Friends Helping Friends: Amelie

Our friend Josh from That Touch of Pit has saved the lives of over 55 dogs (and two cats!) in the past year and five months. While all of those pups hold a special place in his heart, he has recently rescued a new dog that needs our help more than any others have before.

Meet Amelie.

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This sweetheart is a one year old pittie pup who was found tied up to a bench in a park just a few blocks from their local public shelter in NYC, unable to walk and crying in pain. The shelter contacted Josh asking if That Touch of Pit might be able to take her, as she could not get the necessary care there. Without hesitating, Josh and his partner Jennifer agreed and rushed her to our emergency vet. The initial diagnosis is that something fractured one of the vertebrae in her neck very severely. She has lost all ability to stand, sit, walk or even use her legs at all. Total paralysis. Heartbreaking? Yes. But what is amazing, is that she has sensation, so the doctors are hopeful that she can recover.

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Amelie’s medical bills alone (this wont include any recovery efforts like physical & water therapy, food, and other necessary supplies) are approximately $7,000. So That Touch of Pit has set up a youcaring fundraiser to help raise some money to cover the exorbitant cost. Here is the link:

 As you can see by the photos, Amelie is a really sweet dog who absolutely deserves a second shot at life. Even just a few dollars can help Josh & Jennifer make that a possibility. We all know that her life is worth skipping a cup of coffee this morning!
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And if you are looking for a way to give back to Amelie, while also having a chance at securing some cool stuff, our friends at Our Waldo Bungie are hosting an awesome giveaway for anyone that donates over $15. Head over there to check it out!
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Luck is in the Eye of the Beholder

I interrupt our previously scheduled blog post for a momentary freak out. Seriously?! You guys are amazing. Which doesn’t even begin to cover it. I believed that one way or another, we would find a way to make this surgery possible, but I never expected so many people to care and donate and share. I am blown away, and honestly, a little bit speechless. Good thing I wrote this post on Sunday, when I had words to spare 😉 Thank you doesn’t begin to express my gratitude. You all are amazing.

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After a weekend of getting to know our little house guest, I posted this photo to facebook, with the light-hearted caption- ‘You guys are all: “Aw, what a lucky boy to have been saved by such nice people.” Meanwhile, I’m all: “How’d I get so lucky to have this handsome dude as a roommate?!”

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Of course, my post was meant to be silly, but it was brought about by a serious perspective. So many people are commenting, thanking us for what we are doing and posting really flattering statements about what this must mean about who we are as people. As much as I appreciate the flattery, anyone who knows me will tell you that compliments and attention in general make me very uncomfortable and awkward.

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I want to make it very clear that I hope and believe that anyone faced with a similar situation would do the same thing. I cannot imagine that the people I love and admire and respect (and most of you are among that list!) wouldn’t go out of their way to help an innocent animal if they had the means to do so. So if you are reading this, I hope you know that I believe you would follow your heart in an instance like this. What we are doing does not make us saints or heroes or angels… in my opinion, it makes us normal people who want to make the world a little bit of a better place, in whatever capacity we can. That means that when I am faced with an opportunity to do the right thing, I will. And I believe that you will, too!

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Not only does this statement reflect on my perspective about our society, but can we talk for a second about this amazing little dog?! Talking about how wonderful we are makes it seem as though what we have done is endlessly selfless and, to some extent, a huge burden. Yes, we have had to alter our schedules and our lifestyle and our finances… but all of that is what makes it possible for this guy to LIVE. I’m sorry, but that is not a balanced trade if you ask me. The amount of affection and love and joy he has already given to us will not ever be repayable by anything we can do for him. It will always be an unbalanced partnership. I think that is one thing that makes dogs so irreplaceable in the lives of humans; their endless need to express their love and devotion, regardless of what we have done to deserve it. Let me tell you, every second of the time I have spent with this dog has been enjoyable. He is not the lucky one… that is all on us, I promise.

