Pets Add Life: The Shelter Showdown Contest!

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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.

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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.

Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers – A Review

Growing up, my best friend and favorite playmate in the entire world was Brandy, my beloved golden retriever. From three years old until 17, we were inseparable. She was everything to me and almost eight years after she passed away I still miss her everyday. So when Ash and I were given the opportunity to review the book Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers by Holli Pfau, I jumped at the chance. There’s something about the face of a golden, of the way their eyes reflect their deep souls, that makes you feel like everything in the world is good. And it is apparent from the very beginning that Holli Pfau feels the same way.

We are honored to be closing out Holli’s blog tour to celebrate and promote this beautiful book. The thing that initially pulled me into this book wasn’t the story – it wasn’t even the first chapter. What got me, what really made fall in love with this book, was Holli’s dedication. How could you not love a book with this at the very beginning:

This book is dedicated
to the remarkable people who rescue abandoned dogs,
to the people who care for, foster and nurse them
back to health, and to the people who welcome them
into their lives and cherish each and every soul.

And most of all, to the dogs,
who reward us with love, joy and gratitude
for the gift of life.

The Goldens Behind the Story

For Holli, her journey started with one small golden ball of fluff named Nikki (an awesome name if I do say so myself). It was Nikki that was the catalyst that created a lifetime of learning, inspiring, and changing the lives of dogs and their human companions. The book is narrated from Holli’s perspective and she documents the lives of each of the golden retrievers that enter her life and how they subsequently change it for the better. Nikki, Bodie, Tucker, Sophie, Daisy, and Chatter – they all have a story and this book, these wonderfully written words penned by a talented author, give us a positive perspective on having an open heart and the power of a wet nose.

Both Ash and I highly recommend this story to any dog lover, any rescue or foster parent. It touches the heart and reminds us why we do what we do – for the dogs and for ourselves. This is a book that belongs on the shelves of anyone who has ever worked with animals. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy (and I really think you should), you can find it on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Do it. You won’t regret it.

Giveaway!

It’s your lucky day! You could win a copy of Pure Gold for your very own. Just leave a comment below and tell us a little about an inspirational animal in your life. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only (sorry). Deadline to enter the giveaway is Wednesday, December 7. Good luck!

O’Malley’s Story Is a Finalist in the 2011 Petties!

We’ve Been Nominated!

Hey everyone! Wonderful news! O’Malley’s courageous story has inspired so many people that it made it as a finalist for Best Blog Post in the 2011 Petties! Thank you so much to everyone who nominated us! I know how inspirational O’Malley has been to me and Nikki so I am so excited that this will bring even more awareness to him and he can inspire that many more people! O’Malley is a cat that never let anything keep him down. He’s overcome great obstacles with such grace and determination that he makes a great role model for everyone! The animal world, it seems, came together when we first told his story and I’m hoping they’ll come around us once again so we can spread his message even further! Please vote for us so that we can share O’Malley’s story far and wide! Also, if we win, we’ll get to donate $1000 to a shelter of our choice!

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Please Vote For Us!

Voting is done here: The Petties 2011

There are 8 categories this year and we’re up for a Pettie in Best Blog Post which is in the top right corner. Our name is, of course, I Love Rescue Animals.

This year people may vote more than once so we’re hoping that you will come back and support us every day until the close of the voting period, which is July 29th! I know it’s hard to keep up a campaign that long so any help you can give us in spreading the word would be very much appreciated! You can help us by telling your friends, family, dog park buddies, email lists, or any animal lover you happen to bump into on the street!

Share Your Support On Facebook and Twitter

We’d love your help sharing it on Facebook and twitter as well.

A sample Facebook post: “I just voted for I Love Rescue Animals to win Best Blog Post for the amazing story of O’Malley, a cat determined to survive! Hit by a car and left to die, he was rescued and overcame obstacles such as his FIV+ status, major surgery and even the dreaded aquatic therapy! Please vote for his story so it can be an inspiration to even more people! I plan on voting for them every day until July 29th and hope you’ll do the same! http://bit.ly/kXHVAn”

A sample tweet: “Just voted for I Love @RescueAnimals to win Best Blog Post for O’Malley’s survival story: http://bit.ly/kXHVAn Will you please do the same?

Please Vote For Our Friends Too!

If you’d like to vote in the other categories, please feel free to choose whoever you want and we strongly suggest you check out all the great blogs! We do have some recommendations, however, based on our own experiences with the people and the great work they do through their blogs. Our recommendations are as follows:

Best Overall Pet Blog: Any
Best Blog Post: I Love Rescue Animals – that’s us!
Best Dog Blog: Champion of My Heart
Best Designed Blog: Any
Best Cat Blog: The Tiniest Tiger or The Conscious Cat
Best Social Integration Blog: DogTipper! – they are all over Facebook and Twitter!
Best Cause Related Blog: Be the Change for Animals or Raising Ruby – both are AMAZING!
Funniest Blog or Blogger: Grouchy Puppy – one look at Cleo’s face and you know she’s hilarious!

