365 Days of Animals

This idea has taken longer to get off the ground than we’d hoped but we’re still working towards it. Together, we can make this happen and it’s going to be HUGE!

365 Days

Hi everyone! I know that Nikki and I have not updated this blog at all for months now and for that we are truly sorry. Moving took so much more time & effort than we thought and we’ve been going through other stressful life events as well. Needless to say we wish that we had been able to keep up with Rescue Animals but such is life. We never forgot our mission though and have been coming up with several ideas from a couple product reviews/comparisons to videoing feral cat trapping or feeding to encouraging people to sign a pledge to go cruelty free. We are overflowing with ideas but finding the time has just been hard. Hopefully though, starting with this post, we will quickly get back into the swing of things.

Now for the reason of this post – I’ve been kicking around an idea in my head for a few months now and I finally want to see if together we can bring it to fruition. My idea seems simple but I think it could really send a positive message & motivate people to do more to help animals. So what do I want to do? Live my life. Go about my normal routine for a year with one twist – every single day I will be wearing a different shirt promoting animal rescue/welfare/whatever. I know this may sound silly but just think of how famous some people have become for taking one photo of themselves a day. There are sites and YouTube videos and the like of people who take one picture of themselves a day and thousands or even millions of people tune in at least once to watch the transformation. It’s fascinating and people seem to really go for it. So why not make it really count? I would want to wear a shirt every day that promoted a rescue, an organization, an event, anything that related to our cause to help animals worldwide.

Now I’m sure that this would start off pretty slow and not too many people would notice besides the loyal followers that we already have. But I really, truly believe that this could catch on. Through word of mouth, twitter, blogs, animal radio shows, anything you can think of, I think it could really capture people and make them want to check back often to see what the latest shirts were. They could just watch with mild interest but I think we would actually reach some people and make them get out there and help animals more than they already do because we can inspire them. I’ve seen it so much with our twitter accounts, especially @LastChancePets. There are people running their own accounts now and doing a much better job at it than I ever could have but I’d like to think that I somehow gave them that motivation to go ahead and do it. That’s what I think I’m good at. I’m not the best at anything I do but I have ideas and I go for them. With your help, we can show people that one person really can make a difference. I know we all believe it already and that that idea permeates a lot of our philosophy – one life DOES make a difference, The Starfish Effect – but there are so many disenchanted people out there who, despite loving animals dearly, feel overwhelmed and as if nothing they did could ever matter. Could you imagine the impact if we could get just a handful of those people to realize that they personally can change the lives of animals for the better? I sincerely believe in this idea and I hope I can get you to as well.

So, what is it going to take to pull this off? Well, I absolutely cannot do this on my own. It will take the efforts of people all over the US (the world?) to make this dream a reality. There are so many ways that I can think of for you to help that I’m certain that if you want to get behind me on this, you’ll find something you can do. Below I’ll list the ideas I have right now about what I will need:

1. Shirts – This is the most obvious, of course. Without shirts to wear, there is no project. At the end of this post I will give more details about the kinds of shirts I’m interested in. I’m going to need 365 of them, so it would be nice if shirts could either be donated to me by the groups or if people could buy me one & send it to me. If it’s your local shelter/rescue/organization, you can feel good knowing they will get the money & the exposure!

2. Organizers – This one is HUGE! I know this seems like it’s a very simple idea but I’m pretty sure it could get very complicated very quickly. This is due to the fact that I don’t just want to put on a shirt, take a picture & stick it up on Flickr or wherever. I want to have information about each group or cause provided with each day’s shirt. I would also like to wear them at appropriate times if they are about a time-specific event. Obviously this would be a Herculean task to complete on my own. It would be great to have people who could help keep me & the project organized. It would also be tremendously helpful to have someone who can organize all the volunteers and keep track of & post somewhere which shirts I already have.

3. Researchers – It would be great if everyone who donated a shirt to me would provide links to sites about the group and write a paragraph about it and what they do for animals, how individuals can help, etc. but this might not always be the case. If I get shirts without that information provided, it would be nice to have others who can go out and find that information for me & type it up so it’s all ready to go.

4. Promoters – I want this project to reach as many people as possible. That means I’ll need your help to spread the word in any way you know how. Now I like to think I’m pretty savvy when it comes to social media but I know there are plenty of ways you can think of to let people know about it that I would never come up with in a million years.

