Take Action To Save Pets

Without animal shelters and rescues, starving dogs and cats would roam the streets. And more litters of unwanted kittens would meet horrible ends.

But animal shelters can only do their work thanks to volunteers.

November 8 is Volunteer Action Day

People Saving Pets Volunteer Action Day BadgeDid you know that 97% of all animal welfare organizations use volunteers? And that more than half of all animal welfare groups are run entirely by volunteers?

Petsmart Charities, through their People Saving Pets initiative, is encouraging people to volunteer with their own local organization. At their site, you can

  • enter your zip code to find local volunteer opportunities;
  • get resources for your local organization to recruit and use volunteers; and
  • check out some cool infographics that describe how volunteers help animals.

If you aren’t already volunteering with animals, or if you want to spread the word, check out the site and share.

Volunteer Honey

As I write this, I have a fostering application for my local shelter sitting on my desk.

One of the reasons I got a purebred dog from a breeder instead of adopting from a shelter was so I could do some kind of volunteer work involving dogs. My two thoughts were raising puppies for a service dog organization or fostering for a local shelter or rescue.

Golden Retriever in the garden

Volunteer, huh? Does it involve cookies?

Neither of those activities would have worked with my previous dogs. But I think Honey will be a great volunteer partner.

But at the same time I brought Honey home, I started a blog. Then I started another blog.

And I developed a dream that I spend a lot of time pursuing. I can’t tell you what it is yet. You never know who is listening in.

But suffice it to say that when I perfect my freeze ray, you’ll know… Oh, sorry. Wrong blog. That’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog.

But anyway–I know I’m not the only person stretched too thin.

Making time to volunteer

So how do you make time to do good things you don’t have time to do?

I know many of you foster dogs. Some are puppy raisers for a service dog organization. Many of you are parents. Some are students. Some of you have multiple dogs and make homemade meals or compete with your dogs in agility or obedience.

So do your part for volunteer action day by convincing me to fill out the fostering application for 2012.

Share your secrets. Even brag a bit. How do you manage your schedule? What choices do you make to keep from shortchanging your family?


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  1. If there’s a secret to managing time, I certainly haven’t found it. I’m constantly feeling guilty for not spending more time training the dogs, reading, working or relaxing. But, in the grand scheme of things, fostering is saving a life and what’s more important than that?

  2. There never seems to be enough time, does there? I know I complain about that a lot. I try to give my all to everything I am involved in and often it is my family that suffers. Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I called my parents. Isn’t that awful?

    That being said, if we had more space – and that oh-so-coveted fenced yard – I would be fostering a dog right this second – time or no time. There are some things that are just too important to me emotionally. (Apparently my parents aren’t one of those? Yikes…) Somehow, you find the time and it all works out. Who needs sleep anyway?

  3. Think of all the new blogging topics this will give you ;-). And of course incalculable amounts of good karma.

  4. Someone once said, “if you need something done, find the busiest person to ask, they always seem to be able to find the time to get it done.”
    So foster away, another life saved.

  5. I am typing this while on a train for my weekly class in a city two hours from where I live. I spend about five hours commuting to sit in a three hour class, and if I drove instead of taking the train with wi-fi it would be a colossal waste of time!

    This week I left something defrosting for the kids’ dinners, but last week… don’t ask. Suffice to say child welfare authorities could have been called.

    Because of my crazy schedule, I can’t foster right now, even though I think Our Best Friend is almost up to the challenge of sharing his house and people with a needy dog. My kids wish we could foster again. But Our Best Friend is neglected enough. I don’t need two dogs on my conscience!

    So you, Ms. Pamela, are elected to step in and save a pooch’s life. Do it for me. As Edie points out, it will be WONDERFUL blog fodder. And can I borrow that death ray when you’re done?

    • Mike Webster says:

      *Freeze* ray, not *death* ray. VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION. (So say I, our household’s official “Dr. Horrible” Geek.)

      Apparently, you haven’t taken the time to immerse yourself in *all things Dr. Horrible.* That is, apparently, you have a real life. :)

  6. I want to foster but Hubby says only two dogs at a time, so instead I will volunteer my time and will be blogging about that fairly soon. :-)

    Good for you Pamela, you will be a wonderful foster mom.

  7. Just do it! You’ll never regret it; and if it turns out you can’t manage the extra dog in your house, at least you will have tried. :)

  8. “My” dog sanctuary, in my home, has 21 dogs on site (15 of which are adoptable); I have one dog in a fabulous foster home. Even though the dogs here are in a home, they are part of a large pack; they live in and out of the house but each will benefit from a smaller pack in a foster home. Fostering makes SUCH a difference to dogs and adoptions. I love reading fostering blogs. How do I manage so many dogs? I live alone with them (HA – the bathroom is off limits, guys and gals!), I use crates, I make everyone at least learn to sit; my backyard, field and front yard are about an acre fenced; the back yard can be separated from the front year to split up the pack – I try to avoid having everyone in one spot at one time unless I am there…makes for better harmony. I no longer have carpet in my front and back rooms (living, dining, kitchen, hall, breezeway) though someone somehow started pulling up the vinyl from the breezeway and I just don’t have the funds to fix it – LOL. Sometimes it is too much; most times, it is simply lovely :). I love my hounds. I miss my horses – I was seriously ill several years in a row and moved the horses on to better pastures (they are alive but in better circumstances). So now I have the dogs – which is why I am dog-blessed :).

