Mans Best Friend
As you may have read in my second blog entry He Came Into My Life For A Reason, my journey to helping animals started when I rescued my dog, Butch, from a non-for-profit organisation called AMRAA (Alaskan Malamute Rehoming Aid Australia). AMRAA was formed by a group of volunteers with a shared passion in Arctic breeds. They spend their time, money and energy scouring the pounds across Australia finding Arctic breed dogs to rescue. Once they have rescued the dogs from the pound, they are taken to the vet for a thorough health check, they are fed, bathed, rehabilitated and kennelled until they are hopefully adopted by a loving family. AMRAA then dedicate endless hours educating potential new owners on the requirements of the breed as well as providing ongoing support to new owners.
Unfortunately there are large numbers of Arctic dogs in pounds due to the popularity of the breeds and due to uneducated first time owners who buy them as puppies thinking they look like 'mini Wolves'. They are usually unaware of how large these dogs can grow and how much work is involved in owning an Arctic breed and before the dog has been given a proper chance they are dumped at pounds or given away on Gumtree (which can often mean the dog is given to the wrong hands and used for backyard breeding or dog fighting). AMRAA and Arctic Rescue Victoria (another fantastic non for profit organisation) currently have over 50+ dogs needing homes and rely on support from us to keep going. Here are a few ways you can help not only AMRAA and Arctic Rescue Victoria, but any of your local shelters and rescue groups: -
Due to the large numbers of dogs in kennels and pounds, many of the dogs are left feeling vulnerable, confused and scared. They simply are not used to these environments and it can have damaging effects on the dogs mentally and emotionally. Foster Caring is a wonderful way to remove the dog from these often stressful environments by placing them into your home until the dog is officially adopted by somebody else. You can foster for as long or short as you like and it is a great way for you to get practice if you are not quite ready to own a dog of your own but know you want to down the track.
Adopting means you officially take permanent guardianship and responsibility for a dog that was abandoned by their previous owner. This means they are registered to your name at your local council, their microchip details are registered to you, you are solely responsible for all care moving forward and they come to live with you permanently. Adopting a dog is a life changing experience that not only means you gain a new furry best friend but it means you have saved a dog's life.
The cost of food, bedding, toys and equipment is huge and often hard to fulfil when depending solely on volunteers to fund. You can donate anything such as blankets, pillows, old bed sheets, dog bowls, leads and collars, food, treats, toys - you name it. Anything at all is a huge help.
If you love a rewarding challenge, then fundraising might be up your alley! Holding a cake stall, organising a raffle with fantastic prizes, holding a stall at your local markets or school, selling chocolates, organising online auctions, calling your local pet shops asking for donations for your raffles and auctions - you would be surprised how much money can be made and how many people are willing to donate for a good cause.
Shelters are often inundated with huge costs which are often so high, they are not able to afford to take in any more dogs. If you are in a position to make a financial donation to your local shelter you will be easing the financial pressure and in doing so, making a big difference. For every donation made, shelters are able to take in more dogs from death row and are able to pay for neccessery care. Every donation you make over $2.00 is tax deductable so it is a win win! And remember, every little bit counts!
Volunteering Your Time
Aside from working in the kennels being emotionally and financially challenging, it is also a physical job! If you would like to get involved by getting your hands dirty you can volunteer your time at your local shelters by taking the dogs for much needed walks, grooming the dogs, cleaning the kennels and surrounding areas, assisting with preparing food and doing odd jobs around the kennels – anything at all to help the hard working volunteers.
Donating Your Services
Non-for-profit organisations are always on the lookout for services that will assist in the rehoming of dogs such as: -
Social Media enthusiasts who would be interested in running their social media pages to ensure the right audience is being reached when advertising the dogs needing homes.
Creative Designers to help design logos, websites or Facebook pages.
Photographers to volunteer their time to photograph the dogs that are up for rehoming so their photos can be posted on their social media pages and websites.
Vets who would be willing to donate their time and expertise to give the dogs much needed health checks and/or ongoing veterinary treatments.
Dog Groomers who would be able to donate their time in grooming, cleaning and washing the dogs in care.
Shop Owners who have goods and services they could donate towards fundraising raffles.
Tradesmen who can assist with building kennels, fixing electrical problems and helping with plumbing – you name it!
To learn more about AMRAA and Arctic Rescue Victoria, please click on the following links: -
If you are looking at rescuing other breeds or pets you can find thousands of deserving animals needing homes at the following sites. You can also get in touch to volunteer your time and services at any of the below shelters or any of your local shelters: -
If any of the above sounds like something you could help with, you have any fantastic ideas to help these beautiful dogs in need or you know of amazing animal rescue groups that need help, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org - I would love to hear from you.
World Animal Warriors is a huge advocate of rescuing and is strongly against Puppy Mills and Pet Shops that sell puppies.
'For every puppy bought, a dog dies alone and frightened in the pound'