Ah Valentine’s Day … a time to fall in love, celebrate the love in your life or celebrate your single life status. This is my first year as a wife on Valentine’s Day and it is fantastic! But I must admit I’ve always had true love on Valentine’s Day for going on 15 years now … thanks to my lovely doxies Lars and Anna. They’ve been my faithful friends for more than a decade now and I love them more every day for it. Sue, they’re a little slower, and yeah, Lars is starting to have trouble seeing … but he sees me. When he looks at me with those big brown eyes I just melt. If you’re alone this Valentine’s Day, consider adopting someone to love. We’ve got some fantastic dogs and cats just waiting for their forever homes. All you have to do is open your heart and your home to them! If you are looking to fall in love this weekend, the Animal Defense League is offering a Presidential Valentine’s special. All dogs 4-months and older will be just $40 from Friday, Feb. 15 thru Monday, Feb 18. Cats will be $30 and kittens are just $40. As always, our animals are already spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. So c’mon to the ADL, we’ve got lots of love here!
It’s a new year and let face it … lots f us resolved to lose weight AGAIN!!! Well guess what, the Animal Defense League is here to help you keep that resolution in 2013 with the added bonus f saving our furry friends! We call it “Get Fit with Fido.” It’s yet another fantastic addition to our volunteer program. Basically, our volunteers are taking some of our adoptable dogs on walks or runs in local parks! We’re getting fit, the dogs are getting fit AND they’re getting seen by active potential adopters who just might want an active dog to work out with them. A win-win! It’s been a week since we first launched the program and I’ve had the pleasure of joining a few of our volunteers and some dogs at the park. Everyone comes back with smiles. The dogs are happy because they get a good walk/run and see some new sites. We’re even prepping some of our running volunteers for the “ADL’s Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog Jog” 5K & 1 mile run slated for March 30th in Garden Ridge.
Whether you’re an avid runner looking to help out or a casual walker who loves dogs, the ADL could use you as a “Get Fit with Fido” volunteer. For more information on the program and to become an ADL volunteer shoot me an email today at email@example.com. If you mention you saw it in this blog we’ll schedule a private orientation just for you … you won’t have to wait for a class date to open! So c’mon San Antonio, let’s get fit … and let’s take Fido along for the ride!
It’s a new year and maybe one of your resoultions is to give back to the community. Well you’re in luck, Animal Defense League has a thriving volunteer program and we’re always looking for new recruits! The biggest thing I heard in 2012 was how hard it is to find a place that allowed children. Well guess what parents, the ADL loves its Junior Volunteers! Kids ages 10-15 must be with a parent or guardian volunteer at all times and they not allowed to hold the leash. That was probably the biggest “awwww” I heard in the orientations. I also heard it from one of our former Junior Volunteers, named Caroline. She’s working on her Gold Star Award for the Girl Scouts and she wanted to help me revamp the JV Program. Caroline told me how tough it was a JV watching her mom get to walk the dogs knowing she could do it as well. She pitched me a few ideas and Voila! … JV+ was created! That simply stands for Junior Volunteer … PLUS. Current ADL Volunteers between the ages of 13 and 15 (sorry, 10-12 still needs to follow the old rules) can take an extra class and “rank up” in the program. After a few supervised visits they are allowed to hold the leash and do some things awy from the parents (with them still on property, of course). The program has been a huge hit, with almost 20 members signing up in the first month. It has also shown me somethign a bit unecpected. Grown-ups, cover your eyes for a sec … the Junior Volunteers are simply the best! They follow the rules to a T, work with the dogs and on training and socialization and give me really positive feedback about the program. Okay kiddos, tell the grown-ups they can look again…
All of our volunteers are special and we treasure them all. Without them our dogs and cats wouldn’t be the happy, social and sometimes even trained friends that we know and love. If you’re looking for a place to volunteer, give the ADL a try! If you’re between the ages of 10 and 15 and have been told “nope” by other places … we say YES! And if you’re 13-15, just know that a month after you start volunteering with mom or dad, you have a chance to “rank up” and have a little more fun on your own.