  9. I LOVED fostering 😉 I would do it now if I could convince my hubby! I think you would be a wonderful foster mom . .you should do it! We will never have MORE time . . but we always find a way to handle whatever we have on our plate :)

  10. We really loved fostering and found it very rewarding. I think if you are interested in it, you should definitely pursue it! I still hear from people who have adopted Greyhounds that we fostered, and that is a really cool feeling.

    Right now, our volunteerism has two directions. We help teach the local 4H dog obedience classes on Monday nights during the spring and summer. That is definitely a lot of fun and it’s great to see how far the kids and dogs get from the beginning of class to show day!

    Our other volunteer activity is visiting nursing homes with the dogs. I like it because it gets us out of the house and away from the computer and TV a couple of nights a month, and it means so much to the people we visit. Some of them look forward to it all month. I will always remember sweet little Mary, who made her daughter take her to Sam’s once a month for a giant box of Milkbones. Every dog in our group knew the way to Mary’s room! She emptied that box every month on that one night, whether there were twelve dogs visiting or just two. It made me smile to myself every month! It means the world to the people who are there, and it costs us very little. I’ve found that it has made the bond I share with Bunny much closer, too. There are times in there when we have to read each other’s minds!

  11. I keep feeling a desire to adopt or foster senior dogs but don’t know if my heart can take it. Then I think, how can I not help? I think you’re wise for thinking it through before you commit. But, knowing you through your blog, I think you’d make an awesome foster parent! So go ferit!

  12. You’re such a tease! I hope you’re going to let us know what it is you’re developing. I’m sure it will be original and interesting:)

    Go on, fill in that application! You’ll be an awesome foster mum and think what a great start to a new life you’ll be giving some lucky dog(s).

    I can’t/won’t foster. My work life is too erratic and Greyhounds like routine. Beryl knows the way things roll around here now but it took her a few weeks to work it out. Also Frankie and Beryl are allowed on all the furniture in the house …. except the dining room table, Frankie!! And it’s recommended foster Greyhounds aren’t allowed on beds, couches etc. and it wouldn’t be fair for my two to be able to get on anything and any foster dogs have to stay off the luxury items! Plus I think I’d probably fail with the first foster.

    What I do is take and edit videos of some the new arrivals at the kennels and put them on Youtube. It’s something I enjoy doing and it’s a help in getting the hounds ‘out there’. Plus Beryl and I take part in any GAP activities, fund raising, promotions etc that I can take her to.

  13. My house is thoroughly cleaned often enough for my family not to contract dysentery. That is my brag. :) (I typed a smiley face, but I’m actually tearing up.)

    You know, it really is all about choices and priorities. Getting two puppies at once was terrifying, but we’ve managed and I wouldn’t change it for anything. If you’re feeling a genuine desire to foster (by that I mean guilt is not the main motivation), I say go for it. You might one day be saying “I wouldn’t change it for anything” too.

  14. I’m always thinking of fostering despite protests that I’m sure I would get from Milly and Poppet. Local rescues we work with here are always crying out for foster parents, but then I feel guilty about not being able to give them enough time…I need to think more, but good luck with your decision!

  15. Erin, Trump, Bubbles & Texas says:

    I think…..I think you should do both of them. Not at the same time (of course) but why not? They both aren’t long term commitments and I think you would enjoy them both immensely.


  16. Go ahead and fill it out – you’ll find time, somehow or another you will.

    First, allow to me swoon at the Dr. Horrible references. (I’m pretty sure I can quote both the musical AND the musical commentary.) If I didn’t before, I now totally :heart: you (and your husband).

    For my part, I need the support of family so lots of communication helps. If you can explain why what you want to do means so much to you, you’ll get buy-in that they’ll take care of some things if you’re swamped and can’t manage it.

    One thing I have found is that when you do finally spend time on something or with someone, make sure you’re totally there – not thinking about or feeling guilty about what else you “should” be doing. Do what you’re doing and move on when it’s time to do the next thing. What did a friend of mine post the other day? I think it was “Don’t look backwards, you’re not going that way.”

    Good luck with whatever you decide. Don’t get yourself into something out of guilt but don’t hold back out of fear either. Give it your best and you’ll do fine. :)

  17. We’ve been talking about fostering or becoming a final refuge home through Old Dog Haven. I’m also considering volunteering for Rainier Therapeutic Riding Center (horse assisted therapy for vets with PTSD). I am honestly not certain that we have the ability to do both, so I think it will be a household decision. If I volunteer with RTR, that doesn’t put any responsibility on the rest of the house, it just removes hours that I am available. If we foster, or especially if we do final refuge, that effects everyone’s lives- hubby, roomie, and two pups.
    Of course, I’d really like to figure out a way to do both, but am not sure that’s a possibility.