.  A group just needs to contact their local bookstore and ask them to stock Pure Gold.  Then send emails to volunteers, supporters and donors to generate traffic for the store and encourage sales.  (They might also invite donors to match my donation, to maximize the income.)  In January, the bookstore just needs to tell me how many copies were sold and who the beneficiary will be, and I’ll put a check in the mail.

Quick, easy and hopefully productive for the rescue group.  If the book isn’t already on the shelves, the store can easily order it and it will arrive in just a couple of days.

If anyone has any questions, please let me know.  Our goal is to raise funds for rescue work, so we’re happy to consult and advise.”

For inquiries, please visit www.puregoldbook.com to learn more about this excellent work, and contact Holli at publisher@puregoldbook.com

Thank you for sharing this offer, as well as your dedication, with PackPeople and our community, Holli! – Yurda and Rufino

Categories
Adoption Articles Shelter Animals

Shelter Pets need your help – Support and Share "The Shelter Pet Project"

Hey, PackPeople – HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Today is a special day to give, consider to give a dog or a cat a loving forever home. Many, many dogs and cats are waiting for you in shelters and animal rescues. They will give unconditional Love, Companionship and Trust for sure if you reach out to them. Here is a great campaign if you want to get involved in Animal Welfare.

We want to get a very special message to all of you to please share the word about The Shelter Pet Project. This public service campaign from The Humane Society, Maddie’s Fund and the Ad Council wants people to adopt a shelter or rescued pet, rather than buying one. As the campaign so rightly says, “A person is the best thing to happen to a shelter pet.”

Learn more about the campaign here.

Here’s what you can do… please

“Like” the Shelter Pet Project on Facebook   http://www.facebook.com/shelterpetproject
Follow the Shelter Pet Project on Twitter   http://www.twitter.com/shelterpets
Watch and share their great YouTube videos   http://www.youtube.com/theshelterpetproject

You can also write about the campaign yourselves – remember, sharing information is one of the first steps to saving lives!

Much gratitude and warmest wishes,

Rufino and Yurda

Categories
Adoption Get informed and educated News Non - Profits Shelter Animals

Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption Launches Video PSA

Local filmmakers contribute to campaign coinciding with National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month.

Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption (APRA) (www.atlantapetrescue.org) is a non-profit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and placing dogs and cats into safe and loving homes. APRA has helped over 14,000 dogs and cats find their forever homes since the organization was founded in 2000, and this work has been notably recognized by Atlanta couple Britton Hammett-McCurry and John McCurry, who adopted their terrier mix Ichabod (pictured in a still from the PSA below) from APRA and have expressed gratitude with their filmmaking talents.

All animals featured in the meaningful, effective and beautifully-crafted video they have created for APRA (for presentation as encouragement of pet adoptions from local rescue groups) are rescues, and the video release coincides perfectly with October’s title as National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month.

To read the APRA press release, click here.

Please view the APRA Public Service Announcement here (it’s great!):  Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption PSA

Categories
Cool and Fun Stuff Lilly Recommends Pet Care Product Reviews

My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story – a film worth watching and sharing

Last May 16th, which marked my 45th birthday as well as Ringo’s 3rd (Why not? I asked myself), my sister gave me a DVD titled My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story. I am so glad she did.

Have you all heard about this? The film was made a couple of years ago, and I’m typically late coming to any party, but now that I’ve finally watched it (earlier this morning), I have to recommend it to anyone who cares about dogs, animals in general; basically, anyone who cares about anything. My Dog (lovingly directed by award-winning playwright, author and film/TV writer Mark St. Germain) is more than a documentary, it’s a thoughtful, meaningful collection of interviews with celebrities and noted professionals from all walks of life who share about their relationships and experiences with their dogs.

For months, my sister has been asking, “Have you watched it yet?” and I can’t believe it took me this long. The journey on which these grateful humans and their loving pets take the viewer is worth taking over and over again, while helping save lives: twenty percent of each dollar earned by My Dog is donated to animal welfare charities designated by the film’s participants.

My Dog has too many highlights to list, but there are moments as varied and inspiring as the late, wonderful Lynn Redgrave’s introduction to puppy Viola, forging a bond that helped her cope with cancer; the hope and healing felt by Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis as he works with dog agility training and cares for his beloved Nipper; a poem read by Billy Collins in which a master’s dog shares thoughts on aging, from the dog’s very specific point of view. Yeah, that one kind of did me in.

