Write a Post, Help a Dog 2011

It’s baaack! Once again we are celebrating all things Dog by teaming up with the Pedigree Foundation in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of adoption.

Write a Post, Help a Dog

Every year, more than 4 million dogs end up homeless. That’s A LOT of dogs on the search for their forever homes. Shelters are filling up faster than kennels can be built and with funds being eaten up by the cost of food, few shelters are able to keep up with the demand and have to resort to capping the amount of animals they can house. And we all know what that results in.

So if we can help the shelters by supplying them with food, the money saved is going to help the shelters in other ways. Like funding the building of more space, better vet care, more time to work with dogs that need it. Pedigree understands this and that’s why they are once again joining up with bloggers to bring you the 2011 version of “Write a Post, Help a Dog” campaign. How it works is this: For each post written for the “Write a Post, Help a Dog” campaign, the Pedigree Foundation will donate 20 pounds of their new dry Pedigree food for dogs to shelters. And they are going to give up to 10,000 pounds of food! That’s a whole lot of food for a whole lot of dogs.

Helping Pups Hurt by Hurricane Irene

Because of the timing of this year’s campaign, the Foundation is focusing its efforts on shelters that were hit hard from Hurricane Irene. At the moment, they are pouring through the extensive list they have and we’ll get back to you with the exact shelters that will benefit from this project.

So Here’s What You Need to Do

01. Read this post. Good job.
02. Write your own post about “Write a Post, Help a Dog” and what the Pedigree Foundation is doing to help. This needs to be done by MIDNIGHT EST, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD! TODAY!
03. Link it to the BlogHop at the bottom of this post.

Easy peasy. Voila! You are helping donate food to a shelter dog in need. The Pedigree Foundation has already raised more than $376,570 so far this year against its goal of $1.5 million to carry out its work to fund grants that not only help shelters operate, but to further shelter innovations. The Foundation depends on charitable contributions from individuals to carry out its mission to help dogs find loving homes. With the help of bloggers around the world, we can make a difference. One post matters.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you want to help in other ways, Pedigree is encouraging consumers to donate online at The Pedigree Foundation or you can purchase some cool Dogs Rule Gear here, where the proceeds go to the Foundation. Likewise, shelters can apply for grants from the Pedigree Foundation by completing a form at The Pedigree Foundation website.

Sorry this is all short notice, folks. With the hurricane and earthquake on the East coast, it took Ash and I a bit of time to get back from vacation. Please write a post today if you have a chance and help us help the dogs that need it! Thank you!

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!

O’Malley’s Chip-In

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

Hey everyone! Again, life gets in the way. I have huge plans for ILRA in 2011. I just need the time to implement them all! I’m sure many of you can understand! Anyway, just wanted to give a huge thank you to everyone who has been helping with O’Malley. Thanks to 11 incredible people, we have raised $145 towards our goal of $700! As mentioned in the last post about O’Malley, we have a couple silly incentives. Unfortunately, one of the videos I wanted to upload when we reached our halfway mark has messed up audio. So we’ll substitute it with a video of me teasing the dogs at dinner time. No, trust me, it’s cute.

Also, O’Malley will be going in for his neuter, X-rays, & FVRCPL booster in the next week or two, so we’ll have some news on how his healing is coming along soon. I’m excited to see the difference! Anyway, if any of you can afford to donate anything towards this boy’s recovery, we would very much appreciate it! Even $5 helps! We’re also hopefully going to be able to start looking for a home for him soon. If any of you live in the Austin area and are interested in this amazing boy, please stay tuned! Don’t forget that we have our beautiful Storm as well, who would LOVE to have a home for Christmas! Please help her have her miracle – the poor baby has been with us for around 8 months! We love having her, but we all know that she would love even more having her very own forever home.

Donations for O’Malley

Any amount counts. If you have any issues with the ChipIn widget, you check out his official page here. (Also note that this is the second ChipIn we’ve had to set up for him since the first didn’t reach the goal and was closed. This one takes up where that one left off.)

Thank You To O’Malley’s Supporters!

These wonderful people have chipped in for O’Malley and we want to thank every one of them. You guys are part of his story and I know that he is full of gratitude to all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Katherine L.
Andrew S.
Marjorie D.
Roxann R.
Bonnie T.
Lydia O.
Cheryl S.
Chelsea C.
Shelly D.
The Rio Grande Basin Bat Project
Jessie T.

And a special thank you to Dash Kitten and Whiskr for supporting our ChipIn and showcasing it on your blog. And thank you to all of you have continue to blog about O’Malley and share his story. The world is full of good people and every day I am reminded of this. Thank you all!

