Blog the Change: Help Your Small Local Rescues!

Blog the Change

Happy Blog the Change Day everyone! There are some great causes today and I love reading about what matters most to my fellow pet bloggers. While there are tons of global causes super worthy of support, I’d like to bring the focus of this post more local. And not just local, but to the smallest of the local rescue & animal welfare groups.

There are so many animal groups out there that it can be hard to decide who to support, either with volunteer hours, money or both. I tend to be very locally oriented with my personal support. Obviously we care about animal welfare worldwide, but I tend to donate to my local rescues more than I do the giant corporation-like organizations. They do amazing work but I feel that the money I can afford to donate will go a lot further with small rescues. Every penny counts with these groups – it’s used to get the simplest things: towels, pet beds, toys, bowls, food, litter. Every little bit matters.

Central Texas Feline Rescue

I’ve seen this firsthand in my work with Central Texas Feline Rescue. We are a tiny group with no budget whatsoever that manages to feed over 200 ferals a day and trap-neuter-return (TNR) roughly 300 cats per year. Almost everything comes from our pockets, most of all from the founder. We are lucky to make $1500 at a fundraiser that takes months to plan. When we make that much it’s gone almost immediately, helping to buy a literal ton of cat food which only lasts a couple months. It’s hard and anything we get is so appreciated. Compare that to another local group that has a budget of something around 1.5 million dollars per year. You read that right! And that’s nothing compared to the huge organizations. Donations to them are important, obviously, and with that larger budget comes the ability to impact a greater number of animals lives. I am not against the big groups here – far from it. But for those of us who can only spare a few dollars here and there, it would be a larger comparative impact for the small group rather than the large one.

Hardships of Small Groups

It’s hard to be a small group. No one even knows you’re there. When every single volunteer spends every free second feeding & trapping & fostering & transporting, there’s no time for PR. There’s no time to put together huge fundraisers. There’s no time to even find more volunteers so each one has a lighter load! Besides that, even when you do look for volunteers, people would rather volunteer for or donate to a group that has more “face-value”, if you will. They want people to know what group they’re talking about when they tell people that’s who they’re helping. When you have a small group, it’s impossible to compete in contests to win money or donations of other kinds because there aren’t enough people to vote for you. It’s a numbers game and it keeps the small groups small.

Obviously all groups had to start with an idea and likely a tiny base of people. Some beat the odds and manage to make it to a well-established, well-known group. Good for them! That truly is fantastic! But for each one of them there are dozens of small groups who, despite a smaller reach, are still making important impacts in the lives of animals.

The Starfish Effect

We stand firmly behind our philosophy of The Starfish Effect: that every single act matters. No matter how small the group is, if they are working to help animals, then they are making a positive impact in the world. And that is why we have chosen to blog about their importance for today’s Be the Change post.

So what can you do? Go out and help! Find out what local groups in your area need the most help and whether it’s through a monetary donation or one of time, you can support them. Even the smallest rescue can make a big difference to one animal.

Blog the Change: 365 Days of Animal Advocacy!

Blog the ChangeHey everyone! It’s that time again – Blog the Change! This is such a great way to get all of us animal loving bloggers together, writing about animal causes near and dear to our hearts. Having an organized, fun way for all of us to share our ideas with ourselves and our readers is so important so we are very grateful to Be the Change for Animals for hosting it!

So today we here at ILRA are going to practice some shameless self-promotion. That’s right, we’re going to talk about our 365 Days of Animal Advocacy project! For those of you who haven’t heard, 365DAA is a project whose goal is to raise awareness for a different animal related group or cause for every single day of the 2011 year. Granted, we’re probably a little bit crazy, we’re not going to give up on this project! Already since beginning it 15 days ago, the interest in it has grown in leaps and bounds. People are writing blog posts about it, sharing it on twitter and Facebook, telling their local groups, and pledging to give shirts themselves. We’ve had shirts pledged from 15 different states and even 2 countries!