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Moral of the story is that while I appreciate the recognition, please don’t put us up on a pedestal. We are doing what is right, not anything exceptional, and we know in our hearts that all of you would do the same! Anyway, if you met this dog, you’d understand why we’d gladly PAY for the opportunity to spend some time with him 😉

IMG_2331There is nothing I love more than a blurred-pittie-tale!

He is scheduled for femoral repair and neuter surgery at Butler Veterinary Associates on Wednesday. They are an incredibly charitable practice, and at least per the original estimate, have given us a very generous discount. With their permission, we will post the bill when it comes in, so that everyone knows where their funds have gone. Please keep in mind that the dog will probably require a second procedure once he has healed in order to remove the pins. If the donations exceed the original cost of the surgery, they will be allotted to this later procedure, as well as the vaccines, etc that he will still be needing. Again, I wish there was a word for me to use other thank thank you… you all are amazing, and I hope this incredible act of teamwork and charity restores your faith in humanity as much as it does mine.

(In other news, I start a new job today. Eeek! A little crazy here in the AFM5 household, but why would I ever expect it to be any other way?!)

Sick as a Dog

Early last week, this picture came up on my news feed…

chukie-1His name was Chukie, he was at the NYC public shelter, and he was slated to be euthanized that day. This photo? A shot of one of the volunteers saying his last goodbyes to his favorite pup. Chukie had absolutely glowing reviews from staff members and volunteers alike. Most of us have gotten used to seeing things just like this on our news feeds, multiple times per day. While it is unfortunate, you sometimes have to grow a bit numb to prevent yourself from being in a constant state of despair, misery, and hopelessness. In spite of that, Chukie’s story really struck me, and I shared him in hopes of helping him find a foster or forever home.

I was so pleased when that photo quickly received a comment from my friend Josh from That Touch of Pit and Bully Project. If you are familiar with dog rescue, you’ve probably heard those names a few hundred times… they are responsible for the rescue of so, so many wonderful pups. They do great things for New York’s neediest dogs, and beyond. Josh informed me that although they were still searching for a foster or adoptive home, they had put a safe hold on Chukie. With Josh’s help, Chukie had narrowly escaped euthanasia!

430029_518596208207046_717395621_nUnfortunately, the struggle for Chukie’s life was not over. While he has since been removed from the shelter, he is spending his days in a veterinary office, where they work diligently to save his precious life. This is one sick pup, friends. And because they are struggling to find a worthy foster home, the funds that should be dedicated to his mounting medical costs will also need to be allocated toward expensive veterinary boarding fees. In spite of his dwindling health, Chukie remains friendly and affectionate with everyone he meets. It is easy to see what a wonderful family member he would make, if and when he recovers from his illness.

1000424_518927361507264_795835897_nNow renamed Chunk, this boy has overcome so many obstacles, but he is not yet assured a chance at a happy life. Please help Bully Project help Chunk, and other dogs like him, by making any donation, here. I know that if he could, Chunk would thank you with a big wet, sloppy kiss! I will choose to thank you in a way that is more subtle 😉

Nala Needs our Help!

Happy Friday everyone!

I don’t like to come to you with requests very often, but this is one that is near and dear to my heart. I’d like to introduce you to Nala.

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Nala was an LCPO foster dog, pulled from NYCACC not long ago, the day before she was going to be euthanized. At the time, she had sarcoptic mange. She was placed with one of LCPO’s most devoted foster families, who willingly took on her skin problems, digestive issues, and even a burst anal gland. Before long, the family realized that they couldn’t live without Nala, and decided to adopt her. They celebrated last week when they finalized her adoption. Unfortunately, just a few days later, during a checkup for her skin issues, Nala was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor. If this had been diagnosed earlier, the rescued would have found ways to cover her vet costs through fund raising and donations, but as it stands, Nala’s new family is being hit with some hefty bills, all in thanks for giving this girl a second chance at life.

Nala’s mom Julee is someone I have worked with while volunteering with LCPO. She is a tireless breed advocate and volunteer, and epitomizes the ideals of responsible pet ownership. She has continually served as a foster home for homeless animals, and even currently has a foster, a sweet girl named Sally who came to LCPO neglected and emaciated. If we all band together, we can show her that her compassion is recognized and so appreciated by the rest of the animal-loving community. I know that they will continue to give back regardless, by fostering and volunteering, but I think they deserve to know that their selflessness is acknowledged by some of us.

