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Why Deaf Dogs Rock – Interview with founder Christina Lee

Deaf Dogs Rock Logo

‘Oh, that one, he’s not going to be adopted anytime soon, he’s deaf’. This is what a worker at one of the rescues where I have volunteered said, when I asked her why a particular dog wasn’t being shown to the public. ‘Nobody wants to deal with a deaf dog, they all want ‘perfect dogs’.

Some dedicated dog rescue organizations show that this statement is simply not correct — and we’re glad we can introduce our audience to one of them: Deaf Dogs Rock.

Through my volunteer work at different animal rescues I was always amazed by the deaf dogs at the shelters. I always wanted to learn more about their personalities, ways of communication and why some dogs are born deaf or become deaf with time. After we interviewed Blind Dog Rescue Alliance last year, I always had it in mind to find a reputable organization to add to our ongoing serious of interviews. Fortunately, we found a wonderful rescue dedicated to deaf and hearing-impaired dogs.

Deaf Dogs Rock is dedicated to helping and advocating for deaf  or partial hearing-loss dogs by rescuing dogs in shelters, assisting deaf dog owners, and educating the public about these wonderful, capable animals. Deaf Dogs Rock is a non-profit corporation in the state of VA run by a group of dedicated volunteers. We had the great pleasure of interviewing Christina Lee, the founder of Deaf Dogs Rock, and learned a lot of important facts about deaf dogs.

How did your adventure in dog rescue begin? It all started with my first deaf dog Nitro. A friend of mine worked at the City of Salem Animal Shelter here in Salem, Virginia. The AC officers spotted an 8 week old skinny white deaf boxer puppy at the Salem River. They knew they could not adopt it out to just anyone so they called me and asked me if I would adopt this pitiful little deaf puppy. I told them I would ask my husband but I thought it would be a long shot. We already had 3 dogs and we weren’t really looking to adopt another dog, especially a “special needs” puppy. When I asked Chris what he thought after showing him a photo of the puppy he said “yes” and I was shocked.

We ended up adopting our Nitro the next day but we ended up staying up most of the night learning as much as we could about ASL and training deaf puppies. What we discovered was most of the information on the internet was slightly outdated so we ended up going into training for the first year at Field of Dreams Training Center in Vinton VA. Although they had never had a deaf puppy in their classes they were pleasantly surprised how well Nitro excelled in all of his classes. Before long the local TV station did a story on him and it went National and my email box started filling up with questions and deaf dogs in need of homes so Chris and I decided to launch Deaf Dogs Rock to help others to have one site to go to and feel like part of a special community who can help with deaf dogs and the challenges they face, and to also list deaf dogs up for adoption.

Why did you decide to help deaf dogs in particular? What continually fascinates you about them?

Nitro 1

I adopted Nitro and when I realized most shelters put deaf dogs to sleep the minute they walk into the shelter, then it sort of hit me like a brick. I would look at Nitro and just think about all the deaf puppies and dogs just like him that were never ever given a chance so I knew Nitro and I had to do something to change people’s perceptions about them. They are not hard to train, just different to train.

You have many cute dogs on your website available for adoption. Approximately, how many dogs in total do you have listed on your website?

Right now we have about 125 deaf dogs listed. We have had as many as 200-300 listed at one time (in the beginning). We are getting a lot more traffic these days so a lot more dogs are being adopted because of our Deaf Dogs Rock Website.

Approximately, how many dogs have been adopted through DDR? It’s hard to say at this point because I only stared keeping track (the best I can) about six months ago. Six months ago I added an “Adopted Deaf Dog” section so I could start moving our adopted deaf dogs over to the Adopted Deaf Dog section so I would at least get some idea of how many are adopted off our website. On a good month, 30 deaf dogs are moved from our available for adoption to our adopted section. This month right now I think we are right at 24 for the month of May. For 2013 I estimate the number will be between 250 and 300 deaf dogs going to new homes from being listed and networked from our website.