This is great news but it’s still going to take a lot of work to pull this off. We need YOU to make this possible! We need people to pass the word along, to spread our project further and further. To help make all of this easier, Nikki has added an entire 365 Days of Animal Advocacy section to ILRA! This will hopefully make it easier to find information such as which groups have already pledged and exactly what types of shirts we need. She has also created a button that we hope many of you will take and place on your blog sidebars so that people can find 365DAA through you. We will also be coming out with badges specially for those who have pledged a shirt and for groups/causes who have participated in this project so they can show off just how cool they are! ^_^ Please take a moment to show your support!

365 Days of Animal Advocacy

I hope that you will all join us in celebrating animals every single day of the year. This is a perfect example of ILRA’s philosophy, The Starfish Effect. The basis of that philosophy? Every single ONE matters. 365DAA was an idea dreamed up by one animal lover. It was given online life by one web designer. It is a project to celebrate one animal-related group a day. It takes one person to pledge one shirt and raise awareness for one group. It takes one person to see one day’s group to adopt one animal in need. One by one by one. Each and every day. Each and every one of us. One by one by one. We can change the world.

Please help us this Blog the Change by supporting 365 Days of Animal Advocacy!

Help O’Malley and You Could Win a Pet Portrait!

You are reading the sixth chapter of O’Malley’s story.
Read the First Chapter
Read the Second Chapter
Read the Third Chapter
Read the Fourth Chapter
Read the Fifth Chapter
To Be Continued…

Hey everyone! I hope you’ve all enjoyed the holiday season! We’ve been spreading the cheer around here, taking the pups to the dog park, feeding the ferals wet food for Christmas, etc. I can’t believe 2011 is just around the corner! We’re super excited to launch our 365 Days of Animal Advocacy on the first! I really hope we can make it really take off – it’s going to take a lot of work, organization, advertising and, of course, shirts! If you haven’t heard of it yet, please check out its page. Do you have a favorite animal rescue or organization? Let them know about it! Think your friends, family, or followers would find it a cool project? Spread the word! Together, we can make it happen!

As we head into next year we are also hoping that we can finally raise the rest of the money for O’Malley’s recovery. O’Malley is the miracle cat that I found on the side of the road, hit by a car and left to die, covered in ants. He had a broken pelvis & dislocated hip. He has undergone surgery to fix his hip that involved cutting the head off of his femur and has recovered amazingly. He even survived the dreaded water treadmill as he underwent physical therapy to help him rebuild his muscles. He has been neutered and received all of his vaccines. Altogether his cost came to about $700 and as you can tell by his ChipIn donation page, we’ve raised a little bit of the money to cover his vet bills. 16 wonderful people have stepped in so far to help us help this amazing cat and we are so grateful. We realize that money is tight for everyone. Trust us, it’s been difficult for us as well. On top of O’Malley’s bills, we also recently had another foster require an emergency vet visit and after care at our regular vet which resulted in just over $500 in bills. That’s $1200 spent on our fosters over only a couple of months. It’s been rough but they are all recovered and doing amazing and that’s what’s really important!

You Could Win A Pet Portrait!

We are so happy to announce we have another incentive for all of our O’Malley supporters! Adriana Willsie, a fantastic pet portrait artist, has come forward with a great idea to help O’Malley in her own way. Adriana is offering a chance to win a gorgeous 4″x4″ bite-size portrait, normally worth $40, to anyone who donates $10 or more towards this cause. Once we have raised enough to meet our goal, we’ll do a random drawing of eligible donors and announce the winner.

But wait! There’s more!

Adriana is taking her support one step further by offering a 50% off coupon towards one of her 6″x6″ pet portraits for anyone who donates $20 or more! That’s a savings of $75! The only stipulation is that you use your coupon by the end of 2011. We’re really hopeful that this will help us raise the rest of the donations. It’s a very worthy cause and now you could have the chance at receiving something in return. You know, besides the warm, fuzzy feelings. ^_^ This of course applies to anyone who donated before this post. Also, if you have donated previously but would like to donate more to reach one of these levels, all you have to do is donate the difference. We really appreciate that you donated even without incentives.

Thank you so much to all of you who are willing to help this boy gain a new life! We all appreciate it! I know times are tough, but if a lot of you can make a small donation, it can make a HUGE difference to us! Happy holidays and I hope 2011 is your best year yet!

100th Post, Blog For Change, Toki Poki and the Howl-O-Ween Contest!