If you can contribute, even just $1 helps! Even if you are unable to give, please share the world and spread Nala’s link. I know that if she was sleeping in your lap right now (which she would do instantly upon meeting you!) or looking into your eyes and licking your cheeks, you wouldn’t be able to tell her no.

Nala with some of her four-legged 'siblings'

Nala with some of her four-legged ‘siblings’

If you are interested in making a donation, you will be my personal hero! There are two ways to contribute. Please keep in mind that time is of the essence.

1) Online donations: http://www.gofundme.com/2o7h4g

2) Nala’s Veterinary Hospital:

CARES (Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services)
2010 Cabot Blvd. West Suite D
Langhorne, PA 19047

*You must specify that it is for Nala Wall

More information: After noticing a mass on Nala, it was brought in for a cytology, and came back as a mast cell tumor. Cancer is obviously a devastating diagnosis for any pet owner, especially when the dog is a recent addition to your family. However, the placement of the tumor (on her vulva) is notoriously more aggressive, and so it needs to be removed immediately, in hopes that it will not continue to spread. The family has already made the decision, with the veterinarian’s input, to try medications in an attempt to shrink the tumor. She will then go to a surgeon who specializes in such procedures, and cost will be due in full that day, which is between $3,000 and $5,000. Julee and her husband are asking for $2,000 in donations, and are prepared to cover the rest personally.

Any of us in rescue know that sometimes those dollars and cents we should be designating for a savings account are often transferred to helping animals in some way or another. We may be putting ourselves second, but we are rewarded by the notion that we are helping animals. Nala’s foster family could have been setting aside money every month for their own personal savings, but instead, they have chosen to donate their time and finances to fostering pit bulls for LCPO.

Sleepy, sweet, snuggly girl

Sleepy, sweet, snuggley girl

“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist.”
Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian Theologian, Musician, and Medical Missionary

How Mean is Your Pit Bull? : Contest Conclusion!

Most of you are well-aware that And Foster Makes Five has been holding a contest for the past few weeks. In the contest, we accepted silly photos of your pit bulls (or other ‘dangerous’ dogs) at their ‘meanest’. Each submission counted towards 1 pound of dog food, which we will be donating to a local shelter. Simultaneously, we edited these pictures and shared them on our blog and facebook pages. The photo with the most shares and likes would win an undisclosed prize… well, it’s finally time to announce our totals, our winners, and just what the lucky champions will be receiving!

A few of you may not have heard about our contest until it was too late, but you still wanted to send us some snapshots of your precious pups. We LOVED seeing these photos. Seriously, we think that the AFM5 readers and followers have a disproportionate amount of adorable dogs. It’s just not normal!! While we did not have enough time to edit and add some of these late-comers before the end of the contest, we still counted them towards the totals for the food donation… which was 40! Woo-hoo 🙂 We will be rounding up and making a 50 lb donation to a local Pittsburgh shelter.. stay tuned for that post next week.

There were 29 competitors in the facebook sharing contest. Each like counted towards 1 vote, while each share counted as FIVE votes! Here are our top entries, with impressive numbers!

Winner: Forrest – 125 votes!

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Forrest is a big clown, who also happens to be a foster pup through LCPO, Georgia’s rescue! He is available for adoption, but until his forever family comes along, his foster family is loving every second of his adorable antics. He is approximately one year old, and was saved from death in the NYC ACC shelter system. He loves people, dogs, and cats, and while he is 100% house and crate-trained, he is a diligent student in obedience class. We love you Forrest! Thanks to his foster mom, Chrissa, for submitting this adorable photo.

Runner-Up: Oscar – 109 Votes!