739987_10200557651090032_1879114279_o-001What happens to dogs that don’t have the chance to be adopted?

If they are at a reputable rescue they can remain in foster care for years. We have one listing Ziggy who has been with his foster mom now for 3 years. If it is an Animal Control center then they usually get put to sleep. If a puppy is at an Animal Control many times through our network of rescues we will sponsor the puppy to be pulled, and also we help get the puppy transported to a rescue where we know the puppy can learn basic training, but also a rescue is going to have very strict guidelines for potential adopters looking to adopt a deaf puppy.

How do you locate and rescue dogs?

Ha! How do I find them, well I don’t, they find me! Deaf Dogs Rock has such an amazing group of deaf dog followers and rescue organizations that if a deaf dog is networked on Facebook, I can almost guarantee DDR will be tagged in a deaf dog listing. Once DDR is tagged then I send the organization a message with guidelines of what they need to send me to get the dog listed on Deaf Dogs Rock.

How can I find out if my dog is deaf?

What are the indicators? They sleep deeply and don’t wake up to noise. A person can pull up in your driveway and they might not notice although they do feel the vibration sometimes. Once they are asleep if you jingle your car keys and they don’t wake up that is a very good indicator. If you call your dog and he doesn’t turn around to make eye contact then that is another strong indicator your dog is either deaf or partially impaired.

Why are mostly white dogs affected?

The most common cause of congenital deafness in white dogs is pigment related. If there is un-pigmented skin in the inner ear the nerve endings die off or atrophy and die off in the first few weeks of a white puppies life resulting in the pups inability to hear anything. Sometimes it happens in both ears which is called Bilateral Deafness and sometimes it happens in only one year which is called Unilateral Deafness.

What are the most common reasons people give up their deaf dog?

It depends. Sometimes it is life change like having a baby so a family might worry about a deaf dog being startled by a baby. Sometimes a family thinks they can raise a deaf puppy without fencing so when the puppy comes to live with them and has nowhere to safely run and exercise the high energy deaf puppy resorts to chewing and destroying furniture. Some folks don’t realize how much of a time commitment training a dog or a deaf dog in general takes. Many times a family will adopt an 1 or 2 year old deaf dog and the resident hearing dog at home protests by attacking the deaf dog so the deaf dog is the one who has to go. I do get puppies from breeders who don’t feel right about selling a deaf puppy to anyone because they know a potential adopter needs to be someone special willing to go that extra mile to raise a deaf puppy. DSC_0011

What can people expect from a deaf dog, compared to a hearing dog?

The two are very much the same because when we train a puppy we are teaching them our communications skills. With a hearing puppy we teach them verbally but with a deaf puppy we teach them through visual hand signs. The main focus when training a deaf dog is to make sure the dog is looking directly at you. For this reason we start off all dog and puppies on a leash or a tether so we can tap them, teach them the “watch me” sign and then start teaching them commands through hand signs.

Your website is very informative and a great resource; you give tips and answer many questions. For newbies, can you tell us in a nutshell what are the most important things to know in terms of training and handling your deaf dog? How do dog owners communicate with deaf dogs?

To read up on positive reinforcement clicker training and substitute the sound of a clicker with a visual sign like and open flash of your hand . I start signing “watch me” and every time the puppy makes eye contact I give them an open flash of my hand to mark the correct response to my sign and then treat as a positive motivator. I start by signing for everything I do with the dog. So the first step is learning the simple signs or you can make up you signs but make sure you are consistent by using the same signs for the same commands. We do feature a short video on DeafDogsRock.com by Alisha McGraw where her video can teach you most of the signs you need to know. Also I highly recommend “tether training” you deaf dog the first week you have it because it bonds you to the dog and it also teaches then a lot in a short time. You can go to our Training Blog on Deaf DogsRock.com to learn more about deaf dog tether training.

Can dogs lose their sense of hearing with time or are they mainly born deaf?