I love this film and think it would make a great gift for yourself or anyone else. Just so you know, PackPeople isn’t getting anything from promoting this film, other than the satisfaction of sharing something well worth seeing. I’m enthusiastic because it really affected me. I hope others out there get to experience it, and will feel the same way. Here’s a link to NEWVIDEO, where you can find out more about, and purchase, My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story.

Categories
Adoption Breeds Interviews on packpeople.com News No - Kill Movement Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

PackPeople adds your fundraising to our mission!

Hi, Fellow PackPeople –

We are very excited to announce a new phase in our mission toward achieving a no-kill nation – the launch of our free platform that can be used by shelters and rescues all across America and abroad to raise funds, increase awareness, manage and organize volunteers and events.

 

With PackPeople’s new organizing platform, groups and individuals will be able to support, start and join animal welfare groups in an easy-to-follow online format, illustrated below:

The launch of this new development is coming soon, and we hope you’ll join PackPeople as a participating member to gain the benefits of this free program – one that will help save and improve the lives of countless animals.

Of course, we’ll continue to feature our interviews with the people who make animal rescue, welfare and care a priority, as well as our informative blog entries from passionate animal activists. So in the meantime, please enjoy reading the information we truly enjoy sharing.

Sincerely,

PackPeople

You don’t want to wait? Be one of the first ones! Fill out the form below and join our list of the top 50 organizations.

 

Categories
Pet Care Pet Care

Flea and Tick Treatments – What’s Right for Your Pet?

Here’s another excellent entry from our friend Katie Jockers at endurapet.com and Beloved Beasts – valuable information about caution, precaution and caring for our best friends!

[From Katie:]

You want to be the best-ever guardian and friend to your pets, and are careful to provide the best nutrition and vet care. You make sure your home, no matter what size, is safe and comfy. You make sure to provide plenty of enrichment and an interesting life for your beloved beast. You are a good human after all, and want nothing but the best for your pets.

Good grooming and flea and tick control are a large part of responsible pet care, yet this is an area where a lot of good humans become confused – and struggle with making the best choice for their pets. We know there are dangers associated with some products,  but we also want to keep our pets safe. Also depending on where you live, the same treatment is not going to be the best choice for every pet.

Dangers posed by fleas and ticks

Fleas can – and do – reproduce fast! A female can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, so your pet can go from having just one to having hundreds of fleas in a very short time. Even more troublesome than infestation is the problem caused by flea bites. Flea bites cause itching, and with itching comes scratching. Scratching can cause any number of painful rashes which can become infected. Pets can also pick up parasites like tapeworm, develop flea allergy dermatitis, become anemic, or contract serious diseases.  Depending on the type of fleas in your area these diseases can include flea-borne typhus or yes, even the dreaded bubonic plague.

Ticks are known for spreading Lyme Disease, but in the US they have also been known to bear other unwanted and life-threatening gifts. These include babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, tularemia, Q fever, and tick paralysis. Serious stuff indeed.

Balancing the severity of potential problems caused by these plentiful pests with the dangers associated with many common flea and tick remedies is important, and the decision may differ from person to person. What we want to do here is to give you an overview of what to look for so you can make an informed decision for your beloveds. As always, if something you read doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right for you… so listen to your gut.

Like I always say: You are your pet’s best defense and you know her (or him) better than anyone, so educating yourself about the options you have available is one of the best things you can do – for the both of you.

Health Matters!

Good nutrition is absolutely the place to start. Animals with properly functioning immune systems are less attractive to pests and resist many diseases carried by fleas and ticks. While it may be necessary to address the fleas and ticks themselves as well, please don’t forget to take care of your pet’s nutritional needs. This means feeding a wholesome diet free of nutritionally empty fillers, dyes and by-products. That’s a column in itself, and we’ll just leave it at that for now, but remember to care for that immune system while your pets are healthy. We give our pets Immune Support every day and have seen a halt to ear infections and skin allergies. And so far, we haven’t seen one flea. Then again, I must remind you that we live in Colorado and not Pennsylvania or Florida.

Types of flea and tick control – and what to watch out for



Organophosphate Insecticides & Carbamates

Found in most OTC (over the counter) flea and tick sprays on grocery and chain store shelves, the organophosphate insecticide tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) is extremely toxic to the nervous system. TCVP is the culprit in the many cases where Hartz brand flea and tick products have been linked to poisonings and deaths of so many companion animals. On their own website, Hartz supplies the following warnings:

“Contains an organophosphate that inhibits cholinesterase.

