If you dream of a career spent helping animals, consider starting a nonprofit organization dedicated to an animal welfare issue. With enough planning, funding and help from other animal lovers, you can make a real difference in their lives. Get started with the following tips:
If you’ve no experience running a nonprofit, research the fundamentals. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Take out books on nonprofit management from your local library. Network with nonprofit leaders and animal welfare advocates. Visit the National Council of Nonprofits for additional resources.
Establish a Mission Statement
Decide your organization’s main objective. Is it connecting pet owners with no-cost spay and neuter services? Finding homes for homeless pets? Rescuing abused animals from terrible situations? Don’t attempt to tackle too many problems at once. Focus on one goal, and your nonprofit will be able to make a more significant difference.
When writing a mission statement, consider the community’s needs, your own personal goals and your supporters’ opinions. Your statement should be brief, positive, clear, action-oriented and motivating. The Best Friends Animal Society’s mission statement is a great example: “To bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets.”
Create a Board of Directors
A nonprofit organization shouldn’t be a one-man operation. You need help from others who share your vision. A board of directors includes experts in the field who can help guide your nonprofit toward success. This group is imperative, especially if you don’t have a business background—they can help with funding and budgeting decisions. Before you choose who to ask to sit on your board, create a list of the individual board member responsibilities and schedule a year’s worth of meetings. Make sure potential board members’ interests, experience and skills match your organization’s mission statement.
Know Your Funding Options
You’ll need start-up capital, just as if you were launching a small business. The Small Business Administration has a comprehensive section on grants and financial assistance. In addition, you may be able to raise a significant amount of money through fundraising events, loans and donations. If you receive regular payments from an annuity or structured settlement, you may be able to sell your future payments to a company like J.G. Wentworthfor a lump sum of cash now. Combining these funding options may be your best bet to get your nonprofit on its feet.
Reach out to potential supporters in your area. Hold a public meeting that addresses your organization’s mission and how others can contribute to the cause. Going public increases your chances of gaining volunteers or sponsorship from those who share your mission. You want to stay fresh in the community’s mind, so choose a solid public relations strategy for your budget. Whether you choose the lower-cost option of placing posters around town or invest in a statewide commercial, make sure your material positively represents your organization. Avoid using guilt or negative images to gain exposure and contributions.
Dear Sonya & Louis,
My lab Chaco died a little over a year ago from heart failure. He went for a walk and didn’t quite make it home. I found him laying in the pasture across the road from the house. I buried him next to his wife by the front gate so they could watch for the UPS truck together. Well, my best friend needed to find a home for a big, mixed breed dog her kids brought home last summer and I couldn’t say no. He’s a handful just like Chac and I feel this is Chac getting across the road, home. Is it Chaco?
My Dear Sarah,
This is Louis the dog here talking to you from heaven. Chaco has definitely come back to you and reincarnated into this new body. Many of us do reincarnate back to another physical body very easily. And as we all know, nothing happens by chance. You are very smart to feel and know this about the dog you got from your best friend. You always have to trust your feeling and sensing. Chaco is so very happy to be home with you again once more. He loves spending time with you in his new physical body.
Lots of Love,
Louis (As Read Through Sonya)
For commercial photographer Douglas Sonders, the #NotABully campaign came naturally for him. It aims to portray pitbulls as the loving dogs they are–and not as anything less.
Before starting the project, Sonders had just rescued a pit bull named Emma and says he “saw the challenges that my new adopted pit rescue and other pitbulls faced in the public eye.” Now he gets hundreds of emails every week from pitbull owners across the world, all eager to share their dogs’ stories and photos.
This new campaign certainly has our paw of approval! See more of the inspiring photos below.
Randy and Jasmine Sullivan always wanted a dog in their life, but they weren’t home often enough to care for one. Seven years ago, they resolved the issue by adopting a family cat, Hugo, who would require less maintenance. Now that they are at a point in their life where they spend more time at home, they decided to adopt Lambo, a rescue puppy. The Sullivans are dazzled by their new pup, but Hugo is not so welcoming.
