Pet Stuff...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dog Adoption & Fostering

Whenever someone decides to try fostering a dog there's going to be a family member, coworker, or friend who will think they're crazy.
My advice? Go with your heart.

Fostering is work. You have an animal to take care of and that includes feeding, bathing, cleaning up after, and taking to adoption days or the vet. (Some rescues will do the vet visits for you.) Most rescue volunteers will pitch in and help each other with adoption days and if you have a dog that requires professional grooming, the rescue should pay for it.

Choose the right organization to work with for fostering. 

This can be your local shelter. Most accept fosters due to the over crowding. Check out their website, visit, or make a phone call and find out what they're looking for in a foster family.
Check out your local rescue. Look them up online. They should be a verifiable non-profit. Go to your state's website and there should be a place to look them up to see their non-profit status. In New Jersey that would be at the Directory of  Registered Charities   Making sure the rescue you choose is a non-profit helps to ensure all funds and donations will go to the care of the animals.

Once you find your rescue ask about their policies for fostering. Who pays for what? A good rescue will supply all the supplies (food, leashes, medical needs, flea prevention, etc.) and host adoption days in your community. Ask about what happens if you can no longer foster? This sometimes comes up if the dog you're foster doesn't get along with another pet in your home or if you have a family emergency and can no longer keep the dog. There should be policy in place for emergencies.

A good rescue usually gives a first time foster an easy dog. By that I mean one that is calm or maybe a puppy. Most puppies have no issues and just want to play. Good choice if you have kids. Some in the rescue I belong to only foster puppies and others only want to do the older dogs. I've done both. Puppies can be fun and older dogs are usually already house trained. There are good points to any age dog. Puppies are usually adopted faster than older dogs.

If you can't foster there are always other volunteer options.
Most good rescues run fundraisers and the more hands to help the better.
Processing paperwork for adoptions.
Calling references.
Doing home visits.
Transporting dogs.
Collecting donations.

Check out your local shelter or rescues. Their website should have a list of volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer and save a life. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hurricane Safety list for Dogs

With hurricane season upon us and a storm surging up the east coast, don't forget your 4-legged furbabies! Here's some quick storm tips for keeping your pups safe and calm when the weather gets wild.
  1. Make sure your dog is tagged and chipped in case you get separated. It can help you find Fido after the storm. 
  2. Find out in advance where the pet-friendly shelters are or ask a friend or relative who lives in a safer area if they'd board your dog for the storm. Make sure it's someone you know and trust. 
  3. Make Fido a Go-bag. Just like that emergency bag you may need in case you have to evacuate, have one for your dog;  any medication they might need, a copy of vaccinations, water, dishes, food, and a favorite blanket. Don't forget a toy or two! Keep the leash handy and put their harness on in case you have to get out fast. 
  4. If you're riding out the storm at home; Keep them indoors! Aside from going crazy with fear of the wind, rain, and possible lightening, flying debris can injure your dog. If you won't send your child out into the storm, don't send your dog. 
  5. A box of Wee-wee pads can be your best friend's best friend. Place them by the back door so they know it's okay not to have to brave the elements. If you have a bigger dog and they stress about getting out to eliminate. Stay by the door and get them right back inside. (Only if there are no flying objects-branches, lawn chairs, trash, etc.) 
  6. Get Cash. Take some cash out of the bank in case the little card machines go down and stores only take cash. You never know what you'll need, so be ready. 
  7. Stock up on dog food! One thing New Jersey learned from Superstorm Sandy was stores might not open for days. There was one store around here that got generators in and their stock went fast. Everything flew off the shelves in record time. Get in two weeks worth of dog food and treats so your dog can maintain a normal diet during this stressful time. 
  8. If the noise and pressure changes are freakin' your dog out, try putting a t-shirt or thunder coat on your dog. Play calming music and pet them often to reassure them. 
  9. Put a photo of your pet in your wallet. If you have to search for them after the storm you'll need a picture to show shelters. 
  10. If you must evacuate take your pets with you. If it's not safe for you, it's not safe for your dogs.