Pets Add Life: The Shelter Showdown Contest!

pal03

Ash and I are big supporters of our local animal shelters. We foster for them, we walk their dogs, we bring treats for all the critters they have every Christmas, and we are quick to promote them at any event and to any friend interested in pet adoption. We’ve become friends with the people who work and volunteer there and many of our own furkids have come from pet rescues we’ve cared about. Because of our close involvement with shelters, this year’s Pets Add Life campaign is near and dear to our hearts.

Pets Add Life Shelter Contest

“The Pets Add Life (PAL) campaign is designed to demonstrate the joys and benefits of pet ownership, thus driving increased adoption of pets and responsible ownership of pets.” They encourage people to consider having multiple pets so that your animal companions are never lonely. This year, PAL is holding a Shelter contest on their Facebook page called the Shelter Showdown contest.

How big is this contest? Well the first place winner will get $15,000. YES! How amazing is that? Imagine all the great things a shelter could do with that money! It could go to improving their facilities, marketing their animals in bigger and better ways, putting funds into local events to promote adoption, creating a wider spread foster program – the options are limitless! There’s a second and third place winner too who will each get $5,000 – enough to feed lots of hungry mouths for a good while.

pal02

THE RULES

  • Only Petfinder listed shelters are eligible to win
  • You must “like” Pal’s Facebook page to vote
  • A person can vote once every 24 hours
  • Contest is open through October 4th and winners will be announced the week of Oct 7th
  • 1st place shelter wins $15k: $10k for a community-wide adoption on 11/19 National Get a Pal For Your Pet Day and $5k as a general donation.
  • 2nd & 3rd place winners each receive $5k donations.
  • You can follow who is in the lead right on the Facebook app page

What Now? Action!

So what are you waiting for? Vote for your favorite shelter and encourage your friends to do the same! Let’s help PAL help shelters!

In their efforts to spread their mission, PAL utilizes a blog, a Facebook page, and a twitter account so to follow along with the fun, be sure to like, follow, and comment! They also make really funny YouTube videos, from the point of view of pets.

I am blogging on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and the Pets Add Life (Pal) campaign. I received compensation for my time from Pal for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely my own.

Dog Tested. Dog Approved. Traveling with Your Furry Friends!

Road Trips with Best Friends!

If you follow I Love Rescue Animals on twitter or facebook, then you have probably seen us post pictures of our adventures traveling with our pups. Ash and I love to travel, especially when it means going anywhere with our three boys. We’re lucky in that all of our dogs love to ride in the car, and they are wonderful on even the longest road trip (we’ve moved cross-country twice and they took it all in stride).

One of our favorite things to do is go camping. Last year, we took all the pups on a camping trip in the Ozarks and had an absolute blast. They loved it too, though in our tiny car, it was a pretty tight squeeze. I think it’s one of the reasons that Ash and I want to own a Subaru someday. Having a car with space enough for us, the pups, our camping gear, and all their camping gear (they have their own pup tent!) would be a dream come true. Especially if they got to test drive the vehicle first.

Dog Test. Dog Approved. Licensed to Drive!

But they can’t test drive it without having a license! Well hey guess what – they have an app for that! Check out the Subaru Facebook App! You can check out videos from Subaru’s “Dog Tested. Dog Approved” campaign, as well as create a license for your very own furry driver! Look, even Spunky as has one!

spunky-license

Go check out the app and make one for your own pup and share it with us in the comments (but don’t forget to come up with a fun address just for your pup – don’t use your real one!). We’d love to see what your cute furry driver looks like. And if you have any questions, don’t forget to ask the expert on the Subaru app! Now that your dog is licensed to drive, where are you headed?

Giveaway Time!

Who doesn’t love dogs AND giveaways? Enter the Rafflecopter and you could win a $300 or $150 Visa Gift Card. Everyone must like Subaru’s Facebook page to enter, but the other 4 entries are optional. So enter and see what happens! The winners will be announced within 48 hours after the raffle closes (tonight!).

a
Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Subaru. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Dog Tested. Dog Approved.™ campaign, but, as always, I Love Rescue Animals only shares news for things we love and support – and we’ve been wanting a Subaru long before this post!