“NOTE TO PHYSICIANS AND VETERINARIANS: This product contains an organophosphate and may cause cholinesterase inhibition. Cholinergic symptoms may include salivation, miosis, incoordination, muscle fasciculation and/or weakness, vomiting and diarrhea. Atropine is antidotal. 2-PAM may be effective as an adjunct to atropine. Call your local Poison Control Center for further information.”

Carbamates are listed on ingredient labels as carbaryl or propoxur. In September 2010, carbaryl was banned from inclusion in any flea or tick products, but products already on store shelves are still permitted to be sold.

Pyrethroid Spot-On Treatments

Permethrin is a pyrethoid insecticide. Just as it is on OPs and carbamates, the EPA risk assigned to permethrin is that it is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” Of course this leads me to believe that translates to our sensitive furry family members too, yet permethrin and pyrethroid insecticides are approved for use on pets’ skin.

While EPA approved, over-the counter pyrethroid spot-on treatments are consistently reported to the EPA to be the cause of deaths, seizures, brain and heart damage, the EPA continues to grant approval.  This is partly because they contend that many reports come from pet guardians, not trained toxicologists, so proof is not solid. Hmmm…

For a deeper look at these risks, including why the EPA continues to approve the dips, powders, sprays, collars etc. which use permethrin as flea and tick control and why we find the facts so concerning, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) filed a report over ten years ago which is particularly readable and informative. You can read it here: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/pets/execsum.asp

The danger signs to watch for in pets who have been overexposed to poisons found in flea and tick treatments include skin rashes, hiding (avoiding people and other animals),  shivering or tremors, excess salivating, dilated pupils and vomiting. A trip to your veterinarian is in order immediately. Also, when your pet has been treated for any emergency associated with these products, please call the EPA’s National Pesticide Telecommunications Network at 800-858-7378.

The NRDC’s Green Paws page has an excellent list of many OTC flea and tick control products along with their ingredients and a risk assessment. Here’s the link: http://www.simplesteps.org/greenpaws-products

My take on this is that if it’s cheap and you found it at your local big-box-mart or at the grocery store, you are likely going to find these pesticides in your flea and tick control product.

Safer Alternatives

Prescription Oral Flea and Tick control Products

These are safer, since they do not need to be applied directly to your pet’s skin. They do contain pesticides though, and in some cases can cause significant danger and allergic reaction in pets. If you live in an area where infestations are unbearable, your veterinarian may advise using one of these safer once-a-month oral medications.

Topical Sprays Made With Essential Oils

While pesticide-free and much safer than chemical pest control, care still needs to be taken when using essential oil preparations to combat fleas and ticks. Always use a formula designed specifically for pets, and make sure the oils are natural and organic, not synthetic. Cats, in particular, are highly sensitive to essential oils – so make sure the formulation you choose is safe for cats before using. Some people advise not to use essential oils with cats EVER: this is because over time, accumulation can become toxic. We have seen a few carefully formulated and diluted sprays which can be used safely. In fact, we work with a holistic veterinarian who makes one for our company. But even with these safe and natural sprays, care must be taken. Remember that although herbs are “natural”, they can be potent antagonists also!  It is also important that you never spray essential oil flea and tick preparations in the eyes, face or on genitals of your pet. Never EVER use pennyroyal oil on pets, as it can cause serious neurological damage.  Oils like peppermint, cedar, clove, and lemongrass are safest but still need to be used wisely. Lemon eucalyptus oil does a tremendous job of killing fungus and repelling mosquitoes, but as with all essential oils, should only be used on pets if formulated specifically for them.

Bonus: Herbal sprays can be used with oral flea and tick control methods quite nicely for extra protection. More often than not, they can also be used for humans. Sharing is caring, after all.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Food grade diatomaceous earth (that’s a mouthful. let’s just call it DE, shall we?) works by dehydrating fleas and ticks that come in contact with it, usually in anywhere from one to 72 hours. It is not poisonous to pets. It is important that you choose food-grade for pets. DE can be sprinkled in your home and on your pets. Don’t forget to sprinkle on their beds, too. It can be used outside in any area where fleas frequent. The catch is that if the area treated (and this includes your pet) gets wet, the area needs to be retreated.