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You may recognize Oscar as the resident Super Dog over at Tails of a Foster Mom! Our friend Rebecca rescued him after the adoption of her beloved foster dog had left her heartbroken, and the rest is history. She received an email about this boy (known as Half-Pint, at the time!) who was slated for euthanasia, simply due to lack of space, and she knew she had to make him a part of their family. His growth was stunted due to severe malnutrition as a pup. While that leaves him with an eternal puppy presence, he certainly doesn’t let it slow him down! He has made a perfect addition to their family, and serves as a great friend and greeter for their revolving door of foster pups!

Honorable Mentions

These two were not at the top of the list as far as votes are concerned, but they were nevertheless two of my favorite submissions, for different reasons.

Midnight

315646_364786986974775_721839060_nI have a soft spot for dogs (and their owners, of course!) who are pulled from NYC shelters, and Miss Midnight is no exception. She now lives out in Western NY, enjoying life as a country girl with her ‘big sister’ Babygirl, a rescued German Shepherd mix.

Norman

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This photo needs no caption. I just can’t get over this shot! It is too adorable for words. You may recognize that sweet face as Norman, from My Two Pitties, along with his feline friend Marty. Too cute!

We thank everyone who made submissions, as well as those who liked and shared. We couldn’t have made this donation without all of you! … Well, okay, we could have. But it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun, and we wouldn’t have been spreading pit bull love throughout the interwebz while we did it!

You may remember that yesterday’s post featured our friends at CharlieDog and Friends. They are generously donating prizes to our contest winners! We couldn’t be more excited to partner with such an amazing organization. Be sure to check out yesterday’s post, and LIKE them on facebook. They deserve all of the support that they can get!

If you are one of the winners, please send your full name and mailing address to me (Stephanie) at: sel1490@gmail.com

We Need Your Help! Contest: Continued…

Hi there friends! We hope everyone had a great weekend 🙂 We got to spend lots of time outdoors with our pups… including an impromptu swim in the pond! I didn’t take my camera along, because as I said, it wasn’t exactly planned… dogs will be dogs, and all of that 😉 We were walking along on a sunny Sunday, and I guess the dogs had more adventurous activities in mind.

In other news, our contest is still in full swing, but nearing an end! For those of you that are late to the party, we are accepting photo submissions of your ‘dangerous’ dogs at their ‘meanest’… you know, licking you to death, stealing the covers, and aggressive snuggling. The usual.

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Submissions must be received by Friday, April 26th, and can be sent to me at sel1490@gmail.com. Most importantly, each submission will earn ONE pound of dog food, to be donated to a local animal shelter! Further, these photos will be placed one our facebook page. The most liked/shared photo will be our winner, and that will earn you and your pup some pretty cool prizes! Basically, your dog will be famous, and that means your adoring fans at AFM5 will send you swag. Does it get any better than that? I mean seriously, you’re helping to feed homeless dogs, while spreading pit bull love, and all you have to do is document your adorable dog being adorable. Easy, peasy.

To learn more about the precious pups you see here, head on over to our facebook page! (Right hand side of your screen!) While you’re there, be sure to vote for your favorites. If you’re wondering why, it’s because one random sharer will earn a prize as well!

While we our LOVING the photos you’ve sent us so far, and we have been completely blown away by all the squeezable, lovable, kissable faces and sassy, sweet antics, our current count is only up to 21… which equates to only 21 pounds of dog food! We know the local shelters need more than that, so please help to recruit for us!

Along those lines, we want our readers to help us select the local shelter where our food donation will be made. Let us know!

Animal Friends

The Animal Rescue League of Pittsburgh

Orphans of the Storm : This is a smaller, local shelter (no-kill!) that is where our niece-dog Chese (pronounced Kaysa) came from!

Tonka, Popster, and Chesa!

Tonka, Popster, and Chese!

Animal Protectors: This is where we got our kitty cat, Bella!

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Butler County Humane Society: This is where it all started! I started volunteering here when I was just a little girl.

Let us know who and why! Ready, set, go…

Challenge: Changing Stereotypes

Guess what today is? Our 100th post! And we think that deserves something special, don’t you?