Five Free Alternatives to ChipIn for Animal Rescue

If you’ve got your nose to the ground in the online animal rescue world, you’ll probably have heard the cries of outrage over the shutting down of ChipIn, the popular free fundraising tool that has allowed animal rescuers – both individuals and organizations – to raise money for the care and love of animals. Over a year ago, Chipin stopped offering support for its much-loved widget, so maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that they were bought out and shut down. Still, it’s sad, especially without any clear alternatives to turn to.

Thankfully, when I put a call out to Twitter, I came across a few good sites that might just be what we’re looking for. So without further ado, here are five free alternatives to ChipIn for animal rescue.

Five Alternatives to ChipIn

PayPal Labs Widget

paypal-widget

For: Everyone!
What: Paypal’s nifty donation widget created by their in-beta PayPal Labs.
Pros: Customizable to adapt to your brand, extremely easy to set-up, links right to your Paypal account so no extra fees from a third party.
Cons: If you set up payment options in the dropdown, donors can’t change the amount on the next screen. If you don’t set up payment options, the dropdown is empty and useless.
My Thoughts: I’m currently using it over on Snailbird for my own fundraiser, and it’s pretty nice. I liked that it was super easy to set-up and I was able to make it look nice.
Where: PayPal Labs

YouCaring

youcaring

For: Everyone!
What: Free online fundraising tool open to all projects.
Pros: Looks easy to customize, no website fees, super easy to set up, easy to share on social media, uses PayPal or WePay.
Cons: So far I haven’t run across anything. Let me know if you do so I can update this! I haven’t used the widget so I’m not sure if there are any bugs with it.
My Thoughts: YouCaring seems to be the answer to the ChipIn issue. And they’ve recognized it – I found out about them straight from their twitter source when I asked. I’m guessing they’re going to become pretty popular.
Where: YouCaring.com

Original Fundraising Widget

originalfundraising

For: Everyone!
What: Exactly what it is.
Pros: Seems pretty straight forward, looks like they have some customizing options, no fees.
Cons: The design is somewhat lacking and I’m not sure HOW customizable some of the options are. I’m not a fan of the overall design of the widgets either.
My Thoughts: Looks like it could work, though like I said before, I’m put off by the designs. They may be more customizable than they look though and if you’re not a picky designer like me, it will probably work for you.
Where: Online Fundraising Widget

GoFundMe

gofundme

For: Everyone!
What: A popular fundraising website for personal and nonprofits.
Pros: It’s pretty popular, straight-forward, easy to customize and integrate into your WordPress site (the site actually has a WP plugin for download), keeps track of your stats and metrics, allows you to run your campaign straight form your own site with the plugin, hooks up with PayPal and WePay.
Cons: HEFTY fees – 5% from every payment goes straight to them. That’s on top of the PayPal and WePay fees already. This is really the only con, but it’s big enough to stop me from using it.
My Thoughts: That 5% fee is probably one of the biggest I’ve seen in online fundraising – but they’ve got so many users that it doesn’t surprise me. Still, I’d think twice before using this site, even if their metrics ARE an amazing asset to any campaign.
Where: GoFundMe.com

Olimometer

olimometer

For: Everyone!
What: A nifty WordPress plugin.
Pros: Integrates right into your WordPress, easy to customize, links straight to PayPal, no fees, nice simple design, easy to use.
Cons: Not sure of any – it doesn’t have an exterior page unless you make one yourself. And since it’s a WordPress plugin, you’d have to update it yourself & make sure it’s compatible with your version of WP. And it’s only for WordPress.
My Thoughts: I like this. Since I’m an avid WordPress user, this one could be pretty nifty and I’ll probably use it in the future.
Where: WordPress Plugins

Mashable also has a great roundup of fundraising tools for official nonprofit organizations so be sure to check that out as well.

I’m sure there are more alternatives out there for animal rescue folks, but these are just a few I’ve run across in the last few days. I would love to hear if you have experience with any of these and any others you’d like to share! I hope this helps as we scramble to find a replacement for ChipIn. Good luck!