Absolutely they can lose their hearing as they get older (senior dogs) or they can lose their hearing from infection or blunt force trauma to their head.

Who is the perfect adoptee and how is your adoption process?

Someone who can offer a safe and loving environment for the dog. Someone who is patient and will not ever punish the deaf dog with his hands but always redirect with a toy or treat. A home where the dog lives inside with the family but has access to secure fenced yard. A person or family willing to step up and be the deaf dog’s advocate. What I mean by advocate is help the dog become the best Canine Good Citizen he can be by taking the deaf dog out and socializing the dog. Also by enrolling in positive group clicker training classes (we use a visual marker instead of the sound of a clicker to mark the correct behavior) or at the very least for them to do their research on how to properly engage and train a deaf dog themselves. If you look on DeafDogsRock.com and go to our Deaf Dogs Rock Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Therapy Dog Wall of Fame those are the kind of adoptees our friends in rescues look for when it comes to potential homes for deaf dogs.

If I already have a deaf dog and need help with general questions, can I contact you?

Yes I do get a lot of emails and I try to help as much as I can. I usually will direct a person with a problem or challenge to post their question on our Deaf Dogs Rock Facebook page because we have the most amazing Deaf Dog owner community. We have 12,000+ followers on FB and many of these deaf dog owners are very experienced and have been through years of training and raising deaf dogs. Whenever a question goes up within a couple of hours there will be anywhere from 30 to 150 comments under a particular question.

Can you describe a rescue experience that has moved you?

There are so many but one of my favorites is Indy’s Story. I got a message from one of our followers that a deaf boxer puppy had been returned to the shelter because it was deaf just after only 24 hours. I was going to list the puppy on my website but I had a FB friend who had been following DDR since day one and she had white boxers. She had mentioned a few weeks earlier she had learned all the signs and she really wanted to adopt a deaf boxer so instead of listing the puppy I sent her a text.

It was her day off and she was going to sleep in until she received my text I had the perfect deaf boxer for her but I needed her to get out of bed and drive from Ohio to Hamilton Co Indiana. Her head was spinning.

She tried getting the shelter to hold the dog for her to make the long drive but they don’t hold dogs. When I told our DDR FB followers what was going on they took it upon themselves to flood the Humane Society of Hamilton County with messages to “please hold the puppy for Vicky until she can get there”. The Humane Society’s phones were also ringing off the hook from our followers asking the staff at the shelter to hold the puppy for Vicky. One lady who lived near the shelter in Hamilton Co somehow saw what was going on and she took off work early to go “sit on the puppy” until Vicky could arrive from Ohio.

All of our followers in Australia, England, Texas and all over the country waited in anticipation for the outcome. After a few hours the shelter placed a photo on our DDR FB page and asked us to “call off our dogs” that they would indeed hold the puppy until Vicky could get there to get her new deaf puppy.

Vicky did not get home until 1am in the morning so everyone on FB had to wait for an update until the next morning. We had folks all over the world waiting on pins and needles but we had a huge FB Celebration the next morning when we all got news. We also had one of Vicki’s friends keeping us all updated throughout the day through text messaging. It was one of the most heartwarming adventures that it felt like we all went on together. You can read Indy’s Happy Tail in detail under our Deaf Dogs Rock Happy Tails section.

What are the biggest challenges your rescue center faces?

We are not a rescue center in the conventional sense of the word. We are a website which advocates for deaf dogs through education, networking, sponsoring deaf dogs, paying for neuter/spay surgeries/medical, transporting deaf dogs out of a bad situation into rescues we work with all over the country and even in Canada. Deaf Dogs Rock also provides training resources, inspiration through our Happy Tails and CGC – Therapy Dog Wall of Fame and we list deaf dogs in need of foster homes or forever homes.

What do you need most for your mission, and how can people get involved? In general, why should people adopt from a rescue?