If you are interested in becoming an ADL volunteer, be sure to check out our website at www.adltexas.org for more information and to see the calendar for orientation dates. After that, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot!
I know, I know … it’s December and it’s still pretty hot outside! San Antonio weather, what can you do!?! Of course, we do havea cold spell (supposedly) coming up soon … and just a few weeks ago it got pretty chilly out there. That’s where my story comes into play. I was getting into my car one of those chilly nights a few weeks ago when I thought I saw something under neath it. Now for those of you who don’t know me, I have a wild imagination and I love scary movies, so you can imagine what my first thought might have been. Luckily my second thought was the more pratical one. I banged on the hood of my car and sure enough … a feral cat scramble out of the undercarriage and took off running! That little rascal was trying to wiggle its way into the engine to stay warm. Needless to say that would have been bad news for the cat had I turned on the car before it got it.
Here at the ADL, we sometimes see cases like that. Cats can get burned, severaly injured or even killed. We had a cat named Jude (seen to the left) who was one such victim. Lucikily they patched the little kitty right up and it found a forever home. So when the weather turns cold again, take a second to either honk your horn or bang on the hood (you don’t have to Hulk-smash it, just a few taps wil do the trick). If there is a cat hiding in your engine or under your car, that will give it time to get out before you turn the key!
Thanksgiving is upon us once again! That time of year when we gather with family and friends, watch some football, eat lots of delicious things and wear stretchy pants that we call our “Thanksgiving pants” (just me???). It’s also that time of year when our furry friends like to sit by our feet at the dinner table and beg for some of those awesome table scraps. We’ve all done it, snuck a few morsels of turkey or perhaps a dollop of mashed potatoes to Fido. We all know we shouldn’t do it, heck it pretty much ruins that whole “no begging” part of their training, but they’re so darn cute AND they deserve a Turkey Day treat too!
- Turkey: Most agree that a few bits of turkey meat won’t do any major damage, but try to avoid giving them the skin or dark meat. It can be too greasy and make them sick. Of course, you must NOT give them turkey bones! Like chicken bones, they can splinter and lodge in the throat, esophagus or GI tract.
- Mashed Potatoes: If Grandma makes yours with vat of butter and a cave full of salt, then it’s a no-no for Fluffy and Fido. However, if your MPs are rather plain with just a pinch of salt then a tiny helping can be slipped under the table.
- Green Beans: Green beans are actually not bad for dogs … as long as they’re not swimming in salt and fatty bacon grease. So if your the tye that loves fresh green beans without all the trimmings, then your furry friend can have a bite. If you prefer your green beans in a cheesy casserole, then that’s a big no-no for Fido.
- Corn: Although you may think it’s like a bone, corn on the cob is NOT a good idea for dogs. Loose corn is ok, but if it’s on the cob leave it on your pate!
- Candied Yams/ Sweet Potatoes: C’mon, it’s got the word “candied” in it! You know better than give that to your dog or cat
There are tons of other foods on the table, but for the most part make sure your dog or cat is sticking to its regular diet. Remember, new foods can cause vomiting or diarrhea … and no one wants to deal with that kind of Thanksgiving Day surprise!
We are thankful for our family and friends, but let’s not forget to be just as thankful for our furry friends as well. I am very thankful for my three amigos at home, Lars, Anna and Tyler. I am also thankful for all of the dogs and cats who are getting a second chance at the Animal Defense League.
I certainly hope you will come by and visit … and maybe take home a new best friend who can share many more holidays with you!