PETS ADD LIFE (AND LOVE! AND FUR!) III

This is the third part to our Pets Add Life posts: Part I & Part II

Giving Thanks for Fur

With Thanksgiving and the Holiday season upon us, we have quite a bit to reflect on and much to be thankful for. In our household, we are constantly reminded of how lucky we are to always be surrounded by unconditional love from our furkids. The look of adoration from our oldest dog, the sweet kisses of a cat curled up in our laps, the warm, furry foot-heater of a little dog at the end of the bed – we are surrounded every day by the faces we are most thankful for. It’s true when they say, “Who rescued who?” I don’t know where we would be without them.

So in our final Pets Add Life post, we are taking the time to look at some of the silliest things our cat Merlin has done this past year. You’ve probably seen photos of Merlin here or on our Facebook and Twitter account. He’s a gorgeous classic tabby cat who, for the most part, believes himself to be the greatest of all tigers – proud, noble, distinguished.

Well… for the most part. 😉


Bag or box, Merlin doesn’t care. All he sees is a great place to sit.


Merlin hiding in the smallest box he can find.


Here he is attempting to jump through hoops a giant dog cone. Good job, kitten.

Oh silly kitten. We love you. 🙂

Pets Add Life for Kids too!

Kids and animals go hand in hand! I’m super excited about this so I wanted to make sure to include it in this post. Pets Add Life is doing their 5th Annual Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest! If you’re a teacher, grades 3rd-8th or parent, enter your kids in the 5th Annual Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest for a chance to win these awesome prizes:

  • A $1,000 scholarship for each winning student’s classroom
  • A $250 gift certificate for pet products
  • And, a “by·line” in a nationally circulated magazine!

How fantastic is that? In all, 6 children will be chosen as winners. And it couldn’t be easier to enter! Kids simply write a poem about their pet and the joys they bring, and post it online. You can find more of the details over on the Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest page. Good luck! The deadline is January 31, 2013!

Also be sure to check out the past winners – these kids are so talented!

This post is sponsored by the Pets Add Life campaign and the American Pet Products Association. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the benefits and joys of pet ownership. We wanted to join the campaign because the message is right up our alley.

PETS ADD LIFE (AND LOVE! AND FUR!) II

This is the second part to our Pets Add Life posts!

The Furry Side of YouTube

If you’re anything like me (and I suspect, as an animal-lover, you are), you tend to spend way too much time taking videos of your dogs, watching videos of your cats, and enjoying tons of videos of other people’s furkids. It’s become an integral part of our online lives and I, for one, go into withdrawal without my daily dose of cute and fuzzy videos! But the videos from the PAL take it even one step further by adding a great message on top of cute and funny! A big part of PAL campaign revolves around the idea that it’s best to have more than one pet so they can keep each other company while you’re away at work. Doesn’t sound like a funny subject, does it? Well then you haven’t seen the videos yet! We’ve kept you waiting for them long enough so here they are!

The Pets Add Life Pledge!

So now that you’re all geared up to go out and get your best little buddy a little buddy of their own, let’s go ahead and proudly declare that you’ll be adopting that next pet! Take the Pets Add Life Pet Pledge! It doesn’t matter if it’s from a local shelter, a breed specific rescue, or a stray you find on the street, just make sure that it’s an animal in need of a forever home! Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Want to help animals in need but your house is already filled to the roof with rescues (*cough*ours*cough*)? No problem! You can also take a pledge to volunteer at a shelter (or rescue) or you can pledge to share a photo of a homeless pet to help it find its forever home! Or you can pledge all three! I know most of you plan on doing these things already so really, it’s a no-brainer! Add your name to the pledge and give your voice to the voiceless! Then get your friend, your neighbor, that guy at the grocery store to take the pledge too! Together, we can save a whole lot of animals!

This post is sponsored by the Pets Add Life campaign and the American Pet Products Association. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the benefits and joys of pet ownership. We wanted to join the campaign because the message is right up our alley.