Every community needs volunteers to either walk the dogs, go play with the dogs or even clean kennels. Most of my rescue friends put in 60 to 70 hours a day and they can only do so much. The dog need to be stimulated and given affection so they don’t go crazy being locked in a kennel until the right family comes along. If a young person can just commit to maybe 2 hours a week that makes a huge difference in a rescue dogs life while they are waiting for their forever home. We need people to consider fostering deaf dogs. Many of the rescues and shelters are over flowing with dogs so every family willing to sign up to be a foster family will save a life one dog at a time. People should consider adopting from a rescue because the only chance these dogs have is if families open their hearts and their homes to them. Deaf dogs may not be able to hear with their ears but they can certainly hear and know love through their hearts.

Do you have any upcoming events you want to share with our community?

We just got back from the National BlogPaws Conference in Tyson’s Corner, VA. Last year we won the Halo Foods Nose to Nose Social Media Award for the Best Cause Blog so we got to go back this year and we were awarded $2000 to go to our favorite Service Dog Foundation which was Saint Francis Service Dogs. Nitro and I came back and we presented the check to them today so that was very exciting. This weekend we will be at the 7th Annual Woofstock Dog Festival in Downtown Roanoke. My husband built the most amazing Deaf Dogs Rock kissing booth so we have some of our followers with well trained dogs coming into do meet and greets.

[PP: CONGRATS ON YOUR AWARD!]

If you could give pet owners one piece of advice, what would it be?

Give up your Starbucks everyday and put the money you save towards Positive Reinforcement Group Training Classes. My best advice is when you adopt a deaf (or hearing) puppy if you spend the first year of your deaf dog’s life doing consistent training and socialization, then you will have an amazing deaf dog you will be proud to take anywhere for the next 10 or 12 years.

What makes rescue so rewarding? What keeps you going?

Knowing that I can change people’s perceptions through advocacy, education and inspiration. If I can change how shelters view deaf dogs, I can buy the deaf dogs time to get a rescue or foster to make a commitment. I will never ever forget the day I saw a listing in the Philly PA Craigslist with the title “Deaf Dogs Rock” where the Philly Animal Control put an add up for a deaf pit bull which said “If you don’t believe a deaf dog rocks then just click here” and the link went back to our website. Can you imagine an animal control officer giving a deaf pit bull in Philly a chance at adoption? Somewhere someone at the AC of Philly saw our site and had an “Aha” moment. All I have to do is look into Nitro’s eyes and I know in my heart he would want me to do this for all the dogs out there just like him. My Nitro is my heart dog and deaf dogs like him deserve a chance at a happy life.

Do you have pets of your own?

Yes I have two deaf white boxers Nitro and Bud. I also have three hearing dogs Tallulah, Lexi and Bailey. I have three horses also and we live on a farm in Virginia with all of our animals.

Do you want to share websites and links with PackPeople?

If folks are thinking about adopting a deaf dog they can view our adoptable deaf dogs here: http://deafdogsrock.com/category/available-dogs

hear-with-heartsWebsite: http://deafdogsrock.com

Twitter: Deaf Dogs Rock

Facebook: Deaf Dogs Rock

If you liked the interview please share it with your community or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for making an impact! 

We are humans, so if you see any typos please send us an e-mail to info@packpeople.com – Thank you!

Categories
Animal Welfare Groups and Rescues Interviews on packpeople.com Non - Profits

Dogs for the Deaf – PackPeople Interviews Vaughn Maurice

Dogs for the Deaf, Inc. is dedicated to rescuing and training dogs to assist people with hearing loss, autism, panic/anxiety, physical, mental and emotional challenges.

Founded in 1977 by Roy G. Kabat and funded by donations from individuals and service groups, Dogs for the Deaf has rescued and professionally trained thousands of dogs to help people and enhance their lives, while maintaining a lifelong commitment to the dogs they rescue and the people they serve.