So let me just fess up right now … I LOVE Halloween. It’s the tie of year where you can be whatever you want to be! Once again the Animal Defense League invites you to come enjoy our free Halloween event. From 4 pm to 6:30 pm tomorrow, we will be hosting all sorts of fun at the ADL (11300 Nacogdoches Road). We’ll have trick-or-treating for the kids, carnival games, a costume contest and you can even get a festive picture taken! We’ll also do Paw & Palm Readings for you and your pet! Definitely come in costume … your dog as well! If you do bring a dog, make sure it is leashed at all times and is wearing is vaccination tags!
Like I said, I love everything about Halloween from the candy and costumes to the scary movies and the pranks (harmless of course). But my dogs, well, not so much. My two dachshunds have never really been thrilled with dressing up in costumes so I never force them into one. My rescue dog, Tyler, is another story, He’ll wear a costume happily … until he finally gets around to chewing on it. So while he might make a cameo at tomorro’w Halloween bash, I’ll leave the doxies at home. With that in mind let’s chat a bit about Halloween Safety for your pets.
- Never force your dog to dress up! Like my doxies, if your dog isn’t feeling that cute hot dog or pirate wear you got him, don’t make him wear it.
- Make sure the costume fits! If the cape is too long or the hat is too big, the dog could trip, get injured or just pull it off easily. The costume should never be too tight or restrict the animal’s movement, sight or hearing. If your pet doesn’t like the costume, go with a festive bandanna instead!
- No matter what the costume is … make sure you dog/cat has on ID tags and rabies tags! That way if he/she gets lost someone can reach you. A microchip is also a great way for a lost pet to find its way home.
- Put your pets in a back room if you’re staying home for trick-or-treaters. Seeing people in costumes can be scary for them too! Also, that will prevent them from darting outside every time you open the door.
- Keep the treats up high! Candy (especially chocolate) can be txic for your pets, so make sure it stays out of their reach!
We love our volunteers here at the Animal Defense League! Quite frankly, we couldn’t do what we do without them! Our volunteers are the reason why our dogs and cats are happy. They walk them, play with them, bathe them and just downright make sure that every single dog and cat is healthy and happy. We have an army of regular volunteers that have gone through orientation, but many time I get calls from people who want to help but have no time. Well here’s the good news … you still can! Consider group volunteering! Whether it’s a school group, college club, scouts or co-workers … we can and will use group volunteers! Here’s how it works:
- Get your friends, classmates or co-workers together and pick out a few dates and times that will work for you.
- Call the Volunteer Coordinator (that’s me!) at 655-1481 ext. 110 and see if any those dates are taken. If not, then set it up!
- Decide with the coordinator what your group wants to do. There’s dog walking, dog bathing, cat socialization, arts & crafts, service projects, taking photos/videos of the dogs & cats or any idea you may have that could help! You can also help at off-site events if it’s a smaller group.
- Show up on that day & time! After a quick meeting to go over the basics, you and your group can start having fun and leave knowing that you did a great thing!
One thing to consider is the age range of your group. Keep in mind that children under the age of 16 will NOT be allowed to hold the leash on dog walks and must stay with a parent or guardian at all times. They can still interact with the animals, but only if their parent/guardian is with them. For groups made up of children under the age of 16 without enough adult volunteers with them, service projects and arts & crafts projects would be best.
Group volunteering is FREE! If you need the hours recorded for credit at school or church we can do that for you. So what are you waiting for?? Whether you need the hours, want to get to know your classmates better, need some team-building with your co-workers or just want to give back and love on some dogs and cats … the ADL is the place to be!