5. Social Media Gurus- I can handle twitter & I’m sure Nikki can handle our site but there’s no way we could cover all the different social media venues out there. I’d want someone to run a Facebook group, a MySpace page, a Ning thing, a whatever you want on whatever social network you want. The more places we are on the internet & in the world, the more people we’ll reach. Obviously these would need to be updated fairly often. All would also link back to the area on this site where we will be posting our pictures & info.

6. YouTube Person – I know this maybe should go with social media but this one is important and more labor intensive. I would want someone who could take all of the pictures we take and put them together in a video & upload it to YouTube. This would be a continuous job – not necessarily every day but I would want it updated at least weekly. I’m not really sure how this would work (if you’d have to upload a new one each week & delete the old one?) so I would definitely need a committed, tech savvy person on this one. Of course it would be cool to have it on other video sharing networks as well.

7. Brainstormers – I am always open to suggestions so if there is anything you can think of that would help make this project a success, I would love to hear from you. Should I just be doing pictures & a video or is there something else you think might be good? What should we name this project? Should we make our own T-shirt for it? What should I do with the shirts afterward (I was considering perhaps an auction of the shirts after the year where money went to an animal group but that might not be feasible or desirable). Let me know any thoughts you have by leaving a comment below!

So that is my list so far of the kind of help I will be needing to make this all come together. Now for details on the types of shirts I want. Also, I suppose it would be helpful to say that I am generally an adult small size, though I have a few medium shirts & can fit into larger children’s large size.

1. Animal Welfare Organizations – This would be for groups that work to improve the lives of animals such as the ASPCA, HSUS or Defenders of Wildlife.

2. Shelters/Rescues – Any rescue group or local shelter that takes care of rescued animals, adopts them out, etc. such as Central Texas Feline Rescue, AustinPetsAlive! or BullsEye Dog Rescue. We don’t discriminate against so called “kill-shelters” either so send us those shirts as well. If we can get them exposure, they won’t be forced to euthanize so many animals!

3. Animal Awareness Groups – This includes groups that may not take care of actual animals but instead focus more on policy & raising awareness on different issues. This could be groups against BSL or those that promote better treatment of farm animals. Different programs that Best Friends Animal Sanctuary runs would fit here. This is a really wide category.

4. Other Animal Service Groups – This is for groups that don’t necessarily adopt out animals but still work to improve their lives such as feral cat groups like Alley Cat Allies, groups that build fences for chained dogs or those that provide services like vetting & spay/neuter such as Animal Trustees of Austin or World Vets.

5. Events – This group is for any event that promotes better treatment of animals or helps raise money for a cause or group. This could be something like Chain-Off, a local Woofstock or Barktober Fest, a walk for canine cancer, anything!

6. Wildlife Sanctuaries – This is for sanctuaries that rescue abused and/or abandoned wildlife & give them the better life that they deserve. Examples of this are Big Cat Rescue and The Elephant Sanctuary.

7. Business Charities – This is for huge corporate businesses like Petsmart or Petco that have their own charities or for smaller businesses that also participate in rescue like Camp Bow Wow. Obviously the T-shirt should pertain to the rescue/charity aspect, not the business itself.

So there it is. My idea for how I can help change the lives of animals simply by being me. I have always held the philosophy that they best way to show people how to act is to set an example yourself. I don’t want to shove anything down anyone’s throat. I want them to see my dedication and find it in themselves to get up and help. We can do this! I just need your help! Please leave me comments about any ideas, suggestions, concerns, ANYTHING! I’m so excited and I hope you are too! Together, we can make 2011 a year of 365 Days of Animals!

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7 Responses to “365 Days of Animals”

  1. Elisa says:

    This is a really really cool idea! I am ready to send you a St. Louis Senior Dog Project t-shirt and ready to give any info you may need about this awesome group focusing on seniors 🙂
    oh and if you want to do a daily update of the cause you can try http://www.dailymugshot.com every day you can upload a picture and everyday you can play a video recapping the pictures taken so far.

    • Ash says:

      Thank you SO much for the website recommendation! We’ll definitely look into that. And I’m so excited that you want to participate! We’ll make this happen yet!

  2. Jane H says:

    I love this idea, especially how you’re thinking big already. That’s what it takes!

    I’d be happy to provide a Petfinder.com t-shirt, any info you might need and also help being a researcher for any groups that just send shirts.

    Way to go!

  3. Laura Potts says:

    I would love to participate! My company has a charitable fund with an AWESOME shirt, and our local animal center ROCKS! Let me know where to mail them in.

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