We had the great pleasure of interviewing Vaughn Maurice, General Manager of Dogs for the Deaf, Inc. We learned how this special and praiseworthy organization rescues, professionally trains and places assistance dogs into households, discussed their application process and shared information on requesting a demonstration. We also talked about the Autism Assistance Dog program, the difference between a Service Dog and an Assistance Dog, how you can help Dogs for the Deaf maintain their free services and how you can host your own Dog Walk in 2012, helping Dogs for the Deaf achieve their biggest Dog Walk ever.

We’ll provide the transcription for this interview shortly.

Watch the video interview:

Listen to the audio:

DOGS FOR THE DEAF – Interview with Vaughn Maurice by PackPeople

Web: http://www.dogsforthedeaf.org

Twitter: @DogsForTheDeaf

Facebook: Dogs for the Deaf, Inc.

You Tube: Dogsforthedeaf

Also, here’s an excellent video that explains the great work of Dogs for the Deaf:

Vaughn recommends checking their website for information about their Dog Walk on June 2, 2012 (under News & Events)

also, great information about Assistance Dogs can be found at

Assistance Dogs International, Inc. www.assistancedogsinternational.org

If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.

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Books and Movies Lilly Recommends Pet Care Shelter Animals

Special Guest Blog from Holli Pfau, author of "Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers"

We’re thrilled to receive this very special guest entry from author Holli Pfau, whose new book shares a powerful, touching journey while giving hope and help to the dogs and organizations who make the human, and humane, experience a richer one. We’ll also be featuring an interview with Holli next month, so please stay close and enjoy our talk with her in November as she shares even more of her important story with all of us. – Yurda and Rufino

From Holli Pfau:

They arrive on our doorsteps with issues and baggage.

Sometimes it’ s evident right away – the guarded, wary eyes, the thin frame and brittle coat, or the fear of men’s boots or sudden noises.

Sometimes it shows up later, in an x-ray that reveals old injuries, or congenital defects that will require surgery and rehabilitation.

But what’s soon revealed – given time, attention, love and tender care – are the true gifts of the heart. The eyes that begin to show trust and love again. The coat that begins to shine. The confidence that life will be worth living again.

These are rescued dogs, those that were once cast aside, discarded, or ignored. These are the lucky ones, now embraced by their families and safe from harm. What will happen now is the remarkable bond between humans and dogs, one of the true joys in life. I’ve been blessed to live with six rescued or second-hand golden retrievers and to see how the bond blooms, and how everyone’ s lives are enriched, often beyond any possible expectation.

My first golden, Nikki, arrived as a three-month-old, saved from euthanasia when a nurse carefully bottle raised her so her cleft palate could heal and she wouldn’ t drown on milk. Nikki grew into a beautiful dog who bestowed stunning gifts as a hospital therapy dog.

Bodie’ s congenital eye problem caused his first owners to return him, saying he wasn’ t perfect. We adopted the lanky youth, had the surgery done… and then Bo also became a happy therapy dog and a superb wilderness hiker.

Tucker was relinquished by his family around six months of age, probably because the mother couldn’t deal with a young dog and a houseful of children, too. One month after we adopted him and fell in love with his gentle spirit, he was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. Two months post-op, he was hiking trails again and lived a long, pain-free life.

Sophie had languished for her first year of life in a breeder’s kennel. She had never been in a house or in a car, or received any training at all. Sweet to the core, she soon blossomed into a spunky little sprite who became Tucker’ s faithful companion.

Then Daisy arrived. Or had she been catapulted over the fence and flung into our yard? Six months old, she had already had two homes and had been relinquished to the humane society. She burst into our placid household and careened through our days like a sports car stuck in high gear. Smart, athletic and totally lacking in self control, she needed a job. Agility was the perfect choice, and after years of patient and persistent training, she’s earned numerous titles.

Tender little Chatter brought resigned eyes that reflected her barren and neglected youth. Still trying to fill the empty spaces, she craves attention and has trouble containing her newly found enthusiasm for life. She’ s a rising star in our hospital’ s pet therapy program, where she can soak up all the attention lavished on her. Now those deep brown eyes reflect joy and contentment.