Many of our blogging friends (including my BBF* Morgan at Temporary Home, Permanent Love) have found unique and creative ways to simultaneously increase readership and blog involvement, while also giving back to their local shelter communities.

Morgan & Maggie from TH, PL

Morgan & Maggie from TH, PL

*BBF: Best Blogging Friend

They call it ‘Kibbles for Comments’ or some similar idea, where the more involved their readers get, the more food they donate to their local shelters. How cool is that?! We wanted to copy them follow in their charitable foot steps, but with our own unique twist…

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So we wanna know: what is the ‘meanest‘ thing your pit bull does?? Let’s change some stereotypes, people! For each photo you send me, with info about what is happening, I will make a graphic like this, and share it on the facebook page. Who knows; maybe one of your photos will go viral! AND spread pit bull love at the same time. Simultaneously, you will be earning one pound of dog food, which we will then donate to a local shelter. You have two weeks to send in your stuff, so let’s get started! This is a super easy way for you to make a difference. My email address is sel1490@gmail.com, and I can’t wait to see how creative our readers and blogging friends can be.

If you don’t have a pit bull of your own to use for the photo, borrow one from a friend, or better yet; head to your local shelter and spend time with one of their adoptables! They could use the social interaction, and I’m sure they’d be happy to be your model.

Pinups for Pitbulls

Things are getting a little bit spicy on the blog today! We love to share people and groups that are doing big things for pit bulls, and these girls (and guys, technically) are no exception.

Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc.

All images in this post courtesy of Pinups for Pitbulls and Celeste Giuliano Photography

All images in this post courtesy of Pinups for Pitbulls and Celeste Giuliano Photography

Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin founded PFPB in 2005, in an effort to combine her modeling and fine arts backgrounds, while creating a calendar that would feature eye-catching pinups and their precious pittie pups! Her goal was to stay true to era-appropriate styling, and raise money to help pit bulls in need. By showcasing the presence of pit bulls in our lives during eras past, they are (not so?) subtly reminding the public that these dogs began as America’s original companion animal, war hero, and family member.

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Since their beginnings, PFPB has grown to be a world-renowned organization, while still staying true to Deirdre’s initial vision. They are a 501c3 non-profit, whose first mission is education. They want to share with the world the truth about the temperament, history, and plight of pit bull-type dogs. While education is where their mission begins, it leads to their most important goal, which is to rally against breed-specific legislation and discrimination. But just wait, it gets better… their ultimate dream is that one day, there will no longer be a need for PFPB, because pit bulls will no longer be abused and discriminated against. How selfless are they?! Beyond all of that, they work to spread the theory that ALL dogs should be regarded as individuals, regardless of breed or background.

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One thing that PFPB does not directly discuss on their website, is one of my favorite parts. By combining their leading ladies’ obvious good-looks, with brain and street smarts, they are bringing attention to pit bulls in a way that is fresh and fun. Who says girls can’t be beautiful and intelligent? Fashionable and effective? Not PFPB, that’s for sure! Their leadership team is made up of accountants, lawyers, business owners, and graduate students. That’s what I call girl power!

The PFPB team is ever-growing, and currently spreads across the country, with volunteer groups in 20 states. They educate their volunteers to remain positive, even when facing adverse criticism. It is so important to encourage doubters to take another look at our dogs, rather than responding defensively with aggression or bullying tactics.

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Are you hooked yet?! I know I am. I bet you are wondering how YOU can be a part of the Pinups for Pitbulls team. Aside from joining their dedicated volunteer group, there is a unique way to get involved… you can apply to become one of their pinup calendar models… or apply on behalf of your pup!

The contest is currently open to all women over the age of 18, and/or their pit bull-type dogs. By filling out their application, complete with questions that will help them understand a little bit about the applicant, you and/or your pit bull could be selected as a part of their 2014 calendar! They require a $50 donation and 2 head shots along with the online application. Modeling experience is appreciated, but not required. Included in the shoot is all styling and professional hair and makeup. The shoot will take place in Philadelphia, PA, and participants are required to provide their own transportation and necessary accommodations. (Stop by to see us on your way through!) The photographer is renowned vintage artist Celeste Giuliano.

