Pet Blogger Challenge

I always seem to miss these things, but thanks to Yvonne over at Scratchings and Sniffings, I caught this one! Thanks to Amy of GoPetFriendly and Edie of Will My Dog Hate Me? for hosting this Pet Blogger Challenge! Want to know more a little about us? Keep reading!

Pet Blogger Challenge

Pet Blogger Challenge

1. When did you begin your blog?
This blog and website began on April 11, 2009. It was an outgrowth of our Facebook group and twitter account, @RescueAnimals.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
We began our site to continue expanding on the work we’d started with @RescueAnimals. The original idea was for it to be a site that was as simple as our Rescue of the Week series – just having stories to celebrate what amazing pets rescued animals are.

3. Is your current purpose the same?
Obviously, it’s grown a lot from the above idea, but the mission is still the same. We advocate for the welfare of rescued animals everywhere and we celebrate the happy stories that come from a lonely pets finding their forever homes. We also support shelters, rescues, and animal welfare organizations through featured posts and try to raise awareness about how people can get involved and help animals.

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
It’s pretty much tied between the two. Our Rescue of the Week series is scheduled for Mondays and our Shelter Sketches series is scheduled for Saturdays. This year will be a little different from previous years though because we now have 365 Days of Animal Advocacy that will be posting every single day this year. Of course, we will continue to post other articles when the spirit moves us.

5. Are you generating income from your blog?
Not really. We do sell ad space from time to time but it’s pretty much so passive that it doesn’t really exist at the moment. Hopefully in the near future we will be setting up a shop on our website where folks can buy t-shirts, postcards, artwork, etc. Look for that soon!

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular?
Blogging is an excellent way to share a message with the public and I love the outlet it gives us to talk about our own experiences with rescuing and adopting. We’ve actually seen what we do make a difference in the lives of animals and that is by far our favorite thing about blogging.

7. What do you like least?
When you do it every day and you’re trying to gain an audience, the demands are hard. Especially since we both have jobs and we usually don’t get time to blog until late at night (hence all the late-night posts).

8. How do you see your blog changing or growing in 2011?
Well for one we will actually be posting every single day for our 365 Days of Animal Advocacy and this is going to be a very strict schedule. I can definitely see this project growing our blog a lot in the next year. Chelsea’s Shelter Sketches have grown as well and I’m sure that it will continue to get bigger as the year goes on.

Other Pet Blogger Challenges!

ILRA Interviewed on PawScoop

Hey everyone, there is a fabulous interview with me and Ashley up over at! It’s part of a series of interviews that Ross conducted with all the nominees for the DogTime Petties Awards (have you voted for us yet?). Take a moment and read about why we started this site, what continues to inspire us, and what we’ve learned along the way. Great interview and thank you to Ross for the awesome questions. Check out the interview over here and tell us what you think!

Don’t forget, vote for for Best Cause Related Blog!

#BlogPaws [Part 2]: Our BlogPaws Angel!

What follows is Part 2 of our BlogPaws adventures. This whole week will be a post a day about the sessions we went to, the people we met, the wonderful and inspiring feelings we took back with us from this conference. If you didn’t know, BlogPaws was a conference held in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend that brought together pet bloggers and animal advocates from all over the world. It was truly a life-changing conference.

Hey everyone! For those of you who attended BlogPaws, you know how hard it is to even begin to describe how amazing the conference was. For those of you who couldn’t make it this year, you NEED to go next year. It truly was a life changing experience for so many of those involved. You can’t imagine how energizing & inspiring & truly awesome the experience was! I know that there were so many incredible connections made and that there are months worth of stories to be told. This is one of ours and probably one of the most heartwarming of my entire life. This story is one that still makes me smile from ear to ear and makes Nikki tear up. I think it is one that perfectly describes the heart & soul of what BlogPaws is – animal lovers coming together to build an intentional community that will very truly change the lives of animals for the better! Keep in mind that Jo, Nikki & I met only about 10 minutes prior to this occurring! Without further ado, I give you our very own Nikki and Jo of (@informedferret on twitter) with an awesome announcement:

Chimp Sanctuary Interview!