First order of business: This is our 100th post! Congratulations to all of us at I Love Rescue Animals! Happy 100th posts, everyone!

Now on to business.

Blog for Change

Blog the Change

If you didn’t know, October 15th is Blog the Change and we have decided that the best way to change the world is to combine a project that works with both animals and children! So our Blog the Change today is about a great contest going on over at Toki Poki.

Toki Poki and the Howl-O-Ween Contest!

Toki Poki

Have you hear about the latest craze on the street? We’ve been tweeting about it and getting the word out, but our good friends at Toki Poki are holding a fantastically fun and magical Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest that celebrates both the love we have for our animals AND the courageous and strong children at the Hasbro Children’s Hospital. How you ask? Well here’s the skinny from the Toki Poki website.

What is the Contest for?

To show off our Bootiful pets in their most creative Halloween costumes. All entrants stand a chance to win amazing prizes, while bringing smiles to the kids at the Rhode Island Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

How does it work?

Toki Poki™ will create Howl-O-Ween Pet Trading Card ten-packs of all contest entries. The cards will then be delivered to the Hasbro Children’s Hospital right before Halloween by 11-year-old Ryan Agnew (owner of member #68 Bailey and #79 Foster).

Why is Toki Poki™ doing this?

Ryan, a former patient at the Hasbro Children’s Hospital, one of Toki Poki™’s founding members and a true inspiration to us all felt that giving the Pet Trading Cards out to the current patients would bring a smile to a child. Read Ryan’s full story here.

Read more about the contest rules, the prizes, and how to enter on the website!

Making Animals and Children Happy!

As you can see, the outreach of this contest is widespread. Animals will be celebrated, people will have fun, and the children at the Hasbro’s Children Hospital will have huge smiles on their faces because of these beautiful cards. I think this is a win-win situation all around and a wonderful way for people to help make a positive change in the world. So for our Blog for Change, we urge everyone to go and enter their pets in this costume and change the world!

Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week

Hey everyone! Guess what this week is? It’s Petfinder’s Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week! What is a “less adoptable” pet, you say? They may be older, or have a disability, or simply be the wrong breed or even color! Okay, so what? How does that make them less adoptable? Well I’m inclined to agree with two of my favorite vets, Dr. V over at Pawcurious and Dr. Tobiassen of AboutVetMed, and say that these are actually “Seriously Adoptable Pets”!

As parents to a black dog and cat, a dog with hypothyroidism (and on pills daily), foster parents to an FIV+ cat, and huge bully breed advocates, we can honestly say that none of these “defects” would ever deter us from caring for and loving an animal in need. But far beyond that, what the real core message behind why this week is important is: These “less adoptable” animals will in NO WAY give you less joy, love and utter devotion than any other animal. We here at ILRA are firm believers that rescued animals know how lucky they are and return all of your affections back tenfold so imagine how overjoyed a “less adoptable” animal will be to find their furever home!

I know we don’t always get to choose the animals that come into our lives – a lot of our kids came to us on their own – but if you are going out looking for a new pet, PLEASE consider adopting one of these types of animals. Whether they’re not as young as they used to be, are a “dangerous” breed, or are suffering from “black dog syndrome”, I assure you the only curse they’re suffering from is purely man-made.

Here are a couple of Seriously Adoptable Pets that need your help finding their forever homes:

Meet Storm

First is our very own foster cat, Storm. Storm was found wandering the streets in East Austin. We soon learned that she is FIV+, meaning she has a lowered immune system. Because of this, it has been hard to find her forever home. If people could see past her FIV status they would see what a beautiful, loving cat she truly is. To learn more about Storm and why FIV is not the death sentence it was once thought to be, check out her recent Shelter Sketch post here.

Meet Princess Buttercup

Next is a gorgeous little kitty that we met at BlogPaws West in Denver. She is a resident of Duncan’s Place in Loveland, CO and her name is Princess Buttercup. If you knew her, you’d know she was aptly named. She is a sweet, sweet kitten and she would love to meet you. She is considered “less adoptable” because she has asthma but I can personally guarantee you that it in no way affects how gosh-darn adorable & loving she is! How can you say no to that face? Learn more about her at her petfinder page.