Yes, the challenges can be huge, but the rewards are, too. Each dog needed help – medical, emotional, behavioral. But with that help, they flourished. They enjoyed every day to the fullest. And they enriched and transformed my life beyond measure. I’ve been blessed to travel many paths alongside these remarkable dogs. They’ve taken me places I never woud have found without them, and I’m grateful for the journey. So to honor them, and all the gold the’ ve brought into my life, I’m dedicating the profits from my memoir, Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers, to shelters, humane societies and rescue programs across the country. It’s the least I can do to help needy dogs find their forever homes.

Meet the Author: Holli Pfau 

Holli - Daisy - Chatter

A third generation Trojan, Holli graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in English and, years later, added a BS degree in Therapeutic Recreation from California State University, Northridge. Holli’s long career in advertising took a back seat to the adventures her goldens would bring to her life, as they arrived on her doorstep one by one.

Blessed with the animal-loving gene, Holli shared her early years with a menagerie in southern California. So after an 18-year career in marketing, it’s no surprise that she returned to her roots, inspired by her first golden retriever, Nikki. Credentialed by her second college degree, in therapeutic recreation, she co-founded PAT at Huntington, a program of animal-assisted therapy that became a national model. But the Rocky Mountains lured, and she now lives with her husband in Colorado. Holli continues to be humbled, challenged, charmed and entertained by two frisky golden retrievers, Daisy and Chatter.

Book Details:

  • Pub. Date: October 2011
  • Publisher: Glad Dog Press LLC
  • Format: Hardcover , 263pp
  • ISBN: 9780983645108
  • US/CAN $24.95
Categories
Cool and Fun Stuff Pet Care

When dogs turn into artists – A fun event in N.Y.

Dog Art Night – A fun Event with creative dogs

Our friend Jenna Dreher from Pet It Forward (www.PetItForward.org), a website that helps pet owners save money by booking and paying for pet care online, hosted Dog Art Night at Animal Haven in SoHo on Saturday, Oct 8th. Learn more about PetItForward.org please watch Jenna’s video interview.

The sold out event was a huge success, giving pets and their people the opportunity to unleash their inner artist by creating individual “Abstract Paw Paintings,” “Make Your Own Dog Tag Art,” and all the pups at the event had a chance to add their helping paw to paint a large scale canvas “Paw Painting” that is now for sale on ArtGalleree.com to raise money for Animal Haven Shelter.  The event was attended by some local dog celebrities including Doggie Moms of NYC star Erika with her dogs Cubby and Ginger.

Rescue Chocolate founder, Sarah Gross, set-up a human’s only chocolate store for the event to raise money for Animal Haven.  We recently interviewed Sarah, learn more about her business idea here and listen to her audio interview. And New York City pet photographer Marshall Boprey took tons of great photos during the event.

We want to thank Jenna for reaching out. The pictures are too cute.

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Categories
Adoption Interviews on packpeople.com Non - Profits Shelter Animals

Fundraising and Foster Homes are huge for us – Interview with Grateful Dogs Rescue

Another great interview from San Francisco! We had the pleasure of interviewing Grateful Dogs Rescue, an organization founded in 1990 by Michelle Parris. For more than 2 decades, Grateful Dogs Rescue is on a mission to save the lives of dogs at San Francisco Animal Care and Control that are at risk of euthanasia. As the oldest all-breed rescue group in San Francisco, Grateful Dogs saves as many dogs as possible, places them in experienced foster homes and provides veterinary care and training as needed until loving adopters can be found.

Medical Care is expensive and the organization is in need of financial funds and donations. Many fun events are upcoming in October in the Bay Area, so if you live close by please take the time and visit these worthwhile events to donate to the rescue,  to help them to keep up their great work or just to visit and say Hi.

Michelle Douglas shared with us her insights as well as the daily challenges of a busy dog rescue. Thank you, Michelle! PackPeople, enjoy the interview!