Parasitic Nematodes

Yes. Parasitic nematodes. Steinernema carpocapse nematodes to be exact. These are not the same nematodes which wreak havoc on plants and can attach themselves to people and pets. Parasitic nematodes’ destructive ways are limited to only certain insects and have been reported to be incredibly effective in controlling fleas in soil and lawns which regularly get wet. Unlike DE, they will survive wet conditions. They are easy to apply (most can be sprayed with a garden sprayer) and are affordable.

Nutritional Yeast and Garlic
Nutritional (or Brewer’s) yeast and garlic work by making pets’ blood taste awful to fleas. Many companies offer pet-safe formulations in tablet form, or you can add them yourself. I buy nutritional yeast in the bulk foods section of my local natural grocer. Take special care with garlic and pets, especially in cats, as it can be toxic. I would avoid adding it unless fleas are unresponsive to yeast, and only then after discussing garlic safety with an animal health professional. If you want to try using nutritional or brewer’s yeast, start by adding about a teaspoon of brewer’s yeast to food for cats and small dogs, and about a tablespoon for large dogs. Watch for an allergic reaction and stomach upset before adding anything else. Most pets actually like the way it tastes.

So What’s Best For My Pet?

I won’t sit here in relatively benign Colorado and tell you that what works here for my furry family will be the same solution for your furry family in Florida,  California or wherever you may live. What I hope you gained from this article is a better understanding of the need for flea control and also the very real risks associated with the treatment options most readily available. I hope that you will take a good look at your pet’s nutrition and that you will consider using natural alternatives to chemicals first. Keep in mind that the risks and discomfort associated with fleas and ticks are greater than not treating for them at all, so learn what you can – and ask a lot of questions. Your pets will thank you!

Categories
Adoption Breeds No - Kill Movement Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Pit Bulls Shelter Animals

Speaking Up for Z

We love this entry from guest blogger Katie Jockers at endurapet.com and Beloved Beasts… very important words about believing in – and speaking up for – pit bulls, animals and the mission to save lives. Thank you, Katie! – Rufino and Yurda

[from Katie:]

An interesting thing happened last week:

I exited the grocery store and found myself facing a soft, handsome, 8-month-old tan and white pit bull. A young man was proudly holding his leash. I waited my turn as the lady in front of me dropped her groceries to give pats and praise, and then I asked if I might say hello to the furry man of the hour. Permission granted, I proceeded to pat and compliment and gush. The dog’s name is “Z”. I complimented the young man on how nice and well-socialized his puppy was. Of course, I also took the opportunity to ask if he had attended the rally at the state capital in support of reversing Denver’s breed ban. No? He didn’t even know about it. I gave him the information to join one of the local groups, and scrawled out StubbyDog and BAD RAP’s info for him, which he was glad to have.
(BAD RAP and StubbyDog are both excellent online pit bull resources. Although they are not in Denver, I wanted him to see both)

Then, I can only think he misunderstood me, because then he boasted, “We breed Pits too! We have Daisy and Meathead, Desi and ZanyMan… They all have huge heads, man. It’s sick, Yo.”

Huh?

I didn’t know what to say. I picked up my bag, told him his dog was a sweetie, and started to walk away. I was stunned. As I processed what I had just heard, I began muttering “Idiot!” under my breath. Suddenly in my head the young man was no longer a nice guy out with his dog. He was an idiotic, baggy pants, sideways-hat-wearing, irresponsible, stupid, lowlife punk.

How quickly we change. The things I regarded minutes before merely as unfortunate, yet harmless, fashion choices on his part now became evidence of this punk-ass lowlife monster and propagator of misery for the breed I love so dearly. I hate it that I did this, but I did. I gathered peripheral details and stacked them up against him, almost justifying walking away instead of trying to talk to him.

Let me just say here that I know talking to people who “don’t get” it is not going to change things in a day, and I don’t hold any crazy ideas that some people will suddenly stop regarding pit bulls as badges and things. But I think that when it is safe to do so, we need to speak up for those who can’t. I am not proud to admit I almost walked away and complained without saying something, but I think it is a choice we all have to face and I need you to know that yes, it was hard. It was scary, and even though I am outspoken about animal well-being in general, I still almost walked away.