Boy oh boy am I excited about this one! A local dance studio is hosting a donation drive for the Animal Defense League this Friday and it’s going to be a blast! I am by no means Ginger Rogers, but I LOVE to dance!!! You know when Eliza Dolittle sings “I Could Have Dance All Night?” That’s me, without the cockney accent though. Or how about when Gene Kelly yells “Gotta Dance!!!” in “Singing in the Rain?” Yeah, I’ve done that … in the rain! The bad thing is I have no rhythm … zip, zero, zilch. it goes well with my two left feet. So what!?!?! It’s fun and YOLO, right? So now I get to combine one of my favorite hobbies with my favorite mission, helping the dogs and cats at the AD. The Wanda Deagen Studio at 2113 Vance Jackson is hosting a benefit this Friday, October 12th from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend … just bring a donation off of the ADL wish list (or a monetary donation if you prefer). You will get Merengue lesson followed by open dancing to a variety of music. From the two-step tot he waltz to the cha-cha, you can try it all and make some new friends while helping the ADL. Don’t be afraid to boogie, even if you have two left feet (like me)! This is for fun and no one is here to judge! Wanda says she expects lots of people to be there, so we may use the parking lot and the studio for the event. Dress casually, no tuxes or sweeping waltz dresses required! You can bring the kids, too … as long as they participate in the dancing as well. Hey, if I can get out there and do it, so can you. Plus, we can always tell ourselves it’s all for the dogs, right?!?!?
So I had the opportunity to participate in the Síclovía fun on Sunday and boy was it an eye-popping adventure! The Animal Defense League provided the water for the dogs who came with their people that day. I saw all kinds of dogs from Great Danes to teacup Yorkies keeping pace during the event. The ADL even got quite a few shout-outs from people who support our mission! I’m told there were 45,000 people and a decent chunk of them brought their 4-legged friends. Honestly, I felt like I was watching a Dr. Seuss book come to life. You had to be there to see some of the amazing and bizarre devices people were riding! I say mobile elliptical machine, tandem bikes of all kinds, chopper bikes, skateboards that looked like something Marty McFly had in the future and so much more! People had their dogs in baby buggies, attached to their bikes in baskets or running along with them. And what’s even better … the dogs were leashed and their owners picked up after them! I really enjoyed meeting all of the dog owners and their four-legged friends. Yes, it was chilly that day, but it really warms the heart to see people spending quality time with their dogs and doing so responsibly!
Have you ever had one of THOSE DAYS, when it just seems like a rain cloud is traveling over your head? Well that happened to me quite literally last week. Every time I had to go outside for work, I got rained on … EVERY TIME!!! I did a volunteer orientation at the ADL and yup, we got drenched during the tour! Luckily everyone was excited about getting started and had a great attitude about it. But no matter how miserable I may have felt being soaked to the bone … I learned got a quick reminder that I’m one of the lucky ones. All I have to do is visit my new friend, Star. She’s a beautiful collie mix that was found wandering through the parking lot of the Alamodome, starving and scared. When I first saw her she was barking and no one could get her to stop. It wasn’t a bark of anger or even fear, really just confusion. ”Who are these people and what do they want?” she seemed to be asking. We could tell that Star had been on her own for a while. Under that wet fur, you could see her ribs and her teeth are a bit worse for wear even though she’s a young dog. However, as soon as I put a collar and leash her an amazing thing happened … she stopped barking. You could almost see that spark of recognition in her eyes, as if she was thinking, “I remember this, it means I belong.” Star instantly calmed down and I took her for a little walk. She is absolutely wonderful on a leash. She is also perfect in a car and loves to pet by children and adults. You can tell that at one time in her life she belonged to someone. We will likely never know why Star ended up a stray. Maybe she was dumped, maybe she got lost or ran away in a thunderstorm. What we do know is that she is now one of ours here at the ADL and she’s looking for a forever home. Oh, and as you can tell from the picture she loves to give gently hugs! This is a great time to come and see if Star or one of our other pets here at the ADL would make a great addition to your family. October is Adopt a Shelter Pet month and it’s a good time to come here to find your new best friend. This month, all ADL dogs 4 months and older are just $50 (all have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped). Puppies under 4 months are reduced by $5. Cats are just $10 and kittens are $20. By opting to adopt, you not only save the life of the dog or cat you take home, but also another one who will get to take their spot at the ADL. Be sure to check out the profiles of the dogs and cats we have available for adoption (including Star) at www.adltexas.org Also be sure to visit the shelter to see the puppies and kittens!