A Day with a Homeless Dog

A Day with a Homeless Dog

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why should you Volunteer...

I have heard time and time again all the reasons why someone can't or won't volunteer at an animal shelter, especially at the KCMO shelter.  Anyone can argue that they don't have enough time (who does?) or that they are too tender hearted and could not endure the prospect of becoming attached to a dog or cat who had to be put to death because time had run out. There are so many reasons why people can't become a volunteer, but I have to share the so many reasons why people should...

1. Be part of the solution. You'll join a network of hundreds of thousands of people working to make the world safe and more humane for all living creatures. You'll make the jobs of everyone working for animals a little easier by lending a hand and spreading the message of responsible pet ownership and animal protection. 

2. Get warm fuzzies. You'll never find a more grateful and accepting comrade than an animal you've comforted. To them your undivided attention is the best part of their day. 

3. Keep good company. You'll make lots of new friends—and not just the four-legged kind. Working side by side with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships. I have met so many great people and it is one of the reasons I continue to go back every Sunday.

4. Meet the new you. You'll discover skills you never knew you had, and you may be surprised at what you're capable of achieving. The exercise you can get with some of those dogs is amazing.  Along with using customer service skills and helping people find the right match for them.

5. Gain a new career. You'll learn things that may lead you to the career—or career change—of your dreams. Employers and college admissions officers look favorably on time spent in volunteer service. 

6. Enjoy a wagging tail, a purr, and a smile. Didn't someone once say that the best things in life are free?  A lick on the hand or a hug makes all your other worries go away.

I know it can be hard and maybe going into the shelter is just to much and overwhelming.  Please know that there are other volunteer opportunities that are available.  Destiny Hritz would love to show you the many possibilities to help KC's homeless animals. 

1. Animal Taxi. Dogs and cats both need to be taken to other places.  Maybe it is heartworm treatment or brought to a boarding facility.  Weekly transports are guaranteed and we need drivers.

2. Fostering.  There is short term and long term.  We have dogs that just need a nice place to stay for a couple weeks to a month.  These dogs are moving on to bigger and better things and they could use a place to stay.  Long term would require someone to keep the dog until it is adopted and finds its forever home.  I have done both and it is great to give those dogs the one on one attention they deserve. 

3. Office help.  There is always something that the ladies could use help with.  Filing and organizing papers. Maybe even cleaning up areas.  Just ask and I am sure they would be so appreciative.

4. Photography.  Beautiful photographs are the best way to market these animals.  Volunteering to capture our adorable dogs and cats in their cutest poses is so helpful.  Pictures say 1,000 words! 

5. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.  We can't say how important it is to spread the word about the KCMO shelter.  Many people have never heard of us and don't know where we are.  They think we are full of pitbulls and unwanted animals, but KCPP is so much more, help us spread the word about all the wonderful things that are happening! 

I leave you with some adorable faces who are waiting to see you and get a chance of fresh air and love.  Please invite friends, make it a group activity.  I started 3 years ago and I am thankful for everyday that I get to give these dogs LOVE and ATTENTION! 


Thursday, September 6, 2012

What and Why is Fostering Important...

Fostering is, quite simply, bringing a dog into your home and loving it like a member of your family until they are ready to find their furever people.  Fostering might not be for everyone, but before anyone completely writes off opening their home to a dog or cat in need, they should have as much information about it as possible.  

Anyone who’s ever fostered an animal has heard this statement, “I could never do that, it’d be way too hard for me to give them up.”  I’m not going to lie, it has been hard for me every time, but so rewarding.  I have been able to find great homes for 2 of my foster dogs and I am looking forward to finding the perfect home for my current pup.  Please keep the below information in mind when making the decision to foster.

First and foremost it is important that everyone in your household is on board.  Having a dog can be a lot of work.  Feeding time, play time, walks, medications, picking up toys and other, well “stuff” – as a foster parent, you’ll be responsible for all of these things.  Make sure everyone in the house realizes this, and is willing to help pitch in. 

Having a strong support system makes it a lot easier.  KC Pet Project has great resources, volunteers and staff to help you if you decide you’d like to join the wonderful world of dog fostering.  Both the KC Pet Project Volunteer Facebook page and KC Foster Pet Network Facebook page are great resources to ask any questions or get advice for your foster.  There are trainers available if you need help and a foster coordinator to inform you about adoption events and how to get your foster adopted.  Below is a great example of one of how our volunteers can be helpful and share insights on their own foster situations.  Heather Bauer is a foster mom extraordinaire and you can see her advice on how she handles her foster dogs…
Hi All! I've had many people ask me recently how I logistically keep my fosters in my house, and keep everybody happy and sane at the same time;). Thought this might help some that are considering fostering, but just don't know how they'd manage to do it all...
I keep all my fosters in my basement, in crates. It's a basic basement, nothing fancy at all. I always keep a light (of some sort) on, and a radio playing. This seems to keep them pretty soothed throughout the day and night. I always have at least one foster, and 2 other dogs in my house, Macey (a foster failure chow from KCMO) and Harley (another chow mix from Broward County shelter in FL)...I walk or run all the dogs in the morning, and also at night...separately. My dogs have the run of the main floor all day, then I let them out in the back yard at night. My fosters always go in the front yard. They NEVER interact unless I let them. I feed them separately, walk, treats, etc.
I recommend to ANYONE if you can't adopt a dog or cat at this time, to PLEASE FOSTER!! You may only have your foster for a few weeks, may be longer. Fostering is one of the most rewarding things you can possibly do with your free time. Not only are you saving lives, you're fulfilling them with a new found love that many have never known. Beyond that, it brings to you a joy and pride that you just can't get anywhere else.  To apply to be a foster parent just visit the KC Pet Project website and fill out your foster application.  The foster coordinator will contact you within the next few days.  Once you get your dog or cat all you have to do is LOVE them.  You'll be able to take them to FUN adoption events, which not only helps socialize the dog, but you can also meet other foster parents, just like yourself, and compare notes;)  Lots of TLC and love will help your foster get adopted in no time!