Grateful Dogs Rescue by PackPeople
Grateful Dogs Rescue:

Web: http://gratefuldogsrescue.org

Twitter: @GratefulDogsSF

Facebook: Grateful Dogs Rescue

YouTube: Grateful Dogs Rescue

In addition to the many resources provided on the www.gratefuldogsrescue.org “Links” page, Michelle also recommends:

Petfinder –  www.petfinder.com
Adopt a Pet – www.adoptapet.com

Books by Michael Wombacher
Books by Dr. Ian Dunbar

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.

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Adoption Interviews on packpeople.com Non - Profits Shelter Animals

In need of financial donations – Interview with Michigan Animal Adoption Network

MI-AAN includes The Michigan Animal Adoption Network (M.A.A.N.) and the The Animal Care Network (can). MI-AAN is dedicated to animal care, rescue and adoption in the Metro Detroit area. The Animal Care Network (ACN) is a dedicated group of volunteers providing care and assistance to pet owners in low-income areas in suburban Wayne and Oakland counties.

Founded: 1994

Website: http://www.mi-aan.org/

Interviewee: Pam Porteous – Animal Care Network Manager

How did your adventure in dog rescue begin?

When did this cause first become important to you? Driving through the streets of a poverty stricken community and witnessing stray dogs and cats, witnessing dogs chained in backyards with no shelter that looked lonely and skinny.

What fascinates you about dogs and cats?

The incredible devotion to humans, the loyalty and ability to forgive.

Let’s talk about The Michigan Animal Adoption Network (M.A.A.N.). It’s a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to animal care, rescue and adoption in the Metro Detroit area. The Animal Adoption Network’s adoption program is dedicated to finding new homes for displaced dogs and cats.

Approximately how many dogs do you currently have listed on your website? 8

Approximately how many dogs have been adopted through MI-ANN? Over 6,000

How do you find these dogs – do you rescue them or do people contact your organization directly?

A combination of both. We have an adoption program and also a street rescue program

What do you think are some of the more common reasons people give their pets away, or just stop caring about them?

At this time the declining economy is horrible in Michigan. Families are losing their homes and having to give up their pets, something they never thought would happen to them. It is heartbreaking.

Why do you think is adoption important and why should people adopt from a rescue group?

Adoption is important because the majority of rescue groups will only adopt out dogs and cats that are already spayed and neutered.

Do you have any ideas as to what should change, by law, to decline the overpopulation of dogs and cats in the U.S.? More low cost spay and neuter programs.

Let’s talk about The Animal Care Network – a dedicated group of volunteers who spend weekdays and weekends in low-income areas in suburban Wayne and Oakland counties, providing care and assistance to pet owners.

What kind of services and opportunities do you offer to your volunteers?

The Animal Care Network does not have an actual shelter or office, so our volunteer services are limited. We accept volunteers for our vaccination

clinics, fundraisers, adoption events, foster homes and pre-approved street team.

How many volunteers do you have currently supporting you?

30 regular volunteers

90 volunteers for vaccination clinic

Can you describe a rescue experience that has particularly moved or inspired you?

Recently the team rescuing a pitbull puppy from a horrible situation, and the team leader adopting the puppy, photo attached.

What are the biggest challenges your organization faces?

Financial donations, we are a small organization that does huge, gigantic, amazing work. We make change and make things happen to benefit dogs

and cats in our target area.

What do you need the most for your mission – and how can people get involved?

Financial donations.

What kinds of things do you do to raise awareness about your organization?

We use the media to promote issues and alert the community regarding parvo, weather alerts, extreme heat, extreme cold and many other issues.

Check our website mi-aan.org for dozens of newspaper and television pieces.

If you could give pet owners one piece of advice what would it be?

Spay and neuter your pet.

What advice can you give to someone who might be wanting to get involved with or start an animal rescue group, shelter, or sanctuary?

Start with advocating spay and neuter, the only solution to homeless animals and overpopulation.

What keeps you going?

