Thursday, April 14, 2005

Petco Will Stop Selling Parrots

Petco gives in to activists, will stop selling parrots

Thank goodness! It's about time! What other exclamatory remarks can I make!?! I have hated the fact that Petco sold parrots. Yet, they support animal welfare groups in many ways. I am thrilled to hear of this development.

As the proud mommy of three parrots (a macaw, an amazon and an african grey), the thought of someone purchasing one of these birds from a pet store, where the employees are straight out of high school with absolutely no animal experience, chilled me to the bone. I would stop to visit the african grey with only seed in his food bowl and dirty water and my heart would break. Buying him would only allow them to bring in his replacement. Yelling at the staff would only cause animosity. Instead I would politely talk to the staff and educate them as best I could. The next time I came in, the african grey was chowing down on an apple! Sometimes we make a difference. Every little bit helps...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Planet Dog Foundation Requests

From the Foundation Center:

Planet Dog Philanthropy Accepting Applications for New England Grant Program

Planet Dog Philanthropy, the nonprofit arm of Planet Dog , an eco-friendly dog product company based in Portland, Maine, is accepting proposals for its grant program.

Planet Dog Philanthropy is dedicated to supporting unique and effective programs taking compassionate action to preserve and restore the natural environment, cultivate animal welfare, and foster quality education. PDP will award grants in amounts up to $5,000 to applicants in the three program areas within New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.)

For complete program guidelines and application information, visit the Planet Dog Philanthropy Web site or call the PDP office.


Kristen Smith, Executive Director
Planet Dog Philanthropy
211 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101
Tel: (207) 772-6751
Fax: (207) 347-8607

Link to RFP

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bella and Her Puppies - Making Media Work for You

We've all seen articles like "Many Want to Adopt Dogs" from the Scranton Times. An animal survives an unbelievable trauma and is rescued by the local animal welfare organiztion. It's a great angle for a news story.

It provides your organization with publicity, explains what you do and generates a greater response from the community than "This is Fluffy and he needs a home. Won't you help?" Some people feel that tugging at people's heart strings seems unethical, but despite how we feel about the animals in our care, rescuing animals is a business. We need money to stay afloat and rescue more needy critters. Pulling on heart strings brings in adopters and money.

Of course every call is for that ONE animal, but while you have them on the phone mention your other homeless pets. Find out why they want "Bella" and see if you can find another animal that matches their needs. Even better, explain that you are taking applications on "Bella" and invite them to come down and meet her. Once they arrive, they are more apt to connect with another animal should "Bella" not be available.

Writing a press release to get the story printed is an art form in itself! You have several options. Find a volunteer that already is skilled in public relations, learn to write press releases yourself if you have writing skills or if you are a member they have a press release service available. You send them your story and they will submit the release. Alternatively, if you want to handle the release yourself, they will supply you with your local media contacts. If you need a second set of eyes, I would be happy to look them over for you as well - email me!

Have you had stories printed? Who handles your public relations? Please share your experiences!

Monday, February 28, 2005

Chihuahua Hoarder Receives Large Penalty

This Daily News article states: "LANCASTER - A 73-year-old retired school cafeteria manager convicted of felony animal cruelty for keeping more than 200 Chihuahuas at her home was ordered Friday to pay $371,090 in restitution to Los Angeles County." The only depressing part of this judgement is that 95% of the fine is for the care the animals received while in custody. NOT for her neglect and abuse. But at least it is something...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Imagine Humane

Imagine Humane is a project of the ASPCA and PetsMart Charities. This is an attempt to unite the animal welfare community, much like I envision the website I will be developing. There is an Innovation Bank which shares successful programs that other organizations have implemented. Their library has a great deal of resources available, some of which you would actually have to purchase from the ASPCA were they not posted here. It is a great resource and when you have time, you should definitely poke around it!

Board of Directors

How active is your organization's Board of Directors? Valley Cats, Inc. has six board members. Two are very active in board duties and one is very active in day to day volunteering. We are having a board meeting next week and for the first time will present a board manual. We are hoping to take our board to the "next level" now that we have enough volunteers to handle the day-to-day activitites. What activities do your board members engage in?

Pets as Gifts

I attended a workshop called "Adoption Options" last weekend. One of the topics discussed briefly was whether or not pets should be given as gifts. Apparently there have been two studies (I will try to find the sources) conducted that concluded that pets given as gifts tend to be more valued and are not, in fact, more apt to be given up. What does this mean for the group that refuses to adopt under those circumstances. What do you think? What does your group do? Let's discuss!