Hey everyone! It’s that time again! We have another interview from a great organization! We here at ILRA are pleased to introduce you to (or simply allow you to learn more about) Chimp Sanctuary Northwest! I first heard about Chimp Sanctuary when I found them on twitter (@ChimpSanctuary). I read through their tweets & learned about their wonderful chimps and I was hooked. I even won a twitter contest they had for knowing that it was Foxie who loved to play with trolls & got some very pretty cards! I hope you will all take the time to go read the bios of all the chimps. Trust me, it will make you smile to know that after all they’ve been through, they now have an awesome home and will live out the rest of their lives in happiness!

Chimp Sanctuary

What is the full name of your sanctuary?
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest

Where is Chimp Sanctuary located?
Just outside of the town of Cle Elum, WA

When was your sanctuary established?
The organization was incorporated in 2003. The chimpanzees arrived June 13, 2008.

What is the mission of your sanctuary?
To provide lifetime quality care for formerly abused or exploited chimpanzees, while advocating for great apes through education and collaboration.

How did you decide which chimps to rescue? Were they all ready to be retired?
Construction on the sanctuary began for a group of five to seven chimpanzees, but the exact chimpanzees had not been identified. In 2007, the sanctuary learned of seven chimpanzees at the Buckshire Corporation in Pennsylvania. Buckshire had tried to place the chimpanzees years earlier in another sanctuary, but that had fallen through. The chimpanzees had been “waiting” for sanctuary within cramped cages in a windowless basement at Buckshire.

Is the sanctuary big enough to add more chimps? Do you plan on doing so in the future?
The building was designed for a group of five to seven, so we are pretty much at capacity. In addition, it can be very difficult to integrate adult chimpanzees with one another. We would like to be able to provide a home for other chimpanzees in the future.

How is your sanctuary run? Is it mostly volunteers?
There are five staff members that do everything from caring for the chimpanzees to grant writing, outreach and construction and about 40 regular volunteers.

Where do you get your funding?
The majority of our funding comes from individual donations. We also receive grants from private foundations and we’ve received some corporate support (from LUSH handmade cosmetics). We do not receive any government support.

Tell us more about your sanctuary. What makes it unique?
There are only a handful of sanctuaries for chimpanzees in North America and each one is unique. We are able to provide very individualized attention to the chimpanzees at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest because the group is small. This also means that we can share the personalities of the individual chimpanzees and our supporters can learn a lot about them. We have a blog that we update almost daily with photos, video and stories, a Twitter account, and Facebook pages, including individual pages for each of the chimpanzees.

Do you have a favorite story you’d like to share?
There are so many! Everyday the chimpanzees do amazing things that illustrate how intelligent, resilient and individualistic they are. We’ve seen remarkable transformations in the less than two years the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees have been at the sanctuary. For example, when Jamie arrived at the sanctuary there was a large patch on her belly that was plucked down to the skin. Looking at her records, it was clear that she had done this for years. Her hair starting growing back immediately and she hasn’t plucked it out since arriving at the sanctuary. Jamie is extremely intelligent and is constantly up to something – she’s just one of those people who’s wheels are always turning. She creates projects for herself with the toys and other objects that we provide the chimpanzees. It’s heartbreaking to think about the years she spent in the laboratories with nothing to do but pull her own hair out, but we do all we can to make sure she has fun, new things to do everyday from now on.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
The sanctuary is not open to the public, but we do share the chimpanzees with people through our website and social networking sites.

Where all are you located online?

Facebook Causes page: Cause Page
Facebook Fan page: Fan Page

For the chimpanzee’s individual Facebook pages, search for their name (Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, Negra) followed by “Chimpanzee” (so, Jamie Chimpanzee’s page is: here).

Pets for Patriots Interview!

Hi everyone and welcome to the interview with Pets for Patriots! I am very excited about this interview because Beth, the founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots, answered these questions herself! I love her responses because you can tell how passionate she is about her cause. I hope you will be too! If you’d like to learn more, they can be found at several homes around the internet!

Pets for Patriots

Twitter: @PetsforPatriots
Facebook: Pets for Patriots, Inc. Fan Page

To donate to them, you can find a link to their donate page on our home page under Featured Organization. Also, please tell your local rescue groups and any vets you know to sign up with them! I know it’ll be a great partnership! Let’s help them grow!

What is the name of your organization?
Pets for Patriots

Where is your group located?
Long Beach, New York – though we plan to operate nationally

When was your organization established?
October 2009; one month later we received our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

What is the mission of your organization?
Our mission is to consistently give the gifts of fidelity, joy and companionship to both pet and person.