And don’t forget to check out how you can help O’Malley AND win an awesome custom pet portrait!

O’Malley’s Rehabilitation and How You Can Help

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

Hello animal-loving world! I can’t apologize enough for the way we have completely disappeared from the internet. We have been having a rough time lately, from just plain exhaustion, trying to manage O’Malley’s rehab in what little free time we have and a death in Nikki’s family which has been incredibly hard on her. We are trying our best to get back into the swing of things but please bear with us at being slow with this blog and our twitter account. Any loving thoughts for Nikki are greatly appreciated. I’d also like to give a HUGE thank you to Chelsea for keeping ILRA alive with her weekly #ShelterSketches! Now on to the more fun stuff!

The Recovery Process

O’Malley has been doing great, not that any of us expected any less from this boy. His wounds healed up great (he just had his stitches removed today) and he’s on the road to recovery. As I wrote last time, he needs rehabilitation to strengthen his muscles and make sure everything moves well and his scar tissue forms right. I’ll be straight up honest and say that we have not been able to devote as much time to his rehabilitation as we would have liked but he is still progressing and I know he’s going to come out on the other end a very healthy, fit cat. I’ve seriously been worrying about him and agonizing over the fact that everything we do now will affect O’Malley for the rest of his life and I know that we’re not doing perfect. But then I think about the alternative, of what would have happened to him had I not stopped to help him, and I know that he would prefer our imperfection to being left there alone. He’s such a loving, forgiving cat. I just love him, as does everyone else who meets him.

Now on to the cool stuff: As promised, here is an image of one of O’Malley’s X-rays. You can see his left femur completely out of the socket and the big break in his pelvis on the right.

Next up, O’Malley’s rehabilitation! I was able to get in contact with Sandra Hudson, the woman we met at that dog event, and she accepted O’Malley as a patient. The best part is that she’s giving me the rescue discount since she was moved by his story. Isn’t that great? O’Malley has been twice so far. It would have been best for him to be able to go twice a week but with my new full time schedule, it just isn’t possible. So we are going to be using his visits there as a sort of check-in and we’re going to be responsible for most of his physical therapy. The different things he does at his rehab sessions are really interesting. He starts by getting cold laser therapy. Basically she applies low-power light to his hip and it helps him heal faster! How cool is that?

Then he’s on to balancing on a balance board and a ball. The board makes him learn to shift his balance and improve his stability. The ball helps stretch his leg out and put weight on his foot. I looked into buying a balance board to use at home but the cheapest was $80 so we’re going to have to attempt to make one ourselves… wish us luck!

Then he does Cavaletti poles which for our purposes is two swimming noodles with bits of plastic piping laid over them to create a ladder rung type deal (it’s hard to explain). Anyway, we coax him to walk through it, over the pipes, so he has to lift his feet over them. This helps with his gait training and also re-teaches him where his back feet are. Sandra says that many cats who undergo trauma and/or surgery of his type have their connections between their brain and hind limbs damaged. Basically he has to re-learn where his feet are without him having to look. So he has to figure out how to lift his back legs over the poles. Kinda neat when you think about it. Anyway, we make it harder by spreading the poles out and by crisscrossing them. This works best by tempting him with treats!

The last thing we do at his sessions is also the coolest! Well, according to me, anyway. I’m sure he would tell you otherwise! Anyway, O’Malley does aquatic therapy! Yes, we actually stick that poor kitty on a partially submerged treadmill and make him walk for several minutes. He complains about it, of course, but as always he does what is asked of him. Aquatic therapy is so good because it transfers heat to his hip, supports a good amount of his weight so he can slowly add more weight to that hip, it improves his gait by making his stride longer and it forces him to continue walking which increases his endurance. It really is very cool how much it helps him. I’m sure you’ll love the video!

How You Can Help O’Malley

Now here’s the part where you can help. While we have been helped by some AMAZING people who have cut our costs by at least half by donating their time and offering discounts, we have still spent close to $500 on his recovery thus far. This is only for his vet visits, surgery, medications, vaccinations, food (since he’s on a special diet) and rehabilitation. This does not cover what we bought to do his rehab at home, litter (we don’t use clay litter in our house so it really does add up), lost wages from taking off work to take him places, etc. We are trying to be very reasonable in what we are asking help with. You can view the gallery to see proof of most of his bills (we misplaced the latest rehab bill) so you know you can trust that we’re not making this up. Also, you can see some of the bills have costs for animals other than O’Malley but we have not included this in our calculations. For instance, there is a bill of $50 for two combo tests, one for O’Malley and one for another foster cat, Jacob. We only counted $25 towards our total. O’Malley will also need to go in about a month from now to be neutered, get his FVRCP booster, and get new X-rays taken. Our wonderful vet, Dr. Jill, quoted us at $120 for everything which is an awesome deal! We would also like to take him in to rehab at least a few more times, which will cost $28.75 for each visit from now on.