I knew I had to say something, and I also knew I had to collect myself. I put my groceries in my Jeep. Hopped in, and pulled around to catch him as he walked around to the back of the store. I felt safer up in my Jeep. I had already decided he would not want to hear what I had to say. I waved, smiled, and said just that:

“Hi again! Look, I know you probably aren’t going to want to hear this, but my life is dedicated to working with animals, and I spend a huge amount of time working on behalf of pit bulls. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t at least try. Can we talk for a minute about why I want you to reconsider breeding them?”

“Okay” (Wow! He said okay. Neat!)

“You see, it is clear that you really love Z, and this is not meant to be an attack on you personally… but I wonder if you are aware of the number of pit bulls at the county shelter right now?”

“I know, Man. That’s messed up.”

“So you do know how many are in the shelter right now, and that most of them will be euthanized? Did you also know that all across the US shelters are overflowing with wonderful pitties who will end up in garbage bags today and every day?”

(He stares at me)

“I am talking to you about this because I thought you might want to know. It makes me sad to hear that you’re breeding them, when for every dog you produce, another in the shelter loses his or her chance at life. I wanted to let you know this, so that maybe you will reconsider.”

“Yeah, well it’s my grandpa who’s the breeder. He has a license to breed them and everything, He is real careful about selling them and shit. We don’t fight ‘em, we sell them for protection.”

Here is the place where I had to count three breaths before I responded, “And I can see that your grandpa has taught you well about respecting the breed and cultivating a friendship with Z. That’s great! Can I buy you lunch so we can talk some more?”

Long story, but after sitting on the curb outside as he nursed his milkshake and just talking for 30 minutes, he was asking questions and really doing some thinking. People came and patted Z, who was loving the extra attention. We talked in detail about euthanasia, something about which he had very little information. We talked about why it is especially hard to swallow the fact that anyone would think of breeding pit bulls when just 10 blocks away – where Denver borders our neighborhood – countless innocent dogs have been lost because of Denver’s insane breed ban. We talked about the opportunities available for him to work with pit bulls and the other ways he can gain respect and feel pride – like training, speaking out against breed bans, and educating people about the breed. We agreed that it is likely Grandpa may not change his mind, and will probably tell him the crazy lady at the grocery store was off her rocker, but he promised to talk to him.

It was a better outcome than I had expected, and I guess the reason I’m sharing this is because I’d like to encourage others to try for a minute move beyond the anger, and try to talk to people like this young man. While we might want to flip out and scream, it sometimes pays to try to channel a much calmer, less horrified person for a few minutes… and try to talk to them like we really believe they might change. The result may not always be like this, so be safe, but please do consider speaking up. I am glad I did.

And what did I learn?

I found that had more in common with this this kid than I thought, Yo.

Pit Bulls are currently banned in our nearby city of Denver. More on breed ban here: http://stubbydog.org/2011/03/the-psychology-of-breed-bans/

More articles with and about Pit Bulls: Interview with ChakoInterview with PBRCInterview with PCDRInterview with Downtown Dog Rescue Article about Pit Bulls

Categories
News Non - Profits Pet Care Shelter Animals

Animal Shelter Statistics from Maddie's Fund

Comparative Database Puts Progress in Perspective

Last month, we had the privilege of interviewing Maddie’s Fund President, Rich Avanzino, who shared with us their work toward a comprehensive database of information which would allow lifesaving to be measured and compared, both within and among communities.

True to their mission of revolutionizing the status and well-being of companion animals, with a goal of a no-kill nation, Maddie’s Fund (www.maddiesfund.org) has just released this first such database, which provides all of us with detailed information that will help monitor progress and areas of concern in the saving of animals’ lives.

PackPeople thanks Maddie’s Fund for their incredible work, and for sharing their important findings with our entire community!

To view the related Maddie’s Fund press release, and to access their shelter statistic database, click here.

Please also check out our audio Interview with Rich Avanzino here.

 

 

Categories
Pet Care Pet Care Uncategorized

Cool-Downs for Hot Dogs!

Keeping Your Dog Safe During Summertime Scorchers

Ringo loves the sun. He jumps onto the spot on the couch that gets a bright ray of morning, he lays on the deck in the middle of the day, he can’t wait to go outside, even when Daddy’s dreading opening the door to an un-air-conditioned world.

But, sun-worshiper that he is, even he has his limits. Within a few minutes, he may start panting heavily and move into a shaded area, or jump off the couch and find a cooler patch of carpet on which to collapse. After just a little exposure to heat, Ringo wilts and turns into a bit of a slug, which is pretty how much I react to it, too. Heat can be exhausting.