To be more specific, we:
• Facilitate hard-to-place shelter pet adoptions by military personnel
• Improve the well-being of service members through companion pet adoption, a humane way of easing the stresses associated with military life and military transitions
• Foster education and awareness about the state of animal abandonment and neglect
• Educate the military and the public at large about the many physical and emotional health benefits of adult pet adoption

What prompted the creation of Pets for Patriots?
I’ve had a longstanding passion for the plight of homeless animals. Growing up, my family adopted shelter pets only and when I was twelve years old I started a neighborhood dog walking service. Mind you, this was long before these things were such big business: I charged a dollar a day, which included three walks and dinner. Needless to say, this was quite a while ago! But the idea of helping to reduce animal homelessness never left me, and I knew that someday I’d return to it again.

At the same time, my siblings and I were raised to respect and admire the military – not just the institution, but the men and women who sacrificed so much in order to protect our freedom and way of life. Many of our family vacations, which were almost always camping trips, included visits to military museums or historical sites.

I had the idea that I could do something positive for both of these populations – shelter pets and service members – in a way that would benefit each. And I decided that the “someday” of helping homeless animals was going to happen sooner than later. I wrote a business plan to help me figure out how it would all work, and set about putting together a board. The end result is Pets for Patriots.

How is your organization run? Will you actively help patriots find pets to adopt?
Absolutely. We’re just starting to build our shelter and veterinary network. We encourage any patriot in the U.S. to register on our site. If we don’t yet have a participating shelter or veterinarian in their area, we’ll do the legwork to get those in place and direct that member patriot to those facilities. We leave the actual adoption pairing and decision up to the shelter, since they’re the experts in matching pets and people.

How do you get your funding?
Like most charities, we rely on the generosity of the public for donations. Once we’re more established, we’ll seek corporate sponsors and grant opportunities if we think they’re relevant to our mission.

What are some of the challenges you face?
Is it still hard to convince people to adopt rather than buy? Because we just launched in January 2007, one of our biggest challenges is just getting people to know about us. Once they do, we find people really love what we’re about. But converting that enthusiasm into a contribution remains a challenge. We know the economy is tough; our founder is a small business owner and she deals with it, too. We appreciate all donations, no matter how small – or how large!

As for the buy versus adopt debate, we’re seeing new laws proposed around the country to shut down or severely restrict the activities of puppy mills. Over time we think these events will diminish the supply of animals for sale and make adoption a more attractive choice for more people.

Tell us more about your group. What makes it unique?
We are one of the only organizations in the U.S. to focus on adult shelter pets and members of the military, at any stage of their careers and from any branch of service.

These two things truly set us apart. First, we promote the extraordinary value of the ordinary shelter pet; that adult dog or cat that isn’t destined to become a service animal, but still has lots of love and life to give. Second, we accept patriots at any stage of their military careers – active, reserve, inactive reserve, veteran, retired and national guard – and from all branches of the U.S. military.

Do you have a favorite story you’d like to share?
Not yet, but we hope to soon! We’re actively seeking patriots who are interested in adult shelter pet adoption to be among our first great success stories. We know they’re out there; we just need to find each other.

What is the accomplishment your organization is most proud of?
Going from business plan to launch in six months. That tells us that we have the right stuff to make this new not-for-profit successful: determination, persistence and heart.

What are your goals as you expand your organization?
We wish we could single-handedly end animal abuse and homelessness, but we can’t. But we can do our part to elevate the value many people place in companion pets, and we will.

We plan to be national. We envision Pets for Patriots member shelters and veterinarians across the country, each sharing our commitment to permanently rehome needy shelter pets with military personnel. In doing so, we hope to make our military more open and friendly to families with pets – one dog and cat at a time.

What is the one thing that people could do to help your organization the most?
Make a tax-deductible donation, either on our secure site or by check. We can’t do any of our good works without contributions from good folks who love pets and love our patriots. Right now, this is our greatest need.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Small acts can make a difference. Do you have a military neighbor, coworker or friend who needs some emotional support? Tell them about us and about how pets have enormous healing potential. Short on cash, but want to help? Even $10 gets us that much closer to our mission. Love animals, but can’t have one of your own? Consider volunteering at your local shelter, or becoming a foster parent to a pet whose parent is either sick or being deployed. As individuals, we have a great deal of power to make positive change, one small act at a time.