To learn more about Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. or to apply to be a part of their volunteer team and calendar shoot, visit their website!

So tell us, what do you think of the Pinups for Pitbulls group? Had you heard of them before? And when are you submitting your applications, ladies?!

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“Beautiful and quirky in their high heels, red lipstick, and in many cases, elaborate tattoos, these women are more than eye candy.”

-Linda Lombardi, Associated Press

 

It’s a Numbers Game!

It is estimated that only ONE in every SIX-HUNDRED pit bulls finds a home. Animal control facilities in cities all across the US have pit bulls numbering 40 to 60% of the shelter population at any given time. It is estimated that 1 million dogs classified as a pit bull are euthanized each year (yes, this includes puppies!). The best (and sometimes only) chance a pit bull has at survival once admitted to an animal control facility, is by being pulled by a rescue. Rescues only exist with commitment from dedicated foster homes!

Our rescue partner is LCPO, or Luzerne County Pit Bull Owners.

In 2013, LCPO celebrated their SECOND birthday. In that short time, they have helped more than 150 dogs find their forever homes!

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In 2013 alone, SIX of the lucky LCPO dogs have already found their forever homes.

They have also pulled SEVEN precious pups from shelters in the new year. This brings the total current list of adoptable LCPO dogs to EIGHTEEN.

TWO of LCPO’s alumni have gone on to officially achieve their Canine Good Citizen Certification. Many more are in the works!

In 2012, LCPO took on some dogs with medical issues and/or special needs. Puppy Jora (who is still with the rescue!) required extensive mange treatment and other necessities, which totaled approximately $1,855. Next we have Miss Khloe, who is also still with the rescue. Her total is driven up by her high cost of boarding, spay surgery, and a few health issues, and has reached in excess of $1,215. Georgia was another needy lady (mainly due to the fact that her puppies also required care!) at $1,200. LCPO has also taken on SIX pit bulls who happened to hear only with their hearts! TWO of these deaf pitties are still available for adoption.

In 2012, at least 66 of the LCPO adopta-bulls found their forever homes! These are all dogs that would have been put to sleep in shelters without the help of a rescue.

The average cost for each incoming dog in 2012 was $450. The adoption fee remains at a mere $200.

Borrowed from

Borrowed from ARF.org

While they focus first on finding forever homes for their adoptable dogs, LCPO reaches out to help dogs in many ways. LCPO offers the ‘NEPA Pit Fix Program’. This allows owners to have their pit bulls and pit mixes spayed or neutered for just $50. This cost covers the expense of the surgery, pain meds, and a rabies vaccination. There is no limit to the amount of dogs that can be altered under this program!

LCPO currently operates with a dedicated team of 3 Directors, 7 Leadership Members, and many volunteers. Volunteers have logged well over 250 hours of service in the new year.

Last year’s 5k Race to Rescue raised much-needed funds for LCPO. Rachael L. was the top fundraiser, contributing $650 with her individual fundraising efforts. The 2013 5k Race to Rescue will take place on June 8th. My goal is to raise $500, and my total currently stands at $395, with only 17 contributors. With every entry given the opportunity to win one of 11 prizes, those are some pretty good odds!

My favorite number? ONE. Sometimes looking at the millions of dogs that are hurting and homeless, can make our work as animal lovers seem overwhelming. However, if we take it one animal at a time, before you know it, you will have helped so many. Our fundraiser is one way that you can help!

If you are still interested in making a contribution, thereby becoming eligible to win any of the prizes listed below, please head here! You have until Monday, February 25th to make your donations, as we will be selecting the winners on Tuesday and making the announcements later that week!