Rescuing dogs and cats in bad situations and getting them into Good situations! Every single time our team goes out, we encounter a dog or cat that

was waiting for us, that really truly needed the Animal Care Network.

Do you have pets of your own?

We all have our rescue dogs and cats.

Do you have any upcoming events you want to share with our PackPeople community?

Pontiac vaccination clinic, Saturday October 8, 2011 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Centerstage, 536 N Perry, Pontiac 48342

10.00 per animal

Which websites or pet related links would you recommend to PackPeople?

mi-aan.org

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Categories
Adoption Interviews on packpeople.com Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

Just do it! Audio interview with Kish from 4 Luv of Dog Rescue

4 Luv of Dog Rescue is a 503 (c) non-profit organization run 100% by volunteers and dedicated to rescuing and re-homing dogs in North Dakota. They don’t have a shelter facility; all dogs are in foster homes or are being cared for at local boarding facilities. They also provide a big source of educational information.

We had a great time interviewing and learning from the Adoption Coordinator, Kish, and we’re excited to share with you her experiences, knowledge and insights in helping dogs find loving homes and educating people.

4 Luv of Dog Rescue – http://www.4luvofdog.org

Twitter: @4luvofdog

Facebook: 4 Luv of Dog Rescue

Interviewee: Kish / Interviewer: Rufino Cabang (PackPeople)

Please check out this wonderful audio interview here:
4 Luv of Dog Rescue by PackPeople

Websites Kish would like to mention are:

Petfinder – www.petfinder.com
Ace of Hearts – www.acesangels.org
Karma Rescue – www.karmarescue.org
The Humane Society of the United States – www.humanesociety.org
Homeward Bound – www.homewardboundrescue.com

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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.

Categories
Adoption Interviews on packpeople.com Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

Mayor's Alliance for New York City's Animals – Interview with Jane Hoffman

The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Inc., founded in 2002 and powered by Maddies’s Fund, The Pet Rescue Foundation, with support from the ASPCA, is a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters working with Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C)to end the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs at AC&C shelters. To achieve that goal, the Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, helps its Alliance Participating Organizations (APOs) work to their highest potential to increase pet adoptions and spay/neuter rates, with the goal of transforming New York City into a no-kill community by 2015.

We had a great time interviewing and learning from the President of Mayor’s Alliance, Jane Hoffman. We’re excited to share with you Jane’s experiences, knowledge and projects in helping New York City’s Pets.

Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals – http://www.animalalliancenyc.org

Twitter: @MayorsAlliance

Facebook: Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals

Interviewee: Jane Hoffman / Interviewer: Rufino Cabang (PackPeople)

Please check out this highly interesting audio interview here:
MAYOR’S ALLIANCE for NYC’s Animals by PackPeople

Jane recommended following websites:

ASPCA Professional –  www.aspcapro.org

Humane Society of the United States – www.humanesociety.org

Maddie’s Fund  –  www.maddiesfund.org

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!

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Categories
Adoption Interviews on packpeople.com Non - Profits Pet Care

Over 3000 dogs placed through the committed work of MUCH LOVE Animal Rescue

Much Love Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization which rescues abused, neglected and homeless animals from the streets and shelters of Los Angeles and places them in loving homes. Run entirely by volunteers Much Love Animal Rescue has approximately 25 dogs for adoption. We interviewed Christine Ouimette and we’re excited to share with you her experiences, knowledge and projects in helping animals.

Much Love Animal Rescue, organization located in Los Angeles

http://www.muchlove.org

Founded in: 1999

Interviewee: Christine Ouimette / Interviewer: Rufino Cabang (packpeople)

Please check out this highly interesting audio interview here:
MuchLoveAnimalRescue by packpeople

Facebook:Much Love Animal Rescue

Twitter: @Much_Love

Websites Christine would like to mention are:

Petfinder  –  www.petfinder.com

Adopt a pet  –  www.adoptapet.com

Please spread the word! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the facebook and twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!