Toki Poki’s Wuvable Wabbit Contest & Collection Pack!

Our awesome friend Toki is at it again! This time, this cute Boston Terrier pup is wrangling up some wascally wabbits to help bring smiles to the kids at Children’s Hospitals nationwide. And of course, I Love Rescue Animals wants to help support Toki Poki as much as we can, so we went searching high and low for a wabbit of our own.

We succeeded. Kinda.

Well. We think he makes a good wabbit. Good job, Snarf. 🙂

The Contest & Cards

Toki Poki is running the Wuvable Wabbit Contest until midnight tomorrow. What’s the contest all about? It’s all in support of the Toki Poki Bunny Hop – another fantastic card collection pack brought to you by our favorite pet trading cards with a purpose! These collection packs will be sent to Children’s Hospitals across the nation and you could get a chance to have your favorite wuvable wabbit included in the pack by submitting a picture by tomorrow at midnight!

Yep. Tomorrow. Midnight. Deadline: April 13, 2011, 11:59pm. GO!

If you don’t get a chance to submit a picture, you can still take part by voting for your favorite picture on the Toki Poki Facebook Gallery (you can find more instructions there). The top 10 voted pictures will end up being the cards for the new Wuvable Wabbit collection pack! How awesome is that?

It’s pretty awesome.

So what are you waiting for? Go check out the Wuvable Wabbit Contest Page on Toki Poki and help make kids (and wabbits) smile!

Pet Dental Month Challenge Results

As some of you may know, for February we did a challenge with our dogs in honor of Pet Dental Health Month. The challenge consisted of feeding a Greenie to each of our 3 dogs every day. We made no other changes to their diet or behaviors. We took pictures before the challenge began and then at the end of each week to document the change. We also had our vet grade the boys’ oral health both before and after the challenge was over. I have to say that I am very impressed with the results!

You can see more on the vet’s ratings on our first week’s post here but for easy comparison, here are the results from both vet visits. To reduce bias, the vet was not reminded of the scores she gave before the challenge.

The Scores!

Spunky
Before Challenge
Grade 1-2: Moderate Gingivitis
Marked Plaque
Mild Calculus & Gingival Inflammation on the back molars
After Challenge
Grade 1: Early Gingivitis
Mild Plaque – Improvement!
Normal Rating on Gingival Inflammation – Improvement!
Normal Rating on Calculus – Improvement!
Snarf
Before Challenge
Grade 1: Early Gingivitis
Moderate Plaque
Mild Calculus & Gingival Inflammation
After Challenge
Grade
Mild Plaque – Improvement!
Mild Calculus – Same
Normal Rating on Gingival Inflammation – Improvement!
Rufus
Before Challenge
Grade 2: Advanced Gingivitis
Marked Plaque & Gingival Inflammation
Moderate Calculus
After Challenge
Grade
Moderate Plaque – Improvement!
Moderate Calculus w/ Vet Note: “Improved greatly L side” – Improvement!
Mild Gingival Inflammation – Improvement!

Video Time!

Check out this video documenting the change in our pup’s teeth over the course of the challenge!


(Here’s a link to the video as well!)

As you can see, using the Greenies for just one month had a tremendous impact on the oral health of our boys! Rufus, who started with the worst rating & most problems, had the most marked changes. It was so cool to see his teeth change as the days went on. You can see in the pictures how the plaque & calculus on both his and Spunky’s teeth broke off more and more as the month wore on. Even Snarf, who as a chewer had the best teeth to begin with, showed improvement. All the dogs had improved breath as well, which is one way we can most easily judge the condition of their mouth.

The only “problem” we encountered, which is just a learned lesson really, is that dogs, like people, tend to favor a side of their mouth. We noticed over the weeks that the dogs tended to chew mostly on one side and by the end we saw a definite difference between the two sides. I’m not sure if you can really convince a dog that it needs to chew evenly. Sometimes we tried holding it on the opposite side but they always tried to switch it back. Still, while Greenies may not be the end-all, be-all to oral health, it is a GREAT tool to improve it. And I guarantee your pups will never complain about it! Ours now beg us for them, the spoiled brats! ^_^

And the Winner Is…

Congratulations to Kelly Ann T. for winning our Pet Dental Health Month Challenge Giveaway! Because you participated in the challenge with us, you’ve won TWELVE boxes of Greenies of whatever size your dogs require! Make sure you email us your dogs’ weights as well as a shipping address which we’ll pass along to Greenies so they can get the prize to you.

We here at ILRA would like to give a huge thank you to Greenies for providing us with the product for this challenge as well as for providing the prize! But most of all, thank you for making such a great product that really, truly does what it is meant to. Our kids are healthier for it and you can’t put a price on that!