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#1- Sugar Skulls bow tie from Little Bow Pup
#2- 3 Paintings from Yellow Brick Home
#3- Custom Collar from Sirius Republic
#4- Flirt Pole & Super Tug toy pack from Squishy Face Studio
#5- 3 Custom ID Tags from Sew Olive
#6- Custom Sweater from Tiennot Knits Sweaters
#7- Collar, Leash, & Harness package from 2 Hounds Design
#8- Two Shirts from Pitbull Shirt
#9- Small Smiling Pit Necklace from Lulu Bug Jewelry
#10- 8×10 Prints from DawgArt
#11- Interactive Puzzle Toy from Poochie Heaven

Leave a comment on this post if you have donated, and let us know which product you are most hoping to win! We will be sure to put in a good word for you 😉

*Please note that all of the LCPO financial totals are approximations/estimations.

Fundraiser: Prize #11 – Play Bow!

You may remember in a recent post (here) we talked about the important of stimulating our dogs mentally. We stressed that this is equally as vital as physically exercise! One of the quickest ways to exhaust your pup, is to work his or her mind. 1 tired dog = a happy dog & happy owner! This theory is catching on in animal shelters, where boredom and stress can run rampant. A tired dog will ‘show’ to potential adopters much better than one who is over-excited, mouthy, or jumpy. If we give shelter dogs a way to expel some energy through quiet play, we are helping them come one step closer to a forever families.

This interactive toy is Gaige's FAVORITE

This interactive toy is Gaige’s FAVORITE

Simple enrichment works wonders in shelters, but it is just as effective in our own homes! When we were expecting a large amount of company around the holidays, we were careful to think about all three of our dogs, but especially Georgia. While she had always been calm and friendly with strangers, we weren’t quite sure how she would handle excessive noise and foot traffic. Of course, she blew us away by displaying the best manners out of all three dogs, but it sure helped that we kept lots of ‘puzzles’ around for her to work on in case she became bored or anxious. For us, these puzzles were oftentimes just kongs with frozen ingredients inside, but rest assured that the animal market is catching on to the trend and need for such products!

Tonka loves it, too

Tonka loves it, too

Poochie Heaven – Interactive Toys for your dog!

Although we originally only planned to offer TEN prizes, while searching for a dog toy company that specialized in puzzles, I was delighted to come across Poochie Heaven. I couldn’t resist including them in our giveaway! They seem to take their business a step further, by truly understanding how dogs play and learn, and providing products that enhance the bond between dogs and their owners. While they carry everything from dog beds to collars and bowls, their toy selection was most impressive. They share their approach to toy selection, below:

“Interactive dog toys typically have some element of a challenge attached to playing. The dog must move pieces around in order to be rewarded with a toy or a treat. Many of the interactive dog toys act as puzzles which the dog must solve in order to be rewarded. Interactive dog toys are available at different levels of difficulty as some dogs need easier puzzles, and some need more advanced puzzles. The dog puzzle toys can be as simple as moving a ball a certain way to release a treat, to arranging pieces of a complex puzzle. As the dog completes the easier puzzles, they will happily move forward with the more challenging interactive dog toys.

It can be a very fun bonding experience to play with your dog using an interactive dog toy. The dog begins to learn through the toy that when he or she completes certain tasks, they are rewarded. If the owner helps the dog with the puzzle, the dog soon learns that if they listen to their owner’s commands, they will be lead to a treat. Therefore, an interactive dog toy can help make your dog respond more positively as you teach it other commands and behaviors. Interactive dog toys are suitable for dogs at any age; they can also be a great tool to use when developing a trusting relationship with a new puppy.”

You can head over to the Poochie Heaven website to check out their vast array of dog toy puzzles. However, if you are feeling lucky, simply make a donation to our fundraiser, here! You will be registered to win the Poochie Heaven interactive dog toy shown below, as well as ten other AMAZING dog-inspired products.

dogsmartdogtoy

This toy may look unassuming, but it packs a powerful punch when combatting your dog’s boredom or anxiety! By hiding treats beneath the hollow blocks, your dog will learn to remove the blocks with their paws or teeth to enjoy the morsels hiding below. As your pup becomes an expert, you can increase the level of difficulty so that only some of the blocks contain treats. This way, your dog has to use their sense of smell to uncover their reward.

This toy, at a value of $57 + shipping, was generously donated by Poochie Heaven!