Which is why now is the perfect time to review some steps we can take to make sure our little friends are as comfortable and safe as can be, while enjoying the the summer sun.

Remember that in just a few minutes… your car, even parked in the shade with the windows open, can become lethally hot during warmer weather. Leaving your dog in a parked vehicle is never a safe option.

Take your walks during earlier morning or evening hours. Mid-day summer asphalt can hurt, even burn, your dog’s paws.

Keep clean, cool water nearby at all times. Pets require more of it during hot weather.

Know that there are certain types of dogs who withstand heat less readily than others. Obese dogs and short-nosed dogs like pugs and bulldogs are very sensitive to heat.

Watch for over-exertion. Your dog may love running and jumping, but be watchful of this activity when the temperature rises.

Watch for vigorous panting, inability to move and disorientation during hotter weather. This could indicate heat stroke, and if this happens you’ll want to move your dog into shade; apply cold, wet rags on your dog’s body (make sure you cool off the foot pads and head) and offer your dog cool water to drink. Call your vet right away!

Dogs can get sunburned, just like us. There are dog-specific sunblocks available, and some people even use baby-sunblocks which are formulated for sensitive skin (my  neighbor’s veterinarian advised her to use that for her chihuahua’s pale, hairless ears) but know that there is no substitute for shade. Even better is cool, indoor shade. If your dog can have access to comfortable shelter during hot days, you’re doing your animal a loving, caring favor.

There are countless more ways to make sure your dog is happy and protected from hot weather. Do your research and take the heat off their summer fun. You and your animals will be grateful for it!

ASPCA published an alert on July 28th – read more about “You can help Pets in Hot Cars” here

Categories
Adoption Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

Want to Get Involved in Animal Welfare? Do What Moves You.

Do What You Can – the Dogs will Benefit!

A dog-owning friend of mine was texting me a hello the other day, adding this vote of confidence: “love the pet activism, btw.” He’d seen a number of my posts on Facebook and Twitter, many of them my urgings to read and listen to PackPeople’s online interviews with dedicated figures in the animal rescue and welfare world.

His comment totally caught me off-guard. An activist? Me? I’m just a writer. I love dogs, I love attention and I’m a writer… but wow. I guess I’m doing my part.

Unwittingly, perhaps even by accident, I’ve become involved in a very important cause. My friend Yurda, who I would say is an activist – and by that I mean someone who brings to the world both strong intention and action toward social change – asked me a few months ago if I’d like to write for www.packpeople.com, then if I’d like to conduct the interviews she’d planned for sharing information about the dog rescue community.

Sure I would. If I have talents that can help, well, yeah. I love dogs!

Through the course of interviewing some of the most learned, experienced and passionate people working in animal rescue, I’ve encountered a common answer to the question, What would you recommend to people deciding to get involved in animal rescue?

What many of them answer falls along these lines: Don’t think you’re going to save every animal you can right away – do what you can.

As someone who first and foremost generally thinks about himself, from the moment I wake up to the time I hit the sack (unapologetically, too; I like it that way), I do find it interesting that even a close friend would call me an activist. I haven’t thought of myself that way, but I’m grateful I’ve become part of this huge circle of caring – by helping rescues, shelters and other pet care organizations share their message of hope. And further to the point of “doing what you can,” many interviewees have shared how, along with the crucial importance of fosters and hands-on volunteers, there will always be people needed to help with clerical work, website management, emails, etc., all the stuff that doesn’t actually touch the dogs but still goes a long way toward saving them.

The point of all this? Basically, if you want to help with this cause, as with any cause, do what moves you. Some people want to get out there and handle animals, and it gives them great satisfaction to do so. Others (like me), love an air-conditioned room, a keyboard and my dog Ringo playing with his chew toys while the TV makes noise in the background.

With a shared purpose, we’re not different – we’re complementary.

One of PackPeople’s main interests is to bring these various sorts together in the sincere interest of animal welfare, and it gives me tremendous pleasure to be a part of this important and influential movement. In just a short while, I’ve learned that activism truly does begin at home, even if I’m just an indoors-y city guy with decent typing skills. Along with those people out in the trenches, we can save a lot of animals, improve their standards of living and influence their humans toward healthier, happier homes.

Together, we really can bring change.