So the breakdown of our costs is this: So far we have spent $485. Adding in his vet bill of $120 next month brings us to $605. We would like to take him in for rehab at least 3 more times (he has an appointment scheduled for next week Tuesday already) which would come to $86.25 for a grand total of $691.25. So for all of this, we have set a goal of raising $700 to help us with O’Malley’s recovery. I think this is awesome considering his surgery alone was quoted at $750 to $1500 by other veterinarians! Can you believe how little it cost to CHANGE this boy’s life, to SAVE it? it gives me goosebumps thinking of how so many people are coming together to help him. O’Malley thanks each and every one of you!

Donate by clicking on the widget, or go straight to O’Malley’s ChipIn page.

Need an Incentive?

So as if changing this amazing, handsome’s cat’s life for the better isn’t enough, we have some fun incentives for donating as well. When we reach half of our goal, $350, we will release a funny home video of the crazy things pet parents sometimes have to do at 1:00 in the morning. If we reach our full goal of $700 then we will release an embarrassing video of me singing to and dancing at the kids. Sound fun? Good! Thank you for all of your continued support!

Write a Post, Help a Dog

Hey everyone! It’s Ashley and we’re currently pawtying it up here at BlogPaws West! We’ve been having such an amazing time that we haven’t been able to find even a second to post. It’s been really great meeting all these awesome bloggers & tweeters and the energy from the last one has definitely found its way to this one as well. The networking is amazing and if you’re involved in the pet blogosphere I really hope you get to make it to a BlogPaws soon! We have so many exciting projects to tell you about and tonight’s is one that is so simple and yet it has the potential to help feed thousands of shelter dogs!

Write a Post, Help a Dog!

I’m talking about Pedigree’s “Write a Post, Help a Dog” project. Pedigree, the wonderful company who once again sponsored my trip here, is always looking for more ways to help shelter dogs. By now I’m sure many of you have heard of their Adoption Drive. The commercials they have on TV, showing how shelter dogs are heroes, telling us “Do not pity a shelter dog, adopt one”, ALWAYS make me cry. Seriously, no matter how many times I see it, I always cry from happiness. Awesome marketing for a GREAT cause! Obviously we here at ILRA are completely behind what they do.

In case you didn’t know, they have had a campaign running this year where for every new fan they get on their Facebook page, they will donate a bowl of food to shelter dogs. It has been a tremendous success and since it began in February they have accumulated over 1.1 MILLION fans – meaning 1.1 MILLION meals for shelter dogs! How amazing is that? And they have no intention of stopping there. Pedigree hopes to donate 4 million bowls of food – one for every dog that will end up in a shelter this year.

Now you can help them do even more for dogs in need simply by writing a post. For every blog that writes a post about their adoption drive from now until next Sunday, which is September 19, Pedigree will donate a TWENTY pound bag of their brand new Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs to a shelter. It’s really as easy as that! Write about an awesome cause and and shelters nationwide will receive a large donation of food. I’m super excited about it and I hope you will be too! Go out there and write your posts, then link to them here to the BlogHop (and to our comments) so we can help make sure Pedigree sees it. Come on, let’s feed shelter dogs!

Help a Dog, Win a T-Shirt!

As a small token of our appreciation, if you write a post and leave a comment below telling us about it, we will enter you for a chance to win a Pedigree “Dogs Rule” T-shirt! How awesome is that? We love wearing our shirts – not only is it just a great message (except maybe to our feline friends…), but it’s a great conversation starter to tell others about this great project. Make sure to include the link to the post so we can read it too! We’ll pick a winner for the shirt when the campaign ends – September 19th!

Don’t forget to add your post to this BlogHop (at the end of this long list there is a link that says “Click Here to Enter”) so that Pedigree gets notified that you participated. And let us know as well so you can be entered into a draw for a Dogs Rule t-shirt! You can also tweet @PedigreeUS with your blog post URL and the hashtag #dogsrule.

The Write a Post, Help a Dog Blog Hop: More Posts about the Adoption Drive!