During the first few weeks of Lambo’s adoption, the Sullivans devoted all of their attention to the puppy. They took him for walks, they invited people over to see him, and they played with him constantly. Hugo sat aside and watched his family abandon him to waste away in his litterbox alone. Hugo’s sadness quickly turned to rage as he went day after day without so much as a head scratch.
Hugo’s revenge plot began when he deliberately tore Lambo’s new bed to shreds, leaving the remains scattered all over the living room floor. When he was sent to a separate room for timeout, he meowed loudly in protest for hours. “We think Hugo might be afraid of the dog, he is desperately trying to claim territory and destroying things. We’re trying to make sure they spend time together and get used to each other.” Randy Sullivan admitted.
Hugo, however, is not afraid of the small dog in the slightest bit. He instead is trying to defame Lambo’s character so that the Sullivans will return him to the pound. While the Sullivans were away, Hugo freed Lambo from his crate and peed all over the kitchen floor. While the Sullivans were not happy with the mess, it did not change their opinion of Lambo. “He’s just getting used to the house, he’ll be potty trained in no time.” Jasmine Sullivan said casually.
While Hugo’s plot has not been successful yet, he shows no signs of giving up. He sits around every corner waiting for the right moment to send Lambo running away with his tail between his legs.
According to the Humane Society, more than 83 million people owned dogs in the U.S. in 2012. More than 95 million owned cats, and many owned both. If you can’t choose a side in the cat vs. dog battle, you will have to find ways to control your household and keep the peace. Thankfully, there are reliable ways to control behaviors and products that keep smaller animals safe from aggressive or overexcited roommates.
Give Animals Their Own Space
Animals who are frightened, shy or even just uninterested in others need a place to go that is just theirs. For dogs, this place is typically on the ground. Some dogs will ignore items like doggy beds, but many dogs can benefit from an open crate or indoor doghouse. Dog and pet expert Sarah Wilson suggests giving cats a place high above the room. You can do this by providing cat trees and cat shelves. You can even just keep tall areas, such as on top of your entertainment center, clear and accessible.
Use Pet Containment Areas/Electronic Doors
Using electric or magnetic technology, pet door makers have been able to manufacture pet doors that only work for certain animals. What you do is attach a “key” to the collar of the animal(s) who are allowed use of the door and the door will only open when that key is in range. This allows your dog to go outside without worry that the cat will get out. You can give your cat privacy in a litter box shelter that the dog won’t be interested in.
Spay and Neuter Your Animals
Dogs and cats who are not spayed or neutered are more excitable. According to the American Humane Association, animals who are not neutered can be aggressive. They can also hump and generally annoy other animals in the house. Your animals will be less frustrated and aggressive once they are spayed or neutered.
Keep Other Animals Away During High-Stress Times
If you have a sick or angry animal, do not let other animals around unless they are a comfort to your ailing pet. Animals can take out their frustrations on each other, so you can wind up with fights over something like bath time. This also goes for situations like heats and birth. Keep your pets effectively separated using gates or doors until the situation resolves.
Train Dogs Well
There is no denying that cats instigate fights with dogs. However, dogs are easier to train and distract in aggressive situations. Therefore, training your dog well is one of the best ways you can keep the peace in a dog and cat household. A dog who will come to you on command is a dog who will pay no attention to the cat. Even if the cat is the aggressor, a dog can be easily trained to diffuse the fight.
A dog who vanished during the 2007 San Diego firestorm has been reunited with his family after nearly 7 years.
John Hartman and his family not only lost their home in the devastating fire that burned half a million acres of land, but they lost their black Labrador retriever named Buddy, too. Soon after, they packed up and headed to Oklahoma.
But during a recent trip to San Diego to visit their son, the Hartmans received a call they never expected. On the other end of the line was the Department of Animal Services–calling to tell them their beloved Buddy had been found. It was all thanks to a microchip that was planted in his neck two years prior to the fires.
The Hartmans had never given up hope that buddy came back to them. “I was pretty shocked,” Hartman told Fox 5 San Diego. “When we finally got to see him he looked the same. Somebody really took care of him.” According to Hartman, Buddy came to him the moment he called his name.